6

PopeWatch: How Can You

Phil Lawler has an excellent response to one statement in Cardinal Ouellet’s diatribe against Archbishop Vigano:

 

 

“How can you celebrate Mass,” Cardinal Ouellet angrily demands of Archbishop Viganò, “and mention the pope’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer?”

An excellent question. It forces us to ask whether we have ever imagined that in praying for our shepherds we were thereby paying tribute to their rectitude and decency. Think of the faithful whose priests, over, say, the last 30 years, have invited them to pray for John Paul our pope, or for Benedict our pope …

  • “… and for Rembert our bishop”—who used $450,000 of his flock’s contributions to buy the silence of his partner in sodomy.
  • “… and for Lawrence our bishop”—who throttled a male prostitute who was in the act of fellating him.
  • “… and for Thomas our bishop”—who struck a pedestrian with his Buick and drove off leaving him to die.
  • “… and for Patrick our bishop”—who outfitted his catamite with a beeper to summon him for sex.

Go here to read the rest.  It seems that the only crime that a high member of the clergy can commit as far as the powers that be at the Vatican  are concerned is to reveal to the laity the cesspool that has festered for decades among Bishops and Cardinals.  The desire to avoid scandal has been used as a shield to protect the guilty and to allow them to go on preying upon their sheep.  That is what Cardinal Ouellet’s anger at Archbishop Vigano boils down to:  he broke the code of Omerta that is more powerful among too many of our clergy than it is among Mafia hitmen.

0

PopeWatch: Bus

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

 

The Vatican said this past weekend that it had reached an agreement with China on the process of constructing the “largest, most biggest ever” bus to throw Chinese Catholics under.

The deal paves the way for bishops and laity who have been faithful to the Rome to be “royally screwed for their loyalty,” while rewarding bishops created without papal approval.

“For Pope Francis, the construction of the mega bus has been one of his most ambitious ventures to date,” says Ben Tammany, senior adviser to the Vatican. “It’s an effort to broaden the appeal of the Church no matter what the cost.”

Francis has drawn criticism from many Catholic opponents, who say the Church shouldn’t “screw over people who have been faithful to the Pope” with this joint venture with an atheist country that has targeted and harassed Catholics with surveillance and persecution. Others, though, say that it is of the utmost importance to Catholicism in the region to “screw over people who have been faithful to the Pope” with this joint venture with an atheist country that has targeted and harassed Catholics with surveillance and persecution.

Not long after announcing the agreement, the Vatican said that Chinese President Xi Jinping would be riding shotgun on the mega bus, alongside Pope Francis on its maiden voyage as they cruised through the devastated countryside of Chinese Catholic hearts.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm that in response Mark Shea has stated that the Pope can run over him in a bus anytime.

7

PopeWatch: Schism

The Church has been in a slow motion schism since the end of Vatican II.  Pope John Paul II slowed it down, but Pope Francis has speeded it up.  Father Z notes the divisions:

One of the things we have seen over the last few years is that there is a manifest division in the Church and that it is getting bigger.   For a long time we’ve seen that parishes within the same diocese are seriously different from each other in doctrine and in worship (the same thing).   Now we see sharp divisions between dioceses and even conferences of bishops.  For example, since Amoris you can step from one country into another country, like Poland into Germany, and find entirely different policies from bishops conferences on whether or note unrepentant adulterers can be admitted to Holy Communion.

Here is an example of neighboring dioceses in these USA having a sharp difference.

From CNSNews:

Chicago Cardinal Cupich: ‘Not Our Policy’ to Deny Communion to People in Same-Sex Marriages

[…]

During an interview on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, host Phil Ponce raised the topic of Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who had issued a decree in June 2017 on “Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.”

[…]

On the other hand, Chicago’s neighbor, Springfield has a different approach.

Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis has indicated that he might go down in history as the pope who split the Catholic Church.  Go here to read about this statement.  Mission almost accomplished, Holiness.

 

2

PopeWatch: Paul VI

 

 

 

Well, Pope Paul VI will be the latest modern Pope to be canonized on October 14.  Being proclaimed a Saint is becoming a perk of the job apparently, in lieu of a gold watch.  If Pope Francis were really concerned with clericalism, he would have to look no farther than this ominous trend.   Prior to Saint Pope Pius X, the last Pope to be canonized was Pius V, who was canonized in 1712 almost a century and a half after his death.  Oh well, we live in a time of cheap grace and PopeWatch has no doubt that the canonization machine set up for contemporary popes is worth as much as the cheap grace.  If Paul VI can be a Saint, perhaps there is hope for all of us who are mediocre or worse at our jobs, and allow chaos to reign because of our weakness.

6

PopeWatch: Populism

The Pope continues his war on populism.  From remarks he made at the Youth Synod:

The Pope distinguished between “populism” and “popular”, saying that “popular is the culture of the people, the culture of each of your peoples that is expressed in art, in culture, in the science of the people, in celebration”. Populism, he said “is the opposite: it is the closure of this model. We are closed, we are alone. And when we are closed we can’t go on”. Love, he concluded, “is the word that opens all doors”.

Go here to read the rest.  For a Pope who has said kind words about Communists, and who recently stuck a shiv in the “Underground Church” in China, his concern about populism is predictable.  Like most political movements, judgments on a populist movement, and defining what populism means tends to be a thorny question, depends upon the circumstances surrounding the movement, what the movement stands for and the character of the leaders of the movement.  The Pope’s Argentina has long been dominated by populist movements, most notably the endless variants of Peronism, and if the Pope truly had a general abhorrence of all populist movements, well, Argentina has not been a great showplace for benign populism.  However, the Pope seems to have quite a bit of tolerance for populist movements if they mouth Left wing pieties.  His sponsorship of the World Meeting of Populist Movements, go here to read about it, is evidence of that, as is his good relations with Leftist caudillos in Latin America.  The Pope despises populist movements if they are conservative, and particularly if they oppose his disastrous endorsement of mass immigration from Islamic countries.  For centuries the popes joined themselves at the hip with Catholic monarchies.  Long term this policy proved disastrous as the Catholic monarchs sought, often successfully, to control the Church within their realm, and the Church became associated with regimes and their policies, and suffered when those regimes fell.  The Pope seems eager to replicate this misbegotten policy, with the glaring difference that the regimes he wishes to associate the Church with are often quite hostile to the Church and do not pretend otherwise.

 

10

PopeWatch: Ouellet

The Vatican, through Cardinal Marc Ouellet, has finally responded to the Vigano allegations:

 

 

“OPEN LETTER FROM THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, CARDINAL MARC OUELLET, ON THE RECENT ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE HOLY SEE

Dear brother Carlo Maria Viganò,

In your last message to the press, in which you make accusations against Pope Francis and against the Roman Curia, you invite me to tell the truth about certain facts that you interpret as signs of an endemic corruption that has infiltrated the hierarchy of the Church up to its highest levels. With pontifical permission, and in my capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I offer my testimony about matters concerning the Archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, and his presumed links to Pope Francis, matters that are at the center of your public accusations and your demand that the Holy Father resign. I write my testimony based on my personal contacts and on documents in the archives of the Congregation, currently the object of study to clarify this sad case.

Out of consideration for the good, collaborative relation we had when you were Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, allow me to say, in all honesty, that I find your current attitude incomprehensible and extremely troubling, not only because of the confusion it sows among the People of God, but because your public accusations gravely harm the reputation of the bishops, successors of the Apostles. I recall a time when I enjoyed your esteem and your trust, but now I see that I have been stripped in your eyes of the respect that was accorded to me, for the only reason I have remained faithful to the Holy Father’s guidance in exercising the service he has entrusted to me in the Church. Is not communion with the Successor of Peter an expression of our obedience to Christ who chose him and sustains him with his grace? My interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which you criticize, is grounded in this fidelity to the living tradition, which Francis has given us another example of by recently modifying the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the question of the death penalty.

Let us address the facts. You said that on June 23, 2013, you provided Pope Francis with information about McCarrick in an audience he granted to you, as he also did for many pontifical representatives with whom he met for the first time that day. I can only imagine the amount of verbal and written information that was provided to the Holy Father on that occasion about so many persons and situations. I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick, as you would like us to believe, given the fact that by then he was an 82-year-old Archbishop emeritus who had been without a role for seven years. Moreover, the written instructions given to you by the Congregation for Bishops at the beginning of your mission in 2001 did not say anything about McCarrick, except for what I mentioned to you verbally about his situation as Bishop emeritus and certain conditions and restrictions that he had to follow on account of some rumors about his past conduct.

From 30th June 2010, when I became Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, I never presented in audience the McCarrick case to Pope Benedict XVI or to Pope Francis – not until recently, after his dismissal from the College of Cardinals. The former Cardinal, retired in May of 2006, had been requested not to travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about him. It is false, therefore, to present those measures as “sanctions” formally imposed by Pope Benedict XVI and then invalidated by Pope Francis. After a review of the archives, I find that there are no documents signed by either Pope in this regard, and there are no audience notes from my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, imposing on the retired Archbishop the obligation to lead a quiet and private life with the weight normally reserved to canonical penalties. The reason is that back then, unlike today, there was not sufficient proof of his alleged culpability. Thus, the Congregation’s decision was inspired by prudence, and the letters from my predecessor and my own letters urged him, first through the Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi and then through you, to lead a life of prayer and penance, for his own good and for the good of the Church. His case would have deserved new disciplinary measures if the Nunciature in Washington, or any other source, had provided us recent and definitive information about his behavior. I am of the opinion that, out of respect for the victims and given the need for justice, the inquiry currently underway in the United States and in the Roman Curia should provide a comprehensive and critical study of the procedures and the circumstances of this painful case in order to prevent something like it from ever happening in the future.

How is it possible that this man of the Church, whose incoherence has now been revealed, was promoted many times, and was nominated to such a high position as Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal? I am personally very surprised, and I recognize that there were failures in the selection procedures implemented in his case. However, and without entering here into details, it must be understood that the decisions taken by the Supreme Pontiff are based on the information available to him at the time and that they are the object of a prudential judgment which is not infallible. I think it is unjust to reach the conclusion that there is corruption on the part of the persons entrusted with this previous discernment process, even though in the particular case some of the concerns that were raised by testimonies should have been examined more closely. The Archbishop also knew how to cleverly defend himself from those concerns raised about him. Furthermore, the fact that there could be in the Vatican persons who practice or support sexual behavior that is contrary to the values of the Gospel, does not authorize us to make generalizations or to declare unworthy and complicit this or that individual, including the Holy Father himself. Should not ministers of the truth avoid above all calumny and defamation?

Dear pontifical representative emeritus, I tell you frankly that to accuse Pope Francis of having covered-up knowingly the case of an alleged sexual predator and, therefore, of being an accomplice to the corruption that afflicts the Church, to the point that he could no longer continue to carry out his reform as the first shepherd of the Church, appears to me from all viewpoints unbelievable and without any foundation. I cannot understand how could you have allowed yourself to be convinced of this monstrous and unsubstantiated accusation. Francis had nothing to do with McCarrick’s promotions to New York, Metuchen, Newark and Washington. He stripped him of his Cardinal’s dignity as soon as there was a credible accusation of abuse of a minor. For a Pope who does not hide the trust that he places in certain prelates, I never heard him refer to this so called great advisor for the pontificate for episcopal appointments in the United States. I can only surmise that some of those prelates are not of your preference or the preference of your friends who support your interpretation of matters. I think it is abhorrent, however, for you to use the clamorous sexual abuse scandal in the United States to inflict an unmerited and unheard of a blow to the moral authority of your superior, the Supreme Pontiff.

I have the privilege of having long meetings with Pope Francis every week to discuss the appointment of bishops and the problems that affect their governance. I know very well how he treats persons and problems: with great charity, mercy, attentiveness and seriousness, as you too have experienced. I think it is too sarcastic, even blasphemous, how you end your last message, purportedly appealing to spirituality while mocking the Holy Father and casting doubt about his faith. That cannot come from the Spirit of God.

Dear brother, how much I wish that I could help you return to communion with him who is the visible guarantor of communion in the Catholic Church. I understand that deceptions and sufferings have marked your path in the service to the Holy See, but you should not finish your priestly life involved in an open and scandalous rebellion that inflicts a very painful wound to the Bride of Christ, whom you pretend to serve better, while causing further division and confusion among the People of God. How could I answer your call except by saying: stop living clandestinely, repent of your rebelliousness, and come back to better feelings towards the Holy Father, instead of fostering hostility against him. How can you celebrate Mass and mention his name in the Eucharistic Prayer? How can you pray the Holy Rosary, or pray to Saint Michael the Archangel, or to the Mother of God, while condemning the one Our Lady protects and accompanies every day in his burdensome and courageous mission?

If the Pope was not a man of prayer; if he was attached to money; if he favored riches to the detriment of the poor; if he did not demonstrate a tireless energy to welcome all miseries and to address them through the generous comfort of his words and actions; if he did not seek to implement all possible means to announce and to communicate the joy of the Gospel to all in the Church and beyond her visible horizons; if he did not lend a hand to the families, to the abandoned elderly, to the sick in body and soul and, above all, to the youth in their search for happiness; one could prefer someone else, according to you, with a different political or diplomatic approach. But I cannot call into question his personal integrity, his consecration to the mission and, above all, the charisma and peace he enjoys through the grace of God and the strength of the Risen One.

Dear Viganò, in response to your unjust and unjustified attack, I can only conclude that the accusation is a political plot that lacks any real basis that could incriminate the Pope and that profoundly harms the communion of the Church. May God allow a prompt reparation of this flagrant injustice so that Pope Francis can continue to be recognized for who he is: a true shepherd, a resolute and compassionate father, a prophetic grace for the Church and for the world. May the Holy Father carry on, full of confidence and joy, the missionary reform he has begun, comforted by the prayers of the people of God and the renewed solidarity of the whole Church, together with Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary!

Marc Cardinal Ouellet

Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,

Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, October 7th 2018.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch assumes that lying remains a sin, although one would not know that from reading the letter of Cardinal Ouellet.  PopeWatch charitably must infer that the Cardinal is simply unaware of the large amount of evidence that had been amassed at the Vatican about McCarrick long before Pope Francis was elected, and that he must also somehow be unaware of how Pope Francis took McCarrick from retirement and made him one of his right hand Cardinals, especially in regard to his monstrous China policy.  Back to reality, this letter is an insult to the intelligence of every sentient Catholic.

4

PopeWatch: Trump the Pope

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

 

The Vatican’s recent agreement to give America say over bishop appointments has critics accusing the Church of caving in to the current administration’s pressure.

Though the specifics of the deal announced Tuesday are unknown, Pope Francis said this morning that the agreement allows for a discussion with Donald Trump on the naming of bishops, but that ultimately the pope will decide.

“The thing is done in dialogue,” he said. “But Rome names. The Pope names. So long as President Trump agrees. Is that clear?”

According to reports, though the Vatican will retain the power to choose candidates, Washington, D.C. will be given the right to refuse “any and all of them.”

“The Holy See will agree to give the right of veto to the Trump administration and to any Republican administration, as that party has clearly become the party of God,” Francis said in his statement.

The agreement also calls for the Vatican to give authority to Catholic Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas to jointly rule over the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In a letter this morning to the American faithful, the pope urged Catholics to trust him.

“When have I steered you wrong?”

Go here to comment.  President Trump is reportedly preparing a tweet telling American Catholics:  “Hey, what do you have to lose?  How could my picks possibly be worse than what you are saddled with now?”

5

PopeWatch: Chaput

The intervention of Archbishop Chaput at the Youth Synod:

 

Brothers,

I was elected to the synod’s permanent council three years ago. At the time, I was asked, along with other members, to suggest themes for this synod. My counsel then was to focus on Psalm 8. We all know the text: “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?”

Who we are as creatures, what it means to be human, why we should imagine we have any special dignity at all — these are the chronic questions behind all our anxieties and conflicts. And the answer to all of them will not be found in ideologies or the social sciences, but only in the person of Jesus Christ, redeemer of man. Which of course means we need to understand, at the deepest level, why we need to be redeemed in the first place.

If we lack the confidence to preach Jesus Christ without hesitation or excuses to every generation, especially to the young, then the Church is just another purveyor of ethical pieties the world doesn’t need.

In this light, I read Chapter IV of the instrumentum, grafs 51-63, with keen interest. The chapter does a good job of describing the anthropological and cultural challenges facing our young people. In fact, describing today’s problems, and noting the need to accompany young people as they face those problems, are strengths of the instrumentum overall. But I believe graf 51 is misleading when it speaks of young people as the “watchmen and seismographs of every age.” This is false flattery, and it masks a loss of adult trust in the continuing beauty and power of the beliefs we have received.

In reality, young people are too often products of the age, shaped in part by the words, the love, the confidence, and the witness of their parents and teachers, but more profoundly today by a culture that is both deeply appealing and essentially atheist.

The elders of the faith community have the task of passing the truth of the Gospel from age to age, undamaged by compromise or deformation. Yet too often my generation of leaders, in our families and in the Church, has abdicated that responsibility out of a combination of ignorance, cowardice and laziness in forming young people to carry the faith into the future. Shaping young lives is hard work in the face of a hostile culture. The clergy sexual abuse crisis is precisely a result of the self-indulgence and confusion introduced into the Church in my lifetime, even among those tasked with teaching and leading. And minors — our young people — have paid the price for it.

Finally, what the Church holds to be true about human sexuality is not a stumbling block. It is the only real path to joy and wholeness. There is no such thing as an “LGBTQ Catholic” or a “transgender Catholic” or a “heterosexual Catholic,” as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ. This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now. It follows that “LGBTQ” and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way.

Explaining why Catholic teaching about human sexuality is true, and why it’s ennobling and merciful, seems crucial to any discussion of anthropological issues. Yet it’s regrettably missing from this chapter and this document. I hope revisions by the Synod Fathers can address that.

The power behind the current Pontificate has always been the Lavender Mafia, and they grow more open each day with their plan to change Catholic teaching in regard to homosexuality.

12

PopeWatch: Synod on Youth

Well, as Edward Pentin describes it, the Synod on Youth is off to a disastrous start:

 

The nearly month long Vatican synod for young people got underway Oct. 3, with Pope Francis calling on the synod fathers to have an attitude of “listening” to young people, to reject “prejudice and stereotypes” and to welcome and understand today’s youth by being willing to “change our convictions and positions.”

In his discourse at the first general congregation of the synod — the theme of which is “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” — the Pope stressed the importance of young people making the effort to “swim against the tide” and to strive for “lofty values” of “family, fidelity, love, faith, sacrifice, service, eternal life.”

“It truly is worth the effort. It is not a waste of time,” he said. “Your participation fills us with joy and hope.” Thirty-six young people will be among the 49 auditors taking part in the synod, which continues through Oct. 28, offering contributions but without a vote.

Turning to the synod fathers, Francis called the synod a “moment of sharing,” and, as during the previous synod on the family, he invited all participants to speak with parrhesia (courage and frankness), adding that only dialogue “can help us grow.” An honest, transparent critique is “constructive and helpful,” he said, and does not engage in “useless chatter, rumors, conjectures or prejudices.”

Reminding the synod fathers of his comments at the pre-synod meeting, the Pope said “everyone has the right to be heard, just as everyone has the right to speak.” Listening, he said, “creates space for dialogue,” and the “first fruit” of this dialogue is that all are “open to newness, to change their opinions.”

Speaking to reporters Oct. 1, the synod’s general relator, Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, said the synod’s working document stressed the importance of an “open and welcoming attitude” and the need to accompany people to have “the fullness of life” by knowing the reality of their lives and allowing oneself to be “challenged” by the “complex issues” they face related to “affectivity and sexuality.”

Go here to read the rest.  I wonder if Pope Francis has decided to attempt to make the Church his funeral pyre.

9

PopeWatch: Farce

Well this makes it all better:

 

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick has begun his life of prayer and penance at St. Fidelis Capuchin Friary in Victoria, Kansas, according to statements from the Diocese of Salina and the Archdiocese of Washington.

McCarrick was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by Pope Francis July 28, pending the completion of a canonical process against him, after he was credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. After the accusation became public, he then resigned from the College of Cardinals in July, becoming the first American cardinal ever to step down.

It also came to light that the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, both in New Jersey, had previously reached out-of-court settlements with several adult men who alleged they were sexually abused by McCarrick during their time as seminarians.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, Bishop Gerald Vincke of Salina and Father Christopher Popravak, the provincial of the Capuchin province in Denver, made the arrangements to house McCarrick for his potentially indefinite stay.

While living in prayer and penance, McCarrick will be forbidden from any sort of public appearances or ministry. Bishop Vincke said that the diocese will not be incurring any costs for housing McCarrick and that he requests privacy “out of consideration for the peace of the community” at the friary.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch appreciates dog and pony shows more if the clowns involved aren’t running the Church.

2

PopeWatch: Mosher

Few people in the West know more about Communist China than Steven W. Mosher.  Here are some of his thoughts about the Vatican sellout agreement in regard to the Chinese government:

Here the suggestion is that “clandestinity”—hiding from the Communist authorities–is no longer necessary because these same authorities are supposedly no longer “imposing direct control above and beyond the legitimate competence of the state.”

But this is patent nonsense.  New controls are being imposed on the Catholic Church, and on all religions, even as I write. The increasingly oppressive Communist regime headed by a Communist party leader, Xi Jinping, who self-consciously models himself on the brutal Chairman Mao Zedong, is cracking down on all forms of religious expression.

New restrictions on religious activity were announced on February 1st of this year. According to a priest of the Underground Church, the new rules state that “all religious sites must be registered, no religious activities can be held beyond registered venues, non-registered clergymen are forbidden to host religious liturgies, and that minors and party members are forbidden from entering churches. … The living space for the Church is getting less and less.”

Has anyone in the Vatican read these new regulations, which make it clear that China is quickly reverting to Maoist-type oppression? Do they consider that banning anyone under the age of 18 from entering a church an act falling within the “legitimate competence of the state”? Has it occurred to anyone there that now may be a particularly inauspicious time to force the Underground Church into the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party, as the new agreement does?

I note that Article 73 of the new regulations expressly forbids a priest or bishop from “being subject to the control of foreign forces”, a rule which would seem to violate the allegiance they owe to the Magisterium. The same regulations forbid them from “organizing and presiding over unapproved religious activities held outside religious venues.” Strictly interpreted, this would mean that a priest could be punished saying Mass in a private home, or even for blessing someone outside the church precincts.

The Pope writes, “I now invite all Chinese Catholics to work towards reconciliation.”  

But the division between Catholics in the underground and patriotic Churches was not caused by the Catholics themselves. Rather, it arose in reaction to actions by the Chinese Communist Party, which in 1958 set up a Party-controlled Church called the Catholic Patriotic Association. Those Catholics who were not willing to compromise their faith went underground.

This division cannot be healed by Catholics themselves, because they were not the cause of it.  The Chinese Communist Party was the cause of the original division, and it remains today a dominating and controlling presence over all Catholics in China.

The entire exercise seems somehow backwards, because historically it was the Underground Church that remained loyal to the Magisterium, while the Patriotic Church accepted the authority of the Chinese Communist Party to govern its affairs.

Now their roles are seemingly reversed. The Pope’s secret agreement apparently recognizes the Catholic Patriotic Church, and puts the onus on the long-persecuted Underground Church to accept supervision and control by its authorities.  That is to say, it lends the authority of the Magisterium to the Communist Party itself, which will be able to claim—rightly—that the Pope has ordered underground bishops, priests, and laity to cooperate with the religious authorities anointed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Will the secret agreement help to unify China’s divided Catholic Church and “heal the wounds of the past?” Or will it only deepen that division by driving the Underground Church even further underground as the Catholic Patriotic Church and its bishops are recognized by the Vatican?

Anyone who wants to understand the difference between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis merely has to read and compare their two letters to the Chinese faithful.  The letter of the Pope Emeritus (a phrase that breaks my heart) is detailed and refined. It shows a deep understanding of the situation in China, is compelling in the immediacy of its prescriptions, and is filled with a spirit of hope and charity.

The short letter of the current occupant of the See of Peter is none of these things. It is vague and unconvincing.  Its central argument—that the faithful in China and around the world should simply trust that he knows what he’s doing–relies upon the story of Abraham. 

As the Pope writes, “Called by God, Abraham obeyed by setting out for an unknown land that he was to receive as an inheritance, without knowing the path that lay ahead. Had Abraham demanded ideal social and political conditions before leaving his land, perhaps he would never have set out. . . . I want to confirm you in this faith … and to ask you to place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the Church’s discernment of his will.”

In other words, Pope Francis is asking Catholics to trust his secret agreement with the Chinese Communist Party because he has correctly discerned the will of God.

Perhaps he has.  Nevertheless, in dealing with a situation as complex as that which is found in China, and one which involves the exercise of a considerable amount of prudential judgment, I would welcome an argument more compelling than a simple appeal to papal authority.  

Go here to Lifesite News to read the rest.  Let’s be bluntly honest here.  Pope Francis does not give a damn about faithful Chinese Catholics.  He is pursuing his own agenda and that agenda has virtually nothing to do with a Pope’s role to defend the teaching of the Church, and, to the best of his ability, to defend faithful Catholics.  What he is doing to faithful Chinese Catholics he is attempting to do to faithful Catholics around the globe, to place us in the hands of absolute governments if they mouth the Leftist pieties which are the true Sacred Writ for our Pope.  PopeWatch has difficulty in deciding whether the Pope is more ignorant than evil, or more evil than ignorant, but in either case he should be regarded by faithful Catholics as what his actions reveal him to be:  an enemy of their Faith.

 

4

PopeWatch: Vigano

A new Vigano letter:

Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

Scio Cui credidi
(2 Tim 1:12)

Before starting my writing, I would first of all like to give thanks and glory to God the Father for every situation and trial that He has prepared and will prepare for me during my life. As a priest and bishop of the holy Church, spouse of Christ, I am called like every baptized person to bear witness to the truth. By the gift of the Spirit who sustains me with joy on the path that I am called to travel, I intend to do so until the end of my days. Our only Lord has addressed also to me the invitation, “Follow me!”, and I intend to follow him with the help of his grace until the end of my days.

“As long as I have life, I will sing to the Lord,
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my song be pleasing to him;
For I rejoice in the Lord.”
(Psalm 103:33-34)

*****

It has been a month since I offered my testimony, solely for the good of the Church, regarding what occurred at the audience with Pope Francis on June 23, 2013 and regarding certain matters I was given to know in the assignments entrusted to me at the Secretariat of State and in Washington, in relation to those who bear responsibility for covering up the crimes committed by the former archbishop of that capital.

My decision to reveal those grave facts was for me the most painful and serious decision that I have ever made in my life. I made it after long reflection and prayer, during months of profound suffering and anguish, during a crescendo of continual news of terrible events, with thousands of innocent victims destroyed and the vocations and lives of young priests and religious disturbed. The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church. Well aware of the enormous consequences that my testimony could have, because what I was about to reveal involved the successor of Peter himself, I nonetheless chose to speak in order to protect the Church, and I declare with a clear conscience before God that my testimony is true. Christ died for the Church, and Peter, Servus servorum Dei, is the first one called to serve the spouse of Christ.

Certainly, some of the facts that I was to reveal were covered by the pontifical secret that I had promised to observe and that I had faithfully observed from the beginning of my service to the Holy See. But the purpose of any secret, including the pontifical secret, is to protect the Church from her enemies, not to cover up and become complicit in crimes committed by some of her members. I was a witness, not by my choice, of shocking facts and, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (par. 2491), the seal of secrecy is not binding when very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Only the seal of confession could have justified my silence.

Neither the pope, nor any of the cardinals in Rome have denied the facts I asserted in my testimony. “Qui tacet consentit” surely applies here, for if they deny my testimony, they have only to say so, and provide documentation to support that denial. How can one avoid concluding that the reason they do not provide the documentation is that they know it confirms my testimony?

The center of my testimony was that since at least June 23, 2013, the pope knew from me how perverse and evil McCarrick was in his intentions and actions, and instead of taking the measures that every good pastor would have taken, the pope made McCarrick one of his principal agents in governing the Church, in regard to the United States, the Curia, and even China, as we are seeing these days with great concern and anxiety for that martyr Church.

Now, the pope’s reply to my testimony was: “I will not say a word!” But then, contradicting himself, he has compared his silence to that of Jesus in Nazareth and before Pilate, and compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church — though without ever uttering my name. If he had said: “Viganò lied,” he would have challenged my credibility while trying to affirm his own. In so doing he would have intensified the demand of the people of God and the world for the documentation needed to determine who has told the truth. Instead, he put in place a subtle slander against me — slander being an offense he has often compared to the gravity of murder. Indeed, he did it repeatedly, in the context of the celebration of the most Holy Sacrament, the Eucharist, where he runs no risk of being challenged by journalists. When he did speak to journalists, he asked them to exercise their professional maturity and draw their own conclusions. But how can journalists discover and know the truth if those directly involved with a matter refuse to answer any questions or to release any documents? The pope’s unwillingness to respond to my charges and his deafness to the appeals by the faithful for accountability are hardly consistent with his calls for transparency and bridge building.

Moreover, the pope’s cover-up of McCarrick was clearly not an isolated mistake. Many more instances have recently been documented in the press, showing that Pope Francis has defended homosexual clergy who committed serious sexual abuses against minors or adults. These include his role in the case of Fr. Julio Grassi in Buenos Aires, his reinstatement of Fr. Mauro Inzoli after Pope Benedict had removed him from ministry (until he went to prison, at which point Pope Francis laicized him), and his halting of the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.

In the meantime, a delegation of the USCCB, headed by its president Cardinal DiNardo, went to Rome asking for a Vatican investigation into McCarrick. Cardinal DiNardo and the other prelates should tell the Church in America and in the world: did the pope refuse to carry out a Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s crimes and of those responsible for covering them up? The faithful deserve to know.

I would like to make a special appeal to Cardinal Ouellet, because as nuncio I always worked in great harmony with him, and I have always had great esteem and affection towards him. He will remember when, at the end of my mission in Washington, he received me at his apartment in Rome in the evening for a long conversation. At the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate, he had maintained his dignity, as he had shown with courage when he was Archbishop of Québec. Later, however, when his work as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops was being undermined because recommendations for episcopal appointments were being passed directly to Pope Francis by two homosexual “friends” of his dicastery, bypassing the Cardinal, he gave up. His long article in L’Osservatore Romano, in which he came out in favor of the more controversial aspects of Amoris Laetitia, represents his surrender. Your Eminence, before I left for Washington, you were the one who told me of Pope Benedict’s sanctions on McCarrick. You have at your complete disposal key documents incriminating McCarrick and many in the curia for their cover-ups. Your Eminence, I urge you to bear witness to the truth.

*****

Finally, I wish to encourage you, dear faithful, my brothers and sisters in Christ: never be despondent! Make your own the act of faith and complete confidence in Christ Jesus, our Savior, of Saint Paul in his second Letter to Timothy, Scio cui credidi, which I choose as my episcopal motto. This is a time of repentance, of conversion, of prayers, of grace, to prepare the Church, the bride of the Lamb, ready to fight and win with Mary the battle against the old dragon.

Image

Scio Cui credidi” (2 Tim 1:12)
In you, Jesus, my only Lord, I place all my trust.
“Diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum” (Rom 8:28).

To commemorate my episcopal ordination on April 26, 1992, conferred on me by St. John Paul II, I chose this image taken from a mosaic of the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. It represents the miracle of the calming of the storm. I was struck by the fact that in the boat of Peter, tossed by the water, the figure of Jesus is portrayed twice. Jesus is sound asleep in the bow, while Peter tries to wake him up: “Master, do you not care that we are about to die?” Meanwhile the apostles, terrified, look each in a different direction and do not realize that Jesus is standing behind them, blessing them and assuredly in command of the boat: “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still,’ … then he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mk 4:38-40).

The scene is very timely in portraying the tremendous storm the Church is passing through in this moment, but with a substantial difference: the successor of Peter not only fails to see the Lord in full control of the boat, it seems he does not even intend to awaken Jesus asleep in the bow.

Has Christ perhaps become invisible to his vicar? Perhaps is he being tempted to try to act as a substitute of our only Master and Lord?

The Lord is in full control of the boat!

May Christ, the Truth, always be the light on our way!

+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

 

September 29th, 2018
Feast of St. Michael, Archangel

 

Vigano clearly will not quietly go away.

3

PopeWatch: Miracle Drug

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

 

A new anti-anxiety drug called Xanoft is now being offered to parishioners as young as five-years-old to help curb the devastating effects of the sound of bad church music, scientist are reporting.

The drug, which many parishioners are calling a “miracle,” is said to be able to soften the senses to the sounds of guitar, tambourine, and other instruments when played inside of a Church.

“It’s the most amazing drug on the market,” said local Catholic Debbie Kang who has been using a trial version of the drug for the past month. “I used to seizure every time the church band started playing. But not I’m able to stay conscious so I can curse the members of the band under my breath.”

Another Xanoft user, Logan Thomas, told EOTT that he was on the verge of leaving the Church for SSPX before learning about Xanoft.

“I just couldn’t take it anymore. But now with Xanoft, I’m able to sit through an hour of the most ungodly music during Mass without having to go to confessions right after.”

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has ordered a year’s supply.

8

PopeWatch: Father Kalchik

A cry from the heart:

 

A priest and clerical sex abuse victim who recently burned his parish’s “gay pride” rainbow flag and was expelled from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich has written a letter to Pope Francis asking him to intervene to “end the control of the Church here” by “Judases” who are members of the “gay mafia” and “homosexual cabals running chancelleries.”

Writing to Pope Francis “as a priest and as a pastor, but also as the victim of child sexual abuse,” Fr. Paul John Kalchik, the former pastor of Resurrection Parish in Chicago, asked the pontiff to “act as Peter and intervene and end the control of the Church here in America by Judases: men who put on a pretense of being a disciple but, like Judas, betray Christ at every opportunity they get.”

Kalchik also explains his own victimization as a target of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest at the age of 19, and his later encounter as a priest with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whom he described as “overly friendly” towards him. He encourages the pope to “act like Peter” and resign if he removed penalties placed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict.

“Pope Francis, please act like Peter. If you are guilty of removing sanctions placed upon McCarrick by Pope Benedict, step down. This would be the holy and noble thing to do,” writes Kalchik.

Go here to read the rest.  We should have  no doubt that there are good and holy members of the clergy.  Too few of them, however, are in the hierarchy.

4

PopeWatch: Letter to Chinese Catholics

Pope Francis has written a letter in which he explains his sellout to agreement with the Communist Chinese government:

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE CATHOLICS OF CHINA AND TO THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

 

“Eternal is his merciful love;
He is faithful from age to age”

(Psalm 100:5)

 

 

Dear brother bishops, priests, consecrated men and women and all the faithful of the Catholic Church in China, let us thank the Lord, for “eternal is his merciful love! He made us, we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep of his flock” (Ps 100:3).

At this moment, my heart echoes the words of exhortation addressed to you by my venerable predecessor in his Letter of 27 May 2007: “Catholic Church in China, you are a small flock present and active within the vastness of an immense people journeying through history. How stirring and encouraging these words of Jesus are for you: ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Lk 12:32)! … Therefore, ‘let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 5:16)” (BENEDICT XVI, Letter to Chinese Catholics, 27 May 2007, 5).

1. Of late, many conflicting reports have circulated about the present and, in particular, the future of the Catholic communities in China. I am aware that this flurry of thoughts and opinions may have caused a certain confusion and prompted different reactions in the hearts of many. Some feel doubt and perplexity, while others sense themselves somehow abandoned by the Holy See and anxiously question the value of their sufferings endured out of fidelity to the Successor of Peter. In many others, there prevail positive expectations and reflections inspired by the hope of a more serene future for a fruitful witness to the faith in China.

This situation has become more acute, particularly with regard to the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, which, as you know, was signed in recent days in Beijing. At so significant a moment for the life of the Church, I want to assure you through this brief Message that you are daily present in my prayers, and to share with you my heartfelt feelings.

They are sentiments of thanksgiving to the Lord and of sincere admiration – which is the admiration of the entire Catholic Church – for the gift of your fidelity, your constancy amid trials, and your firm trust in God’s providence, even when certain situations proved particularly adverse and difficult.

These painful experiences are part of the spiritual treasury of the Church in China and of all God’s pilgrim people on earth. I assure you that the Lord, through the crucible of our trials, never fails to pour out his consolations upon us and to prepare us for an even greater joy. In the words of the Psalmist, we are more than certain that “those who are sowing in tears, will sing when they reap” (Ps 126[125]:5).

Let us continue to look, then, to the example of all those faithful laity and pastors who readily offered their “good witness” (cf. 1 Tim 6:13) to the Gospel, even to the sacrifice of their own lives. They showed themselves true friends of God!

2. For my part, I have always looked upon China as a land of great opportunities and the Chinese people as the creators and guardians of an inestimable patrimony of culture and wisdom, refined by resisting adversity and embracing diversity, and which, not by chance, entered into contact from early times with the Christian message. As Father Matteo Ricci, S.J., perceptively noted in challenging us to the virtue of trust, “before entering into friendship, one must observe; after becoming friends, one must trust” (De Amicitia, 7).

I too am convinced that encounter can be authentic and fruitful only if it occurs through the practice of dialogue, which involves coming to know one another, to respect one another and to “walk together” for the sake of building a common future of sublime harmony.

This is the context in which to view the Provisional Agreement, which is the result of a lengthy and complex institutional dialogue between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities initiated by Saint John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict XVI. Through this process, the Holy See has desired – and continues to desire – only to attain the Church’s specific spiritual and pastoral aims, namely, to support and advance the preaching of the Gospel, and to reestablish and preserve the full and visible unity of the Catholic community in China.

With regard to the importance of this Agreement and its aims, I would like to share with you a few reflections and provide you with some input of a spiritual pastoral nature for the journey we are called to undertake in this new phase.

It is a journey that, as in its earlier stages, “requires time and presupposes the good will of both parties” (BENEDICT XVI, Letter to Chinese Catholics, 27 May 2007, 4). But for the Church, within and outside of China, this involves more than simply respecting human values. It is also a spiritual calling: to go out from herself to embrace “the joys and the hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted” (SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 1) and the challenges of the present that God entrusts to us. It is thus an ecclesial summons to become pilgrims along the paths of history, trusting before all else in God and in his promises, as did Abraham and our fathers in the faith.

Called by God, Abraham obeyed by setting out for an unknown land that he was to receive as an inheritance, without knowing the path that lay ahead. Had Abraham demanded ideal social and political conditions before leaving his land, perhaps he would never have set out. Instead, he trusted in God and in response to God’s word he left his home and its safety. It was not historical changes that made him put his trust in God; rather, it was his pure faith that brought about a change in history. For faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received [God’s] approval” (Heb 11:1-2).

3. As the Successor of Peter, I want to confirm you in this faith (cf. Lk 22:32) – in the faith of Abraham, in the faith of the Virgin Mary, in the faith you have received –and to ask you to place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the Church’s discernment of his will. May all of us implore the gift of the Spirit to illumine our minds, warm our hearts and help us to understand where he would lead us, in order to overcome inevitable moments of bewilderment, and to find the strength to set out resolutely on the road ahead.

Precisely for the sake of supporting and promoting the preaching of the Gospel in China and reestablishing full and visible unity in the Church, it was essential, before all else, to deal with the issue of the appointment of bishops. Regrettably, as we know, the recent history of the Catholic Church in China has been marked by deep and painful tensions, hurts and divisions, centred especially on the figure of the bishop as the guardian of the authenticity of the faith and as guarantor of ecclesial communion.

When, in the past, it was presumed to determine the internal life of the Catholic communities, imposing direct control above and beyond the legitimate competence of the state, the phenomenon of clandestinity arose in the Church in China. This experience – it must be emphasized – is not a normal part of the life of the Church and “history shows that pastors and faithful have recourse to it only amid suffering, in the desire to maintain the integrity of their faith” (BENEDICT XVI, Letter to Chinese Catholics, 27 May 2007, 8).

I would have you know that, from the time I was entrusted with the Petrine ministry, I have experienced great consolation in knowing the heartfelt desire of Chinese Catholics to live their faith in full communion with the universal Church and with the Successor of Peter, who is “the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 23). In these years, I have received numerous concrete signs and testimonies of that desire, including from bishops who have damaged communion in the Church as a result of weakness and errors, but also, and not infrequently, due to powerful and undue pressure from without.

Consequently, after carefully examining every individual personal situation, and listening to different points of view, I have devoted much time to reflection and prayer, seeking the true good of the Church in China. In the end, before the Lord and with serenity of judgment, in continuity with the direction set by my immediate predecessors, I have determined to grant reconciliation to the remaining seven “official” bishops ordained without papal mandate and, having lifted every relevant canonical sanction, to readmit them to full ecclesial communion. At the same time, I ask them to express with concrete and visible gestures their restored unity with the Apostolic See and with the Churches spread throughout the world, and to remain faithful despite any difficulties.

4. In the sixth year of my Pontificate, which I have placed from the beginning under the banner of God’s merciful love, I now invite all Chinese Catholics to work towards reconciliation. May all be mindful, with renewed apostolic zeal, of the words of Saint Paul: “God… has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18).

Indeed, as I wrote at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, “no law or precept can prevent God from once more embracing the son who returns to him admitting that he has done wrong but intending to start his life anew. Remaining only at the level of the law is equivalent to thwarting faith and divine mercy… Even in the most complex cases, where there is a temptation to apply a justice derived from rules alone, we must believe in the power flowing from divine grace”(Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, 20 November 2016, 11).

In this spirit, and in line with the decisions that have been made, we can initiate an unprecedented process that we hope will help to heal the wounds of the past, restore full communion among all Chinese Catholics, and lead to a phase of greater fraternal cooperation, in order to renew our commitment to the mission of proclaiming the Gospel. For the Church exists for the sake of bearing witness to Jesus Christ and to the forgiving and saving love of the Father.

5. The Provisional Agreement signed with the Chinese authorities, while limited to certain aspects of the Church’s life and necessarily capable of improvement, can contribute – for its part – to writing this new chapter of the Catholic Church in China. For the first time, the Agreement sets out stable elements of cooperation between the state authorities and the Apostolic See, in the hope of providing the Catholic community with good shepherds.

In this context, the Holy See intends fully to play its own part. Yet an important part also falls to you, the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful: to join in seeking good candidates capable of taking up in the Church the demanding and important ministry of bishop. It is not a question of appointing functionaries to deal with religious issues, but of finding authentic shepherds according to the heart of Jesus, men committed to working generously in the service of God’s people, especially the poor and the most vulnerable. Men who take seriously the Lord’s words: “Whoever would become great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be the slave of all” (Mk 10:43-44).

In this regard, it seems clear that an Agreement is merely an instrument, and not of itself capable of resolving all existing problems. Indeed, it will prove ineffective and unproductive, unless it is accompanied by a deep commitment to renewing personal attitudes and ecclesial forms of conduct.

6. On the pastoral level, the Catholic community in China is called to be united, so as to overcome the divisions of the past that have caused, and continue to cause great suffering in the hearts of many pastors and faithful. All Christians, none excluded, must now offer gestures of reconciliation and communion. In this regard, let us keep in mind the admonition of Saint John of the Cross: “In the evening of life, we will be judged on love” (Dichos, 64).

On the civil and political level, Chinese Catholics must be good citizens, loving their homeland and serving their country with diligence and honesty, to the best of their ability. On the ethical level, they should be aware that many of their fellow citizens expect from them a greater commitment to the service of the common good and the harmonious growth of society as a whole. In particular, Catholics ought to make a prophetic and constructive contribution born of their faith in the kingdom of God. At times, this may also require of them the effort to offer a word of criticism, not out of sterile opposition, but for the sake of building a society that is more just, humane and respectful of the dignity of each person.

7. I now turn to you, my brother bishops, priests and consecrated persons who “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps 100:2). Let us recognize one another as followers of Christ in the service of God’s people. Let us make pastoral charity the compass for our ministry. Let us leave behind past conflicts and attempts to pursue our own interests, and care for the faithful, making our own their joys and their sufferings. Let us work humbly for reconciliation and unity. With energy and enthusiasm, let us take up the path of evangelization indicated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

To everyone, I say once more with great affection: “Let us be inspired to act by the example of all those priests, religious, and laity who devote themselves to proclamation and to serving others with great fidelity, often at the risk of their lives and certainly at the cost of their comfort. Their testimony reminds us that, more than bureaucrats and functionaries, the Church needs passionate missionaries, enthusiastic about sharing true life. The saints surprise us; they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity” (Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, 19 March 2018, 138).

I ask you wholeheartedly to beg for the grace not to hesitate when the Spirit calls us to take a step forward: “Let us ask for the apostolic courage to share the Gospel with others and to stop trying to make our Christian life a museum of memories. In every situation, may the Holy Spirit cause us to contemplate history in the light of the risen Jesus. In this way, the Church will not stand still, but constantly welcome the Lord’s surprises” (ibid., 139).

8. In this year, when the entire Church celebrates the Synod on Young People, I would like to say a special word to you, young Chinese Catholics, who enter the gates of the house of the Lord “giving thanks [and] with songs of praise” (Ps 100:4). I ask you to cooperate in building the future of your country with the talents and gifts that you have received, and with the youthfulness of your faith. I encourage you to bring, by your enthusiasm, the joy of the Gospel to everyone you meet.

Be ready to accept the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit, who shows today’s world the path to reconciliation and peace. Let yourselves be surprised by the renewing power of grace, even when it may seem that the Lord is asking more of you than you think you can give. Do not be afraid to listen to his voice as he calls you to fraternity, encounter, capacity for dialogue and forgiveness, and a spirit of service, regardless of the painful experiences of the recent past and wounds not yet healed.

Open your hearts and minds to discern the merciful plan of God, who asks us to rise above personal prejudices and conflicts between groups and communities, in order to undertake a courageous fraternal journey in the light of an authentic culture of encounter.

Nowadays there is no lack of temptations: the pride born of worldly success, narrow-mindedness and absorption in material things, as if God did not exist. Go against the flow and stand firm in the Lord: “for he is good; eternal is his merciful love; he is faithful from age to age” (Ps 100:5).

9. Dear brothers and sisters of the universal Church, all of us are called to recognize as one of the signs of our times everything that is happening today in the life of the Church in China. We have an important duty: to accompany our brothers and sisters in China with fervent prayer and fraternal friendship. Indeed, they need to feel that in the journey that now lies ahead, they are not alone. They need to be accepted and supported as a vital part of the Church. “How good and pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133:1).

Each local Catholic community in every part of the world should make an effort to appreciate and integrate the spiritual and cultural treasures proper to Chinese Catholics. The time has come to taste together the genuine fruits of the Gospel sown in the ancient “Middle Kingdom” and to raise to the Lord Jesus Christ a hymn of faith and thanksgiving, enriched by authentically Chinese notes.

10. I now turn with respect to the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and renew my invitation to continue, with trust, courage and farsightedness, the dialogue begun some time ago. I wish to assure them that the Holy See will continue to work sincerely for the growth of genuine friendship with the Chinese people.

The present contacts between the Holy See and the Chinese government are proving useful for overcoming past differences, even those of the more recent past, and for opening a new chapter of more serene and practical cooperation, in the shared conviction that “incomprehension [serves] the interests of neither the Chinese people nor the Catholic Church in China” (BENEDICT XVI, Letter to Chinese Catholics, 27 May 2007, 4).

In this way, China and the Apostolic See, called by history to an arduous yet exciting task, will be able to act more positively for the orderly and harmonious growth of the Catholic community in China. They will make efforts to promote the integral development of society by ensuring greater respect for the human person, also in the religious sphere, and will work concretely to protect the environment in which we live and to build a future of peace and fraternity between peoples.

In China, it is essential that, also on the local level, relations between the leaders of ecclesial communities and the civil authorities become more productive through frank dialogue and impartial listening, so as to overcome antagonism on both sides. A new style of straightforward daily cooperation needs to develop between local authorities and ecclesiastical authorities – bishops, priests and community elders – in order to ensure that pastoral activities take place in an orderly manner, in harmony with the legitimate expectations of the faithful and the decisions of competent authorities.

This will help make it clear that the Church in China is not oblivious to Chinese history, nor does she seek any privilege. Her aim in the dialogue with civil authorities is that of “building a relationship based on mutual respect and deeper understanding” (ibid.).

11. In the name of the whole Church, I beg the Lord for the gift of peace, and I invite all to join me in invoking the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary:

Mother of Heaven, hear the plea of your children as we humbly call upon your name!

Virgin of Hope, we entrust to you the journey of the faithful in the noble land of China. We ask you to present to the Lord of history the trials and tribulations, the petitions and the hopes of all those who pray to you, O Queen of Heaven!

Mother of the Church, we consecrate to you the present and the future of our families and our communities. Protect and sustain them in fraternal reconciliation and in service to the poor who bless your name, O Queen of   Heaven!

Consolation of the Afflicted, we turn to you, for you are the refuge of all who weep amid their trials. Watch over your sons and daughters who praise your name; make them one in bringing the proclamation of the Gospel. Accompany their efforts to build a more fraternal world.  Grant that they may bring the joy of forgiveness to all whom they meet, O Queen of Heaven!

Mary, Help of Christians, for China we implore days of blessing and of peace.   Amen!

From the Vatican, 26 September 2018

 

FRANCIS

This calls to mind this passage from Isaac Asimov’s first volume of the Foundation Trilogy:

“But then,” interposed Sutt, “how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin’s assurances of Empire support? They seemed” he shrugged “Well, they seemed satisfactory.”

Hardin threw himself back in the chair. “You know, that’s the most interesting part of the whole business. I admit that I thought his Lordship a most consummate donkey when I first met him – but it turned out that he is an accomplished diplomat and a most clever man. I took the liberty of recording all his statements.”

There was a flurry, and Pirenne opened his mouth in horror.

“What of it?” demanded Hardin. “I realize it was a gross breach of hospitality and a thing no so-called gentleman would ever do. Also that if his Lordship had caught on things might have been unpleasant; but he didn’t and I have the record and that’s that. I took that record, had it copied out, and sent that to Houk for analysis, also.”

Lundin Crast asked, “And where is the analysis?”

“That,” replied Hardin, “is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Houk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications—in short all the goo and dribble—he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out. Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn’t say one @$#%^ thing, and said it so that you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire.”

PopeWatch has a brief translation of the letter:  Suck it up losers!

21

PopeWatch: Looney Bins for Conservative Priests

Father Z tells us how the powers that be in the Church have adopted a tactic from the old Soviet Union:

 

What I am about to post, read carefully.

Over the last few months I have been contacted by diocesan priests (and a religious) who were being sent by their bishops (superior) to be “evaluated” at one of these psych clinics for clergy.  The most (in)famous of these in these USA is St. Luke’s in Maryland.

The pattern is alarmingly similar.  The priest has some sort of dust up in the parish (or wherever).  For example, a woman gets angry because he preached about contraception, someone claims that he as “boundary issues”, somebody on the staff says that he is “cold” or “remote”.  They complain to the bishop.  The bishop tells the priest – pressures the priest – to go for “evaluation”.  With great trepidation the priest obeys (an important point).  He goes for a week or two of evaluation, at the end of which he is told that there isn’t much wrong with him.  He goes home, thinking that all is well.  Shortly thereafter, he is called in to the bishop’s office, where he is told that the clinic sent the bishop a very different assessment.   The priest is diagnosed – and it is always about the same – narcissism and borderline bi-polar.  The bishop then really puts the screws to the man to go back that clinic for “treatment”.  He is told for three months or so.  But when he gets there, and they confiscate his mobile phone and even his shaving kit, and start pumping him full of drugs and monitoring/controlling email, he is told that he’ll be there for six months.  The horror show begins.

A common characteristic of the priests: they are conservative or traditionalists.   I have a friend who was forced into one of these places and, when we could talk on the phone, he told me that I wouldn’t believe the number of conservative men there and what they were reading.   And the fact that they are conservative is important, because conservatives tend to obey.  This is one of the reasons why bishops in past have slammed down hard on conservatives but they let libs do any damn thing they want.  Even if they are slightly inclined to be conservative themselves, they are moral cowards.  They know that libs will fight them like hell and they don’t want the fight.   But they can do anything they want to conservatives because they know that they tend to obey.

There are some clergy who really do need help.   However, bishops are using this process as a way of stomping out conservative or traditionalists in their dioceses.   And I have a suspicion that this is coordinated.  Why?  In the last year, there was a period of a couple months in which several priests contacted me to tell me that they were going into the psych slammer at the order of their bishops.  Before that, I hadn’t had any such call or contact.  It suddenly started, as if some bishops had, among themselves, decided that this was a good way to get rid of troublemakers.   It is almost as if, a one of their meetings, over evening cocktails, one of them grumbled about having this really traditional priest who was spreading his ideas about Latin and Communion rails.  One of his pals, pouring another, piped up saying, “I’ll tell ya what works.  Send him to St. Lukes for ‘evaluation’.   They’ll send back something that can be used against him, one way or another. It’s expensive, but it works.”  “Hey, thanks Bill!  That’s a good idea.  I’ll also tell Fatty and Dozer.  They’ve got these guys too.”

Rare and rare and rare as hen’s teeth are bishops who openly back their conservative priests.

Mind you… sending a guy for “treatment” is a really expensive endeavor.  A month in one of these slammers costs a diocese many 10ks of bucks (of YOUR money).   But they must figure that it is worth it, if they can intimidate priests into towing the line.   Think of the quip of Voltaire on hearing that the Brits after the Battle of Minorca shot Admiral Byng on the deck of his own ship “to motivate the others”. As he put it in Candide, “Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres … In this country, it is good idea to kill an admiral once in a while to encourage the others.”

That’s what bishops are doing to priests.  Slam down hard with this “treatment” on a priest and the rest of the presbyterate will get the message.   In the long run, though it is expensive, it’s ideologically worth it.

Today I read at Dreher’s page a bit of a letter from a priest about this very topic. Dreher posted about The Kalchik Shakeup in Chicago. Kalchik was pastor at a parish where people burned an infamous “gay” banner against the wishes of Card. Blase “Rabbit Hole” Cupich. Kalchik was told that he had to get out of the parish, with minutes notice, or he would be arrested and that he was supposed to go for “evaluation”. Kalchik chose, instead, to go into hiding. I’m told that a prominent Catholic website will have an interview with Kalchik soon.

Here’s what I read at Dreher’s. Read and weep.

A parish priest e-mails:

There is nothing that the laity can do to protect priests. Bishops have total authority over us. We can certainly walk away. We can leave. But Kalchick is a great example of what happens when a priest stands up to his bishop’s agenda. He’s probably done as a priest.

He can submit to St. Luke’s and get the evaluation, but St. Luke’s has an alliance with the bishops as well. It’s the bishops who pay the bill. When a priest goes there the priest must sign a release for everything he discusses to be turned over to the bishop and the diocese. So how is he supposed to deal with any real psychological issues he might have knowing that the data is going to be sent back to the bishop and put into files or even potentially released or used against him? Point being, the priest isn’t free. It’s a coercive environment. It’s rigged against priests and the information can be used by bishops to continue to manipulate those priests for years to come, all under the guise of “I just want Fr. X to be healthy.” What they are really after is reconditioning priests to act within a particular safe metric to avoid bad publicity or cause problems. Sounds a bit Orwellian doesn’t it?

Another side of this is that bishops have to hold liability insurance on their priests and if the priests have some kind of HR problem or Occupational Problem in their parish, the insurance companies are demanding bishops send them to places like St. Luke’s for a kind of “reconditioning therapy” that they don’t actually need. The priests are not actually in any kind of need of psychological assistance, but for the Diocese to continue to have the covered with liability insurance the insurance company puts pressure on the bishop for them to demonstrate that they have taken measures to lessen liability. A St. Luke’s program of 6 months of incarceration and therapy with 5 years of outpatient programming is just such a program. All of this goes into the priest’s file and is held against him the rest of his career to be trotted out any time he gets out of line.

Notice, none of this has to do with the abuse of children. Perhaps some with moral failure or bad decisions. Maybe decisions that would cause a layperson to lose their job. But in the priesthood, you get the shame of six months of incarceration in a lock-down facility and forced psychological treatment that even these facilities know you do not need. But they participate in the sham because it’s big revenue and they are cashing in on the bishop’s need to cover their liability. This is happening in large numbers throughout the country to priests.

This whole business bothers me enormously, to the point that a couple weeks ago I had an unsettling dream about creating a haven for priests, like a prepper redoubt, in Montana or some such place. They would be funneled to the redoubt, set up like a Camaldolese community, through a kind of underground railroad. I digress.

My point is that this is a real problem. Be on the watch for it.

This is what Communists did in the former Soviet union.  If a person dissented, he must be mentally ill.  Kill or send most to the camps, but diagnose some with “sluggish schizophrenia” and “treat them”… pour encourager les autres.   Word gets around what’s in store for dissenters.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Heckuva job Conclave of 2013, heckuva job.

4

PopeWatch: Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo on the China Deal

Our old friend Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo is sounding off on the China Deal:

 

Critics of the long-waited agreement between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishop are merely a “loud minority,” a Vatican bishop said Friday.

“They are very strong in their position. They are loud, but there are not very many of them. They are a loud minority,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, also chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

He made the remarks when asked to comment on a reported deal between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishops, which critics say is a deal that “sells out” the Holy See.

“In our interpretation, the critics are a little minority group of people, people who wanted to create trouble,” the bishop told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Friday.

Sorondo explained the importance of having this deal, or having China better involved in the Catholic world, is that “the country has a large population with good quality people, it observes the common good and it has proved its ability to great missions like fighting against poverty and pollution.”

Sorondo said that he agrees that the deal is the first step to get China and the Vatican into a formal and regular pattern of communication, which is praiseworthy.

Go here to read the rest.  Earlier this year Sorondo claimed that China was a paragon of the social justice teaching of the Church.  Go here to read about it.  Keep in mind that China is currently engaged in the worst persecution of religious believers since the Cultural Revolution.  PopeWatch tends to view the current gang at the Vatican as buffoons, and they certainly are that.  However, it should not be forgotten that they are also evil buffoons.  They joyfully link arms with some of the worst governments on Earth, and then babble lies to justify their selling out of Catholics and the Faith.

3

PopeWatch: Not Even Thirty Pieces of Silver

Well, the betrayal of loyal Catholics in China is complete:

 

The Pope had been expected to have veto power over bishops nominated by Chinese authorities although, along with other details, this was not mentioned in today’s announcements.

The prospect of an agreement had already divided communities of Catholics across China, with some fearing it would result in further suppression by Beijing, but others favoring rapprochement and a possible reestablishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See after a break of over half a century.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, told Reuters this week that he believed the consequences of the agreement would be “tragic and long lasting, not only for the Church in China but for the whole Church because it damages the credibility.” 

The Vatican, he said, was giving “the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It’s an incredible betrayal.”

Go here to read the rest.  It is a betrayal, but not an incredible one considering the present gang controlling the Vatican.  The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church now recognized by the Vatican as the Catholic Church in China, promptly reaffirmed its subservience to the Communist government:

 

The Catholic Church in China said it would “persevere to walk a path suited to a socialist society, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.”

It “deeply loved the motherland” and “sincerely endorsed” the agreement, hoping relations between China and the Vatican would improve further, it added in comments on its website.

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope has “healed” a schism by recognizing the schismatic Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church, completely under Communist control, and turning the loyal Underground Church into schismatics.  This of course is being done while religious believers in China are undergoing the worst persecution since the death of Mao.  In a contemptible pontificate this may be the most contemptible act yet.  The Vatican did not release the details of this fraudulent agreement because the Church gained zip from it.  Doubtless any input the Pope will have in the choice of bishops will be illusory.  Unfortunately that may be for the good temporarily, since under the current pontificate Chinese Communists may be somewhat more likely to pick ardent Catholics as bishops than the current Pope.

6

PopeWatch: Faking It

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

 

Pope Francis has called the presidents from bishops conferences around the world for a February summit to discuss how to better look like they are doing something about preventing clergy sex abuse.

The summit of the presidents signals a realization that the laity do not believe that those in the highest levels of the Church are doing anything to combat clergy sex abuse.

“We are faced with a grave situation in the Church today,” Pope Francis said in a letter to bishops. “People do not believe us. This is bad—very, very bad. We must come together in a spirit of brotherhood to discuss different ways and tactics that we can begin to implement so that we may better shift blame away from the Church. And with this, we will better be able to go on doing nothing.”

Pope Francis went on to write, asking all those attending the summit to each come up with two or three different ideas that he can use when the pressure from the laity and journalists get to him.

“I will give you an example,” he wrote. “A couple weeks ago there was much pressure on me to answer questions about the Vigano claim. I simply began to talk about plastic straws and voilà, the pressure was off of me for at least a day. If we can all have a number of these misdirection at our disposal, it will be better than having to come up with something off-the-cuff, or worse yet, actually answering the questions, God forbid.”

The summit has already been called a “wild success” by many inside the Vatican, though it has yet to take place.

“It was a success from the moment the Pope called for it,” one insider told EOTT. “Remember, it’s not what happens during the summit, but the fact that he called one that matters. People will look and say, ‘finally, they are doing something.’”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment but was told by a recording that his call could not be taken until he signed ten documents swearing that he had never harmed a child, thought of harming a child or witnessed someone else harming a child.  He was also told that if he were a Bishop or higher this rule would not apply and that his call would go through if he pressed 666 followed by the pound sign.  PopeWatch hung the phone up and backed away from it swiftly.

12

PopeWatch: Deranged Pope?

The Pope continued in a homily yesterday to identify himself with Christ:

 

“But look, what a scandal! You can’t live like that! We have lost our values. Now everyone has the right to enter into the church, even the divorced, everyone. But where are we?” The scandal of the hypocrites. This is the dialogue between the great love that forgives all, [the love of] Jesus; [and] the love “by halves” of Paul and of this woman, and also our [love], which is an incomplete love because none of us is a canonized saint. Let’s be honest. It is hypocrisy: the hypocrisy of the “just,” of the “pure,” of those who believe they are saved by their own proper external merits.

 

And the Church, when it journeys through history, is persecuted by hypocrites: hypocrites within and without. The devil has nothing to do with repentant sinners, because they look upon God and say, “Lord, I am a sinner, help me!” And the devil is impotent; but he is strong with hypocrites. He is strong, and he uses them to destroy, to destroy the people, to destroy society, to destroy the Church. The workhorse of the devil is hypocrisy, because he is a liar. He makes himself out to be a powerful prince, beautiful, and from behind he is an assassin.

 

So, the Pope is Christ and his adversaries are tools of the Devil?  PopeWatch fears that the Pope may be in the middle of a breakdown.  Of course our useless Cardinals will stand by and do nothing, courage being as absent among the College of Cardinals as cowardice and careerism are plentiful.

12

PopeWatch: Vigano

Father Z brings us this from the twitter feed of Henry Sire:

 

From the Twitter feed of the author of The Dictator Pope.

1) IMPORTANT NEWS: my sources confirm that Archbishop Viganò is now living in fear of his life, quite literally. As everyone knows, Archbishop Viganò went into hiding after his explosive revelations. But he is not just trying to avoid canonical reprisals…

2) He has confided to his friends that he now has good reason to be in fear of his life. We need to reflect on what this implies. If, six years ago, Dan Brown had published a novel telling the present story just as it is, he would have been ridiculed as presenting…

3) … a grotesquely sensationalist picture of the Catholic Church. This is the measure of what Pope Francis has achieved in just five-and-a-half years. He has taken the Church back to the age of the Borgias, with all the disembellishments of the twenty-first century.

4) And things are only going to get worse.

CLARIFICATION: With respect to my earlier tweet, I can indeed confirm, based on impeccable inside sources, that Abp. Viganò is not only in hiding, but that he fears for his life. However, I am not privy to the reasons for his anxiety about his safety. Henry Sire

Go here to read the rest.  Ever have the feeling that you fell asleep and woke up in the sixteenth century?  The truly sad thing is that with the present gang in the Vatican one can’t reject out of hand that they might not stoop to murder.  What an ongoing disaster for the Church.

12

PopeWatch: Alter Francis

Pope attempts to enlist Christ again to support his silence in regard to the Vigano allegations:

 

The Pope brought up that it was also the people who yelled “crucify him”. Jesus then compassionately remained silent because “the people were deceived by the powerful”, Pope Francis explained. His response was silence and prayer. Here the shepherd chooses silence when the “Great Accuser” accuses him “through so many people”. Jesus “suffers, offers his life, and prays”, Pope Francis said.

That prayer carried him even to the Cross, with strength; even there he had the capacity of drawing near to and healing the soul of the repentant thief.

Go here to read the rest.  The striking thing about Pope Francis when he speaks off the cuff is just what a small man he truly is.  His attempt to enlist Our Savior for a defense of his silence is typical of the man who single-handedly has done more damage to the office of the Pope than any one of his predecessors.  Most of our Popes, after their election, have striven to live up to the office, usually with imperfect success but with obvious sincere effort.  Pope Francis has striven instead to make his office contract to him: a weak, belligerent and petty man, and one who obviously has no love for the Tradition that guides the Church.  It is bleakly humorless that Francis, at war with so much of the Church which he now leads, demands that his adversaries give to him the deference and obedience which is owed to him only due to the traditions and laws of the Church which he seeks to transform beyond recognition.  However, the Church is not a suicide pact, and no man is greater than the Church, and that definitely includes the Pope.

9

PopeWatch: Julio Grasso

So much of what is occurring in this papacy was foreshadowed by the Pope’s actions in Argentina:

 

“Now, when it happens, you can never turn a blind eye. You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person.” “In my diocese it never happened to me,” Bergoglio added. He then described what counsel he once gave to a fellow bishop who had such a case. “I told him to take away the priest’s faculties, not to permit him to exercise his priestly ministry again, and to initiate a canonical trial.”

When Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, he appears to have ignored his own advice. This is evidenced in the case of known-child molester Fr. Mauro Inzoli, whom the Pope, against the advice of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, reinstated giving back to him some of his priestly faculties.

The documentary reveals, however, how Bergoglio himself, when writing his 2010 book, had indeed had such a case of a pedophile priest in a neighboring diocese and that he was intimately involved in the case. It is the now-infamous Father Julio César Grassi who has been imprisoned for 15 years because of his abuse of children who were entrusted to his care in the “Happy Children Foundation” orphanage. 

The documentary highlighted six alleged victims of abuse who all claimed that then-Archbishop Bergoglio never answered their own specific complaints when they wrote to him as the archbishop of Buenos Aires. 

When asked by the documentary journalists whether or not they ever received an answer, they all shook their heads in the negative. Asked about the above-quoted statement that Bergoglio never having a pedophile priest in his diocese and whether he says here the truth, one abuse victim, a woman, answered: “He wants people to believe that, but it is a lie.” 

 

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

 

Reference was here made to Father Grassi. “The Argentinian Church did all in its power to have him acquitted,” explained the speaker. Juan Pablo Gallego, the defense attorney of the abuse victims, pointed out that the Argentine bishops in 2010 – after the first punitive sentence was spoken about Grassi – had asked a penal law professor (Marcelo A. Sancinetti) to conduct a study, which was compiled in a confidential dossier for internal use, dealing with the Grassi case.

This dossier, which was called “Studies on the Grassi Case” and contained 2,800 pages, came to the conclusion that “the court was wrong,” that Grassi was innocent and therefore should be acquitted. The author also claimed that the abused children spread “falsifications, lies, deceit and invention.”

This study, as the documentary pointed out, was made on behalf of the Argentine bishops under the leadership of Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who was, at that time, also the President of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference (2005-2011). This information is written on the back cover of the dossier. “So the Pope,” the speaker in the documentary concluded, “did then commission a counter-inquiry to try to have a priest who had been sentenced for pedophilia acquitted.”

“And it is said,” the speaker in the documentary continued, “that Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope, actually sent it to the judges, with a shrewd sense of timing, before Father Grassi’s various appeal hearings.” Carlos Mahiques was one of these judges. In an interview for this documentary, he made it clear that this study, as ordered by Bergoglio, “is in some areas partial, and extremely partial in others,” and that is why he, as judge, did not allow himself to be influenced by it.

“It was clearly in favor of Father Grassi,” the judge said. “They were trying to exert a subtle form of pressure on the judges.” When asked whether he thought the Church tried to influence the judges, Mahiques replied: “That’s totally correct.”

Go here to read the rest.  As always with this Pope the trick is to pay attention to his actions and ignore his words.

2

PopeWatch: Predator

News that PopeWatch missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA—After resigning from his position in the Catholic Church in disgrace, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has reportedly signed on for a role in a sequel to The Predator, a reboot of the classic film franchise.

McCarrick will play the eponymous role of the Predator, a vicious alien who stalks and preys on innocent people for sport.

“This guy’s audition was perfect: creepy, disgusting, manipulative—everything we need in a fearsome sentient humanoid alien possessing futuristic weaponry and a predatory instinct,” said one casting agent. “He was downright intimidating in his interpretation of an extraterrestrial predator with thermal vision and large mandibles that could crush a man’s skull.”

“We expect Uncle Ted to be a Hollywood mainstay in a variety of villainous roles for years to come,” he added.

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch would note that the Vatican has refused to confirm or deny that the Pope will be appearing in a remake of Christopher Marlowe’s play Faust.

6

PopeWatch: Accuse Yourselves

I would spit if I were not in God's house.
Henry II to the scheming Bishop of London who hates Thomas Becket., Becket

Pope Uriah Heep delivered another homily yesterday which reveals his thoughts in regard to the Vigano allegations:

 

Life fluctuates between two invitations: That of the Father and that of the “Great Accuser,” “who pushes us to accuse others, to destroy them”:

But it is he who is destroying me! And you cannot do it to the other. You cannot enter into the logic of the accuser. ‘But Father, I have to accuse.’ Yes, accuse yourself. You do well. For the other, only mercy, because we are children of the Father who is merciful. 

 

Go here to read the rest.  Mercy to the wicked, especially to the wicked in high office, tends to have negative consequences for the innocent.  Catholics for too long have given the benefit of the doubt to clergy in regard to the sex abuse crisis within the Church.  No longer.  Time for a reckoning and the truth.

17

PopeWatch: Stopping the Clock

First we had the silence tactic.  That proved a flat failure so now it is on to stopping the clock:

Pope Francis will summon the presidents of every bishops conference to a meeting in February to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children, his advisers revealed Wednesday.

Go here to read the rest.  This is an obvious attempt to buy time.  It does not take six months to round up the presidents of the bishops’ conferences and get them to Rome.  Pope Francis is hoping that announcing yet another dog and pony show in which he and other bishops and cardinals can emote and proclaim about how they really, really want to protect kids now, will take the heat off him.  Not this time Holiness.  As far as you are concerned the question is really simple:  did you know that Cardinal McCarrick was a  homosexual predator when you made him a high profile member of your pontificate?  As for the larger issue, the Church needs action and not more worthless talk, and you are part of the problem and no part of the solution.  On a personal note, PopeWatch had to sign those worthless papers yet again yesterday, signifying that PopeWatch understands it is wrong to abuse kids, in order to teach, gratis, fifth and sixth graders catechism.  PopeWatch thought it was a fitting symbol for this whole bad farce.  Predator priests and the bishops who protected them created this horrifying mess, and it is left to the laity to pay the price.  At bottom what this situation is truly all about is that far too many of the clergy simply do not believe in Catholicism and are evil men playacting a role,  all the while secretly laughing at Catholics who do believe the Truth of Christ.

 

5

PopeWatch: Scapegoat

Remember this from the August 31, 2018 PopeWatch:

 

What is the cornered Pope Francis going to do? PopeWatch suspects he will follow the lead of some Roman Emperors who, facing an angry populace, would behead an unpopular advisor and throw his head to the angry mob. So he needs a scapegoat. PopeWatch has heard that Cardinal Wuehl has been summoned to Rome. Better start practicing your goat walk your Eminence.

Now:

Cardinal Donald Wuerl told his priests in a letter Tuesday that he will travel to Rome “very soon” to discuss his resignation with Pope Francis.

Go here to read the rest.  Hey Cardinal Tobin, better tell “Baby” not to make any long term plans.  Pope Francis is going down, and he is going to be taking plenty of people with him.

 

7

PopeWatch: The Devil He Says

Pope Francis had an interesting, yes that is the word interesting, homily yesterday:

 

“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The ‘Great Accuser’, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’. A bishop’s strength against the ‘Great Accuser’ is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”

 

With respect Holiness, PopeWatch would not be surprised if Satan were not involved in the activities of predator priests and bishops, and those who shielded them, but doubts that the Old Tempter is involved in  the revelation of those sins.   Rather he was doubtless involved in the concealment of those activities, including those who took refuge in silence to escape the consequences of their actions.  The most charitable interpretation of all this is that either the Pope has a superb sense of truly dark humor, or that he is barking mad.

7

PopeWatch: Necessary Clarifications

Apparently the Vatican is realizing that the silent gambit was not working, or rather was working against them:

 

Pope Francis’ top advisers say the Vatican is preparing the “necessary clarifications” about accusations that the pope covered up the sexual misconduct of a now-disgraced American cardinal.

Francis’ nine cardinal advisers expressed their “full solidarity” Monday with the pope over the scandal, which has thrown his papacy into crisis.

The cardinals, who are meeting this week at the Vatican, issued a statement saying the Holy See “is working on formulating potential and necessary clarifications.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch does not know Italian.  In Italian do “lies and shredding” translate into “necessary clarifications”?  Bravo to the powers that be at the Vatican who have in half a decade convinced many faithful Catholics that anything that comes from this pontificate will always be subject to justified disbelief.

4

PopeWatch: Father Peter Stravinskas

Further evidence of how widespread knowledge was about McCarrick from Father Peter Stravinskas:

 

On the McCarrick front, we are dealing with a very convoluted situation. “Everyone knew” about his strange sleeping arrangements with seminarians. So, why wasn’t something done about it? Years ago, I was questioned about this matter by a cardinal in Rome. I told him exactly what I knew – from some of the very seminarians affected, namely, that the Archbishop had invited them into his bed but – never touched them. The biggest difficulty was that no one was willing to testify against him for a variety of reasons. We shall come back to that issue as we move into the “testimony” of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

As you should know, Archbishop Viganò was the apostolic nuncio to the United States for nearly five years. His has been a multi-faceted ecclesiastical service, first having served in various nunciatures around the world, then actually having oversight for all nunciatures, as well as working in several capacities within the Roman Curia. His reputation is unimpeachable, universally acknowledged as competent, faithful, orthodox and honest. Indeed, he got “exiled” from the Vatican to his American post precisely because he was a “whistle-blower” in regard to financial corruption within the Vatican system. I give all this background on the man because not a few who are unhappy with his document have engaged in character assassination against him, incarnating the ancient principle of killing the bearer of bad news.

The report of Viganò is wide-ranging, spanning eleven pages. Frankly, if I had advised him, I would have counseled him to keep it to a page or two, given the inability of moderns to stay focused for more than a minute or two. That said, it is a devastating critique of corruption at the highest levels of the Church. While he does not shy away from discussing sexual immorality within the ranks of the clergy, I would submit that this is not his primary focus. Rather, he shines a laser on the abuse of power by hierarchs and the “old boy” network of ecclesiastical promotion and cover-up. That’s the real story and ex-Cardinal McCarrick features prominently on those fronts, as well as in regard to his bizarre behavior with seminarians.

According to Viganò, Pope Benedict issued sanctions against McCarrick, sanctions which – for whatever reason – were never publicly revealed and which were roundly ignored by the peripatetic McCarrick. Inexplicably, however, we are told that Pope Francis not only lifted those sanctions but used McCarrick as his personal envoy on many significant missions and gave him an outsized influence on the appointment of not a few American bishops– interestingly, the only bishops who have called into question the Viganò document.

Then we come to the heart of the matter: When a reporter posed a question to Francis on his return flight from Dublin about the Viganò testimony, he didn’t deny its validity; he simply, in great arrogance and foolishness (in my estimation), refused to engage the issue. Instead, he punted and told the media to analyze and evaluate the claims. Well, many of us have done so, and the Pope doesn’t come off very well; even the New York Times has complained of Vatican stone-walling. The Pope’s knowledge of problematic behavior and his maintenance of perpetrators of either sexual or financial corruption are the principal charges. Not to answer is a fatal blow to this already shaky pontificate, where the policy has consistently been to ignore inconvenient challenges; we have only to recall the non-replies to the dubia cardinals and the plea of the Filial Correction. That will not and cannot work in the present instance.

It is important to note that most of the criticism of the Viganò bombshell has consisted of ad hominem attacks. The Archbishop did this because he doesn’t like Francis; because he’s a disgruntled former employee; because he’s bitter that he didn’t become a cardinal. All of these are mere distractions from the weighty accusations. If I witness a murder and contact the police about it, it means nothing for the accused to say, “However, he slapped his wife two weeks ago.” The issue is whether or not the accusation is true – and that demands objective investigation. Dozens of bishops have called for this and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has sounded a clarion call for just such an investigation. Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis, both a canon and civil lawyer, put it succinctly: “The events of these past weeks have shown that no one can be above the law, regardless of rank or privilege.”

Go here to read the rest.  This demonstrates the power of the Lavender Mafia in that McCarrick was apparently open and notorious about his predilections with the Vatican never taking effective action against him.  That Pope Francis has always been in the hip pocket of the Lavender Mafia is terrible enough.  However, perhaps even more troubling is the ineffectual role of Pope Benedict, and the role of Pope John Paul II, who oversaw the advancement of McCarrick.  Everything needs to be revealed on this, at least in regard to documents that have survived the shredding that no doubt has been a popular pastime lately in the Vatican.

3

PopeWatch: Nike

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

Pope Francis has reportedly sent an emotional letter to executives and the marketing team at Nike, thanking them with all his heart for “taking the heat off” him.

According to a source close to the Holy Father, the letter, written in pencil and said to be smeared with what looks like the Pontiffs tears, repeatedly thanks the Nike team for “helping a brother out.”

My Dearest Nike Team, the letter begins. Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for what you have unintentionally done for me. Over the course of the past two weeks, I have done all I could to relieve the pressure that assailed me. I told reporters that I would not say a word regarding situations facing the Catholic Church, though I tend to speak about anything and everything. I attempted to change the subject by talking about how plastic straws are the real emergency facing the world LMAO. But alas, nothing was working…until you decided to promote a controversial American athlete. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

 The letter reportedly goes on to say that he would be happy to endorse Nike and have them be the official pontifical shoe “if Nike executives and the Board of Directors found him worthy.”

Pope Francis concludes the letter by simply begging Nike to continue the ads until Catholics and members of the media forget about “this whole scandal thingy.”

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm or deny that Pope Francis has authorized a plenary indulgence of ten years for bloggers writing stories about the Nike hiring of Colin Kaepernick.

6

PopeWatch: Predictable

From Roberto de Mattei at Rorate Caeli:

 

Will Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who brought to light the existence of corruption in the Vatican, singling out those guilty, beginning with the highest ecclesiastical authorities, be punished for telling the truth? Pope Francis is examining this possibility – if it is true, as several sources confirm –  that he has consulted Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmiero, and some other canon-lawyer, to study the possibility of canonical sanctions to inflict on the Archbishop, commencing with sospensione a divinis. If this news is confirmed it would be of extreme gravity, and somewhat surreal, seeing as the “expert” summoned to sanction Monsignor Viganò would be precisely Cardinal Coccopalmiero, who is being accused by the former-Nuncio of the United States, of being part of the “homosexual lobby” lording over the Vatican. It cannot be forgotten in any case, that the Cardinal’s Secretary, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, is involved in a case of  homosexual orgy, in which the position of his superior has still to be clarified.  
Go here to read the rest.  This not surprising.  The private Pope Francis is completely opposite from the fake image of a merciful and humble Pope.  The private Pope Francis is a man given to bursts of anger, who nurses grudges and who can be remarkably petty against those who cross him.  That this is a foolish move on the part of the Pope might be an indication that his wiser advisors are beginning to keep their distance, fearing to be caught in the whirlwind that will doubtless be created by a Pope who is manifestly in the process of crashing and burning.
5

PopeWatch: Bishop Paprocki

Whatever the Bishop of Springfield Illinois drinks, PopeWatch would like to send a barrel of to every other bishop:

 

SPRINGFIELD – The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has revealed a set of facts and circumstances that are deeply troubling as they relate to the awareness, actions, and inactions at the very highest levels of the Church. Archbishop Viganò has provided his written testimony stating that Pope Francis “must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests. In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him.”

When asked about this aboard the papal plane on his return flight from Ireland on August 26, Pope Francis said, “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this.” Frankly, but with all due respect, that response is not adequate. Given the gravity of the content and implications of the former Nuncio’s statement, it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered. Toward that end, Pope Francis, Vatican officials and the current Apostolic Nuncio should make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop (formerly Cardinal) McCarrick and provide the accountability that the Holy Father has promised.

In this regard, I concur completely with the statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who yesterday “reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”

14

PopeWatch: Uncle Ted

The internet can be an interesting place for research.  Here is a puff piece Cardinal Theodore McCarrick back in 2008 at the site Whispers in the Loggia:

 

And joining Cardinal McCarrick at the Mass will be many men that he calls his “sons” – the priests and bishops he has ordained over the years and remains close with. Since being ordained a bishop 31 years ago, he has ordained more than 320 priests and 12 bishops.

“One of the reasons the Lord has blessed us with vocations is, we all realize we’re a family,” he said, adding that he always tried to get to know each of his seminarians personally before he ordained them.

Go here to read the rest.  This post was entitled Golden Ted.  Then we have this from the blog site Where is Father Haley? in 2010:

“Excerpts from the legal Settlement Documents include firsthand accounts that are also in the Newark Archdiocese records of an incident on a trip with McCarrick, then Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, with a seminarian and two young priests when they shared a room with two double beds, it reads:

· McCarrick, wearing just underwear, got into bed with one of the priests: “Bishop McCarrick was sitting on the crotch of Fr. RC As I was watching TV with Fr BL [full names appear in the documents], bishop McCarrick was smiling and laughing and moving his hands all over Fr. RC’s body. Bishop McCarrick was touching Fr. C’s body, rubbing his hands from head to toe and having a good time, occasionally placing his hands underneath Fr. C’s underwear. [I was] feeling very uncomfortable while trying to focus on television, and Fr. B.L., started smiling. As I looked at the bed next to me, Bishop McCarrick was excitedly caressing the full body of Fr. R.C. At that moment, I made eye contact [with] Bishop McCarrick. He smiled at me saying, ‘Don’t worry, you’re next.’ At that moment, I felt the hand of Fr. B.L. rubbing my back and shoulders. I felt sick to my stomach and went under the covers and pretended to sleep.”

“McCarrick continued to pursue the young man, sent him notes and telephoned him. Notes reveal that it was the custom the Archbishop McCarrick to call his protégés “nephew” and encouraged his entourage to call each other “cousin” and for them to call him ‘uncle Ted.’

“On another occasion McCarrick summoned the young man to drive him from the Newark Cathedral to New York City. He took him to dinner; and after, rather than returning to Newark as anticipated McCarrick went to a one-room apartment that housed one bed and a recliner chair. McCarrick said that he would take the chair, but after showering he turned off the lights and clad in his underwear he climbed into bed with his guest. Here is the account from the documents:

· “He put his arms around me and wrapped his legs around mine. Then He started to tell me what a nice young man I was and what a good priest I would make someday. He also told me about the hard work and stress he was facing in his new role as Archbishop of Newark. He told me how everyone knows him and how powerful he was. The Archbishop kept saying, “Pray for your poor uncle.” All of a sudden, I felt paralyzed. I didn’t have my own car and there was nowhere to go. The Archbishop started to kiss me and move his hands and legs around me. I remained frozen, curled up like a ball. I felt his penis inside his underwear leaning against my buttocks as he was rubbing my legs up and down. His hands were moving up and down my chest and back, while tightening his legs around mine. I tried to scream but could not…I was paralyzed with fear. As he continued touching me, I felt more afraid. He even tried several times to force his hands under my shorts. He tried to roll me over so that he could get on top of me, but I resisted, I felt sick and disgusted and finally was able to jump out of bed. I went into the bathroom where I vomited several times and started to cry. After twenty minutes in the bathroom, the Archbishop told me to come back to bed. Instead I went to the recliner and pretended to fall asleep.”

“In a letter dated four days after this incident McCarrick wrote a note signed ‘Uncle Ted’ that said in part: ‘I just wanted to say thanks for coming on Friday evening. I really enjoyed our visit. You’re a great kid and I know the Lord will continue to bless you…Your uncle has great spots to take you to!!!’

Go here to read the rest.

 

An open letter to Pope Benedict in 2008 from former priest Richard Sipe:

 

While I was Adjunct Professor at a Pontifical Seminary, St. Mary’s Baltimore (1972-1984) a number of seminarians came to me with concerns about the behavior of Theodore E. McCarrick, then bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey. It has been widely known for several decades that Bishop/Archbishop now Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick took seminarians and young priests to a shore home in New Jersey, sites in New York, and other places and slept with some of them. He established a coterie of young seminarians and priests that he encouraged to call him “Uncle Ted.” I have his correspondence where he referred to these men as being “cousins” with each other.

Go here to read the rest.

 

From National Catholic Reporter in 2014:

 

The day before a newly elected Pope Francis was to be formally installed at the Vatican in 2013, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica when he passed out at the altar and had to be rushed to the hospital.

It was a scary moment, and especially odd to see McCarrick stricken; even at 82, the energetic former archbishop of Washington always had a reputation as one of the most peripatetic churchmen in the Catholic hierarchy.

Doctors in Rome quickly diagnosed a heart problem — McCarrick would eventually get a pacemaker — and the cardinal was soon back at his guest room in the U.S. seminary in Rome when the phone rang. It was Francis. The two men had known each other for years, back when the Argentine pope was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires. McCarrick assured Francis that he was doing fine.

“I guess the Lord isn’t done with me yet,” he told the pope.

“Or the devil doesn’t have your accommodations ready!” Francis shot back with a laugh.

McCarrick loves to tell that story, because he loves to tell good stories and because he has a sense of humor as keen as the pope’s. But the exchange also says a lot about the improbable renaissance McCarrick is enjoying as he prepares to celebrate his 84th birthday in July.

McCarrick is one of a number of senior churchmen who were more or less put out to pasture during the eight-year pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. But now Francis is pope, and prelates like Cardinal Walter Kasper (another old friend of McCarrick’s) and McCarrick himself are back in the mix and busier than ever.

 

Go here to read the rest.  McCarrick was no minor figure in the Church, but a major figure who attracted a lot of coverage.  When Pope Francis decided to make use of him, he knew precisely what he was getting.

 

6

PopeWatch: Emeritus II

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

 

Mere days after former Vatican ambassador to the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, alleged that the Pope was aware of sexual misconduct allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Francis is said to have been spending a large part of his day quietly trying out different new emeritus signatures in preparations for his upcoming retirement.

“I hear you get a gold-plated watch,” Pope Francis whispered into the ear of one reporter in an attempt to change the subject of the accusation while in route to Rome from Ireland. But when the reporter repeated the question, Pope Francis was said to have pointed behind everyone, yelling, “Hey, what’s that!” before running back to his seat.

One of Francis’ aides, Father Tomas Demarco, told EOTT this morning that the Pope spent the rest of the flight trying out different signatures with “emeritus” in them.

“He kept his eyes on his paper for the most part,” Demarco said. “In the beginning he kept asking me if everyone was still looking his way and I said yes. That’s when he began trying out different new signatures. They were terrible, but whatever it takes for the man to retire, I mean, get his mind off the accusation.”

Demarco said that when Francis returned to the Vatican, he went up to the window in his bedroom and “Just stared out onto St. Peter’s Square.

“Yeah, he was gently touching the window as he hummed a sad little song to himself. At one point he began saying something along the lines of ‘No one gets you, Franny. No one has, no one does, but you.’ Weird as hell. He did this for a while until he started drinking. That’s when he went ape. He opened the window and started screaming the name Viganò over and over again with a type of vengeance that I haven’t seen from him since the last time we were in private and someone disagreed with him.”

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm or deny that our current Pope Emeritus has advised Pope Francis that after he resigns he will be officially known as either Pope Emeritus II or Pope Avis I, whichever he prefers.

22

PopeWatch: Predictions

What is the cornered Pope Francis going to do?  PopeWatch suspects he will follow the lead of some Roman Emperors who, facing an angry populace, would behead an unpopular advisor and throw his head to the angry mob.  So he needs a scapegoat.  PopeWatch has heard that Cardinal Wuehl has been summoned to Rome.  Better start practicing your goat walk your Eminence.  Put your predictions in the combox.

16

PopeWatch: And the Hits Keep on Coming

Further evidence that the Pope is a willing tool of the Lavender Mafia:

A highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, together with his much-experienced three CDF priests, was dismissed by Pope Francis because they all had tried to follow loyally the Church’s standing rules concerning abusive clergymen. In one specific case, Müller opposed the Pope’s wanting to re-instate Don Mauro Inzoli, an unmistakably cruel abuser of many boys; but the Pope would not listen to Müller. In another case, the Pope decided not to give a Vatican apartment to one of Müller’s own secretaries, but to the now-infamous Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, in spite of the fact that someone had warned the Pope about Capozzi’s grave problems. The Vatican source also said that it was known to several people in the Vatican that some restrictions were put on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, and he thereby confirms Viganò’s own claim.

When LifeSiteNews reached out to this very trustworthy and well-informed Vatican source, asking him about the then-breaking Viganò story and the archbishop’s allegations that Pope Francis knew of McCarrick’s habitual abuse, he answered: “Cardinal Müller [as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)] had always decidedly and most sharply followed up on these abuse cases, and that is why he was dismissed, just as his three good collaborators [the three CDF priests] were also dismissed.”

Go here to read the rest.  Each day it is becoming clearer that in Pope Francis the Lavender Mafia has the pope of their dreams.

9

PopeWatch: Cupich

If PopeWatch had to choose the perfect symbol of this pontificate, Cardinal Cupich would be chosen:

In a television interview with NBC News, Cardinal Cupich commented on a recent 11-page statement by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, that alleges a series of misdeeds by high-ranking Catholic prelates, including Pope Francis himself.

“The pope has a bigger agenda. He’s gotta get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church,” Cardinal Cupich said.

“We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this,” he added.

Who knew that Cardinal Cupich reads The Babylon Bee for talking points?

Go here to read the rest.  Got it Cardinal.  In your eyes the Pope’s left wing agenda is more important than whether he turned a blind eye to McCarrick pressuring seminarians for sexual favors.  Later in the interview Cupich attempted to play the race card contending that the Pope’s critics don’t like him because he is a Latino.  Where to begin?  The Pope has critics around the globe.  Latino is an American term rarely used in Latin America.  The Pope is 100% Italian in blood, so arguing this is about race is ludicrous.  Finally, only a completely delusional individual like Cupich could possibly contend that the critics of the Pope are motivated by racial or national animus.  The Pope appoints left wing fools to misgovern mother Church would be typical of actual criticism directed towards the Pope rather than the complete bovine droppings that Cupich is attempting to peddle.

 

3

PopeWatch: Vigano Summary

Lisa Bourne at Lifesite News has an excellent summary of the Vigano affidavit:

 

1. Archbishop Viganò accused Pope Francis of covering up for McCarrick

In his testimony, Viganò calls on Pope Francis to “honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests.” Whether or not the Pope learned of the McCarrick allegations earlier, Viganò states, “the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor …”

Francis had asked Viganò during the June 2013 apostolic visit, “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” but neither reacted nor seemed surprised when Viganò told him of the substantial dossier on McCarrick’s abuse allegations, Viganò said, and the pope seemed focused instead on the Bishops in the United States not being “ideologized.”

Viganò said as well that Francis’ behavior regarding the McCarrick matter was “no different” than in the Chilean Church’s sex abuse scandal. Francis had appointed Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros to the See of Osorno against the advice of the Chilean bishops, first insulted the abuse victims, then later apologized, but continued to protect the two Chilean Cardinals Errazuriz and Ezzati.

“Even in the tragic affair of McCarrick, Pope Francis’s behavior was no different,” Viganò said. “He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.”

2. Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign

Since the McCarrick revelations surfaced in June and with the August 14 release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing 70 years of abuse of at least 1,000 victims perpetrated by around 300 priests in six dioceses, there have been escalating calls for those in the U.S. Church’s hierarchy with any role in the abuse cover-up to resign. 

In his testimony, Archbishop Viganò extended that call to Francis for his part in enabling sexual abuse.

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

3. Viganò named McCarrick as a ‘kingmaker’ for appointments in the Curia and U.S. 

While at the Vatican guesthouse for a meeting of apostolic nuncios on June 20, 2013, McCarrick had indicated to Viganò that Francis had green-lighted his being free of any canonical restrictions, according to Viganò’s testimony. 

“It was also clear that, from the time of Pope Francis’s election, McCarrick, now free from all constraints, had felt free to travel continuously, to give lectures and interviews,” Viganò states. “In a team effort with [Honduran] Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga [a top Francis advisor, also implicated in covering for widespread homosexual activity at the major seminary in his archdiocese and mismanagement of Church funds], he had become the kingmaker for appointments in the Curia and the United States, and the most listened to advisor in the Vatican for relations with the Obama administration.”

4. Viganò explained why Cardinal Raymond Burke was demoted

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading voice of orthodoxy in the Church, roundly criticized by liberals for holding the line on preserving Church doctrine and liturgy, has been unceremoniously demoted by Pope Francis more than once since Francis’s election – both from the Congregation of Bishops, which advises the Pope on choosing bishops, and from the Apostolic Signature, the Church’s highest court.

Viganò follows his naming of McCarrick as Francis’ “kingmaker” by stating that this led to Burke’s ouster from the Congregation of Bishops, and that Francis also then began bypassing the nuncio’s office in naming bishops

“This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich, who was promptly made a cardinal,” he says. “With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops.”

5. Viganò explained how Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich and other liberal prelates were elevated

McCarrick as “kingmaker” not only facilitated pushing the nuncio out of naming bishops for the U.S., Viganò says, it opened the door to some of the most liberal appointments in the U.S. Church.

“The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of cover-up of abuses by the other two,” Viganò writes. “Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.”

“The appointment of (Bishop Robert) McElroy in San Diego was also orchestrated from above,” says Viganò, “with an encrypted peremptory order to me as Nuncio, by Cardinal Parolin: “Reserve the See of San Diego for McElroy.” 

“McElroy was also well aware of McCarrick’s abuses,” the former nuncio states as well, “as can be seen from a letter sent to him by Richard Sipe on July 28, 2016.”

Go here to read the rest.  Evil has flourished in the Church largely due to the secrecy that envelops the higher regions of the Church.  Vigano has broken the code of Omerta and for this every decent Catholic owes him gratitude.

17

PopeWatch: Mum’s the Word

The Pope thinks that his strategy of ignoring any criticism will work yet again:

 

‘I will not say a single word on this,’ Pope Francis told reporters on board the papal plane from Dublin to Rome

Pope Francis has dismissed claims from a former Vatican ambassador that he was made aware of sexual misconduct allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. 

Francis urged members of the media to make a judgment about an explosive document released by Archbishop Carlo Vigano but that he will not respond to what it alleges. 

“I will not say a single word on this,” he told reporters on board the papal plane from Dublin to Rome. “I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions.”

During an in-flight press conference lasting 44 minutes, the Pope said he had read Archbishop Vigano’s 11-page testimony on Sunday morning, adding “I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested, read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.”

Francis then added to the journalist who asked the question on the flight: “I await your comment on the document, I would like that.”

Go here to read the rest.  Not this time Holy Father, not this time.

 

35

PopeWatch: And So It Begins

They who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind.

Hosea 8: 7

 

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  This is the first Sunday PopeWatch.  This couldn’t wait:

 

The former papal nuncio to the United States has explosive allegations against the Pope and calls upon him to resign.  Here is his statement:

 

TESTIMONY

by
His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

In this tragic moment for the Church in various parts of the world — the United States, Chile, Honduras, Australia, etc. — bishops have a very grave responsibility. I am thinking in particular of the United States of America, where I was sent as Apostolic Nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2011, the memorial feast of the First North American Martyrs. The Bishops of the United States are called, and I with them, to follow the example of these first martyrs who brought the Gospel to the lands of America, to be credible witnesses of the immeasurable love of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.

To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark … shall be proclaimed from the housetops” (Lk. 12:3).

I had always believed and hoped that the hierarchy of the Church could find within itself the spiritual resources and strength to tell the whole truth, to amend and to renew itself. That is why, even though I had repeatedly been asked to do so, I always avoided making statements to the media, even when it would have been my right to do so, in order to defend myself against the calumnies published about me, even by high-ranking prelates of the Roman Curia. But now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, which I came to know in the course of the duties entrusted to me by St. John Paul II, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, from 1998 to 2009, and by Pope Benedict XVI, as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, from October 19, 2011 until end of May 2016.

As Delegate for Pontifical Representations in the Secretariat of State, my responsibilities were not limited to the Apostolic Nunciatures, but also included the staff of the Roman Curia (hires, promotions, informational processes on candidates to the episcopate, etc.) and the examination of delicate cases, including those regarding cardinals and bishops, that were entrusted to the Delegate by the Cardinal Secretary of State or by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State.

To dispel suspicions insinuated in several recent articles, I will immediately say that the Apostolic Nuncios in the United States, Gabriel Montalvo and Pietro Sambi, both prematurely deceased, did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests. Indeed, according to what Nuncio Pietro Sambi wrote, Father Boniface Ramsey, O.P.’s letter, dated November 22, 2000, was written at the request of the late Nuncio Montalvo. In the letter, Father Ramsey, who had been a professor at the diocesan seminary in Newark from the end of the ’80s until 1996, affirms that there was a recurring rumor in the seminary that the Archbishop “shared his bed with seminarians,” inviting five at a time to spend the weekend with him at his beach house. And he added that he knew a certain number of seminarians, some of whom were later ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark, who had been invited to this beach house and had shared a bed with the Archbishop.

The office that I held at the time was not informed of any measure taken by the Holy See after those charges were brought by Nuncio Montalvo at the end of 2000, when Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State.

Likewise, Nuncio Sambi transmitted to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, an Indictment Memorandum against McCarrick by the priest Gregory Littleton of the diocese of Charlotte, who was reduced to the lay state for a violation of minors, together with two documents from the same Littleton, in which he recounted his tragic story of sexual abuse by the then-Archbishop of Newark and several other priests and seminarians. The Nuncio added that Littleton had already forwarded his Memorandum to about twenty people, including civil and ecclesiastical judicial authorities, police and lawyers, in June 2006, and that it was therefore very likely that the news would soon be made public. He therefore called for a prompt intervention by the Holy See.

In writing up a memo[1] on these documents that were entrusted to me, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations, on December 6, 2006, I wrote to my superiors, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, that the facts attributed to McCarrick by Littleton were of such gravity and vileness as to provoke bewilderment, a sense of disgust, deep sorrow and bitterness in the reader, and that they constituted the crimes of seducing, requesting depraved acts of seminarians and priests, repeatedly and simultaneously with several people, derision of a young seminarian who tried to resist the Archbishop’s seductions in the presence of two other priests, absolution of the accomplices in these depraved acts, sacrilegious celebration of the Eucharist with the same priests after committing such acts.

In my memo, which I delivered on that same December 6, 2006 to my direct superior, the Substitute Leonardo Sandri, I proposed the following considerations and course of action to my superiors:

Given that it seemed a new scandal of particular gravity, as it regarded a cardinal, was going to be added to the many scandals for the Church in the United States,
and that, since this matter had to do with a cardinal, and according to can. 1405 § 1, No. 2˚, “ipsius Romani Pontificis dumtaxat ius est iudicandi”;
I proposed that an exemplary measure be taken against the Cardinal that could have a medicinal function, to prevent future abuses against innocent victims and alleviate the very serious scandal for the faithful, who despite everything continued to love and believe in the Church.

I added that it would be salutary if, for once, ecclesiastical authority would intervene before the civil authorities and, if possible, before the scandal had broken out in the press. This could have restored some dignity to a Church so sorely tried and humiliated by so many abominable acts on the part of some pastors. If this were done, the civil authority would no longer have to judge a cardinal, but a pastor with whom the Church had already taken appropriate measures to prevent the cardinal from abusing his authority and continuing to destroy innocent victims.

My memo of December 6, 2006 was kept by my superiors, and was never returned to me with any actual decision by the superiors on this matter.

Subsequently, around April 21-23, 2008, the Statement for Pope Benedict XVI about the pattern of sexual abuse crisis in the United States, by Richard Sipe, was published on the internet, at richardsipe.com. On April 24, it was passed on by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, to the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. It was delivered to me one month later, on May 24, 2008.

The following day, I delivered a new memo to the new Substitute, Fernando Filoni, which included my previous one of December 6, 2006. In it, I summarized Richard Sipe’s document, which ended with this respectful and heartfelt appeal to Pope Benedict XVI: “I approach Your Holiness with due reverence, but with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before your predecessor, Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome. If Your Holiness requests, I will personally submit to you documentation of that about which I have spoken.”

I ended my memo by repeating to my superiors that I thought it was necessary to intervene as soon as possible by removing the cardinal’s hat from Cardinal McCarrick and that he should be subjected to the sanctions established by the Code of Canon Law, which also provide for reduction to the lay state.

This second memo of mine was also never returned to the Personnel Office, and I was greatly dismayed at my superiors for the inconceivable absence of any measure against the Cardinal, and for the continuing lack of any communication with me since my first memo in December 2006.

But finally I learned with certainty, through Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, that Richard Sipe’s courageous and meritorious Statement had had the desired result. Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.

I do not know when Pope Benedict took these measures against McCarrick, whether in 2009 or 2010, because in the meantime I had been transferred to the Governorate of Vatican City State, just as I do not know who was responsible for this incredible delay. I certainly do not believe it was Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal had repeatedly denounced the corruption present in the Church, and in the first months of his pontificate had already taken a firm stand against the admission into seminary of young men with deep homosexual tendencies. I believe it was due to the Pope’s first collaborator at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who notoriously favored promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility, and was accustomed to managing the information he thought appropriate to convey to the Pope.

In any case, what is certain is that Pope Benedict imposed the above canonical sanctions on McCarrick and that they were communicated to him by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Pietro Sambi. Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, then first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d’Affaires a.i. after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, told me when I arrived in Washington — and he is ready to testify to it— about a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour, that Nuncio Sambi had with Cardinal McCarrick whom he had summoned to the Nunciature. Monsignor Lantheaume told me that “the Nuncio’s voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor.”

Pope Benedict’s same dispositions were then also communicated to me by the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, in November 2011, in a conversation before my departure for Washington, and were included among the instructions of the same Congregation to the new Nuncio.

In turn, I repeated them to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the Nunciature. The Cardinal, muttering in a barely comprehensible way, admitted that he had perhaps made the mistake of sleeping in the same bed with some seminarians at his beach house, but he said this as if it had no importance.

The faithful insistently wonder how it was possible for him to be appointed to Washington, and as Cardinal, and they have every right to know who knew, and who covered up his grave misdeeds. It is therefore my duty to reveal what I know about this, beginning with the Roman Curia.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State until September 2006: all information was communicated to him. In November 2000, Nunzio Montalvo sent him his report, passing on to him the aforementioned letter from Father Boniface Ramsey in which he denounced the serious abuses committed by McCarrick.

It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the end. He even removed the Nuncio in Mexico City, Justo Mullor, who refused to be an accomplice in his scheme to cover Maciel, and in his place appointed Sandri, then-Nuncio to Venezuela, who was willing to collaborate in the cover-up. Sodano even went so far as to issue a statement to the Vatican press office in which a falsehood was affirmed, that is, that Pope Benedict had decided that the Maciel case should be considered closed. Benedict reacted, despite Sodano’s strenuous defense, and Maciel was found guilty and irrevocably condemned.

Was McCarrick’s appointment to Washington and as Cardinal the work of Sodano, when John Paul II was already very ill? We are not given to know. However, it is legitimate to think so, but I do not think he was the only one responsible for this. McCarrick frequently went to Rome and made friends everywhere, at all levels of the Curia. If Sodano had protected Maciel, as seems certain, there is no reason why he wouldn’t have done so for McCarrick, who according to many had the financial means to influence decisions. His nomination to Washington was opposed by then-Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. At the Nunciature in Washington there is a note, written in his hand, in which Cardinal Re disassociates himself from the appointment and states that McCarrick was 14th on the list for Washington.

Nuncio Sambi’s report, with all the attachments, was sent to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as Secretary of State. My two above-mentioned memos of December 6, 2006 and May 25, 2008, were also presumably handed over to him by the Substitute. As already mentioned, the Cardinal had no difficulty in insistently presenting for the episcopate candidates known to be active homosexuals — I cite only the well-known case of Vincenzo de Mauro, who was appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Vigevano and later removed because he was undermining his seminarians — and in filtering and manipulating the information he conveyed to Pope Benedict.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Secretary of State, was also complicit in covering up the misdeeds of McCarrick who had, after the election of Pope Francis, boasted openly of his travels and missions to various continents. In April 2014, the Washington Times had a front page report on McCarrick’s trip to the Central African Republic, and on behalf of the State Department no less. As Nuncio to Washington, I wrote to Cardinal Parolin asking him if the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid. Ça va sans dire that my letter never received any reply!

The same can be said for Cardinal William Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Cardinals Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Lorenzo Baldisseri, former Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops, and Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari, current Secretary of the same Congregation. They were all aware by reason of their office of the sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict on McCarrick.

Cardinals Leonardo Sandri, Fernando Filoni and Angelo Becciu, as Substitutes of the Secretariat of State, knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick.

Nor could Cardinals Giovanni Lajolo and Dominique Mamberti have failed to know. As Secretaries for Relations with States, they participated several times a week in collegial meetings with the Secretary of State.

As far as the Roman Curia is concerned, for the moment I will stop here, even if the names of other prelates in the Vatican are well known, even some very close to Pope Francis, such as Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, a current already denounced in 1986 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino also belong to the same current, albeit with a different ideology. Others belonging to this current even reside at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Now to the United States. Obviously, the first to have been informed of the measures taken by Pope Benedict was McCarrick’s successor in Washington See, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, whose situation is now completely compromised by the recent revelations regarding his behavior as Bishop of Pittsburgh.

It is absolutely unthinkable that Nunzio Sambi, who was an extremely responsible person, loyal, direct and explicit in his way of being (a true son of Romagna) did not speak to him about it. In any case, I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions, and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it. I also remember in particular the fact that I had to draw his attention to it, because I realized that in an archdiocesan publication, on the back cover in color, there was an announcement inviting young men who thought they had a vocation to the priesthood to a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick. I immediately phoned Cardinal Wuerl, who expressed his surprise to me, telling me that he knew nothing about that announcement and that he would cancel it. If, as he now continues to state, he knew nothing of the abuses committed by McCarrick and the measures taken by Pope Benedict, how can his answer be explained?

His recent statements that he knew nothing about it, even though at first he cunningly referred to compensation for the two victims, are absolutely laughable. The Cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his Chancellor, Monsignor Antonicelli, to lie as well.

Cardinal Wuerl also clearly lied on another occasion. Following a morally unacceptable event authorized by the academic authorities of Georgetown University, I brought it to the attention of its President, Dr. John DeGioia, sending him two subsequent letters. Before forwarding them to the addressee, so as to handle things properly, I personally gave a copy of them to the Cardinal with an accompanying letter I had written. The Cardinal told me that he knew nothing about it. However, he failed to acknowledge receipt of my two letters, contrary to what he customarily did. I subsequently learned that the event at Georgetown had taken place for seven years. But the Cardinal knew nothing about it!

Cardinal Wuerl, well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict, transgressing the Pope’s order, also allowed him to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C. In doing so, he put other seminarians at risk.

Bishop Paul Bootkoski, emeritus of Metuchen, and Archbishop John Myers, emeritus of Newark, covered up the abuses committed by McCarrick in their respective dioceses and compensated two of his victims. They cannot deny it and they must be interrogated in order to reveal every circumstance and all responsibility regarding this matter.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who was recently interviewed by the media, also said that he didn’t have the slightest idea about the abuses committed by McCarrick. Given his tenure in Washington, Dallas and now Rome, I think no one can honestly believe him. I don’t know if he was ever asked if he knew about Maciel’s crimes. If he were to deny this, would anybody believe him given that he occupied positions of responsibility as a member of the Legionaries of Christ?

Regarding Cardinal Sean O’Malley, I would simply say that his latest statements on the McCarrick case are disconcerting, and have totally obscured his transparency and credibility.

* * *

My conscience requires me also to reveal facts that I have experienced personally, concerning Pope Francis, that have a dramatic significance, which as Bishop, sharing the collegial responsibility of all the bishops for the universal Church, do not allow me to remain silent, and that I state here, ready to reaffirm them under oath by calling on God as my witness.

In the last months of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI had convened a meeting of all the apostolic nuncios in Rome, as Paul VI and St. John Paul II had done on several occasions. The date set for the audience with the Pope was Friday, June 21, 2013. Pope Francis kept this commitment made by his predecessor. Of course I also came to Rome from Washington. It was my first meeting with the new Pope elected only three months prior, after the resignation of Pope Benedict.

On the morning of Thursday, June 20, 2013, I went to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, to join my colleagues who were staying there. As soon as I entered the hall I met Cardinal McCarrick, who wore the red-trimmed cassock. I greeted him respectfully as I had always done. He immediately said to me, in a tone somewhere between ambiguous and triumphant: “The Pope received me yesterday, tomorrow I am going to China.”

At the time I knew nothing of his long friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio and of the important part he had played in his recent election, as McCarrick himself would later reveal in a lecture at Villanova University and in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter. Nor had I ever thought of the fact that he had participated in the preliminary meetings of the recent conclave, and of the role he had been able to have as a cardinal elector in the 2005 conclave. Therefore I did not immediately grasp the meaning of the encrypted message that McCarrick had communicated to me, but that would become clear to me in the days immediately following.

The next day the audience with Pope Francis took place. After his address, which was partly read and partly delivered off the cuff, the Pope wished to greet all the nuncios one by one. In single file, I remember that I was among the last. When it was my turn, I just had time to say to him, “I am the Nuncio to the United States.” He immediately assailed me with a tone of reproach, using these words: “The Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized! They must be shepherds!” Of course I was not in a position to ask for explanations about the meaning of his words and the aggressive way in which he had upbraided me. I had in my hand a book in Portuguese that Cardinal O’Malley had sent me for the Pope a few days earlier, telling me “so he could go over his Portuguese before going to Rio for World Youth Day.” I handed it to him immediately, and so freed myself from that extremely disconcerting and embarrassing situation.

At the end of the audience the Pope announced: “Those of you who are still in Rome next Sunday are invited to concelebrate with me at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.” I naturally thought of staying on to clarify as soon as possible what the Pope intended to tell me.

On Sunday June 23, before the concelebration with the Pope, I asked Monsignor Ricca, who as the person in charge of the house helped us put on the vestments, if he could ask the Pope if he could receive me sometime in the following week. How could I have returned to Washington without having clarified what the Pope wanted of me? At the end of Mass, while the Pope was greeting the few lay people present, Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio, his Argentine secretary, came to me and said: “The Pope told me to ask if you are free now!” Naturally, I replied that I was at the Pope’s disposal and that I thanked him for receiving me immediately. The Pope took me to the first floor in his apartment and said: “We have 40 minutes before the Angelus.”

I began the conversation, asking the Pope what he intended to say to me with the words he had addressed to me when I greeted him the previous Friday. And the Pope, in a very different, friendly, almost affectionate tone, said to me: “Yes, the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia, (the Pope did not give me the name of the Archbishop) they must be shepherds; and they must not be left-wing — and he added, raising both arms — and when I say left-wing I mean homosexual.” Of course, the logic of the correlation between being left-wing and being homosexual escaped me, but I added nothing else.

Immediately after, the Pope asked me in a deceitful way: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” I answered him with complete frankness and, if you want, with great naiveté: “Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject. But then, what was the Pope’s purpose in asking me that question: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?” He clearly wanted to find out if I was an ally of McCarrick or not.

Back in Washington everything became very clear to me, thanks also to a new event that occurred only a few days after my meeting with Pope Francis. When the new Bishop Mark Seitz took possession of the Diocese of El Paso on July 9, 2013, I sent the first Counsellor, Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, while I went to Dallas that same day for an international meeting on Bioethics. When he got back, Monsignor Lantheaume told me that in El Paso he had met Cardinal McCarrick who, taking him aside, told him almost the same words that the Pope had said to me in Rome: “the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing, they must be shepherds….” I was astounded! It was therefore clear that the words of reproach that Pope Francis had addressed to me on June 21, 2013 had been put into his mouth the day before by Cardinal McCarrick. Also the Pope’s mention “not like the Archbishop of Philadelphia” could be traced to McCarrick, because there had been a strong disagreement between the two of them about the admission to Communion of pro-abortion politicians. In his communication to the bishops, McCarrick had manipulated a letter of then-Cardinal Ratzinger who prohibited giving them Communion. Indeed, I also knew how certain Cardinals such as Mahony, Levada and Wuerl, were closely linked to McCarrick; they had opposed the most recent appointments made by Pope Benedict, for important posts such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and San Francisco.

Not happy with the trap he had set for me on June 23, 2013, when he asked me about McCarrick, only a few months later, in the audience he granted me on October 10, 2013, Pope Francis set a second one for me, this time concerning a second of his protégés, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He asked me: “What is Cardinal Wuerl like, is he good or bad?” I replied, “Holy Father, I will not tell you if he is good or bad, but I will tell you two facts.” They are the ones I have already mentioned above, which concern Wuerl’s pastoral carelessness regarding the aberrant deviations at Georgetown University and the invitation by the Archdiocese of Washington to young aspirants to the priesthood to a meeting with McCarrick! Once again the Pope did not show any reaction.

It was also clear that, from the time of Pope Francis’s election, McCarrick, now free from all constraints, had felt free to travel continuously, to give lectures and interviews. In a team effort with Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, he had become the kingmaker for appointments in the Curia and the United States, and the most listened to advisor in the Vatican for relations with the Obama administration. This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal. With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops. In addition, he appointed the Brazilian Ilson de Jesus Montanari — the great friend of his private Argentine secretary Fabian Pedacchio — as Secretary of the same Congregation for Bishops and Secretary of the College of Cardinals, promoting him in one single leap from a simple official of that department to Archbishop Secretary. Something unprecedented for such an important position!

The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.

Regarding Cupich, one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims.

During the speech he gave when he took possession of the Chicago See, at which I was present as a representative of the Pope, Cupich quipped that one certainly should not expect the new Archbishop to walk on water. Perhaps it would be enough for him to be able to remain with his feet on the ground and not try to turn reality upside-down, blinded by his pro-gay ideology, as he stated in a recent interview with America Magazine. Extolling his particular expertise in the matter, having been President of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People of the USCCB, he asserted that the main problem in the crisis of sexual abuse by clergy is not homosexuality, and that affirming this is only a way of diverting attention from the real problem which is clericalism. In support of this thesis, Cupich “oddly” made reference to the results of research carried out at the height of the sexual abuse of minors crisis in the early 2000s, while he “candidly” ignored that the results of that investigation were totally denied by the subsequent Independent Reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 and 2011, which concluded that, in cases of sexual abuse, 81% of the victims were male. In fact, Father Hans Zollner, S.J., Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, President of the Centre for Child Protection, and Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, recently told the newspaper La Stampa that “in most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”

The appointment of McElroy in San Diego was also orchestrated from above, with an encrypted peremptory order to me as Nuncio, by Cardinal Parolin: “Reserve the See of San Diego for McElroy.” McElroy was also well aware of McCarrick’s abuses, as can be seen from a letter sent to him by Richard Sipe on July 28, 2016.

These characters are closely associated with individuals belonging in particular to the deviated wing of the Society of Jesus, unfortunately today a majority, which had already been a cause of serious concern to Paul VI and subsequent pontiffs. We need only consider Father Robert Drinan, S.J., who was elected four times to the House of Representatives, and was a staunch supporter of abortion; or Father Vincent O’Keefe, S.J., one of the principal promoters of The Land O’Lakes Statement of 1967, which seriously compromised the Catholic identity of universities and colleges in the United States. It should be noted that McCarrick, then President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, also participated in that inauspicious undertaking which was so harmful to the formation of the consciences of American youth, closely associated as it was with the deviated wing of the Jesuits.

Father James Martin, S.J., acclaimed by the people mentioned above, in particular Cupich, Tobin, Farrell and McElroy, appointed Consultor of the Secretariat for Communications, well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, chosen to corrupt the young people who will soon gather in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, is nothing but a sad recent example of that deviated wing of the Society of Jesus.

Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church and for bishops and faithful to act with parrhesia. The faithful throughout the world also demand this of him in an exemplary manner. He must honestly state when he first learned about the crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians and priests.

In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for him. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor along with Maradiaga.

The latter [Maradiaga] is so confident of the Pope’s protection that he can dismiss as “gossip” the heartfelt appeals of dozens of his seminarians, who found the courage to write to him after one of them tried to commit suicide over homosexual abuse in the seminary.

By now the faithful have well understood Maradiaga’s strategy: insult the victims to save himself, lie to the bitter end to cover up a chasm of abuses of power, of mismanagement in the administration of Church property, and of financial disasters even against close friends, as in the case of the Ambassador of Honduras Alejandro Valladares, former Dean of the Diplomatic Corps to the Holy See.

In the case of the former Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda, after the article published in the [Italian] weekly L’Espresso last February, Maradiaga stated in the newspaper Avvenire: “It was my auxiliary bishop Pineda who asked for the visitation, so as to ‘clear’ his name after being subjected to much slander.” Now, regarding Pineda the only thing that has been made public is that his resignation has simply been accepted, thus making any possible responsibility of his and Maradiaga vanish into nowhere.

In the name of the transparency so hailed by the Pope, the report that the Visitator, Argentine bishop Alcides Casaretto, delivered more than a year ago only and directly to the Pope, must be made public.

Finally, the recent appointment as Substitute of Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra is also connected with Honduras, that is, with Maradiaga. From 2003 to 2007 Peña Parra worked as Counsellor at the Tegucigalpa Nunciature. As Delegate for Pontifical Representations I received worrisome information about him.

In Honduras, a scandal as huge as the one in Chile is about to be repeated. The Pope defends his man, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, to the bitter end, as he had done in Chile with Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros, whom he himself had appointed Bishop of Osorno against the advice of the Chilean Bishops. First he insulted the abuse victims. Then, only when he was forced by the media, and a revolt by the Chilean victims and faithful, did he recognize his error and apologize, while stating that he had been misinformed, causing a disastrous situation for the Church in Chile, but continuing to protect the two Chilean Cardinals Errazuriz and Ezzati.

Even in the tragic affair of McCarrick, Pope Francis’s behavior was no different. He knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. Although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end; indeed, he made McCarrick’s advice his own, which was certainly not inspired by sound intentions and for love of the Church. It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action [regarding McCarrick] to save his image in the media.

Now in the United States a chorus of voices is rising especially from the lay faithful, and has recently been joined by several bishops and priests, asking that all those who, by their silence, covered up McCarrick’s criminal behavior, or who used him to advance their career or promote their intentions, ambitions and power in the Church, should resign.

But this will not be enough to heal the situation of extremely grave immoral behavior by the clergy: bishops and priests. A time of conversion and penance must be proclaimed. The virtue of chastity must be recovered in the clergy and in seminaries. Corruption in the misuse of the Church’s resources and of the offerings of the faithful must be fought against. The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced. The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated, as Janet Smith, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, recently wrote. “The problem of clergy abuse,” she wrote, “cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated.” These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.

I implore everyone, especially Bishops, to speak up in order to defeat this conspiracy of silence that is so widespread, and to report the cases of abuse they know about to the media and civil authorities.

Let us heed the most powerful message that St. John Paul II left us as an inheritance: Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid!

In his 2008 homily on the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict reminded us that the Father’s plan of salvation had been fully revealed and realized in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, but it needs to be welcomed in human history, which is always a history of fidelity on God’s part and unfortunately also of infidelity on the part of us men. The Church, the depositary of the blessing of the New Covenant, signed in the blood of the Lamb, is holy but made up of sinners, as Saint Ambrose wrote: the Church is “immaculata ex maculatis,” she is holy and spotless even though, in her earthly journey, she is made up of men stained with sin.

I want to recall this indefectible truth of the Church’s holiness to the many people who have been so deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis and by the conspiracy of silence of so many pastors, and who are tempted to abandon the Church, disfigured by so many ignominies. At the Angelus on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Pope Francis said these words: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do … If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.” If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!

Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.

In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.

Even in dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening, let us not lose hope! We well know that the great majority of our pastors live their priestly vocation with fidelity and dedication.

It is in moments of great trial that the Lord’s grace is revealed in abundance and makes His limitless mercy available to all; but it is granted only to those who are truly repentant and sincerely propose to amend their lives. This is a favorable time for the Church to confess her sins, to convert, and to do penance.

Let us all pray for the Church and for the Pope, let us remember how many times he has asked us to pray for him!

Let us all renew faith in the Church our Mother: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church!”

Christ will never abandon His Church! He generated her in His Blood and continually revives her with His Spirit!

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Mary, Virgin and Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!

 

Christ has again made His whip and is striding toward the tables of far worse than money changers, God be praised.

 

Update I:  Interesting news story from June 17, 2014 in light of these revelations:

WASHINGTON (RNS) The day before a newly elected Pope Francis was to be formally installed at the Vatican in 2013, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica when he passed out at the altar and had to be rushed to the hospital.

It was a scary moment, and especially odd to see McCarrick stricken; even at 82, the energetic former archbishop of Washington always had a reputation as one of the most peripatetic churchmen in the Catholic hierarchy.

Doctors in Rome quickly diagnosed a heart problem — McCarrick would eventually get a pacemaker — and the cardinal was soon back at his guest room in the U.S. seminary in Rome when the phone rang. It was Francis. The two men had known each other for years, back when the Argentine pope was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires. McCarrick assured Francis that he was doing fine.

“I guess the Lord isn’t done with me yet,” he told the pope.

“Or the devil doesn’t have your accommodations ready!” Francis shot back with a laugh.

McCarrick loves to tell that story, because he loves to tell good stories and because he has a sense of humor as keen as the pope’s. But the exchange also says a lot about the improbable renaissance that McCarrick is enjoying as he prepares to celebrate his 84th birthday in July.

McCarrick is one of a number of senior churchmen who were more or less put out to pasture during the eight-year pontificate of Benedict XVI. But now Francis is pope, and prelates like Cardinal Walter Kasper (another old friend of McCarrick’s) and McCarrick himself are back in the mix, and busier than ever.

Go here to read the rest.

Update II:  Statement of Bishop Strickland:

 

 

Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and all Holy Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler,
A letter (see below) by Archbishop Vigano, former Nuncio to the United States, raises grave allegations and calls for the resignation of numerous high ranking prelates including Pope Francis.
Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible. Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible. I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that it’s findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church.
As this unfolds I urge all in the Diocese of Tyler to pray fervently for Holy Mother Church and beg the Intercession of Our Blessed Mother. We are the flock of Jesus Christ. He is Lord of His Church and His Holy Spirit will guide us through this darkness.
Almighty God Father, Son and Spirit have mercy on your Church and cleanse her in the fires of your Love.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Pray for us
All Sainted Popes & Bishops in Heaven, Pray for us
All Holy Men and Women, Pray for us
I direct all priests to include this notice in the masses on August 26, and post it on their websites and other social media immediately.
Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop of Tyler

 

1

PopeWatch: Hype From Hades

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

 

[ACMPress] – KINGDOM OF ETERNAL FLAME AND PUNISHMENT – Road commission officials from Hell announced significant infrastructure improvement plans, less than a week after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report on extensive clerical sex abuse and episcopal cover-up, spanning a 70 year period.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch called a Planned Parenthood affiliate and asked to speak with a demon.  A demon identifying himself as Webeater got on the phone.  When queried about the story, he responded, “Are all mortals so gullible?  Don’t believe the hype son of Adam.  Trump has imposed hideously high tariffs on many of the exports of Hell, and the Infernal Kingdom simply lacks the cash to fund such an infrastructure expansion.  Truth to tell, Lord Lucifer has always been a master of propaganda but He has never balanced the books and Hell has a credit rating almost as low as the morals of a typical politician.”

I then asked if Hell could cover the sudden influx of a swelling number of the damned?  Well, we’ve been coping with a steadily increasing influx of the eternally lost since circa 1725, and things are very cramped now.  In my home pit I am sharing quarters with three attorneys, two priests and a used car salesman from Guam.  It ain’t pretty.  This overcrowding has caused a lot of grumbling among the Lowerarchy and that is probably why this fake news plan was announced.”

Is Lucifer in jeopardy of losing his position as ruler?  “Naah, but He may retire.  He keeps looking at videos of the resignation of Pope Benedict and mumbling about what a lucky man he is.”

Who would take over if Lucifer retired?  “Who knows?  Maybe it will be someone promoting a more merciful Hell.  That does seem to be all the rage right now.”

He then apologized and said that he was late for his weekly staff meeting on the marketing of aborted body parts, and with that the conversation came to an end.

 

15

PopeWatch: Statement of Bishop Sirba

Statement of Bishop Paul Sirba:

 

I know the answer is Jesus Christ. Hope is found in the dying and rising of Jesus. The day of restoration and renewal will happen through the mercy of Jesus and our full cooperation in the work of the Redemption of Jesus Christ. I can also hear Jesus saying, “I’ve got this.”

For the past five years, in a more intense way — the first revelations go back to the 1980s and 1990s — Catholics in the state of Minnesota have been exposed to the sins of the Church’s priests and bishops. Now the Church in Pennsylvania and across the nation has had to look at the horrendous sin of sexual abuse of minors and the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God, yet again.

We need to name the shame, anger, and sadness. The sexual abuse of minors, episcopal failures, cover-ups and enabling behaviors, homosexual subcultures in the priesthood, and sins against celibacy must be confessed, rooted out, and repaired. To quote Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, “We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report.”

When it comes the crime of the abuse of minors, our hearts break open as sordid details call for independent investigations and the work of very trusted lay faithful to assist the bishops within the Church to remedy the problems. In the tumult, we must never lose our focus of providing healing for the victims and help for those who have been hurt and preventing this sin in the future.

Our experience of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Duluth is unique to us in some ways, but the underlying sinful human condition is universal and will be brought to light across our nation and our world. While we have been living with the crisis most recently through our bankruptcy, we have to be spiritually prepared for whatever new revelations may come to light in other parts of the Body of Christ, as well. This purification, although excruciatingly painful, is necessary for healing. The light of Christ scatters the darkness of sin and evil.

The Scriptures that come to mind for me are: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:2), the parable of the weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30), the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-8). These and other sacred texts provide ample reflection for my personal conversion and institutional change.

I have said that the protection of our youth and providing the safest environment for our young people is the work of our lifetime. I know our efforts in the Diocese of Duluth have made a difference. As a diocese we will continue to offer prayers for healing and reparation. I ask the clergy, religious, and lay faithful to pray and fast so as to lead the Church to enact canonical changes that hold bishops accountable, protect men discerning a call to the priesthood, and lead to new mechanisms of holding bishops accountable that have never been in place before to safeguard our children and restore trust.

I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what I and my fellow bishops have done or failed to do. I am sorry for anyone who has been hurt and the scandal caused in the Body of Christ.

Bishop Paul D. Sirba is the ninth bishop of Duluth.

 

11

PopeWatch: Gay Express

Church Militant has a fascinating piece:

Church Militant has learned that a clandestine pipeline for homosexual seminarians was established in the 1990s and into the early 2000s where active gay men from Colombia, South America were being secretly funneled to U.S. seminaries.

Multiple seminarians have been in contact with us and want the entire story of the massive, massive crisis of homosexual predation by the clergy — especially in the seminaries — completely exposed.

Church Militant has also confirmed with official sources that various U.S. bishops were aware of this, but turned a blind eye so they could keep their vocation numbers artificially high.

Multiple sources, along with former seminarians — fed up with the cover-ups — led Church Militant to Fr. John Lavers, called in to head up a top-level investigation which then discovered the existence of the seminarian pipeline. 

The investigation, when we began in April/May of 2012, revealed that there was a wide network of seminarians which were involved in abnormal behavior and homosexual activity spreading across a number of dioceses in the eastern part of the United States. This also involved a number of dioceses and a number of clergy within those dioceses actively supporting and participating in the homosexual activities that the seminarians were also involved in.

Here’s how the pipeline worked.

Go here to read the rest.  The “queering” of the Priesthood goes right to the top levels of the Church.  No matter how bad we think it is, in all likelihood it is worse.

 

4

PopeWatch: Bishop Baker

Compare and contrast the letter of the Pope featured in yesterday’s PopeWatch with this letter:

 

To The Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Little in this world can elicit a greater sense of visceral pain, righteous anger, staggering frustration, or paralyzing despair than the sudden unveiling of decades of serious, gut-wrenching betrayal by those in ordained ministry.

From the moment a man is ordained a deacon, priest, or bishop, he stands in the person of Christ for the Church and the world. While no human is worthy of such a high calling, and without extraordinary holiness no man can fulfill his vocation to perfection, each is anointed for the sacred duty of faithfully celebrating the Sacraments and imitating the mystery they celebrate by modeling their lives on the sacrificial mystery of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Yet again in recent weeks, the Church is thrust deep into the throes of shocking and unanticipated betrayal by the revelations of the sinful, egregious actions of those in positions of power, by those whose lives were meant, through Christ, to be lived sacrificially for others. Whether the acts committed were by hierarchs, priests, or deacons, the evil committed and the evil inflicted is horrific, excruciating, and absolutely intolerable.

While most of the scandalous behaviors recently reported occurred decades ago, even before the Dallas Charter was instituted in 2002, there is in this current spate of dreadful news enormous challenges we must face and publicly address. The Dallas Charter offered much that was helpful in dealing with the issue of the sexual abuse of minors, but it did not deal clearly and decisively with the greatest issues we are facing in this newest round of reports.

I find it no coincidence that these reports arrived on the heels of the 50 thanniversary of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, dated July 25, 1968. We know that Humanae Vitae addresses the regulation of birth, and the sacredness, dignity, and life-affirming nature of conjugal love shared within the Sacrament of Marriage. The question might arise, “How does that relate to the scandals of the day?” The answer is quite simple and something we don’t hear often enough: Virtue. More specifically, and something we hear of even less: Chastity.

Sadly, chastity is not a word that is highly utilized in common parlance, nor is it a concept that is highly valued or understood in our culture. Even more sadly, it is a virtue that obviously has been too frequently lost to the powers of the world, the flesh, and the devil within the ordained ministry of our Church. This is the greatest sadness of all; and when you combine this with narcissism, pride, and abuse of power, you elicit the perfect storm that we see today.

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was no stranger to a Church that shared the similar ingredients of lust, narcissism, pride, power, and greed, as he devoted his priestly ministry, often at times of great risk to his life, to bringing some 40,000 Calvinists back to the Catholic faith post-Reformation. In short, Francis ministered to the souls who departed the faith in part because of the scandalous reign of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia 1431-1503) and the immoral behaviors of ordained clergy across Europe. Pope Alexander VI was known to have fathered numerous children by various concubines, as well as to have had criminal involvement in the Italian underworld. Similarly, it was not uncommon to find priests in open relationships with their mistresses and fathering children on the side. These scandals, along with others, scattered the seeds of contempt that helped lay the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

At the time, St. Francis de Sales uttered these prophetic words, that are as relevant today as they were during his priestly ministry, “Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I’m here among you to prevent something far worse for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal–who allow scandals to destroy their faith–are guilty of spiritual suicide.”

What is the difference between the scandals of the Church of the 16 th and 17 thcenturies and the Church of today? The lust, narcissism, pride, and abuse of power are pretty much the same. The difference we see now lies in the nature of the lust. We are forced today to face the tragic revelation of scores of accusations of predominately homosexual behavior and abuse.

The Pennsylvania grand jury has not euphemized the quasi-pornographic details of the acts committed by the clergy; and these bring us all to tears of repentance and to prayer, which is not a bad place to be in the darkness of grave evil.

As your bishop, I share your pain. Please know, too, that through our Youth Protection Program, background checks, and lay-member Diocesan Review Board, we have been vigilant in our efforts to protect our children.

We are indeed blessed with so many faithful and dedicated priests who share the same outrage and are suffering greatly by these revelations. Some have even been unjustly attacked while wearing their clerical collars in public places. We have all endured more than enough of this evil, and it is time we join forces against it. We are stronger together than we could ever be apart.

Allow me momentarily to return to the quote from St. Francis de Sales:

“While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal — who allow scandals to destroy their faith — are guilty of spiritual suicide.”

This is where we all have our part in the solution. We cannot allow these scandals to destroy our faith. We, as a diocese, cannot be guilty of spiritual suicide any more than I and my brother priests can be guilty of spiritual murder. We all must turn to the Bread of Life for our sustenance. Only by turning to prayer and penance, and by living a life of sacrificial virtue, steeped in the Sacraments of the Church, does any one of us stand a chance against the great evils of our time. Please consider giving at least an hour a week of Eucharistic Adoration, or more, to pray for our Church and its clergy.

On a practical note, you have received a Pastoral Letter from me entitled “Called, Formed, Sent: Missionary Discipleship and its Consequences for Ministry in the Diocese of Birmingham.”

As you know, next year we will celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama with a Eucharistic Congress.

This Eucharistic Congress, on June 28 th and 29 th of 2019, will take place at the end of ten months of preparation, based on reflections using this Pastoral Letter as a guide-book for all in our diocese. What we are looking toward is renewal and conversion, a deeper understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a missionary, what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be committed to Jesus Christ, centering our lives totally around him, what it means to fix our eyes only on the Lord Jesus Christ–because taking our eyes off Jesus leads to selfishness, sin, and scandal.

There is so much good in the people I encounter daily in our diocese, and in all its manifold ministries and apostolates. And yet there is so much in need of reform and renewal. All the apostolates and ministries are open to the review and scrutiny of everyone in the diocese, especially in our efforts to protect our children and youth.

With the help of our Pastoral Letter, “Called, Formed, Sent: Missionary Discipleship and its Consequences for Ministry in the Diocese of Birmingham,” released officially on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15 th , I invite everyone to review carefully our diocesan efforts for child and youth protection and all our apostolates and ministries through the lens of “missionary discipleship” to determine how and whether all we do as a diocesan Church conforms to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ.

Further, I invite you to invoke with me the intercession of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Mother, and Patron of the Universal Church, in this Diocesan “Year of St. Joseph,” for his guidance, protection, and pastoral care in all we do in preparation for the celebration of the 50 th anniversary of our diocese on June 28, 2019.

Praying for our hearts and minds to be centered around our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, during this time of reflection and conversion, I am

Respectfully yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, S.T.D

Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama

12

PopeWatch: Letter

In response to the Grand Jury report on sex abuse in six dioceses in Pennsylvania, the Pope has issued the following letter:

 

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). These words of St. Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons: crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.

1. If one member suffers …

In recent days, a report was made public that detailed the experiences of at least 1,000 survivors, victims of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately 70 years. Even though it can be said that most of these cases belong to the past, nonetheless, as time goes on, we have come to know the pain of many of the victims. We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death; these wounds never go away. The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it, by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands. Mary’s song is not mistaken and continues quietly to echo throughout history. For the Lord remembers the promise he made to our fathers: “He has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:51-53). We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite.

With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them. I make my own the words of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: “How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ’s betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us! (Matthew 8:25)” (Ninth Station).

2. … all suffer together with it

The extent and the gravity of all that has happened requires coming to grips with this reality in a comprehensive and communal way. While it is important and necessary on every journey of conversion to acknowledge the truth of what has happened, in itself this is not enough. Today we are challenged as the People of God to take on the pain of our brothers and sisters wounded in their flesh and in their spirit. If, in the past, the response was one of omission, today we want solidarity, in the deepest and most challenging sense, to become our way of forging present and future history. And this in an environment where conflicts, tensions and above all the victims of every type of abuse can encounter an outstretched hand to protect them and rescue them from their pain (Evangelii Gaudium, 228). Such solidarity demands that we in turn condemn whatever endangers the integrity of any person: a solidarity that summons us to fight all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption. The latter is “a comfortable and self-satisfied form of blindness. Everything then appears acceptable: deception, slander, egotism and other subtle forms of self-centeredness, for ‘even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 11:14)” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 165). St. Paul’s exhortation to suffer with those who suffer is the best antidote against all our attempts to repeat the words of Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9).

I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable. We have delayed in applying these actions and sanctions that are so necessary, yet I am confident that they will help to guarantee a greater culture of care in the present and future.

Together with those efforts, every one of the baptized should feel involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need. This change calls for a personal and communal conversion that makes us see things as the Lord does. For as St. John Paul II liked to say: “If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he wished to be identified” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49): to see things as the Lord does, to be where the Lord wants us to be, to experience a conversion of heart in his presence. To do so, prayer and penance will help. I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting, following the Lord’s command.1 This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says “never again” to every form of abuse.

It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God’s People. Indeed, whenever we have tried to replace, or silence, or ignore, or reduce the People of God to small elites, we end up creating communities, projects, theological approaches, spiritualities and structures without roots, without memory, without faces, without bodies and ultimately, without lives. 2 This is clearly seen in a peculiar way of understanding the Church’s authority, one common in many communities where sexual abuse and the abuse of power and conscience have occurred. Such is the case with clericalism, an approach that “not only nullifies the character of Christians, but also tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of our people”.Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by laypersons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today. To say “No” to abuse is to say an emphatic “No” to all forms of clericalism.

It is always helpful to remember that “in salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in the human community. God wanted to enter into the life and history of a people” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 6). Consequently, the only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within. Without the active participation of all the Church’s members, everything being done to uproot the culture of abuse in our communities will not be successful in generating the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change. The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God’s People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion. In this way, we will come up with actions that can generate resources attuned to the Gospel. For “whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 11).

It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.

Likewise, penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people’s sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils. May fasting and prayer open our ears to the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled: a fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary; a fasting that shakes us up and leads us to be committed in truth and charity with all men and women of goodwill, and with society in general, to combating all forms of the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.

In this way, we can show clearly our calling to be “a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race” (Lumen Gentium, 1).

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it,” said St. Paul. By an attitude of prayer and penance, we will become attuned as individuals and as a community to this exhortation, so that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation. Mary chose to stand at the foot of her Son’s cross. She did so unhesitatingly, standing firmly by Jesus’ side. In this way, she reveals the way she lived her entire life. When we experience the desolation caused by these ecclesial wounds, we will do well, with Mary, “to insist more upon prayer,” seeking to grow all the more in love and fidelity to the Church (St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 319). She, the first of the disciples, teaches all of us as disciples how we are to halt before the sufferings of the innocent, without excuses or cowardice. To look to Mary is to discover the model of a true follower of Christ.

May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.

Vatican City, Aug. 20, 2018

FRANCIS

What was not mentioned in the letter:

  1. The word Homosexual fails to appear.
  2. The word Bishop fails to appear.
  3. The word cover-up fails to appear.
  4. There is no acknowledgment that he has been Pope for five years and has done next to bupkis on the issue.
  5. No explanation is given of the Father Mauro Inzoli affair.  Go here to read about it.
  6. No explanation of what is going to be done as to the homosexual ring in the seminary in Honduras.  Go here to read about it.
  7. The letter is long on emoting and short on any concrete plans to end the abuse and the bishops who sheltered, and, in some cases, promoted it.
  8. Of course no mention was made of the Lavender Mafia.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the Pope’s letter is sincere.  How can the Pope cure a problem he clearly does not understand?

3

PopeWatch: Political Beatification

One has to wonder just what remains sacred under the current pontificate.  From Rorate Caeli:

 

There were many radical bishops in the wild years following the Second Vatican Council. But Enrique Angelelli, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina, was probably the most radical. He was a Communist in all but name and stridently supported the terrorist organization “Montoneros”, the leftist terrorist branch of the Peronist movement. It can be undoubtedly said that the horrid military dictatorship that governed Argentina from 1976 until the Falklands War was brought about as a brutal overreaction to the terrorist attacks coordinated by Montoneros in favor of a Socialist-Peronist revolution.
Angelelli was so leftist, so radically leftist and so political, that the shocked practicing faithful of his own diocese used to call him in life “Satanelli”. He died in a car accident in 1976. Yet Francis has decided to beatify Satanelli as a “martyr”! (It is all very ironic because, even though it is claimed, now, that Fr. Bergoglio opposed the dictatorship, at the time he was considered an ally of the military, and even close to the most brutal of the Junta’s members, Admiral Emilio Massera.)
La Nación, the oldest and most respected daily in Argentina (the only major newspaper that supported the pro-life position in their recent victory against abortion in the national Senate), ran the following editorial on this startling piece of news. La Nación is also, by the way, an ally of Francis, and its Rome correspondent, Elisabetta Piqué, is the journalist who is probably closest to Francis — so this is obviously not moved by any animus against the Bishop of Rome.
***

LA NACIÓN – EDITORIAL

A Political-Ideological Beatification 

Bishop Angelelli does not, in any way, represent the model of Christian exemplariness that the Church demands to start a canonization procedure

July 30, 2018

Angelelli next to a symbol of violence
On August 4, 1976, Bishop Enrique Angelelli died, after the rollover of the vehicle in which he was travelling in National Route 38, in La Rioja, along with Father Arturo Pinto, who survived. In the report made immediately after, following comprehensive search for evidence — autopsy, accident expert summary, photos of the place of the accident, and the testimony of Pinto, who alleged memory loss and being in a state of shock — the procedure was archived under the name “Angelelli, bishop Enrique A. rep./death.”
However, many years later, friar Antonio Puigjané, a guerrilla who took part in the attack of the La Tablada military base, raising arms against the constitutional [democratically elected] government of Raúl Alfonsín, made a complaint in [the province of] Neuquén in which he put forward the theory that Angelelli had been assassinated. In an opposing view, the daily La Prensa published a statement by bishop Bernardo Witte, of La Rioja, who affirmed: “We were surprised that the mysterious death of bishop Angelelli was characterized as an assassination with no sufficient evidence.”
Go here to read the rest.  The constant cow-towing that the Pope does to the political left directly springs from the divisions in the seventies between Marxists and Catholics within the Catholic Church in Argentina.  Go here to read about this division and about a true Catholic martyr who the Pope would sooner eat ground glass than see beatified.  PopeWatch suspects that in some bizarre manner the Pope is attempting to make reparation for the equivocal straddling act he performed during those times four decades ago.  God save us from popes with “issues” who decide to use the Papacy as a form of self therapy.
15

PopeWatch: Eyeballing

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

 

[ACMPress] – DUBUQUE – Several members of Our Lady of Safe Spaces complained to their pastor after the 10:45 AM Sunday Mass, that a man attempted eye contact during the Kiss of Peace, ACMPress has learned.

“It was extremely uncomfortable,” one woman said, wishing to remain anonymous. “I was averting my gaze while weakly grasping the man’s hand, and as I muttered ‘Peace be with you’, I could just tell he was trying to make eye contact.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch attempted to contact the Vatican for comment, but was advised that “No Comment” is the comment of the Vatican for the foreseeable future on most issues.

24

PopeWatch: This Will Fix It

The bishops are coming up with yet another Rube Goldberg plan, according to Cardinal Dinardo, the President of the USCCB:

 

The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity.

We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican. We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting. In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them.

The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified.

The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future. We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act.

The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier. Our 2002 “Statement of Episcopal Commitment” does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops. We need to update this document. We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms. Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options.

The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops. For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process.

We will pursue these goals according to three criteria.

The first criterion is genuine independence. Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop. Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution.

The second criterion relates to authority in the Church. Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power.

Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity. Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence.

Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do. Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership. The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone. This is a moral catastrophe. It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure.

Go here to read the rest.  Color PopeWatch very skeptical of this forthcoming dog and pony show, unless it ultimately has this provision:

 

All allegations alleging criminal conduct will immediately be turned over to local law enforcement. 

 

Isn’t it appalling that we have to look to Caesar to make certain our clergy will not engage in conduct that would horrify the most hardened sinners?