PopeWatch: Inaugural Address

Friday, January 20, AD 2017


Imagine if Pope Francis had given an honest inaugural address back in 2013:

I would like to thank the conclave for my election.  In my pontificate I will emphasize mercy for all, especially for non-Catholics, although selfabsorbed promethean neopelagian had better start running.  I am mildly proud of how humble I am and extreme humility will be a hallmark of my reign.  In regard to Global Warming I intend to fight it with as much energy as I will fight most signs of traditional Catholicism.

In regard to economic matters I despise markets and look with favor at government regulation and control.

As for international peace, it will never come until every last arms merchants is bankrupt.

I believe it is time for the Church to rethink the blanket ban on Communion for Catholics in adulterous marriage.

Europe would greatly benefit from a huge influx of Muslim immigrants.

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: Inaugural Address

  • It is essential that communist Cuba be rewarded with full recognition by the USA, as long as they promise not to change their present bad behavior.

  • Also, he might have said, and by the way I am abolishing orthodox Catholic doctrine as it’s not merciful, insensitive to folks who do not wish to repent of their sins, and completely at odds with my desire to finish Protestantizing the Catholic Church.

PopeWatch: Luther Stamp

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

Martin Luther

PopeWatch pities satirists trying to keep up with this Vatican:

The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday to LifeSiteNews that Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals.

The Vatican regularly issues such memorabilia for special events, including papal trips and holy years. Honoring Luther and the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice, trumping other significant events in the Catholic Church such as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil.

Major events such as Christmas, Easter, the Holy Year of Mercy, and the World Meeting of Families have also merited a commemorative stamp. In the time before a Papal election, when the seat of Peter is vacant, the Philatelic and Numismatic office issues a “Sede Vacante” stamp.

Usually if individuals are commemorated on stamps they are saints, such as Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II, and Pope John XXIII, who most recently were honored with stamps.

While the Vatican has in the past collaborated with other national post offices to create stamps that are not of explicitly religious content, such as Charlie Chaplain or the fall of the Berlin wall, the Luther stamp has an undeniable religious connotation linked with much hostility to the Catholic Church.

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18 Responses to PopeWatch: Luther Stamp

PopeWatch: Blind Man

Wednesday, January 18, AD 2017



Sandro Magister brings us an english translation of Cardinal Caffarra’s explanation as to why the Four Cardinals wrote to the PopeL



We cardinals have the grave duty of advising the pope in the governance of the Church. It is a duty, and duties are obligatory.


Only a blind man could deny that in the Church there is great confusion, uncertainty, insecurity caused by some paragraphs of “Amoris Laetitia.” In recent months it has been happening that on the same fundamental questions concerning the sacramental economy – marriage, confession, and Eucharist – and Christian life, some bishops have said A, and others have said the opposite of A. With the intention of giving a good interpretation of the same texts.


There is only one way to get to the bottom of this: to ask the author of the text that has been interpreted in two contradictory ways what is the correct interpretation. There is no other way. Next came the problem of the way in which to approach the pope. We chose a way that is very traditional in the Church, what are called “dubia.” […] This was done in a private manner, and only when we were certain that the Holy Father would not respond did we decide to publish.


The problem is precisely this: that on fundamental points there is not a good understanding of what the pope is teaching, as demonstrated by the conflict of interpretations among bishops. We want to be docile to the pope’s magisterium, but the pope’s magisterium must be clear.


The division already existing in the Church is the cause of the letter [of the four cardinals to the pope – editor’s note], not its effect.


To conceive a pastoral practice not founded and rooted in doctrine means founding and rooting pastoral practice on inclination. A Church that pays little attention to doctrine is not a more pastoral Church, but a more ignorant Church.


The evolution of doctrine has always accompanied Christian thought. [But} if there is one clear point, it is that there is no evolution where there is contradiction. If I say that S is P and then I say that S is not P, the second proposition does not develop the first, but contradicts it. Already Aristotle had correctly taught that enunciating a universal affirmative principle (for example: all adultery is wrong) and at the same time a particular negative proposition having the same subject and predicate (for example: some adultery is not wrong), this is not making an exception to the former. It is contradicting it.


Can the minister of the Eucharist (usually the priest) give the Eucharist to a person who lives “more uxorio” with a woman or a man who is not the wife or husband, and does not intend to live in continence? […] Has “Amoris Laetitia” taught that, given certain specific circumstances and after going through a certain process, the faithful could receive the Eucharist without resolving to live in continence? There are bishops who have taught that this is possible. By a simple deduction of logic, one must therefore also teach that adultery is not evil in itself and of itself.


Conscience is the place where we come up against the central pillar of modernity. […] One who saw this in the most lucid manner imaginable was Blessed John Henry Newman. In the famous letter to the duke of Norfolk, he says: “All through my day there has been a resolute warfare, I had almost said conspiracy against the rights of conscience.” Further ahead he adds that in the name of conscience, true conscience is destroyed.

This is why among the five “dubia” doubt number five [the one on conscience – editor’s note] is the most important. There is a passage in “Amoris Laetitia,” at no. 303, that is not clear; it seems – I repeat: it seems – to admit the possibility that there may be a true judgment of conscience (not invincibly erroneous; this has always been admitted by the Church) in contradiction with that which the Church teaches as having to do with the deposit of divine Revelation. It seems. And that is why we raised the doubt with the pope.

Newman says that “did the Pope speak against Conscience in the true sense of the word, he would commit a suicidal act. He would be cutting the ground from under his feet.” These are matters of breathtaking gravity. Private judgment would be raised up as the ultimate criterion of moral truth. Never say to a person: “Always follow your conscience,” without always and immediately adding: “Love and seek the truth about the good.” You would be putting into his hands the weapon most destructive of his humanity.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)


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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Blind Man

28 Responses to PopeWatch: Baffling

  • Riddle me this, riddle me that.
    It sounds like an anti Trump tweet.

  • The tweet should read:
    “There can never be true peace until Jesus Christ returns at the Parousia.”
    Jorge Bergoglio like all liberal progressives believe that if man does just the right thing – the liberal progressive thing – then man can create peace on earth and a truly human paradise, and all that flies straight in the face of the teaching of Sacred Scripture and 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Man cannot ever create peace on earth nor a human paradise. Cannot be done. Will not be done.

  • Lol….two things: most of the globe is unbaptised and in original sin except in those cases wherein God has cleansed some furtively; Christ said most human beings are on the broad road to destruction. If the Pope would tour the prisons of the largest Catholic population, Brazil, where there have just been inmate wars resulting in deaths and decapitations in several prisons, he would stop his Kahlil Gibran impressions.

  • I’ve avoided Twitter of which another blogger dubbed communication smut, but I read some of his past Tweets and while many were rather saccharine, in one he did invoke Mary’s protection which I found encouraging as it seems these days invoking the saints by Catholics is ecumenically incorrect.

    But otherwise it just drives home for me the idea that modern language isn’t even fossil poetry, it’s fossil ideology and I understand why Tolkien said in 1943 that when liberalism eventually swallowed the whole world he would refuse to speak anything but Old Mercian.

  • I cannot imagine he writes his tweets. If he does, I take it he’s given to solitary tippling in the evening. Likely some nice old wine in the Vatican cellars.

  • A meaningless statement. He was probably thinking in terms of companies that sell guns. Most of the people who read it are going to think about progressive gender theory. Leo the Great would have sounded dumb on Twitter, because it’s not a good forum for communication, but this pope is no Leo the Great.

  • And Don, I like the new look of the site, but there are two annoying “features”. The window for typing up comments is one and a half lines tall, and after you submit a comment you don’t get a whole refreshed thread, just the one comment.

  • ” He was probably thinking in terms of companies that sell guns. Most of the people who read it are going to think about progressive gender theory.”
    That’s the way I took it-gender theory.

  • “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal identity.”
    Every sovereign person made in the image of God in free will and intellect may not be, cannot be violated. If and when an individual violates himself as in addiction to sodomy or sex change, that individual loses his sovereignty over himself and even his citizenship. Sovereign personhood institutes the sovereign state. If one sovereign person is violated, the sovereign state suffers. The malefactor must be brought to Justice and Truth.

  • Brevity is the soul of witlessness. Else, his true religion is secular liberalism not Roman Catholicism.

  • “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her identity.” PF

    I beg your pardon.

    There can never be true peace until the individual finds himself or herself in the likeness of God. This comes in the form of loosing oneself for the betterment of another. When the selfless act of placing yourself last in an effort to supporting another becomes natural then the identity of self becomes apparent. Then the violation of identity isn’t a perversion of self induced glorification based upon “feelings” but the true formation of identity is grounded in the knowledge of love of others which begets love of God, and in that truth one is identified as being a child of God. That is not a violation, but a freedom which indeed is far above transgender identity, lifestyle choice or other perversions which are adopted today as being merciful, ” true to what and who you are.”

    That the idea of “I’m okay..Your okay,” ..is a falsehood. Consultation with Christian based professional application is valuable because it deals with body, mind and soul..since the soul continues on for eternity.

    Western consultation is worthless.

  • I do not know what to make of the Holy Father’s remark, but “Personal identity” normally refers to a problem that has bedevilled philosophy, ever since Descartes’s famous “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)

    Locke put his finger on the problem: might not the thinking substance which thought the thought “I did it” be a different thinking substance from the one that could have had the thought: “I am doing it” when the act was done? In the jargon, this is called the “re-identification problem.”

    Hume asks us to consider what impression gives us our concept of self. However closely we examine our own experiences, we never observe anything beyond a series of transient feelings, sensations, and impressions. We can never be directly aware of ourselves, only of what we are experiencing at any given moment. He concluded that the self is just a bundle of perceptions, like links in a chain. To look for a unifying self beyond those perceptions is like looking for a chain apart from the links that constitute it. To ask what “I” denotes in “! Am thinking this thought” is like asking what “It” denotes in “It is raining.”

    There is another problem: how to connect this Cartesian Ego with its (?) body. As Miss Anscombe put it.” If you are a speaker who says “I,” you do not find out what is saying “I.” You do not for example look to see what apparatus the noise comes out of and assume that that is the sayer; or frame the hypothesis of something connected with it that is the sayer. If that were in question, you could doubt whether anything was saying “I.” As, indeed, you can doubt whether anything is saying it out loud. (And sometimes that doubt is correct.)”

    There is a solution, of course. A “person” is a living, human body (“The person over there,” “Offences against the Person”) that has reflexive (non-observational) awareness of its thoughts, sensations, posture, intentions and so on. No question of re-identification or of the connection between a reified “mind” and this body can arise. Talk of “selves” is simply a misconstrual of the reflexive pronoun.

  • Personal identity? Obviously this, at least to me, comes directly from the bible of Political correctness. It sounds like something Obama would say. What the Pope is talking about are homosexuals, transgenders, bisexuals and other perverts. This is another example of Pope Francis penchant for perversion of the truth.

    He should have said we are all children of God and should treat others accordingly.

  • To put oneself in the hands of God, body and soul, is an act of the free will and answers the question: “Who am I”

  • “I will, therefore, I am.”


    Excellent Mary.

  • I believe it goes back to the first battle, with Lucifer and St. Michael. I will not serve. Also,
    The very first deception…”Then your eyes will be open..” ..Adam and Eve.

    The, I Am the Immaculate Conception, is a brilliant testimony of the identity that is worthy of seeking and once found, replicating the virtues as best as one can.
    The transformation of virtues for vices is the unseen works of God and when completed, resembles the identity of the whole person as created by the Creator in the beginning. Impossible?
    An ongoing process?

    The perfection of identity is found in Saints.

    So many great examples to choose from.

    This, I believe, is true identity transformation.

    Worthy to be taught from the Church Militant…Not adopting cultural disordered behavior as being an example of identity.

  • I once sat on the parking lot of a troublesome Bar, in my Police Cruiser, and watched a drunk make repeated attempts to put his key in his car’s door. Suddenly, he saw me, waddled up to my window, and shouted, “Don’t just sit there ! Help me get in my car”! Timothy R.

  • He meant: “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal safe space.”

  • Addendum : I am assuming that it all had a happy ending. I had always heard that the breakfasts were delicious up in the Jail. I called it…”Drunk & Donuts”.

  • One “quarter song” coming up : The Pope is trying to share with us Kurt Lewin’s Field Theory. Lewin was a Psychological Theorist who dwelled on what he termed “Life Space”. He taught that the field of Psychology had become too STATIC, or too Aristotleian. He wanted to see a shift toward the field being more Galileian, with the focus more dynamic. There is a commercial on TV, advertising chewing gum, of all things, that has plagiarized not only the concept of “Life Space” from my old textbook ( 1981 ), but also stolen the picture of two people facing each other, with the “circle” of Life Space between them. That is all Frances is trying to show us. Timothy R.

  • Ps. I hold a Master of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Evansville, 1985. Timothy R.

  • Timothy, happily knowing your decidedly Catholic bias, I daresay you would today be unable to obtain a degree in psychology. You would tell the trruth in class and answer with the truth on your exams, and for that reason alone be denied a passing grade. In my book that makes you not a failure but heroic.

  • A short translation, if I may : The Pope wants us to quit being so standoffish with each other. “Body language is often more revealing than words and we humans are capable of much more. Don’t “stand your ground”, interface. If I had a flag, I’de wave it and shout, “Go team!” Team Human ! Timothy R.

  • Thanks for the cue, LQC; I am taking what you said seriously. Unfortunately, you are probably correct. TR.

  • Timothy Reed wrote, “Body language is often more revealing than words…”

    It is indeed. Wittgenstein asks, “Suppose you came as an explorer into an unknown country with a language quite strange to you. In what circumstances would you say that the people there gave orders, understood them, obeyed them, rebelled against them, and so on?”

    We can learn a great deal about people, simply by watching them.

  • During my lengthy career as a Police Officer, Mike, I would estimate that, at least 80% of the criminals I identified, and later arrested thru followup, I had gotten onto thru simple observation of Body Language.
    Ninety nine percent of whom were convinced that somebody had “squealed” on them, because they were convinced that “no Cop could be smart enough to figure it out.” I loved the look on peoples’ face when I would tell them, “Bigotry can be a good thing”. I loved being taken for “stupid”. I should have gotten an Oscar ! Timothy R.

  • They love me ! Really love me ! Or not. TR

PopeWatch: Beyond Parody

Monday, January 16, AD 2017



PopeWatch does wonder at times if this pontificate is a divine practical joke:


Life and family experts are calling it “scandalous,” “shocking,” “confusing,” and “perplexing” that the Vatican would invite Dr. Paul Ehrlich, the undisputed father of the modern, pro-abortion population control movement, to present a paper at an upcoming Vatican-run conference.

“The fact that Paul Ehrlich is advertised as a speaker at the Vatican’s ‘Biological Extinction’ conference is scandalous,” Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family, told LifeSiteNews.

“Through its choice of speakers, the Pontifical Academies running the event are giving an unmistakable message of sympathy for the radical environmental agenda, despite it going hand in hand with abortion, birth control, and a total lack of compassion for the real poor in today’s world, the unborn children,” she said.

Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world,” a story LifeSiteNews broke earlier this week. 

The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well as mass forced sterilization as legitimate methods to curb population growth. It is impossible to calculate the possible millions of deaths globally the man and his population control ideas might indirectly be responsible for over the past five decades — ideas that are forcefully employed in countries such as China, India, Kenya, and many others.

Ehrlich called for “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion” in his 1977 book Ecoscience, as a way to fight population growth.

He once said that allowing women to have as many children as they desired was like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

The conference, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences (PAS) and Social Sciences (PASS), will address what Vatican organizers call an unsustainable “imbalance” between the world’s population and what the earth is capable of producing.

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25 Responses to PopeWatch: Beyond Parody

  • It’s not the smoke of Satan that has wafted into the Vatican, it’s the entire inferno, flames and stench.

    Satan’s handiwork via Obama:

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  • ……And to compare garbage / children…

    When I read this bit about PF wanting Card. Burke to clean up Malta, I thought it amusing….Since I have a gut feeling the head Mason is sitting in the Chair of Peter.
    If this guest speaker is indeed allowed to speak ……Well….Actions speak louder than words.

    To Card. Burke…Go get ’em ALL!
    Start in Rome.

  • Christ didn’t invite Satan to speak at the Sermon on the Mount, for good reason. Neither should Christ’s Church contaminate the truth by inviting the thoughts of the enemy of truth.

  • “He once said that allowing women to have as many children as they desired was like letting people ‘throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.'”
    Maybe Ehrlich should take that statement to heart and abort himself post birth as the garbage that he says new human beings are. I truly despise liberalism from the depths of my being.

  • There’s nothing the man’s ever said of note to general audiences that wasn’t subsequently discredited or a manifest scam to begin with. Just read the disaster scenarios in The Population Bomb or recall that Julian Simon pwnd him quite thoroughly over mineral prices. (Simon let him pick the resource prices in question). As late as about 1993, he was offering cock-and-bull figures for the quantum of net primary productivity being consumed by humans. He’s a con man. This is item #637 in the file marked “Francis is mediocre and surrounds himself with mediocrities who do not challenge or embarrass him”

  • Francis is not Catholic. Yet more proof. By there fruit you will know them.

  • There is something else I would like to say about the non-existent Population Explosion, and I have said it before. With safe, clean, low-cost energy we can produce all the food and other essentials of human prosperity that we need. It is all a matter of energy supply. And God has endowed Earth’s crust with enough uranium and thorium to do exactly that with fast breeder reactors. With that energy we can:
    (1) Produce hydrogen fuel from water via thermo-catalytic splitting and liquid hydrocarbon fuel from coal via the Fischer Tropsch process
    (2) Desalinate sea water into fresh water to make the deserts bloom (the UAE is building four APR1400 gigantic reactors on the Persian Gulf to help do exactly that – I was offered a job to work there)
    (3) Produce fertilizer from organic waste
    (4) Etc.
    We do NOT have a population problem.
    We do NOT have an energy problem.
    We have a problem of SIN – greed, lust for power, pride, envy – those are our problems. We got enough of everything because God endowed this planet with all we need. And there’s the entire solar system out there – all reachable via NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) propulsion that we actually built and tested in the 1960s! We can get helium-3 from the moon for fusion reactors. We can mine the asteroids for metals. There’s no resource problem. And there is no need to keep major sections of the world’s population in abject misery and poverty. But first we got to fix our insides before we can fix our outsides. And that is what Pope Francis does NOT preach: repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

  • If the pontiff were a mediocrity, that would be a vast improvement.

  • It’s possible we do have a population problem– there’s a consistent pattern of the populations being much, much smaller than reported. Possibly because all the encouragements for estimating push in the same direction, towards a higher estimate. Be it foreign aid, or surveys where you ask traditional culture men on the street how many children they have, publicly questioning their masculinity….
    In general, I want these guys to talk. Ehrlich is a hack, and if his claims were more publicly known he’d be a laughing stock.
    I don’t think a Vatican conference is going to do much for allowing public confrontation of claims, though….

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  • We can mine the asteroids for metals.

    The brother of my Father-in-law drives a truck in Maine with a bumper sticker that reads:

    Earth First. We can mine the other planets later

    As for Franciscus, ABS has a desire to pay him no mind but

    He is laying waste to the Faith
    Trying to turn trads into wraiths

    One prays he is insane so his culpability is diminished

  • Again and again, P. Francis is almost exactly modeling the coping behavior and steadily growing, erratic thought processes of a man I once worked with, he being in a key position of a Catholic institution —and one who desperately hid for years his slow-growing, inoperable brain cancer—he wouldn’t relinquish his position.

    I have mentioned before the article in the Italian news journal Quotidiana from October,2015, that chronicled significant details regarding a world-renowned brain cancer expert from Duke University and U.of Pisa medical faculties, who met with and assessed Bergoglio at that time. The dark spot found on his brain was considered “benign” supposedly. To me the meaning is probably that it was likely inoperable, even if it could be accessed.

    Back to the first person in my story: “E” was always very socially adept, power-loving, and quite intellectually high-powered: but gradually we started noting times when his emotions, especially. anger, dripped out, in, at first little snide remarks; then later, increasingly biting and eventually quite offensive and blatantly hostile remarks (people enjoy “eating feces”, a potential example). He began to disappear for days with hushed explanations–have you noticed that seems to be happening with Papa Francis? It turned out “E” was checking himself into a SF peninsula hospital where he was not well-known and could conceal his breakdowns. Still, his thinking, like this man’s, became progressively erratic and his circle of trusted associates, smaller and smaller, also like this man’s, every day nearly, the outbursts more unignorable. Finally, after a series of debacles, he had to be confronted and removed. It was pure hell for everyone. Only then did the true diagnosis become public.

    Yes, I think Bergoglio is a sick man, but like “E”, his fingers are tightly, relentlesdly, wrapped around that orb of power.

  • It is happenings like this–so contrary to natural law–that causes one think of extinction events. The irony of Pope Francis actions are inescapable. Western populations are already in decline as a result of abandoning the teaching of the Catholic Church. These populations are now being overrun by the new barbarians from the East. If anything, a Vatican population conference should try to figure out ways to increase the population which should begin with a return to orthodox Catholicism. What can we conclude? We are witnessing the ‘suicide of the west’ at the hands of the Catholic Church. Our Lady of Fatima, it is time for divine intervention.

  • “One prays he is insane so his culpability is diminished.” Over a year ago, I read of reports that Pope Francis could have a brain tumor/brain cancer. The Vatican denied this, but a Dr. Fukushima, who is a brain cancer specialist apparently stated that a dark spot on the pope’s brain could possibly be treatable. Dr. Fukushima went to the Vatican more than once and met with several cardinals, and his staff is reported to have been instructed to make no comment on the matter. I recall that during Pope Paul VI’s visit to Manila during his pontificate he was attacked by a man wielding a knife or other sharp instrument. The Vatican at the time said that the pope sustained minor injuries. However, after his death, the Vatican said that the injuries Paul VI suffered in that attack were life threatening, and that he was for a time in danger of death. I am hesitant to believe anything that comes from the Vatican, and I will close with a question: If insanity (or illness) would make pope Gallen’sgroup less culpable, what would be his excuse for when he was a priest, a bishop, a cardinal?

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness…THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    If Paul Erhlich exiles himself from American citizenship and sovereign personhood, no one can prevent his defection. but Paul Erhlick is no longer an American citizen as he has declared himself a traitor to our Founding Principles.
    These are our Founding Principles. Live them, breathe them, share them. Criminals, outlaws and traitors be damned.

  • Our Founding Principles are ratified by every state. Paul Erhlich is free to leave and Paul Erhlich is free to get three quarters of the states to ratify his opinion. Paul Erhlich is entitled to his opinion. Paul Erhlich is not entitled to my free speech, nor to my America’s sovereign citizens.
    The Vicar of Christ in the Vatican is entitled to the Truth, the Life and the Way of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis is not entitled to blare our faults in public. Defamation, calumny and detraction are sins.

  • James, you are right about the contact with Dr. Takanori Fukushima, a world-renowned expert in certain rare brain cancers, who was flown in the papal helicopter from his medical facility near the U. of Pisa medical school campus sometime in Sept or October 2015. Quotidiano Nazionale, the news source, reported it here:


    According to the source, “a small dark spot” was detected on one of the brain scans (probably a CAT scan). Several medical staff personnel saw the papal helicopter with the Vatican coat of arms land at the clinic (“Clinica San Rossore di Barbaracina”) helipad.
    My own research at that time turned up that Dr. Fukushima splits time between the Pisa faculty and Duke U. Medical School. A lady named Lori Radcliffe, who is a medical administrator and scheduler for Dr. Fukushima, at the time of the Quotidiano story, issued a denial of his meeting with the pope: however, she is in Raleigh, NC and couldn’t possibly know whom Dr. Fukushima is meeting at the time in Italy, and besides which for her to acknowledge meeting with P Francis, she would be violating HIPAA confidentiality rules, and so she has to deny it. Also, as though on cue, our friend, papal spokesman at the time, Fr. Federico Lombardi issued a parallel denial, “I can confirm that no Japanese doctor came to the Vatican to see the pope and there were no examinations of the type indicated in the article.” However, subsequently other news sources produced photos showing a select papal audience with Dr. Fukushima meeting with P. Francis — so Lori Radcliffe had to issue a correction later, stating the audience was merely personal, Dr. Fukushima (who is not Catholic) somehow just wanting to meet the Pope up close and personal, and somehow angling a select papal audience (sometime in Sept-Oct. 2015). The facts don’t fit together.

    Now, around this time (2015) the pope was seen mysteriously stumbling when ascending steps on at least two different occasions (and photographed, so hard to deny it happened). Balance organs are likely to be affected when one has some kinds of brain cancer, depending on where it were to occur; also if he is receiving radiation therapy. However, if he has been receiving the latter, he would likely be unable to carry on regular daily functions.

    But more to my point, having worked with and virtually lived with a person that was concealing a slow growing brain cancer, one of the anomalies that started to develop with increasing frequency was outbursts of anger exhibited in strange statements and overt language. The person is trying to control his raging emotions, made more difficult by the cancer, and is unable to realize objectively that his behavior is becoming increasingly bizarre. The now famous “eating feces” comment (supposedly aimed at “fake news”) on or about Dec. 7, 2016 is salient. Were it not brain cancer, I would view it as advancing dementia. But there is ample evidence to conclude it was brain cancer.

  • Oh: One other thing: Fr. Lombardi’s statement (““I can confirm that no Japanese doctor came to the Vatican to see the pope and there were no examinations of the type indicated in the article.” ) is a masterpiece in denial. “No Japanese doctor”—does that include a brain cancer expert? “No examinations of the type indicated?” Does that mean we haven’t specifically asked about a specific brain cancer examination of a certain specific type?
    The statement appears to be classic PR disinformation.

  • And another thing: Fr. Lombardi’s denial was that “no Japanese doctor came to the Vatican”. But the Quotidiano article described an examination of a high-level confidential patient at the Clinica at Pisa. Because many VIP movie-star-types and political leaders come to the particular clinic, no one apparently can see them entering and exiting the facility—esp. if they arrive by helicopter. However, the papal coat of arms on a helicopter is a little hard to explain.

  • Let’s just be grateful that he can’t invite the late Josef Mengele. Timothy R.

  • He may be struggling with mental illness, but what about those advisors and cardinals– they don’t all have spots on their brains.

  • Bumper sticker seen in Indianapolis : In large block letters, “QUESTION AUTHORITY”. In much smaller letters underneath : “Just don’t act like you’re questioning authority”. Timothy R.

  • And who will be the person who will destroy other persons to “save the planet”? Paul Erhlich needs to apologize to people for denying to them the existence of their immortal, rational, human soul and for trying to deny to them their FREEDOM.
    Pope Francis needs to explain why he is trying to create an abomination of nations to supplant divine Providence.

  • Years ago, when Al Gore was running for the position of Grand Luna Tick, he told a reporter that all of the animals in cages, around the World, should be set free and replaced with humans. Timothy R.

PopeWatch: Meryl

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017

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


Just moments after being honored at the Golden Globes for her lifetime of work, actress Meryl Streep took the opportunity to make a sustained attack on Cardinal Burke’s dubia.

In her four-minute address while accepting the award, the actress denounced Burke’s traditionalist rhetoric and criticized him for trying to bully the Pope.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” Streep said. “It sank its hooks in my heart. It was that moment when the person who once sat in one of the highest seats in the Vatican questioned Pope Francis. It kind of broke my heart when I read about the dubia and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was real life. This instinct to humiliate and fraternally correct someone who hasn’t the power to answer the questions posed…it filters down into everyone’s spiritual life because it kind of gives permission for other people to dubia the Pope.”

Streep also went on to use her speech to highlight the importance of Catholic culture, pointing out how important it is, especially when it does not “in any way” intrude on the personal lives and choices of others.

“The Church is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, people they call nominals, and if you kick them all out of the communion lines, you’ll have nobody in your churches,” Streep said to huge applause from the room. “When the intellectually powerful use their position to bully others into justifying their actions, we all lose.”

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Meryl

  • At least she didn’t say that half of us like to eat poop, and the other half aren’t really married.

  • This week’s great surprise was Piers Morgan incisively criticizing Streep’s attack on Trump showing that she and the globe audience gave Roman Polanski a standing ovation in ?2003.

  • ps…apparently Trump has repeatedly used this flailing arms motif while attacking a series of non disabled people throughout the years. Go here:

  • bill bannon.

    Good link, and point.

    Meryl and her Ilk lost and her little speech was a pathetic poke at the people’s choice.
    The “people” we’re the Deplorables that Mrs. Klingon so unashamedly blurted out.

    To the Hollywood crowd….Piss off with ya.
    Not very nice, I know, but they are infectious and their disease is killing the soul as well as the body. To hell with them!

  • I was about to cancel my ny times description until I checked their comments and they permit conservative criticism of themselves in the droves in comments. So I joined in and noted…” so Clinton lost because of Russian influence but wait….she also won the popular vote by several million…”

  • subscription not description.

  • We have discovered at least (each day more self-identify) three classes of people equally as out of touch with reality as are actors. They are college/university professors, college/university kids, and inmates of insane asylums

  • Now Trump is horrible for counterpunching John Lewis right before MLK day…lol. Lewis started it right before MLK day. Liberals want sacred cows to be able to hit Trump with no cost….kind of like hitjob welfare.

  • I admire Trumps raw ability to call a spade a spade. And to stand up to the covert bullying of the passive aggressive, lying left. He knows how to shut down his manipulative opposition with great skill. And I think many of his supporters feel personal gratification in the fact he responds with normal human anger; a reaction which most people would have when defending oneself from an attack. More politics should be played out like this. Less staged and managed. Less games….I hate games.

    Your concluding line, Donald McClarey, is brilliant!….”…PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment but was advised that the Pope was still recovering from viewing the film Florence Jenkins”

  • See Jim Carrey”s caricature of the Streep type in the movie “Mask”. “They love me ! Really love me !”
    Timothy R.

  • @David,
    About 100 up votes for you. That was a 10!

  • And besides, when you live in a Virtual World 99% of your life, you get to the point that you can do and say ANYTHING with impunity. Timothy R.

PopeWatch: Boss

Friday, January 13, AD 2017






Damian Thompson at The Spectator notes that many of the clerics working at the Vatican are not friends of Pope Francis;


Again, this is an opponent speaking. There is no evidence that the Pope is mentally ill. However, plenty of Vatican employees will testify to his outbursts of temper, rudeness towards subordinates and vulgar language.

He can also be genial, funny and compassionate. But this side of his personality is increasingly reserved for his inner circle and his allies.

All popes have inner circles, it goes without saying. What distinguishes Francis from his recent predecessors is the nature of the alliances he forms. He is far more brutal in the exercise of his power than, say, Pope John Paul II, who certainly had an authoritarian streak in him.

‘Bergoglio divides the church into those who are with him and those who are against him — and if he thinks you’re in the latter camp then he’ll come after you,’ says a priest who works in the curia.


‘Bergoglio’, note: he doesn’t even call him ‘Francis’. Tellingly, this priest used to be a fervent supporter of some of the Pope’s administrative reforms and he doesn’t look back nostalgically at the reign of Benedict, whom he blames for neglecting his papal duties.

But, like so many Vatican employees, he’s sick of Francis’s habit of telling the entire Roman curia that they are modern-day Pharisees — an analogy that casts the Argentinian pontiff in the role of Jesus.

Clearly Francis believes that relaxing the rules on communion for Catholics in irregular marriages is an act of Christlike compassion. This is also the view of the venerable liberal cardinals who campaigned to elect him. It is often said that he is enacting their agenda — and it’s true that Francis is well disposed to liberal demands for women deacons and married priests.

He is not, however, their instrument. In the words of a Vatican observer who held an important position in Rome for many years, ‘He hasn’t taken on the old progressive mantle so much as created his own personality cult.’ Theological niceties bore him. Personal loyalty obsesses him — ‘and if the cardinal electors had done due diligence they would have discovered that he was an extraordinarily divisive figure among the Argentinian Jesuits’.

It’s not hard to detect a Latin American flavour to the deal-making and settling of scores that has become blatant over the past year. Most Catholic bishops had thought Francis was a plain-spoken and perhaps touchingly naive reformer. Instead, they are confronted by a pope who is simultaneously combative, charming, bad-tempered, idealistic and vengeful.

Does that remind you of anyone? The Trump-Francis analogy has been doing the rounds in Rome for months, and not just among the Pope’s opponents.

‘It’s not meant entirely seriously,’ says a well-placed source. ‘No one is suggesting that Jorge Bergoglio is tempted by the same sins of the flesh as Donald Trump.

‘And there’s another difference. The Americans can kick out their old rogue after four years. Francis doesn’t have to stand for re-election by the conclave. Which, believe me, is lucky for him, because after the misery and nonsense of the past couple of years he’d be eliminated in the first ballot.’

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13 Responses to PopeWatch: Boss

  • “[P]lenty of Vatican employees will testify to his outbursts of temper, rudeness towards subordinates and vulgar language.”
    Am I wrong in my observation that the above describes liberals fairly well in general? I do have one liberal friend who is not like that, though she is a bit feisty and combatative. My other liberal friend used to shock me with his two sided personality-genial one minute, vulgar name-caller the next. The latter is what I seem to see in and on the news.

  • Reading this and reading the previous article by Fr. Schall (and all the other good thinkers who share) just makes me want to kneel with Jesus on this sharp rocky ground of the present as I pray the Rosary…The Agony in the Garden…

  • There’s nothing wrong with authoritarian administrators and they are generally free of certain shortcomings (such as a tendency to make the convenience or sensibilities of employees the priority in running an office, rather then getting the work done). The description of Francis sounds like incompetent administrators I’ve worked for. Outbursts of temper, disciplinary letters and evaluations which are nonsensical, pointless meetings.

  • Playing favorites with your subordinates. And listening to only a selected few. The whole nine yards….

  • he’d be eliminated in the first ballot.

    I would certainly like to believe that.

  • “Clearly Francis believes that relaxing the rules on communion for Catholics in irregular marriages is an act of Christlike compassion. This is also the view of the venerable liberal cardinals who campaigned to elect him. It is often said that he is enacting their agenda — and it’s true that Francis is well disposed to liberal demands for women deacons and married priests”
    Francis is trying to loosen on earth what is bound in heaven. Something even God will not do as God does not contradict Himself. It must be very frustrating and disconcerting to be trying to do the impossible. Only death can undo a Sacramental marriage on earth. All persons called to Holy Orders must have vocations to the priesthood. Married priests cannot be ordained as bishops and women deacons cannot be raised to Holy Orders. Without a vocation an individual pursuing priesthood may be in danger of losing his soul.

  • The Bible talks a lot about the fear of God. One phrase that occurs several times in the Bible is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”

    My conclusion after observing leaders in both the civil government and in the Church’s government is that leaders can be put into two approximate categories:
    (1) Those who truly fear the LORD God Almighty, and
    (2) Those who do not truly fear the LORD God Almighty.

    For those who fear the LORD there are certain lines that they just will NOT cross, even they are confident that no human power will punish them for crossing the line, and even if crossing the line will serve as a means to the accomplishment of something truly great for themselves and some others.

    By contrast, those who do not really fear the LORD (even if they make a pretense of it), they will cross any and all lines, being constrained only by what human powers might be able to punish them for. These no-fear-of-the-LORD people are motivated only by having their personal greatness proven and acclaimed in the world over and over again.

  • His Holiness seems to have picked up some nasty Perronist tendencies.

  • His Holiness seems to have picked up some nasty Perronist tendencies.

    My erstwhile department manager was a Personist?

  • Actually the politician it sounds most like isn’t Donald J. Trump as much as Hilary Rodham Clinton.

    And his other verbal issues suggest he is taking psychiatric medicines. Specifically, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs don’t improve your overall mood as much as they increase your impulsivity.

  • I think we can all agree that His Holiness demonstrates a strange form of holiness with his outbursts, personal vendettas, and foul language. It will be interesting to see how, when the time comes, his sainthood will be rationalized.

    There must be some purpose to all of this but only God knows what it is.

  • DJH-
    it describes most people when something that is obviously true is challenged by someone who should obviously realize how true it is, especially if they go about arguing for something totally off the wall wrong.
    Heck, even Jesus did it with the money changers.
    The big problem being when something is not only not obviously right, but possibly even totally wrong….. (which is why it sounds so much like liberals)

  • Sounds a tad schizophrenic to me, or to be more precise, a personality disorder.

PopeWatch: Liturgy

Thursday, January 12, AD 2017



Father Z alerts us that ominous changes are afoot:


From Sandro Magister:

A Firing, a Demolition: Behold the New Curia

The reform of the Vatican curia that Pope Francis is carrying out is being done partly in sunshine and partly in shadow. [Mostly shadow.  There is a lot that doesn’t reach the light.]

Among the provisions recently adopted in shadow, there are two that are emblematic.


The veil was lifted on the first by the vaticanista Marco Tosatti, when on December 26 he broke the news of an order the pope had given to a dicastery [CDF] head to summarily fire three of his officials, an order given without explanations and without accepting objections. [He has the power to do that.]

It is now known that the dicastery in question is not second-tier, it is the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. [CDF] And the three officials fired enjoyed the full approval of their prefect, Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, in his turn made the target of repeated acts of humiliation, in public, on the part of the pope.

But which of the three rejects is the official whom Francis personally – as Tosatti has reported – reprimanded harshly by telephone for having expressed criticisms against him, which had come to the pope’s ear through an informant? [True.  One of them was called personally.]

It is the Dutch priest Christophe J. Kruijen, 46, in service at the congregation for the doctrine of the faith since 2009, a theologian of acknowledged expertise, awarded with the prestigious Prix Henri De Lubac in 2010 by the French embassy to the Holy See, unanimously bestowed upon him by a jury made up of the cardinals Georges Cottier, Albert Vanhoye, and Paul Poupard,…

[… read about him there…]


The second measure taken in shadow concerns the congregation for divine worship, [CDW] the prefect of which is Cardinal Robert Sarah, he too the object of repeated public humiliations on the part of the pope, and now condemned to preside over offices and men who are pulling against him.

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Liturgy

  • One thing s certain; that “smoke of Satan” that Paul VI spoke openly about has burst into flames. the only question left is who’s assisting the arsonists from Hades set fires within God’s Holy Temple? Silence will not solve this problem.

  • “Pontiff’s come and pontiff’s go.” -Card. Sarah ( I believe it is his quote )

    Amen to that!
    Hang on tight and do not abandon the fight.
    Polarization has increased since ’13 when, allegedly, the Holy Spirit seized the day.
    Allegedly because the shape Catholism was and is in Argentina is disappointing.
    Leadership?…Or agendas at foot?

  • Pope Francis gives much space to the fall of Adam but very little space to the God Bearer, The Blessed Virgin Mary who refused to sin, whose will she willed to have perfect conformity to the will of God and who like her Son, Jesus lived and died loving God.

PopeWatch: Knights of Malta

Wednesday, January 11, AD 2017


Troubled times for the Knights of Malta:



Letters seen by English Catholic news weekly The Tablet have revealed that Pope Francis specifically requested the Knights of Malta that no one be dismissed in a dispute that saw its third-in-command, Albrecht von Boeselager, thrown out as Grand Chancellor and then suspended from the Order.  

Boeselager was replaced by Maltese knight John Critien, who now represents the Sovereign Military Order as its foreign and home affairs minister.

Boeselager was sacked on 6 December by the Knights’ Grand Master, Matthew Festing, in the presence of the Order’s patron and prominent conservative critic of Francis, Cardinal Burke.

The reasons for Boeselager’s dismissal primarily date back to when he was Grand Hospitaller from 1989 to 2014 and in charge of Malteser International, the Knights’ large humanitarian aid agency located in 24 countries. During his tenure, the organization is documented to have distributed thousands of condoms and oral contraceptives, mainly but not exclusively to help prevent prostitutes in the Far East and Africa contracting HIV/AIDS.

The allegations were spearheaded by Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute, who presented his findings to Burke in early November.

Boeselager denies the charges.

But now it has emerged that Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote to Festing a few days later, clarifying that the Pope did not want Boeselager sacked.

As a result of the Knights’ decision, the Holy See decided to set up an investigation into the Knights.   

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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Knights of Malta

  • I wonder if the Pope in a fit of revenge will sack Burke from the Cardinalate. After all, Burke has become champion spokesman of the Dubia and has presided over the sacking of the Grand Chancellor, and BOTH issues dealing with orthodoxy in sexual practices: the first in no adultery and the second in no contraceptives. This Pope cannot accept rigid adherence to moral regulation.
    So I want to ask him this: should I as a nuclear energy professional rigidly adhere to nuclear regulation? If yes, then why is nuclear regulation (or medical or fire protection or civil / structural or whatever) any more important to be scrupulously observed that moral regulation? Why not have mercy on poor fallible me?
    You see, folks, where this is going? Why is the body that one day becomes dust MORE important than the soul which lives forever? Jorge Bergoglio cannot think through the logical ramifications of his mercy philosophy.

  • Yep. That 1/10 letter is fierce. The Grand Master of the Knights has just told the commission to stuff it, in no uncertain terms.

    Not surprising that a fellow who gave a thumbs-up to birth control for eugenics purposes is not put out by what Boeselager did.

    We must accompany the poor, vulnerable and exploited with boxes of Trojans.

  • The Order of Malta is a sovereign entity. This is like the Vatican ordering an investigation of Andorra or Liechtenstein or San Marino – or Italy ordering an investigation of the Vatican.

  • Stuff like this wouldn’t happen if the knights were returned to defending Christians from Muslim terrorists.

    I just re-read St. Matthew’s (25: 31 – 40) “final judgment” narrative. It doesn’t see anything about giving condoms to the least of Jesus’ sisters. BTW: earlier St. Matthew (12: 48 – 50) relates how Jesus specifically identifies exactly who are his “brothers.” FYI: they ain’t prostitutes.

  • This could be a bank shot aimed at Cardinal Burke. Who knows? I doubt the Knights will pay the Pope much mind.

  • Despots eventually make themselves irrelevant. Like, Obama.
    Timothy R.

  • “The prime question is not what have you done, but who you know.” Well, Pope Gallengroup sure knew the right people on March 13, 2013.

PopeWatch: Silence

Tuesday, January 10, AD 2017



Sandro Magister sees resonance from the movie Silence in regard to how the powers that be in the Vatican view the proclamation of Christ.



On January 12, movie theaters in Italy and other countries will begin showing the latest film by Martin Scorsese, “Silence,” already screened in Rome a month ago for a select audience largely made up of Jesuits, after the audience that the pope held with the famous director on November 30 (see photo).

The plot of the film is taken from the novel of the same name by the Japanese Catholic writer Shusaku Endo (1923-1996). Set in the 17th century, at the height of the anti-Christian persecutions, its protagonists are two Jesuits who go to Japan in search of one of their confreres, Christovao Ferreira, a former provincial of the Society of Jesus, who is rumored to have apostatized. In effect, this is what had happened. And in the end one of the two, Sebastian Rodrigues, would even go so far as to abjure, with the intention of saving other Christians from an atrocious death.

The “silence” of the title is that of God, in the face of the martyrdom of those first Japanese Christians. And in effect the book, even more so than the film, is a tangle of essential questions on the reasons to hold firm to the faith or not in an era of extreme martyrdom. The Jesuits who abjure do so out of mercy toward those ordinary Christians who for their part are ready to sacrifice their lives out of fidelity to Christ. And as apostates, they are repaid with a role of prestige in the Japanese society of the time, to which they submit. The questions raised are of great density and profundity. And they are brought to light very well in the review of Endo’s novel written by the Jesuit Ferdinando Castelli in 1973, republished in its entirety in the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica.”

It is striking, however, that such questions should remain closed off within the confines of literary criticism, as admirable as this may be. Because little of them appears in the other facets of the big publicity campaign that “La Civiltà Cattolica” orchestrated for the release of the film.

In the second-to-latest issue of the magazine of the Rome Jesuits – which by statute is printed after inspection by the Holy See and has become the mirror of Pope Francis’s thought – editor Fr. Antonio Spadaro published a conversation he had with Martin Scorsese that takes up a good 22 pages, in which however little more than a page is dedicated to “Silence” and the character the director says is the most “fascinating” for him is Kichjjiro, the companion of the two Jesuit protagonists, “constantly weak” and led to betray them, although at the end he is thanked as “teacher” by none other than the Jesuit who abjures:

> “Silence”. Interview with Martin Scorsese

This neglect of the essential questions underlying “Silence” is the subject of this critical commentary from auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron, in a post on the blog “Word on Fire“:

“My worry is that all of the stress on complexity and multivalence and ambiguity is in service of the cultural elite today, which is not that different from the Japanese cultural elite depicted in the film. What I mean is that the secular establishment always prefers Christians who are vacillating, unsure, divided, and altogether eager to privatize their religion. And it is all too willing to dismiss passionately religious people as dangerous, violent, and let’s face it, not that bright. Revisit Ferreira’s speech to Rodrigues about the supposedly simplistic Christianity of the Japanese laity if you doubt me on this score. I wonder whether Shusaku Endo (and perhaps Scorsese) was actually inviting us to look away from the priests and toward that wonderful group of courageous, pious, dedicated, long-suffering lay people who kept the Christian faith alive under the most inhospitable conditions imaginable and who, at the decisive moment, witnessed to Christ with their lives. Whereas the specially trained Ferreira and Rodrigues became paid lackeys of a tyrannical government, those simple folk remained a thorn in the side of the tyranny.

“I know, I know, Scorsese shows the corpse of Rodrigues inside his coffin clutching a small crucifix, which proves, I suppose, that the priest remained in some sense Christian. But again, that’s just the kind of Christianity the regnant culture likes: utterly privatized, hidden away, harmless.  So okay, perhaps a half-cheer for Rodrigues, but a full-throated three cheers for the martyrs, crucified by the seaside.”


But getting back to “La Civiltà Cattolica”,” what is most striking is the modern-day application that it makes of the historical events of  “Silence.”

In the latest issue of the magazine there is an article on what “the mission in secularized Japan” should like be today, in which the author, the Japanese Jesuit Shun’ichi Takayanagi, presents as obligatory “a paradigm shift regarding the concept of mission and the ways of exercising it.”

In the judgment of Fr. Takayanagi, in fact, the type of mission also in use in Japan until a few decades ago, which “aimed at visible and concrete results, meaning a great number of baptized,” today not only “is no longer possible,” but is outdated and to be replaced altogether.

He writes:

“Even if ‘mission’ obtained a great result in Japan in the 16th century, it is no longer possible to attain similar success in contemporary times, characterized by rapid progress of material culture and a high standard of living. Precisely for this reason the antiquated conception of mission, which comes from the Western colonial era of the 19th century and survives in the subconscious of many missionaries, foreign and native, must be replaced with a new conception of the people with whom and for whom one works. The new strategy of the proclamation of the Gospel must become an expression of the need for religion among the men of today. Dialogue must deepen our conception of the other religions and of the common human need for religious values.”

According to “La Civiltà Cattolica,” therefore, the “antiquated” concept of mission, or “making proselytes and procuring converts to the Church,” must be replaced with “dialogue.” All the more so in a country like Japan in which it is normal “to go to a Shinto shrine and take part in Buddhist celebrations, and also participate, on Christmas, in a Christian liturgy,” no longer with the “strange obligation to follow a certain religious creed” and “in a vaguely non-monotheistic cultural atmosphere.”

At the end of his article, Fr. Takayanagi emphasizes that the Japanese, although they are very much open to religious pluralism, “remain shaken by a few brutal episodes that can be traced back to religious roots,” Islamic but not solely.

And he comments:

“Of course, religion can help men to grow and mature, but in extreme cases belonging to a religion can also pervert human nature. Is Christianity capable of preventing fanaticism and this sort of perversion? This is an insistent question for us, which we must pose to ourselves in the exercise of our missionary activity. The history of Christianity, in this regard, is certainly not irreproachable. [. . .] In particular, some Japanese intellectuals, although in a vague and almost unconscious manner, and taking inspiration from the polytheistic Japanese culture, are beginning to wonder if the monotheistic religions, in the final analysis, can show themselves to be truly tolerant toward the members of other religions. [. . .] These intellectuals maintain that the polytheistic cultural terrain of Japanese Shintoism can ensure an accommodating haven for the other religions.”

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11 Responses to PopeWatch: Silence

  • Stay far, far away from most Jesuits. I don’t know what they are, but , most definitely, they are not Catholic.

  • I am not going to bother with this movie. Scorsese is, I believe, an apostate anyway do he has nothing to say worth listening to.
    I would rather watch El Cid.

  • “In particular, some Japanese intellectuals, although in a vague and almost unconscious manner, and taking inspiration from the polytheistic Japanese culture, are beginning to wonder if the monotheistic religions, in the final analysis, can show themselves to be truly tolerant toward the members of other religions. [. . .] ”

    An insight into why Pope Francis equates those who hold fast to the true teachings of the Church with Jihadists.


  • “some Japanese intellectuals, although in a vague and almost unconscious manner, and taking inspiration from the polytheistic Japanese culture, are beginning to wonder if the monotheistic religions, in the final analysis, can show themselves to be truly tolerant toward the members of other religions.”
    In the same manner that guns do not kill people; people kill people. Monotheistic religious tenets do not kill people; people kill people. Some evildoers know that they deserve death for their evil deeds. Their fear of retribution invites evildoers to accuse just people of unjustly seeking their life, but evildoers know that they deserve death.
    Faithful Christians recognize and tolerate fallen human nature in themselves and in their neighbors. Even the capital one murderer, in the first degree, is executed by his own citizenship in the state through his own forfeited power of attorney.
    Jesus Christ, the Revelation of God to man, lived His natural human life in perfect obedience to His Father, God in heaven. Jesus would have lived His life in Perfect obedience to the will of His Father in heaven, even if He was the only human being on earth. (Perfect obedience to The Creator was willed by the Immaculate Conception. Mary’s soul was created with Adam and Eve before the fall of mankind. Mary perfectly acknowledged God in her soul. Mary’s perfect acknowledgement of God in her soul preserved the original innocence, virginity and perfect obedience of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary’s perfect love of God enabled the Holy Spirit to overshadow her. Mary freely willed her soul to magnify the Lord)
    It was Jesus Christ’s perfect obedience to His Father in heaven that was the cause of mankind’s salvation, as Jesus Christ had taken on our human nature. The human nature that Jesus Christ had taken on through the Immaculate Conception was perfect in obedience. Mankind’s salvation is open to all persons but only through the individual person freely willing to purse his own salvation.
    Religion is a person’s relationship with God in obedience and in Truth. A perfect relationship with God in Truth does not allow for betrayal, apostasy and/or worship of false gods, imperfect truths and/or seducing (flim flaming, swindling and sidewinding) other souls seeking the True God.
    Those individuals who refuse to pursue their own salvation in Truth attempt to ruin the pursuit of other persons, causing their neighbors to fall into despair. Those individuals who willfully damage the Truth do the devil’s work and are the devil’s minions.
    Books like SILENCE are written to justify apostasy. Movies like SILENCE are made to justify apostasy.
    Rest in Peace Mr. Nat Hentoff. Your search for Peace and Justice is accomplished. May 60,000,000 aborted human souls bring you to Paradise.

  • In the discussion titled “Pope Watch :Basic Math”, I revealed an eyewitness account of my encounter ( and personal rejection ) of HUMANISM. I believe that the Jesuits, among others, have been INFECTED with it for centuries, carrying and spreading it where ever they have traveled ! It would be most ironic if such an atheistic infection was stopped in Japan by ANOTHER atheistic religion !
    Timothy R.

  • To enhance a bit, if I may : I’ve been told since I was a wee lad that the Lord moves in mysterious ways. What if, just what if, the Lord Himself arranged an encounter like the one in Silence ? It could be TWO pagan beliefs butting heads to remind us of what Jesus said two thousand years ago, “A house divided against itself can not stand !”
    Timothy R.

  • I’m looking forward to the movie, for my part, but I recommend reading Endo’s novel first.

  • Isn’t this book and movie a complete inversion of the passage in 2 Maccabees 7 about the martyrdom of the seven brothers? They were killed in front of their mother, who was also killed.

  • I find it fascinating, and troublesome too, the fact that man has always, and will continue on into the future, thinking that we can actually terminate another person by killing the body. Timothy R.

  • I think that Lucifer himself grieves even more than the Family, at the wake of a devout Catholic; because,
    he sees the Soul leaving, and knows that he can no longer try to “sift” that person. Timothy R.

PopeWatch: Basic Math

Monday, January 9, AD 2017

Carl E. Olsen takes a look at disturbing evidence that basic math, and basic rationality, may not apply in this pontificate:




Jesuit papal confidant and director of La Civiltà Cattolica, Fr. Antonio Spadaro S.J., who is considered to be “one of the Jesuits closest to Pope Francis,” has a lively Twitter account. Lively, but not necessarily theologically sound. Granted, there are more substantial news items out there, but this little tempest in a tea pot is not only rather fun, it is rather revealing.

The tweet in question, from earlier today:

Theology is not #Mathematics. 2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has to do with #God and real #life of #people

— Antonio Spadaro (@antoniospadaro) January 5, 2017

Fr. Spadaro was apparently trying to make a point about certain theologians who are supposedly too rigid, dogmatic, or scholastic in their approaches to complex or difficult moral situations. A number of folks responded to his tweet, pointing out, in essence, that it was wrong, vapid, and otherwise embarrassing. This is Theology 101, the sort of thing junior high students should understand: truth can never contradict truth, even if some truth (theology) is supra-rational. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, quoting from both Vatican I’s Dei Filius and Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes:

Faith and science: “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” (CCC, 159)

Dr. Francis Beckwith, meanwhile, proffers this from St. Thomas:

@antoniospadaro True, math’s not #theology, But incoherence is a vice of #reason, including #theology, not just math. See Aquinas SCG.I.84.1 pic.twitter.com/2xn5iAjlxK

— Francis J. Beckwith (@fbeckwith) January 6, 2017

Perhaps sensing that his tweet was not going to successfully buck commonsense, basic theology, and the entire Tradition, Fr. Spadaro tried to find an ally in Benedict XVI: 

“GOD was made flesh and shows us that he is NOT only a MATHEMATICAL reason but that this original Reason is also LOVE” #BenedictXVI (2006)

— Antonio Spadaro (@antoniospadaro) January 6, 2017

The quote, in the English translation on the Vatican site, is from an address given by Benedict at Auschwitz in May 2006: “The God in whom we believe is a God of reason – a reason, to be sure, which is not a kind of cold mathematics of the universe, but is one with love and with goodness.”

That quote, however, does not help Fr. Spadaro at all since Benedict—to repeat what I’ve already noted above—is simply noting that God is a God of reason and that God also transcends the limits of reason and human knowledge. In fact, Fr. Spadaro’s simplistic, glaring error—which he seems to think is some sort of great theological insight—was roundly rebuffed in one of Benedict’s most famous addresses, also in Germany in 2006, given at the University in Regensburg:

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9 Responses to PopeWatch: Basic Math

  • This I think is a basis of a lot of what we’re seeing from this Pope, “2 + 2 need not equal 4”. And “anyone who thinks it must is rigid”.

  • I saw this on Twitter and FB a few days ago. Liberal progressive clerics know as much about theology, philosophy, science, engineering, mathematics and history as do liberal progressive news journalists and liberal progressive politicians and liberal progressive climatologists, which is to say: NONE. And that includes the Pope, too. We have to love the Pope and pray for the Pope, but the truth is that behaves and speaks exactly as would a typical Argentinian Marxist Peronist. Failing to see that means that we would be as blind as those ignorant liberal progressives.
    2+2=5 ! Spadaro says that to indicate God can create more out of less. Why not 2+2=3 ? God creates less out of more? Can Spadaro not think through the logical ramifications of the idiocy he is proposing? On 2nd thought, liberal progressives don’t think and that’s the whole point.

  • The principles of economics are absent, as well. Thomas Sowell, “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

    As usual, LQD is 100% correct. You need to keep in mind that the typical liberal begins with a myth, superstition or narrative (objective to seize power) and treats it as Truth. And, anyone that presents the facts is met with a string of ad hominems and liberal swear-words, such as “racist”, “xenophobe”, homophobe”, Islamophobe”, “what about the children?” etc.

    And, liberal academia is worse. Economics has devolved (a tiny decline) into something shoddy and unreliable. But, that has always been true of the social sciences.

  • Bl John Henry Newman has an interesting comment on the application of number to theology: “[O]ur speculations concerning the Supreme Being, whom it may be unmeaning, not only to number with other beings, but to subject to number in regard to His own intrinsic characteristics. That is, to apply arithmetical notions to Him may be as unphilosophical as it is profane. Though He is at once Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the word “Trinity” belongs to those notions of Him which are forced on us by the necessity of our finite conceptions, the real and immutable distinction which exists between Person and Person implying in itself no infringement of His real and numerical Unity. And if it be asked how, if we cannot properly speak of Him as Three, we can speak of Him as One, I reply that He is not One in the way in which created things are severally units; for one, as applied to ourselves, is used in contrast to two or three and a whole series of numbers; but of the Supreme Being it is safer to use the word “monad” than unit, for He has not even such relation to His creatures as to allow, philosophically speaking, of our contrasting Him with them.”

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  • Pope Francis lives in a Modernist universe where truth is what you say it is. See: https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/fr-spadaro-wants-all-to-know-that-22-still-equals-5-at-the-domus-sanctae-marthae/

    Excellent point below. It is the key to modernism and Protestantism, i.e., we determine truth, not God.

    ” reviving the philosopher Maurice Blondel’s rejection of the traditional definition of truth as bringing the mind into conformity with reality (‘adaequatio rei et intellectus’) in favour of an account of truth as bringing thought into line with life (‘adaequatio realis mentis et vitae’).”

  • Michael Dowd wrote, “the philosopher Maurice Blondel’s rejection of the traditional definition of truth as bringing the mind into conformity with reality (‘adaequatio rei et intellectus’) in favour of an account of truth as bringing thought into line with life (‘adaequatio realis mentis et vitae’).”

    Blondel’s definition was profoundly influenced by Henri Bergson, whose lectures he attended. For Bergson, “The intellect, then, is a purely practical faculty, which has evolved for the purposes of action. What it does is to take the ceaseless, living flow of which the universe is composed and to make cuts across it, inserting artificial stops or gaps in what is really a continuous and indivisible process. The effect of these stops or gaps is to produce the impression of a world of apparently solid objects. These have no existence as separate objects in reality; they are, as it were, the design or pattern which our intellects have impressed on reality to serve our purposes.” This is reminiscent of Dedekind’s creation of a new irrational number at every gap in the continuous number line at which there is no existing real number.

  • The Lasso : Sometime, in the middle of my career in Law Enforcement, I became more than concerned with the feral ferocity of so many of the “family fights” I was having to cover. Especially in light of the fact that most of them involved children, helpless and present. I already held a four year degree from USI. So I applied at UE for admission to Graduate School to study for a Masters in Psychology. I wanted to find out what made people tick. Now, UofE is the most prestigious of all of the Universities in the Midwest. And I knocked myself out for three years to LEARN all I could, and get the degree. I graduated in 1985. But, you know, a part of the reason why it seemed like I was swimming upstream,, was because of the heavy influence of HUMANISM in so many of the studies. I edited it out myself, and came to think of it as a “Philosophical Virus”! Just like the virus that can infect a computer ! It is a Lasso to the thinking of so many !
    Timothy R.

  • Let’s see … doesn’t 2 cardinals + 2 cardinals = 5 dubia? 🙂

PopeWatch: Papal Nukes

Saturday, January 7, AD 2017



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


Just days after Pope Francis offered a message of hope in his annual “Urbi et Orbi” Christmas day message, the Pontiff has now backtracked, saying that if peace could not prevail, he would be forced to join the United States and Russia in an arms race.

Pope Francis told EOTT in an exclusive interview this morning that “We will outmatch Russia and the U.S. at every pass and outlast them all, both spiritually as well as with our growing stockpile of nuclear warheads.”

The Catholic leader has sparked fears about a global nuclear arms race days leading up to Christmas when he called on the members of the Curia to expand its nuclear arsenal in a Twitter post, which read in part that the Vatican must “greatly strengthen and expand its stock of atomic weapons until the world comes to its senses regarding Jesus Christ.”

He gave no further details about his plans, but his comments triggered fears that he will reverse decades of policy in which the Church, together with the Russian Orthodox Church, sought to reduce its arsenal.

Vatican spokesman Antonio Totti said that Pope Francis is “going to ensure that other countries and religions get the message that he’s not going to sit back and allow them to destroy the world. And what’s going to happen is they will come to their senses, and everyone will be just fine, or else he himself will unleash nuclear bomb showers to get everyone in line and to come together.”

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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Papal Nukes

38 Responses to PopeWatch: What If?

  • Go to another parish.

  • Ask his Bishop to consider removing him from his duties as priest to supply him with enough time for reflection and reevaluation of his calling. In particular, giving him a chance to understand that telling his parishioners to ” go with your own conscience,” in relationship to concupiscence, is false mercy. That the past two thousand years of teaching and implementation of Holy Catholic doctrine is to be implemented, not twisted regardless of intent.

    Of course, who his Bishop is is key here.

  • Attend elsewhere. My Bishop is a Francis pick of the litter. My pastor is a wonderful Indian priest…from India.

  • Switch to another parish. I had to do it once before and was much happier.

  • If Pope Francis were my parish priest…… first, he would have to learn Latin and then he would have to learn the Mass of the Ages, the Tridentine Mass.
    Since neither will happen, I am grateful for our parish priest.
    I want to wish a Happy Epiphany to all who observe the Traditional church calendar today, as well as the Eastern Catholics and Catholics in those countries whose bishops have not moved Epiphany to Sunday.
    Have a blessed day.

  • Find another parish pronto.

    O/T: Do you guys at American Catholic know anything about the great site “Midwest Conservative Journal” (Christopher Johnson)? For the last couple of months, I can no longer get to his site at all and get the message from my internet security that that page is now blocked…danger, danger. What’s up with that? Does he have a new webpage other than themcj.com ?

  • I have been in contact with Christopher but apparently there has been no solution to their technical problems yet.

  • @Donald McClarey: Thanks. It’s at least good to know that it’s not just my computer system. So does that mean that nobody’s able to access their site anymore?

  • I haven’t been able to, and as far as I know there has been no new content posted since December 11, 2016.

  • Send a pro forma letter of complaint to the bishop (which he will never read and Sister Faltshoes of the Chancery will toss in the circular file). Then I’ll get off my duff on Sundays and get to the Byzantine-rite parish where I should have been all along.

  • I would be going to confession mass somewhere else. As it is we are supporting parishes in two dioceses. I have tried to talk with the people in the nearest chancery but the walls are nearly impenetrable.

  • He posted new content on 22 December 2016, but nothing since. He has a co-blogger who’s evidently in the IT trade, IIRC. I’ve been somewhat purturbed by the radio silence. He’s 61, unmarried, and (best I can tell) lives nowhere proximate to any relations or to any friends who are close enough to help him out of some of the scrapes he’s been in in recent years (landlord trouble, traffic court trouble). He’s never directly said his health is poor, but one does get the impression that he’s not vigorous enough anymore for anything but desk work.

  • If I had a parish priest who:

    1. Never lost an opportunity to remind me how humble he is.
    2. Promoted and made advisors of dubious characters while sidelining/demoting orthodox
    Catholics from any positions of influence in the parish,
    3. Gave speeches and homilies so vague and incoherent as to be useless while contradicting
    Church doctrine in his off-the-cuff remarks,
    4. Used his authority to rig and manipulate parish consultative bodies to achieve his
    own pre-determined conclusions, making a mockery of the process,
    5. Made no secret of his contempt for persons like myself who have a love for Tradition,
    6. Used his authority to undermine and bully a congregation of religious, the FFI, that
    had been operating in the parish with great results, solely because he did not like
    their love for Tradition,
    7. And refused to either acknowledge or answer reasonable questions about his teaching…

    I would find another parish, at least until he was gone from the scene. However, if I were to
    have my God chastise me by sending such a man to be my Pope, I would stay– where else
    could I go? I would cling to the Sacraments while ignoring that Pope as best I could until
    God chose to call one of us to our judgement. What else could anyone do?

  • Pray for his successor

  • A “pope francis” WAS my parish priest, so I found another parish. True story.

  • Beautiful and thoughtful answer Clinton

  • I’d tell him he’s arrogant moron.

  • Basically, we had “Pope” Francis for a Deacon and that was motivation enough to drive the 1 1/2 hours to a FSSP parish.

  • I’ve had good and bad pastors over the years. Right now I’ve got a very solid one, not just orthodox but someone who fits my thinking and personality. That’s how I felt about Pope Benedict too. It’s tough to go to a new one who is weak in exactly the same respects that the old one was strong. I’d probably keep attending my current parish, but it would sting.

    I’ve never left a parish because of a pastor. I’ve only switched away from one for a reason other than scheduling, and even that was a scheduling issue in a way. They made my usual Mass into a young adult Mass. The brought in a really cute new music director, and the music went way downhill – neither of which was good for my spirituality.

  • Clinton, I may never have thought of the good words you’ve written, but I absolutely agree with them and am living them! Great answer.

  • “Nail my foot to the floor in front of my favorite pew and die there.” He’s not much different from a lot of parish priests. I’d email a copy of my blog every day.

  • I believe Catholics need to find the best parish they can and support it. We have to drive, but in so doing have made good friends and developed relationships with the priests and hope to expand their ministry. If I was younger and still had kids at home, I’d also be very leery of exposing them to the rot that has infected so many Catholic parishes.

  • Well, in Brazil, maybe also in Argentina, it is really tough not to have a Pope Francis as a priest in any parish.

    I think I only found two or three priest in my entire life as a Catholic that would not be like Francis. Once I argued with one priest defending Leonardo Boff in his homily. Another said that Christ never expelled demons. And another hated Pope Benedict XVI.

    I have changed parish constantly. Welcome to my terrible world in parishes. Sorry.

  • He’s a fair-to-middling version of the priests I grew up with– we’d get either him, or the guys who got in trouble, or who were brand new. (The Irish priest who didn’t have a very good rein on his tongue was DELIGHTFUL! First and last time I ever heard of a priest in our area actually doing visits to folks’ houses to say hi or anything. )

    On the flip side, it’s odd when our priests are in the valley for more than four hours. Satellite parishes.

    The Seattle dioceses was a delightful shock– the hippy priest did a pro-life, anti-ABORTION sermon! That’s it, no other stuff– just flat out, “killing babies is bad.” <3 <3 <3

  • Leave, go to abother parish!

  • Avoid him as much as possible but pray for him.

  • I’d like to meet with him and ask him to explain what his real agenda is, i.e., why it is that he wants to Protestantize the Catholic Church and if he has lost faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If I got the same old blather back that he comes up with every day, I would state my reasons for disagreeing with him and tell him about the effect of his “chaos and confusion” on the regular pew sitters. I could imagine his face becoming tight and severe as his authoritarianism sets in. The man is living, in his mind, back in the day in Argentina. He tilts at windmills that are no longer there. There is an air of unreality about his complaints and he seems to feel the need to punish people who remind him of when he was brooked and checked as a young man. I would not stay in the parish and listen to him. He is a fake leader with a fake idea of what the Church is. He is badly mistaken in his judgments, but loves to exercise his power.

  • “The Seattle dioceses was a delightful shock– the hippy priest did a pro-life, anti-ABORTION sermon! That’s it, no other stuff– just flat out, “killing babies is bad.””

    I’ve had such great surprises in the past Foxfier. The hardest core pro-life priest I ever knew looked like he was preserved in amber from Woodstock!

  • Find another parish.

  • Like W.C. Fields did when he thanked a woman, ABS would thank him for driving him to drink

  • I love my parish priest. He’s humble and loving. Unfortunately, the deacon has had very poor formation and has only a glancing understanding of Catholic teachings. The Religious Ed director can’t make distinctions between Protestant and Catholic understandings of either the old testament or the new testament. The church, before mass, is filled with the deafening noise of too many hearty greetings and boisterous conversations.

    It all reminds me that I must throw myself on God’s mercy for all the times I have not shown Our Lord proper reverence or all the times I may have acted from a deliberate misunderstanding of God’s Word and Church teaching.

    If Francis were my parish priest, I would pray for him, that God fill him with deep reverence for the teachings of the magisterium and Our Lord’s words in scripture. This is the same prayer I offer for Francis, our Pope.

  • What a horrible thought. ..
    Well, confession, with him, would be useless: the Decalogue and trad moral teaching out, environmental & social justice “imperatives” in. Everything screwed up, just like the Church is now.

    A. Stay home, say the Rosary, read the trad Missal, and financially support trad Catholic priestly orders.

  • [I am assuming there is no other nearby parish, such as with one of my favorite Wyoming summer escapes.]

    I think Art Deco nailed it on writing letters: it doesnt work. The fish rots downward etc. Dealing with a really bad situation in Phoenix about a decade ago, the corrupt bishop (Thomas O’Brien, of unhappy hit-run memory) laughed off my letter documenting the problem. Then my letter to the US papal nuncio (“Most Rev” Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, 1998-2005) was copied and handed over directly to the reprobate priest, from whom I next received a lovely threatening personal letter (I still have it, pull it off for a laugh. )

    Only eventually did Fr. Reprobate get addressed by the succeeding Ratzinger appointmentee. He now is more or less happily celebrating liturgies in a storefront site of the Metropolitan Church in San Diego.

    No, letters are a joke, part of the big farce

  • Get up and leave during his homily and never come back until he’s reassigned.

  • Steve, are you saying you’d abandon the sacraments and your obligations? That’s a big no-no.

  • Assuming there is no reasonable alternative, such as in some isolated parts of the country, except a once a month jaunt to Boise or Casper, I will no longer waste my time going to a false priest who preaches a false gospel (small “g”) in a false church (small “c”), if that is the premise. It is taking in a full cup of poison onto your spiritual life. No more.

    But practically speaking, at present, and except during summer, even in the San Fran-psycho Baytheist Area, as long as you can drive an hour, you can find an incorrupted group of priests. I am sure they are PF’S “Herods” of course.

  • Oh, and as a sequel, Fr. Reprobate, from my prior account, I coincidentally found out over the weekend has finally found his place as a “bishop” in an “independent reformed ‘catholic’ church” (small “c”, small “c”) in San Diego, with his man-wife. He posts regularly to the gay SD review “Rage” about his admiration and inspiration derived from ex-bishop Gene Robinson and his husband. He would still be in the official Catholic Church, except for a courageous orthodox bishop (Olmsted of Phoenix) who helped him, and many others in that then-cesspool, find his true calling.

PopeWatch: 2016

Thursday, January 5, AD 2017


John-Henry Western at Lifesite News deems 2016 as the year when Pope Francis showed his hand:


2016 marked a dramatic turning point in the pontificate of Pope Francis. It may be called the year of the great awakening, as more and more faithful Catholics and prelates, Cardinals included, came to a frightening understanding that there is a major problem with the current Pope.

For the beginning years of his papacy, most, including LifeSite, gave Francis the benefit of the doubt. They repeatedly told themselves and others not to believe the media; that his words were being taken out of context or mistranslated; that he was just plain poor at doing interviews; that he wasn’t often aware of the consequences of his words; that he wanted to be pastoral and thus overstated things at times; and that off-the-cuff interviews are not official expressions of the Church’s teaching authority.

Many of these hopes were pinned on the outcome of the two controversial Synods on the Family. It was hoped that the final document by the Pope would finally set things straight after he had allowed many bishops to express themselves freely, even in ways contrary to Christ’s own words. In the end, they thought, it would be as it was with Pope Paul VI who, after two years of deliberation and being intensely urged by numerous close advisors to alter the Church’s constant teaching against contraception, nevertheless proclaimed Humanae Vitae and confirmed perennial, authentic Catholic teaching.

However, with Amoris Laetitia it has not been so. The confusion has been allowed to fester and only increase as Pope Francis himself has made known his personal views on the grave matters under consideration. He showed himself to be, at least in hard cases, open to altering the teaching of the Church, or as he would call it, being open to the “surprises of the Holy Spirit.”

While the shift can most clearly be seen in the dubia by the six Cardinals, four of whom went public, it can also be seen in the growing concern expressed by official and powerful Catholic entities such as EWTN. The Catholic media empire founded by the saintly Mother Angelica has in their television programming with Raymond Arroyo, in their newspaper the National Catholic Register with Ed Pentin, and in their UK blog run by Deacon Nick Donnelly, taken to accurately and unapologetically reporting on the controversies caused by Pope Francis.

Other Catholic officials and entities have also begun to express dismay and grave concerns but, after witnessing the demotions of Cardinal Burke, the brutal dismantling of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and many other such harsh actions, their dismay has so far mostly been expressed in only whispered tones.

It is instructive to watch what is not being done in order to appreciate the situation. Historically, with some very few exceptions, when a Pope has been openly questioned by Cardinals, a majority of course lept to his defense. However, in the matter of the dubia, we see, in addition to the four Cardinals that have gone public, several others expressing their sympathy and desire that the Pope would answer the questions and end the confusion. Yes, there are a bevy of bishops and a handful of Cardinals that have jumped to the Pope’s defense, many of them with personally derogatory remarks directed at the four Cardinals. However, where are the majority of the 120-strong College of Cardinals leaping to the defense of the Pope?

The gravity of the present situation can best be understood by a look at the evidence. So in order to demonstrate the concern over Pope Francis, LifeSite here presents many of the more disturbing developments in the Francis papacy during 2016.

For brevity, most of the incidents are presented with only a few words of description and a link to a fuller explanation for more careful study. This is not meant to be a comprehensive listing for the year, but only the most grave of incidents. We pray this compilation may serve to awaken more Catholics to the need for ardent prayer, sacrifice and productive action for the Church and the Pope at this grave time in the Church’s history of two millennia.

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10 Responses to PopeWatch: 2016

  • Read this on Life Site. It looks like the gloves are off at last. Maybe we’ll finally find out about pastoral accompaniment and corruption of the sacraments for unrepentant sinners. Gradualism is the key in my mind. It Is devious in that it implies one can nibble the forbidden fruit all you want and that eventually will make you pure.

  • June 2, 2016 entry: ” Sometimes I feel a little saddened and annoyed when people go straight to the last words Jesus speaks to her: ‘Go and sin no more’. They use these words to ‘defend’ Jesus from bypassing the law.”
    Francis is off base here.
    The “law” is a term in Scripture that can include the moral law or may not. When Paul says the letter kills but the spirit frees, he is referring to the ” law” minus the moral laws…ie he is referring to the ritual and juridical laws that are defunct after Christ as to the literal level though they perdure because as Aquinas noted….many were hidden prophecies so Aquinas gave many examples one of which was the cleansing laws for lepers which Aquinas said were veiled revelations of the reality of heresy since in the leper there are healthy and sick parts of the body just as in heretics there are healthy beliefs and sick beliefs.
    ” Law” is a negative thing in the NT when it is referring to ritual and juridical levels…now defunct in practice. Pope Francis uses the moral law as though the NT sees it as negative…as though Christ sees it as negative when in fact Christ defends the commandments in one place by showing how the Jewish leaders circumvent the commandments by their commentary on juridical law….see Christ’s words here in Matthew 15:3 onward…” Why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ” Honor your father and mother”…but you say, ” Whoever says to father or mother, ‘ Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God’, need not honor his father’. You have nullified the word of God by your tradition.”

    Pope Francis instead of seeing that the New Testament sees negative law as the juridical/ ritual/ commentary portion minus the moral law, he erroneously includes the moral law as part of the negative NT use of law. There is one sense in which moral law is seen as inadequate too…in Hebrews which says….” the law brought nothing to perfection”. This includes the moral law because moral law needs grace so that Jn. 1:17 says, ” the law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
    But the really negative use of “law” in the NT excludes the moral component. Pope Francis’ mind is in chaos on this topic wherein he conflates the commandments ( which Christ defended in Mt.15) with the most negative NT use of “law”….found in Galatians 3:24-25: ” the law was our disciplinarian for Christ…but now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian.”
    That does not mean the moral law is over….it means the hundreds of Jewish ritual and juridical laws are over….hence we can eat things that were once unclean; we can skip circumcision; we need not worry about mixing different fabrics together in a shirt….but yes we still can’t commit adultery which Christ made more rigid by saying we can’t even do that mentally.
    Francis sees moral law as negative. The NT sees that only in the sense that moral law without grace was negative in pre grace man. The NT sees as negative right now….simply the ritual and juridical laws of the Jews BUT Aquinas noted they still have value as having hidden meanings like the leper laws having heresy meanings by metaphor….wherein Aquinas notes that the leper has both healthy parts of his body and sick parts whereas the heretic also has some good beliefs and some sick ones.

  • The Bear has placed Francis on double secret probation. He read the same article and got a laugh out of the headline. 2017: the year Catholics may have to choose between their Faith and their Pope, God forbid. People who are not entirely pessimistic do not grasp that Francis poses a threat to the very concept of truth. To him (and nearly everyone else) truth is relative, a thing of place and the calendar. Perhaps Francis has tossed the Bible in favor of the Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom: “morality is simply geography misconstrued,” of the calendar, hmm?

  • The Bear has it right. The Pope is not a Catholic in any traditional sense of the word. He is really an extremely liberal Protestant. And, most certainly, he is the ultimate expression of Vatican II at which the decision was secretly made to make the Catholic Church Protestant by promoting the condemned propositions of Modernism. The ONLY fix I see is for Our Lady of Fatima to arrange a divine intervention., Please pray for the Church and for Pope Francis.

  • We have a very rustic Catholic Church here ,St. Phillip. Some years ago the then Pastor convinced the community to build a new Church, right next to the “old” Church. Only he tried to keep them from installing the kneelers, statues, stained glass windows, pictures, and confessional. The new Church now has all of these things, except the Pastor.
    Timothy R.

  • I appreciate the comments here!
    It does seem that Francis sees moral law as negative, not a blessing! …and that he is torn and in chaos. Yes he may have the idea that Truth as a concept – a product of human reasoning that he can challenge

    ( -into the rabbit warren: after all he said once that God is not Catholic…If God is not Christian, not Catholic, who is Jesus?) Jesus True God and True Man. His Body is not beheaded but is still One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. Jesus is God and He is not separated from His Body. there is some distress/confusion going on, but He is with us.

    Truth as a concept may be threatened but Jesus IS the Truth, He is not “about” the the truth or a symbol of truth or a concept. Mary carried that “concept” to birth and stood by His bleeding Body until death, and is with Him and us today. Very real. Lies and half-truths have no reality, only smoke and mirrors or distorted reflections.
    So the fix is in , thanks be to God, through the Queen of Heaven

  • Bill Bannon: I am going to print off & study what you have written. It is wonderfully instructive. Thank you.

  • It appears the pope is actively working to destroy the Catholic Church. I have feared as much.

  • Good analysis by Bill Bannon. The moral law is our spiritual life saver. Without it we would drown in a sea of situation ethics or compete ignorance. When Christ speaks of Himself as being the Way, the Truth and the Life He is referring to Himself and the path He follows which happens to be the Law of God–the 10 Commandments which include the love of neighbor., We should be most thankful for the Law as it is our guideline to God. Pope Francis’ understanding of the law is the way to hell.

  • I have a question. Regarding what I said above, how can our Church attract, recruit, and keep new people, if the Church is to become just another liberal-protestant ( for all purposes ) place to worship. And just as important, it would cause an exodus of the faithful who have stuck it out this far. I know now that I will never surrender my Catholic beliefs.!
    Timothy R.

PopeWatch: Predator Priests

Wednesday, January 4, AD 2017




Michael Brendan Dougherty has a fascinating post at The Week indicating that Pope Francis may be in the process of undoing the get tough reforms of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI in regard to predator priests:


Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers.


Recently, Pope Francis had the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, request an opinion from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, led by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, regarding the possibility of transferring competence to deal with abuser priests from the CDF back to Clergy and the Rota. Coccopalmerio’s office responded with a positive answer.


Francis was elected in part to reform a dysfunctional curia. So shifting responsibilities is not troubling in itself. And it is hard not to credit the sincerity of his jeremiads against child abusers. But the CDF’s performance on this issue is miles better than the situation before 2001.

So why revert?

Perhaps because the CDF has taken a tough, rules-based approach to the issue of child abuse, which clashes with the more personal autocratic style of this pope. Or perhaps because reforming the reform would reward his allies, and humiliate an antagonist.

Rumors of this reform have been circulating in Rome for months. And not happily. Pope Francis and his cardinal allies have been known to interfere with CDF’s judgments on abuse cases. This intervention has become so endemic to the system that cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is “with cardinal friends” or “without cardinal friends.”

And indeed, Pope Francis is apparently pressing ahead with his reversion of abuse practices even though the cardinals who are favorable to this reform of reform have already brought him trouble because of their friends.

Consider the case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli lived in a flamboyant fashion and had such a taste for flashy cars that he earned the nickname “Don Mercedes.” He was also accused of molesting children. He allegedly abused minors in the confessional. He even went so far as to teach children that sexual contact with him was legitimated by scripture and their faith. When his case reached CDF, he was found guilty. And in 2012, under the papacy of Pope Benedict, Inzoli was defrocked.

But Don Mercedes was “with cardinal friends,” we have learned. Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Inzoli, and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to a “a life of humility and prayer.” These strictures seem not to have troubled Inzoli too much. In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.

This summer, civil authorities finished their own trial of Inzoli, convicting him of eight offenses. Another 15 lay beyond the statute of limitations. The Italian press hammered the Vatican, specifically the CDF, for not sharing the information they had found in their canonical trial with civil authorities. Of course, the pope himself could have allowed the CDF to share this information with civil authorities if he so desired.

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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Predator Priests

  • The CDF is an odd place to locate supervision of abuse cases. If you had a personnel problem in the Rota, you should have replaced the personnel.

    I think it was Ralph McInerney (contrasting Cdl. McIntyre with auxilliary bishop James Shannon of Minneapolis) who offered that the Church in America was as clericalist after 1966 as before 1966, but before, it was prelates holding each other to a higher standard and after it was prelates holding each other to a lower standard. I don’t doubt Francis is at home with the latter regime. I’ve had the impression from the beginning that abuse investigations were just tools for him to injure intramural adversaries.

    In truth, though, the Holy See can set standards in canon law and adjudicate a few appeals. It cannot create a salutary disciplinary regime. Only the local ordinary can do that. Rod Dreher and Joseph d’Hippolito used to talk as if the Church was or could be as disciplined as the Navy. The Holy See has never had the manpower to supervise and audit the world’s dioceses bar in the most cursory or episodic way.

  • Every person must pay for his own sins. Enablers must also pay as collaborators. Having excommunicated himself, when he consented to abuse a minor child, the priest is excommunicated. Returning the abusive priest to ministry within the church, the Vatican now becomes responsible and liable for any abuse the criminal, outlaw might commit.
    That Pope Francis might consider the innocence and protecting the innocence of a minor person less important than pandering to a not so repentant priest violates JUSTICE. “What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. What you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The excommunication of the criminal, outlaw, abuser priest is bound in heaven and on earth forever. Or does Pope Francis believe that Jesus was wasting His breath?

  • Pedophile priests, adulterers, and sodomites are all ok. But if you are a traditionalist orthodox Catholic, you are beyond the pale.

  • Art Deco: Pope Francis cannot return an abusive priest to ministry without the free will consent of the abusive priest. The free will consent of the abusive priest must be exorcised from Satan. Engaging Satan to protect our innocent minor children is insane and diabolical. Look what the devil did to Adam and Eve. The Vatican has absolute power over its members through excommunication, that is through confirming the self-excommunication of the abuser priest.

  • “Fr. Mauro Inzoli”
    “Fr. Mauro Inzoli”
    “Fr. Mauro Inzoli” It’s Don Inzoli, he is not a regular.

  • I don’t know what happened with my last post
    It should only have contained the last line

  • If the Pope doesn’t solve the abuse problem, and this cancer goes on and on, there will come a day when the world will solve this problem for him. The Vatican will be labelled as an international criminal organization.

  • Some thought: When a sovereign person forfeits his relationship to the perfection of God in TRUTH and JUSTICE through sin or addiction, his sovereignty, that is, his discipline, over himself becomes disordered. When a murderer, in the first degree, does not expire with grief over his crime, his contrition is imperfect, almost wishful thinking. This imperfect contrition must be accounted for in any judgement to be made.
    When a child molester says he is sorry to get something he wants, the judge must be sure that the child molester has his own interests at heart and cares not for the common good through good will.
    The sovereign personhood of the addict and /or criminal is diminished according to the heinousness of his crime. Imperfect contrition can set him right with God in the Sacrament of Penance to some degree but not perfectly. The criminal’s lifelong penance is to repair his relationship with God. Addiction to sodomy is not a civil right but a criminal act.
    Any child abusing priest knows he ought to remove himself from ministry as surely as everyone knows. Assault and battery of an innocent minor child who has not the wits and informed consent to give is a crime and the criminal must repent.
    In the Bible if a man raped a virgin, he had to support her for the rest of his life. Child molesters must support their victims for the rest of their lives. Starting right now.

  • If the Pope doesn’t solve the abuse problem, and this cancer goes on and on, there will come a day when the world will solve this problem for him. The Vatican will be labelled as an international criminal organization.

    The pope cannot solve the abuse problem, nor, pace Leon Podles, has it been the source of the abuse problem (bar what Francis is up to now). The abuse problem starts with pederast clergy (and, more infrequently, paedophile clergy), was aided and abetted by laymen who wouldn’t talk (until 30 years after the fact), and is aided and abetted by bishops who do nothing or bishops who put problem people back into the parish after a few months of sunshine and pinochle at St. Luke’s Institute. Lousy ordinaries with lousy chanceries are permissive, not generative. Syracuse had a high rate of accusation against its clergy, but no episcopal scandal. By dumb luck, it was spared serial offender of the Shanley-Geoghan-Grammond scale and, as a matter of policy, those credibly accused were taken out of parish ministry and put on ice.

  • The herd of pigs infested by the demons Legion ran off a cliff and drowned themselves in the sea rather than be possessed by the devil. The snake in the Garden of Eden, on the other hand, embraced and entertained Satan and loved every minute of his possession. The snake is cursed.
    Individuals who embrace the devil are damned. People who hold their addictions and demonic possession to their breast are damned. Some people embrace evil and glory in their downfall.
    Priests who hold that assaulting and battering minor children through sodomy are innocent of assault, battery and inflicting evil on other sovereign persons, minor and adult, are dancing with the devil and need to be evicted from the Vatican. Pope Francis needs to tell them: “You are forgiven. Now, get out.”

PopeWatch: Pacifism

Tuesday, January 3, AD 2017



Pope Francis gave his usual paean to pacifism in his message for World Peace Day.  In his message he made this statement:

Nor can we forget the eventful decade that ended with the fall of Communist regimes in Europe.  The Christian communities made their own contribution by their insistent prayer and courageous action.  Particularly influential were the ministry and teaching of Saint John Paul II.  Reflecting on the events of 1989 in his 1991 Encyclical Centesimus Annus, my predecessor highlighted the fact that momentous change in the lives of people, nations and states had come about “by means of peaceful protest, using only the weapons of truth and justice”.   This peaceful political transition was made possible in part “by the non-violent commitment of people who, while always refusing to yield to the force of power, succeeded time after time in finding effective ways of bearing witness to the truth”.  Pope John Paul went on to say: “May people learn to fight for justice without violence, renouncing class struggle in their internal disputes and war in international ones”. 


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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Pacifism

  • Related to this is the Strategy of Technology by Stefan T. Possony, Ph.D.; Jerry E. Pournelle, Ph.D.; and
    Francis X. Kane, Ph.D. (Col., USAF Ret.):
    It was in part a strong nuclear deterrent, the threat of the Strategic Defense Initiative and the bankruptcy of socialism that resulted in the demise of the USSR. It was Pope St John Paul II, AND President Ronald Reagan, AND Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher standing together against an evil enemy which was called evil.
    “Nor can we forget the eventful decade that ended with the fall of Communist regimes in Europe.”
    Jorge Bergoglio ought to melt down that commie crucifix he got from that tin pot Latin American dictator. Until he does, all his words mean nothing. Or maybe communism is bad only in Europe because white Europeans are bad, but Muslims and Hispanics are ok?

  • “May people learn to fight for justice without violence, renouncing class struggle in their internal disputes and war in their international ones.”

    Good advice. The three priests who, when their advocate asked PF for an explanation as to Why they were being removed, were told.. apparently..that; “And I am the Pope. I do not have to give reasons.”

    Not privileged to all the information makes things uneven, however if this tone from PF is true, it must be interesting to preach pacifism while carrying a big stick.

  • And we all recall that WWII was terminated because we sent peaceful envoys to Germany, Italy, and Japan….

  • Let Pope Francis dismiss the Swiss Guard before commenting on defensive military, weaponry and just war. Pope Pius XII, the French underground resistance, the German resistance, the Italian resistance all fought for Truth and Justice. Pope Francis would eradicate their sacrifices, their bravery and their patriotism to label their actions armed violence. Let Pope Francis resign the Papacy and go live as a hermit. There is still time.

  • No where does he state that “the fall of Communist regimes in Europe” was a good thing. It’s sort of implied but…..

  • We all know what to expect from this Pontiff. History is not a strong point of his. Neither is getting along with people.

  • Very informative link, Philip, thank you (re. catholiccitizens.org article and the dismissal of 3 Vatican dicastery priests, apparently for criticizing, even though privately, the Pope’s decision-making).

    My, my, Jorge Borgiagoglio.

  • If the priests-being-dismissed story is true– is it really a surprise?
    I’m pretty sure one of the few things Don and I have agreed on about this Pope is that his near obsession with being humble is because of a weakness in the opposite direction.
    He’s going to fail sometimes.

  • If Pope Francis thinks he is a master of peace he should begin in place where he might have some effect, i.e, his own backyard. Instead of making peace in the Catholic Church he has started a war. And it is a war with Christ Himself. Bad move Pope Francis.

  • HIs pacifism extends also to our spiritual war.

PopeWatch: Season Three

Saturday, December 17, AD 2016



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



Season 3 of The Walking Pope has been a downward slide for EWTN who produced the hit TV show as well as the pontificate it’s based on. As many viewers have said before, many of the problems stem from Francis’s exhausting form of liberal villainy, but he is not the only problem. Last night’s mid-season finale “Sacred and Immaculate Hearts Still Beating” gave viewers brief glimpses of what made the pontificate work before this season and reminded many of the season’s greatest flaws.

A brief appearance from Cardinal Burke is enough to know that sidelining him for all but a handful of episodes was a mistake, and LCWR president Mary Pellegrino’s emotional speech to Francis about ridding the habit altogether made her season of sulking so much more tiresome. But it’s in the secluded walls of the Vatican where everything really goes wrong. Pope Francis is still camping out in Pope Emeritus Benedict’s house, making pasta and terrorizing the conservative elites, while Benedict is out scavenging for him to help protect the Church from any further damage.


When The Walking Pope returns February, it needs a renewed sense of orthodoxy to sustain the momentum it began building this weekend when nothing weird came out of the Vatican for three straight days. “Vatican walkers,” spiritual violence against traditionalists, and lack of guts are not enough to keep the ecclesiastical narrative moving, but it’s a start. The hit pontificate needs to find its purpose again.

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