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"The Dictator Pope": Mysterious New Book Looks "Behind the Mask" of Francis

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by BrianK, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member


    “The Dictator Pope”: Mysterious New Book Looks “Behind the Mask” of Francis
    [​IMG] Steve Skojec November 30, 2017
    A remarkable new book about the Francis papacy is set to be released in English this coming Monday, December 4th, after an Italian debut earlier this month that is rumored to have made quite a splash in Rome. Entitled, The Dictator Pope, it is described on the Amazon pre-order page as “The inside story of the most tyrannical and unprincipled papacy of modern times.”

    The book promises a look “behind the mask” of Francis, the alleged “genial man of the people,” revealing how he “consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.”

    OnePeterFive has obtained an advance copy of the English text, and I am still working my way through it. Although most of its contents will be at least cursorily familiar to those who have followed this unusual pontificate, it treats in detail many of the most important topics we have covered in these pages, providing the additional benefit of collecting them all in one place.

    The author of the work is listed as Marcantonio Colonna — a transparently clever pen name laden with meaning for the Catholic history buff; the historical Colonna was an Italian nobleman who served as admiral of the papal fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. His author bio tells us he is an Oxford graduate with extensive experience in historical research who has been living in Rome since the beginning of the Francis pontificate, and whose contact with Vatican insiders — including Cardinals and other important figures — helped piece together this particular puzzle. The level of potential controversy associated with the book has seemingly led some journalists in Rome to be wary of broaching the book’s existence publicly (though it is said to be very much a topic of private conversation), whether for fear of retribution — the Vatican has recently been known to exclude or mistreat journalists it suspects of hostility — or for some other reason, remains unclear. Notable exceptions to this conspicuous silence include the stalwart Marco Tosatti — who has already begun unpacking the text at his website, Stilum Curae — and Professor Roberto de Mattei, who writes that the book confirms Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks that there is a “magic circle” around the pope which “prevents an open and balanced debate on the doctrinal problems raised” by objections like the dubia and Filial Correction, and that there is also “a climate of espionage and delusion” in Francis’ Vatican.

    Some sources have even told me that the Vatican, incensed by the book’s claims, is so ardently pursuing information about the author’s true identity that they’ve been seeking out and badgering anyone they think might have knowledge of the matter. The Italian version of the book’s website has already gone down since its launch. The reason, as one particularly credible rumor has it, is that its disappearance was a result of the harassment of its designer, even though that person had nothing to do with the book other than having been hired to put it online.

    If these sound like thuggish tactics, the book wastes no time in confirming that this pope — and those who support him — are not at all above such things. Colonna introduces his text by way of an ominous portrait of Francis himself, describing a “miraculous change that has taken over” Bergoglio since his election — a change that Catholics of his native Buenos Aires noticed immediately:

    Their dour, unsmiling archbishop was turned overnight into the smiling, jolly Pope Francis, the idol of the people with whom he so fully identifies. If you speak to anyone working in the Vatican, they will tell you about the miracle in reverse. When the publicity cameras are off him, Pope Francis turns into a different figure: arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.

    Colonna writes, too, of the “buyer’s remorse” that some of the cardinals who elected Bergoglio are experiencing as his pontificate approaches its fifth anniversary: “Francis is showing,” writes Colonna, “that he is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2103, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”

    Colonna then transitions to an opening chapter exposing the work of the so-called St. Gallen “Mafia” — the group of cardinals who had been conspiring for decades to see to it that a pope of their liking — a pope like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was capable of becoming — would be elected. Formed in 1996 (with precursor meetings between progressive European prelates giving initial shape to the group as early as the 1980s) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the St. Gallen Mafia was originally headed up by the infamous late archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The group roster was a rogue’s gallery of heterodox prelates with a list of ecclesiastical accomplishments that reads more like a rap sheet than a curriculum vitae. (In the case of Godfried Danneels, implicated in some way in about 50 of 475 dossiers on clerical sexual abuse allegations that mysteriously disappeared after evidence seized by Belgian police was inexplicably declared inadmissible in court, this comparison transcends analogy.)

    The names of some of the most prominent members of the group — many of which would have been unknown to even relatively well-informed Catholics just a decade ago — have become uncomfortably familiar in recent years: Cardinals Martini, Danneels, Kasper, Lehman, and (Cormac) Murphy O’Connor have all risen in profile considerably since their protege was elevated to the Petrine throne. After a controversial career, Walter Kasper had already begun fading into obscurity before he was unexpectedly praised in the new pope’s first Angelus address on March 17, 2013. Francis spoke admiringly of Kasper’s book on the topic of mercy — a theme that would become a defining touchstone of his pontificate. When Kasper was subsequently tapped to present the Keynote at the February 14, 2014 consistory of cardinals, the advancement of his proposal to create a path for Communion for the divorced and remarried thrust him further into the spotlight. The so-called “Kasper proposal” launched expectations for the two synods that would follow on marriage and the family and provided the substrate for the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, around which there has been a theological and philosophical debate the likes of which has not seen in the living memory of the Church. For his part, Danneels, who retired his position as Archbishop of Brussels under “a cloud of scandal” in 2010, even went so far as to declare that the 2013 conclave result represented for him “a personal resurrection experience.”
    Carol55 likes this.
  2. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    And what was the goal of the St. Gallen group?

    Originally, their agenda was to bring about a “much more modern” Church. That goal finally crystalized around opposition to the anticipated election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy — a battle in which they were narrowly defeated during the 2005 conclave, when, according to an undisclosed source within the curia, the penultimate ballot showed a count of 40 votes for Bergoglio and 72 for Ratzinger. Colonna cites German Catholic journalist Paul Badde in saying that it was the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner — later one of the four “dubia” cardinals — who “passionately fought” the Gallen Mafia in favor of the election of Ratzinger. After this loss, the Gallen Mafia officially disbanded. But although Cardinal Martini died in 2012, they staged a comeback — and eventually won the day — on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. For it was on that day that Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, victorious, as Pope Francis the First. Those paying attention would take note that one Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium stood triumphantly by his side.

    Colonna points out that indications existed — particularly through certain press interviews with Cardinal Murphy O’Connor — the possibility of some pre-meditated collusion between Bergoglio and the St. Gallen conspirators who worked to elect him. Colonna writes:

    In late 2013, the archbishop of Westminster gave an interview to the Catholic Herald in which he admitted not only to campaigning at the Conclave, but to gaining Bergoglio’s assent to be their man.

    The article by Miguel Cullen in the September 12, 2013 edition of the Herald says, “The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.”

    Murphy O’Connor said, “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: “Si – capisco” – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.’” The admonition to Bergoglio to “be careful” certainly seems to imply that Murphy O’Connor – and Bergoglio – knew he was at least bending the rules.

    This is supported again in the same article in the Herald where Murphy O’Connor is quoted saying, “All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’”

    In an interview with the Independent after the Conclave, Murphy O’Connor also hinted there was a particular programme laid before the 76 year-old Argentinian, that he was expected to accomplish in about four years. The English cardinal told journalist[3] and author Paul Vallely, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” A fair enough comment after the fact, but this was the same phrase recorded by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa in an article dated March 2, 2013, eleven days before Bergoglio’s election: “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things,’ whispers a cardinal and long-time friend of the archbishop of Buenos Aires.”

    Four years has certainly been enough.

    From this analysis of Francis’ inauspicious beginnings as the handpicked pope of the most progressive forces in the Church, Colonna takes us on a brief but informative tour of his life and background. He mentions Bergoglio’s strained relationship with his parents — his father a “struggling accountant” and mother a temporary invalid — noting that he rarely speaks of them. He examines Bergoglio’s precipitous rise through the Jesuits in Argentina, despite opposition from his superiors at certain critical points along the way. Highlighted too, was the assessment of the unusually young provincial by the Jesuit Superior General — offered when Bergoglio applied for a dispensation from the Jesuit rule forbidding him from becoming a bishop — allegedly describing him in no uncertain terms as unsuitable for the role. I say allegedly, because the text of the evaluation has never been made public. Writes Colonna:

    Father Kolvenbach accused Bergoglio of a series of defects, ranging from habitual use of vulgar language to deviousness, disobedience concealed under a mask of humility, and lack of psychological balance; with a view to his suitability as a future bishop, the report pointed out that he had been a divisive figure as Provincial of his own order. It is not surprising that, on being elected Pope, Francis made efforts to get his hands on the existing copies of the document, and the original filed in the official Jesuit archives in Rome has disappeared.

    Despite these setbacks, Bergoglio was seen, at the time, as a champion of Catholic conservatism in the mode of John Paul II by Cardinal Quarracino, his predecessor in the archbishopric of Buenos Aires and the man who ultimately ignored the warnings and raised him to the episcopacy. The perception of Bergoglio’s conservatism appears to have stemmed largely from his opposition to the Marxist liberation theology that had become so prevalent in the region — an opposition which, as Colonna explains, was not so much because of ideological disagreement as class warfare:

    Bergoglio himself was a man of the people, and in Latin America “liberation theology” was a movement of intellectuals from the higher classes, the counterpart of the radical chic that led the bourgeoisie in Europe to worship Sartre and Marcuse. With such attitudes Bergoglio had no sympathy; although he had not yet identified himself explicitly with the “theology of the people”, which arose in direct competition with the Marxist school, his instinct made him follow the populist line of Peronism, which (whatever the cynicism of its creator) was more in touch with the genuine working class and lower middle class. Thus, Father Bergoglio backed the apostolate to the slum districts, but he did not want their inhabitants recruited as left-wing guerillas, as some of his priests were trying to do.

    His Peronism helps to make clear, in another illuminating moment, Francis’s infuriating habit of saying diametrically opposing things from one day to the next:

    The story is told that Perón, in his days of glory, once proposed to induct a nephew in the mysteries of politics. He first brought the young man with him when he received a deputation of communists; after hearing their views, he told them, “You’re quite right.” The next day he received a deputation of fascists and replied again to their arguments, “You’re quite right.” Then he asked his nephew what he thought and the young man said, “You’ve spoken with two groups with diametrically opposite opinions and you told them both that you agreed with them. This is completely unacceptable.” Perón replied, “You’re quite right too.” An anecdote like this is an illustration of why no-one can be expected to assess Pope Francis unless he understands the tradition of Argentinian politics, a phenomenon outside the rest of the world’s experience; the Church has been taken by surprise by Francis because it has not had the key to him: he is Juan Perón in ecclesiastical translation. Those who seek to interpret him otherwise are missing the only relevant criterion.
    Byron and Carol55 like this.
  3. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    The book is packed with such fascinating insights into the phenomena of the Francis papacy, in part by viewing the present through the lens of his past. From indications that his notorious simplicity was simply a means of shedding any “ballast” that might impede his pursuit of power to his ostentatious humility (often with cameras conveniently waiting to capture the moment) to his masterful manipulation of an over-eager media into displaying the image he wishes to portray, the layers of the Argentinian pope are peeled back and examined, offering a deeper understanding of the man himself.

    Colonna does not spend much time on the question of the validity of Francis’ papal election, but he does raise questions about the convenient (for the St. Gallen group) timing of Benedict’s abdication and considerations made both by papal biographer Austen Ivereigh and Vatican journalist Antonio Socci on the politicking and the questionable canonical validity, respectively, in the 2013 conclave. “Whether one chooses to uphold Socci’s view or not,” Colonna writes, “there is something rather appropriate in the fact that the political heir of Juan Perón should have been raised to the head of the Catholic Church by what was arguably an invalid vote.”

    The book does not merely content itself with the pre-pontificate history of Bergoglio. Under the microscope, too, are the critical agenda items of the ongoing papacy, foremost among them, those promises which have never materialized. From reform of the curia to a supposed “zero tolerance” policy on clerical sexual abusers to Vatican bank and financial reform, some of the major initiatives of the Francis papacy have failed to reach fruition, been abandoned, or have received only lip service.

    Later chapters deal, among other important topics, with the heavily-manipulated synods on the family, the Vatican response to orthodox resistance, the saga surrounding the dubia, the gutting and reinvention of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the destruction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Vatican-supported coup within the Knights of Malta, and the persecution of those ecclesiastics who fail to toe the line for the papal agenda — along with an examination of the KGB-style tactics deployed by “Kremlin Santa Marta”. (On a personal note, I was both pleased and honored to discover a chapter subheading entitled “The Dictatorship of Mercy,” with a direct reference to the article in which I coined the term.)

    There is a great deal of material in this book for all Catholics, but it will be of particular interest to readers of this website, who have watched many of these developments unfold in real time. There are also new things to learn from the text, particularly in its examination of the pope’s Argentinian history. If you or someone you know is interested in getting up to speed quickly on where things are with this papacy — and why it is so singularly controversial — this book appears to be an excellent starting point to cover much of the necessary ground. At 141 pages, it provides a sufficient amount of depth without overwhelming the reader with too much information, and the language and presentation make it an easy, fascinating read.

    I believe The Dictator Pope will prove to be a critical tool in understanding and documenting the present papacy, and so, despite already having a copy of the text, I’ve also pre-ordered the book, both in support of the author and to help bolster its status via the one metric that seems to garner the most attention: sales rank. I encourage you to do the same. Already in Italy, the e-book is an Amazon best seller, having attained the rank of #60 in that country and hovering at #1 or #2 in books in its category. It would be fantastic to thrust it to the top of the charts in the English-speaking world as well.

    That would send quite a message.
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers


    Thank you for posting this.

    I'm going to purchase a copy of the book as Mr. Skojec has suggested this coming Monday.

    Maybe this book will help Cardinal Burke with determining how to go forward, maybe this book will help bring the much needed support that Cardinal Burke needs.
    SgCatholic, BrianK and HeavenlyHosts like this.
  5. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    De Mattei: Cardinals Burke, Brandmüller and Müller and The Dictator Pope
    Roberto de Mattei, Corrispondenza Romana, November 29, 2017
    Over the last few weeks three interviews from prominent cardinals have appeared. The first was released by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller to Christian Geye and Hannes Hintermeier for the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung on October 28th 2017; the second was given by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Edward Pentin on November 14th for The National Catholic Register; the third, to Cardinal Müller, appeared on November 26th in the Corriere della Sera, by Massimo Franco.

    Cardinal Brandmüller revealed his anxiety concerning the possible beginnings of a division in the Church. “ The fact alone that a petition with 870,000 signatures addressed to the Pope asking him for clarification has still not been answered and likewise the 50 scholars of international ranking have yet to obtain a reply - raises questions. This is truly difficult to understand .” “Addressing some dubia, i.e. doubts and questions to the Pope, has always been an absolutely normal way to dissipate ambiguities. Simply speaking, the question is the following: Can something that was considered a sin yesterday be good today? Further, we now have the question whether there are actually acts - as has been the constant teaching of the Church – that are always and in all circumstances morally reprehensible? Such as in the case of killing an innocent person or adultery for example? This is the point. If there should be in effect a “yes” response to the first question and a “no” to the second, this would be a de facto heresy, and consequently a schism. A split in the Church.”

    Cardinal Burke, who confirmed that he was in constant communication with Cardinal Brandmüller, advanced a fresh warning “on the gravity of the situation which continues to worsen” and reaffirmed the need to shed light on all the heterodox passages in Amoris laetitia. We are in fact faced with a process which constitutes “a subversion of the essential parts of Tradition”. “Above and beyond the moral debate, the sense of sacramental practice in the Church is being increasingly eroded, in particular as regards Confession and the Eucharist.”

    The cardinal once again addresses Pope Francis and the entire Church, by stressing “ how urgent it is for the Pope, in the exercise of the ministry he has received from the Lord, that he confirm his brethren in the faith, by expressing clearly the teaching on Christian morality and the importance of the Church’s sacramental practice.

    Cardinal Müller, for his part, confirms that there is the danger of a schism inside the Church and the responsibility of this division does not belong to the Dubia Cardinals of Amoris laetitia, nor the signatories of the Correctio filialis to Pope Francis, but the Pope’s “magic circle”, which is blocking open and balanced discussion on the doctrinal problems raised by these criticisms.

    “Caution: If the perception of an injustice is given by the Roman Curia, it could inevitably set in motion a schismatic tendency, difficult afterwards to recover from. I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris laetitia, or the 62 signatories of an even excessive letter of criticism to the Pope should be heard, not liquidated as “Pharisees” or grumblers. The only way out of this situation is through clear and frank dialogue.” “Instead, I have the impression that in the Pope’s “magic circle” there are those who are mainly concerned about snitching on presumed adversaries, thus blocking open and balanced discussion. Classifying all Catholics according to the categories of “friend” or “enemy” of the Pope, is the gravest damage they are causing in the Church. One remains perplexed if a well-known journalist, as an atheist, boasts of being the Pope’s friend; and on a parallel a Catholic bishop and cardinal like myself is being defamed as the Holy Father’s opponent. I don’t believe that these people can give me lessons in theology on the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.”

    According to his interviewer; Cardinal Müller, has yet to digest the “hurt” of his three collaborators being dismissed shortly before his non-renewal as head of the Congregation last June. “They were good, competent priests who had worked for the Church with exemplary dedication”, is his judgment. “People cannot be sent away [like that] ad libitum, without evidence or procedure, simply because someone anonymously reported that one of them made some vague criticism of the Pope …

    Under what kind of regime are people treated this way? Damien Thompson in The Spectator wrote about it last July 17th. (https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/ pope-francis-is-behaving-like-a-latin-american-dictator-but-the-liberal-media-arent-interested/).
    Update to fix link above: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/...tator-but-the-liberal-media-arent-interested/

    The dismissal of Cardinal Muller’s collaborators “brings to mind his most authoritarian predecessors – or, indeed, some Latin American dictator who hugs the crowds and advertises his ostentatiously humble lifestyle while his lieutenants live in fear of his rages.” This aspect of Pope Francis’ Pontificate is now the object of a book, recently published with the significant title The Dictator Pope (https://www.amazon.it/Papa-Dittatore-Marcantonio-Colonna-ebook/dp/B077M5ZH4M

    The author is an Oxford-educated historian who hides under the name of “Marcantonio Colonna”. His style is sober and documented, but his accusations against Pope Bergoglio are numerous and strong. Many of the elements he has based in the formulation of his accusations are well-known, but what is new is the accurate description of a series of “historical pictures”: the intrigue of Pope Bergoglio’s election, piloted by the “St. Gallen Mafia”; Bergoglio’s Argentinean behavior and actions before his election; the obstacles Cardinal Pell encountered after having attempted a financial reform of the Curia; the revision of the Pontifical Academy for Life; the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the decapitation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

    The mass-media, always ready to lash out with indignation at any episode of bad government and corruption, are silent about these scandals. The foremost merit of this historical study is having brought them to light. “Fear is the dominant note of the Curia under the law of Francis, along with reciprocal suspicion”. It is not only about informers who are seeking to obtain advantages by reporting a private conversationas Cardinal Müller’s three members of staff discovered. In an organization where morally corrupt people have been left in place and even promoted by Pope Francis, underhanded blackmail is the order of the day. A priest in the Curia said ironically: “The saying goes that it is who you know that counts not what you know. In the Vatican, here’s how it is: what you know counts more than who you know.”

    Marcantonio Colonna’s book, in short, confirms what Cardinal Müller’s interview conceals: the existence of an atmosphere of espionage and delation which the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith attributes to a “magic circle” conditioning the Pope’s choices, whereas the Oxford historian reports it as Pope Francis’ modus gubernandi and compares it to the autocratic methods of the Argentinean dictator Juan Peron, of whom the young Bergoglio was a follower.

    One might respond that nihil sub sole novum (Ecclesiaste 1, 10). The Church has seen many other deficiencies in government. However, if this pontificate is actually bringing about a division among the faithful, as the three cardinals highlighted, the motives cannot be limited to the Pope’s way of governing, but have to be sought in something which is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Church: the separation of the Roman Pontiff from the doctrine of the Gospel, which he has, through Divine mandate, the duty to transmit and guard. This is what is at the heart of the religious problem of our times.
    Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana

    Labels: Amoris Laetitia, de Mattei, Dubia of the Four Cardinals, The Bergoglio Pontificate
    By Francesca Romana at Friday, December 01, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    BrianK likes this.
  6. padraig

    padraig New Member

    oh I don't know.

    I would be very careful of this kinda stuff.

    Recall what we are taught from the Cathchism about Caluumny especially regarding a Pontiff


    A lot of the stuff posted here is very, very, very lacking in Charity

    2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.
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  7. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Your expressed attitudes over the years regarding this pope and discussing the problems of his papacy are nothing if not mercurial @padraig :rolleyes:

    No, this does not represent calumny or detraction. It’s just a comprehensive summary of the reality of the man in the chair of Peter that we face today. BAE38651-E6E7-4A76-A1D6-18A2924E5E1F.png 30A17603-F7D6-407D-A2C1-3064F38F82C7.png
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    jerry likes this.
  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Mecurial = Irish:);):D
    Don_D and BrianK like this.
  9. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

  10. padraig

    padraig New Member

    well I am away to bed good night
    Carol55 likes this.
  11. sterph

    sterph Principalities

    Good night.
    Carol55 likes this.
  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

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  13. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers


    I don't know about this book either and it is usually not something that I would consider purchasing but I think that purchasing a copy does not necessarily mean that the purchaser is in agreement with what is stated in the book. I am buying a copy to hopefully voice my concern, I hope that is the message that the Pope will interpret from a large amount of sales of this book. He may say that people are interested in gossip and fake news etc. but I pray that he sees it differently than that and if any of these statements are in fact true about him, it may cause him to reflect on himself a little bit. I think most of us don't truly understand how others perceive us and we can all stand to make some adjustments at times.

    In addition, if the following statement from the OnePeterFive article which Pope Francis is purported to have stated in regards to being elected Pope is true then it is very telling imho, "He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?' ". From this statement, it does not appear that he was anxious to jump in and make a whole bunch of changes to the Church but others may have perceived that he could be manipulated more than any other candidate at the time. That is how I interpreted that statement anyway.

    Pope Francis continues to remain in my prayers and I will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt regardless of what is stated in this book.
    Byron likes this.
  14. gracia

    gracia Angels

    As disturbing as many actions and words of Francis are, what the Lord has pressed on my heart in prayer is the great need to pray for Francis, and against his flirtation / leaning towards Lutheranism, heresy, Freemasonry, and Communism. Against these evils specifically.
    Julia, Booklady, Sam and 4 others like this.
  15. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    These evils are all tentacles of the same beast
    Aren’t they
    Glad we are in Our Lady’s army
    Julia, Booklady, gracia and 2 others like this.
  16. padraig

    padraig New Member

    If I read the book I would probably end up throwing myself out the window I would find it so depressing. I try to focus on positive things like the lives of the saints or the life of Mary and so on. I have no TV and this is a great help, but I find when I try to watch secular stuff now I find I cannot do it. It just does not attract my interest, I get distracted. I love the old films especially ones that had a moral purpose.

    Here is a good one to watch, 'The Miracle of the Bells', quite touching. Nearly all the books I read are spiritual , what we put into our minds and hearts is what we will get out.

    Philippians 4:8

    “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

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  17. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Padraig, Thank you, this looks wonderful!
    gracia likes this.
  18. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Yes its, so strange but a lot of really good stuff came out of Hollywood at this period, I wonder why it dried up?

    Here is an even better one, I think I might sit up late tonight and watch it again myself.:)

    Carol55 likes this.
  19. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Ok, fasten your seat belts folks, it looks like the threshold has been crossed into formal heresy now...


    BREAKING: Pope Declares Troubling Interpretation of AL ‘Authentic Magisterium’
    by Church Militant • ChurchMilitant.com • December 2, 2017
    Church Militant is confirming that Pope Francis has officially approved the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia that opens Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried in some instances, directly contradicting Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, arguably making this interpretation binding on the consciences of the faithful.

    In a Papal Rescript granted on June 5, 2017 ex Audientia Sanctissimi to the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and just now released by the Vatican in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the Holy Father has raised to the level of "authentic Magisterium" both the private letter he wrote on September 5, 2016 to Bp. Sergio Alfredo Fenoy, the Delegate of the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, and the Criterios Basicos para la aplicación del capitulo VIII de Amoris laetitia ("Basic Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia"), issued on the same day by the bishops of the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region.

    Some are arguing that Pope Francis is using a "back door" in order to raise to the level of official teaching what his defenders had been describing as merely new "pastoral" discipline.Tweet
    The directives of the Buenos Aires bishops caused controversy last year because it interpreted the pope’s apostolic exhortation to allow Holy Communion in certain cases to those in sacramentally invalid unions who deliberately engage in sexual relations. In the Pope's September 5 letter to the bishops, he praised their interpretation.

    "The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia," he said, adding, "There are no other interpretations."

    According to experts whom Church Militant has consulted, the importance of the official decision of the Pope to elevate the referenced documents to the level of "authentic Magisterium" and order their publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (the official register of the Holy See, a compendium of decrees, encyclicals, appointments and other official acts of the Holy See) cannot be underestimated. The issuance of the decision through Rescript form puts to rest any more discussion regarding the official and precise interpretation to be given by the episcopal hierarchy and faithful to Amoris Laetitia.

    Church Militant's unofficial English translation of the Rescript published in Latin, states:

    The Supreme Pontiff decrees that the two Documents that precede [this Rescript] are to be made known by publication on the Vatican website and in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, as authentic Magisterium. From the Vatican Palace, on the 5th day of June in the year 2017. (emphasis added)

    The terms of art, authentic Magisterium, are especially referenced in canon 752 of the Code of Canon Law:

    While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine. (Code of Canon Law Annotated, 2nd ed. Midwest Theological Forum: Woodridge, 2004, p. 586) (emphasis added)

    The use by the Supreme Pontiff of the terms "authentic Magisterium" has been qualified as "very troubling" by one expert whom Church Militant consulted regarding this breaking development, because such usage is primarily employed in strictly categorizing doctrines pertaining to faith or morals, not merely ecclesiastical discipline. Consequently, some are arguing that Pope Francis is using a "back door" in order to raise to the level of official teaching what his defenders had been describing as merely new "pastoral" discipline meant to "accompany" divorced and civilly remarried faithful in their "discernment" as to whether they can receive Holy Communion despite living more uxorio (as husband and wife).

    This story is unfolding as we write, and will be updated.
  20. Blizzard

    Blizzard thy kingdom come

    Robert Royal, an intelligent, articulate and, in my view, moderate man seems to lend credence to the vast majority of the allegations contained in the book.

    “The Dictator Pope”

    By Robert Royal


    Note: This is an all too brief account of a remarkable new book on the pope, which is causing waves in Rome and around the world. Fr. Gerald Murray, Raymond Arroyo, and I will discuss this and other matters in greater detail tomorrow evening on EWTN’s “The World Over,” 8 PM East Coast time (Check local listings for rebroadcasts and postings on YouTube). We began our year-end funding drive on November 8, and I’d like to end it this Friday, December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. You’ve already heard more than enough on this from me. There’s still time to click the button. Just do it and and do your bit for The Catholic Thing. – Robert Royal


    The title above is the name of a book that appeared Monday in English (after earlier publication in Italian) by a writer who has assumed a grand Renaissance pseudonym: Marcantonio Colonna (an admiral at Lepanto). He evidently could not publish under his real name, for fear of reprisals. But the case he lays out is largely convincing: that Pope Francis has carefully cultivated an image in public as the apostle of mercy, kindness, and openness; in private, he’s authoritarian, given to profanity-laced outbursts of anger, and manipulative in pursuing his agenda.

    This is hardly news, least of all in Rome. This volume, however, is far more probing and detailed than anything that has previously appeared. It sometimes stretches evidence, but the sheer amount of evidence it provides is stunning. About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about.

    The parts of this story I know best – the Synods on the family that I reported on daily from Rome for TCT – are absolutely reliable. We know, for example, that Pope Francis was quite willing to openly manipulate the Synods by personally appointing supporters of the Kasper Proposal and that he even intervened personally at key points, changing procedures and instructing the bishops about where their deliberations should start – and end.

    When Francis cares about something – as Colonna shows – he makes it happen, whatever the opposition (at the Synods, it was considerable). There’s a clear pattern of behavior, whatever uncertainties remain. On the divorced and remarried, the environment, immigrants, “Islamophobia,” the poor, the pope is relentless. But he was not elected to revolutionize marital doctrine or “discipline.” Nor was he chosen to be a player in international politics. He was elected to be a “reformer” who would mainly clean up Vatican finances and deal with the gay lobby, two things that played a role in Benedict’s resignation.

    On the financial front, there was a strong start: The council of cardinals, Cardinal Pell’s effort to inject Anglo-Saxon transparency, a new special secretariat on the economy, hiring PriceWaterhouseCoopers to do an external audit. The momentum stalled as the old guard slowly regained control over Vatican finances – and oversight. A series of Vatican Bank presidents, officials, accountants, etc. – probably getting too close to the truth – have been fired without good explanations. (Something similar played out in the Knights of Malta controversy.) Pell had to return to Australia to deal with sexual abuse charges from forty years ago that, suspiciously, resurfaced after being earlier examined and dismissed.

    And where was the pope during all of this? He didn’t seem very interested. If he had been, he’d be at least as dogged in dealing with financial reform as he is, say, about global warming. Austen Ivereigh, a British writer and papal fan, entitled his biography The Great Reformer, in part because of Jorge Bergoglio’s alleged role in curbing abuses in Buenos Aires. Colonna doubts the truth of that account, and not only because of Francis’s lack of action in Rome. He thinks the Argentinian stories should be re-examined.


    Then there’s the gay mafia. People forget that the occasion for Francis’ famous remark “Who am I to judge?” was not a general comment about homosexuality. It was in response to a question about Msgr. Battista Ricca, who was involved in several notorious homosexual scandals, some right across the river from Buenos Aires in Uruguay. Nonetheless, right after the 2013 papal election, he became the pope’s “eyes and ears” at the Vatican Bank and director of the Casa Santa Marta, where Francis resides.

    And then there’s the troubling, casual resurrection of figures like Cardinal Gottfried Daneels, once thoroughly discredited for his support for contraception, divorce, gay marriage, even euthanasia and abortion – and outrageous mishandling of priestly abuse. But he stood with Francis on the balcony of St. Peter’s right after the conclave and read the prayer for the new pope at his inauguration. He was also one of the ringers Francis personally invited to bolster his case at the Synods.

    Then there’s the appointment of another radical, Archbishop Paglia, to head the “reformed” John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family. In a remarkably naked authoritarian move, the pope substituted himself for Cardinal Sarah for the institute’s opening academic address in 2016, and spoke of “a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage.” You have to believe that Cardinal Marx was expressing the truth when he said, at the end of the synods, that it was just the beginning.

    The least satisfactory part of this book for me is the account of how the “St. Gallen Group” – one of its own members called it a “mafia” – which met to plan opposition to St. JPII and Joseph Ratzinger, identified Jorge Bergoglio as a future papal candidate. He had no global visibility until he gave the concluding address at the 2001 Synod on the role of bishops. NYC’s Cardinal Edward Egan was supposed to do that but stayed home because 9/11 had just happened. The address impressed the synod fathers for its fairness to both sides. Colonna reveals, however, that it was entirely the work of a Synod secretary/speechwriter, Msgr. Daniel Emilio Estivill. We need to know more about how things went, from then to now.

    Colonna also weakens his credibility somewhat by repeating rumors that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin convinced Francis to use money from Peter’s Pence to support Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. No footnotes appear to support this claim, nor does Colonna offer a plausible account of how and why Rome would think Mrs. Clinton – Hilary Clinton? – worth such a risky bet and potential scandal.

    Despite a few lapses, the most disturbing element remains: the abundant evidence – confirmed by many particular instances now over years of this papacy – that the pope has little use for established procedures, precedents, even legal structures within the Church. These are not mere trivial rules, Pharisaic legalism, resistance to the Holy Spirit, etc. They are the means by which the Church seeks to be clear, fair, and orderly – and to address unjust actions or abuses by those in power.

    When the head of the Church himself does not much feel bound by the tradition or impartial laws he has inherited, what then? That the question even has to be asked is disturbing. Any answer will have to reckon with the eye-opening material in this compelling book.


    Dolours, Carol55 and BrianK like this.

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