Tag Archive for: Pope Francis

Pope Francis: Overpopulation is a Myth — We Need More Children

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That sinks in whenever I leave the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. It is good to be back home.

My recent excursion into the imperial city brought me up close and personal with the chattering class. I once dwelled among them; their ways are familiar. They are so well educated, so (mis)informed, so secure in their status as “nice people” who “matter.”  Common sense has been educated away.

Chewing the fat with pseudo-intellectuals is amusing up to a point, after which it gets tiresome for the even-tempered. Enduring their prattle, I heard that climate change (climate is always changing) is the supreme threat, and population reduction (reducing humanity) can save the planet. How about saving humanity? Maybe we could do both?

One of these delightful people referred to Pope Francis as a “dinosaur”. Perhaps they believe that being respectful is an oppressive patriarchal thing.

Legacy media relishes running stories about the declining health of Pope Francis, how he is not long for this world, etc. They lick their chops at the slightest hint of scandal anytime, anyhow, anywhere within the 1.4-billion-strong Catholic fold. This is overzealous secularism in action.

Sadly, that is to be expected in these times. Enlightenment empiricism melded with Cultural Marxism (political correctness) has given rise to incurable secular hubris. How could anyone who disagrees with the “enlightened ones” matter?

States General on Natality

While visibly ageing, Pope Francis is going strong at 87. He had something important to say on the tenth of May. The following headline, from a Latter Day Saint-friendly outlet, brilliantly summarised his remarks:

Have the courage to have children despite climate change and wars, Pope Francis says: The pontiff asks nations to help women juggle motherhood and work, create job security for young people and help couples buy homes.

Francis frequently weighs in about family and fertility. It is heartening that he hammers away at this. His May 10 remarks were at the States General on Natality, a yearly confab sponsored by the Italian government to reverse the country’s falling fertility. The title of this year’s meeting was “Being there: More youth, more future.”

Let us hope so. Italy’s fertility rate is now 1.2. There were 282,000 more deaths than births in 2023. The country’s median age is 47. While the government is supposedly going all out to fight fertility decline, thus far, it is a losing battle:

Last year, Italy recorded 379,000 births, a 3.6 percent decline on 2022 and a 34.2 percent drop on 2008 — the last year Italy saw an increase in the number of babies born. It was also the lowest number since the country’s unification in 1861.

Among friends

While Pope Francis was among friends, the States General on Natality forum was yet another venue where he spoke to the world. Early on, he commented on studies warning of overpopulation:

I was always struck by how these theses, which are now outdated, talked about human beings as if they were problems. But human life is not a problem, it’s a gift. No, the problem with our world is not children being born. It’s selfishness, consumerism, individualism, which render people complacent, alone and unhappy.

Francis nails it. That’s the essence of Mercator’s dignitarian philosophy in four sentences. Sadly, in today’s world, entrenched ideological elites manipulate the masses in accordance with the hyper-utilitarian homo economicus (economic man) ethos of cheap-labour immigration, lucrative identity politics and economically-driven social policy ruinous to family life. But people are catching on. Popular pushback is just getting started. Pope Francis’s advocacy is leading the way.

Not letting up

The pontiff continued, chastising chattering elites by saying that it is not population that causes world hunger and environmental damage, but rather “the choices of those who only think about themselves, the delirium of an unbridled, blind and rampant materialism, and of consumerism.”

The problem is not how many of us there are in this world, but rather what kind of world we’re building.

At the institutional level, there is an urgent need for effective policies and courageous, concrete and long-term choices to sow today so that children can reap tomorrow. A greater commitment is needed from all governments, so that the younger generations are put in a position to realise their legitimate dreams.

At the social level, Francis stressed the need to foster “a culture of generosity and intergenerational solidarity” by “reconsidering habits and lifestyles… renouncing what is superfluous…, [to] give the youngest hope for tomorrow.”

Amen to that. In closing, he said:

Lonely grandparents, discarded grandparents: this is cultural suicide. The future is built by the young and the old, together. Please, when talking about the birth rate, which is the future, let us also talk about grandparents, who are not the past, but help the future. Have children, lots of them, but also look after your grandparents.

Pope Francis gets it. People of many faiths have endorsed his comments. LDS First Counselor Dallin Oaks echoed Francis’s sentiments at a global conference on May 21. The theme: “Know the truth and stand for it, even if the truth is not politically popular.” His message: “Date more, marry earlier, don’t delay having children — even for financial reasons.”

The regnant cult of homo economicus values people solely for their economic utility. It believes that people exist to serve the economy. In a moral world, the economy serves the people. That’s families, folks. We’re all born into one. The question should not be if something is liberal, conservative, right or left but “Is it good for families?”

Traditionalists vehemently disagree with some of Pope Francis’s actions. Point taken. He is the first Jesuit pope, a theological “liberal”. But we can all agree, regardless of faith, denomination or whatever — from secular Silicon Valley pronatalists to people of faith worldwide – about the fundamentals: family and fertility. On those critical issues, let there be no division in our ranks.


Has the pontiff hit the nail on the head? Comment below.


AUTHOR

Louis T. March has a background in government, business, and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author, and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

EDITORS NOTE: This Mercator column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Pope Francis Wants Everyone Except the Men Protecting Him to Give Up Their Weapons

“Rome will be conquered in the near future, Allah willing.”

Great. It’s time for another call for “peace” that will be achieved by giving up all our weapons.

Pope Francis on Monday blasted the weapons industry and its “instruments of death” that fuel wars as he made a Christmas Day appeal for peace in the world and in particular between Israel and the Palestinians…

“It should be talked about and written about, so as to bring to light the interests and the profits that move the puppet strings of war,” he said. “And how can we even speak of peace, when arms production, sales and trade are on the rise?”

If he’s going to give up weapons, maybe start with telling the Swiss Guard to give up its “instruments of death”?

“For their protection and guard functions, the guards are equipped with Glock 19 and 26 automatic pistols, SIG 550 assault rifle (Stgw 90 ) and SIG 552 assault rifle (Commando), both in 5.56 mm x 45 caliber, OC-Spray and destabilizing devices (Taser X2). modernization of the already aging Stgw 90 (which was donated by the Swiss Army at the time), currently B&T APC 556 assault rifles and B&T APC 9 submachine guns are used.”

Beyond these, the only reason Vatican City isn’t overrun by guys with machine guns mounted on pickup trucks howling, “Allahu Akbar” is because there still is an Italian military, under the Lateran Treaty, such as it is, armed with some of those “instruments of death”.

Beyond it there’s the larger European community, NATO and the United States and all their instruments of death which serve as a guarantor of the security of the Vatican.

This is not a theoretical question.

Jihadists are obsessed with the idea of invading and conquering Rome to fulfill some of the genocidal prophecies of their cult.

On January 17, 2020, a video was uploaded to the Internet of an event at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on the anniversary of the 1453 AD capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire. The event was held by Hizb ut-Tahrir. Palestinian preacher Nidhal “Abu Ibrahim” Siam spoke before the crowd and said that the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople brings tidings that Rome will be conquered in the near future.

Nidhal Siam: “Oh Muslims, the anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople brings tidings of things to come. It brings tiding that Rome will be conquered in the near future, Allah willing.

Samir Zaqout, the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Political Bureau in Gaza, said in a June 8, 2023 show on Al-Quds Al-Youm TV (Palestinian Islamic Jihad – Gaza) the Muslims will conquer Rome and Europe as the Prophet Muhammad foretold in the Hadith.” He said that this will happen “at its destined time.”

In a Friday sermon that aired on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV on April 11, 2008, Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal said: “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs [i.e., the Jews] in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam – this capital of theirs will be an advance post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.

While Pope Francis encourages the Muslim migrants swarming into Europe to complete these genocidal “prophecies”, the only thing standing between Vatican City and an invasion are brave men armed with some of those “instruments of death.”

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Pope Francis’ Silence On Hamas

Pope Francis, terminally naïve about Islam, believes he has a true understanding of the faith based partly on the reassurances given him by his new friend, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. “War is deceit,” says Muhammad in a famous hadith, and Al-Tayeb has been cheerfully deceiving the Pope every chance he gets. Pope Francis has learned a lot from Al-Tayeb. He insists in his new book, Non Sei Solo: Sfide, Risposte, Speranze (You Are Not Alone: Challenges, Answers, Hopes), that “either you are a terrorist or you are a Muslim.” A “true” Muslim, he thinks, cannot be a terrorist. No one has pointed out to the Pope that Muhammad himself says in another hadith that “I have been made victorious through terror.” (Bukhari 4:52.220) And Muhammad is the Perfect Man and the Model of Conduct, whose behavior is to be emulated by Muslims.

Islam talks about peace, all right — the peace that will prevail once Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere. Until then war must be made on the Infidels, who when conquered must be either killed, or made to convert to Islam, or to accept the inferior status of dhimmis, enduring a host of social, political, and economic disabilities, including payment of the extortionate jizyah tax. In his infinite wisdom, the Pope has declared on many occasions, and in his latest book, too, that “Islam, in truth, is a religion of peace and the majority of its members are peaceful.” He’s wrong, of course. He need only look around the world at the Muslim terror groups that have been waging war against Infidels, and even against less fanatical Muslims, in recent years: the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Boko Haram, Al-Shebaab, and so many more. Muslims have committed more than 44,000 terror attacks around the world since 9/11. The Qur’an is filled with verses about violence and waging war on Infidels. The Believers are instructed to “kill them [the Infidels] wherever you find them” (Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5). But one has the distinct impression that the Pope has never read the Qur’an. Why should he bother to do so, when such authoritative experts on Islam like Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb assure him that Islam is all about peace?

Given the Pope’s affection for Islam, it is not surprising that he has been circumspect in his remarks on the atrocities carried out by Hamas on October 7. More on his failure to forthrightly condemn those attacks, which is risking the Vatican’s relations with the Jewish world, can be found here: “The Vatican is risking its relationship with the Jewish world,” by Vittorio Mascarini, JNS, November 16, 2023:

Relations between Israel and the Vatican have become tense in recent weeks.

In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, an ecumenical group of Christian leaders that includes the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, issued a joint statement in which they made no explicit mention of the Hamas atrocities. They included only a vague condemnation of any act that targets civilians.

The Israeli embassy to the Holy See criticized the statement’s “immoral linguistic ambiguity,” which failed to be clear about “what happened, who were the aggressors and who the victims. … It is especially unbelievable that such a sterile document was signed by people of faith.”

This controversy is only the latest in the fraught history of Israel-Vatican relations, which were officially established in Dec. 1993. Besides the Catholic Church’s historical antisemitism, the Vatican was long reluctant to formally recognize Israel for several reasons: Israel did not have internationally recognized borders, the status of Jerusalem and access to its holy sites had not been internationally guaranteed, and Catholics and their institutions were, the Church claimed, not adequately protected under Israeli law.

In addition, the Vatican had concerns about the treatment of Palestinians in the disputed territories and feared that relations with Israel could have negative repercussions for Catholics in Islamic countries.

This may explain why, to date, Pope Francis has not labelled Hamas a terrorist organization and has not met with families of Israeli hostages. The latter has not gone unnoticed, especially because the families were received by many leading national figures, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

According to the Catholic news site Cruxnow, the pontiff’s behavior can be explained as “positioning the Vatican potentially to play a mediating and peace-making role.” In addition, “The bulk of the Christian population in the Holy Land is Arab and Palestinian, so Middle Eastern bishops and clergy tend to be strong supporters of the Palestinian cause.”

Given the deplorable treatment of Israel by the Vatican — of which the failure to condemn Hamas is just the latest example, it is doubtful that Jerusalem would accept the Vatican as a mediator between the Jewish state and those who would destroy it.

Moreover, Cruxnow sees a historic shift underway in terms of the Vatican’s interfaith priorities: “Since the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, Judaism has been the Church’s primordial relationship, unquestionably the highest priority in inter-religious dialogue. Under history’s first pope from the developing world, that’s no longer necessarily the case, as other relationships, especially the dialogue with Islam, have become at least an equally compelling perceived priority.”

Given this, it is not surprising that, since war broke out, Pope Francis has spoken with numerous world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, but there are no reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been among them.

Wouldn’t you think that after the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust, the Pope would have wanted to speak with the leader of the Jewish state, if only to express his solidarity and understanding? But though the Pope has spoken with many world leaders about the ongoing war in Gaza, he has apparently snubbed the Israeli President. How does he hope to ever be a mediator if he will not talk to the Israeli prime minister?

The larger Catholic world has shown equal ambivalence towards the war. Among Eastern Catholic leaders, the Latin Catholic and Eastern churches in communion with Rome have issued what Israel deems a lukewarm and insufficient condemnations of Hamas. Their first communiqué, issued on Oct. 8, contained a generic statement “against any acts that target civilians, regardless of their nationality.” The next, on Oct. 13, decried the humanitarian situation in Gaza and called for de-escalation. It singled out only Israel in connection with humanitarian issues….

Instead of deploring the Hamas atrocities, the Eastern Catholic leaders uttered a generic condemnation “against any acts that target civilians.” They were afraid of the Muslim reaction if they singled out Hamas — as they should have — which would, however, make the lives of Catholics in the Arab countries more difficult. And just like Pope Francis, they did not mention the 240 hostages held by Hamas, or call for their release.

The Pope has to understand that the Jews of Israel now deserve his unambiguous support as they fight to destroy a murderous enemy that has pledged not only to destroy the single Jewish state and replace it with a twenty-third Arab one, but to kill Jews everywhere. No moral equivalency should be allowed. And he must also denounce, as he has not yet done so, the tidal wave of antisemitism, prompted in part by the war in Gaza, that threatens to engulf much of the world. He needs first to unambiguously denounce Hamas and all those who support the terror group. But will he? The signs from this Pope, who believes “Islam is all about peace,” are not good.

So far, Pope Francis has been weighed and found wanting.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Pope Francis Declares ‘Gender Ideology’ As ‘Dangerous’ To Civilization

Pope Francis said in an interview published Friday that “gender ideology” is among the “most dangerous ideological colonizations” today, according to a recent interview with La Nacion, an Argentinian media outlet.

The pope has made waves recently with some of his comments on LGBTQ issues, most recently saying that homosexuality, while a sin, should not be criminalized. Francis said that “gender ideology” has created one of the most “dangerous” ideologies in recent history because of the way it blurs the lines between men and women, according to a translation of his remarks to La Nacion by the Catholic News Agency.

Francis explained that “all humanity is the tension of differences” and worried about how “gender ideology” had virtually eliminated those differences between men and women.

“Why is it dangerous?” Francis said. “Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”

The pope said that the idea of allowing people to identify as male, female or nonbinary reminded him of a 1907 book titled “Lord Of The World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. Francis explained the book showed a future where “differences are disappearing” and all things become “uniform.”

Francis also dispelled rumors that he had been asked to write a document on the topic of gender, noting that he “always distinguish[es] between what pastoral care is for people who have a different sexual orientation and what gender ideology is,” according to La Nacion. The pope called people who believe that radical gender ideology is “the path of progress” rather “naive.”

Francis has been criticized in the past due to remarks he has made about transgenderism and acceptance of same-sex marriage, according to the Catholic News Agency. In 2020, the pope said that he would be in favor of a “civil union law” for same-sex couples, and in January 2022 encouraged parents to not “condemn” their children over sexual orientation.

Most recently, he criticized the Church for becoming caught up in political debates, warning that the “Gospel is not an ideology.”

“[T]he Gospel is a proclamation that touches your heart and makes you change your heart, but if you take refuge in an idea, in an ideology, whether right or left or centre, you are making the Gospel a political party, an ideology, a club of people,” the pope said.

The Vatican did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

KATE ANDERSON

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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Reproductive choice is a choice to have children. Anything else is a fraud. Period.

The most underreported story of the last 50 years.


Recently both Pope Francis and Elon Musk have warned of depopulation.

Speaking of the declining birth rate in Italy, the Pontiff said:

“This is a new poverty that scares me. It is the generative poverty of those who discount the desire for happiness in their hearts, of those who resign themselves to watering down their greatest aspirations [family], of those who are content with little and stop hoping for something great.”

And here’s billionaire Musk on Twitter: “A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”

As expected, PC corporate media pushed back against both the pro-natalist Pontiff and the flaky father-of-nine world’s richest man.

In the midst of this comes yet another survey on the opinions of Americans about having children. The study in the journal Scientific Reports, “Prevalence, age of decision, and interpersonal warmth judgements of childfree adults,” is authored by Michigan State University professors Zachary P. Neal and Jennifer Watling Neal. It grabbed headlines.

The headline? “More than 1 in 5 US adults don’t want children.”

As the authors more accurately explain:

In a 2022 study of 1,500 adults in Michigan, we found that 21.64% of adults do not want to have children and therefore are choosing to be childfree. While our survey wasn’t nationally representative, the 2021 Census showed that Michigan is demographically similar to the United States in terms of age, race, education and income. If the pattern we have observed in Michigan reflects national trends, it would mean 50 million to 60 million American adults are childfree.

Given the times, this is not surprising. In many quarters it is considered thoroughly modern, environmentally conscious, and propitiously PC to foreswear progeny. While Pope Francis and Elon Musk see it differently, what do they know? (Sarcasm, OK?)

The authors describe those not wanting to have children as “childfree” and those unable to have children as “childless.” The semantic implications are obvious. Being “free” of something, as in debt-free or disease-free, is considered positive. “Childfree” carries a similar semantic connotation.

Some say that willfully not having children – aka “childfree” – is exercising “reproductive freedom.” The American Civil Liberties Union defines reproductive freedom as the right that “every person can make the best decision for themselves and their family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference.”

Reproductive freedom is the right to have children. Let’s talk about that.

The globalist establishment’s colossal cash cow, the American middle class, is being milked dry. For generations the American family has been under all-out attack. Debased entertainment, a debilitating social welfare system, callous manipulation by big business, big government (including education) and big media are bad enough. Then there is “pride” propaganda celebrating practically any social arrangement other than the loving traditional nuclear family.

America’s families are ensnared in a real-life Big Squeeze: besieged by woke anti-family propaganda on one side and an exploitive, corrupt crony capitalism masquerading as a “free market economy” on the other. Brainwashed up-and-comers believe such a regime is “the free enterprise system.” In their blind naivety they happily condone wage slavery as vociferously as they would condemn chattel slavery.

Reproductive freedom? The problem is a profound one of social priorities. The family is no longer the focal point of life in America. Money and lifestyle are. Family values are supplanted by hedonism and greed, those glittering globalist assault weapons pounding the American family.

The family is by far the most battle-scarred victim of globalism’s fanatical philarguria (that’s Biblical Greek for greed on steroids). The days when a middle-class parent could stay home and care for children are long gone. Think that affects reproductive freedom?

Women may enjoy their work but work they must. Fine – but safeguard their reproductive freedom by not making it professionally ruinous to bring a child into this world.

Then there are the usual family pressures, such as the ever-present specter of unemployment, escalating debt and the demand for employee fealty to the point where supervisors come before spouses. Talk about skewed priorities! Any wonder that broken homes, broken lives, drug addiction and other social pathologies increase? How does that impact reproductive freedom?

Bottom line: Where do families most feel the pinch? They are being denied their reproductive freedom. The pernicious reality is that there is no specific law prohibiting procreation, but rather the circumstantial deprivation of that basic human right by a thousand cuts, driven by a fashionably materialistic anti-natalist worldview.

How so? Having children is (1) unaffordable — not enough money and (2) struggling to make ends meet, so not enough time for children. Plus, the relentless tsunami of PC negativity about our heritage, “antiracist” guilt propaganda, environmental scaremongering, etc. discourages legions of impressionable young people from aspiring to have a family.

Multitudes have borne the sadness and loss of being unable to have the children they desire – a wholesale robbery of reproductive freedom. That is the biggest and most underreported story of the last 50 years.

Pope Francis and Elon Musk understand this.

So the next time you hear folks yapping about reproductive freedom, remember that means the right to have children, and the deprivation of that basic human right in any way is viciously anti-family. Period.

We need to call a halt to this madness.

AUTHOR

Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family… More by Louis T. March

RELATED ARTICLE: Fact-check: abortions bans in US will NOT increase maternal mortality

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Why Do The Woke Hate Clarence Thomas So Much?

Justice Clarence Thomas, being African American, is seen as a traitor to the woke cause.


After the overturning of Roe v Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas has been a particular target of venomous attack from the woke mob. Why do they hate him so much? One might be forgiven for thinking that it is due to his staunch anti-abortion views. But that explanation does not work.

Pope Francis has long expressed that opposing abortion is “closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right”, and yet, the Left is not obsessed with him (in fact, many even take a liking). At some point, even Joe Biden supported letting States overturn Roe v Wade, and again, the Left did not go ballistic on him.

Not behaving as expected

So, why the animus against Thomas? There can only be one explanation: race. In 1991, as he was accused of sexually harassing Anita Hill, Thomas countered that he was the victim of “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you.”

This was loose talk, as it trivialised the suffering of real lynching victims in America’s troubled history of race relations. But Thomas did have a point in arguing that in the United States, any black person who dares to deviate from the official narrative of how blacks are supposed to act, will face severe harassment.

In 1991, he anticipated a trend that would become mainstream in our times: if you are born with a particular skin colour, you are supposed to behave in a certain way, and uphold a specific ideology. If not, you are a race traitor. As Biden so neatly phrased it:

“[I]f you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Any competent scholar of the history of racism would immediately recognise this as race essentialism. As Angelo Corlett explains in his book Race, Racism and Reparations,
“proponents of race essentialism define human races by a set of genetic or cultural traits shared by all members of a ‘racial’ group.”

Who are the neo-Nazis now?

In the first half of the 20th Century, this view was popular amongst proponents of so-called “racial science”. They believed that racial biological traits determine how people behave. Hitler believed that no matter how much a person with Jewish ancestry tried to assimilate to German society (even converting to another religion), he or she would still be a dangerous Jew, because it was in his or her essence.

Race essentialism is abhorrent, and one might think that after 1945, the world learned a lesson. And yet, race essentialism is alive and kicking, but this time, under the guise of woke progressivism. As per today’s woke rules, if you are black, you must embrace the whole woke mindset.

White people (such as Pope Francis) may occasionally be forgiven for having anti-abortion views, but if you are black and you deviate from the woke line (such as Clarence Thomas), you are a race traitor, an Uncle Tom. Unsurprisingly, Thomas has been called “Uncle Clarence” multiple times.

If you are black, not only do you have to act a certain way, but you must also have a special sexual preference. The woke pay lip service to interracial relationships, but amongst them there is a sense of unease when they contemplate a successful black man marrying a white woman.

For example, when Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States, USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds wrote: “Here’s a man who’s going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can’t paint himself white he’ll think white and marry a white woman.” Russell Adams, chairman of African American studies at Howard University, said that Thomas “marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community.”

Truly racist

Frantz Fanon is a figure beloved by the Left. In 1952, he published Black Skin, White Masks, a canonical text of wokeness. In that book, he also scorns black men who fall in love with white women. Fanon castigates himself for, at some point, having had these thoughts: “Out of the blackest part of my soul, across the zebra striping of my mind, surges this desire to be suddenly white. I wish to be acknowledged not as black but as white… I marry white culture, white beauty, white whiteness.” The implication of this passage is that loving a white woman is an act of racial treason.

Fanon felt disdain for black people who embraced Western values. He claimed they were wearing white masks, as if somehow, they were deviating from their real essence, and were therefore living an inauthentic life. Therefore — so Fanon believed — Western civilisation must be rejected entirely. As he explained in The Wretched of the Earth“When the colonized hear a speech on Western culture, they draw their machetes or at least check to see they are close to hand.” He who admires Western values is a sellout.

Ever since Fanon, racial essentialism in the name of progress has only grown worse. People of color are now encouraged not to honour punctuality, because being on time is part of whiteness. Black kids who are academically talented run the risk of being told they are “acting white”. Analysing things objectively is an act of white supremacy. And so on.

Consequently, Clarence Thomas is not allowed to have anti-abortion views. Nobody cares about his anti-abortion arguments, because he is not supposed to make them in the first place. Other jurists, philosophers or theologians will be allowed to oppose abortion, but only if they are white. Thomas is hated not because of his views, but because of his skin colour. He upsets the arbitrary racial classifications that the woke are so eager to embrace.

As per woke taxonomy, black people cannot be conservative, and if they are, they are only wearing a “white mask”. To paraphrase the late Christopher Hitchens, “identity politics poisons everything”. We can no longer have a meaningful discussion about anything as vital as the ontological status of a fetus, because the race of the discussants will determine who is allowed to uphold a particular view. It’s time to push back against this madness.

AUTHOR

Gabriel Andrade

Gabriel Andrade is a university professor originally from Venezuela. He writes about politics, philosophy, history, religion and psychology. More by Gabriel Andrade

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Iraqi government blocked Jews from attending pope’s interfaith service, Vatican silently went along

Associated Press reported Saturday: “The Vatican said Iraqi Jews were invited to the event but did not attend, without providing further details.”

Now we know the rest of the story. And so it is clear yet again: interfaith outreach and dialogue all go one way, and result in the Christian side becoming mute about Muslim persecution of Christians, and ultimately becoming less Christian altogether, and more accepting of Islamic mores it should know better than to accept, such as deeply-rooted Islamic antisemitism. The pope didn’t dare say anything about this, because speaking out might have jeopardized his meeting with Sistani and whole visit to Iraq. So what did that visit accomplish? Nothing and less than nothing.

“Iraq Bars Jews From Pope’s Interfaith Event,”

by Jules Gomes, Church Militant, March 8, 2021 (thanks to Tom):

NASSIRIYA, Iraq (ChurchMilitant.com) – Jewish leaders are slamming Pope Francis’ silence on Iraq’s anti-Semitic policies after it emerged that the Iraqi government blocked Jews from attending the pontiff’s interfaith service at the birthplace of Abraham.

A delegation of Jews was unable to attend the “Abrahamic” event even though the Vatican had invited the representatives to be present because “the Iraqi government stymied efforts for any Jews to travel to Iraq,” the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Multiple Jewish sources confirmed to Church Militant the veracity of the Jerusalem Post’s report explaining that Iraq may have barred the Jewish delegation because Iraq does not officially recognize Israel and there are no relations between the two states.

Vatican Questioned for Its Silence

Freddie Dalah, an Iraqi Jew who fled Iraq for Britain years ago, asked Church Militant why “the pope, using this great opportunity, did not take the Iraqi government to task regarding the conspicuous absence of any prominent Jews as a delegation for their community?”

“The absence of Jews from the event confirms the Vatican’s historic silence when it comes to the ethnic cleansing of the Jews not only from Europe but from the Middle East as well,” Dalah observed. “Sincerely, a bit more shrewdness in managing the diplomatic situation regarding the absence of the Jewish community would not have gone amiss.”

Speaking to Church Militant, Iraqi-born Edwin Shuker, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said he “genuinely believed that the Vatican was misled by the Iraqi government into thinking that there will be a Jewish presence in Ur.”

“The Iraqi government, who intended to do so, recently changed their mind in case the Jewish delegation has links with Israel,” Shuker said, “but they could not find local Jewish representatives and ended up with a wasted opportunity.”

Shuker and his family fled to the United Kingdom in 1971 amid rising tensions, with dozens of Iraqi Jews executed on spurious charges, but regularly travels back to Iraq, working to preserve Jewish shrines and sites to maintain links between Iraq and its displaced Jewish community.

The Vatican “made it a point of telling journalists” that it had invited representatives of Iraq’s Jewish community to attend “despite the fact that Muslims violently purged the Jews from the country decades ago,” wrote Yakir Benzion.

“The Vatican didn’t bother telling the reporters why none showed up,” remarked Benzion, from United with Israel — the world’s largest pro-Israel online community.

“I am sad that the Iraqi government prevented Jews, Abraham’s children, from participating in what was meant to be a prayer for peace,” lamented well-known Rabbi Elchanan Poupko of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Asking why a rabbi was not present at the birthplace of Abraham as part of the papal event, Middle East analyst, writer and peace activist Yoni Michanie said Francis should have spoken up and also remembered the “tens of thousands of Iraqi Jews who were ethnically cleansed in the late 1940s.”

On Saturday, Church Militant reported the conspicuous absence of Jews from the Ur event, quoting Jewish anthropologist Karen Harradine, who said she found it “insulting to us Jews that we were not included by those who used the birthplace of our first patriarch, Abraham, to virtue signal and mumble meaningless platitudes about healing.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Vatican conference to promote Mary as ‘model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam’

Does the Vatican really think that this will increase harmony and mutual respect between Muslims and Christians? Vatican top dogs should consider a statement of the Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb:

“The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”

Dialogue, in other words, is all too often for the Islamic side a means of dawah, Islamic proselytizing, not a genuine discussion. In the Qur’an, the Virgin Mary gives birth to Jesus, but it is stated that he is not the Son of God (19:35), not divine (5:17), and was not crucified (4:157), and thus could not be and is not the savior and redeemer of the world. Do these Vatican officials really think that their Muslim interlocutors will discard what the Qur’an tells them and move closer to the Christian view? Or are they discarding the Christian view of Mary (and hence of Jesus) themselves, so as not to offend their “dialogue” partners? Almost certainly.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Vatican to organize conference promoting Mary as ‘model for faith’ for both Christianity and Islam,” by Jeanne Smits, LifeSite News, February 16, 2021:

February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — “Mary, a model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam:” is the title of an upcoming series of online webinars presenting Our Lady as a bridge between Catholicism and Islam organized, among others, by the Pontifical Academy of Mary (Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis or PAMI).

Starting on February 18, ten weekly conferences will be given jointly by Catholic and Muslim speakers who will seek “dialogue, knowledge and cooperation” regarding themes such as “Mary, a woman of faith,” “God who is love and faith,” prayer, purity, hospitality and non-violence, fasting and penitence, fraternity and citizenship.

The Franciscan pontifical University of Rome, the “Antonianum,” is another co-organizer of the event through its Duns Scot Chair of Mariological Studies as well as the International Islamic-Christian Marian Commission and the Grand Mosque of Rome and its Islamic Cultural Center of Italy.

The Italian weekly Famiglia Christiana presented the event in the light of the Abu Dhabi declaration, illustrating its article on Saturday with a photo of Pope Francis signing the Human Fraternity Document together with Imam al-Tayyeb of the Al-Azhar University of Cairo.

Quoting at length from the Document, Gian Matteo Roggio commented: “The course of these webinars is therefore aimed at active, free, conscious, solidary and popular participation in the opening of this space of intersection, interconnection, hospitable reception, thus meeting the explicit requests of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azahr, the noble Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.”

Readers of Famiglia Christiana in Italy are being asked to believe this: “The figure of Mary, a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman, belongs by right and by fact to the path, the processes and the experiences that contribute to the generation of such an educational path, which makes a positive and confident wager on the embrace between generations and on a new politics and economy, where countries do not need to build their identity on contempt and on systematic negation, whether overt or covert, of the other and of others: an identity, that is, at the expense of the dissimilar and ready to identify in the other the cause of all the ills, failures, limitations and problems that instead have their multiple causes elsewhere. Belonging to these three religious and multi-cultural worlds (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), the figure of Mary is in itself a pressing and constant invitation to intersect and interconnect these same worlds, even making them a model of plural coexistence where the boundaries of each are made to allow communication, passage, exchange; and not to be closed, according to the many figures of exclusion that have, as their fruit, the culture, psychology, politics and economics of war, hatred and inhumanity.”

In the same grandiloquent style, Roggio added: “The webinars will end during the month of Ramadan with ‘the dates of Mary’ in the Conference Hall of the Great Mosque of Rome (health situation permitting): in memory of what is stated in the Holy Quran (Sura 19,22-26), namely that after giving birth near the trunk of a palm tree, she was called by the newborn child who told her ‘Do not be sad […] shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you and it will drop fresh and ripe dates on you. So eat them,’ a meal of friendship and fraternity will be shared once the sun goes down, as a tangible pact of alliance for the service to the common good of all, no one excluded, in obedience to the ‘understanding of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers’ (Document on human brotherhood for world peace and common coexistence).”

Roggio, the author of these very pro-Islamic lines, is not simply a journalist, he is a member of the religious order, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. He studied Mariology at the Pontifical Academy of Mary and is now a professor at the same institution. Roggio will be giving the lecture on “God who is love and mercy” on February 25, together with Islamic theologian Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh, who teaches at the Gregoriana Pontifical University.

Roggio’s words therefore clearly express the spirit of the coming Islamo-Christian webinars: a spirit of profound relativism and misleading equation between the Catholic faith and Muslim beliefs.

The real question is this one: is the Virgin Mary whom we Catholics honor as the Mother of Jesus, only Son of God and the Word Incarnate, the same person as the woman named “Miriam” by the Quran? Is her son, Îssa, the Quranic equivalent of Jesus? He would then be a “Jesus” who could not in any way be the Son of God, because, the Quran proclaims, such an idea is “something monstrous” and that “it is not fitting for the Most Merciful to have a son.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Pope cites French epic poem to “prove” Christianity is as violent as Islam

“Pope Francis trotted out a scene from the 11th-century French epic poem La Chanson de Roland this week to prove Christians have tried to convert Muslims by the sword, just as Muslims have done to Christians.”

The Pope’s moral equivalence is obscene at best. He also stated: “Beware of the fundamentalist groups: everyone has his own.”

True, but no religion but Islam has a history of aggression and an imperative — supported by religious texts — to conquer the world and subjugate unbelievers as inferiors, while murdering those who leave the faith.

Nowhere in Christian tenets is there a command to conquer by the sword; however, this is prescribed in Islamic texts and law, and has been steadily followed in varying degrees for 1,400 years.

Christians also defended themselves against expansionary Islamic marauders from the 7th century onward, as the latter rampaged through the Middle East and Africa, murdering far more Christians than Christians killed Muslims in all the Crusades combined.

And they’re still doing it. Christians are facing genocide at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East and Africa; most of the world ignores this, including the Pope, who instead insists that “it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence.”

The Pope has been a powerful promoter of Islam, going so far as advance theological reforms in Catholic schools to promote a “common mission of peace” with Islam. He largely ignores the gross human rights violations against Christians, women, minorities and apostates that are justified by normative Islam. He has not called on the leaders of Islamic states and mainstream Islamic leaders to condemn the Islamic texts that sanction such abuses. Instead, he has stated that “Christianity and Islam have more in common than people think…and the two religions defend common values that are necessary for the future of civilization.”

“Hours before Pope Francis called for the abolition of capital punishment” last Friday, he warmly embraced the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb — the revered Islamic scholar and cleric who has endorsed jihad suicide attacks against Jews and wants converts to Christianity to be killed. Pope Francis and el-Tayeb early this year published “A Document On Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”

Then last month, Pope Francis installed new cardinals who “share his vision for social justice, rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam.”

Regarding La Chanson de Roland, “the French themselves to cry foul, reproaching the pontiff both for besmirching one of their most beloved pieces of epic literature and for using a fictional narrative to illustrate a point about how Christians supposedly behave.”

 

“Pope Cites Fictional French Epic to Prove Christians Are Violent,” by Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, November 21, 2019:

ROME — Pope Francis trotted out a scene from the 11th-century French epic poem La Chanson de Roland this week to prove Christians have tried to convert Muslims by the sword, just as Muslims have done to Christians.

“A scene from The Song of Roland comes to me as a symbol, when the Christians defeat the Muslims and line them up in front of the baptismal font, with one holding a sword,” the pope told an Argentinian interreligious dialogue group Monday.

“And the Muslims had to choose between baptism or the sword. That is what we Christians did,” he declared.

It did not take long for the French themselves to cry foul, reproaching the pontiff both for besmirching one of their most beloved pieces of epic literature and for using a fictional narrative to illustrate a point about how Christians supposedly behave.

“La Chanson de Roland is obviously not a historical chronicle of events, but an epic poem, a chanson de geste, the oldest and most complete manuscript, written in Anglo-Norman, and dates back to the early twelfth century, four centuries after the facts it is supposed to recount,” wrote Vini Ganimara Thursday for the French Catholic news site Riposte Catholique.

The Song of Roland was indeed inspired in part by a historical event, namely Charlemagne’s expedition to Spain in 778, Ganimara observes, but this expedition to Spain was actually undertaken at the request of several Muslim governors of Spain, in rebellion against the Emir of Cordova.

Moreover, the invasion was unsuccessful, and is recounted as such in the poem.

“The memory of Pope Francis evoking the victory of the Franks over Muslims is therefore confused, because the expedition was not a victory,” Ganimara observes.

“The fictitious case of the forced baptism of Muslims supposedly defeated after the capture of Zaragoza — which did not take place — is not historical, but is a pure imagination of the poet,” he adds, noting that contrary to the pope’s account, there is not even a Christian holding a sword in the original work.

“How then can he affirm that ‘this is what we Christians did’?” he concludes.

In his address, Pope Francis was attempting to show that it is not just Islamic extremists who practice violent fanaticism, but that Christians are equally guilty of religiously motivated violence….

COLUMN BY

 

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Pope embraces imam who has endorsed jihad suicide attacks against Jews and wants converts to Christianity killed

Pope Francis and the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, early this year published “A Document On Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” and it’s as filled with falsehoods and wishful thinking as one would expect coming from a practiced deceiver such as el-Tayeb and someone so eager to be deceived as Pope Francis. Here’s one:

Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism, but this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalize it. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride. This is why it is so necessary to stop supporting terrorist movements fuelled by financing, the provision of weapons and strategy, and by attempts to justify these movements even using the media. All these must be regarded as international crimes that threaten security and world peace. Such terrorism must be condemned in all its forms and expressions…

Terrorism is due to “an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride.”

So are the authoritative sources in Sunni Islam, the schools of Sunni jurisprudence (madhahib), all incorrect in their interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah? Here is what they say about jihad warfare against non-Muslims:

Shafi’i school: A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates about jihad that “the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only “provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)…while remaining in their ancestral religions.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).

Of course, there is no caliph today, and hence the oft-repeated claim that Osama et al are waging jihad illegitimately, as no state authority has authorized their jihad. But they explain their actions in terms of defensive jihad, which needs no state authority to call it, and becomes “obligatory for everyone” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.3) if a Muslim land is attacked. The end of the defensive jihad, however, is not peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims as equals: ‘Umdat al-Salik specifies that the warfare against non-Muslims must continue until “the final descent of Jesus.” After that, “nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent” (o9.8).

Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”

However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)

Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Pope Embraces Anti-Semitic Imam Who Wants Christian Converts Killed,” by Jules Gomes, Church Militant, November 18, 2019:

Hours before Pope Francis called for the abolition of capital punishment on Friday, he warmly embraced Grand Imam Al-Tayeb, who has expressed his desire that Muslims who convert to Christianity should be executed.

The world’s best-known Muslim leader has also called homosexuality a disease, dismissed the idea of human rights as “ticking time-bombs” and has endorsed suicide attacks against Jewish men, women and children.

Earlier that day in the pontiff’s address to the International Association of Penal Law, Pope Francis compared the rhetoric of conservative politicians who oppose the homosexual agenda to speeches made by Adolf Hitler.

“These are actions that are typical of Nazism, that with its persecution of Jews, gypsies, people with homosexual orientation, represent an excellent model of the throwaway culture and culture of hatred,” he said.

When speaking to al-Tayeb, however, the Holy Father discussed the objectives in the document “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” which he co-signed with the Grand Imam in February.

The two religious leaders engaged in “cordial discussions,” according to the Vatican, talking about the protection of minors in the digital world and goals achieved since Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United Arab Emirates.

In 2016, Al-Tayeb called for “unrepentant apostates” from Islam to be killed. “The four schools of law all concur that apostasy is a crime, that an apostate should be asked to repent, and that if he does not, he should be killed,” he said in an interview in Arabic on television, explaining:

There are two verses in the Quran that clearly mention apostasy, but they did not define a specific punishment. They left the punishment for the Hereafter, for Allah to punish them as He sees fit. But there are two hadiths [on apostasy]. According to the more reliable of the two, a Muslim can only be killed in one of three cases, one of which is abandoning his religion and leaving the community.

Sheikh Al-Tayeb continued:

We must examine these two expressions: “Abandoning religion” is described as “leaving the community.” All the early jurisprudents understood that this applies to someone who leaves his religion, regardless of whether he left and opposed his community or not. All the early jurisprudents said that such a person should be killed, regardless of whether it is a man or a woman — with the exception of the Hanafi School, which says that a female apostate should not be killed.

Asked about the exception for the female apostate, the Muslim theologian responded: “Because it is inconceivable that a woman would rebel against her community.”

The global leader of Sunni Islam, which constitutes the majority of the world’s Muslim population, also dismissed the concept of human rights as “full of ticking time-bombs” and insisted that “the [Islamic and Western] civilizations are different.”

“Our civilization is based on religion and moral values, whereas their [Western] civilization is based more on personal liberties and some moral values,” he told his interviewer.

The Grand Imam’s most severe condemnation was reserved for homosexuality: “My opinion was — and I said this [in the West] — that no Muslim society could ever consider sexual liberty, homosexuality and so on to be a personal right. Muslim societies consider these things to be diseases, which must be fought and treated.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

The Abuse Summit: It’s Only the Beginning

Robert Royal: People are happy that McCarrick has finally been defrocked, but now we need to deal with other abusers and enablers. 

February is not high tourist season in Rome. Skies are gray and temperatures low. St. Peter’s Square is relatively empty. But journalists filled the nearby Press Office earlier this week – more, according to one veteran, than since the death of St. John Paul II –because of the summit on the sex abuse crisis, which begins this evening with meetings between abuse survivors and participants, and continues Thursday through Saturday with formal sessions, parts of which will be streamed on the Vatican website. A video of the opening press briefing with remarks by Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop Scicluna, and other key figures is available by clicking here.

To be frank, it’s hard to say why so many journalists are here since no one, including Church spokesmen, expects that anything very dramatic will happen over the next few days – at least not in the formal sessions. What happens outside and around them, however, may be a different matter.

When the summit was announced last September, partly because of papal missteps in handling abuse cases in Chile, it seemed that the Church was going to take some large steps forward. There have been many smaller steps for years in many places around the world, everything from easier reporting mechanisms to better human formation in seminaries to the unprecedented laicization last weekend of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Expectations ran high, not least because the Holy Father asked the American bishops, during their annual November meeting, not to vote on ways to hold bishops accountable – whether they are abusers themselves, like McCarrick, or covered up abuse by people under their authority. They were told to wait until a uniform approach could be developed in February when many of the presidents of bishops’ conferences and heads of religious orders would gather together in Rome.

But Vatican spokesmen have more recently been encouraging people to lower expectations; and the focus this week is quite different: “The Protection of Minors in the Church.” That, of course, is a worthy goal. In many parts of the Catholic world, rules are in place, but there hasn’t been serious follow through. If the next few days bring proven practices to new places, that will be all to the good.

But it’s also much less than we were hoping for. And in America, we’ve already come a long way towards responding to the part of the abuse crisis that involves priests. We have been expecting – and had been told – that the next phase would be figuring out how to hold bishops accountable. That’s been a continuing problem, not only in America, but in Chile, Honduras, Australia, Europe, the pope’s own Argentina, and the Vatican itself.

People are happy that McCarrick has been expelled from the priesthood, for example, but they want to know how it was possible for a man widely rumored to be an abuser to have moved up in the hierarchy and eventually become cardinal-archbishop of the capital of the most powerful nation on earth. Three popes and dozens of Vatican officials are now part of the story. Pope Francis has promised an investigation into the files. It’s almost a year later and we’ve heard nothing of that, not even whether there’s an active inquiry underway.


Pope Francis by Will Oliver/EPA-EFE

Meanwhile, a new book, which will be officially released Thursday, the first day of the summit here in Rome, claims that 80 percent of the upper echelons of the Vatican are gay. Some remain celibate, others act out in various ways, but they form what, in local parlance, is called “the Parish,” a network of people who either cover for one another or, given their own inclinations, look the other way.

Or at least that’s what Frederic Martel, the author, says. Martel is a gay activist in France and his motives in publishing this book at this particular moment are suspect – as are some of his wilder claims. But he seems to have conducted thousands of interviews with various figures from high-placed Cardinals to Swiss Guards, and quotes some by name.

The excerpts that have appeared so far raise as many questions as they answer. But the whole matter of the gay presence in the Church and its role as an enabler – which the summit organizers are avoiding, indeed are denying is a factor – will not go away.

Martel says (and there’s no reason to doubt it since there have been no denials forthcoming) that his access to the Vatican was facilitated by Msgr. Battista Ricca, who is Director of the Papal Residence (i.e., Casa Santa Marta) and an official with the Vatican Bank. Ricca was widely known to have had a boyfriend or two when he was a Vatican diplomat in Uruguay. And he was caught in an elevator with a boy prostitute.

It was in response to a reporter’s question about his past on the plane returning from World Youth Day in 2013 that Pope Francis famously remarked, ““If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

But it’s partly the pope’s judgment in such matters that has raised further questions. Not only the bishop he wrongly defended in Chile, but even recent appointments like that of Gustavo Zanchetta – a bishop accused of abusing seminarians in Argentina and a friend of the pope’s – to a specially created post at one of the Vatican financial institutions. He had to be removed while investigations are going on.

And then there’s the recent naming of Irish-American Cardinal Kevin Farrell to the position of camerlengo, the official who declares the pope officially dead and then runs the Vatican, with limited powers, during the interregnum, the period between the death of one pope and the election of another.

Farrell lived for six years in the same residence with then-Cardinal McCarrick and claimed – to widespread skepticism – that he had no knowledge of, had never even heard rumors about, McCarrick’s outrages. It’s curious that the pope would pick a potentially questionable figure for such a sensitive post.

All of this suggests that what goes on in the synod hall this week is the merest beginning to what will continue to be a large and troubling process. More on all that in coming days.

COLUMN BY

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column with images is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image is by Pixabay.

Rome Failed on McCarrick – and Needs to Change

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek: If the Vatican previously investigated abuse, those results must be shared; if Rome didn’t investigate, we need to know why not.


Representatives of the American bishops have now met with Pope Francis to discuss the much-needed investigation of the McCarrick Affair. This is understandable since any process involving the ex-cardinal and other prelates requires papal permission. It’s one thing to ask the pope’s support for an investigation, however, and quite another to trust Vatican officials to run it, given what we now know.

Because we now know – from former Metuchen Bishop P.G. Bootkoski and from Cardinal Leonardo Sandri – that the Vatican Secretariat of State received credible allegations against McCarrick over a decade ago. Yet the Vatican did not deprive him of access to seminarians and priests. Therefore, an investigation focused on McCarrick and the American bishops risks ignoring the pivotal role of higher-ranking officials in Rome.

Bootkoski recently acknowledged that in December 2005 he informed then U.S. nuncio, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, of three complaints against McCarrick. The accusations involved inappropriate physical contact with a priest as well as sexually touching seminarians. Two of these allegations resulted in financial settlements.

An October 2006 letter has come to light in which Sandri, who worked directly under the Cardinal Secretary of State, referred to “serious matters” involving seminarians at Seton Hall, which had been reported to Montalvo by Fr. Boniface Ramsey in 2000. Ramsey has repeatedly claimed he informed the nuncio of allegations that McCarrick harassed seminarians and shared a bed with them at his beach house.

The Secretariat of State, therefore, received credible allegations in 2000 and 2005 that McCarrick harassed and “groomed” priests and seminarians, sexually exploiting the latter. If Rome investigated, they should now share the results and save us the trouble of repeating their work. If they didn’t investigate, they need to account for their failure to protect seminarians and priests.

Even if Rome did investigate, another crucial question arises: were dioceses notified of the allegations and the possibility their seminarians and priests had been exploited? That would include any diocese that used seminaries frequented by McCarrick, especially the seminaries where he resided after 2005. Minors might have been at risk since incoming college seminarians can be under 18.

The Penitent Saint Jerome by Lorenzo Lotto, c. 1514 [National Museum of Art, Bucharest]

Cardinal Wuerl insists that neither he nor the Archdiocese of Washington knew of the allegations. This would mean Rome said nothing. To confirm Rome’s silence, Catholics and journalists should ask Cardinal Dolan whether he or the Archdiocese of New York were notified.

Note that Bootkoski’s statement and Sandri’s letter were not written to support the recent testimony of Archbishop Viganò. In fact, he accused both of cover-ups. Unlike Viganò, their testimonies to Rome’s knowledge of the allegations were not meant to suggest Vatican complicity in the McCarrick Affair.

Whatever the original intention, however, Sandri’s letter now constitutes documentary evidence that Ramsey spoke to Montalvo in 2000. The letter also implies that the Secretariat of State deemed those concerns credible no later than 2006.

Furthermore, Bootkoski’s statement proves that allegations were judged credible since payments were made based on them. Unfortunately, his statement provides only a summary of the memo he sent to the nuncio in 2005, which was presumably forwarded to the Secretariat of State.

The reason offered for presenting a summary is that “the claimants have not given the diocese permission” to publish the detailed allegations. Perhaps the diocese or journalists could ask the claimants to allow the memo to be published, redacting any portions the claimants wished to keep confidential. That way, the public could see documentary evidence of Bootkoski’s report to the Vatican.

Unless Sandri had been protecting McCarrick, he would have promptly notified the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, of the allegations forwarded by the nuncio from Ramsey and Bootkoski. By the time Sandri wrote the 2006 letter, he would have informed the new Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

We don’t have evidence that the allegations in 2000 or 2005 reached St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, or – prior to recent revelations – Francis. Yet if the popes were not informed, Vatican officials obviously cannot be now relied on to oversee the upcoming investigation.

The Secretariat’s failure to investigate the matter or to report the allegations to affected dioceses as part of an investigation would demonstrate a reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of priests and seminarians, including minors.

A bishop exploiting seminarians and priests for his own gratification is an outrage that cries to heaven. How could the Secretariat of State have turned away? And did no other Vatican offices receive reports? Were there legitimate reasons an investigation was not initiated or proved inconclusive?  After decades of abuse scandals, how could officials not have recognized the gravity of the accusations? Or were some officials willing to tolerate these monstrous evils?

Answers and accountability are vital for Catholics everywhere, not only in America. In Chile, cries of Catholics were repeatedly ignored or denounced by Rome. Eventually, Chile’s bishops offered to resign, but no Vatican officials followed their example. That scenario must not be repeated.

These circumstances make it impossible for the Vatican to act as a credible guarantor of the forthcoming review of the McCarrick Affair. The pope’s approval and cooperation are necessary, but since American bishops and Vatican officials are under scrutiny now, the investigative process must be independent of both. For the investigation to be effective the pope will need to cooperate by freeing Church officials from the Pontifical Secret and directing them to answer legitimate questions from investigators.

The review should be transparent and overseen by a board comprised of laity, religious, deacons, priests, and bishops. That way the entire Church would be represented in assessing and remedying the problemsThat should involve exonerating the innocent, punishing the guilty, repairing the harm, and changing administrative structures and policies. A board like this could become a model for dealing with other failures by bishops and the Vatican.

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, STD has been a priest of the Diocese of Austin since 1985 and is currently the administrator of St. Mary’s in the city of West. His studies were in Dogmatics with a focus on Ecclesiology, Apostolic Ministry, Newman, and Ecumenism.

EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image is by Unsplash?Nacho Arteaga@nachoarteaga.

Pope Francis Knew About McCarrick, Covered for his Sexual Crimes

Former papal nuncio offers written testimony incriminating Holy Father, says pope must resign

VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – In spite of knowing about former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual assaults, Pope Francis lifted sanctions from him that had been imposed by Pope Benedict.

LifeSiteNews is reporting that Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, has written an 11-page statement testifying that Pope Francis was aware of McCarrick’s homosexual predation but “continued to cover him,” even making him “his trusted counselor” in naming bishops for appointment, including Cdl. Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey (McCarrick’s former diocese) and Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago, Illinois.

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

“The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl,” says the former papal nuncio, “united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of cover-up of abuses by the other two.”

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

Cdl. Viganò on Wuerl: The Cardinal lies shamelessly and prevails upon his Chancellor, Monsignor Antonicelli, to lie as well.Tweet

Viganò also insists Washington, D.C. Cdl. Donald Wuerl was well aware of McCarrick’s sexual misconduct and “lies shamelessly”:

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

Viganò makes clear the pope was immediately notified in 2000 of McCarrick’s crimes as soon as the nunciature became aware.

“I will immediately say that the Apostolic Nuncios in the United States, Gabriel Montalvo and Pietro Sambi, both prematurely deceased, did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests,” he said.

He says Richard Sipe’s public letter to Pope Benedict in 2008 (published on Sipe’s website) “had had the desired result”:

Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.

When McCarrick was summoned to the nunciature and told the news of his sanctions, “a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour” ensued, and “the Nuncio’s voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor.”

A number of other cardinals and bishops are implicated in the cover-up, including Cdls. Pietro Parolin (current secretary of state), Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone, William Levada, Lorenzo Baldisseri and Francesco Coccopalmerio, among others.

Viganò accuses Coccopalmerio and Abp. Vincenzo Paglia of belonging to “the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.” He also named Cdl. Edwin O’Brien as belonging “to the same current” — whom Church Militant has revealed was a homosexual ringleader in New York and deliberately underreported homosexual priestly abuse in the military.

Viganò accuses Coccopalmerio and Abp. Vincenzo Paglia of belonging to ‘the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.’Tweet

Coccopalmerio came under scrutiny last year when his secretary, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, was busted by Italian police during a drug-fueled gay orgy in the Vatican apartments. Coccopalmerio, head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and close adviser to the pope, had once recommended Capozzi for bishop.

Viganò also implicates Cdls. Kevin Farrell and Sean O’Malley, saying of Farrell, “Given his tenure in Washington, Dallas and now Rome, I think no one can honestly believe him.”

On Fr. Marciel Maciel’s homosexual predation, he says, “If he were to deny this, would anybody believe him given that he occupied positions of responsibility as a member of the Legionaries of Christ?”

Church Militant reported last month that a former Legionary priest, J. Paul Lennon, close friend of Farrell’s brother, Bp. Brian Farrell, when all were in the Legion of Christ, contradicted Farrell’s claims that he had only met Maciel “once or twice” during his years in the Legion. Farrell had in fact been a member of Maciel’s trusted inner circle and held a position of high rank in the Legion, necessitating multiple meetings with his founder.

On O’Malley’s denials of knowledge, Viganò wrote, “I would simply say that his latest statements on the McCarrick case are disconcerting, and have totally obscured his transparency and credibility.”

The former papal nuncio also calls out homosexualist Jesuit Fr. James Martin as “nothing but a sad recent example of that deviated wing of the Society of Jesus.”

Viganò ends with a plea to the bishops to purge the Church of the gay lobby.

The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated, as Janet Smith, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, recently wrote. “The problem of clergy abuse,” she wrote, “cannot be resolved simply by the resignation of some bishops, and even less so by bureaucratic directives. The deeper problem lies in homosexual networks within the clergy which must be eradicated.” These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.

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

Read the full letter here.

COLUMN BY 

Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Christine was born in Saigon, Vietnam one year before it fell to the Communists, and has lived in France and the United States. She has degrees from Notre Dame Law School and Oxford University. She is head of the News Team and editor-in-chief of St. Michael’s Media Publishing.

Christian Syrians: Pope Francis Left Us Behind in Lesbos

You knew the minute you heard it—that the Pope choosing 12 Muslims to take to Rome with him on his plane—was one of the more troublesome actions (of a long list) of this Socialist Pope.  See our post on the Pope’s Syrian Muslim refugees by clicking here.

Christian Syrian

Christian Syrian refugee woman Pope Francis left behind on Lesbos. Photo: Daily Mail

Now from the Daily Mail yesterday.  It answers our primary question—weren’t there any Christians and other religious minorities to choose from?

And, this bureaucratic (red tape!) excuse for passing up this brother and sister is ridiculous.

A Christian brother and sister from Syria say they have been ‘let down’ by the Pope after he left them behind in a Lesbos refugee camp despite promises they would be given a new life in Italy.

Roula and Malek Abo say they were two of the lucky ‘chosen 12’ refugees selected by the Vatican to be taken from the desperate camp and housed in Rome.

But what seemed like the chance of a lifetime was cruelly snatched away when they were told the following day they couldn’t go. Instead three Muslim families were taken.

Neither Community Sant’Egidio, the charity which organised the trip, or the Vatican would explain the selection process over which migrants were picked.

Spokesman Massimiliano Signifredi called the incident ‘regrettable’ – adding: ‘The problem here is the three Syrians arrived after the March 20 deadline. They arrived just after the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.

Mr Signifredi said: ‘Our staff went to Lesbos and spoke with the people who were selected. But everything was decided by the Vatican.

‘The question why the Pope took only Muslims is difficult to understand and he was suffering, I think, because he wanted to do something also for Christians as the chief of the Catholic Church. But he couldn’t because there is this international agreement [with the EU].’

There is much more here.

See our ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive here.

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Open Letter to Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis,

Fanciscus, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus of the Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop of the Dioceses of Rome, Sovereign of the Vatican State, Servant of the Servants of God.

You called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his views on U.S. immigration policy as “not Christian.”

Are you really wanting to take on this political battle?

Would you be referring to all the Muslim men between the age of 18 and 45 trying to get into our nation, as they have in Europe, to rape and slaughter Christians and Jews? Do you think we, the U.S. tax payers of the United States, should be a dumping ground for Muslim migrants who have no intention of assimilating into our Judeo/Christian culture?

Muslims who want to take our Churches land to build mosques. Muslims who think its permissible, according to the Qur’an, to marry 9-year old children and stone women to death? Are these the people you speak of while bashing Mr. Trump?

Hmm, perhaps maybe you are referring to the Mexican criminal gangs, like MS 13, and other miscreants that sneak across our borders to rape our women, sell drugs and kill and maim Americans. We pick up the tab for that too.

The sovereignty of the United States has been pillaged since Jimmy Carter opened up the flood gates with his Refugee Act of 1980. We have had enough.

The question to ask is how many Muslim refugees has the Vatican taken in? Lets hazard a guess at ZERO.

You also stated on your flight home from your visit to Mexico:

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

The Vatican is a walled in city. Its the most protected city in Italy. You are inside a fortress, a compound. No bridges. No Muslim or South American refugees. I have been there. I met with Pope John Paul II in Saint Peters Basilica in 1990 right before Desert Storm started.

So before you start criticizing others, first take the plank out of your own eye so you can see clearly to remove the speck of dust from ours. Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV):

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

vatican wall

Aerial view of the wall surrounding the Vatican (white line).

Bryan Fischer in his article “Trump, the Pope, and the wall” notes:

The Pope created a firestorm of controversy by going to our southern border and making the building of a border wall the litmus test of Christian faith. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”

Setting aside the plain truth that the litmus test of Christian faith is what a man does with Christ, not what he thinks about a wall, the Pope has hoisted himself on his own petard here. The Vatican is surrounded by the mother of all walls, and has the stingiest citizenship and immigration policy of any sovereign state in the world.

The low-information media and the Vatican itself have scrambled to the Pope’s defense. The Vatican reminds us that the Pope did not build the Vatican wall. True. But he’s making no effort to take it down either.

Read more…

Mr. Trump does not take any false criticism lying down. Not from you Holy Father, not from the Democrats, not from the “establishment” Republicans, the Chinese, the Russians or the North Koreans. NO ONE!

So, if you wish to debate on the issue of building walls perhaps you should first check the Holy Bible. Do  you recall Zechariah 2:5 which says:

And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within’

We don’t need any distractions during this critical election year.

Now Mr. Trump was prompted by your little outburst to respond in kind. He said you sir are “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. I and many others agree.

You want to stick your nose into the sovereignty of the United States be careful. We will challenge you. We are done with the political correctness. It is time to confront the real evils in the world, those who slaughter Christians and Jews. This is our nation and Mr. Trump is going to protect our borders, our culture, our Judeo/Christian heritage and our language to paraphrase radio talk show host Mr. Michael Savage.

Remove your blindfold and understand that you should spend more time protecting your flock against Islam, Communists and atheists.

I beseech you, Pope Francis take down your walls.

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