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Why doesn’t the Pope go to Syria?

A good opportunity for “Muslim-Christian dialogue”:

Let’s put the pope’s Muslim-Christian “dialogue” policy to the test. Here’s the perfect destination for the next papal trip: Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State’s caliphate.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis called for the release of Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo), Boulos Yazigi (the Greek Orthodox bishop of Aleppo), and Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio, who — if they are still alive — have all been held captive for two years now by Islamic jihadists in Syria. Said the pope:

I hope for a renewed commitment by the competent local and international authorities, so that these, our brothers, will soon be restored to freedom.

He must know that the “competent local and international authorities,” if there are any, aren’t going to do a thing to free these clerics.

If the pope wants it done right, he is going to have to do it himself – and in doing so, he can prove the value of the Church’s insistence and dependence upon “Muslim-Christian dialogue.”

The pope should go to Raqqa and appeal personally to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s Caliph Ibrahim, for the release of Ibrahim, Yazigi, and Dall’Oglio. Pope Francis has said that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” and he has assiduously called for “dialogue” and denounced violence in virtually every situation. So he should go there, and display the correctness of his recommendations by initiating an in-person “dialogue” with the caliph or other appropriate Islamic State representatives, during which he can explain to them how they are misunderstanding the Qur’an and Islam.

This will fix everything: not only will the Islamic State forthwith release the bishops and the priest, but they will lay down their arms, and distribute flowers to all the children. The power of “dialogue” over all forms of violence will be abundantly established before the eyes of a world struck with awe, yet again, at the wisdom of this pope and the compelling power of his humble, saintly personality.

As he prepares for this “dialogue” trip, however, the pope may face resistance from his own bishops.

Robert McManus, the bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, two years ago (ironically not long before Ibrahim, Yazigi, and Dall’Oglio were abducted) summed up the prevailing view of the U.S. Catholic bishops:

Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.

So what is Pope Francis doing even talking about these abducted clerics? He should keep quiet about such matters, so as to preserve the “dialogue.” Will Bishop McManus and the other American bishops, recognizing the dignity but also the limitations of his positions, humbly but unmistakably call him on the carpet and “oppose him to his face, because he stood condemned,” as St. Paul did to Francis’ first predecessor, St. Peter (Galatians 2:11)?

Of course they will say nothing, and Pope Francis will not go to Raqqa, because in both cases the concerned parties probably know full well that the sham of the “dialogue” policy would be exposed to the world.

The contemporary Catholic Church, especially in the West, has confused niceness with charity.

It may be nice to avoid unpleasant matters and to enjoy delicious hummus and pita down at the mosque, but it is not charitable to confirm Muslims in their bullying and supremacism by kowtowing to their wishes.

It is not charitable to keep silent about the atrocities they commit in the name of their religion and in accord with its teachings….

Read the rest here.

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Why Is the Vatican Pushing Communist Goals? by Michael Hichborn

This coming November, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Science is holding a workshop intended to figure out how to indoctrinate your children in the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. This comes on the heels of the Vatican nuncio to the United Nations announcing “verbatim” support for the SDGs, and after Catholic Relief Services president Dr. Carolyn Woo echoed Pope Francis’ call for support for the SDGs as well.

So, what are the Sustainable Development Goals?

They’re a United Nations plan for the creation of a global socialist utopia thinly disguised as a poverty reduction program. In short, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the first step in achieving several of the goals laid out in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. In truth, these goals are Communist goals, through and through. Here’s a snapshot of how specific portions of the SDGs line up with identified Communist goals:

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
    • Communists have always used the plight of the poor as justification for the implementation of their nefarious schemes
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
    • Plank 7 of the Communist Manifesto calls for a top-down approach to industry and agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    • A 1938 issue of a Communist publication concluded that “only through the final victory of world socialism can the vast stores of available scientific knowledge really be put to work for the full benefit of humanity. ‘Socialized medicine’ is a meaningless phrase except in a socialized society.”
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
    • Plank 10 of the Communist Manifesto is “free education for all children in public schools.”
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    • Communism has pushed for working women since the beginning of the Revolution in Russia.
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    • Plank 8 of the Communist Manifesto: Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    • Plank 9 of the Communist Manifesto: Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
    • This is an echo of Karl Marx’s mandate, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
    • This is pure global governance orchestrated by an entity with authority above national sovereignty.

This summary is not intended to be exhaustive, but should provide enough information to alarm even the most lukewarm of patriots and faithful Christians. But the Catholic Church, which has issued full and unqualified condemnations of Communism and Socialism should have nothing to do with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals … and yet, “Catholic” social justice organizations and its leaders have hijacked key positions in the Vatican and are using their influence and authority to fast-track programs to get the faithful to fully support and work for the implementation of the SDGs. This is extremely dangerous and must be forcefully resisted by all faithful Catholics. What follows is a general overview of some of the more egregious of the SDGs in their audacious push for global Communist governance.

Read the rest at http://www.lepantoinstitute.org/.

Hichborn_headshot300ABOUT MICHAEL HICHBORN

Michael Hichborn is the president of the Lepanto Insitute. Formerly, Michael spent nearly eight years as American Life League’s Director of the Defend the Faith project. He has researched and produced countless articles and reports on the funding of abortion, birth control, homosexuality and Marxism by Catholic Relief Servies and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Christendom College in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree in Education from American Intercontinental University. Michael lives in Virginia with his wife, Alyssa, and their five children.

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His Absurdness Pope Francis: Koran and Holy Bible are the Same!

Ayn Rand wrote, “The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

On Monday, Pope Francis, the Bishop Of Rome, addressed Catholic followers regarding the dire importance of exhibiting religious tolerance. During his hour-long speech, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.

As a Catholic it pains me to read words like this when daily I see the persecution of Christians and Jews by the followers of Mohammed. The Catholic Church is retreating and Islam is gaining. At some point Islam will become the official ideology of the Vatican, the Islamic State promises so.

Rather than go into a long litany of reasons why the Holy Bible is different than the Quran, not the least of which is the Koran does not recognize that Jesus was crucified, died and then rose from the dead to forgive our sins. For it is the Holy Trinity which is the foundation of Catholicism and the Holy Catholic Church.

Rather I will focus on Quran versus 2: 191-193, which read:

And kill them [the non-believers] wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

Jews, Sikh, Christians, Hindus, Kurds, Buddhist, Ezidis, and anyone else who is not a Muslim is to be slaughtered if they do not embrace Islam.

Show me in the Holy Bible where it says that anyone who does not accept Jesus is to be slaughtered. One cannot.

When Pope Francis stated, “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence”, Robert Spencer wrote:

No one would even be interested in this question were it not for the abundant evidence to the contrary: the daily record of jihad violence carried out by Muslims who point to Islam and the Qur’an to justify their actions, including many who are burning churches and terrorizing Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere. It is because of them that Pope Francis, David Cameron and others feel compelled to insist that, contrary to what we see happening every day, Islam is really peaceful. The question is whether they are doing the victims of jihad any real service by insisting this.

For if Pope Francis were to admit that Islam is a violent religion, that admission would imply the necessity of addressing Islamic intolerance of Christians.

The last thing that Pope Francis and certain world leaders want to do is to further enrage Fitnaphobes (i.e. the Muslim community). This is a false and dangerous position, as it ignores the social disease (existential threat) of Fitnaphobia, the known Islamic wolves at the gates of the Vatican.

Pope Francis is an Islamic apologist and Fitnaphobic.

Islam cannot be stopped unless and until Muslims, citizens, political and national security leaders at every level begin to profile and identify Fitnaphobic individuals, organizations and nation states.

When religious tolerance becomes a one way street, then the Vatican will fall to the Islamic Caliphate.

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EDITORS NOTE: To learn more about why Muslims slaughter visit www.Fitnaphobia.com.

Climate Refugee News: New Zealand’s Highest Court Rejects First ‘Climate Refugee’ Asylum Appeal

For our many new readers, you may not know that international Leftists and NO borders advocates are pushing the meme that there are millions of so-called ‘climate refugees’ that must be taken into first world countries as refugees because the climate is changing where they now live.

You are probably laughing at how ridiculous this sounds, but believe me the issue is getting legs especially now that the Vatican is weighing in.

Sensibly, New Zealand’s Supreme Court has ruled that, in an important test case, the man claiming that he would suffer harm if returned to the island nation of Kiribati must be deported.  He is not a refugee.

Remember the other day, I mentioned that in order for someone to be a legitimate refugee they must prove they would be PERSECUTED if returned to their country of origin and that Obama and his minions in the US State Department are working day and night to eviscerate refugee protection programs by deeming the ‘children’ from Central America as refugees when they are no such thing.

Economic migrants, people trying to escape crime or changes in the weather are NOT refugees.

Thankfully, in this case, the New Zealand court is demanding adherence to the long-standing definition of the word “refugee.”

From Sky News:

A Pacific Islander who applied to the New Zealand government to give him status as the world’s first climate refugee has had his appeal turned down.

Ioane Teitiota, 38, argued he should not be sent back to the island nation of Kiribati because it was under threat due to rising seas.

That, he argued, made it unsafe for him and his family.

However, while NZ’s Supreme Court agreed that the tiny nation of about 100,000 people was suffering environmental degradation, it said Mr Teitiota’s application did not meet the legal definition of a refugee because he was not facing persecution.

“While Kiribati undoubtedly faces challenges, Mr Teitiota does not, if returned, face ‘serious harm’,” the Supreme Court said in a ruling released on Monday.

Unfortunately, the court left the door open for a better test case.

In other ‘climate refugee’ news….

  • Ireland’s President says we need to save climate refugeeshere.  This made me laugh because I envisioned some Irishman claiming he was a climate refugee in someplace like Tahiti because it was just too darned cold and rainy in Ireland!
  • In a new report, the Leftists in Norway say there were 20 million climate refugees around the world in 2014, here.
  • And, finally, a good piece at the Washington Post of all places debunking this as another Leftist scare tactic, here.  Love it!

For more of this ridiculousness, see our ‘Climate refugees’ category going back several years, here.

Vatican Validates Jihad Terror: Signs Treaty Recognizing State of Palestine

There is no “State of Palestine” at this time. This is part of the ongoing pressure upon Israel to create one. Creating one will be a great victory for the global jihad force, as a “State of Palestine” will inevitably be a new jihad base for renewed attacks against what remains of Israel. Events will unfold just as they did when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza: while the international media hailed a new era of peace, the “Palestinians” gutted installations and prepared for jihad.

This recognition could end up being as large a blot on the Catholic Church’s record as the Inquisition and the many Catholic clerics all over Europe who went along with the Nazi program against Jews during World War II. The “Palestinians” make no secret on official PA TV of the fact that they share that same genocidal antisemitic bloodlust. This recognition only validates that bloodlust, and enables it.

As this recognition is given, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic jihadists all over the Middle East — Islamic jihadists with the same supremacist ideology as that which motivates the “Palestinians.” In response to this persecution, the bishops of the Catholic Church pursue a “dialogue” with Muslim leaders that makes everyone involved feel good about themselves, but doesn’t do a single thing to alleviate that persecution. And the bishops in the U.S. actively move to silence those who dare speak out about the true nature and magnitude of that persecution, and to prevent them from being heard in Catholic settings. Now, with this recognition, the Church is actively aligning itself with the jihad force, and demonstrating the great lesson of our age, that terrorism works: murder enough people and issue enough genocidal threats, and the whole world will cower at your feet.

The Vatican, by recognizing the genocidal jihad entity that is or will be the “State of Palestine,” is creating a huge moral dilemma for those Catholics who believe that Israel, as being on the front lines of the global jihad, ought to be supported, and that jihad terror, as represented by the “Palestinians” as well as by the persecutors of Christians, ought to be opposed. This is a political decision that has nothing to do with the substance of the faith, but these Church policies are heading the faithful toward a disaster of which they are largely ignorant and for which, thanks to their bishops, they are completely unprepared. Do those who see this disaster coming still have a place in Francis’ progressive, ever-so-modern Catholic Church?

“Vatican signs treaty recognizing State of Palestine,” Times of Israel, June 26, 2015:

The Vatican on Friday signed a historic accord with Palestine, two years after officially recognizing it as a state, in a move criticized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

The accord, a treaty covering the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, was the first since the Vatican recognized the Palestinian state in February 2013. The step was agreed in principle last month and condemned by Israel as a setback for the peace process.

The Foreign Ministry said Friday in response that it “regrets” the Vatican’s decision to sign the “one-sided” text.

“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem. Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem,” the statement added.

“The Palestinians continue to act unilaterally which distances us from any chance of holding direct dialogue,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.

“I regret that the Vatican decided to participate in a step that blatantly ignores the history of the Jewish people in Israel and Jerusalem. Any attempt by the Palestinians, or any other actor to undermine our historic right to Jerusalem and our country will met by staunch opposition by us,” she said.

The treaty makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the State of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi last month.

Israeli officials criticized the Vatican announcement in May.

“We’re disappointed by the decision taken by the Holy See. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel at the time.

“Israel will study the agreement and consider its next steps accordingly,” a brief statement from the ministry said.

The text of the treaty deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine, a Vatican statement said in May.

“Both parties agreed that the work of the Commission on the text of the Agreement has been concluded, and that the agreement will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing,” it noted.

The Vatican has been referring unofficially to the state of Palestine for at least a year.

During Pope Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine.” In the Vatican’s latest yearbook, the Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See is listed as representing “Palestine (state of).”

The Vatican’s foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, acknowledged the change in status, given that the treaty was initially inked with the PLO and is now being finalized with the “state of Palestine.” But he said the shift was simply in line with the Holy See’s position.

The Holy See clearly tried to underplay the development, suggesting that its 2012 press statement welcoming the UN vote constituted its first official recognition. Nowhere in that statement does the Vatican say it recognizes the state of Palestine, and the Holy See couldn’t vote for the UN resolution because it doesn’t have voting rights at the General Assembly.

The 2012 UN vote recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state, made up of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians celebrated the vote as a milestone in their quest for international recognition. Most countries in Africa, Asia and South America have individually recognized Palestine. In Western Europe, Sweden took the step last year, while several parliaments have approved non-binding motions urging recognition….

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The New Paganism? The Case against Pope Francis’s Green Encyclical by Max Borders

Paganism as a distinct and separate religion may perhaps be said to have died, although, driven out of the cities, it found refuge in the countryside, where it lingered long — and whence, indeed, its very name is derived. In a very real sense, however, it never died at all. It was only transformed and absorbed into Christianity. – James Westfall Thompson, An Introduction to Medieval Europe

In 2003, science-fiction writer Michael Crichton warned a San Francisco audience about the sacralization of the environment. Drawing an analogy between religion and environmentalism, Crichton said:

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.

We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

This analogy between religion and environmentalism is no longer a mere analogy.

Pope Francis, the highest authority in the Catholic Church — to whom many faithful look for spiritual guidance — has now fused church doctrine with environmental doctrine.

Let’s consider pieces of his recently released Encyclical Letter. One is reminded of a history in which the ideas of paganism (including the worship of nature) were incorporated into the growing medieval Church.

Excerpts from Pope Francis are shown in italics.


 

This sister protests the evil that we provoke, because of the irresponsible use and of the abuse of the goods that God has placed in her. We grew up thinking that we were its owners and rulers, allowed to plunder it.

Notice how Pope Francis turns the earth into a person. Sister. Mother. This kind of anthropomorphic trope is designed to make you think that, by virtue of driving your car, you’re also smacking your sibling. We’ve gone from “dominion over the animals and crawling things” to “plundering” our sister.

The violence that exists in the human heart wounded by sin is also manifested in the symptoms of the disease we feel in soil, water, air and in the living things. Therefore, among the most abandoned and ill treated poor we find our oppressed and devastated Earth, which “moans and suffers the pains of childbirth” [Romans 8:22].

First, if the state of the soil, water and air and living things is indeed symptomatic of our violent, sinful hearts, then the good news is that sin is on the decline. On every dimension the Pope names, the symptoms of environmental harm are getting better all the time — at least in our decadent capitalist country.

Do not take it on faith: here are data.

There are forms of pollution which affect people every day. The exposure to air pollutants produces a large spectrum of health effects, in particular on the most poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.

This will always be true to some degree, of course, but it’s less true than any time in human history. Pope Francis fails to acknowledge the tremendous gains humanity has made. For example, human life expectancy in the Paleolithic period (call this “Eden”) was 33 years. Life expectancy in the neolithic period was 20 years. Globally, life expectancy is now more than 68 years, and in the West, it is passing 79 years.

Yes, there is pollution, and, yes, the poor are affected by it. But the reason why the poor are affected most by air pollution is because they’re poor — and because they don’t have access to fossil fuel energy. Pope Francis never bothers to draw the connection between wealth and health because he thinks of both production and consumption as sinful. Brad Plumer writes at Vox,

About 3 billion people around the world — mostly in Africa and Asia, and mostly very poor — still cook and heat their homes by burning coal, charcoal, dung, wood, or plant residue in their homes. These homes often have poor ventilation, and the smoke can cause all sorts of respiratory diseases.

The wealthy people of the West, including Pope Francis, don’t suffer from this problem. That’s because liberal capitalist countries — i.e., those countries who “plunder” their sister earth — do not suffer from energy poverty. They do not suffer from inhaling fumes and particulate matter from burning dung becausethey are “sinful,” because they are capitalist.

See the problem? The Pope wants to have it both ways. He has confused the disease (unhealthy indoor air pollution) with the cure (cheap, clean, abundant and mass-produced energy from fossil fuels).

Add to that the pollution that affects all, caused by transportation, by industrial fumes, by the discharge of substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, by fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and toxic pesticides in general. The technology, which, connected to finance, claims to be the only solution to these problems, in fact is not capable of seeing the mystery of the multiple relationships which exist between things, and because of this, sometimes solves a problem by creating another.

It is strange to read admonitions from someone about the “multiple relationships that exist between things,” only to see him ignore those relationships in the same paragraph. Yes, humans often create problems by solving others, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t solve the problems. It just means we should solve the big problems and then work on the smaller ones.

Solving problems even as we discover different problems is an inherent part of the human condition. Our creativity and innovation and struggle to overcome the hand nature has dealt us is what makes us unique as a species.

Perhaps this is, for Pope Francis, some sort of Green Original Sin: “Thou shalt just deal with it.” But to the rest of us, it is the means by which we live happier, more comfortable lives here under the firmament.

The Earth, our home, seems to turn more and more into a huge garbage dump. In many places on the planet, the elderly remember with nostalgia the landscapes of the past, which now appear to be submerged in junk.

If you get your understanding of waste management and the environment from the movie Wall-E, then you might have the impression that we’re burying our sister in garbage. But as the guys over at EconPop have pointed out, land used for waste management is also governed by laws of supply and demand — which means entrepreneurs and innovators are finding better and less expensive ways to reuse, reduce, recycle, and manage our waste.

The industrial waste as well as the chemicals used in cities and fields can produce an effect of bio-accumulation in the bodies of the inhabitants of neighboring areas, which occurs even when the amount of a toxic element in a given place is low. Many times one takes action only when these produced irreversible effects on people’s health.

People, on net, are living longer and healthier than they ever have in the history of our species. What evidence does the Holy Father have that irreversible effects on people’s health rises to the level of an emergency that demands drafting in a papal encyclical? And why focus on the costs of “chemicals” without a single mention of overwhelming their human benefit? Indeed, which chemicals? This kind of sloppy thinking is rather unbecoming of someone who is (we are constantly reminded) a trained chemist.

Certain substances can have health effects, but so can failing to produce the life-enhancing goods in the first place. The answer is not to beg forgiveness for using soaps and plastics (or whatever), but to develop the institutions that prevent people and companies from imposing harmful costs onto others without taking responsibility for it.

The key is to consider the trade-offs that we will face no matter what, not to condemn and banish “impure” and unnatural substances from our lives.

These issues are intimately linked to the culture of waste, affecting so much the human beings left behind when the things turn quickly into trash.

Now we’re getting somewhere. This is where Pope Francis would like to add consumerism to production on the list of environmentally deadly sins.

Let us realize, for example, that most of the paper that is produced is thrown away and not recycled.

Heaven forfend! So would Pope Francis have us burn fossil fuels to go around and collect processed pulp? Is he unaware that demand for paper is what drivesthe supply of new trees? We aren’t running out of trees because we throw away paper. The Pope’s plan sounds like it could have been hatched in Berkeley, California, instead of Vatican City. And yet worlds have collided.

Michael Munger puts matters a little differently:

Mandatory recycling, by definition, takes material that would not be recycled voluntarily, diverts it from the waste stream, and handles it several times before using it again in a way that wastes resources.

The only explanation for this behavior that I can think of is a religious ceremony, a sacrifice of resources as a form of worship. I have no problem if people want to do that. As religions go, it is fairly benign. Butrequiring that religious sacrifice of resources is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

Well, Professor Munger, this is the Pope we’re talking about.

We find it hard to admit that the operation of natural ecosystems is exemplary: plants synthesize nutrients that feed the herbivores; these in turn feed the carnivores, which provide a lot of organic waste, which give rise to a new generation of plants. In contrast, the industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the ability to absorb and reuse waste and slag.

Where is the evidence for this? These are matters of faith, indeed. All this time I thought the industrial system did have the ability to absorb and reuse waste: It’s called the system of prices, property, and profit/loss. The problem is not that such a “recycling” system doesn’t exist, it’s that corruption and government distorts the system of property, prices and profit/loss so that our economic ecosystem doesn’t operate as it should.

Indeed, when you have the Pope suggesting we burn gas to save glass, you have to wonder why the industrial system is so messed up. A system that “requires us to limit the use of non-renewable resources, to moderate consumption, to maximize the efficiency of the exploitation, to reuse and to recycle,” is called the market. And where it doesn’t exist is where you’ll find the worst instances of corruption and environmental degradation.

Then, of course, there’s climate change. In the interests of brevity I won’t quote the whole thing. But here’s the punchline, which might have been plucked straight from the IPCC Summary for Policymakers:

Climate change is a global problem with serious environmental, social, economic, distribution and policy implications, and make up one of the main current challenges for humanity. The heaviest impacts will probably fall in the coming decades upon developing countries.

This might be true. What the Holy Father fails to appreciate is that the heaviest impacts of policies designed to mitigate climate change will definitely fall upon developing countries. (That is, if the developing countries swear off cheap energy and embrace any sort of global climate treaty. If history is a guide, they most certainly will not.)

Meanwhile, the biggest benefits of burning more carbon-based fossil fuels will accrue the poorest billions on earth. The Pope should mention that if he really has their interests at heart or in mind.

But many symptoms indicate that these effects could get worse if we continue the current patterns of production and consumption.

“Patterns of production and consumption”? This is a euphemism for wealth creation. What is wealth except production and consumption of resources to further human need and desire?

His suggested cure for our dangerous patterns of wealth creation, of course, is good ole demand-side management. Wiser, more enlightened minds (like his, he hopes) will let you know which light bulbs to buy, what sort of car to drive, and which insolvent solar company they’ll “invest” your money in. You can even buy papal indulgences in the form of carbon credits. As the late Alexander Cockburn wrote,

The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. … Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments.

But the most important thing to realize here is that the “current” patterns of production and consumption are never current. The earthquakes of innovation and gales of creative destruction blow through any such observed patterns. The price system, with its lightning-quick information distribution mechanism is far, far superior to any elites or energy cronies. And technological innovation, though we can’t predict just how, will likely someday take us as far away from today’s energy status quo, just as we have moved away from tallow, whale oil, and horse-drawn carriages.

The Pope disagrees with our rose-tinted techno-optimism, saying “some maintain at all costs the myth of progress and say that the ecological problems will be solved simply by new technical applications.”

The Pope sits on his golden throne and looks over the vast expanse of time and space — from hunter-gatherers running mammoths off cliffs to Americans running Teslas off electric power, from the USA in 1776 and 2015, from England before and after the Industrial Revolution, from Hong Kong and Hiroshima in 1945 to their glorious present — and sneers: progress is a myth, environmental problems can’t be fixed through innovation, production is destroying the earth, consumption is original sin.

Innovation is the wellspring of all progress. Policies to stop or undo innovation in energy, chemistry, industry, farming, and genetics are a way to put humanity in a bell jar, at best. At worst they will put some of us in the dark and others in early graves. They are truly fatal conceits.

And yet, the Pope has faith in policymakers to know just which year we should have gotten off the train of innovation. William F. Buckley famously said conservatives “stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” Greens are similar, except they’re yelling “Go back!”

Therefore it has become urgent and compelling to develop policies so that in the coming years the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases is reduced drastically, for instance by replacing fossil fuels and by developing renewable energy sources.

I reflect again on the notion that this effort might be just another way of the Church embracing and extending a competitor religion. Then again, Pope Francis so often shows that he is a true and faithful green planner. In an unholy alliance with those who see the strategic benefit in absorbing environmentalism, the Holy Father has found the perfect way to restore the power of the Church over politics, economics, culture, and the state to its former glory.


Max Borders

Max Borders is the editor of the Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.

Two Antichrists? How C.S. Lewis Helps Pat Robertson and Joel Richardson on the ‘Horns of a Beast Dilemma’

Which is the Antichrist — the Pope or the coming 12th Imam (Mahdi) of Islam? Pat Robertson seems to be questioning the historic Protestant view of the papacy as the Antichrist power, impressed with the work of Joel Richardson a “Mid East Beast.”

Before we throw the baby out with the bath water, let’s consider an update to C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, which was about the devil’s strategies to deceive us. The devil has something for everyone and in the modern version, Christians can easily see how militant Islam is anti-Christ.

It’s too easy to forget Dave Hunt’s A Woman Rides the Beast. His title from Revelation 17 explained the harlot (not the bride of Christ) who is involved with kings and governments, a wealthy church decked with gold and precious stones, wearing scarlet, the color of cardinals, and sitting on seven hills (Rome). She is a persecuting church, “drunken with the blood of saints” and a mother church—mother of harlots who are unfaithful—they no longer protest what their founders protested.

This harlot is also “the Mother of Abominations.” Converted Jesuit priest, Alberto Rivera shows how Rome strategized to mentor young Muhammed by Catholic Khadija which explains the common thread of Mary and Fatima to both religions. (Mother of Abominations)

But while Islam made war on Jews and Evangelical Christians in the Holy Land as planned, they failed to give Jerusalem to the Pope, hence the Crusades to get it back from infidels and a bitter hatred of Islam for “Christians” and a perfect setup of them as “Antichrist.”

The only book that Christ recommended when asked about the end of the world shows that the U.S. will stomp Iran as the 2nd horn on a Muslim ram in Daniel 8:20 in a vision that’s “at the time of the end,” (Dan 8:17. After that, the pope will be able to move to Jerusalem (Dan 11:45) and govern the holy places and receive homage.

Then come the real Antichrist as the Pope introduces ‘Jesus’ to the world when Satan comes to impersonate Him. Hence there are two Antichrists. One adamantly opposed to Christianity, and the other, in place of the true Christ. The Vatican already worships Lucifer (the name of the fallen angel who became Satan and was thrown out of  heaven for his rebellion against God). Isaiah 14:12-14; Rev 12:7-9.

Satan so deceived the angels that if God had wiped out the devil without demon stration [sic] to show his principles, then all the other beings would have served God from fear rather than love, which is the basis of God’s government and the wise laws which He has made.

So our world became a battlefield to reveal who God and Satan are—and what their principles are. At the cross, love and hate were fully exposed, meaning that Satan would lose. But billions of people still have no clue in spite of the Bible being a best-seller. “So send I you,” says Christ to us in the end-time.

It will climax when Satan “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thess 2:4. This is what the pope has done for centuries, claiming the title of deity, “Lord God the Pope,” etc.

In the end-times, Satan will fill the bill with all power and signs and lying wonders, ” 2 Thessalonians 2:9. His claim to be Christ will deceive “nearly the very elect,” Matt 24:23,24.

But when we are not deceived and choose not to give him homage, it will be like the three Hebrews in Daniel 3. But as the “Son of God” was with them (Dan 3:25), He will come for us on the white horse to end Armageddon intended to annihilate God’s remnant.

Muhammad and Islam, the result of Vatican strategy?

Is the Vatican worshiping Lucifer and not the Son of God? Watch this video:

Pope Francis Invokes Lucifer At Easter Vigil Mass from Now The End Begins on Vimeo.

Pope improves Armageddon with Climate Change prophecy

Today the Vatican released a highly anticipated Papal encyclical containing a carefully worded prediction of the imminent destruction of Earth’s environment at the hands of wealthy countries and individuals. Titled “Laudato Si,” (“Be Praised”), the new encyclical leaves little doubt that its author, Pope Francis, is attempting to bridge the widening gap between the boring and preachy Epistle of Jude and the still popular and hardcore Book of Revelation, while also courting a younger, progressive generation of Mother Earth worshippers by adding a cool new “Horseman of Global Warming” to the existing Doomsday scenario, bringing the total number of Horsemen of the Apocalypse to five.

Prior to the release, a senior Vatican official explained the purpose of the encyclical as a good faith effort by the Pope to demonize unbridled capitalism as the sole threat to our common planet, thus endearing himself and the Church he shepherds to the largely untapped progressive community. “If this encyclical receives the popular support it deserves, it may well find its way into the Canon of Scripture, and possibly into movie theaters worldwide,” the source told the press on condition of anonymity, explaining that “stealing the Holy Father’s thunder” is an excommunicable offense.

“It may seem odd to suggest that St. John, author of the Book of Revelation, shared a common failing with the early prophets of Climate Change, but it’s true. In his eagerness to steer readers to God, John wrote as though it was essential that people immediately embrace holy living so as to avoid the fast-approaching horrors of Armageddon. Likewise, until recently, the harbingers of carbon-based annihilation demanded drastic lifestyle changes among the world’s consumers to prevent climate cataclysm,” said the insider of an increasingly enlightened and once again relevant Catholic institution.

“Their mutual mistake was the specificity of predictions and deadlines for action, which have all passed without any noticeable impact. New York remains above water and natural disasters have not increased, while the seven seals remain unbroken and the stars are still attached to the firmament,” the Vatican source said.

And yet we shouldn’t lose hope: “The infallible Vicar of Christ won’t repeat those mistakes. His encyclical skillfully combines compelling, Revelationesque doomsday scenarios with a generous use of tempering vagaries such as ‘may’ and ‘potential.'”

Even though none of the earlier predictions have materialized, there is still reason for optimism, as Revelation and Climate Change Science both continue to be wildly popular among the respective groups of believers.

“The encyclical capitalizes on that popularity while serving as a long overdue segue between the present time, where nothing of note is happening, and the apocalyptic events which may still be decades away,” said the Vatican official, ending the anonymous statement with a prediction that the eventual Hollywood screenplay may potentially feature a snappier, dire-sounding title.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Helping Pope Francis to Help the Poor

With probably trillions in gold, Pope Francis has a good idea about sharing the wealth. Would he be willing to set a good example and say, “Follow me”?

If you Google “gold to the Vatican,” the first page of 7,080,000 results includes numerous links to $170 million in gold from Nazi Germany taken from the teeth of Jewish people gassed to death.

There are also 55,000 results for “gold to the Vatican” in videos with some of the same points in the below YouTube video. On the 2nd page of “gold to the Vatican” is a link to an article re: the Philippines as the “wealthiest nation on earth” and an explanation of “why the Diaz Last Will allotted 15% or around 90,000 metric tons of gold to the Vatican.” This is just the tip of the iceberg.

International Monetary Fund Whisteblower Karen Hudes says some of our tax dollars go to the UK by treaty and then to the Vatican Bank, raising huge questions — How can this be (@7:30 minutes)?

New World gold acquisition may have started with Cortez and the conquest of the Aztecs. I have seen cathedrals in Latin America with much gold. And it confirms the Bible’s reference to a woman in Revelation 17 that some Protestants interpret as the Vatican. She’s described as involved with kings and politics, arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold, precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, Rev 17:2,4. Sounds like wealth, and sitting on seven hills [Rome], Rev 17:9,

So why would Pope Francis ask the only historically Protestant nation to help when he’s had the resources of Inter-America and South America at his command for centuries?

How does Pope Francis explain their poverty when Catholicism has dominated them? In the early 1960’s I spent a summer in Colombia and Venezuela when a third of the people couldn’t read or write –a sharp contrast to men like Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Lincoln who had no benefit of our great public schools of today. Maybe they were (God forbid) homeschooled!

Shouldn’t we start asking questions before we jump into a socialist pot to share what we have with everyone else? Maybe the first question would be how much wealth does the Vatican have? Can we inspect it like we would like to inspect Iran’s nuclear developments?

Catholic means universal, and we have a congress that is catholic—not Roman Catholic, but (little c) catholic–universal that wants to go along to get along and so very few with the guts to stand for what’s right, even at the risk of personal loss.

And maybe that explains how the Supreme Court works with a majority of Catholic justices favoring Obamacare that will surely ruin America, if same sex marriage doesn’t do it first with their approval. Is Protestantism dead? If we don’t speak out now, we must forever hold our peace. Freedom of press is nearly gone, but 7,080,000 results for “gold to the Vatican” deserves a bigger picture of how we got here from the Catholic World–

“There is, ere long, to be a state religion in this country, and that state religion is to be the Roman Catholic.”

1st. The Roman Catholic is to wield his vote for the purpose of securing Catholic ascendancy in this country.

2nd. All legislation must be governed by the will of God, unerringly indicated by the pope.

3rd. EDUCATION must be controlled by Catholic Authorities, and under education the opinions of the individual and the utterances of the press are included, and many opinions are to be forbidden by the secular arm, under the authority of the Church, even to war and bloodshed.”

– Father Hecker, Catholic World, July 1870.

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EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling is a physician whose interest in retirement includes a concern for where we are going in America. He offers more information at his website: http://ChooseABetterDestiny.com.

Pope Francis said to back sainthood for anti-Semitic priest

Canonization in the Roman Catholic Church has already become a charade, with recently deceased popes whose records are likely to be viewed by history quite differently from how they are now rushed to sainthood the way Roman Emperors used to be deified right after their deaths (no matter what rogues they had been in life), but this is even worse: it’s a validation of anti-Semitism, and indirectly of the jihad against Israel, at a time when the Pope should be declaring his solidarity with Israel as the nation bearing the brunt of the jihad that has devastated Christian communities across the Middle East.

The Catholic Church formally rejected anti-Semitism in all its forms at the Second Vatican Council. Why is it going in the other direction now?

No doubt Francis believes that to speak frankly about the jihad against Christians and Jews would be to harm the “dialogue.”

The Catholic Church hierarchy is following a disastrous and ultimately un-Christian line of weakness, willful blindness and submission in the face of evil; many Christians will die as a result.

“Pope Francis said to back sainthood for anti-Semitic priest,” Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2015 (thanks to David):

Leon Dehon, whose beatification was delayed in 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II, founded the Priests of the Sacred Heart order.

Pope Francis on Friday went on record as supporting the candidacy for sainthood of a French priest who is alleged to have espoused anti-Semitic views, the AFP news agency reported.

Leon Dehon, whose beatification was delayed in 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II, founded the Priests of the Sacred Heart order.

According to AFP, although he had been declared venerable by John Paul II, his path to sainthood hit a snag when Pope Benedict XVI ordered a commission to probe Dehon’s alleged anti-Semitism.

Despite questions about Dehon’s past, Pope Francis on Friday was quoted by media outlets as saying that he wished for the beatification process to “end well” and that the late priest should be judged within the context of the times in which he lived.

Dehon is reported to have called the Talmud a “manual of the bandit, corruptor, social destroyer” and anti-Semitism as a “sign of hope.”

He also believed that Jews were “thirsty for gold” and that “lust for money is a racial instinct in them.”

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Politics and Pope Francis: What is the role of the Catholic Church and the State?

There has been growing concern that the Catholic Church has taken the wrong path under the leadership of Pope Francis. Pope Francis has made statements, some misunderstood, that baffle loyal Catholics, this author being one of them.

Pope Francis’ recent statement on climate change as a “scientific reality” requiring Catholics to have a moral and religious responsibility to do something about it has drawn praise from environmentalists and criticism from scientists who understand that changes in the climate are due to nature and nature’s (God’s) laws. Pope Francis seems more concerned over God’s climate than the fact that 11 Christians are slaughtered by members of Islam every hour.

A 1924 Time Magazine article on Pope Pius XI reported:

When Politics come near the Altar, then Religion, the Church, the Pontiff have not only the right but the duty to give directions and indications to be followed by Catholics.

The same reply was made by Moses. The same was made by Luther, Calvin, Knox. The same was made in unmistakable language by Pius IX, in the last Century: “It is an error to assert that the Church ought to be separated from the State and the State from the Church.”

[ … ]

Indeed, this Pontiff went further and declared: “It is an error to assert that every man is free to embrace the Religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of reason.”

But is this what Pope Francis is doing – giving directions and showing that the Church ought not be separated from the state? If so, at what cost?

When asked about homosexuality Pope Francis replied, “Who am I to judge.” But he appears to be judging (taking sides) on other political issues such as climate change, the Arab/Israeli conflict and the recognition of a Palestinian state. However, he refuses to address the persecution and slaughter of Catholics, Christians and Jews globally. His actions to embrace Islam as “the religion of peace” seems in conflict with the words of Pope Pius XI that, “It is an error to assert that every man is free to embrace the Religion he shall believe true…” No one would choose Islam as a religion as Pope Pius XI stated if they were “guided by the light of reason.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a defender of Israel, after the Vatican recognized Palestine, stated, “It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do.” How can any Pope recognize the Palestinian state, which repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel and  the Holy Land? The birthplace of Jesus Christ, upon whose teachings the Catholic Church is based?

The Vatican in now embroiled in several scandals involving gay orgies and murder. The Independent reports:

The Vatican has been embroiled in two separate, highly embarrassing, scandals.

In one, a north Italian priest has been removed from office after allegations emerged that he had been surfing the internet to find gay lovers and had been involved in gay orgies.

The other, which has generated – if possible – even more lurid press coverage in Italy, alleges a priest in the south of the country is under investigation on suspicion of murdering one of his parishioners.

[ … ]

Meanwhile, to the north of the country, the local Curia is scrambling to address the allegations made by a 32-year-old man from Rovigo, midway between Bologna and Venice.

The unidentified man apparently approached the media after church authorities failed to take action following his official complaint to the Ecclesiastical Court of the Puglia region against the unidentified 50-year-old priest.

The younger man claimed he met the priest through Facebook, forming a close friendship with the clerical figure who then confessed his homosexuality to his online correspondent.

In his complaint, according to Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno, the man included a record of his conversations with the priest.

In these online interactions, the priest admitted to sexual relationships with other religious figures – as well as members of the Vatican’s elite Swiss Guard – using the internet to find new partners and engage in sexual encounters online.

Perhaps it is time to remove Satan from the Catholic Church and the public square.

Greg Laurie, from World Net Daily asks, “Is the world today changing the church? Or is the church changing the world? If we want to be a church that changes the world, then we need to get back to the church that Jesus started and live the Christian life as the early church lived it.”

As a Catholic I want a Church that changes the world, not a Church that changes with the world. Perhaps it is a time to get back to Christian basics, perhaps it is time for another reformation?

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Vatican officially recognizes the “State of Palestine”

There is no “State of Palestine” at this time. This is part of the ongoing pressure upon Israel to create one. Creating one will be a great victory for the global jihad force, as a “State of Palestine” will inevitably be a new jihad base for renewed attacks against what remains of Israel. Events will unfold just as they did when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza: while the international media hailed a new era of peace, the “Palestinians” gutted installations and prepared for jihad.

This recognition could end up being as large a blot on the Catholic Church’s record as the Inquisition and the many Catholic clerics all over Europe who went along with the Nazi program against Jews during World War II. The “Palestinians” make no secret on official PA TV of the fact that they share that same genocidal antisemitic bloodlust. This recognition only validates that bloodlust, and enables it.

For shame: “Vatican Officially Recognizes ‘State of Palestine’ in New Treaty,” Associated Press, May 13, 2015:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican officially recognizes ‘state of Palestine’ in new treaty.

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Has Vatican newspaper converted to Islam?

The Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano ran a piece with the subtitle, “Shooting in Texas at an exhibition of blasphemous cartoons.”

Blasphemous? They’re blasphemous according to Islamic law, because Islam asserts that Muhammad is a prophet. So is the Vatican now submitting to Islamic law? Merriam-Webster defines “blasphemy” as “great disrespect shown to God or to something holy.” So does the Vatican now think Muhammad is holy? Has L’Osservatore Romano converted to Islam? Is Muhammad now considered a prophet by the Catholic Church, like Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel? Will he get a feast day on the Roman Catholic calendar?

They could have used any other word — offensive, tasteless, odious, whatever. But using the word “blasphemous” sends a hugely misleading message.

Meanwhile, here is an excellent evisceration of the idea that L’Osservatore Romano also puts forward — that our free speech event was needlessly provocative, throwing gasoline on the fire: “Do I Have to Draw You a Picture? The Cartoon Wars Come to America,” by William Kilpatrick, Catholic World Report, May 6, 2015:

…That brings us back to the L’Osservatore Romano article. Its authors decry provocation—“wanting to throw gasoline on the fire”—but have they paused to consider that many Catholic beliefs and practices are also provocative to Muslims? In Saudi Arabia, Bibles and rosaries are considered provocative and no churches are allowed. In some Muslim countries, ringing church bells is considered provocative. In other places it is provocative to rebuild a church that is falling down—so provocative that Christians have lost their lives for the offense. In still other Muslim areas it is considered provocative if a Christian won’t pay the jizya tax, and he can be killed in consequence. In some parts of the Muslim world, simply being a Christian is sufficient provocation for murder.

A large part of the “provocative intent” of the Garland exhibit is to prevent such things from ever happening here. It’s a reminder that the sharia ban on blasphemy is meant to apply not just in Iran and Arabia, but everywhere. Everyone is expected to submit. The event and its aftermath also serves to remind us that it’s not a good idea to let the most violent among us determine the limits of free speech. If the Muhammad Art Exhibit is dismissed as incendiary and needlessly provocative, it means that Muslim extremists get to call the shots about what is and is not a permissible form of expression in America. Today it will be Muhammad cartoons that offend. And tomorrow? Well, it could be anything, because Muslim radicals seem to have an unlimited capacity for being offended. It could even be church bells or rosaries.

Some will say that Geller and Spencer are needlessly stirring up trouble. In reality, they are saving us from much greater trouble down the road by flushing out the danger we face while there is still time to face it down. If Americans don’t pay attention to wake-up calls of the drive-by-jihadist variety, they will wake up someday to find that the time for defending their freedoms has already passed.

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Vatican Silences ‘Climate Heretics’ at UN Papal Summit: ‘YOU WILL BE ESCORTED OUT OF HERE’

VATICAN CITY – Papal heavies shut down an awkward question at a Vatican press conference today when a journalist asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon his views on climate skeptics.

Marc Morano, covering the Vatican climate conference for Climate Depot, asked Ban Ki-Moon whether he had a message for the Heartland Institute delegation of scientists who have flown to Rome to urge the Pope to reconsider his ill-advised position climate change.

But before he could finish the conference hosts interrupted to ask which organisation he worked for, then directed the microphone to a more tame questioner, while a security guard came over to mutter in Morano’s ear “You have to control yourself or you will be escorted out of here.”

Morano, together with Christopher Monckton (one of the Heartland delegation) and your correspondent, only narrowly made it into the carefully stage-managed conference where – as known climate sceptics – they were apparently not welcome.

“Ah. So you made it in here?” said a somewhat surprised looking member of the Vatican press team to Morano, when he realized that he had bypassed the Vatican’s security and infiltrated the press pack who had come to cover the conference.

As luck would have it, a heaven-sent shower of torrential rain had created such chaos that security wasn’t as tight as it might have been.

However, the three skeptics (Morano, Monckton, Delingpole) were watched very carefully throughout the proceedings lest they attempt to ruffle the feathers of key speakers Ban Ki-Moon, left-wing economist Jeffrey Sachs and Cardinal Turkson, the Ghanaian priest who has been coordinating the Vatican’s position on “climate change.”

In the end, Secretary-General Ban did answer a similar question, albeit one expressed more delicately by a journalist from the Catholic media, when he was asked what his views were on those members of the Catholic community who had reservations about the Pope’s position on climate change.

Perhaps this was a response to Ban’s rather bold and very moot declaration that “Religion and science are united on the need for action on climate.”

“I don’t think faith leaders should be scientists,” said Ban, in reply to the question. “I’m not a scientist. What I want is their moral authority. Business leaders and all civil society is on board [with the mission to combat climate change]. Now we want faith leaders. Then we can make it happen.”

Secretary-General Ban clearly didn’t need the help from the papal security. As he smoothly demonstrated – as later when he deftly swerved a question about “overpopulation” and whether his previously expressed views that Africa should keep its population down clashed with the Catholic doctrine on contraception – he’s more than capable of squishing inconvenient truths himself.

Climate Skeptics In Rome Warn Pope Francis of ‘Unholy Alliance’ With UN Climate Agenda

Climate Depot’s Morano: ‘The Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that their positions on man-made global warming fears are now an article of faith — are now part of Catholic doctrine…This is nothing short of an ‘Unholy Alliance’ between the Vatican and the man-made climate fear promoters.’

Retired NASA Scientist Hal Doiron, a member of the team that developed the Apollo Lunar Module landing software: ‘I am here to report today: Houston we do not have a problem. It is impossible to think global warming will cause any problem especially when you look at the benefits of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.’

Meteorology Instructor at the U. of Colorado Dr. Richard Keen:  On UN Climate ‘solutions’: ‘It’s like using surgery to solve a sniffles. It’s bad on two counts. The cure is worse than the ailment and number two, the cure does not even fix the ailment. So why bother? All of these draconian policies that would increase world poverty would be flawed policies that would fail to solve a non-existent problem.’

Former Thatcher advisor Christopher Monckton: ‘It is not the business of the Pope to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander in to the playground that is science. Do not invite only one narrow and boisterous scientific viewpoint that has been repeatedly discredited as events and the science and the data have unfolded.’

ROME – A team of global warming skeptics arrived in Rome and held a press conference just outside of the Vatican to appeal to Pope Francis to reconsider his views on man-made climate change claims. Media coveragehereherehere, here, and here. Also see: CLIMATE SKEPTICS WRITE LETTER URGING POPE TO RETHINK GLOBAL WARMING

The skeptical delegation is in Rome to hold counter events during Pope Francis’ climate summit on April 28 at the Vatican. (See: Pope Francis to Host Major Summit on Climate Change)

The skeptics are laying out a detailed case explaining why climate science does not justify the Vatican putting its faith in the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the UN climate agenda.

The skeptical delegation will hold a second event on Tuesday. See:

Tuesday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. GMT +2 (7:00 a.m. ET)
Palazzo Cardinal Cesi
Via della Conciliazione n. 51 (Piazza S.Pietro)
00193
Rome, Italy

Selected Excerpts from Monday April 27th’s Skeptical Press Conference in Rome held at Hotel Columbus. (Video of the event will be available)

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano:

‘We are here today in Rome, just outside of Vatican City, to make an appeal to the Pope and the Vatican.

And here is the gist of this: No one is really that concerned about what the Pope and the Vatican think about climate science – ultimately.

The difference in what this Pope has done. He appears to be about to take an extra step that other Popes have not. That extra step is to endorse a UN climate treaty. This is a game changer from previous Popes and previous Vatican statements.

The Pope is essentially going to replace Leonardo DiCaprio at this year’s UN climate summit in New York City to speak on behalf of the UN to lobby for a climate treaty. So Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014, to Pope Francis in 2015. This will sow confusion among Catholics in America around the world.

We already have a phenomena that many Catholics recognize — a la carte Catholicism — where Catholics pick and choose which doctrine they want to follow. With the Pope coming out with such strong statements on global warming and endorsing a  UN treaty is very simple, the Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that their positions on man-made global warming fears are now an article of faith — are now part of Catholic doctrine.

This is nothing short of an ‘Unholy Alliance’ between the Vatican and the man-made climate fear promoters.

One of the greatest friends of poor people around the world – an estimated 1.3 billion people who lack running water and electricity — is carbon based fuels.

The UN IPCC official Edenhofer has stated that UN redistributes wealth by climate policy. See: UN IPCC Official Edenhofer: ‘We Redistribute World’s Wealth By Climate Policy’ edenhofer@pik-potsdam.de

The EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said even if were wrong on the science, we are doing the right policy. It’s not about the science. The climate establishment admits that the science does not matter. It doesn’t really matter what the science says, we need these energy policies. So instead of arguing for centralized energy planning on what they think are the merits, they instead use climate fears to force these policies upon the public. See: EU Commissioner: Global Warming Policy Is Right Even If Science Is Wrong – ‘Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices, Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s has said.’ ‘Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.’

The Vatican and the Pope should be arguing that fossil fuels are the ‘moral choice’ for the developing world for people who don’t have running water, or electricity.

What is also a concern are the people advising the Vatican.  The global warming establishment is even embarrassed by the choices of advisors Pope Francis has chosen to listen to on global warming.

The Pope can believe whatever he wants on climate science, but he should not just listen to one perspective of the debate. And people like Prof. Peter Wadhams have been chastised by their fellow warmists. NASA’s lead global warming scientist Gavin Schmidt, said Wadhams used charts that had no basis in physics. See: Peter Wadhams is a scientist that even his fellow global warming advocates distance themselves from. See: Warmists attack fellow warmist Prof. Peter Wadhams for ‘using graphs with ridiculous projections with no basis in physics’

German climate adviser Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber was also at the Vatican climate presentation in 2014. Does Pope Francis want to align himself with Schellnhuber’s views? See: Flashback 2009: German Climate AdvisorSchellnhuber ‘proposes creation of a CO2 budget for every person on planet!’

Naomi Oreskes is known for advocating climate skeptics who dissent from the UN/Gore climate alarmist view be prosecuted as mobsters! See: Merchants of Smear: Prosecute Skeptics Like Gangsters?! Warmist Naomi Oreskes likes the idea of having climate ‘deniers’ prosecuted under the RICO act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Jeffrey Sachs, a UN special advisor UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Sachs tweeted on November 10 that ‘Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world.”

To argue that every storm that happens means skeptics have ‘blood on their hands’ is unscientific. It is frightening that the Vatican is listening to people like Jeffrey Sachs.

This is the kind of advice that Pope Francis and the Vatican are receiving and they are allowing no dissent to be heard.

In 2007, Pope Benedict, our Pope Emeritus, for lack of a better word, warned of prophets of doom of manmade climate fears. See: Flashback: Pope Benedict condemns the climate change prophets of doom

Pope John Paul 2 grew up in Poland and saw what centralized planning and restrictions did to human liberty and development.

There appear to be no ‘consensus’ on global warming within the Vatican. Cardinal George Pell, now a senior Vatican official, has said things sharply different climate view than Pope Francis. See: Catholic Cardinal George Pell: ‘In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in Co2 emissions’

Today’s human sacrifices that Cardinal Pell referred to is the developing world. If we go forward and restrict carbon based energy in the developing world, the poor residents are going to be our modern day human sacrifices.  We must not allow the UN to manage the developing world’s resources and limit carbon based energy.

We appeal to Pope Francis: Do not confuse Catholics. Do not listen to only one side. And do not make views of man-made global warming an article of faith.

Retired NASA Scientist Hal Doiron, a member of the team that developed the Apollo Lunar Module landing software:

Doiron noted that ‘using the same scientific method that put the man on the moon,’ NASA scientists have concluded there is not climate ‘problem.’ Doiron noted that the slogan at NASA: was ‘In god we trust, all others bring data.’

‘I am here to report today: Houston we do not have a problem.

It is impossible to think global warming will cause any problem especially when you look at the benefits of adding Co2 to the atmosphere.

We are convinced that we don’t have a problem with fossil fuels. There is no problem.’

Meteorology Instructor at the University of Colorado Dr. Richard Keen: ‘I am a scientist and I studied climate change for 60 years.’

On UN IPCC: ‘Something is wrong, something is missing. The models are wrong.

It’s like using surgery to solve a sniffles. It’s bad on two counts. The cure is worse than the ailment and number two, the cure does not even fix the ailment. So why bother?

All of these draconian policies that would increase world poverty would be flawed policies that would fail to solve a non-existent problem.’

Former Thatcher advisor Christopher Monckton: ‘It is not the business of the Pope to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander in to the playground that is science.

If you do so, then you should do so as your predecessor did and you should listen to both sides of the scientific argument.

Do not invite only one narrow and boisterous scientific viewpoint that has been repeatedly discredited as events and the science and the data have unfolded.

You demean the office that you hold and you demean the church whom it is your sworn duty to protect and defend and advance. You will be kicking the poor in the teeth. Stand back and listen to both sides. And do not take sides in politics.’

Elisabeth Yore is an international children’s rights attorney:  [The Vatican’s]nexus between human trafficking and climate change is … deceptive and infinitely damaging to the cries of human trafficking victims around the world. This statement places the real human crisis of modern slavery on the same line of the manufactured one of climate change.

Heartland Institute spokesmen Jim Lakely: ‘We’re here to prevent the pope from making the mistake of having the UN as an advisor, because he won’t be getting the whole picture.’

Related Links:

National Catholic Reporter features Climate Depot: Skeptics issues strong, blunt warnings to Pope Francis – Marc Morano, a former advisor to U.S. Senator James Inhofe and who now runs the website Climate Depot, said that Tuesday’s event would “sow confusion” among Catholics about the teachings of the church. “The Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that your position [on climate change] … is now an article of faith, is part of Catholic doctrine,” Morano said. Morano and others at the event also cited Francis’ concern for those impoverished around the world, saying that policies to fight climate change would limit opportunities for growth in developing countries. “Fossil fuels are the moral choice for the developing world,” said Morano, who also quoted what he said were words by Australian Cardinal George Pell on the subject.

Morano in Rome – Climate skeptics press their case to the Vatican – Catholic paper ‘Crux’: Marc Morano, publisher of an eco-news center called ClimateDepot, said that at the end of the day, “no one cares” what Francis and the Vatican think about climate science. However, he said, penning an encyclical that endorses a UN treaty such as the sustainable development goals would be “confusing to many Catholics around the world,” who could be led to believe that UN positions on climate change and global warming are now part of Catholic doctrine.

Obama Plans to Discuss Climate Change With Pope Francis – Obama: ‘We’re going to talk about climate change I’m sure because he is very clear that part of the Church’s teachings, and part of my faith, is that we have to be good stewards of this incredible planet we’ve been given, and there are steps that can be taken there.’

Message to Pope Francis: Protect the Poor from Harmful Climate Policies

Skeptics Deliver An Open Letter to Pope Francis

Analysis: ‘WHY GOD IS NOT A WARMIST’

Actual headline: ‘Can Pope Francis halt climate change with new papal document?’

CLIMATE SKEPTICS WRITE LETTER URGING POPE TO RETHINK GLOBAL WARMING – “The world’s poor will suffer most from such policies,” the writers contend, adding: The poorest—the 1.3 billion in developing countries who depend on wood and dried dung as primary cooking and heating fuels, smoke from which kills 4 million and temporarily debilitates hundreds of millions every year—will be condemned to more generations of poverty and its deadly consequences. The letter ends with an appeal to the Pope to reconsider what seems to be the direction the Vatican is taking vis-à-vis climate change policies.

‘Global Warming? The Pope is Wrong’

Flashback: Pope Benedict condemns the climate change prophets of doom

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS HEAD TO ROME ON URGENT MISSION TO SAVE THE POPE FROM CLUTCHES OF MANBEARPIG

Climate Skeptics Descend on Vatican – Seek to Influence Pope on ‘Global Warming’

Who is Pope Francis? Perhaps his ‘Transformation on 9/21/53’ may help us understand him better?

Today’s million dollar question: Who is Pope Francis?

I refer to our Holy Father as a Holy Catholic Enigma.

Hope all is well on this day after “Pope Francis’ 61st Anniversary of his Conversion & Call to Religious Life”. Yes, it occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the Feast Day of St. Matthew (September 21st, 1953), some 61 years ago, when a troubled, 16 year old Jorge Mario Bergoglio walked into church for confession. The rest is history…and, the rest is a bit confusing and perplexing – especially the last year year and a half of his 77 years here on earth.

Pope Francis has been at it for 18 months now, as our Holy Father – CEO of 1.2 billion Catholics world-wide. He hit the Vatican ground running on that Feast Day of St. Joseph (March 19th, 2013), as he took the baton from our beloved Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus, who thought it was wiser to resign from his post at age 85, allowing the younger cardinal from Buenos Aires to take it from there. First time we have seen that in the Vatican in 600 years, since Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415. Wise move from a very wise retiring pope, who gave it his all in his nearly 8 years as our 265th pontiff.

And, if we were to take a national survey today – 61 years after Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s confession & conversion – we would probably see a wide assortment of answers when asked that million dollar question: “Who is Pope Francis”?

Friends: Where does one begin? How does one describe what you have seen, heard and watched from Pope Francis in his short, 18 month tenure so far? Why is it that this pope has caught the attention of billions (as in B) all over the world, as in a stark contrast to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who quietly took over after Pope John Paul II’s incredible 27 years? Is it because Pope Francis was elected so quickly by the 121 cardinals and because it was after the resignation of a pope, which we have not seen in 6 centuries? Is it because this pope is from the Americas – South America – of all places? Is it because he has a “chip on his shoulders” and wants to embrace the entire world to the religion of Catholicism like it was meant to be – just like Jesus ordained it to be over 2,000 years ago?

Or is it because this is what GOD ordained and what GOD considers part of the Big Plan? If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked “Willy, what is your take on Pope Francis”, I would be able to buy new text books for all 100 Catholic dioceses in this country who unforgivably adopted the Curse of Common Core and I would get the curse out of every one of those schools immediately.

Friends: Keep in mind that every time Pope Francis answers a question from the media, it is interpreted hundreds of different ways in hundreds of different languages. And, that is why the secular, liberal media love this guy. They get to twist & turn every one of his words and they, for some reason, always take his comments way out of context. That is one reason why he was voted “Person of the Year” last year and why he appeared on the front cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine…not “Roll away the Stone” magazine…The secular media see Pope Francis as a rock star…but, millions of faithful, die-hard Catholics all over the world do not.

And, that is where it gets sticky, confusing, perplexing, frustrating, and some times, down right excruciating. The “old school” Catholics don’t care for the pope being named Person of the Year. They don’t read Rolling Stone magazine. But, they do read the interviews on the pope. They do read his comments on abortion, contraception, same sex marriage and wealth vs. poverty. They saw him wed 20 different couples at St. Peter’s Basilica two Sundays ago (hearing that several of those couples had lived together and a few had babies out of wedlock).  And, the majority of people in this country, alone, still do not know what to make of his ever-famous quote given 3,000 feet up in the air on his return trip from Rio de Janeiro after World Youth Day when our Holy Father uttered his “famous last 5 words”:

WHOM AM I TO JUDGE?

So, with all this being said and with this “enigma-laced” question above still dangling for everybody to interpret – “Who is Pope Francis” – what do we make of all this? Like I told the Palm Beach Post almost a year ago when they interviewed me: “Pope Francis is doing a ‘Global Open House’, where he is inviting EVERYBODY to the table – the haters, the sinners, the homosexuals, the atheists, the outcasts, etc., and is simply getting their attention to be able to sit them all down at one time in about another year and show them what Catholicism teaches – what the Holy Catholic Church truly teaches”…I pray that I am right.

This has been my prayer ever since I heard his interview when he told the reporters “Who am I to Judge”? Believe me, friends, those 5 words do not sit well with me because like I said last year in that same interview – they can be interpreted a million different ways…and, they have been. It sent out mixed messages and truly confused the Catholic faithful. The pope opened up more than a can of worms when he uttered those 5 simple words and many of the Catholic die-hards lost it about then. And, many left the Church and refuse to come back.

And, while Catholic lay evangelists like Matthew Kelly, Dr. Scott Hahn and Tom Peterson are trying their best in “Calling Catholics Back Home”, damage has been done and those “old school” Catholics who were not patient enough to see when Pope Francis is going to elaborate on all of these “new school” expressions (not Catholic doctrine or teachings), may have left prematurely as the Church has lost numerous patrons who said they had seen enough.

And, Catholics are stubborn by nature…So, to ease your minds, please take a good look at this article below, which makes a ton of sense when speaking about Pope Francis. It honestly allowed me to relax a bit and not be so impatient with the pope. It gave me a different perspective on the pope’s perspective. The sections on “personal encounters” and “forgiveness” says a lot about our Holy Father and gives you the sense that he truly does believe in compassion and embracing even those who transgress us. Deep down, I honestly believe that the pope is simply trying to follow in the footsteps of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, but, he does add a bit of flair and drama to his evangelization and preaching, thus, keeping everybody honest and a bit off balance…some more than others.

Enigma: Look it up on Google and see if it says “Pope Francis” under synonyms…He is like the Holy Rosary…a mystery to so many Catholics…a joyful one, though.

All Eyes on Francis

September 18, 2014

All eyes are on Pope Francis.

People around the world are watching what he is saying and doing and trying to understand what it means.

A friend called today from Switzerland: “What do you make of this alleged ‘irritation’ of the Pope over the new book defending traditional Catholic teaching on marriage?” he asked. “And his allegedly asking Cardinal Mueller not promote the book? What’s going on?”

Another friend emailed from New York. He had just spoken with an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi who is well-known in the pro-life movement. “I have been talking to a mutual friend — Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who spoke at the March for Life for several decades. He is a strong supporter of the Catholic Church’s stand against abortion, and for traditional man-woman marriage, etc. He is a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of more than 800 Orthodox Rabbis. He feels that if the Church waffles or retreats on abortion or homosexuality or marriage at the upcoming Synod, this will have an adverse effect on Orthodox Judaism and other strong family religions. He is very concerned about the upcoming Synod.”

And another friend wrote, in response to my email of yesterday: “Excellent run down on the issue and cardinals involved. Prelates encouraging or advocating change are gradually ruining the authentic true Catholic Faith. The Roman Catholic Church is not supposed to be a ‘feel good’ Church, waxing and waning to current social issues. It is tragic, that the once prestigious Roman Catholic Church, is now dysfunctional, divided, depleted, contentious and infiltrated.”

And another reader wrote: “Many thanks — was hoping for more clarification on this issue! Will watch this space. Any comment on Cardinal Burke’s new job?” (Note: There have been unconfirmed reports that Pope Francis has decided to move the American Cardinal Raymond Burke from his post in the Roman Curia, as head of the Apostolic Signatura, to a post outside the Curia, as head of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta: see the report on this by Sandro Magister, the Italian Vaticanist, at link).

So many Catholics, and some Orthodox Jewish rabbis, in many countries around the world, are watching Pope Francis, and wondering what he is doing, and what he will do next…

Understanding Francis

Pope Francis, I think, is attempting to make a slight adjustment in the Church’s pastoral focus.

Not to change Church doctrine, but to review and reform how the Church deals with, and cares for, fallen human beings.

This attempt is rooted in both personal experience, and in theological conviction.

Francis is persuaded there is a need to reach out to suffering, wounded, disoriented sinners in part because of a personal experience.

He had a personal, life-changing experience, a mystical experience, of God’s forgiveness of his sin.

It came after he went to confession, at the age of 16, in a church in Buenos Aires.

He has even told us the date: on September 21, 1953 — the Feast of St. Matthew (for this reason, Francis is fascinated by the painting of Caravaggio called The Calling of St. Matthew in the Church of St. Louis of the French near Piazza Navona in Rome; in past years, he often would go there when visiting Rome). This is how the Vatican put it in a biographical sketch published at the time of the Pope’s election last year: “Following a confession, he felt his heart touched and sensed the descent of the mercy of God, who with a look of tender love, called him to the religious life, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” In these few, spare words, we are told of an experience which transformed the life of young Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He felt his heart “touched” and he “sensed” the “descent of the mercy of God.” He felt, “in a very special way,” the “loving presence of God in his life.”

This experience is part of the reason the Francis wishes to deal with human frailty and sin, not through a restatement of why the sinner is in sin, or in a recitation of the Church’s judgment that the sinner’s choices and actions are sinful, but with mercy, with forgiveness, and so, with an opening out to new life.

There are also theological convictions at the base of Francis’ vision for the pastoral care of Christians — and for all human beings.

Francis is persuaded that the Church is a Mother, that the Church nourishes and protects and supports her children.

He is persuaded that the Lord Jesus, Founder of the Church, still present in the Church, in the Eucharist, in His Word, in his ministers and disciples, and in the love of the members of the Christian community for one another, wishes — as He did when He walked on this earth — to pardon sinners, to forgive them and heal them, not to condemn them and cast them out.

Francis believes in the “personal encounter” — with persons, with a “Mother”… a “Father”… a “Brother” who walks beside us, with us.

And he regards a certain type of “moralism,” which can seem to set laws and precepts and anathemas above such a “walking with,” as something to be avoided, a possible trap for believers.

He doesn’t want to “change the rules” about what is good and evil. Rather, he wishes to forgive those who transgress those rules, and repent, and seek forgiveness.

And he senses that he must privilege this attitude, and this action, or he may lose many souls, who will, sadly, perhaps in despair, turn aside from the way of the Christian faith, unless the Church reaches out to them with arms to embrace and forgive.

And precisely today, Francis spoke about this very personal vision of human life, human morality, and human sin, in his morning homily at Mass in the chapel at his residence, the Domus Santa Marta.

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that it is precisely in one’s sins where one meets Jesus. (Here is a link to a Rome Reports video of parts of the homily: Link)

The Pope said that in recognizing our sins, we are able to experience Christ’s loving forgiveness. He said: “This is why the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done, is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, His forgiveness, to His Word ‘Go in peace, your faith has saved you!” The Pope concluded his homily saying that those who feel themselves sinners open their hearts in confession and experience the mercy of God.

Vatican Radio provided these further excerpts: “He (Christ) only says the word salvation — ‘Your faith has saved you’ — to the woman, who is a sinner.

“And he says it because she was able to weep for her sins, to confess her sins, to say ‘I am a sinner’, and admit it to herself.

“He doesn’t say the same to those people, who were not bad people: they simply did not believe themselves to be sinners.

“Other people were sinners: the tax collectors, prostitutes… These were the sinners. Jesus says this word — ‘You are saved, you are safe’ — only to those who open their hearts and acknowledge that they are sinners.

“Salvation only enters our hearts when we open them to the truth of our sins.”

“This is why the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, His forgiveness, to His Word ‘Go in peace, your faith has saved you!’, because you were brave, you were brave enough to open your heart to the only One who can save you.”

One can see clearly in these words the influence of the Pope’s personal experience of September 21, 1953, which continues to shape his understanding of how he should deal, as Pope, with the issue of moral evil and sin, and with the reality of God’s loving mercy which can forgive such sin.