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Leo Lyon Zagami is a Freemason living in Italy.

He often uses his middle name as his mother was related to the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons.

I first heard him on The Alex Jones Show on July 11, 2017 discussing the conflicts currently going on in the Vatican. It is unclear whether Zagami is still a practising Catholic — and, yes, I am aware of the Catholic Church’s proscription on being a Freemason. Regardless, he takes a keen interest in what is going on in Rome.

N.B.: This post explores adult themes and is not for children.

Zagami told Jones that there are two factions operating at the Vatican: Pope Francis’s group and the traditionalists. Paedophilia is common in both groups, and orgies take place in the Pope’s circle.

Today, July 26, 2017, Cardinal George Pell — a traditionalist — appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in Australia on charges of sexual abuse. US News reports:

Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, is accused of sexually abusing multiple people years ago in his Australian home state of Victoria, making him the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis. Details of the charges have yet to be released to the public, though police have described them as “historical” sexual assault offenses — meaning crimes that occurred years ago.

Pell has not yet entered a plea. But on Wednesday, his lawyer told the court that the 76-year-old cardinal plans to formally plead not guilty at a future court date.

“For the avoidance of doubt and because of the interest, I might indicate that Cardinal Pell pleads not guilty to all charges and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has,” lawyer Robert Richter told the court.

The court appearance lasted only minutes. Initially, it was believed these crimes were all committed by priests in his diocese. However, after Australian detectives flew to the Vatican in 2016 and as recently as last month to interview the elderly cardinal, it is thought that Pell, too, might have been directly involved.

Although members of victim advocacy groups were outside the court, so were Pell supporters who believe he has been unfairly targeted. Pell has long been a controversial figure at the Vatican for theological reasons. His defenders among the Catholic faithful believe he is shoring up the one true faith.

We shall see.

Leo Zagami writes (emphases mine):

The two men who made abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell say they are “over the moon” about the decision to lay charges. But their lawyer stated to the Herald Sun, they were not confident the case would be successful. It is up to us, the alternative media to build pressure around this very important case. So please dear readers, share this information on your social media accounts, before the largest disinfo operation in history, could send it into oblivion

Clergy sexual abuse survivor Andrew Collins stated that the fact that Cardinal George Pell had finally been charged, was something he never thought he would hear as “Cardinal Pell … is one of the most powerful men on the earth,”.

Well if Cardinal Pell falls, it’s only a matter of time before the Vatican pedophile network goes down with him, so let’s pray for this very important day for the future of humanity, the 26th of July 2017.

On July 19, Zagami wrote about the two paedophile factions in the Vatican, a topic he discussed on The Alex Jones Show:

One faction, closer to Pope Francis, and the Gay lobby, wants a more liberal Church, ready to embrace homosexuality for priests, and an open support for Islam and the upcoming One World Religion, that will gradually push for the acceptance of pedophilia. This faction is represented by Cardinals such as Coccopalmiero, involved in the Gay Orgy raid, or Godfried Cardinal Danneels of the St. Gallen Mafia.

St Gallen is a secret group of Catholic clerics from the Vatican that meets annually in that Swiss town. Zagami says it is a rogue Masonic lodge.

Then there is the traditionalist faction — Pell’s:

The other faction, the more conservative one, mostly controlled by Pope Ratzinger the Pope Emeritus, is instead contrary to any liberal change imposed on the Catholic Faith by the Jesuit Pope, but still hides terrible compromises and links to the infamous pedophilia rings that hide behind the Catholic hierarchy.

However, there is also a secular aspect to paedophilia outside the Vatican. Zagami alleges that a longtime Italian educator Rodolfo Fiesoli, arrested in 1985 and again in 2011, is a good friend not only of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi but may also have links to the Democratic Party in the US. Zagami alleges that Fiesoli is:

an influential figure in the international pedophile network connected to the US Democrats.

Fiesoli spoke at a TedX conference in Florence just a few weeks before his 2011 arrest:

After his arrest, Zagami says:

references to this pedophile monster connected to Matteo Renzi, head of the ruling Democratic Party, and the US Democratic Party, disappear from the online site of the initiative, and from YouTube but fortunately we still have a surviving footage of the event.

In 2015, Fiesoli was sentenced to 17 years in prison, but has not yet spent a day behind bars because of his powerful connections not only in Italy, but also, perhaps, in the United States.

Fiesoli first gained broad attention in Italy during the 1980s (emphasis in the original):

Fiesoli participated as a supposed “educator”, despite being condemned several times since the mid 80’s, for sexual abuse to minors, at his community called Forteto di Vicchio, established in 1977, to support his bizare theories on family, and the recovery of minors in distress. In the audience was the then-Mayor Matteo Renzi, who was smiling during Fiesoli’s speech, nodding his head several times and clapping to show his approval.

Zagami believes that President Donald Trump is the only person who can break this network wide open.

The Vatican’s opposition to Trump might be evidence that they also think he can expose the network, which is why they are taking such strong objection to him and his Christian supporters. An article appeared earlier this month in the English edition of La Civiltà Cattolica (Catholic Civilization), a Jesuit publication. The editor-in-chief is Antonio Spadaro SJ.

On July 14, Zagami wrote about Spadaro’s diatribe and translated some of it into English. An excerpt follows (more in Zagami’s post):

After reading the article I will add that the Jesuits are declaring war not only on Trump, but on American Christianity. Jesuits write about American Christians in the following way:

Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses before the needs of the end, the final battle against the enemy. And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight). Such a unidirectional reading of the biblical texts can anesthetize consciences or actively support the most atrocious and dramatic portrayals of a world that is living beyond the frontiers of its own “promised land.”

They also attack Steven Bannon – a Catholic – and accuse him of being a “supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.”

This is the final declaration of war against real America made by the Jesuits and Pope Francis, so it’s about time we openly declare war on their pedophile networks and Vatican Money Laundering Schemes.

Only a small percentage of Trump supporters think that way. In fact, most Americans who think like that are anti-Trump because he is not godly enough.

As for Steve Bannon, he would be the last to think in terms of apocalyptic geopolitics. He just wants people destroying America to be identified and dealt with through the proper legal channels.

Now we come to Zagami’s interview with Alex Jones from July 11, wherein he discusses the evil inside Vatican City. This is the segment I saw as it aired:

The following day, Zagami included it in his post ‘St Gallen Mafia Exposed!’ which also includes a video of the aforementioned Cardinal Godfried Danneels from Belgium discussing his time as a member of the St Gallen Mafia (subtitled in English):

The video is well worth watching and has a lot of information, considering it is less than three minutes long.

Zagami tells us that the St Gallen Mafia:

is leading the Church towards a schism pushing the the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of Catholics worldwide….

Godfried Maria Jules Danneels  a Belgian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church openly involved with the St. Gallen Mafia wearing a rainbow inspired religious garment to celebrate mass.

On June 30, Pope Francis sacked German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to that post in 2012 and Pope Francis made him a Cardinal in 2014.

Zagami says that Müller and Pope Francis did not see eye-to-eye:

because he opposes pedophilia and the Jesuits’ liberal agenda for the CDF.

Heading the CDF is probably the most important position next to the pope. Pope Benedict had held that post years ago. It involves ensuring that Catholic doctrine stays unaltered. Of course, that wasn’t exactly the case decades ago when Benedict Ratzinger was pushing forward with post-Vatican II reform, but the principle remains.

Zagami explains the sacking:

The following information that will help us understand more comes from the report of a trustworthy German source, who spoke to the site OnePeterFive, on condition of anonymity. He quotes an eyewitness who recently sat with Cardinal Müller at lunch in Mainz, Germany. During that meal, Cardinal Müller is alleged to have disclosed in the presence of this eyewitness …

According to this report, Cardinal Müller was called to the Apostolic Palace on 30 June 2017, and he arrived with his work files, assuming that this meeting would be a usual working session. The Pope told him, however, that he only had five questions for him:

Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate? “I am against it,” responded Cardinal Müller.

Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy? “Of course I am against it,” the cardinal responded.

Are you in favor of, or against female priests?

“I am very decisively against it,” replied Cardinal Müller.

Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia?

“As far as it is possible for me,” the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith replied: “there still exist ambiguities.”

Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees?

Cardinal Müller responded: “Holy Father, these were good, unblemished men whom I now lack, and it was not correct to dismiss them over my head, shortly before Christmas, so that they had to clear their offices by 28 December. I am missing them now.”

Thereupon the Pope answered: “Good. Cardinal Müller, I only wanted to let you know that I will not extend your mandate [i.e., beyond 2 July] as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith.”

Without any farewell or explanation, the Pope left the room, leaving Cardinal Müller in utter astonishment. He stood in shocked silence, waiting for the Pope to return, but strangely enough, it was Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who had to force him to leave the meeting, completely shocked by what had just occurred.

One week later, another German Cardinal made the news, Joachim Meisner, who was born on Christmas Day in 1933. Cardinal Meisner died mysteriously on July 5 at the age of 83. Zagami tells us that Meisner was a traditionalist:

He was considered a leader of the conservative wing of the German episcopate, and was one of the four cardinals who orginally presented the controversial letter “Dubia” to Pope Francis in September 2016, seeking up until June 2017, a clarification on the modernization of the Church in matters of faith, and the infamous Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Francis called, Amoris Laetitia, without ever receiving an answer.

The aforementioned Cardinal Müller spoke to his colleague on July 4:

As the Passauer Neue Presse reports:

Müller had spoken over the phone with the former Archbishop of Cologne [Cardinal Meisner] the previous night [before he died the next morning]; and they also had spoken about the non-renewal of his former position. Meisner had shown himself to be “deeply saddened” by this dismissal. “That moved him personally and wounded himand he considered it to be a form of damage for the Church,” as the Curial Cardinal [Müller] himself described the reaction of Meisner and 1 well-informed source within the Vatican say[s] that perhaps Cardinal Meisner “died of a broken heart.” Or was he killed in traditional Vatican fashion with a poison coffee? …

Interestingly enough, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Prefect of the Papal Household very close to Pope Francis, and Obama, and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1996, also happened to meet Cardinal Meisner shortly before his death. Only a coincidence? Of course not, nothing is a coincidence in the Vatican, but a well orchestrated maneuver.

According to the Passauer Neue Presse, Gänswein visited Bad Füssing (near Passau), on the 2nd of July, in order to give a talk at the “Bad Füssinger Gespräche” [Bad Füssing Talks]. Cardinal Meisner had been staying in Bad Füssing for a period of time for vacation, as his health was not considered at all a problem. So the two influential Vatican figures met in person there, but unfortunately, no details have been revealed about their conversation that eventually led to Joachim Meisner’s death, a mystery that needs further investigation, as it seems Pope Francis is clearing up the scene from any unwanted opposition before his summer vacation, and Meisner was on his hit list for a long time.

On July 2 — between Müller’s sacking and Meisner’s death — Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, Secretary of Cardinal Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, was arrested in a raid on what Zagami says was:

a drug-based gay orgy.

Zagami tells us:

The police later proved that Capozzi, who was on his way to becoming bishop, is now being forced to retire in a monastery by the Vatican. Capozzi used a car from the Holy See with a Vatican number plate to bring in big quantities of cocaine to the Holy City. Monsignor Capozzi is a big fan of Pope Francis, as is his boss Cardinal Coccopalmiero, who is one of Bergoglio’s biggest supporters and collaborators, and wrote an important essay on the 8th Chapter of Amoris laetitia, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, on love in the family …

In closing, Zagami offered this insight as to Trump’s lack of concern about visiting the UK:

The liberals are desperate to bring down Trump using any and all means, but now that the CIA and other agencies are finally tackling the pedophilia problem, because of Potus’ orders, he could be risking his life even more. LGBTQ rights advocates should support the president in this endevour, and distance themselves from the pedophilia reality.

In the meantime, President Trump has told Theresa May that he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain, a country that as we know is the driving force of the global Pedophilia Network. UK children in the care of British institutions, are six times more likely to be assessed for abuse, than a child in the general population. Scotland Yard detectives were removed from a pedophile investigation, after naming politicians, so maybe the British public should change their brainwashed attitude and support his visit to the UK.

The world — and the Catholic Church — are in a deep mess right now.

Hence my warning the other day — Michael Crichton’s Gell-Mann Amnesia effect — about paying too much heed to what the media are telling us.

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Yesterday’s post covered Day 1 of Donald Trump’s and Emmanuel Macron’s first G20.

I also wrote about the riots and looting which occurred in host city Hamburg during the conference.

Day 2 — Saturday, July 8, 2017 — was equally eventful for world leaders, especially President Trump.

While Big Media were banging on about Russia or Trump’s mental health, some outlets actually reported on the G20 and two major victories for the American president (emphases mine below):

Hamburg (AFP) – US President Donald Trump won key concessions on climate and trade Saturday from world leaders at the most fractious G20 summit to date, in exchange for preserving the unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies.

In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, 19 members including Russia, China and the European Union acknowledged Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

But they also accommodated Washington’s wish to “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.

While renewing a key anti-protectionist pledge, the communique for the first time underlined the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defence instruments”.

Such wording gives room for Trump to push on with his “America First” policy

Everyone in the media predicted that America First would not play overseas. Everyone in the media was wrong.

The Conservative Treehouse has an excellent analysis of what Trump’s wins mean not only for America but also allies who think similarly:

Team Trump focuses exclusively on bilateral trade deals with specific policy only looking out for the national interests of the United States and those who are allied with a similar perspective.

Under President Trump’s Trade positions exfiltration of U.S. national wealth is essentially stopped. This puts the multinational corporations, globalists who previously took a stake-hold in the U.S. economy with intention to export the wealth, in a position of holding interest of an asset they cannot exploit

There are trillions of dollars in economic activity now being restructured by President Trump. The downstream consequences are seismic shifts in geopolitical and strategic alliances. Through the use of economics America will engage in a process of protecting allies and simultaneously advancing freedom and democracy.

Simply put this approach destroys the cancer of elitist controlled leftist economic construct; which are entirely intended to benefit a small number of global elites who control the multinational banking and multinational corporate institutional systems …

Trump impressed Russian president Vladimir Putin during their meeting the previous day:

He was also taken with First Lady Melania Trump that evening:

On Day 2, Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss trade post-Brexit:

Theresa May has hailed the “powerful vote of confidence” in Britain Donald Trump and other world leaders have shown with their “strong desire” to strike new trade deals after Brexit.

The Prime Minister said she is “optimistic and positive” about a future pact with the US after the president said he believed an agreement could be reached “very, very quickly”.

Even before their meeting, Trump said:

I’d like to thank Prime Minister May for being with us. We’ve had tremendous talks. There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries. And I just want to say thank you very much. We are working on a trade deal — a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal. Great for both countries. And I think we’ll have that done very, very quickly.

Meanwhile, Mrs Trump joined G20 spouses on a local tour before rejoining her husband at the conference:

The Daily Mail has more on Mrs Trump’s G20 attire, including stunning photographs.

Elsewhere, at the Vatican, Pope Francis fretted. He told Eugenio Scalfari, a journalist with Italy’s La Repubblica, of his concern about the G20. Leo Lyon Zagami, who is in the process of uncovering recent Vatican scandals (yes, he is a Mason but I will have more on his reporting), summarised and translated the article:

Pope Francis told him [Scalfari] during the encounter to be very concerned about the summit meeting of the “G20” in Hamburg, that witnessed President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, together for the first time.

Pope Francis said to Scalfari: “I’m afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers which have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Syria’s Assad in war”.

The Pope was also worried that the G20 might end mass immigration to Europe:

” … they fear an invasion of migrants. That’s why the G20 worries me.”

Then to save his idea of Europe, he promotes the destruction of the sovereignty of the single European countries, and the coming of a Federal Government for Europe, that will take over the decision making from the single countries: ”For this, and other reasons, I came to the conclusion that Europe must assume a federal structure. Laws and political behaviors arising here shall be decided by the Federal Government, and the Federal Parliament, not by individual confederated countries.”

That afternoon, a huge flap arose over Ivanka Trump presiding temporarily over a meeting when her father was called into a private one. The media — and abetted by NeverTrumpers (John Dean and Richard Painter) — went berserk:

Trump had addressed those attending the Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event then excused himself to attend the meeting. Afterwards, he returned.

Regardless, host Angela Merkel was bombarded with questions from the media. She explained that this is normal at a conference such as the G20:

Reaction from citizen journalists back home was outrage at the media:

Alternative media’s Jack Posobiec noted:

Media More Outraged at Ivanka Sitting in a Chair than Antifa Army Burning Hamburg

He wrote:

Today at the G20 meeting, Ivanka Trump briefly sat in a chair. The media utterly lost their minds. They also seemed to completely not notice the Antifa Army burning the streets of Hamburg outside the meeting.

Perhaps they do not think a woman should be representing the United States?

Ivanka was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out, and the president of the World Bank started talking as the topic involved areas such as African development — areas that will benefit from the facility just announced by the World Bank.

When other leaders stepped out, their seats were also briefly filled by others, but the media didn’t seem to notice that, either.

Precisely.

Later that day, Trump tweeted:

Here is the White House transcript of the public remarks of that meeting.

USA Today reports that Trump spent much of Day 2 with Asian leaders:

HAMBURG — President Trump met with his Chinese counterpart at the G-20 summit Saturday, hoping to revamp a relationship that he once hoped could provide the key to resolving the North Korea crisis …

In a separate meeting Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump also addressed what he called “the problem and menace of North Korea.”

Abe said the security situation in the region had become “increasingly severe.” Addressing Trump by his first name, Abe said he “would like to demonstrate the robust partnership as well as the bond between Japan and the United States.”

Trump’s final day of his second foreign trip took what his predecessor, Barack Obama, might have called an “Asia pivot.” Having already met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Saturday afternoon’s meetings were dominated by Pacific Rim nations

President Widodo of Indonesia was delighted to meet with Trump. USA Today reported:

Meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Trump said the U.S. would soon be doing “a lot of business” with the Island nation. “We’re going to be doing a lot of deals together — trade deals,” Trump said.

Widodo said Trump had “millions of fans” in his country who wanted him to visit.

“We’ll get there,” Trump said. “It’s a place I’d like to go.”

Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsein Loong, must be equally as positive:

Trump said the U.S. had a “big relationship” with the small city-state, and he expected the relationship to “get bigger.”

Before leaving Hamburg, Mrs Trump tweeted:

This brief video has highlights of Trump’s G20 conference:

Although the media emphasised the negative …

… from watching G20 coverage on YouTube, Bernie Sanders and Green supporters in the US were pleasantly surprised to find out about the ceasefire in Syria that Trump and Putin negotiated on Day 1.

Former Senator Bob Dole (R – Kansas) had high praise for the American president’s trips to Poland and Germany:

The Trumps flew back to the White House:

When Trump reached the White House, the press asked the usual questions about Russian hacking. Give it a rest, guys! The president ignored them.

Earlier, at Joint Base Andrews, he retrieved a Marine’s cover in the strong wind:

Mrs Trump did not return to the White House with her husband. My guess is she went to collect 11-year-old Barron.

I’ll close with this:

Neither Trump nor Obama was ever in the military, but you can certainly see how differently they view the armed forces.

That view, in my estimation, will determine a shift in foreign intervention during the present administration. Any US action will be carefully considered.

Please note that this post has mature subject matter, suitable only for adults.

Recently, Pope Francis took exception to ‘fake news’ and advised people not to tell the truth.

Even worse, he accused people of having an innate interest in coprophilia.

Something is wrong with the man.

On December 12, The Guardian reported (emphases mine):

Using striking terminology, Francis said journalists and the media must avoid falling into “coprophilia” – an abnormal interest in excrement. Those reading or watching such stories risked behaving like coprophagics, people who eat faeces, he added.

The pope excused himself for using terminology that some might find repellent. “I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,” he said. “And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.”

He made the same reference in 2013, before he was elected pope:

… he told the Italian newspaper La Stampa: “Journalists sometimes risk becoming ill from coprophilia and thus fomenting coprophagia, which is a sin that taints all men and women – that is, the tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects.”

Incredible.

Some will wonder if coprophagia is a perversion he suffers from, because it looks as if he is using projection here: falsely accusing others of something you actually do yourself.

Projection is a terrible thing. However, it is a psychological device that is rampant on the Left. The pope has made many left-wing statements over the years.

Now let’s look at what he is objecting to: things that the Podesta WikiLeaks revealed — or in some cases suggested — shortly before the election.

These are things which are probably already known to the authorities. Child molestation rings, for one. This FBI agent began working for the agency during the 1970s and says paedophilia is prevalent among people in authority. He says at the beginning that some politicians have attempted to discredit him. He doesn’t care. In his speech, he links this horrific sin to satanism and drugs. He also says that evidence disappears or is concealed. Whistleblowers can be murdered or falsely imprisoned:

That film, from 2005, is not about Pizzagate, but involves the same things that citizen journalists suspect is going on in Washington DC and elsewhere from having read WikiLeaks. They acknowledge the evidence is circumstantial.

Granted, it is unfortunate that a gunman went into Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor, thought to be the nexus of Pizzagate, in Washington on December 4, but that, too, is rather peculiar. Accounts in Big Media differ as to whether a gunshot was fired. Was it real or a false flag? Who knows?

Going back to Pope Francis, it would appear he does not want alleged or real crimes to be investigated. He would disapprove of the FBI agent in the above film who said he worked on one case for 20 years.

Remember how long it took for the 21st century investigations into paedophilia in the Catholic Church to take place, even though the Boys Town ring was exposed in the 1980s.

Defenders of the pontiff should be aware that in June, he reneged on his proposal to have a special tribunal to prosecute bishops who cover up for paedophile priests. It ran into too much opposition. (Imagine that.)

Pope Francis needs to remember that just as there are sins of commission, there are also sins of omission. When there is evidence that children are being trafficked, sexually abused and/or murdered, it should be investigated. We should also be aware that there are mainstream news sites which promote paedophilia, such as Salon.

He also needs to realise that Big Media are the biggest proponents of fake news. WeAreChange has a good summary of just some of the fake news stories coming from major media outlets. The media also cover up stories that should be reported.

The latest media narrative is that Russia hacked the US election. Furthermore, Donald Trump, news show host Tucker Carlson and even conservative online journalists have been accused of being Russian agents. Yet, there is no evidence for any of those absurd accusations.

But the pope doesn’t care about that.

We have enough obfuscation in the media already without the pope adding to it.

We also don’t need his accusation that all of us have a penchant for coprophilia.

What goes through this man’s mind?

Yesterday’s post discussed the increasing influence of Communist thought among Catholic clergy.

Today’s post continues the theme with an introduction to the proliferation of liberation theology. Tomorrow’s post looks at its Communist origins.

What follows below are excerpts and a summary of an article on Bear Witness, ‘Pope Francis, Barack Obama, Raúl Castro, and the Liberation Theology’. It’s an excellent exploration of the subject from 2015. Emphases mine below.

The Revd Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann:

was minister of Foreign Relations in the communist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua and also president of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

At the time, Pope John Paul II requested that he leave politics and return full time to the priesthood. D’Escoto refused to do so. Consequently:

In 1984, his Holiness Pope John Paul II punished Miguel D’Escoto for refusing to get out of politics and did not allow him to officiate masses or offer sacraments.

D’Escoto is a big supporter of liberation theology. He is also a Maryknoll priest.

The Maryknoll order is based in New York State. During my childhood, their priests and nuns did marvellous missionary work all over the world. I learned to read partly from perusing their monthly magazine at my mother’s suggestion. By the time I was at university in the late 1970s, my mother and I noticed the tone of the magazine was changing. The order was becoming steeped in liberation theology. My mother stopped donating to them in the 1980s. She couldn’t stand reading the magazine any more. She missed the real mission stories about schools, child care, hospitals and, most importantly, new Christians happy in the Gospel message. Maryknoll had become too political and somewhat anti-American. In fact, Bear Witness tells us:

Some Maryknoll nuns have supported and fought with communist guerrillas.

Returning to D’Escoto, in 2014, Pope Francis lifted John Paul II’s sanctions, allowing him to say Mass and perform other sacerdotal duties. The Bear Witness article says (emphases mine):

By taking this unwise action Pope Francis sent the wrong message of tolerance and acceptance to all the communists within the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, many now believe that Pope Francis sympathizes with the Marxist liberation theology of the Church.

Yep.

So:

After the punishment was lifted by Pope Francis, the communist priest Miguel d’Escoto immediately attacked the late Saint Pope John Paul II for “an abuse of authority.”

D’Escoto also said that Cuba’s then-líder máximo was divinely inspired:

Fidel Castro is a messenger of the Holy Spirit in “the necessity of struggle” to establish “the reign of God on this earth that is the alternative to the empire.”

Never mind that:

Totalitarian dictators Fidel and his brother Raúl Castro were responsible for assassinating 14,000 Cuban patriots, jailing over 300,000, and forcing tens of thousands to leave Cuba in rafts and small boats with an estimated 80,000 perish at sea trying to reach Florida. The serial assassin Fidel Castro is the messenger of the devil!

D’Escoto is now 82 years old. Surprisingly, perhaps, he was born in the United States. He was ordained in New York in 1961. Some years later:

He became one of the strongest proponents of the Marxist liberation theology. He collaborated with the National Sandinista Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional).

After the coming to power of the Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega, the communist priest was named Minister of Foreign Relations. When Miguel d’Escoto became President of the United Nations General Assembly, he chose a communist, Howard Zinn, as his personal assistant. Zinn is the author of a communist textbook, A People’s History of the United States, which is used in many universities across the United States by socialist professors.

Howard Zinn as his personal assistant. Hmm.

Ortega is a great ally of Cuba. He also supports a network of Latin and South American countries that are members of:

the communist association ALBA, which was founded by the late Venezuelan communist dictator Hugo Chávez. The extreme radical political parties from these nations as well as those from Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina joined the Foro de São Paulo (FSP; English: São Paulo Forum) with the intent of working with Cuba, China, and Russia to bring communism to Latin America. It was launched by the extreme radical Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) of Brazil in 1990 in the city of São Paulo.

The São Paulo Forum continues today and has held its conferences in the capitals of most Latin and South American countries with a wide participation from:

more than 100 parties and political organizations … Their political positions vary across a wide spectrum. These political groups include communist parties, armed guerrilla forces, social–democratic parties, extreme radical labor and social movements inspired by the theology of liberation of the Catholic Church, and anti-imperialist and nationalist organizations. For many years, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC as is known in Spanish) met with the other radical leftist parties. Since 2005, the FARC had been not been allowed to participate.

But who among us has heard of the São Paulo Forum? Should we be concerned?

Ever since FSP’s first meeting (1990), the approved Declaration expressed the participants’ “willingness to renew leftist and socialist thought…” Hardly any Americans are aware of the danger to our national security present … by the Forum of São Paulo. Obama certainly is not going to tell the nation as he most likely sympathizes with the Marxist[s] and socialist[s] who belong to this anti-American anti-western organization.

There is no convincing leftist Christians (an oxymoron) that liberation theology goes against the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament.

In Jesus’s time, there were Zealots — a fringe Jewish group — willing to take up arms against Rome. In fact, Barabbas was thought to be a Zealot. Who did the crowd cry out in favour of on Good Friday? The mob thought that the Zealots could deliver Israel from oppression. That is not what Jesus came for. He came to deliver us from the oppression of sin and bring us to life everlasting.

Like the Zealots, the liberation theology supporters have forgotten that essential message of truth and light. Let’s make sure we don’t fall into their trap.

Tomorrow: the origin of liberation theology

What a week and it’s only Tuesday! Lots of news to cover in the days ahead.

On Monday, November 28, 2016, Cardinal Joseph Zen, a former bishop of Hong Kong, warned that Pope Francis:

may not know the Communist persecutors who have killed hundreds of thousands.

The Guardian reported that the Pope is working on an agreement whereby Chinese officials could have a hand in approving Catholic bishops.

Zen criticised the move, pointing out that it would be:

a surrender

and

betraying Jesus Christ.

Zen made his remarks at the Salesian English School in Hong Kong, where, at age 84, he is still a teacher. He added:

Maybe the pope is a little naive, he doesn’t have the background to know the Communists in China. The pope used to know the persecuted Communists [in Latin America], but he may not know the Communist persecutors who have killed hundreds of thousands.

It’s amazing that anyone the Pope’s age would not know the statistics and nature of Chinese Communists, but perhaps the Cardinal was being charitable.

Currently, Chinese Catholics are free to worship at state-approved churches. The state-controlled China Catholic Patriotic Association appoints their bishops.

However, an underground network of Catholic churches also exists, thought to attract many more Catholics than the state churches.

Why does the Vatican seek this new agreement? Zen explained:

With “fake freedom” under a proposed deal, priests could more easily preach and more churches would open, Zen predicted, but “it’s only the impression of freedom, it’s not real freedom, the people sooner or later will see the bishops are puppets of the government and not really the shepherds of the flock.”

“The official bishops are not really preaching the gospel,” Zen added “They are preaching obedience to Communist authority.”

That brings to mind the warning from Jeremiah about leading one’s flock astray. The Pope and clergy agreeing with him on this subject might have a lot to answer for one day.

Oddly, some Chinese Catholics welcome the proposed Vatican agreement, still under negotiation for the foreseeable future:

“If they could really strike a deal, not only would us Catholics be happy, but all of the Chinese people should rejoice,” said Zhao, 36, who has been a Catholic for 20 years and works at the oldest Catholic church in China, close to Tiananmen Square in Beijing. He declined to give his full name because of the sensitivity of discussing religion.

“Chinese society needs faith right now,” he added, saying a warming of ties would increase the number of Catholics, “which is a benefit to all society”.

The Guardian says that China has an estimated 10m Catholics and 90m Protestants. The New York Times gives a more conservative estimate of 60m Christians.

Protestant churches are also required to be registered with the Chinese state and operate within government rules.

Unregistered Protestant churches are actively vandalised by the state:

a recent campaign by authorities in eastern China has seen more than 1,200 crosses removed from buildings and churches demolished.

The New York Times has more on vandalism and arrests concerning the Salvation Church and the Living Stone Church, both of which are unregistered and deemed to be dangerous to the state.

Pope Francis displays a remarkably consistent disparagement of Western Christians.

Again and again, he tells them how lacking they are in charity and compassion.

Year after year, he refuses to acknowledge them even on Maundy Thursday, one of the holiest and most solemn days of the Church calendar. Instead, he goes to wash the feet of non-Christians who have no cognisance of Christ’s reasons for washing those of His apostles. This happened again on March 24, 2016. At least there were some Christians, including Copts, in that group, which is an improvement on his first year when all nearly all were Muslim prison inmates. The Christian prisoner had to explain to them what was happening. The others giggled.

His Urbi et Orbi speeches pursue the same theme. Westerners are bad people, caring nothing for anyone but themselves. On Easter Day, March 27, 2016, he once again told them to take in more refugees and migrants. After all, they, too, are only looking for a better life:

The Easter message of the risen Christ, a message of life for all humanity, echoes down the ages and invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice. All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance.

Le Monde‘s readers gave him short shrift indeed, and rightly so. Excerpts of their comments follow, translation mine:

Never has Europe taken in so many migrants as in the past few decades … For a long time now the overriding narrative has been that this is a ‘chance for France and for Europe’; today with the decline and serious problems linked to this evolution, the majority of people no longer believe it and will tune it out whether it comes from the EU or the Pope.

The Pope is aware that Europe is becoming areligious … The Vatican insists that Islam be present everywhere and supported by public powers … Religions have become interdependent on one another for their long-term survival, regardless of their compatibility.  

The Pope’s position on migrants seems absurd: never has Europe been so open and seen its population change at such high speed. It would be better to appeal for aid in situ, in refugee camps … But the Church, in its historic global collaboration with the system must support the basic interests of the globalist oligarchy.

It’s staggering that the Pope advocates breaking the law: illegal immigration. Yet, would one expect anything less from him?

The sexual assaults in Cologne took place nearly three weeks ago.

Since then, views on mass migration into Europe do not appear to have changed substantially. We still have the same two sides: those who say we have a moral obligation to take in millions of strangers and those who see the continuing migration as destructive to Western values.

Several news stories at the weekend illustrate the two points of view.

An article in The Guardian tells us that Czech president Milos Zeman said in a television interview that integrating Muslims into Western society was ‘practically impossible’. His take is that the Muslim Brotherhood financing the migratory flow in an effort to ‘gradually control Europe’.

On the other hand, the Pope said a special Mass for 5,000 migrant worshippers at St Peter’s yesterday to mark the world day of migrants and refugees. In a separate address, he encouraged European governments to continue accommodating newcomers en masse.

The Telegraph reported on a quiet protest in Stuttgart where well-meaning Germans marched against attacks on migrants. The protest was organised by churches and trade unions. Poster slogans read ‘no sexism, no racism’.

Yet, that evening, it emerged that three adolescents of North African origin harassed and attempted to stone two middle-aged transgender persons in Dortmund, not far from the main railway station. The Telegraph has the story:

The two victims, named only as Yasmine, 50, and Elisa, 37, under Germany privacy laws, came forward in a television interview to describe how the youths turned on them when they realised they were transgender.

“Within seconds they were pushing us around. It was only then that I realised what they were saying: ‘You sluts need to be stoned!’” Elisa told Sat1 television on Saturday evening.

“And that’s what they did. They grabbed gravel from the ground and threw it at us.”

“Before that they tried to hit on us. For them, that’s OK. But when they realised we were transgender, they felt their honour was hurt. That’s why they snapped.”

Fortunately the incident was seen by a passing police patrol.

The two elder assailants — aged 17 and 18 — already have police records. The youngest, 16, was released to the custody of his parents.

That night, 300 police officers in Düsseldorf raided an area of the city dubbed ‘little Maghreb’ near the main railway station there in an attempt to arrest North African gang members responsible for what authorities described as:

bag-snatching, luggage theft, street robberies and drug offences.

Interestingly, Germany has not yet classified Morocco and Algeria as ‘safe’ countries. As a result, ‘thousands’ of asylum seekers arrived in Germany from these two nations in the latter half of last year. They have little chance of their cases being accepted. However, when Germany has attempted to deport them, their home countries have refused to take them back. Could a criminal record have anything to do with it? No doubt, Morocco and Algeria are glad to have got rid of them.

This reminds me of an anecdote I read during the Arab Spring a few years ago. The event opened up migration out of North Africa, with a number of supposedly persecuted individuals coming to Europe to pursue criminality. One law-abiding North African said they would never be allowed back to their countries of origin for that reason. But I digress.

Near Cologne, the local council of Bornheim, a town with 48,000 residents, has banned adult asylum seekers from the public swimming pool because they cannot behave themselves. Deputy mayor Markus Schnapka said that women using the pool complained they were being verbally and sexually harrassed.

The town of Rheinberg has decided to cancel its pre-Lenten carnival parade this year, given the events on New Year’s Eve in nearby Cologne. Local officials said they cannot guarantee the level of security  required.

Meanwhile, Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble wants a special petrol tax applicable in all 26 Schengen countries to pay for the refugee crisis. The tax would contribute to securing the external Schengen borders against additional migrants. The truth is that Germany is overwhelmed and:

may be forced to close its own, the influential finance minister warned. Such a move could prove fatal to the Schengen Agreement.

Most ordinary people outside of Germany would simply shrug their shoulders. Getting rid of Schengen is not exactly going to inhibit free movement. It only means re-instituting passport checks at the border, which, given the present climate, is not a bad idea. The UK is not a Schengen country, and we have plenty of immigration.

Also at the weekend, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, took issue with European governments as well as refugees on the migration issue. Junker complained that migrants were ‘arrogant’ for wanting to settle in Germany. He was also upset with member states for not taking their share of newcomers. The Telegraph reported:

“We cannot have a situation where those that come to Europe then decide rather arrogantly for themselves where they want to live. That is not possible. That is absolutely not on.

“It is not the refugees responsible for dividing up refugees – it is the member states. No refugee has an innate right to decide or refuse to be sent to a particular country.”

Mr Juncker also urged nations to stop reintroducing border controls to halt the migrant flow, warning it could have “unimaginable” consequences for the economy by halting the flow of trade and ultimately destroying the single currency.

Trade would not stop because of border controls. Goods flowed freely when they were in place before Schengen, a recent agreement established in 1995 made for a time when Europe was expected to remain a relatively safe continent.

In closing, The Guardian reports that one Muslim is giving a crash course to newcomers about the German way of life. Retired pharmacist Magdi Gohary, 74, and originally from Egypt, visits a large migrant camp outside of Munich. In ‘Learn to Understand Germany’, he explains that behaviours which are illegal in Muslim countries are legal in Germany and Europe. He also tells them they will have to learn to integrate into German society in order to be accepted.

Gohary said the past year revealed a mismatch of expectations on the part of both refugees and Germans. Germans assumed the migrants would integrate easily. Migrants, on the other hand, expect much more than the government can provide.

The Guardian also interviewed a 44-year-old engineer from Morocco who, like Gohary, has lived in Germany for decades. The engineer said that it is high time that Angela Merkel reverses her migration plan. It is not working. Furthermore, it is putting law-abiding, long-term immigrants in danger from vigilante attacks. He lives in Cologne and says that the atmosphere has changed considerably since New Year’s Eve.

Thomas Bönig, who gives tours of the city, agrees. What he says was ‘joy’ a few months ago on the part of welcoming local residents has now turned to ‘frustration’. More mismatched expectations.

To be continued tomorrow.

The Telegraph reports that Pope Francis is finalising an encyclical on climate change, scheduled to be released in a few weeks’ time.

Whereas his predecessor Benedict XVI was a sceptic in these matters, Francis is convinced that man is responsible for climate change.

Yet, there are also natural factors to consider, such as sun activity. The British long-range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn has made it his mission to study solar movements and track the related drops in temperature as well as the increase in storms and natural disasters. Corbyn doubts the climate change hypothesis — some would say truth — of the CO2 crowd:

WeatherAction is involved in the Global Warming /Climate Change debate where we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate. There are no scientists in the world who can produce such observational data. There is only effect the other way, namely that ocean temperatures control average CO2 levels.

My readers will no doubt be more familiar with the long-running Watts Up With That? which is an excellent source of information questioning the received paradigms on climate change.

First, it would be helpful if Pope Francis came out with a balanced statement, although it is likely to be one that pounds the middle classes for being too wasteful, thereby harming the environment. It seems unlikely that individual human acts can so significantly alter climate. It is also doubtful that even emerging countries disregarding the adoption of Western-style clean air legislation could accomplish this. The forces of nature and God’s sovereignty are much more powerful.

Secondly, it will be interesting to see exactly how Francis posits this encyclical with Catholics. Will he declare it infallible until the next Pope changes tack? Who knows? In any event, practising Catholics are obliged to obey or at least give serious consideration to this upcoming position paper.

It will be interesting to see what Francis has to say.

Good news for those of us following Meriam Ibrahim‘s sad story of Sudanese court cases, imprisonment and subsequent release with a view to a new life in the West.

My last post on her saga found her, her husband Daniel Wani and their two children living in the library of the US Embassy in Khartoum.

On July 24, thanks to the continued negotiations by Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli, she and her family flew to Rome. Pistelli accompanied them on the flight.

The Guardian reported that after arriving in Rome, Pistelli, prime minister Matteo Renzi and foreign minister Federica Mogherini took the family to Casa Santa Martha, Pope Francis’s Vatican residence. There the Pope spent just under a half hour with them.

The paper says that Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi described the meeting as follows:

The pope thanked Meriam and her family for their courageous demonstration of constancy of faith. Meriam gave thanks for the great support and comfort which she received from the prayers of the pope and of many other people who believe and are of goodwill.

He added that the Pope expressed his personal

closeness, attention and prayer for all those who suffer because of their faith and in particular Christians who suffer persecution or restriction to their freedom of religion …

A number of politicians in the US and the UK expressed their outrage. Human and religious rights organisations, such as Redress and Hardwired, also got involved in Ibrahim’s case.

However, the Daily Mail spoke to Ibrahim’s lawyer El Shareef Ali, who said:

The Italians had the greatest influence on Sudan and were able to secure her release.

Furthermore (emphases mine):

Hardwired added that charges against Meriam are still open in Sudan and it is unclear what will happen to the cases.

Her original death sentence for apostasy is now with the Supreme Court in Khartoum.

She also faces additional charges for falsifying documents and a new case filed by her family which seeks to annul her marriage.

El Shareef said: ‘We will continue to challenge the case at the Supreme Court and seek a decision that recognises the apostasy law as inconsistent with international law and the Sudanese Constitution so no one else is harmed by these kind of charges.’

Italy’s tireless pursuit of justice in Ibrahim’s case is to be applauded. The Mail reports prime minister Matteo Renzi stating:

If there is no European reaction we are not worthy of calling ourselves Europe.

Too right — and well done!

The Mail and Huffington Post accounts of the Vatican meeting have several photographs for us to enjoy.

The family are hoping to fly to the US very soon. More news to follow on what we pray will be a happy ending and a new beginning for them.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, which reviewed John Paul II’s simplification of canonisation, the Polish Pope and Vatican II initiator Pope John XXIII were declared saints on Sunday, April 27, 2014.

Both of these men reminded me of Christ’s exhortation to the Apostles in Matthew 10:16 (emphases mine):

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Therefore, one would have expected that these two men — now saints — would have guarded Christ’s Bride, the Church, with every fibre of their being.

Yet, John XXIII knowingly welcomed back theologians whose church activity Pius XII had restricted. Pius XII had his reasons for so doing, and, unfortunately, his successor John XXIII found out exactly why — to his peril.

A Catholic Life (aforementioned link) describes the traitors to the Church via the Second Vatican Council. By the time John XXIII was on his deathbed, he requested that Vatican II be stopped. But it was too late. His wilfulness at overturning his predecessor’s decision regarding these theologians and his eagerness in becoming a reconciler — why, at a time when there was nothing to reconcile amongst laity unlike now? — were his downfall. Even the Soviets became involved:

We might even say the pope was playing Russian roulette with the Church, literally. Were not the representatives of the Soviet Union present at Vatican II with a plan to get their clenched fist agenda implemented in a spiritual way with “human rights” and the “empowerment of the laity”?

However, for those who were not alive at the time, John XXIII had a certain charm about him which translated well with Catholics the world over. If, like my mother, a Catholic disapproved of what and why he was reforming, he could be sure an argument or remonstration would result from a fellow Catholic who thought this Pope was the embodiment of Christ, as far as such a thing is possible.

Just to set the social record straight in A Catholic Life‘s otherwise well written and informative article. John XXIII was not battling abortion, which would not be legalised in the West until Paul VI was Pope. The Pill might have been a consideration in his later years, although it seems from the rest of this article that Vatican II dominated his thoughts.  Nor was John XXIII fighting evolution; Pius XII already allowed for Catholic adherence to theistic evolution as early as 1951. It is doubtful that John XXIII believed in a literal six-day creation.

My objection to John XXIII is that he did not guard the Church with his life once he became Pope. For this reason, he should not have been canonised.

In a secular context, it’s akin to leaving your elderly mother home alone with the doors open in a dangerous neighbourhood, telling her she’ll be all right and saying you’ll be back in the middle of the night to check on her.

All Christians — Catholic or Protestant — should love the Church as much as they love Christ. Admittedly, we laypeople fall short, which is why clergy — especially the world’s most elevated prelates — should be Her ultimate guardians.

Apparently, according to the article, we are to accept that John XXIII was canonised for his exceptional ‘charity’, not for the way he loved — actually neglected — the Catholic Church. Frankly, anyone can be charitable — a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon, a Jain, an atheist or a Muslim.

The mark of a Catholic saint used to be that he honoured Christ completely throughout his life.

John Paul II changed all that, as I described yesterday. From sanctity the Catholic Church moved to generic charity with a Catholic label on it, which is how we got to the canonisation of a careless guardian — John XXIII.

And, John Paul II, having increased the number of canonisations five-fold under his tenure — compared with 98 from all his 20th century predecessors — was also a poor guardian of Christ’s Bride, the Church.

The Remnant warns that John Paul II’s reforms are taking Catholics back to a perilous time in the Church, reminiscent of:

the bishop-led canonization processes of the 1200’s—a time when a diocese in Sweden once canonized an intoxicated monk who was killed in a drunken brawl.

Indeed, with so many canonisations and over 1,200 beatifications (where sainthood is the next step), it is unlikely that so many new saints actually lived out that piety which the Devil’s Advocate used to investigate so thoroughly. The post still exists, apparently, but under a new name — Prelate Theologian. The position is a shadow of what it once was.

John Vennari of Catholic Family News describes the Prelate Theologian’s responsibility as follows:

His main task is to choose the theological consulters and preside at the meetings.

Catholic journalist Kenneth L. Woodward spotlights the root difference between the old and new systems: “At the core of the reform is a striking paradigm shift: no longer would the Church look to the courtroom as its model for arriving at the truth of a saint’s life; instead, it would employ the academic model of researching and writing a doctoral dissertation.”

The article goes on to describe the glaring gaps of sanctity or miracles in the lives of Msgr. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer and Mother Teresa. Both had objectors who appealed to the Vatican against their beatification. Escriva’s piety and personal character came into question as did Teresa’s ascribed miracle, which was nothing more heavenly than scrupulous medical care. Both were beatified under John Paul II’s watch — under his simplified fast track reforms.

If these two cases came to light, how many more are there among recently canonised saints or beatified candidates awaiting sainthood? The truth must come out.  Otherwise, such travesties place the Catholic Church in grave danger by honouring a lack of holiness and false ‘miracles’. John Paul II opened up the Church to needless and avoidable criticism.

But then he did have a cult of personality around him, which I’d not witnessed with a Pope before. It was discomfiting to read Christmas letters from my Catholic friends saying how wonderful he was touring the world in his Popemobile. Let us not forget that this man was a stage actor before he became a priest. As the Bard said, ‘All the world’s a stage’. How true.

What is even worse is John Paul II’s attempts at unifying all the world’s religions at Assisi in October 1986. Unfortunately, as Catholic Family News‘s John Vennari found out, today’s Catholic children find such an action from such a holy man hard to believe:

At the time of the 2011 “beatification” of John Paul II, I learned of a homeschool online discussion taking place among 6th to 9th graders. A traditional Catholic youth (whom I know) was telling non-traditionalist Catholic acquaintances about Pope John Paul II’s pan-religious meeting at Assisi; that John Paul invited Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Jains, and pagans to pray together at the event in October 1986. He also posted photos of the Assisi gathering.

The homeschooled youngsters refused to believe it. They claimed it could not be true; that the John Paul II/Assisi photos were doctored, that no pope—especially one “beatified” by the allegedly conservative Benedict XVI—would perform this act of ecclesiastical treason.

The young traditional Catholic who told his acquaintances about Assisi was accused of making up the account; of trying to defame the name of “Blessed” Pope John Paul II; of inventing a malicious story about a pagan-packed, pan-religious prayer-fest that no pope would countenance.

Here then is the striking point: The children knew the Assisi prayer meeting was not Catholic. The children knew it was not a manifestation of heroic virtue. The children knew it was a scandal of colossal dimension, and refused to believe John Paul could be guilty of it. To their credit, these youngsters displayed a better sensus Catholicus than today’s Vatican leaders.

Pope Benedict XVI should never have agreed to beatify his predecessor. I don’t deny that the public pressure must have been overwhelming. I watched both John Paul’s funeral and Benedict’s accession Mass on television. St Peter’s Square was packed with banners from the ‘faithful’ which read ‘Santo Subito’ (‘Sainthood Now’) on both occasions.

Yet, one of the responsibilities of a godly clergyman — of whatever denomination — is to resist the calls of the mob. Clergy are called to do right in Christ’s eyes, not the public’s.

Pope Francis, not surprisingly, is carrying on where John Paul II left off. One wonders where the Catholic Church will be at the end of his tenure. Already he has refused to say where he lies on a certain serious sin: ‘Who am I to judge?’ He is another Pope more interested in the world than in preserving the holiness of Christ’s Church.

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