If anyone is still left with doubt about Pope Francis, then Henry Sire’s evidence in his article below should remove that doubt.
I was particularly interested in Henry Sire’s suggestion that figures in the Vatican were critical in the raising of the preposterous charges against Cardinal Pell of child sexual abuse, charges the High Court of Australia dismissed. The Pell persecution by colluding figures in government and church was one of the most shocking political episodes in Australia.
‘The most notorious aspect of this clamp-down was the way Cardinal Pell was got rid of. In 2017 he had to return to Australia to face historic charges of sexual abuse, for which he was sentenced to prison, until his conviction was quashed on appeal three years later. By that time it was too late for him to resume his post at the Vatican. There is every reason to believe that the Australian prosecution was instigated and assisted by figures in the Vatican as a means of stopping his reform, and Cardinal Becciu has been specifically named as the agent of this policy.‘
Pope Francis: How much lower can we sink?
When Joseph Shaw proposed this talk to me in early September, I suggested the title “Pope Francis: how much lower can we sink?”, but the fact is that since then we have been overtaken by events. Over the past eleven years we have all seen Pope Francis’s pontificate in a trajectory of accelerating descent into more and more overt betrayal of Catholic doctrine, but I must say I did not foresee the Gadarene rush we have seen just within the last three months. If we want to assess the very grave events that are happening around us, we need to try and understand the man we now have sitting on the throne of Peter. So before I comment on recent developments I would like to add some details to the picture of Pope Francis which I gave in my book The Dictator Pope, which was first published six years ago.
To give you some background on this book, I should explain that I arrived to work in Rome in April 2013, less than a month after the election of Pope Francis, and I lived there for the next four years. I was working for the Order of Malta, an organisation which has close links to the Holy See, and I quickly began to hear the reports that were privately coming out of the Vatican. They showed a very different Francis from the genial, liberal figure, who was being presented by the world’s media. Insiders were saying that, as soon as the publicity cameras were off him, Francis became a different figure: arrogant, dismissive of people, given to foul language, and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which were known even to the Vatican chauffeurs. Over the next couple of years I continued to hear inside information, for example from the late Cardinal Pell about the internal politics involved in the two Synods on the Family in 2014 and 2015. Let us bear in mind that in his first years Pope Francis had barely shown his hand and that people assumed he was the liberal reformer that the Church supposedly needed. Early in 2016 I wrote an article for Angelico Press titled “Pope Francis: Where is the reformer behind the media idol?” I was beginning to think that somebody needed to write a book disclosing the gulf between the public image of Pope Francis and the reality as seen within the Vatican; but at that stage I did not think that I would be the one to write it.
Besides the information gulf I have described, there was another one stemming from the language barrier. There was in fact a great deal of information which had been available for years about Jorge Bergoglio and his career in Argentina, but it simply had not come through to the rest of the world because it had not been translated into English. Since I am half-Spanish, this was another of the factors that pointed to my shouldering the task that was needed. When I decided to start work on the book, the first thing I did was to make a trip to Argentina, which I did in March 2017, to speak to people who could tell me about Bergoglio’s past record. This was the information that had been sadly lacking to the cardinals when they elected Bergoglio in 2013. In particular, there was a very revealing book which had been written shortly after the papal election, but which had been quickly stamped on, and had since become almost unavailable. The title was El Verdadero Francisco (The Real Francis), by Omar Bello. The author was a public-relations executive who had known Bergoglio personally over the past eight years, having worked for him in a television channel run by the archdiocese of Buenos Aires. As a professional in the field of public relations, Bello was quick to recognise in Bergoglio a master in self-promotion. He also described a man who was accomplished in the covert exercise of power and the manipulation of people.