Category Archives: Catholicism

The St Gallen Mafia – Paul Kengor’s review

Julia Meloni’s The St Gallen Mafia: Crucial Insights into Pope Francis

Paul Kengor, TAN Direction, 21 November 2021

Julia Meloni’s new book, The St. Gallen Mafia, is a fascinating work. Rarely do I push through a book in two days, but this time I did.

The research and writing are outstanding. A read of the text and study of the footnotes and bibliography make clear that Meloni seems to have read every book available (many in Italian) on the central figure of Pope Francis and the core figures that comprised the so-called St. Gallen Mafia, namely: Cardinals Carlo Maria Martini, Godfried Danneels, Walter Kasper, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, and Achille Silvestrini. Meloni’s examination of these characters and the connections she draws from them to Francis is admirably skilled and splendidly executed. It’s also eminently fair.

I do not know Meloni, but I partly expected a book on this provocative subject to contain hyperbole and flashes of anger and more than a few digs and shots at the chief characters—or maybe a better word for this group, the chief plotters. Meloni doesn’t do that. She is charitable, level-headed, and allows the facts to drive the conclusions. She narrates exceptionally well.

There is much to take from this book, and yet also, as with any analysis of Francis, much to leave one scratching one’s head. Francis remains an enigma. It is so hard to know the real Francis, especially where and when the man is leading or being led, or frankly, where and when the man is perhaps deceiving or being deceived by those whom he has surrounded himself with at the Vatican.

Read the rest here …

The limits of papal authority

Pope Francis and his inner cabinet are never finished sermonizing about love and mercy, especially at those he continually denounces as (pathologically) rigid, as if rigidity has been elevated to the highest echelons of sin, so grievous that it must be confessed. But like so much else, and so typical of the left, it’s okay if he does it.

Bergoglio’s recent motu proprio, Traditiones Custodes, is one of the most savage merciless political actions that I have witnessed in my lifetime. It’s brutality, its intention to absolutely crush a political opponent, leaves one gasping, bewildered that such naked political aggression could emanate from the Vatican.

But the nature of the political act and its brutality is one thing. Bergoglio’s instructions to the world’s bishops to carry out the prescribed act of liquidation is another. Does he have the authority to demand obedience to his motu proprio, personal action taken by the pope himself, and do the Catholic faithful have the duty to obey?

Dr Peter Kwasniewski gave the most powerful response yet to Pope Francis at the recent Conference of Catholic Identity, organized by The Remnant Newspaper.

Dr Peter Kwasniewski is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and The Catholic University of America.

He taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria, the Franciscan University fo Steubenville’s Austria Program and Wyoming Catholic College.

He writes for The New Liturgical Movement, The Remnant, LifeSite News. OnePeterFive, Rorate Caeli, The Latin Mass Magzine, and others.

The St Gallen Mafia is the explanation

A thoroughly researched book, bulging with references, has just been released about the shadowy deceptive men behind the rise of Bergoglio. It threatens to blow the apostate papacy of Bergoglio wide open to reveal a revolutionary determination that will not be deterred from collapsing the traditional Church and replacing it with a Hegelian/Marxist creation. The scheming revolutionaries have been dragged out of the shadows.

The St. Gallen Mafia is the key to understanding Pope Francis

John Henry Weston

Wed Nov 3, 2021 – 3:06 pm EDT

A new book has been released which sheds light on Pope Francis and his connection to a secret group of leftist cardinals which began to meet in the mid 1990s.

(LifeSiteNews) – Ever since really the start of the Francis papacy, many Catholics have been shocked by much of the agenda coming out from the Vatican and have been trying to make sense of it all. A new book has been released which sheds light on Pope Francis and his connection to a secret group of leftist cardinals which began to meet in the mid-1990s.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Julia Meloni, a Catholic journalist and author of The St. Gallen Mafia: Exposing The Secret Reformist Group Within The Church, about her book and research into the inner workings of the “mafia,” and some of its controversial members.

Meloni mentioned several of the cast of characters connected to the St. Gallen Mafia, including cardinals Carlo Maria Martini, Walter Kasper, Godfried Daneels, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, and even former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

However, she pointed that “the formal literature” she has seen has not named McCarrick as a technical member, even though James Grein, his most famous abuse victim, has revealed that the ex-cardinal was a frequent visitor to Sankt-Gallen, Switzerland.

But how does Pope Francis fit into this? Well, Meloni described to me how documents and interviews reveal that then-cardinal Bergoglio was meeting with Cardinal Kasper several times in Argentina, and the St. Gallen Mafia was talking about him.

Read the rest here…

Prof John Haldane’s first lecture – better than I expected

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne announced on its website that ‘Professor Haldane is once again in Australia, this time leading an important Catholic educational, cultural and societal project in partnership with the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).

As part of his visit, he is offering a six-part virtual lecture series entitled The Catholic Contribution, which begins on Thursday 14 October with the question: “What does it mean to be Catholic?”’

One does not know what to expect these days when such an announcement is made about the Church and its history. So, I watched the first lecture, ‘Introduction: What does it mean to be Catholic?’ with curiosity – and some trepidation. No need for the trepidation. The lecture and its tight delivery were excellent. I will be watching the next five.

The ABC has geared up…

When a picture is worth a thousand words…

*****

Shock! Horror!
Perrottet is a Catholic

Roger Franklin Quadrant, 7 October 2021

As the dust settles after Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation and what is reported to be the imminent elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the post of NSW premier, Australia’s newsroom hacks thought they heard the faint tinkle of sanctus bells and made like Pavlov’s dogs, slobbering hints and imputations about the danger of having a leader who is not only a Catholic but a conservative Catholic to boot.

And put the boot in they surely did and will, Catholicism being, as Tony Abbot found and William F. Buckley observed, the last socially acceptable target for prejudice. Predictably, Their ABC immediately centred the papist premier-to-be in its crosshairs, even dragging in Perrottet’s school years:

…as a child he attended the Roman Catholic school Redfield College in Dural, which is run by Opus Dei priests.

The Opus Dei sect has been tied to secretive dealings, along with aggressive recruitment methods and accusations of elitism and misogyny.

Read the rest here…

Big changes in Melbourne archdiocese – who knows about it?

From the website Melbourne Faithful:

‘On 22 May 2021, Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli announced that the Melbourne Archdiocese would be undergoing a radical and wholesale restructure – converting 209 parishes into 50 to 60 Missions. The Archbishop has called this restructure “Take the Way of the Gospel”. The Archbishop’s hope is that the restructure will bring vitality back to our parishes.’

See the rest here…

‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

Nathalie Becquart is a member of the French order Xavière Sisters. estasblished in 1921, thus one hundred years old. The order is (to quote) ‘achored in the St Ignatius of Loyola’s Spirituality and rooted in his spiritual exercises’ (my translation.) I have had a look at their website.

From the description, you would think it a traditional female religious order. But the description of a traditional religious order is in stark contrast with the many photos of a joyous group of women in full colourful mufti – all smartly coordinated. Hardly a reflection of Ignatian spirituality, if your mind works according to usual associations, and if you have a traditional conception of the Ignatian exercises. But the person of Ms Becquart raises for me a far more chilling contrast than aspects of clothing.

Sr. Nathalie Becquart, a member of the Xavière Sisters in France, is one of the two new undersecretaries for the Vatican's office of the Synod of Bishops, appointed Feb. 6 by Pope Francis.

Sr Becquart has recently been in Australia to talk about – or rather give a pep talk to followers of her very particular vision of the Church. Bergoglio appointed Becquart as one of two new undersecretaries for the Vatican’s office of the Synod of Bishops. This is a powerful position in Begoglio’s ecclesial vision, so it’s useful to know Sister’s thoughts on the Church, synodality, and all that.

Well, we get an unambiguous view inside sister’s head in an interview she gave to Global Sisters Report: a Project of National Catholic Reporter. The interview is titled: Q & A with Sr. Nathalie Becquart: Upcoming synod could ‘turn a clerical church into a synodal church’.

Continue reading ‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia – whose idea was it?

The first sessions of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will take place between 3 and 10 October 2021. There has been a great deal of chatter about the Council within Church circles, Indeed, the rhetoric about ‘deep listening’ and ‘discernment’ and the ‘Synodal Church’ has been thrashed to death. But who started all this? Where did it all come from?

Well, Barb Fraze for (liberal) online CRUX tells us the originator was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who recently announced his support for a separatist voice of Aboriginals in the Australian Constitution. Coleridge, a Francis devotee, is a supporter of such progressive causes.

In 2015, the archbishop was attending the Synod of bishops in Rome when he was illuminated by what seemed to him ‘the work of the Holy Spirit.’ Why not a Plenary Council for the Church in Australia in which the Synod’s mode of ‘discernment’ could be put into action ?

And so, it came to pass that after much organisational work, the first sessions of the Plenary Council were set for early October (3-10 Oct.) Barb Fraze projects much enthusiasm about the Plenary Council’s prospects, no doubt shared by Archbishop Coleridge and the organisers. But let me focus on several important elements in Ms Fraze’s report.

First, the Plenary Council will not be any old Council with a lot of boring unapproachable clerics, adding more bricks to the fortress of clericalism. No, it will involve the laity – women, the young and other marginalised people.

Second, it will be synodal in form. ‘Synodality’, says Fraze, is a buzzword these days in Catholic circles.’ It certainly is. But don’t pass over the word too quickly. Synodality, announced Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, quoting Francis, ‘is not so much about deeper reflection on this or that theme as it is about learning a new way of living as church’ and this deep reflection is to be “marked at every level by mutual listening and by a pastoral attitude, especially when faced with the temptations of clericalism and rigidity.”

There you have it – the glorious new church, ripped from the ruins of clericalism, sexual abuse, and people lost in stone-age ‘rigidity’. The rigid ones are to be counselled and failing counselling are to be cast into the darkness where they will not interrupt the free and open dialogue of discernment and deep listening.

*****

In Plenary Council, Australians search for ‘a new way of living as church’

By Barb Fraze Sep 26, 2021 Catholic News Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the listening and dialogue phase of the Australian Catholic Church’s Plenary Council, 220,000 Australians answered the question, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”

In 2015, Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge was asking himself something similar. Australia was in the midst of a government-mandated investigation into sexual abuse in the church. Australian Catholics were leaving the church.

The Brisbane archbishop was at the Vatican, attending the Synod of Bishops on the family. It was there he had an idea that “seemed to me at the time and still seems to me the work of the Holy Spirit.”

“For the first time — certainly at a Roman synod — I saw discernment in action,” Coleridge wrote earlier this year. “It was messy and unpredictable; at the halfway mark it looked very unlikely that we would achieve anything worth achieving. Yet at the end we did produce something which wasn’t the last word, but which was a real contribution to the ongoing journey of the church.

Read the rest here…

Book awards for theological works

The Australian Catholic University proudly announced that two of their theologians scored the ATF Literary Trust Theological Book Prize for 2021. They are Fr Ormond Rush and Dr David Newheiser.

Here’s what the ACU said about Fr Rush’s book, The Vision of Vatican
II: Its Fundamental Principles
.

“‘It is difficult to overestimate the magnitude of the achievement of Ormond Rush’s Vision of Vatican II. The author offers a remarkable tour de force of the theological and ecclesial principles the author discerns in the documents, background and fundamental vision of Vatican II. Rush does this from the vantage point of half a century of critical engagement, reflection and reception within the wider ecumenical Church. Combining a breadth and depth of scholarship with creativity and insight the author provides a foundational theological resource not simply for students and theologians of Vatican II but for all who would seek to understand some of the great themes that have preoccupied the hearts and minds of Christians in the 20th and 21st century.”

And Dr Heiser’s book, Hope in a Secular Age:

In a post structuralist environment in which the meaning of language is dissipated by multi layered critical analysis Newheiser undertakes a defence of the central Christian idea of hope.

“In an informed and sophisticated manner Newheiser interrogates the resources of the rich tradition of Christian mystical thought. The ‘darkness of unknowing’ in the mystical tradition (Dionysius) and in post-modern notions of deferral (Derrida) provides Newheiser with parameters to engage in the meaningful development of Christian
language in a contemporary context. This fine exegetical and philosophical study offers a highly original, insightful and persuasive account of a hope that is at once ethical, political and spiritual.”

Let me guess. In these (for most people) impenetrable works, there won’t be too much reference to classical realist epistemology and metaphysics, or to Christian Aristotelianism. Behind Derrida and such companions we may sniff the sour odour of Hegel and Marx.

The process of fitting a square peg into a round hole goes on.