Tag Archives: Pope Francis

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 gang behind the elevation of Jorge Bergoglio

Julia Meloni’s book The St Gallen Mafia: Exposing the Secret Reformist Group within the Church, is one of the most important books published this year about the crumbling Catholic Church. I mean the visible Catholic Church.

It is a painstakingly researched book, loaded with references, that lays bare the manoeuvring, manipulation, and agitating of a small group of prelates on the Catholic far left to place Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on the seat of Peter. Ms Meloni, in this article on her publisher’s website (TAN), provides some background to the writing of the book.

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Exposing the St. Gallen Mafia: Exclusive Interview with the Author

Julia Meloni, 12 November 2021, TAN

In discussing my new book, The St. Gallen Mafia, certain questions frequently come up. Here are some of them.

What made you want to write this book?

I still remember the moment when I first became captivated with the St. Gallen mafia, the secret group of high-ranking churchmen who used to meet at or near St. Gallen, Switzerland to plot their opposition to then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. It was winter, it was night, and I was reading Henry Sire’s The Dictator Pope. When the first chapter turned to the mafia’s leader, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, I was arrested. I temporarily put down the book, downloaded Martini’s Night Conversations, and read late into the night.

When I finished, I knew I had wandered into a detective story.

A detective story?

Yes. At the center stood Martini—the man hailed as the next pope by the media in the 1990s. It is said that the mafia at this time wanted Martini as pope, too—but then Martini got sick with Parkinson’s. So Martini’s dream mutated in order to survive. No longer the “next pope,” Martini began in Night Conversations to call himself the “ante-pope,” the mysterious forerunner to some future pope.

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.

‘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.

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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…

Is Bergoglio an antipope with a mission?

It is one thing after another with Pope Bergoglio. The thought that the Catholic Church has a antipope, or non-Catholic pope, or protestant pope (take your pick) is becoming difficult to resist. It is reported, for example, that he says Jesus of Nazareth was not God. What? What were we doing for 2,000 years? Steve Skojec of OnePeterFive comments. I regard this an important informative commentary about the person on the See of Peter.

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Scalfari, Friend of Francis, Claims Pope Believes Jesus Was “Not a God At All”

Steve Skojec, 1P5

Amidst the raging debate over what was at best a syncretistic (and at worst an overtly pagan) opening ceremony for the Amazon Synod, an early push for ending clerical celibacy from Cardinal Hummes, cringe-inducing virtue-signaling from members of the Catholic media, and the jaw-dropping brazenness of a key synod organizer — Bishop Erwin Kräutler — openly supporting women’s ordination, a bomb has been dropped that has overtaken even the wildly controversial opening days of the synod itself.

According to papal friend and repeat interviewer Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, Pope Francis told the Italian atheist that he believes that “Jesus of Nazareth, once he became a man, though a man of exceptional virtues, was not a God at all.” (“Sono la prova provata che Gesù di Nazareth una volta diventato uomo, sia pure un uomo di eccezionali virtù, non era affatto un Dio.”)

The editorial itself, published on October 8, can viewed in Italian at La Repubblica. It is currently behind a paywall. Our translation of the section in question is provided by Giuseppe Pellegrino:

‘Pope Francis has never spoken of the Ego as the determining element of man. Whoever has had, as I have several times, the fortune of meeting him and speaking to him with the maximum cultural trust, knows that Pope Francis conceives of the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate. Once he has become incarnate, Jesus ceases to be a God and becomes a man up until his death on the cross. The proof that confirms this reality and that creates a Church that is completely different from others is proven by several episodes that are worth recalling.’

Read the rest here…

Pope Apostate – pictures and actions don’t lie

Pope Francis greets homosexual activist appointed to Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

Doug Mainwaring, June 21 2021

VATICAN CITY, June 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – On Saturday Pope Francis greeted Juan Carlos Cruz, an openly homosexual man whom he appointed to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors earlier this year at the Vatican. Cruz is himself a victim of clerical sexual abuse.

“Today I thanked Pope Francis for my appointment and reaffirmed my commitment to continue helping survivors of sexual abuse around the world,” said Cruz in a Tweet on Saturday.  

Pope Francis has repeatedly delivered mixed signals, often seeming to significantly depart from Church teaching regarding the pastoring of individuals afflicted with homosexuality and transgenderism.  

Over the course of his pontificate, Pope Francis has given indications that he is not concerned with addressing homosexual activity according to Church teaching as inherently disordered and intrinsically evil. In the last few years, he has signalled support for legal recognition of same-sex unionswelcomed a former male student and his boyfriend to the Vatican’s U.S. embassy; and a French priest said in a televised interview that Pope Francis approved of his blessing of homosexual couples

Read the rest here…

We have a Marxist Pope – it’s true

I have tried to resist the idea that we have an apostate on the see of Peter. It is such a shocking thought. How could it be? But the evidence piles up. The latest is the news that Marxist ex-priest Leonardo Boff is a particular friend of Pope Francis who reads and re-reads his Marxist scribblings. Edward Pentin, in his article below, quotes Boff’s crass rubbishing of St John Paul II and Cardinal/Pope Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Is there a clearer sign of this man’s corrupted mind – and of Francis’s apostasy? Once again we are exposed to the deadly fantasies of a man locked away in a dark theoretical nightmare. I think there must be a special place in hell for unhinged theorists.

Liberation Theologian Leonardo Boff is a Keynote Speaker at Vatican’s ‘Economy of Francesco’ Conference

Edward Pentin, NCR, 19 November 2020

The controversial former Franciscan priest was disciplined by the Vatican in the 1980s, for disseminating Marxist-oriented ideas that demonstrated ‘a profound misunderstanding of the Catholic faith.’

VATICAN CITY — The controversial Brazilian liberation theologian Leonardo Boff will be a keynote speaker at the Economy of Francesco, a three-day international Vatican-organized conference that starts tomorrow aimed at making finance inclusive and sustainable.

A former Franciscan priest, Boff will speak on “socio-ecological responsibility: global view, territorial actions” along with Father Vilson Groh, who works with the poor in the favela (slum) of Florianopolis in southern Brazil. 

According to the Economy of Francesco organizers, the Nov. 19-21 conference aims to propose ideas that “move and live for a fairer, more fraternal and sustainable economy and give a soul to the economy of tomorrow.” 

Some 2,000 economists and entrepreneurs under the age of 35 from around the world will take part in the live-streamed meeting which will include a 24-hour “marathon” of online exchanges on the second day.

Read the rest here…

The Crisis in the Church

Archbishop Vigano, Pope Francis’s most outspoken critic, recently raised serious questions about the Second Vatican Council. He has joined a long line of critics over the years, with Archbishop Lefebvre of the Society of St Pius X at the forefront. Archbishop Vigano has followed Archbishop Lefebvre in demanding the documents of the Council be jettisoned and the Church start again, with Traditional belief the starting point.

I follow St John Paul II and Benedict XVI in their interpretation of the Council documents. The documents should be read in the light of Tradition – according to the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. Any apparent ambiguities are resolved by placing them in the teaching of what went before Vatican II. There have been a number of crucial documents following the Council that have corrected the alleged ambiguities.

The collapse of the Church after the Council was due to the adoption of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’, which ignored the documents and created a whole new church, which was the stated aim of its promoters. The so-called ‘spirit’ prevailed politically, not doctrinally. The overthrow of the Traditional Church was a political victory.

The political forces for the new church were tightly organised before the start of the Council. On the 11th of October 1962, the opening of the Council, they went into operation. Their political manoeuvring and manipulation steamrolled the thoroughly unprepared Traditionalists, those defending the centuries-old Church. Several years’ work in the preparatory documents were tossed out and a new start made, at the head of which were some of the most notorious dissenters in the years following the Council. Indeed, it was only the intervention of Pope St Paul VI at critical points that stopped the Council tipping over the edge into heresy.

My thesis that the Second Vatican Council was primarily a political contest is grounded largely on Fr Ralph Wiltgen’s THE RHINE FLOWs INTO THE TIBER, reissued in 1978 as THE INSIDE STORY OF VATICAN II, and Roberto de Mattei’s magisterial THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL (AN UNWRITTEN STORY). There is also my experience of the Council and its aftermath. I was sixteen in 1962 and nineteen when the 1960s cultural revolution and the student rebellion exploded on the West in 1965. The Council wrapped up in December 1965.

In a very informative discussion of the Council, Patrick Coffin interviews Dr Ralph Martin about his new book A CHURCH IN CRISIS: PATHWAYS FORWARD. The discussion gives depth to my views. Highly recommended.

Raph Martin’s new book is available on Amazon.

The Parallel Church of Vatican II

Michael Matt of Remnant Newspaper comments on Archbishop Vigano’s condemnation of Vatican II

VIGANÒ on REVOLUTION in the CHURCH: “From Vatican II onwards, a parallel church was built…”

Over the past half century of crisis in the Catholic Church, one of the main points of division among Tradition-minded Catholics centered around the question of whether there was something inherently contrary to Tradition about the Second Vatican Council itself, or was it merely the Modernist interpretations of the Council that flowed abundantly into the lifeblood of the Church after the close of the Council in 1965.

Over the past few decades, many conservative commentators were ready to admit that the so-called “Spirit of the Council” had led to much devastation in the Church. But they parted company with those of us who felt obliged in conscience to point out that at least some of the sixteen documents themselves were inherently at odds with the constant magisterial teaching of the Church.

In essence, this has been at the heart of the debate for over fifty years.  It divided my own family, in fact, and eventually left my father with no choice but to leave The Wanderer and found The Remnant in 1967.  In his mind, it was not merely a question of abuse—either of doctrine or liturgy—but rather that Vatican II represented a fundamental and orchestrated reorientation of the Church in the spirit of the modern world.

For many good Catholics (who knew something had gone terribly wrong), it seemed the more prudent course of action to hope and pray that faulty interpretations of the Council would eventually work themselves into a hermeneutic of continuity with Tradition and all would end well. For fifty years, this kept them largely silent in the face of radical novelty never before seen in the history of the Church.

Read the rest here…