Saturday, December 16, 2017

A More Frightening Thesis

I have always avoided direct criticism of Pope Francis preferring to use terms like 'this present Papacy', it is a Catholic thing about the profound deference owed to the Vicar of Christ on Earth, American friends are often more strident, so maybe it is a European thing too; never criticising the King, only his ministers. The other thing is we know what comes out of the Vatican but not its actual source.

Damian Thompson's blog Holy Smoke carries a podcast with him, Dan Hitchens and Ed Condon discussing 'The Dictator Pope', its here. Though they agree with many of the author's "dots", they join them together differently and therefore dismiss his conclusion.

Condon in particular suggests that Pope Francis rather than being the instigator of violence and corruption is the victim of corrupt Vatican officials, because of his naivete, his inability to be clear and articulate, his isolation from reality and from any who might offer any criticism. The villain-in-chief is the Secretary of State, now Cardinal Parolin.

The thesis of the Dictator Pope is shocking, what is expressed in this little podcast with its image of a weak and out of touch Pope manipulated by bureaucrats in the Vatican and the broader (wealthier) Church and the world is absolutely terrifying.  The Dictator Pope offers a far more comforting analysis than the more complex one of Condon and his companions.

After listening to the podcast, I will be interested in your opinions


geneticallycatholic said...

Occam's Razor.

kiwiinamerica said...

Francis is now a "victim"?

LOL........laughable and totally implausible, you "rigid" "doctor of the law". You "rosary-counting", "self-absorbed, Neo-Pelagian"!

Francis is Castro in a cassock.

gemoftheocean said...

I listened. I still think pope make-a-mess deliberately speaks from both sides of his mouth and knows exactly what he is doing. Decades ago Fulton sheen said the devil is not dome guy in a funny red suit with evil horns you can dismiss, but one who seduces people with what they like to hear and think. Oh look, he cares for the poor.....while in reality he enthones and gives the new world globalists, who despise the poor and push contraception and abortion on the poor, a platform. He gets bolder and bolder. "Confusion?". Hardly. He promotes division which is tearing the church apart. He rips at the teachings of the church by his poisonous sermons and statements, all the while targeting those who oppose him, while promoting those who also do damage to the church. Look what he implied in recent hell of suffering. Not what Jesus taught. So why bother believing in God at all if eternity will be different for none of us. Just like john Lennon's Imagine. No hell below us, above us only sky. So homosexual practise, all good, attack on the family all good. Abortion contraception, who cares? No hell... Then no heaven either... I'm not " confused" but mad as hell this charlatan is getting away with it. He can not go soon enough for me. The question is how many millions will go down with him buying into the seduction of the devil and his agents. People need to wake up.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Dan Hichens doubts the allegation that Pope Francis is a follower of Juan Peron. However one must remember that Austen Ivereigh, an arch-admirer, of the Pope has clearly stated that he is a follower of Peron quoting from some writings of Peron which the Pope follows:

"Yet everything in Francis’s past locates him as a nationalist sympathetic to Peronism, at least in its early incarnation." viz:

When I first read these I thought Austen had finally lost his marbles but perhaps he was onto something.

vetusta ecclesia said...

I think he is the manipulator, not the manipulated. From the moment he appeared in the S Peter's loggia following his election, eschewing the customary dress and title of Pope, I feared a papacy of gesture and faux humility. No one at that stage had had time to get at him. And from day 1 mixed signals have poured forth.

DJR said...

Immediately after the last papal conclave, written by someone in the know: "The Horror! A Buenos Aires journalist describes Bergoglio."

Nicolas Bellord said...

Having listened to the whole discussion I am not much the wiser. They remain as confused as the rest of us as to what the Pope is really like. I find the idea that he is an innocent being manipulated by those around him rather a stretch. No doubt there are those who take advantage of what he says and does to favour progressive ideas but I think they are just picking up the ball which he, the Pope, has thrown down.

I find the mention of Cardinal Parolin interesting. Recently the Catholic Herald's cover story (10th November) was "The man who won the Vatican civil war" - an article by Father Mark Drew in praise of Cardinal Parolin. I have always found Father Mark's articles very good in the past and I was surprised to read this adulation of Cardinal Parolin albeit somewhat tempered. There was no mention of the Cardinal's reinvention of the disastrous Ostpolitik particularly in respect of China. What Father Mark did recount was how Cardinal Parolin had won against Cardinal Pell in suspending indefinitely the outside audit of Vatican finances. I know from long experience that many Catholic clergy seem to have a blind-spot when it comes to financial honesty but this decision was catastrophic for the reputation of the Vatican in the eyes of the laity and all outsiders. It is wonderful ammunition for those who accuse the Vatican as being hopelessly corrupt. The accusations of Protestants and others attacking the Church now has a sound basis. Thank you Cardinal Parolin.

At one point the speakers mentioned the Pope's spirituality. Somewhere an Anglican lady wrote that it is given to the laity to detect whether a priest is holy or not. There is something that grips one; just like when one reads the New Testament and spots something one has not noticed before. Something stands out and strikes one when one reads Benedict XVI or Cardinal Sarah - one is struck by truth. Nothing that I have seen in the present Papacy has struck me as other than the banal.

Unknown said...

I listened too. So far all commenter's are less or more correct in line, in my opinion.
As kiwiinamerica says, it is almost laughable to hear some educated (?!) man speaking about PF as victim. I mean, really? Understandable! But that is just another proof how many people are deceived. Period. Saying that, it must be said too, that everyone still have a chance to search, find and accept the TRUTH. Do we remember the words of our words: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."
That means; nobody who seems to walk on the right way (being Catholic, going to the NO mass, etc.), but on that Way do not effort to willingly search and accept nothing but the Truth, - he cannot reach the End, - the Life.

gemoftheocean says it very well too!
One important thing is here that I want to mention.
He knows exactly what is he doing, and trying to do (to reach, to accomplish), but...(!) he certainly doesn't know what God's plan is (with him)!
One of the not so unimportant 'effects' of his pontificate can easily be the eyes-opening, recognizing of the very unpleasant and difficult truths such as that Vatican 2 was a disaster.
Achieving of this very important goal (for as many as possible) could be arranged by allowing of this 'specific case' to be occupant of the chair. He, without having a true insight, is right now, actually exposing many secrets, many acts of darkness, which are now coming out on the surface. Ditto for many cheaters and deceivers from the past and present!

Karl J said...

I can't fight through his accent and his quiet, difficult to understand, at least for this hard of hearing 63 yr old American, speaking style. Sorry. I tried but it is quite exhausting to listen to Mr. Thompson.

My opinion is that Jorge Bergoglio is a street thug of limited intellect. Mundabor describes him best.

Deacon Augustine said...

Is Ed Condon a member of Opus Dei or Regnum Christi? Whatever, he speaks a load of papolatrous guff.

I have had people give me the same excuse to try to convince me that Honorius wasn't really a heretic: "He was just being manipulated, he didn't really believe or teach Monothelitism himself." Strangely they don't have an answer when I tell them that Pope St Leo II anathematized his ass simply because he failed to teach the pure orthodox Catholic Faith when it had come under assault from heretics. Failing to teach the truth is just as evil as deliberately teaching error. Both are a failure of faith and equally damaging to souls.

The guy is straining at gnats in order to swallow a camel. There is ample evidence from Argentina that the former Archbishop of B.A. was just as manipulative and untrustworthy as he is now in the See of Peter. The fact that he has abused his power, however, isn't really a big deal - there must have been loads of Popes who were very political and played dirty. That is in the nature of human beings to behave that way - we have never believed in the impeccability of popes. A pope's personal morality or sinfulness is not necessarily an impediment to the effective exercise of his office.

What is really at issue is the fact that Francis has chosen to use or abuse his power in order to undermine the Faith. Anybody who followed the process which led up to Amoris Laetitia, from the first audience where he rehabilitated Kasper to the manipulated, pre-determined synods, must be aware that he was fully in charge of this blasphemy right from the start. Even participants in the Synod hall have spoken about how obvious it was who was really pulling Baldisseri's strings. Forte has been quite open about the pre-determined plan the Pope had discussed with him to direct the synod towards heresy. It was obvious from Francis' closing speeches at the Synods that he was furious with those who had tried to block his plans.

No, Francis knew and knows what he is doing. He might not give a damn about clearing up financial corruption and he might be quite happy to let the chips lie as they fall in that respect, but the corruption of the Church's doctrine and praxis has been part of his plan from the beginning.

Christopher Gillibrand said...

As soon as he came out on the balcony, I knew it was going to be a disaster. Such a disaster Vatican II made inevitable, sooner or later. The fish rots from the head, as they teach you at management school.

JARay said...

As usual Deacon Augustine is on the ball. What is mentioned in The Dictator Pope is that his superior in Argentina wrote that in his opinion Fr. Bergoglio should not be consecrated a bishop because he was quite unsuitable. How prescient! It cannot be denied that as Pope he clearly admitted that he wanted to create a stir. His actions against the Knights of Malta when he overrode their independent status were clearly dictatorial and not the action of someone who was being manipulated by some Cardinal or other. He has carefully chosen priests to be consecrated bishops to set up a coterie of Liberal minded bishops who would be of a similar mindset as himself.
I have long thought him to be a complete disaster as a Pope and I pray for him daily to have a change of heart and become more faithful to the long established teachings of the Church in several areas.

geneticallycatholic said...

I looked up the article DJR referred to:

and I also read the post by Robert Royal of The Catholic Thing. Royal has always been moderate, and has tried his best to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. But even for him, the evidence is in:

For myself, who followed the Synods of the Family closely, I realized that the homosexual cabal has taken over...with Pope Francis' total support. I am praying the 54 day novena that Father Heilman started. My prayer is for Pope Francis' conversion.

Peter said...

The idea that the pope does not know what is happening assumes gross negligence: it is his duty to know so that he can make sensible decisions. Without appropriate diligence decisions are reckless.
It is possible that advisors are not always helpful but his decision to refuse to meet the dubia cardinals indicates a refusal to consider any concerns.
He may read only one paper but can ask his staff for a summary of press reports.
He can ask his nuncios to report on views from different parts of the world: the nuncio would tell him both what Tablet readers and Catholic Herald readers are saying and the same for other countries.
He can see the discussions that the press have with his spokesman to see what questions are asked.
So ignorance on his part would be deliberate.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Peter: I always advise people to plead invincible ignorance when they arrive at the pearly gates. Not sure though it would work in this particular case.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

The villain-in-chief is the Secretary of State, now Cardinal Parolin.

But, surely, he too is a victim of the malign machinations of his inferiors.

The Papacy of "The buck never got here."

We Americans remember when Ronald Reagan instigated the then biggest tax increase in American history and his supporters took to the media to claim he was a victim of his Cabinet (he wasn't) and they pleaded Let Reagan be Reagan

On a side note, when ABS and The Bride toured The Tower, they were told the history and prophecy of the Ravens and they were learnt that when a Raven died, the Londoners chose as the name for the replacement Raven, Ronald.

Ronald Raven.

Now, that is funny...

Karl J said...


Regarding the current Pope:

Perhaps there is a case for, Invincible Stupidity or Invincible Arrogance?

But, surely, there seems no reasonable basis for Invincible Ignorance.

If there is, then my opinion about anyone being in Hell, including
Satan/Lucifer himself, seems reasonably negotiable.


Physiocrat said...

I watched a bit of it and then got bored. Following the goings-on in Rome is not good for one's eternal soul.

Let us, who mystically represent the cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving trinity, lay aside all worldly cares, that we may receive the King of all, invisibly escorted by the angelic hosts.

Simple Simon said...

The first Angelus address of PF said it all for me. He interrupted his address in order to praise Cardinal Kasper and Kasper's theology. This endorsement of Kasper was an absolutely clear signal for what was to come. Surely only Rip Van Winkle types were the only ones taken by surprise? PF put the boot into Pope Benedict there and then. Benedict had already sent Kasper homeward to think again regarding communion for the divorced and remarried. I found the podcast anodyne. A book like Dictator Pope may or may not be helpful. It was certainly not necessary. Scandals are always with us. Nothing new there. When it comes to the actual Catholic faith, PF can be perfectly understood by simply paying close attention to everything that he himself has actually said and done or failed to say and do. Based solely on what Francis himself has uttered, would a faithful Catholic be out of order or out of his mind if he was convinced that he should flee from such a teacher as from fire? We have been bought and sold for fools gold. Lord have mercy.

Paul Hellyer said...

I agree entirely with your comments. He is a career priest who has made it to the top. And now he just wants to do with the Church whatever he wants regardless of tradition or formality etc. . It's all very sad.

Fr. VF said...

Investigate Gustavo Vera, Argentine legislator, gay activist, etc., and close, close, close friend of Bergoglio. Or was. There was some sort of breakup in early 2017.

A goldmine of information and insight into Bergoglio is waiting for anyone who will investigate Gustavo Vera.

5oriole5 said...

Francis the victim is like saying Islam is peaceful. Both might be true except 15 centuries of history and an atchbishopric in Buenos Aires.

Christopher Boegel said...

To my great surprise, I said out loud when he came on the balcony: "Uh-oh."

I do not know what caused me to say it, but it was immediate and involuntary. I just knew something was wrong.

DrAndroSF said...

Do the gentlemen in this podcast live on planet Earth? Four cardinals confronted the Pope with the Dubia. When was the last time that happened? He has refused to answer them. And these journalists maintain that he does not really know how confused the situation is?

DrAndroSF said...

Pope Francis' problems around doctrinal and disciplinary clarity can be fixed by a successor, with the stroke of a pen. What cannot be fixed is his deeply deeply irresponsible championing of the demographic subversion of Europe by Muslims and Africans under the grotesque banner of so-called "social justice" and "mercy". That, to me, if both unfixable and unforgivable. (And in this he shares the moral opprobrium attached to the entire political class of Western Europe).