The Plot Against Pope Francis


"Donald Trump, who has publicly criticized Francis, has not interfered as his surrogates, who include former White House strategist Steve Bannon; Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis; Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; and others have conspired with the powerful fascist-oriented Opus Dei sect of the church to undermine Francis’s authority. Trump’s eyes and ears inside the Vatican – US ambassador to the Holy See Callista Bisek Gingrich – is the wife of Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, a convert to Catholicism, and a major Trump political ally.

Francis, a former bar bouncer in a tough working-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires, has not been a shrinking violet whe       n it comes to fighting back against his right-wing enemies. Francis’s Italian parents were escaping Benito Mussolini’s fascist rule when they emigrated to Argentina. For Francis, defending the church against the fascist Opus Dei and its allies is a battle worth fighting.

Francis’s enemies have taken a page from the Trump political book. Francis vowed to clean up the church of pedophile priests but he has been charged by his right-wing enemies, including Vigano, Burke, Bannon, Opus Dei, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and from behind the scenes – Benedict – of tolerating pedophiles and homosexuals in the church. This is the same sort of gaslighting to which Americans have become all-too-accustomed under Trump.

In order to limit Cardinal Burke’s international reach, Francis suspended him from the post of patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), an autonomous international charity entity in Rome that issues its own passports and maintains diplomatic relations with 107 countries and maintains permanent observer status at the United Nations. In 2017, Francis came to the assistance of the Grand Master of the SMOM, Albrecht von Boeselager, after discovering that Burke and Opus Dei were conspiring to oust Boeselager, a member of a German royal house, as Grand Master. Burke and the rightists wanted to sack Boeselager for distributing condoms to people in Myanmar."  Strategic-Culture


Well, pilgrims, now this is interesting.  There are some fell people amongst those mentioned, people who would shrink from little to defend their vision of The One True Church.  Edwin O'Brien, mentioned in the article is Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre  (an order senior in precedence to SMOM) in which I hold the rank of Knight Commander.  I know nothing of this matter.

Wayne Madsen ,the author, is a bit uneven in his writings.  pl

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69 Responses to The Plot Against Pope Francis

  1. ex PFC Chuck says:

    A book very much worth the time to anyone interested in looking into this further is In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality and Hypocrisy, by Frederic Martel. I haven’t read the Strategic Culture piece yet, but based on the excerpt above it’s in line with Marte’s book, albeit the latter has a different emphasis.

  2. Athayde_a says:

    As seen from Portugal, Francisco I is being attacked by a so-called conservative group with strong ties to Money and to the US.
    Since there is a lot of smoke it is difficult to see what is happening.
    But two things seem to be guaranteed: This conservative group wants neither Married Priests nor a Concordat with Continental China.

  3. Fred says:

    Always interesting news here. Steve Bannon got fired by Trump. After that he was a guest of Jeffrey Epstein, staying at his home in Paris. Looks like one more person shed no tears when those fine federal agents slept through the night at the NYMCC.
    “Bannon needs money to bankroll his political agenda. Epstein has plenty of money, and craves power and access,” a source said.

  4. Vig says:

    I noticed he popped up on Strategic Culture.
    how did he get there? Otherwise obviously I do not have the least idea what axe he had to grind about two decades earlier.

  5. David Lentini says:

    My sense is that the Holy Father is losing allies in the Vatican and beyond, and sadly is using his own surrogates in the press to make straw-man attacks against those who are considered “traditional” and oppose the Pope’s globalist agenda. I find the timing of this article especially intersting now that the Pope has been pushing his “Amazon Synod” and an agend that concerns many in the Church.

  6. Pope Francis elevated 13 new cardinals last week, all in his image I believe. This is interesting, indeed. I will be reading more on this and how the Synod for the Amazon is proceeding.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danon
    What is your definition of “fascist?”

  8. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danon
    So far as I know EOHS has no position in such matters. In any event I always make my own positions.

  9. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danan
    That’s nice but there has been no abandonment of Democratic freedoms under Trump. It is the Democrats in the House who seek to expel an elected president in what amounts to a kangaroo court. You should be on Trump’s side.

  10. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danan
    I did not know there were still Spanish leftists (if that is really what you are) who yearn for the good old days of Republican anti-clericalism. Did your family hang priests and nuns? The EOHS has no “meetings” in which we plot for the reversal of the “Enlightenment.” We raise money for the support of the Roman Church in the Holy Land, a lot of money. Seminary, Bethlehem University,(mostly Muslim students), the care of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. You know that place. It is where the “legend” of Jesus was buried, creches (a French word). BTW most of the children are little ones abandoned by their Muslim parents, old folks homes (mostly Muslim residents). Understand that I am just stringing you along to elicit your responses until I ban you again.

  11. Vig says:

    … and oppose the Pope’s globalist agenda
    curious statement.
    At what point exactly did the Catholic Church become globalists? During Apostolic Ages or later during the crusades?
    But glad to hear Bannon has to look for another monestary for his international nationalist activists training camp. …

  12. Flavius says:

    Meaningless twaddle that fits squarely within Orwell’s updated definition of what calling someone a ‘communist’ or a ‘fascist’ had come to mean: a political pejorative the holder employs to signal his antipathy.

  13. Lars says:

    There may not have been an abandonment of democratic freedoms, but there has been degrading. As in voter suppression and allowing foreign interference. Of course, now we can add refusing to answer lawful subpoenas. The list may very well expand, as we move on with a established constitutional function.

  14. turcopolier says:

    I disagree. Those who think the state should own the means of production and distribution are “communists.” Ask Stephen Cohen. I heard him say that from the stage of the Armed Forces Staff College many years ago.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Seeking to ensure that voters are qualified is not “voter suppression.” Aliens and those who refuse to provide proper identification should not vote. To want them to vote is a Democratic Party goal so as to obtain power, nothing else. There is no proof whatever of effective foreign interference in 2016. None.

  16. Fred says:

    You mean those colleges banning speakers, refusing to allow accused to see evidence presented in secret or have legal representation present were all done by the federal government? Which nonexistent voter suppression are you referring to? Which lawful subpoena?
    I agree with you on holding those foreigners, Christopher Steele and Joseph Misfud, to account for their interference in our election. They and the people who paid them have some explaining, under oath and in public, to do.

  17. Bob L says:

    Sedevacantists should read St. Ignatius Loyola, ‘Rules of Thinking with the Church’.
    “Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.”

  18. Diana C says:

    Since I am not Catholic, I can not express an opinion about this question. I am just sad that it is a controversy, as I am sad when any Protestant denomination is experiencing turmoil. I do remember when Pope Francis was first chosen, how excited many were because he came from our part of the world. I think many felt he would be a voice for the poor.
    I do want to recommend a book about the very early formation of the Church:
    Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years
    Book by Philip Jenkins
    I thought it was extremely interesting .

  19. Raven says:

    Tech Policy
    Bipartisan Senate report calls for sweeping effort to prevent Russian interference in 2020 election
    Add to list
    GOP-led panel endorses finding that Russia interfered to help Donald Trump
    Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
    By Craig Timberg and
    Tony RommOctober 8 at 2:45 PM
    A bipartisan panel of U.S. senators Tuesday called for sweeping action by Congress, the White House and Silicon Valley to ensure social media sites aren’t used to interfere in the coming presidential election, delivering a sobering assessment about the weaknesses that Russian operatives exploited in the 2016 campaign.
    The Senate Intelligence Committee, a Republican-led panel that has been investigating foreign electoral interference for more than 2½ years, said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.
    “Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s chairman. “Their goal is broader: to sow societal discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government. By flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories, and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans.”

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You cannot take these sets of incoherent sentences seriously. “Democratic Freedoms”? Are there also such things as “un-democratic”, “anti-democratic”, “non-democratic” freedoms too? And “Redemptive violence” as of Redemption in Christ? This is a mish- mash.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They are too polite to openly state their atheism in Madrid; they are all agnostics. Until the time comes to send their children to school. That is when they regret openly the absence of a nearby Jesuit scool, forcing them to send their kids to be educated by the Dominicans.

  22. Athayde_a says:

    You must put this statement in his proper historical context.
    Ignatius of Loyola was a basque warrior that lived between circa  23 October 1491 and 31 July 1556.
    Martin Luther lived between 10 November 1483 and 18 February 1546
    John Calvin lived between 10 July 1509 and 27 May 1564.
    Out of proper historical context statements are meaningless.

  23. Paco says:

    Just as priests and nuns were hanged, after a military rebellion against a democratically elected government, there were priests that blessed executions of people that may or may not have hung priests and nuns. In any case blessing executions and firing squads does not add any glory to the name of God, which should be number one priority for any catholic. AMGD

  24. Richard Ong says:

    That last part about abandoning democratic freedoms, etc. precisely defines American progressives and our political elite, not that there’s much difference between the two. AntiFa is their enforcememt contingent.
    People who complain about “fascism” seem to believe that majority populations have no right to fight back against leftist betrayal. “Purity” is derided because endless, mindless, destructive change is the True Sacrament.

  25. Richard Ong says:

    Anything by Philip Jenkins is bound to be interesting.

  26. Richard Ong says:

    Lots of arm waving on this topic but I’ve never seen an actual example of any Russian “Vote for Trump” interference. Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of a $100,000 Russian Facebook buy? Yet I’ve never seen one word from it. Not one. I think Russians (nefarious) must have occult powers.

  27. Seamus Padraig says:

    Oh? And what about a healthy concern for the decline of the community? Does this mean that anyone who seeks to preserve their culture, people and civilization in the face of an existential danger is necessarily a ‘fascist’? If so, count me a fascist!

  28. Seamus Padraig says:

    You’re right about Wayne Madsen, colonel. His output is of variable quality. In this case, his powerful anti-traditionalist bias is showing.
    The real story here is not some alleged ‘plot’ against Pope Frank. It’s very obvious why other ranking prelates in the church would have a problem with some of his–how can I phrase it delicately?–theological innovations. No sir! The real story here is who had his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, deposed?
    Some choice outtakes:

    – To what end was the National Security Agency monitoring the conclave that elected Pope Francis? [6]
    – Did US government operatives have contact with the “Cardinal Danneels Mafia”? [7]
    – International monetary transactions with the Vatican were suspended during the last few days prior to the resignation of Pope Benedict. Were any U.S. Government agencies involved in this? [8]
    – Why were international monetary transactions resumed on February 12, 2013, the day after Benedict XVI announced his resignation? Was this pure coincidence? [9]
    – What actions, if any, were actually taken by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, and others tied to the Obama administration who were involved in the discussion proposing the fomenting of a “Catholic Spring”?
    – What was the purpose and nature of the secret meeting between Vice President Joseph Biden and Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on or about June 3, 2011?

    It seems that some of the cardinals now realize that their church may well have been the victim of yet another ‘régime change’ scheme undertaken by the Obama Administration; in this case to help the globalists take control of the world’s largest Christian denomination.

  29. confusedponderer says:

    re: “But glad to hear Bannon has to look for another monestary for his international nationalist activists training camp. …
    Bannon is, a Trumpist after all, less than subtle in what he says to Salvini and about the pope.
    “Steve Bannon ‘told Italy’s populist leader: Pope Francis is the enemy
    Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon advised Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini to attack the pope over the issue of migration, according to sources close to the Italian far right.
    During a meeting in Washington in April 2016, Bannon – who would within a few months take up his role as head of Trump’s presidential campaign – suggested the leader of Italy’s anti-immigration League party should start openly targeting Pope Francis, who has made the plight of refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.
    “Bannon advised Salvini himself that the actual pope is a sort of enemy. He suggested for sure to attack, frontally,” said a senior League insider with knowledge of the meeting in an interview with the website SourceMaterial.
    After the meeting, Salvini became more outspoken against the pope, claiming that conservatives in the Vatican were on his side.”
    That coming from Salvini’s side, is not exactly a surprise – after all he, capitano, made election campaign pics of himself with a rosemary and, occasionally, a machine pistol, or both together.
    With folks like that blathering around a new blackshirt taking a shot at the pope … well, sh*t happens. Do Salvinis or Bannon care? No way.

  30. CK says:

    I like Ecco’s 14 points of fascism :
    Unfortunately it reads a lot like 2019 American liberalism.

  31. Vig says:

    Flavius, it’s actually interesting she choses a specialist on Vichi, don’t you think? Otherwise I would like to compare notes on reading Orwell with you.
    A couple of decades ago I had my own favorite. Pick yours:
    And yes, there is of course a long tradition on the accompanying easy going smear in its historical context:

  32. confusedponderer says:

    Elora Danan,
    the recently over his Ibiza scandal sadly too late crashed Mr. Strache has put it in a much shorter, new austrian way along these lines:
    The policy is not limited by law, law is limited by policy.
    That line explains why he had to quit asap for trivialities like seriously violating austria’s election funding laws (accepting iirc max 15.000 € donations, donator named) and illegally accepting a much larger than allowed sum (some 15 million €, anonymously) from a supposedly russian lady to fund his party electioneering.
    Of course, he is likely another victim of … another witch hunt.
    Beside being rather openly corrupt he is so right, right from him is only the wall, to quote a late and far more acceptable bavarial politician.
    Is his policy career over? Not necessarily. His wife has iirc started a political career attempt of her own.
    And his former political partner, the young chancellor Kurz, surprisingly just won austria’s last election despite the Strache’s scandal. That said, that election only became necessary because of Strache’s Ibiza stunt.

  33. chris moffatt says:

    As a resident of Virginia I have no confidence whatsoever in any words from Mark Warner whose Russiaphobia once led him, without evidence, to accuse the ‘russians’ of hacking Google’s search algorithm. If he now has completed some type of an ‘investigation’ let him produce the evidence for public scrutiny or let him shutup. We’ve already had one bogus investigation in which Mueller after two and a half years produced nothing because there is nothing to find. Warner is just grandstanding like other democrats, Schiff being the worst example. Note that Warner is up for reelection in 2020. Nothing he says needs to be or is likely to be remotely true.

  34. fotokemist says:

    IMHO, the only defense our we need against foreign agents attacking confidence in our political system is for our politicians to be trustworthy. Having been influenced by Sun Tsu, I read translations of Putin’s speeches when available, follow RT and Sputnik, etc. Any attempts to sow seeds of discord by these sources is overwhelmed by our own politicians and news media. Do you think the developing story of our federal agencies being used to spy on innocent US citizens for political gain has served to increase confidence in our government? Is trust increased by attempts to suppress these stories? Based on a recorded phone conversation of a high ranking US government official, we spent in excess of 5 billion dollars to overthrow a foreign government. Are we being hypocritical when complaining about possible foreign intervention in our elections? What about the likely role of UK intelligence assets in the Russiagate fiasco? The influence of Israel on our government? Why single out Russia? In my view, we should shut them all down.
    In my case, the damage to Clinton’s campaign resulted from the content of the released emails, not their release, whether by Putin, Seth Rich or some other means. Had the DNC behaved in an honorable manner, there would have been nothing to release. So far as I know, this view is shared by many people in my rural central NC location. The Democrats have done themselves a disservice by continuing to remind us of the corruption in the bowels of their party. For the record, I identify myself as intensely independent when I go to vote.
    I am reminded of the Christ’s teaching that we should remove the log from our eye before attempting to remove the mote from our neighbor’s eye. I am saddened to see our nation continue to deteriorate rather than attack our problems and clean up the corruption.

  35. turcopolier says:

    chris moffat
    Are you a resident of Virginia or a citizen of Virginia? Mark Warner turned hard to the left when he almost lost an election.

  36. Terry says:

    I’m so sick of this “Russian influence” campaign. I’m influenced by good ideas, historical information, and science. Much of this influence comes from books (And thanks to those recommending books here from time to time). Maybe we should ban books to avoid voters being influenced. And block access to all foreign websites. God forbid that I might be influenced by something I read on a foreign website. Social media too – not just Russians but lots of foreign sourced tweets on there. And foreign music- might sneak some influence in as well.
    This whole thing is assbackwards logic – Trump is bad, people voted for him, something must have “influenced” them. Russians did it.
    Lets call it what it is – a desire for thought control.

  37. prawnik says:

    There are freedoms not in the context of democracy. For instance, the right to own slaves seems like the apogee of liberty to the plantation owner, for the slave, not so much.

  38. CK, you see that definition as liberalism? Although I do agree the term fascism is near meaningless unless the user’s definition is explained, Ecco’s definition appears to fit Trumpism quite nicely. .

  39. Seamus Padraig says:

    Who’s rosemary? You mean rosary?

  40. Seamus Padraig says:

    Sedevacantists would argue that those guidelines apply to the pope as well.

  41. Seamus Padraig says:

    The Russians ate my homework!

  42. turcopolier says:

    I’ll put you down as undecided about the Deplorables. Do you think Warren would make a good president? Please don’t tell me anyone would be better than Trump

  43. GeorgeG says:

    Dear Colonel,
    Mr. Madsen addresses an interesting and important issue, but he presents it in the form of rather dubious constructs. To begin, let’s merely parse his opening remarks (from the original):
    “From the outset of his papacy, Francis found himself dealing with his right-wing predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI – a rarity in papal history – who insisted on remaining domiciled in an apartment on Vatican grounds. Benedict has not remained in quiet retirement but has conspired with Francis’s politically influential enemies in the Vatican, Italy, the United States, and other countries.” 1. “right-wing predecessor… a rarity”? Well, Mr. Madsen may be plagued by short-term memory lapses (a sad malady when dealing with the long history of the Vatican), but John Paul II was certainly “right-wing,” fought the Jesuits and Liberation Theology, and promoted Opus Dei as a counter-weight. 2. Rarities: a Jesuit Pope, since normally the rules of the Jesuit Order forbid Jesuit priests rom seeking higher offices in the Church; a Pope “retired” to be replaced by a Jesuit? No, the Pope as St. Peter’s representative on Earth cannot retire, and – as Mr. Madsen concedes – actually never did. There is no room in Roman Catholic Theology for a “Pope Emeritus.” Was Benedict “fired”? – No, absolutely not. Where does Benedict get the power to “insist” on anything? 3. No, Benedict is not “domiciled in an apartment on Vatican grounds,” certainly not off in the mountains meditating, but squarely quartered in his own garden apartment, from which Benedict’s private secretary, Gänswein, shuttles between the “old” but still-in-power Benedict and the “new” co-power-sharing Francis. That, indeed, is rare. It is more than rare. Extraordinary problems in extraordinary times apparently require extraordinary solutions and methods.
    To what effect this show? – The College of Cardinals is effectively split between the “Left” (Francis, whose name is not derived from St. Francis, but from the third General of the Jesuit Order, Francis Borgia (1565 — 1572), the grandnephew of Caesar Borgia, to whom Machiavelli dedicated “The Prince”) and the “Right”, Benedict XVI. So we need to appreciate the machinery of conspiracy, and I beg indulgence for suggesting that the Catholic Church could ever have anything to do with conspiracies. Chuckle!
    The basic scheme of things: If the “Left” can be identified with “Liberation Theology”, that “Left” needs a “Right” so that the two can rub up against each other, confuse each other, wear each other out when real issues are at stake. The “pedophilia” scandal / scam is what we may call a predicate in this conspiracy: If a member of the Curia sees through the conspiracy, a white smoke / black smoke screen is already there, everyone is confused, Is Francis protecting the pedophiles or hunting them down?, but if you are a Cardinal, and you are too smart, or too concerned with Catholic spirituality, the scene is set to do a “Kavanaugh” on you, or at some point you were snared in the Vatican version of “Operation Epstein”. Does the Church acknowledge innocence before proof of guilt? (I insert the idea that AOC, the Saul Alinsky activist, is actually a liberation theology activist.)
    But what do we get from Mr. Madsen? – We get a phony “Left” vs. the “Fascists” narrative. It is a gang / countergang narrative, and Mr. Madsen is a proponent of or an activist in one of the gangs. – I have no idea whether Mr. Madsen is a Jesuit or Jesuit trained, but that is Jesuit-logic. Mr. Madsen presents us with a faction fight, which is entertaining but phony.
    What is this all about, or, as I suggested just above, what is the extraordinary problem that requires, in the eyes of the puppet-masters, extraordinary machinations?
    As luck would have it, Vladimir Putin visited the Vatican this year on Independence Day, July 4th. His gift for the Pope was a Russian Orthodox icon with the apostles Paul and John on it. Mr. Madsen should have mentioned this, but since it confuses his “Trump-fascist” vs. Vatican Reformer narrative, the oversight is understandable.
    What is the message in the icon? While I have certain ideas about that, it may be better to provide some context rather than try to explain it directly. Part of that context is that, according to a Radio Vatican report on the Putin-Francis meeting, the Pope expected a return invitation, to Moscow or at least an invitation from the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin had neither in his briefcase. I believe I can translate that: Putin to Francis – You are not calling the shots and what you offer is not the answer to our common European crisis.
    Additional context is provided by Putin’s subsequent meeting with Macron in Brégançon. Putin: “As far as the perspectives are concerned in connection with the creation of a common Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, this was not our idea. General de Gaulle once expressed this idea when he was talking about a Europe from Lisbon to the Urals. But Russia reaches much further, all the way to the Pacific. That is the space of European culture. It is important to understand this. But it is not the point. The point is not that it seems to be impossible today. What appears impossible today can become inevitable tomorrow.” And Putin asserted that the implied cooperation is not only important for Russia, but also for Europe “if Europe wants to maintain itself as the center of a civilization.”
    Basically, and not only as Putin sees it, the crisis of the so-called West, or of western European Roman Catholicism (other denominations are the differences that make no difference), is the collapse of the Pan-European thrust to conquer Russia. Russian and Chinese power is only part of the reason for that collapse. Europe has a Pope who subscribes to “The New Green Deal” and thus unmasks its infertility in science as well as spirituality. Its power is therefore hollow. No one needs to be Orthodox (I am not) to see that.
    On the background of Patriarch Kirill’s recent polemics on these issues, Francis’ expectation that he would be invited to meet the Russian Orthodox is nothing short of fantastical. In any case, he was mistaken, i.e. he calculated badly. But from this perspective it is perhaps possible to understand how Benedict / Ratzinger fits hand-in-glove with Francis / a.k.a. Borgia. Benedict was the “old German” representative of the Pan European “right wing” anti-Russian thrust, while Francis is the new paganism form of Liberation Theology, just as much “right-wing,” just as much anti-Russian. Mr. Madsen fails to understand that the old European Pan European (Kalergi) has nothing to do with what he considers his American “right-wing” foes, but the Russian, Putin, understands that, which is why he visited Francis on the 4th of July. For Putin America is spiritually “independent” of all these entanglements.

  44. Vig says:

    the real story here is who had his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, deposed?
    Not sure if I was a fan of him, theologically spoken, but there you go: Benedict XIV resigned. May have felt that the “staging”, sorry it felt a bit that way, of his precursor’s death may not be quite the thing he wanted to look forward to.
    Besides: I found the idea of a Pope emeritus quite appropriate considering his background.
    Also notice: Jorge Mario Bergoglio already got the most votes next to him at Benedict’s election …

  45. Fred says:

    “Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of a $100,000 Russian Facebook buy?”
    Best marketing team on Earth. I’m thinking of suing a few companies I own stock in for spending so much on marketing when they could have just hired theses guys.

  46. Diana C says:

    Well, the Russians copied my homework, and I was blamed for cheating. Those Russians are busy little sneaks.

  47. for your consideration says:

    I think Lars was referring to existent voter suppression, not nonexistent voter suppression. As an example of what Lars might be referring to, aren’t you aware of the current efforts of the Republican majority in the Florida legislature to subvert the restoration of felon rights that Florida voters approved of in 2018? And it’s worth noting that polling before that vote indicated the measure, to my surprise and relief, had bipartisan support.

  48. Jane says:

    Steve Bannon, the Catholics, rightwing populist Italian politics and orthodox economic neoliberal crowd: This is an article in the Guardian from last year, which together with coverage by 60 Minutes. Google Bannon and the story of the Italian monastery he has leased to be the site of his activist? intellectual? religious think tank.
    His allies include powerful US church officials and rightwing Italian political party. Francis should never have given his consent to Mrs Gingrich as Amb to the Vatican.

  49. It all depends on how you define Deplorables. Is it Clinton’s definition of “the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” as she said in her ill-fated speech? Or is it the other half of Trump supporters she described as the “basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
    The second group seems like the kind of people, poor people, that Warren is trying to appeal to. The rich, the elites see her as public enemy number one. I don’t know how much she can accomplish if the rich and elite wage war against her. If she can really mobilize the poor and just not rich, she may be able to bring real change. Her main problem, as far as I’m concerned, is that she still wed to an imperialistic foreign policy. She has to change that for me to support her.

  50. seward says:

    Francis is the only Pope we have. Faithful Catholics, therefore, need to support him as best we can, certainly not oppose him. We can be confident as Catholics that the Lord will not let him commit the Church to any egregious error. Peter was promised by Jesus that his faith would not fail, the scriptural basis for infallibility.
    (Too a much lesser extent, the same applies to the President: he’s the only president we have. If he fails or goes down, we all fail or go down with him. St.Paul enjoins us to respect our rulers, no matter how much we might dislike them. He can be voted out in 2020 if necessary. The impeachment hearing, IMHO, are just so much political theater.)

  51. turcopolier says:

    “as well” as whom?

  52. confusedponderer says:

    Seamus Padraig,
    yes, typo.

  53. turcopolier says:

    Convicted felons have been judged to be uncaring as to their obligations to society. They should not be allowed to vote. You want them to vote so that they can vote leftists into power.

  54. Fred says:

    The impact of that in the 2016 and 2018 elections was zero. The Florida Legislature is not under the control of Donald J. Trump nor of the federal government, that ended with readmission to the union. The Amendment clearly states “This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”
    If the convicted felon didn’t pay the fines and fees they haven’t completed the terms of their sentence. That’s not “suppression” but adherence to the law. Perhaps they should not commit felonies, then this would not apply to them.

  55. GeorgG, I don’t know where you got that info about the name chosen by Pope Francis. This is what Pope Francis, himself, said about it in a 2013 interview.
    “And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don’t forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!”

  56. turcopolier says:

    As a start, he should sell off all that lovely stuff crammed into the Pontifical Palace, get rid of the trappings of medieval monarchy, have married priests, women priests. He is a working class hero? Well, he should act like it. If some group wants to kill him, so be it. His reward will be at the right hand of Jesus.

  57. Francis forgoes a number of Pontifical trappings, far more than his predecessors. However, I agree he should go further as should the entire Church heirarchy. We’ll have to see what comes out of the current Synod. I read two thirds of the bishops involved support married priests.

  58. HK Leo Strauss says:

    How a Jesuit became Pope should make a good story, he will always be on borrowed time.

  59. artemesia says:

    Juan Zarate was a charter member of Stuart Levey’s team at U S Dept of Treasury in charge of sanctioning Iran & coercing all international corporations & banks to refrain from doing business with Iran. Zarate called himself and his colleagues, Guerrillas in Grey Suits. (Financial Times dubbed an article on these Guerrillas “An entertaining insider’s account of America’s post 9/11 sanctions regime”. Ha ha ha. Iranians & Iraqis laugh all the way to their children’s graveyard. Were we Anglo Saxon – Europeans always so cruelly and callous?)
    Zarate, who was educated in a Catholic high school in California, left Treasury and in 2014 took up a post at “the Vatican’s Institute for the Works of Religion (“IOR”), a move announced by Cardinal Pell of the Vatican Finance Ministry as part of Pope Francis I’s efforts to clean up the finances of the Vatican.”
    Callista (Mrs. Newt) Gingrich began her/their Vatican occupation three years later.
    Pell, an Australian, has since been convicted of sexually abusing two choirboys. In 2018, Carlo Maria Vigano wrote a bold letter calling on Pope Francis to resign, accusing the pontiff of covering up a homosexual network and other acts of sexual deviance among Church hierarchy and clergy. One outcome of Vigano’s letter was Pope Francis’s demand that the former archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick resign. New York Times reported that “Church officials knew for decades that the cardinal had been accused of sexual harassment.”
    My impression of Vigano’s letter was that he acted courageously. It is incomprehensible to me how or why Steve Bannon should have any role to play in the doings of the Catholic hierarchy.
    I remember admiring Eugenio Pacelli, and John XXIII. I don’t recognize Francis as sharing the same aura as leader of the Catholic people. I think he is owned by neocons.

  60. artemesia says:

    Yes! Yes! By all means! Sell it all.
    Sheldon Adelson can snap up “all that lovely stuff” to decorate his casinos.
    Do you think the Pieta would show best in the atrium, or next to the roulette wheel?

  61. Vig says:

    Bannon is, a Trumpist after all, …
    what’s the exact difference between Trump and the diverse Trumpists?
    from Tea Party to Trump to getting the further “West” in line?
    I can understand your dislike of the man, but it is a bit over the top.

  62. VV says:

    too polite to openly state their atheism in Madrid
    may females be more prone to challenge Monotheism, in whatever silly ways as in Russia considering the place chosen for the event?
    Why Madrid? You have access to the Elora Danan’s IP?

  63. vig says:

    assuming you aren’t ironical here, you sound like a solidly American conservative revolutionary. With God on your side?
    The Revolution strengthened millennialist strains in American theology. At the beginning of the war some ministers were persuaded that, with God’s help, America might become “the principal Seat of the glorious Kingdom which Christ shall erect upon Earth in the latter Days.” Victory over the British was taken as a sign of God’s partiality for America and stimulated an outpouring of millennialist expectations–the conviction that Christ would rule on earth for 1,000 years. This attitude combined with a groundswell of secular optimism about the future of America to create the buoyant mood of the new nation that became so evident after Jefferson assumed the presidency in 1801.

  64. GeorgeG says:

    Thank you, TTG, for the direct quote. If you believe nice stories, I suppose this would be one of them. But perhaps I am closer to Rome, and the situation or the configuration, as I outlined it, gives rise among many to a profound perplexity. “What is the effect of this show?” is one frame of the perplexity which, of course, betrays that the perplexed are not readily willing to believe in and accept symbols donned by the symbol-creator himself. So in Rome people will question Francis’ motive in passing on the symbol-creator-role to Benedict: ‘No, it was not *my* idea, the Francis-Idea was not mine, I had no idea going into the vote, I am not manipulating the symbols, it was Benedict’s idea’. Really? Had Francis said it was his own idea, it would confirm widely felt suspicions. But suppose it really was Benedict’s idea: is that to be understood as a verification that the symbol is authentic, or does it conform to the other idea, namely that this is a “right-left” gang warfare ruse? I am waiting for an alternative explanation for Benedict’s continuing power, an explanation that does not censor the facts.
    These are questions posed in Rome, but you need not believe me. Judging from some comments to this post, it seems many are willing to take the one or other side because of this or that “issue”. That would be easier if there were only one pope. The twin-papacy ought to guide one to perplexity.
    I didn’t get into the “issues”: that would be a much longer discussion. But, in the spirit of perplexity, let’s let Francis speak (as you quote him): “…these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?” An enticing question, so what is the developed articulation of that question over the reign of Francis? I suggested that I see such an articulation and that it is not Christian. An articulation would have to address the relationship of humankind to science and creation. I suggested that this is one expression of the great divide between West and East.

  65. Fred says:

    The right to sell slaves has returned to North Africa courtesy of the overthrow of Qadaffi. That right was not disputed in western Africa until those dastardly colonialists from Great Britain put an end to it.

  66. vig says:

    it is incomprehensible to me how or why Steve Bannon should have any role to play in the doings of the Catholic hierarchy.
    He has? Has he?
    Since when? And who are his partners in spirit? Juan Zarate?

  67. turcopolier says:

    They are politicians and so is he. Birds of a eather.


    As well as right to go relieve myself in the toilet? Or on any street corner – like in Paris and Madrid and Rome and Tehran?

  69. Seamus Padraig says:

    But the question is why did Benedict resign? That isn’t normal. It’d been many, many centuries since the last time a pope resigned, so I naturally suspect that something was going on behind the scenes. Was he forced out? Maybe so.

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