Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Pope francis’

The Pope-Sistani Riddle – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2021

Francis and Sistani delivered anti-war, anti-genocide and anti-sectarian messages beyond the comprehension of most Western media

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

By any historical measure, it was a game-changer: the first meeting since the 7th century between a Roman Catholic Pope and a Shiite spiritual leader regarded as a “source of emulation.”

It will take a long time to assess the full implications of the immensely intriguing 50-minute face-to-face conversation, with interpreters only, between Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sistani at his humble home in a Najaf alley near the dazzling Imam Ali shrine.

An avowedly imperfect parallel is that for the Shiite community of the faithful, Najaf is as pregnant with meaning as Jerusalem is for Christianity.

The official Vatican spin is that Pope Francis went on a carefully choreographed “pilgrimage” to Iraq under the sign of “brotherhood” – not only in terms of geopolitics but as a shield against religious sectarianism, be it Sunnis against Shiites or Muslims against Christians.

Francis went back to the main theme in an extremely frank exchange (in Italian) with the media on his plane back to Rome. Yet what’s most extraordinary is his candid assessment of Ayatollah Sistani.

The Pope stressed, “Ayatollah Sistani has a saying, I hope to recall it properly: ‘Men are either brothers by religion or equal by creation.’” Francis sees the bridging of this duality also as a cultural journey.

He qualified the meeting with Sistani as delivering a “universal message,” and praised the Grand Ayatollah as “a sage” and “a man of God”: “Listening to him, one cannot but notice it. He’s a person who carries wisdom and also prudence. He told me that for over ten years he has not received ‘people who come to visit me but have other political aims.’”

The Pope added: “He was very respectful, and I felt honored, even in the final salutations. He never stands up, but he did, to salute me, twice. A humble, and wise, man. It felt good to my soul, this meeting.”

A glimpse of the warmth was revealed in this image, absent from Western mainstream media – which, to a large extent, tried to gaslight, sabotage, ignore, black out or sectarianize the meeting, usually under barely disguised layers of “Shiite threat” propaganda.

They did that because, at the core, Francis and Sistani were delivering an anti-war, anti-genocide, anti-sectarian, and anti-occupation message, which cannot but incur the wrath of the usual suspects.

There were a few frantic attempts to portray the meeting as the Pope privileging quietist Najaf over militant Qom in the Shiite universe – or, in raw terms, Sistani over Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei. That’s nonsense. For context, see the contrast between Najaf and Qom in my Persian Miniatures e-book published by Asia Times.

The Pope has recently written to Ayatollah Shirazi in Iran. Tehran keeps an ambassador in the Vatican and has collaborated for years on scientific research protocols. This pilgrimage, though, was all about Iraq. Unlike those of the West, the media of the Axis of Resistance (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon) gave it wall-to-wall coverage.

That crucial fatwa

I have been privileged to track Ayatollah Sistani’s movements since the early 2000s, and have visited his office in Najaf several times.

In 2003, when the scarecrow du jour, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, literally blew up revered Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim in front of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Sistani pleaded for no retaliation: The American occupation machine was too powerful and Sistani saw the divide-and-rule dangers of a sectarian Sunni-Shiite war.

Yet in 2004 he single-handedly stared down the mighty occupation apparatus and the dreadful Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) when they were contemplating a bloodbath to get rid of the incandescent cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, then holed up in Najaf.

In 2014, Sistani issued a fatwa conferring legitimacy upon the weaponizing of Iraqi civilians to fight ISIS/Daesh – especially as the takfiris were aiming to attack the quadruple, sacred Shi’ite sanctuaries in Iraq: Najaf, Karbala, Kazimiya and Samarra.

So it was Sistani who legitimized the birth of armed defensive groups which coalesced in the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), or Hashd a-Shaabi, later incorporated into the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

The PMUs were – and remain – an umbrella group, with some closer to Tehran than others and working under the strategic supervision of Major General Qassem Soleimani until his assassination via an American drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Never promised you a rose garden

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Pope Francis Gets “the Common Good” Wrong | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2020

In what became known as the Great Barrington Declaration, reputable infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists explained that the death toll caused by the lockdowns will far surpass anything precipitated by covid.

Alice Salles

In a New York Times op-ed full of musings on how to “build a better, different, human future,” Pope Francis praised world governments for putting “the well-being of their people first” while ridiculing critics of the covid-19 lockdowns.

Juxtaposed with Francis’s condemnation of skeptics in the prestigious newspaper, Tom Woods’s antilockdown “Covid Cult” speech was deleted by YouTube two days prior. That video, which had already gone viral, addressed the “common good” argument that the pope would make.

Considering how wrong both the legacy and new media have been on covid and the lockdowns from the start, it’s no wonder that platforms such as YouTube have a personal beef with Woods or his sober message calling out the pseudoscience that’s been used to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. 

With the support of the Times and other establishment outlets, Francis urged readers to consider the “common good” as a demand for sacrifice. Covid, a flu-like respiratory illness that impacts only a tiny fraction of the population and usually not fatally, is the perfect excuse for mass sacrifice.

Francis wrote that governments are “acting decisively to protect health and to save lives” by “imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.” But if you were to base your understanding of what lockdowns have accomplished on what Francis had to say alone, you would think we were living, or dying, in 1347 under the Black Death.

“Governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths” caused a great deal of pain, the supreme pontiff wrote.

While the jury is still out on what should even be considered a covid death, there is, indeed, enough evidence to suggest that the “strict measures to contain the outbreak” that he praised simply have not worked.

The Wrong Approach

During his speech, Woods argued that the response to covid was and remains completely disproportionate, especially as we become more aware of how the virus operates. He also chronicled how the nearly universal lockdowns caused more pain and suffering than the disease itself.

“There are other concerns in the world other than covid,” Woods said, a fact completely ignored by Francis in his op-ed.

Woods further argued that countries like Spain and Italy, which “locked down [early] and hard” saw no benefit from doing so. Countries like Sweden, which never locked down, saw a fraction of the deaths that the “listen to the science” crowd estimated while seeing no lockdown-related suffering and excess deaths.

As a matter of fact, even medical researchers think that lockdowns were a mistake.

In what became known as the Great Barrington Declaration, reputable infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists explained that the death toll caused by the lockdowns will far surpass anything precipitated by covid. 

Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.

Allowing iron-fisted shutdowns to remain in place, the group of scientists added, “will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”

Despite their warnings, which first appeared online on October 4, 2020, Francis did not hesitate to mock critics of lockdowns for their alleged overreliance on “personal freedom” to justify their opinion. They are going against the common good, the pontiff wrote, and they are serving “idols.”

After governments imposed “responsible” lockdowns, Francis argued, “some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions—as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!”

They are wrong, he jabbed.

Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.

Then why isn’t he?

The Seen and the Unseen

In his now famous “That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen” essay, French liberal school economist Claude-Frederic Bastiat wrote that when it comes to the economy, an act or law brought about by the government “gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects.”

Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause—it is seen. The others unfold in succession—they are not seen.

What many lockdown critics have consistently argued is that it is the effect that isn’t immediately seen that would be more costly to society than covid itself. It is exactly that concern that has driven the medical professionals associated with the Barrington Declaration to speak up, as well as countless working-class Americans and Europeans who found no other way to vent their frustration but to take it to the streets, as highlighted by Woods:

In Italy and the United Kingdom, at least some people are fighting back. The last lockdown took everything they had.

One video, which has gone viral, shows an Italian woman crying that she has lost everything, and has nothing to feed her child. I guess she better listen to the science right?

Yet to Francis, the common good dictates we lock down the globe, jeopardizing the future of the young, the livelihood of the working class, and condemning countless kids to a life of mental distress

If the concern for “the least fortunate” is what drives Francis, pursuing a strawman on the New York Times isn’t how he wins.

If he is honest in calling for more solidarity in the age of covid, he should begin by being charitable with those praying for an end to the lockdowns. As countless people suffer both physical and emotional pain over the draconian restrictions on basic freedoms, the number of lives lost due to what Woods calls the “covid cult” will only rise. Author:

Alice Salles

Alice Salles was born and raised in Brazil but has lived in America for over ten years. She now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband Nick Hankoff and their three children.  

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Left Is Coming For Christian Schools | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on October 23, 2020

Be terrified of this monstrous Catholic jurist, say liberal Catholics (C-SPAN)

Rod Dreher

Oh my God, Amy Coney Barrett is a believing Catholic! The Associated Press brings the shocking news:

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.

The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.

The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members. At least three of the couple’s seven children have attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.

The AP spoke with more than two dozen people who attended or worked at Trinity Schools, or former members of People of Praise. They said the community’s teachings have been consistent for decades: Homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Interviewees told the AP that Trinity’s leadership communicated anti-LGBTQ policies and positions in meetings, one-on-one conversations, enrollment agreements, employment agreements, handbooks and written policies — including those in place when Barrett was an active member of the board.

Read it all. 

Let me explain something to the Associated Press: there is this thing called the Roman Catholic Church, and it teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman. It also teaches that sex outside of a lawful marriage is sinful. It teaches that homosexual acts are sinful. It has done this for almost 2,000 years.

This is not what liberals believe today — and not just liberals. Many people who identify as conservative have shed the historic Christian teaching about homosexuality. Today comes news that Pope Francis has endorsed civil unions for LGBT people. Even so, he has not declared that Catholic teaching about homosexuality and marriage has changed. Still, yes, we have to acknowledged that society at large has changed decisively on this issue. Ours is a post-Christian society, in that most people in it do not understand the Bible as the story by which they live their lives.

But some of us still do. Amy Coney Barrett is one of them. If she is anything like me, she bears no ill will towards gays and lesbians, and counts some as friends. She doesn’t think gays are icky, or anything like that. Her personal and professional life would be easier if she simply accepted what the world now believes. But she tries to be intellectually honest, and she knows that one cannot simply throw aside an authoritative Biblical teaching because it doesn’t suit contemporary cultural beliefs. A believer — certainly a faithful Catholic or Orthodox — is bound to submit to these teachings whether or not she understands them or wishes they weren’t there. Truth is objective, though it must be subjectively appropriated and lived out. A number of Catholics are really members of the Church of What’s Happening Now, and they’ve enjoyed lucrative careers because of it; Amy Coney Barrett is not one of them. If she is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, it will be despite the fact that people like these AP reporters tried to tear her down for her fidelity to her Church’s teaching.

Look at the way this AP story reads:

Nearly all the people interviewed for this story are gay or said they have gay family members. They used words such as “terrified,” “petrified” and “frightening” to describe the prospect of Barrett on the high court. Some of them know Barrett, have mutual friends with her or even have been in her home dozens of times. They describe her as “nice” or “a kind person,” but told the AP they feared others would suffer if Barrett tries to implement People of Praise’s views on homosexuality on the Supreme Court.

Terrified! Petrified! Frightening! Even though Judge Barrett is a nice and kind person, she’s really a smiley-faced monster, you see.


Turpin-King said she has briefly met Barrett, and they share mutual friends. Some of her husband’s family members are still members of the People of Praise community, and she loves and respects them. Many of Trinity’s teachers were wonderful to her. But the thought of Barrett sitting on the Supreme Court scares her.

“I am deeply concerned about my queer friends. I’m concerned about my own children,” Turpin-King said. “From what I experienced in People of Praise, as a student of one of their schools, everyone needs to be petrified, frankly.”

Everyone! There is not the slightest attempt in this long story to explain why the Catholic Church believes what it does, just to give the other side, and to give readers context for why People of Praise has the policies it does. The reporters know what they’re doing here. They called a well-known left-wing Catholic historian at Villanova, who helped paint a picture of People of Praise as cranky weirdos outside the Church’s mainstream.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out what ACB believes as a Catholic, even controversial stuff. But this AP story is propaganda. It’s not going to keep her from being confirmed and sworn in, but it is important for the rest of us to understand it as a glimpse into the mindset of liberal elites, as the Catholic journalist Tim Carney tweeted this morning:

Of course they will. Do not ever believe them when they say they won’t. There are good Democrats who say it won’t happen, and they really believe it — I’m thinking of my friend Michael Wear — but the logic of what the Democrats believe, and the force of its activist wing, is going to go that way. The Left sees no goal as more important than non-discrimination, at least not against its preferred victim groups (racial minorities, LGBTs, and others). If they have to smash religious liberty to achieve it, they will, as soon as they are able. Even though they have won the culture war in every significant aspect, they will not be satisfied until they have rubbed the noses of the vanquished in the dirt.

Last year, in my travels (remember when we could do that?), I found myself in conversation with an experienced religious liberty litigator, a fellow Christian. We were talking about how frustrating President Trump was on this or that. I said to the lawyer, “I feel, though, that as this country moves further away from Christianity, the federal judiciary is going to be the last line of defense Christian schools and churches have — and that’s why it’s important to make sure we get good judges who respect religious liberty on the courts, while we can.” The lawyer strongly affirmed this.

I have pretty much decided to vote third party for president (American Solidarity Party). Trump has my state locked up anyway, so I’m thinking that I would like to cast a vote in favor of a party whose platform I really believe in, as opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils, and choosing between the evil of two lessers. Reading this AP story this morning, though, has reminded me again of the contempt the left has for people like me, and our institutions, which they will demonize as a precursor to destroying them. The story has re-centered me on the critical importance of the federal judiciary as likely the last thing standing between Christian schools and institutions, and the progressive mob. I’m going to be thinking about this all the way through to election day, and I hope you Christian readers — especially those in swing states — will too. Though my vote really doesn’t matter in my state, this issue might move it to Trump anyway, given the quality of his judicial appointments. If I were in a swing state, this AP story, and what it symbolizes, would seal the deal for me.

This is who the Democrats are. If the party’s leaders and activists didn’t despise traditional religion so much, I would be open to voting for them (as I’ve voted twice for Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana). But we can’t afford to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. If the Democrats take power and hold it, it will only be a matter of time before they come after traditional Christian (and Orthodox Jewish, and Islamic) schools on anti-discrimination grounds. When they say today that they would never do such a thing, don’t believe them. They’re relying on the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it. 

UPDATE: If they destroy Christian schools, where will parents be able to educate their children away from this kind of propaganda, which is presented to fifth graders in California public schools:

UPDATE.2: I know y’all are all waiting for me to say something about Pope Francis and civil unions. Patience, my preciouses; I have been very busy all day doing book stuff, and I am about to head down to the bayou to give a speech. I haven’t even had time to approve comments yet. I’ll get to it, promise — though I won’t be home till later tonight.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pope Francis’s Latest Attack on Property: It’s a “Secondary Right” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2020

Those paying attention may been uncomfortable with Pope Francis’ declaration against private property. It sounds familiar. The following may explain those feelings on property, his other utterances and Jesuit culture today.

Ignoring the encyclicals of his predecessors such as Pope Leo XIII, who once wrote that socialists, “working on the poor man’s envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies,” Francis openly advocates against putting too much stock in one’s love for his or her own culture and nation, claiming that instead we should be looking at “a universal horizon,” a “global society” of sorts. In light of this, it is hard to see his claims regarding property rights as anything but an attack against the idea that communities can and should self-govern and that persons can and should have a right to own the fruits of their own labor.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

When Church Leaders Fail the Faithful – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2020

What makes the Orthodox and Catholic leaders position on COVID untenable to me is that as recently posted, Pastor Chuck Baldwin, who is not Orthodox or Catholic, knows the truth and discussed it:

“From this point forward, anyone who submits to this phony, fraudulent corona narrative is a willing participant in tyranny. Those who continue to go along with this masquerade need to stop waving the flag and stop singing God Bless America, because they are volitionally submitting to their own subjugation. THEY ARE WILLING SLAVES.”

And I would ask are Pope Francis and Metropolitan Hilarion thus willing slaves?


I have written on Christian topics for previously, but I want to address a disturbing trend that is affecting Christians of many denominations, and this is that both the leadership and individual pastors and priests have at best surrendered and at worse profaned their faith in supplication to the edicts of the state and the ruling Western Oligarchy, as they appear if not indifferent to the truth they are at least hostile to learning it (regarding the COVID-1984 pandemic), or have engaged in what I believe is both obvious anti-Christian and heretical conduct in supporting agendas that include Black Lives Matter.

As readers of this site are well aware, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an admittedly Marxist organization, and supporting articles include the following from posted to, “Why Marxist Organizations Like BLM Seek to Dismantle the ‘Western Nuclear Family,’” “To Understand BLM” by Michael S. Rozeff, and “The Demand to Have Statues & Paintings of ‘White Jesus’ Torn Down Has Made BLM an Iconoclast Movement, Not Just a Marxist One” by Guy Birchall.

Now I am very much aware of the teachings of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for He said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Yet in the recent reprinting of the English language translation of a Byzantine Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Matthew by Bl. Theophylact, which was written in approximately in 1090 AD and until relatively recently this work was unknown in the English language (the translator used the King James text, with minor clarifications that are documented, for the extensive New Testament quotations in all the commentaries); these four books use the teachings of the Church Fathers accepted by both Catholic and Orthodox denominations, as I’ve discussed in the past here, Church Fathers who include Saint John Chrysostom. Regarding the commandment, “Judge not,” Bl. Theophylact writes simply:

“[Jesus Christ] forbids condemning others, but not reproving others. A reproof is for another’s benefit, but condemnation expresses only derision and scorn. You may also understand that the Lord is speaking of one who, despite his own great sins, condemns others who have lesser sins of which God will be the Judge.”

In that spirit, highly aware and attempting to correct my own sins and sinful nature, and as translator of the commentaries Fr. Christopher Stade wrote in his 1992 introduction to the text on Matthew, “I beg God’s forgiveness for sin, ignorance, and negligence on my part, and I beg you, the reader, your prayers and forbearance.”  Thus, I hope as I reprove the questionable conduct I will highlight in the spirit of helping Christians, and those who condemn Christians for hypocrisy who are not Christians, to understand that these “authorities” do not speak for all of us who believe.

Pope Francis, who is much discussed in, was revealed in a Huffington Post piece that he opined,“Let us look in the mirror before judging before a Mass.” I rather suspect that Pope Francis is using this most quoted portion of the New Testament, “Judge not,” in the same manner unbelievers use it as a weapon against Christian believers, who most certainly are cognizant of its true meaning, as I have cited above.

Thus, when Lew Rockwell recently posted on Political Theater “Bergoglio uses COVID-19 to call for an end to individualism” and also “Bergoglio repetitiously backs ‘universal’ COVID vaccination ‘for all’, WHO thrilled,” Pope Francis, I believe, is in fact attempting to forestall non only reproof against him, but also any questioning of his agenda and the powers behind it, which I have already discussed in a prior piece I wrote for I would also explain how “heretic” is understood by the Church Fathers. As Father Patrick Barnes writes in his Book The Non-Orthodox: The Orthodox Teaching on Christians Outside of the Church:

“We live in a culture of extreme atheistic relativism, where the only dogma tolerated is that we should be intolerant of those who actually believe that there are dogmas reflecting absolute truth. Combine this with popular attitudes reflecting sensitivity to ‘multi-cultural diversity’ and ‘politically correct language,’ and the terms ‘heretic’ and ‘heresy’ end up seeming harsh and ‘unloving.’ Yet these traditional terms, found often in the writings of the Fathers, should not be viewed by informed and soberminded people in such an emotionally negative way.”

And then quoting from “What Is Heresy?,” St. Nectarios Education Series No. 63, he cites the following statement:

“[T]hese words [that is, heretic and heresy] have been in the theological glossary of the Orthodox Church from the beginning.

“A ‘heretic’ is simply one who maintains a ‘heretical doctrine.’ The sincerity and

good will of the ‘heretic’ is not in question. Nevertheless, ‘heresy’ is evil, because it is

a powerful means by which the devil seeks to ‘prevail’ against the Church…”

On the other hand, as recently posted on Political Theater linking to this site, “Heroic Priest Fr. Daniel Nolan, FSSP: ‘I encourage everybody not to wear a mask,’” the author writes, “Note: I was told by a parishioner of Fr. Nolan’s parish whom I trust there that ‘Catholic News Agency’ is the one who created this alleged ‘controversy’ by calling to report the priest to the Diocese and to his superiors…I have posted his homilies here before. This one is a must-hear: Latin Mass Priest on COVID: ‘Our republic has become a phobiocracy—ruled by fear. No virus is worse than an out-of-control government!’”

Fr. Nolan shows that he is challenging the heretical Christian authority of his superiors and might suffer adverse consequences for doing so; we Christians of every denomination should pray for him in gratitude for his courage and for his strength to defy authority and speak truth, which I believe is sacred to God.

Lest anyone think I pick on an easy target like Pope Francis, I also find heretical the Russian Orthodox support by the EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia of the polices of the state that does not use Romans 13 as its authority but Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, states in, “NEW YORK CITY: APPEAL OF THE FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA TO THE GOD-LOVING FLOCK, IN CONNECTION WITH THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:”

“Unfortunately, we also hear of sorrowful instances of insubordination not only to local authorities, but also to the ruling bishops. Such behavior on the part of the clergy and lay parish officers is completely irresponsible and involves risk not only to the physical health of our neighbors, but also to our relationships with these communities and to parish property. Tempting God and man, their actions can result in insurmountable fines and other measures from law enforcement. In so doing, they irreparably damage their relationships with those around them, sowing in them doubts toward Christ’s Church, whose members must serve as an example. As a result of their disobedience and so-called ‘zeal not according to knowledge’ (Romans 10:2), there can even develop divisions and conflicts within the parish communities themselves.

“‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,’ writes the Apostle Peter, ‘That He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you’ (I Peter 5:6-7).”

So is Metropolitan Hilarion, when he states those who dissent from the totalitarian measures out of “Zeal, not according to knowledge,” when as readers of this site know from writings from Bill Sardi, Jon Rappoport and numerous others that they are not acting out “zeal” but are acting based on the truth. The latest announcement regarding COVID posted on the site was in May and stated in part that, “In a letter to campers, counselors, and families (the full text of which is available here), the Administrative and Advisory Committee members of St. Seraphim Camp announced that camp this year will be suspended, in light of ongoing concerns relating to the Coronavirus pandemic.” Again, there is nothing that supports this position using the facts obtained and discussed by others who have experience and have researched COVID.

But there is good news in one Russian Orthodox community that I know of: Saint Sabbas Monastery, which I wrote about in “Living a Dystopian Nightmare: The Response of the Churches,” is not only open but their wonderful restaurant, The Royal Eagle, in Harper Woods, Michigan, “all proceeds sustain the daily life and development of St Sabbas community,” is also open.

I will also provide this relatively short video by Spiro Skouras, whom I learned about from Lew Rockwell’s posting of his writing and videos, an investigative reporter and who has not posted another new video, even on BitChute  (the source, from his channel there) since its publication on August 24, and he expressed concerns about YouTube deleting his channel as well: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pope Francis: Liberation Theologian

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2020

Others were traditional welfare state redistributionists. Bergoglio was among this group.

Since then, the percentage of world’s poor has been reduced to under 10%. The Bookings Institution, a Keynesian, middle-of-the-road think tank, recently announced this.

This is what the present world economy is delivering. But the Pope doesn’t see it this way. He thinks the world needs a new taxation system and a new ethic.

This week, the Pope called for international economic redistribution. I have reprinted his speech here.

Gary North

Pope Francis is a liberation theologian.

Liberation theology was popular with a hard core of far-Left Catholic priests in Latin America from the mid-1960’s until December 25, 1991. A few of them were outright Marxists. They believed in armed revolution against the state. The Pope, then Father Bergoglio, , criticized this interpretation of Christianity.

Others were traditional welfare state redistributionists. Bergoglio was among this group. With the disintegration of the Soviet economy in the late 1980’s, followed by Gorbachev’s announcement of the suicide of the USSR on December 25, 1991, liberation theology ceased to be the latest and the greatest. It became passé overnight. It began to fade.

Bergoglio was the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina in the mid-1970’s. A decade earlier, the Jesuits had been a formidable force for theological conservatism within the Catholic Church. Then, within ten years, the Jesuits moved to the left theologically and politically. They abandoned four centuries of tradition in a decade. The story of this astounding transformation is recorded in Malachi Martin’s book, The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church (1987). Martin was appalled by the change. In contrast, Garry Wills applauded it in his book, Bare Ruined Choirs: Doubt, Prophecy, and Radical Religion (1972), which I reviewed in The Wall Street Journal.

From the foundation of the Jesuits in the mid-16th century until about 1965, the Jesuit order had been militant in its defense of the papacy. Pope Paul VI (1963-78) radicalized the Jesuits. He was the most theologically liberal Pope in history. He was also the most radical in terms of his social views. Pope Francis is extending his legacy after a four-decade gap. His predecessor, Benedict XVI, was the most conservative Pope since Pius XII, who died in 1958. That was a gap of almost five decades. He was a staunch opponent of liberation theology. The magnitude of this change is conveyed in the new Netflix movie, The Two Popes. The dialogue is fictional, but the theological confrontation was real. To get some idea of the change, imagine Calvin Coolidge deciding that the best person to follow him as President would be Franklin Roosevelt.


This week, the Pope called for international economic redistribution. I have reprinted his speech here.

Last June, the Vatican posted his statement on the need to care for the poor. In that statement, he did not mention the need for state action. I have posted it here. In terms of traditional Catholic views on voluntary charity, there was nothing new in the presentation from a theological standpoint. But his language and his rhetoric was clearly that of liberation theology.

We can build any number of walls and close our doors in the vain effort to feel secure in our wealth, at the expense of those left outside. It will not be that way for ever. The “day of the Lord”, as described by the prophets (cf. Am 5:18; Is 2-5; Jl 1-3), will destroy the barriers created between nations and replace the arrogance of the few with the solidarity of many. The marginalization painfully experienced by millions of persons cannot go on for long. Their cry is growing louder and embraces the entire earth. In the words of Father Primo Mazzolari: “the poor are a constant protest against our injustices; the poor are a powder keg. If it is set on fire, the world will explode”.

This statement was issued to promote the Church’s World Day of the Poor: November 17. Why his statement was published five months early, I do not know.

His latest declaration reveals his commitment to a non-Marxist, meaning non-revolutionary, form of liberation theology. It is also consistent with what is sometimes called the new social gospel, best represented in the United States by political activist Jim Wallis. I devote a department to his theology and his tax-exempt political mobilization. It is here. The Pope has a lot more followers than Jim Wallis does. But his rhetoric is the same.

Structures of sin today include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development; tax havens for private and corporate profits; and, of course, the possibility of corruption by some of the world’s largest corporations, not infrequently in line with some ruling political sector.Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to finance health care and education, accumulate in tax haven accounts, thus preventing the possibility of dignified and sustained development for all social actors.

Impoverished people in heavily indebted countries are suffering from overwhelming tax burdens and cuts in social services as their governments pay off insensitive and unsustainable debts. In fact, public debt incurred, in not a few cases to promote and encourage a country’s economic and productive development, can become a factor that damages and harms the social fabric. When it ends up being directed towards another purpose.


One of the most astounding facts of the last two decades is the dramatic reduction in life-threatening poverty around the world. Nothing like this has ever taken place in man’s history. It is becoming a well-known phenomenon because of the remarkable 2007 TED talk video by Swedish statistician Hans Rosling.

Since then, the percentage of world’s poor has been reduced to under 10%. The Bookings Institution, a Keynesian, middle-of-the-road think tank, recently announced this.

Looking at poverty trends worldwide, World Data Lab now estimates that on New Year’s Day 2019, just under 600 million people across the world (excluding Syria) will live in extreme poverty. By 2030, this figure is expected to fall to some 436 million.The good news is that 2019 will start with the lowest prevalence of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history—less than 8 percent. In all likelihood, this level will set the “ceiling” for a new era of even lower single-digit global poverty rates for the foreseeable future.

This is what the present world economy is delivering. But the Pope doesn’t see it this way. He thinks the world needs a new taxation system and a new ethic.

You, who have so kindly gathered here, are the world’s financial leaders and economic specialists. Together with your colleagues, you help set global tax rules, inform the global public about our economic condition, and advise the world’s governments on budgets. They know first-hand what the injustices of our current global economy are, or the injustices of individual countries.Let us work together to end these injustices. When the multilateral credit agencies advise the different nations, it is important to take into account the high concepts of fiscal justice, responsible public budgets in their indebtedness and, above all, the effective and leading promotion of the poorest in the social network. Remind them of their responsibility to provide development assistance to impoverished nations and debt relief for heavily indebted nations. Remind them of the imperative to stop man-made climate change, as all nations have promised, so that we do not destroy the foundations of our Common House.

The Pope’s mindset was formed by 1975. His worldview has not changed. His rhetoric has not changed. Meanwhile, the world is getting steadily richer. The poor are steadily getting richer.

While I don’t have a biblical passage to support the following, I recommend to Pope Francis a familiar slogan in American life: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


For over half a century, I have been arguing that the system of property rights mandated by the commandment against theft (Exodus 20:15) and also by the Mosaic laws defending private property inevitably produce a free market society when they are widely respected by the public and defended by civil government. In turn, free market society inevitably increases per capita wealth. I have defended this position in 31 volumes of economic commentaries on the Bible. I have defended it in four volumes of detailed economic analysis.

The Pope does not believe that biblical law and biblical ethics promote a private property social order which in turn produces capitalism. The theologians in Salamanca, Spain, argued that this was the case back in the 1500’s. But the Pope either is unaware of this or does not believe what the school of Salamanca taught.

I hope that a future Pope spends his years as a priest, a bishop, and a cardinal reading and re-reading the economics books written by members of the school of Salamanca. Even better, maybe he will read my books. I can always hope. After all, I’m postmillennial.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Upside Down Kingdom: Kanye West Is Preaching The Gospel, But Pope Francis Is Telling People Not To Evangelize – End Of The American Dream

Posted by M. C. on December 27, 2019

Pope Francis has certainly said a lot of controversial things over the years, but what he just told a group of Christian high school students is the most controversial of all.  I know that may be hard to believe, because some of the statements that Pope Francis has made in recent years have definitely been extremely bizarre.  For example, he has said that “Muslim terrorism does not exist”, he told a gay man that “God made you that way”, and he has referred to Christian fundamentalists as “a scourge”.  But what he has just said tops all of those previous statements.  According to Breitbart, Pope Francis told a group of high school students that he was visiting with that they should never try to convert others to Christianity…

Pope Francis told Christian high school students this weekend they should respect people of other faiths and not attempt to convert them to Christianity, insisting “we are not living in the times of the crusades.”

Asked by one of the students Friday how a Christian should treat people of other faiths or no faith, the pope said that “we are all the same, all children of God” and that true disciples of Jesus do not proselytize.

In fact, the Pope went on to say that if someone comes to you and is trying to share the gospel, that individual “is not a disciple of Jesus”

“But listen, the gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism,” he continued. “If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.”


And in case there were some students that were confused about what he had just said, Pope Francis made the exact same point one more time

Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism.

So there you have it.

According to Pope Francis, Christians are never supposed to try to convert anyone.

But this would seem to directly contradict the words of Jesus.  The following are just a few examples…

Matthew 28:18-20 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

‘British coup’: Author claims UK gov’t may have helped in Pope Francis’ 2013 election | Blogs | LifeSite

Posted by M. C. on August 10, 2019

One thing the Russians could not be blamed for-yet!

Maike Hickson

August 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Catherine Pepinster, the former editor-in-chief of the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, published two years ago a book in which she claims that the British Foreign Office may have played an important role in the 2013 papal election that resulted in Pope Francis’ election. Based on many interviews with key figures such as Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, she claims that the UK “played a crucial role in the election of the Argentinian destined to shake up the Catholic Church.”

In her 2017 book The Keys and the Kingdom. The British and the Papacy from John Paul II to Francis, Pepinster deals with the growing relations between Rome and England over the course of several decades, especially also in light of the history of the Reformation and the particular situation of Catholics in England.

Pepinster sees that, with the election of Pope Francis, a new sort of relationship is developing. She states that “Britons have more influence in Rome today than they ever have done before in the last 100 years.”

The reason as to why the British government would take interest in the election of a new pope is also explained by the author. She quotes here Nigel Baker, the Ambassador to the Holy See, who said in 2014: “We have an embassy to the Holy See because of the extent of the Holy See soft power network, the influence of the pope, and the global reach and perspective of papal diplomacy focused on preserving and achieving peace, on the protection of the planet, and on bringing people out of poverty.”

Pepinster recounts in her book how the British government, through the person of the British ambassador to the Holy See, was instrumental in setting up a meeting where key cardinals networked with lesser-known cardinals to promote Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio for pope.

Calling Bergoglio’s election a “very British coup,” Pepinster’s work suggests that a secular power was involved in the election of a pope.

Pepinster writes that already under Pope Benedict XVI, there was a time of “consolidation for the relationship between the British and the papacy.”

“That growing connection between the papacy and the United Kingdom,” she adds, “was in many ways a recognition of the usefulness of the two entities’ own global networks. It is worth examining next how, in March 2013, one occasion did bring these networks together to such dramatic and significant effect that it would change the Catholic Church’s course of history.”

Let us now examine how the British were to a certain extent involved in the election of Pope Francis, a man “who would shake up not only the Catholic Church but its relations with the world, and who would try to reshape the institution of the papacy itself.”

First looking back at the 2005 election of Pope Benedict, Pepinster quotes a Tablet article from that time which pointed out that the cardinals who had come from less important and wealthy countries had been left out of the private meetings of cardinals that are traditionally used as means of building an opinion as to who the next Pope should be. The Tablet then wrote that “some [cardinals], especially from the developing world, were living at the outskirts of the city and had no entourage, let alone press secretaries”; they therefore “would have been unaware of the intimate gatherings of cardinals over whiskies or quiet lunches to discuss strategies for the forthcoming election.”

Without naming names, Pepinster goes on to describe how, in 2013, “there was concern that the developing world cardinals could be left on the sidelines again,” since they do not have at their disposal their own countries’ embassies in Rome which they could use for receptions or for dinners.

Further describing the situation in 2013 after Pope Benedict’s resignation, the author says that “factions had already opened up” among the cardinals, with the curial cardinals being split into two camps – one in favor of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the other in support of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

“Meanwhile,” she continues, “four leading European cardinal reformers – Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Walter Kasper, Godfried Danneels and Karl Lehmann, all of whom were thought to have backed Jorge Bergoglio in the 2005 conclave – realized that these splits afforded them an opportunity.” They had supporters for their cause among Latin American and some influential Europeans voters, she explains.

Pepinster quoted papal biographer Austen Ivereigh and his statement that there were 11 African and 10 Asian cardinals, and that “for the ones from historically English-speaking nations, the British cardinal, Murphy-O’Connor, was a reference point, and key to bringing them onside.”

“This is where the UK made a substantial contribution to the run-up to the 2013 conclave,” writes Pepinster.

Conversations among people in senior positions in the Church in London and Rome led to the realization that there was a major overlap between the developing world and the British Commonwealth. Where better to host a gathering for the cardinals who had no real base than the UK embassy to the Holy See?

The idea that the British could provide a meeting place for the cardinals from emerging nations and also use such an event as a networking opportunity for people from the Commonwealth was put to the UK ambassador Nigel Baker, who then discussed it with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. It led to a reception on behalf of the British government for cardinals from Commonwealth nations that took place at the ambassador’s residence at the Palazzo Pallavincini.

Pepinster does not state who had this idea in the first place and when this reception specifically took place, but Gerard O’Connell’s book on this conclave states that it took place on March 7, with Cardinal Gracias and Turkson also present.

Noteworthy here is that, by means of this meeting, the UK government helped Murphy-O’Connor to organize those cardinal electors from poorer countries who might have been otherwise left out from any more organized preparation of the 2013 conclave that ended up electing Pope Francis. Two conservative English-speaking cardinals – Cardinal George Pell, as well as Cardinal Marc Ouellet – were significantly left out of that meeting at the British embassy…

Describing the outcome of that March 12-13 conclave, Pepinster points out that Jorge Bergoglio had finally been elected by 115 cardinals, eighty of which came from Europe and North America. She continues: “The other thirty-five were from the rest of the world; left out in the cold during the lobbying in 2005, a sizeable number had been drawn into the process far more effectively in 2013, thanks to the Foreign Office and an English cardinal who understood both Rome and Jorge Bergoglio.”

If Pepinster’s account implies here that a foreign government had a role to play in the election of a pope, this should justly cause concern. This report certainly should lead to further inquiries also as to the involvement of British foreign intelligence assets.

She continues, saying that even though the UK had at the time merely one voting cardinal at the conclave, thus seeming to have been “banished to the sidelines,” it played nevertheless “a crucial role in the election of the Argentinian destined to shake up the Catholic Church with his drive for reform and his peacemaking.” Pepinster insists on this point by additionally quoting Tim Fischer, the former Australian ambassador to the Holy See, who stated: “The British influence on the conclave was against all the odds, yet it happened. That was down to one of the most capable cardinals I’ve ever met – Cormac Murphy-O’Connor – playing the most powerful non-voting role in the choosing of a pope I’ve ever known.”

Moreover, Catherine Pepinster told the British Telegraph in 2017: “Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor was a popular, genial man but beneath his jovial exterior was someone of great canniness who knew exactly how the Vatican worked. And that canniness meant he ensured his friend was elected Pope Francis – a pope who has made a huge impact on the Catholic Church and the world. There have been kingmakers in history; Cormac Murphy-O’Connor turned out to be a popemaker.”

Or, as Pope Francis himself put it a few months after his election and during a papal audience with Murphy-O’Connor present: The pope pointed to his old friend and said, “You’re to blame!”

Be seeing you

Can a Christian build a wall? | Intellectual Takeout

Even The Vatican has a wall.

The Remnant Newspaper - The Latest Papal Eruption on the PlaneThe Remnant Newspaper - The Latest Papal Eruption on the Plane




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pope Francis to Celebrate ‘Mass for Migrants’ in Vatican Basilica

Posted by M. C. on July 5, 2018

How many is the Vatican taking in? Oh, that’s right, the Vatican has WALL.

by Thomas D. Williams, PH.D.

Pope Francis will celebrate a special “Mass for Migrants” this Friday at the main altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his visit to migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, released a statement on the Vatican’s website alerting people to the Mass in support of migrants, which “will be a moment of prayer for the deceased, for survivors and for those who assist them.”

Mr. Burke said that some 200 people are expected to be present at the event, “including refugees and people who take care of them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Pope Francis: Rights of Migrants Trump National Security Concerns

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2017

Pope Francis – Tear Down That Wall! around the Vatican.

Next Up! – The directive to his churches to take in and support refugees.

He demanded a simplified process of granting humanitarian and temporary visas and rejected arbitrary and collective expulsions as “unsuitable.” He said the principle of ensuring each person’s dignity “obliges us to always prioritize personal safety over national security.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »