Category Archives: Pope Francis

‘Pope’ Francis joked about Christ’s crucifixion

On March 13, 2013, Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope. The next month, in April 2013, G. P. Putnam’s Sons published the book Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words.

The book was well received, and currently has an impressive rating on Amazon, of 4.6 out of 5 stars, from 74 customer reviews. 74% of the reviews gave the book a maximum 5-stars rating.

The book is actually an English translation of a Spanish-language book that was published in 2010, titled El Jesuita: Conversaciones con el Cardenal Jorge Bergoglio, SJ (The Jesuit: Conversations with Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, SJ), which was jointly authored by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti.

What readers of the English-language Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words don’t know is that the editor(s) deliberately left out a passage contained in the original Spanish-language El Jesuita.

On pages 26-27 of the English-language Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, Bergoglio’s interviewer said: “But the main emblem of Catholicism is a Crucified Christ dripping blood . . .”, to which Bergoglio replied:

“The exaltation of suffering in the Church depends a great deal on the era and culture. The Church has represented Christ according to the cultural environment of the time. If you look at Eastern icons, Russian, for example, you realize they have very few images of a sorrowful crucifixion. It’s more common to see the resurrection. On the other hands, if we look at the Spanish Baroque period or the icons of Cuzco, Peru, we find images of Christ with His patience torn to shreds, because the Baroque era emphasized Jesus’ passion. White Crucifixion, by Marc Chagall, who was a Jewish believer, is not cruel but hopeful. Pain is depicted there with serenity. To my mind, it’s one of the most beautiful things he painted.”

Below are scans of pp. 26-27 of Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, provided by Call Me Jorge blog. You can verify this by seeing pp. 26-27 on Amazon, here. I painted the red squares around the relevant passage.

↓ Click image to enlarge ↓

Note that in the English-language Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, Bergoglio’s comments on the subject (the main emblem of Catholicism is a Crucified Christ dripping blood) ended with the sentence “To my mind, it’s one of the most beautiful things he painted.”

Not so in the original Spanish-language El Jesuita. There, Bergoglio continued by laughingly telling a story about how a Catholic priest succeeded in getting an unruly Jewish boy to behave. Pointing at the crucifix, the priest tells the boy if he doesn’t behave, “the same thing” will happen to him as the Jew who was crucified.

Here’s the story told by Bergoglio, on page 42 of the Spanish-language El Jesuita:

Trata acerca de un chico judio a quien echaban de todas las escuelas por indisciplinado hasta que otro judio le recomienda al padre un “buen colegio de curas”. Y lo anima diciendole que, seguramente, alli lo van a enderezar. El padre acepta el consejo. Es asi como pasa el primer mes y el chico se comporta muy bien, no tiene ninguna amonestacion. Tampoco tiene problemas de conducta en los siguientes meses. El padre, ganado por la curiosidad, va a ver al rector para saber como habia logrado encarrilarlo. “Fue muy sencillo”, le responde el sacerdote. “El primer dia lo tome de una oreja y le dije senalandole el crucifico: ‘Ese era judio como vos; si te portas mal, te va a pasar lo mismo.'”

Below is Google Translate‘s translation of the above passage into English:

It is about a Jewish boy who was thrown out of all the schools by undisciplined until another Jew recommends the father a “good school of cures”. And he encourages him to say that, surely, there they will straighten him out. Father accepts advice. This is how the first month goes by and the boy behaves very well, he has no admonition. He also has no behavior problems in the following months. The father, won by curiosity, goes to see the rector to know how he had managed to put him in charge. “It was very simple,” the priest replied. “On the first day I took him by the ear and I said pointing to the crucifix: ‘That was a Jew like you; If you behave badly, the same thing will happen to you.'”

Below are scans of pp. 41-42 of El Jesuita (provided by Call Me Jorge blog). I painted a red box around the passage that is in both Call Me Jorge and Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, and a blue box around the passage that is in Call Me Jorge but deliberately left out of Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words.

↓ Click image to enlarge ↓

Anyone who would make our Lord’s suffering and death on the cross a butt of jokes is neither Catholic nor Christian, and most certainly not the Pope of the Catholic Church. Jorge Bergoglio is an anti-pope and a despicable man.

H/t John Molloy

See also:

~Eowyn

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St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate

January 28 was the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose nickname was “the dumb Sicilian ox,” because he was stout in body and slow in manner.

But the mind of St. Thomas was nothing but slow. Not only was he a superb theologian, but — without exaggeration — Aquinas is one of the greatest minds in human history. Just read a piece of his writings, and you’ll see how he reasoned with step-by-step unassailable logic.

That is why the Catholic Church not only honors him as a Doctor of the Church, but considers Thomas to be the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher. The Church should remember that as so many of its clerics in the United States (and Pope Francis too) weigh in — on the wrong side — on the issue of illegal immigration. See “U.S. bishops oppose President Trump on border wall and illegal immigrants”.

Here are some quotes from St. Thomas on the subject of immigration, which show that St. Thomas respected a country’s laws governing immigration and so would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants,” much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today.

Even in the case of legal immigrants, St. Thomas expected them to fully assimilate themselves into the country’s culture. So prudent and concerned was he for the wellbeing for the host country that he recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations:

“Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”

“…when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”

“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.

Read more about St. Thomas Aquinas on the subject of immigration, here.

Below is joandarc’s original post on St. Thomas, which she published several years ago.

~Eowyn

St. Thomas Aquinas

Today, January 28th, we celebrate one of the most illustrious and influential Saints of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Aquinas is by far, the spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation, being one of the greatest teachers of the Catholic Church, which is why he is named a Doctor of the Church and the Angelic Doctor.

Thomas was born in or about 1225, the youngest of four sons, in the castle of Rocca Secca, to Landulf, a knight, and to Theodora, his mother of Norman descent. At the age of five, his parents took him to the Benedictine Monastery at Monte Cassino, hoping that he would join this Order and rise to the position of abbot. In 1239, he went to the University of Naples in Italy, to study the arts and sciences, and it was through this experience that he became interested in Aristotle.

In or about 1243, Thomas joined the Dominicans, which was against his family’s desires. In fact, his mother ordered that his brothers capture Thomas. Accordingly, they did so and he actually remained at his home, wherein his family hoped to change his mind. You might say that he was put under “house arrest” because of his defiance. While he was imprisoned, he studied the Sentences of Peter Lombard and learned by heart a great portion of the Bible.

After two years, his family gave up and allowed Thomas to go back to his Order of the Dominicans. Thomas then went to Cologne, finishing his studies under St. Albert the Great. Thomas, being reserved and a humble man, was not very well liked by his colleagues. He was a large man, receiving the nickname of “the dumb Sicilian ox.” However, St. Albert, his professor, said this of Thomas, “We call Brother Thomas the ‘dumb ox’; but I tell you that he will yet make his lowing heard to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Thomas’ brilliance was exceeded by his piety, and after he had been ordained a priest, he became so very close and united with God.

In or about 1252, St. Albert and Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher insisted that Thomas go to the University of Paris to teach. Four years thereafter, he became a master and received his doctors chair. His duties included lecturing and preaching.

In or about 1259 to 1268, he was made Preacher General in Italy and taught in the school of selected scholars attached to the papal court, teaching also in other towns and cities in Italy.

His writings created harmony between faith and reason, between divine revelation and natural human knowledge. But Thomas was so in-depth a thinker and lover of God, that he was able to merge the two in his writings, seeing the whole natural order as coming from God, the Creator, and seeing reason as a gift from God to be used for His honor and glory. He wrote the Summa contra Gentiles, a textbook for missionaries, a defense of natural theology against the Arabians, and the Summa theologiae, setting forth Catholic theology with faith and reason. And he wrote about the Angels of God using logic, wisdom and the Bible, which is why he is called, “the Angelic Doctor.”

In 1269, he went back to Paris, wherein St. Louis IX consulted him regularly with regard to important matters of state, as the king so respected Thomas. But the university referred an issue to him, a question upon which they were divided, whether in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar the accidents remained really or only in appearance. St. Thomas prayed fervently and with great love asked for direction from God. He wrote a treatise and laid it upon the altar before he submitted his answer publicly. Our Lord then appeared to St. Thomas saying to him, “Thou has written well of the Sacrament of My Body,” asking Thomas what He could give him as a reward. Thomas said, “I want only You, Lord, only You.” Oftentimes during Mass, especially during the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, Thomas would cry, sobbing, being so touched of his role as a priest, and of the precious love of Jesus, knowing that he was in the Real Presence of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In or about 1272, Thomas was called back to Italy, being appointed regent of the study house at Naples. On the Feast of St. Nicholas the following year, he was celebrating Holy Mass, wherein he received a revelation that affected him so, that he did not write or dictate anymore, leaving the magnificent work of the Summa theologiae, unfinished. Thomas told Brother Reginald, “The end of my labors is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”

Pope Gregory bid Thomas, although ill, to attend the general council at Lyons for the reunion of the Greek and Latin churches and to bring with him his work, “Against the Errors of the Greeks.” He became worse during his journey and was consequently taken to the Cistercian abbey of Fossa Nuova. He was lodged in the abbot’s room and the monks attended to him. After Thomas made his last confession receiving the Holy Eucharist from the abbot, he stated these famous words:

“I am receiving thee, Price of my soul’s redemption: all my studies, my vigils and my labors have been for love of thee. I have taught much and written much of the most sacred body of Jesus Christ; I have taught and written in the faith of Jesus Christ and of the holy Roman Church, to whose judgment I offer and submit everything.” Two days later, March 7, 1274, being about 50 years of age, he died. St. Albert who was in Cologne, burst into tears in front of his community and said, “Brother Thomas Aquinas, my son in Christ, the light of the Church, is dead. God has revealed it to me.”

St. Thomas was canonized in 1323, wherein his body lies in the cathedral of Saint-Sernin. St. Pius V conferred upon him the title of Doctor of the Church, and in 1880, Leo XIII declared him the patron saint of universities, colleges and schools.

Thomas’ theological and philosophical writings fill twenty thick volumes and he was the first to comment on Aristotle, whose teaching he utilized in order to build up a complete system of Christian philosophy. Indeed, his most important work was the Summa theologiae, the most thorough and full exposition of theological teaching ever given to the world. This work was one of the three reference works used at the Council of Trent, the other two being the Bible and Pontifical Decrees.

His achievements were not just attributed to his incredible writings. When Pope Urban IV, influenced by the visions of Blessed Juliana of Liege, decided to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi, he deferred to St. Thomas to compose the liturgical office and the Mass for the day, wherein Thomas showed his remarkable expression, known for doctrinal accuracy as for their tenderness of thought. Famous hymns, Pange lingua, O salutaris and Tantum ergo, written by Thomas, are regularly sung at Benediction.

In spite of his greatness, he thought the best of others, thinking they were better than him, being extremely modest whilst he stated his opinion. He did not lose his temper in an argument and was extremely poised.

St. Thomas Aquinas has always been one of my favorite saints. Whilst I was in high school studying philosophy, I would take books home containing his writings. I was drawn to these books, so I did not go out with my friends because I would rather stay home with St. Thomas and read what he said in my cozy bedroom. In fact, though they were kidding, my friends called me a “wallflower” because of my devotion to St. Thomas. I would laugh and tell them that they did not know what they were missing, and that at some point, they might understand. . .

It is my childlike vision in my mind’s eye that sees a great celebration in Heaven today for our dear and great St. Thomas Aquinas! We love and respect you! We hope to some day be with you in Our Lord’s heaven, and maybe you can teach us there too! God be praised for this great and holy man!

With respect and love,

Joan

Sources:

  • One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press.
  • Saint of the Day, Edited by Leonard Foley, O.F.M.
  • Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Edited by F.L. Cross.
  • Read more about St. Thomas Aquinas on Wikipedia.

Catholic Church: New Priests Will be Expected to Preach Global Warming

Watts Up With That?

pope-francis-environment-encyclical[1]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Catholic Online reports that new priests will be expected to be familiar with and promote efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

New priests to learn about global warming as part of formation

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) — The Catholic Church is intimately concerned about climate change. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is the world’s oldest, longest running scientific mission. That body, which advises the pope on matters of science, has concluded that global climate change is real and is caused, at least in significant part, by human activity.

This is important to the Church because creation care is part of our mission. We are called to be stewards of creation. It’s also important because climate change can exacerbate the ills of poverty. Poor people in much of the world are the most vulnerable to changes.

Unfortunately, the issue is politicized. In the…

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Pope Francis ‘grieves’ over death of Fidel Castro who persecuted Catholics & lived in luxury while Cubans starved

On November 25, 2016, Cuba’s longtime dictator Fidel Castro finally died at the ripe old age of 90.

Reuters reports the next day:

Pope Francis said the death of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was “sad news” and that he was grieving and praying for his repose.

Francis expressed his condolences in a Spanish-language message to Fidel’s brother, President Raul Castro on Saturday.

The pope, who met Fidel Castro when he visited Cuba last year, said he had received the “sad news” and added: “I express to you my sentiments of grief.”

pope-francis-meets-fidel-castro

The dictionary defines “grief” as sadness, pain, or great sorrow over a loss.

Below is a glimpse of the kind of man Fidel Castro was, for whose death Pope Francis, real name Jorge Bergoglio, “grieves”:

  • Though baptized as a Catholic and educated in schools run by the Jesuits, the same religious order as Bergoglio, Castro was an avowed atheist who persecuted the Catholic church during his reign, sending priests to re-education camps and restricting the celebration of Christian holidays. Castro was reportedly excommunicated under an anti-Communist decree by Pope Pius XII in 1962.
  • Forbes magazine reports that despite the warm reception given Pope Francis last fall, the Cuban government not only continues to persecute Christians, a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide warns of “an unprecedented crackdown on churches across the denominational spectrum,” which has fueled a spike in reported violations of freedom of religion or belief to 2,300 cases of violations in 2016 from just 40 cases in 2011. Many of the government’s crackdowns “involved entire churches or, in the cases of arrests, dozens of victims.”
  • While pretending to be for the common people, Fidel actually lived a life of luxury and debauchery, according to a book by Castro’s longtime bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Maximo. As recounted by the New York Post: “With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people. At times, he claimed he made just 900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a ‘fisherman’s hut’ somewhere on the beach. But Castro’s public image was a carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact. While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort — keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret . . . . Castro . . . made a personal fortune offering safe haven to drug traffickers, bedded a bevy of women over the decades, and once threatened his own brother, Raul, with execution when the brother lapsed into alcoholism in the ’90s . . . . Castro kept 20 luxurious properties throughout the Caribbean nation, including his own island, accessed via a yacht decorated entirely in exotic wood imported from Angola . . . . [Castro’s 5 sons with his second wife] grew up in hidden luxury on an estate outside Havana. With its orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and banana trees, the estate resembled a veritable garden of Eden — especially if one compared it with the notorious ration book that all Cubans had to use to buy food. . . . Each member of the family possessed his or her own cow, ‘so as to satisfy each one’s individual taste, since the acidity and creaminess of fresh milk varies from one cow to another.'” Meanwhile, the Cuban people lived in deep poverty — of crumbling houses, food rations, and teen prostitution. Political opponents were executed by the thousands by firing squad, or sentenced to decades of hard labor.

To call Jorge Bergoglio “Pope” is a travesty.

See also:

~Eowyn

Editor of ‘First Things’ religious journal declares Pope Francis a failure

First Things is an ecumenical, conservative religious journal founded in 1990 by Richard John Neuhaus, a prominent intellectual and Lutheran minister who converted to the Catholic Church and entered the priesthood shortly after the journal’s founding.

Published by the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life, with a circulation of approximately 30,000 copies, the influential journal is inter-denominational and inter-religious, representing a broad intellectual tradition of Christian and Jewish critique of contemporary society.

First Thingscontributors include many well-known intellectuals and religious figures such as George Weigel, Michael Novak, William Bennett, Peter L. Berger, David Horowitz, Ralph McInerny, Cardinal Avery Dulles, and bishop Charles J. Chaput. So it is significant that the journal’s current literary editor, Matthew Schmitz, in an op/ed published in the New York Times on Sept. 28, 2016, declares Pope Francis a failure.

Schmitz arrived at the assessment using, as his yardstick, “the Francis effect” — whether Francis’ papacy has increased the number of Catholics, as measured, for example, by Mass attendance. Alas, in the United States, despite the (liberal) media’s hailing of Francis, Mass attendance not only has not increased since the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope in 2013, attendance had actually decreased. And it’s not just in the U.S. but also in Italy, where the Vatican is located.

Schmitz concludes that the (seeming) popularity achieved by Francis/Bergoglio is a personal one, at the expense of the Catholic Church.

Below is Schmitz’ op/ed in its entirety.

Pope Francis hides the Crucifix meeting Israeli rabbis

Pope Francis hides the Crucifix meeting Israeli rabbis

About the above pic, see “Pope Francis is ashamed of the Cross, knows better than the Gospels“.

Has Pope Francis Failed?

By Matthew Schmitz • New York Times • September 28, 2016

When Pope Francis ascended to the chair of St. Peter in March 2013, the world looked on in wonder. Here at last was a pope in line with the times, a man who preferred spontaneous gestures to ritual forms. Francis paid his own hotel bill and eschewed the red shoes. Rather than move into the grand papal apartments, he settled in the cozy guesthouse for visitors to the Vatican. He also set a new nondogmatic tone with statements like “Who am I to judge?

Observers predicted that the new pope’s warmth, humility and charisma would prompt a “Francis effect” — bringing disaffected Catholics back to a church that would no longer seem so forbidding and cold. Three years into his papacy, the predictions continue. Last winter, Austen Ivereigh, the author of an excellent biography of Pope Francis, wrote that the pope’s softer stance on communion for the divorced and remarried “could trigger a return to parishes on a large scale.” In its early days, Francis’ Jesuit order labored to bring Protestants back into the fold of the church. Could Francis do the same for Catholics tired of headlines about child abuse and culture wars?

In a certain sense, things have changed. Perceptions of the papacy, or at least of the pope, have improved. Francis is far more popular than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Sixty-three percent of American Catholics approve of him, while only 43 percent approved of Benedict at the height of his popularity, according to a 2015 New York Times and CBS News poll. Francis has also placed a great emphasis on reaching out to disaffected Catholics.

But are Catholics actually coming back? In the United States, at least, it hasn’t happened. New survey findings from Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate suggest that there has been no Francis effect — at least, no positive one. In 2008, 23 percent of American Catholics attended Mass each week. Eight years later, weekly Mass attendance has held steady or marginally declined, at 22 percent.

Of course, the United States is only one part of a global church. But the researchers at Georgetown found that certain types of religious observance are weaker now among young Catholics than they were under Benedict. In 2008, 50 percent of millennials reported receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, and 46 percent said they made some sacrifice beyond abstaining from meat on Fridays. This year, only 41 percent reported receiving ashes and only 36 percent said they made an extra sacrifice, according to CARA. In spite of Francis’ personal popularity, young people seem to be drifting away from the faith.

Why hasn’t the pope’s popularity reinvigorated the church? Perhaps it is too soon to judge. We probably won’t have a full measure of any Francis effect until the church is run by bishops appointed by Francis and priests who adopt his pastoral approach. This will take years or decades.

Yet something more fundamental may stand in the way of a Francis effect. Francis is a Jesuit, and like many members of Catholic religious orders, he tends to view the institutional church, with its parishes and dioceses and settled ways, as an obstacle to reform. He describes parish priests as “little monsters” who “throw stones” at poor sinners. He has given curial officials a diagnosis of “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” He scolds pro-life activists for their “obsession” with abortion. He has said that Catholics who place an emphasis on attending Mass, frequenting confession, and saying traditional prayers are “Pelagians” — people who believe, heretically, that they can be saved by their own works.

Such denunciations demoralize faithful Catholics without giving the disaffected any reason to return. Why join a church whose priests are little monsters and whose members like to throw stones? When the pope himself stresses internal spiritual states over ritual observance, there is little reason to line up for confession or wake up for Mass.

Even Francis’ most ardent fans worry that his agenda is overdue. When he was elected, Francis promised a cleanup of the Vatican’s corrupt finances. Three years on, he has started to retreat in the face of opposition, giving up an outside audit and taking powers away from his handpicked point man. Francis has also shied away from big changes on doctrinal matters. Instead of explicitly endorsing communion for the divorced and remarried couples, he has quietly urged them on with a wink and a nod.

Francis has built his popularity at the expense of the church he leads. Those who wish to see a stronger church may have to wait for a different kind of pope. Instead of trying to soften the church’s teaching, such a man would need to speak of the way hard disciplines can lead to freedom. Confronting a hostile age with the strange claims of Catholic faith may not be popular, but over time it may prove more effective. Even Christ was met with the jeers of the crowd.

-End of Schmitz’ op/ed-

See also:

~Eowyn

Wayne Madsen: Hillary Clinton courts Muslims to win election

Muslim refugees destroy
In his subscriber-only post of Sept. 5, 2016, “Anti-migrant forces gain political steam in Europe (and America),” independent investigative journalist Wayne Madsen writes:

Europe’s populist anti-migrant leaders are backing U.S. Republican Party nominee Donald Trump against his rival Hillary Clinton, who favors a 555 percent increase in Syrian Muslim refugees allowed into the United States. Trump’s underlying theme of protecting American society against Islamists, jihadists, and terrorists has struck the same chord among America’s middle class as have similar calls in Europe to defend Western civilization against a radical Sunni Muslim culture of rape, pedophilia, sectarian violence, and unsanitary behavior in public places. Anti-migrant European political leaders, such as former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, were guests of honor at Trump’s GOP convention in Cleveland.

The Hillary Clinton campaign has become desperate for Muslim votes in the United States. The Clinton campaign has spurred voter registration drives among Bosnian Muslims in St. Louis, many of whom entered the country during Bill Clinton’s war against Christian Serbia in the Balkans Wars, in order to flip Missouri to the Democrats. Clinton surrogates are also pushing for increased registration among Albanian and Kosovo Muslim blocs in Michigan and Florida to supplement Clinton’s sizable support among Muslim Arabs in eastern Michigan and the Jacksonville area of Florida.

Trump, on the other hand, can rely on political support from those of Lebanese Christian descent in New Hampshire; Greek descent in western Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina; Serbian descent in Cleveland and its suburbs in Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the greater Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania; and Armenian descent in California that know, all-too-well, the dangers posed by Muslim radicals. The Lebanese Christian and Greek communities in New Hampshire are powerful political forces that could tip the state to Trump when the danger of Mrs. Clinton’s close ties to her Muslim Brotherhood-linked aide Huma Abedin is fully made known to the public.

For electorates in the United States and Europe, voting for leaders who will defend Western civilization against an influx of actual and potential terrorists is the most existential decision they will ever make.

Meanwhile, in Europe, a Visegrad group of four central European nations — Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary — are standing firm against calls by the EU for them to take in Muslim migrants from refugee camps in Greece and other countries:

  1. Czechia President Milos Zeman said that Muslim migrants are “impossible” to integrate into his country, while Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejects the EU’s refugee quota system.
  2. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said the EU’s policy of forcing members to accept quotas of Muslim migrants amounts to “ritual suicide.”
  3. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called the Muslim migrants a “poison” in Europe and refused to accept any migrants into his country.
  4. Poland’s ruling Civic Platform government refuses to accept any Muslim migrants, although it did agree to take in some 300 Syrian Christian refugees because it does not consider them to be a threat to Poland’s security. Poland has rejected calls from the hypocritical Pope Francis — whose Vatican City has accepted only one Syrian immigrant family of 4 (who are Christians) — to accept a large number of Muslim migrants.

~Eowyn

Pope’s personal secretary: Popes Benedict XVI & Francis form an ‘expanded’ papal office

To call this confusing is an understatement.

In a recent speech, the personal secretary of Pope Benedict XXVI, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, said that Benedict and his successor, Pope Francis, are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative member.”

Pope Benedict XVI’s real name is Joseph Ratzinger; Pope Francis’ is Jorge Bergoglio.

In Latin, Petrine Office is munus petrinum. The word “Petrine” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as:

  • Relating to St. Peter, the first pope who was appointed by Christ, or his writings or teachings.
  • Relating to the authority of the Pope over the Church, in his role as the successor of St. Peter.

In other words, in this context, “Petrine” means papal, which means that according to Archbishop Gänswein, although Benedict had resigned in 2013, nevertheless he and Francis are an “expanded” papal ministry, whatever that means.

Archbishop Georg GansweinEdward Pentin reports for the RCRegister that on May 20, 2016, speaking at the presentation of a new book on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said that Pope Benedict XVI did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

The new book, Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI (Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI), is by Roberto Regoli.

Archbishop Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household and the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, said: “Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before. It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.”

Archbishop Gänswein also confirmed the existence of a group who had fought against Ratzinger’s election in 2005, but stressed that that had “little or nothing” to do with the latter’s resignation in 2013.

Gänswein said the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope “was certainly the outcome of a battle,” referring to Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Papal Conclave between a pro-Ratzinger group called the Salt of the Earth Party comprised of Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medin, and a liberal, pro-Bergoglio group called the St. Gallen group that included Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor — a group Cardinal Danneels jokingly referred to as “a kind of mafia-club”.

Cardinal Danneels 2015-09-26Godfried Danneels is a pro-homosexual Belgian cardinal and former archbishop of Brussels who calls same-sex marriage a “positive development“– which means he approves of homosexuality and homosexual sex that both the Bible and the Catholic Church’s Catechism abjure. Danneels   calls on the Catholic Church to recognize a “sort of marriage” for homosexuals. Despite his heretical advocacy for homosexuality and his cover-up in 2010 of a sex-abuse case involving a fellow bishop — Danneels’ uncle, Roger Vangheluwe, Bishop of Bruges — Pope Francis gave Danneels a place of honor at the all-important Synod on the Family last October.

In an interview with the RCRegister last November and EWTN Germany, German journalist Paul Badde confirmed the existence of the St. Gallen faction, and named German Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann as members.

But Archbishop Gänswein insists that Pope Benedict resigned because it was “fitting” and “reasonable,” being “aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Others, however, say Benedict had been pressured to resign. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”

Despite his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI continues to view his task as “participation in . . . a ‘Petrine ministry’.” Gänswein said: “He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry” — something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“ Instead, Benedict “has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry” as  “cooperatores veritatis“, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

This is why Benedict XVI has not given up the papal white cassock or his papal name of Benedict — unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone. Nor has Benedict, according to Archbishop Gänswein, “retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy,” enriching the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

Archbishop Gänswein’s extraordinary but cryptic remarks have led to speculations of a rift with Pope Francis, as well as the From Rome blog asking if the two rival factions had made a pact during the Conclave of 2005 that elected Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, in which Bergoglio and his “St. Gallen group” consented to Ratzinger’s election on the condition that after a fixed number of years, Pope Benedict XVI would resign, and Bergoglio would then be elected Pope at the next conclave.

See also “The Illegitimate Pope: Election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis was contaminated by lobbying in violation of papal laws”.

~Eowyn