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“That’s not right” is not right…

Commie Crucifix Kerfuffle: What did Francis say to the Bolivian President?

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Francis rebuked Morales for a blasphemous gift? Don’t you believe it…

[This post is a follow-up to “Francis Receives Blasphemous Gift of Christ Crucified on Hammer & Sickle”]

[UPDATE 11-JUL-2015 15:12 UTC: Francis dedicates Blasphemous Crucifix Medal to the Blessed Virgin Mary]

Less than 12 hours after the news broke in the English-speaking world that the Bolivian president Evo Morales had given Francis a blasphemous crucifix depicting the Lord Jesus Christ nailed to a hammer and sickle, and that Francis had accepted it without any sign of protest, disgust, anger, or resentment, the Novus Ordo news site Rome Reports published a story claiming that during this infamous exchange of gifts, Francis had actually rebuked the Socialist president with the words, “That’s not right” (“No está bien eso”). The report included a video clip of the occurrence, with very faint audio supported by subtitles.

Other blogs and web sites, including secular news sites, quickly picked up Francis’ alleged rebuff of Morales: “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf jubilantly published a post entitled “Pope Francis given Hammer and Sickle ‘crucifix’, reacts ‘No está bien eso’ … that’s not right.” The ultra-NovusOrdo site Catholic Culture published a report headlined, “Pope rebukes Bolivian President Morales for hammer-and-sickle crucifix”. The secular News Busters also thought they were finally able to report something of Francis opposed to Liberalism: “Pope Rejects Communist Crucifix from Bolivia President: ‘That’s Not Right’”. And Catholic News Agency claimed that Francis was “apparently not amused” by the disgusting blasphemy.

The trouble is, all these reports got it wrong. Francis did not say, “That’s not right.” Instead, he said, “I didn’t know that” (“No sabía eso”), in response to Morales’ explanation of the blasphemous present. The confusion lay not in a bad translation — even Spanish-speaking sites got it wrong — but in the bad audio quality and the fact that the annoying sounds of camera clicks drowned out both Francis’ and Morales’ softly-spoken words. The fact that “No sabía eso” is phonetically very similar to “No está bien eso”, added to the confusion.

Further below we will prove that Francis said “I didn’t know that” rather than “That’s not right”. But before we do so, we want to point out that some news sources/commentators have already conceded that the originally-reported rendition of “That’s not right” is incorrect. For example:

But let’s have a look at, and especially a listen to, what happened. The evidence is actually quite clear. We have investigated the matter thorougly, consulted with different Spanish speakers, sourced various video files, and filtered and amplified the audio so you can have as good of a sound as possible under the circumstances. Below you will find five different video clips, all of them showing more or less footage of the same incident, that of Bolivia’s Evo Morales giving “Pope” Francis the hideous and blasphemous present, explaining to him what he is receiving. Watch for a minute without any sound, and only focus on Francis’ bodily reaction. At first, a confused and concerned look, then, he listens to Morales, and his facial expression turns serene and even somewhat happy or at least content. There is no bodily sign of consternation, anger, rebuke, or offense.

As far as the spoken words go: As is visible and audible from the clips, Morales explains to Francis that the “crucifix” was probably designed by the Jesuit “worker priest” Fr. Luis Espinal Camps and then hands him the blasphemous piece. At that point, Francis says, “I didn’t know that” (that’s the part all the fuss is about) and his look turns serene and he smiles a bit and seems content with the explanation given. Morales replies, “Now you know”, and the whole affair — both words and gestures — makes perfect sense, especially because the night before this encounter, Francis had prayed at the site where this Fr. Espinal was assassinated in 1980 and “Fr.” Lombardi has since confirmed that Francis did not know this “artwork” had been designed by Fr. Espinal. (Detailed background on Fr. Espinal can be found in this post: “Francis the Humble Marxist”)

But now consider the alternative explanation: Assume for a moment, as some Francis defenders would have you believe, that Francis rebuked Morales and said, “That’s not right”, in response to the Bolivian president’s explanation about the origin of the Communist crucifix. Not only do his gestures and facial expressions not match a supposed rebuke, it also makes no sense that he would accept the present anyway, that he would smile and look content, and that Morales would respond, “Now you know.”

But see and hear for yourself. We have chosen the six following clips because they all show the same thing but have different quality audio and some have subtitles.

The matter is clear: Based on his words and his gesturing, Francis did not rebuke the Socialist president but merely expressed his astonishment at the origin of this “crucifix” and didn’t give a flip about it being a blasphemy. He gladly accepted the explanation given by Morales.

Here is a transcript of the words exchanged between Morales and Francis, extracted from the clips based on the audio and subtitles:

[Morales:] Santidad, han tallado afortunadamente el símbolo de la cruz del martillo y de la hoz que es probablemente obra de Espinal, Luis de Espinal… Interesante como símbolo.

[Francis:] No sabía eso.

[Morales:] Ya lo sabe.

And now the same in English:

[Morales:] Your Holiness, fortunately they have made the symbol of the hammer-and-sickle cross, which is probably the work of Espinal, Luis de Espinal. It’s an interesting symbol.

[Francis:] I didn’t know that.

[Morales:] Now you know.

Look at Morales’ physical reaction when Francis responds, “I didn’t know that”. It underscores our point that Francis merely says he was not aware that Espinal had designed the crucifix, not that Francis was rebuking him. In fact, Morales goes on to explain more (here we have not yet been able to ascertain the words) and Francis adds, “Eso está muy bien” — “That’s very well”.

And thus we have the latest intolerable scandal from Jorge Bergoglio, the man who claims to be the Pope of the Catholic Church.

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Could it be any more realistic?
Kudos to whoever created this excellent depiction
of Francis as Karl Marx, founder of Communism

Despite the facts about him, there are always some Francis-admiring Novus Ordos out there who act as his useful idiots — you know, the kind that will happily ignore or explain away over two years of obvious Bergoglio apostasy but then beat up on any blogger critical of Francis who gets one detail wrong about a particular story. Two such individuals (Christine J. and Thomas L. McDonald) did their duty on Twitter on July 9 beating up on Pat Archbold, a conservative Novus Ordo writer formerly affiliated with the National Catholic Register who’s had it with Francis and doesn’t mind letting people know.

Archbold caught flak for allegedly jumping to conclusions about Bergoglio and “not giving the Pope the benefit of the doubt”. Christine J. criticized Archbold, saying: “…you complained first, learned facts later” (source). This is amusingly ironic since, as we have seen, she is the one who didn’t get the facts first, because she was operating under the false assumption that Francis had rebuked the Bolivian socialist president, when we now know that this was not at all the case. So she, Christine, is the one who didn’t learn the facts first before complaining — against Archbold. Alas, Christine had simply relied on the Patheos blogger Thomas McDonald, who had relied on the misreported story from Rome Reports.

Oh well. It’s tough being a Francis defender these days. Will Christine and Thomas show the same remorse they insisted Pat show for, supposedly, getting it wrong about Francis, now that we know he got it right and they got it wrong? Now they have a chance to prove it.

As we pointed out in our original post, to which this one is merely a follow-up, Francis is no stranger to blasphemy or to bizarre crucifixes and ugly pseudo art. Nor is he known as a foe of Communism. No, truly, Francis’ contentment at receiving a blasphemous Commie crucifix insulting our Lord is actually entirely consistent with what else we know about the man Jorge Bergoglio. He is most certainly not entitled to any benefit of the doubt anymore.

From the scourge of Communism and Modernist Anti-Popes, deliver us, O Lord.

[UPDATE 11-JUL-2015 15:12 UTC: Francis dedicates Blasphemous Crucifix Medal to the Blessed Virgin Mary]