The wheels are coming off…
Chaos, Crises, and Corruption: The Francis Show at Five
© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk (license: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Congratulations, everyone. You have endured 1,826 days of mercy, joy, encounter, tenderness, favelas, and field hospitals; of touching the wounded, caressing the elderly, affirming the marginalized, welcoming migrants, warming hearts, tearing down walls, building bridges, and moving forward. In short: You have lived through 5 years of Jorge Bergoglio as “Pope Francis.”
Those who suspect that Francis must have a double or a twin brother because it is impossible for just one single person to speak as much as he does, we must disappoint: There’s only one, and on Novus Ordo Watch, he’s got his own page:
It was Mar. 13, 2013, when Mr. Bergoglio stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, clad entirely in white, without the customary red stole for the urbi et orbi blessing, looking at a cheering crowd. His initial words of buona sera — “good evening” — and his subsequent request for the people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray over him before he would “bless” them, were an ominous harbinger of what was to come.
(Our coverage of the 2013 conclave, by the way, is still accessible here.)
On April 3, 2013 — a mere 21 days after his election, while people like Michael Voris were busy trying to tell you what a wonderfully “conservative Pope” the world had just been blessed with — we predicted on Twitter that Francis would eventually be known as the “Chaos Pope”:
— Novus Ordo Watch (@NovusOrdoWatch) April 3, 2013
Thus, early on, “Chaos Frank” became the moniker of choice for us.
At the time, we were denounced by all sorts of people, of course, for repudiating the “new Pope” already. We were supposed to wait and see, give him a chance, let the past be the past, “trust in the Holy Spirit”, who — we were assured by not a few — had hand-picked Bergoglio; and so on, ad nauseam. The euphoria was great, and countless journalists, pundits, commentators, clergy, etc., began to weigh in and give their supposed expert analysis of what Francis was going to do, what he was “really up to” when the first aberrations became undeniable, what “keys” we needed to be able to “understand” him, how the confusion he was causing was actually a good thing, etc. People like “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf, Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea, Tim Haines, Michael Voris, and others had their hands full explaining that things weren’t the way they looked. “Fr. Z” eventually gave up; Jimmy Akin also discontinued the ever more ridiculous arguments he had to make; Tim Haines seems to have disappeared altogether; Michael Voris hopes his viewers will focus on James Martin instead; and Mark Shea… well… he will always be Mark Shea.
And now you can see what all of that punditry of the non-sedevacantists was worth: nothing. Many of them were simply engaging in hubris, in wishful thinking, and in spindoctoring. Francis turned out to be precisely the chaos creator we had predicted him to be, and this has never been more evident than now that he has completed his fifth year.
Francis’ fifth anniversary is clearly a milestone, one that is covered by not a few press outlets. Here is a review drawing together various news and commentary items on “Five Years of Francis”, in no particular order (the headlines are repeated as printed):
- Francis’ ‘Mess’ Making: Assessing the First Five Years of This Papacy (National Catholic Register)
- Five years of Pope Francis: Lots of style, little substance (The Irish Times)
- Cardinal Parolin Reflects on Pontificate of Pope Francis (Zenit)
- Pope Francis at 5: Paradigm shift on mercy, migrants and marriage (Associated Press)
- Assessing Francis’s successes and unfinished business at 5-year mark (Crux)
- Five years after his election, this year is make-or-break for Pope Francis (Catholic Herald)
- Pope Francis wowed the world but, five years on, is in troubled waters (The Guardian)
- On Five-Year Anniversary, A ‘Lexicon’ to Understand Pope Francis (Zenit)
- Pope Francis… Five Years Later (Salt + Light Media)
- Have Pope Francis’ first five years been a success? (America)
- Francis at five years: Love him or hate him, this is one relevant pope (Crux)
- Is Pope Francis facing the ‘second-term curse’? (Crux)
- Five years on, Pope Francis has failed to deliver on his promises (The Guardian)
- Why the Pope is just like Donald Trump (The Telegraph)
- Five years of Pope Francis and the principle of reform (La Croix)
- Pope Francis stands on world stage set by John Paul II (National Catholic Reporter)
- Reviving the Spirit of Reform: the Francis Papacy Five Years on (The Tablet)
- Pope Francis after 5 years: ‘The people’s pope’ (CantonRep)
- Exclusive: Pope’s spokesman Greg Burke on Francis’s ‘extraordinary’ message of love to whole world (Christian Today)
- Fernandez: “Without the gaze of faith, the Pope is reduced to a character” (Vatican Insider)
- Five years after Pope Francis was elected, how much has changed? (The Telegraph)
- Five ways Francis has changed the church (U.S. Catholic)
- In quotes – five years of Pope Francis (Catholic Herald)
- Five years a pope: Francis’ focus has been on outreach (Catholic News Service)
- Pope Francis: five years, five important gestures (Rome Reports)
- S+L’s 10 Favourite Pope Francis Quotes (Salt + Light Media)
The good news is that after five years of the Francis Show operating at full throttle, it looks like it may finally be burning itself out — or at the least spectators thereof:
- Francis sets new Record Low for Attendance at Wednesday Audiences
- Francis breaks another Record Low for Audience Attendance
- Are people giving up Francis for Lent?
- Francis’ Performance Ratings Slip
Attendance numbers at “papal” functions are way down, and this was first very visible during Francis’ trip to Chile in January.
His trip to Chile was a disaster for Francis in more ways than one. In particular, the way he handled accusations from alleged victims in the “Bishop” Juan Barros sex abuse case was so appaling that it has cost him dearly. Although he later apologized for the way he brushed off his questioners, he still maintained he hadn’t seen any evidence against Barros. This was later proven to be a lie, as “Cardinal” Sean O’Malley had personally handed to him the evidence against Barros, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had recommended to Francis to remove Barros (see also here and here). Meanwhile, an attorney and child advocate has opined that Francis is a “principal in a cover-up”, and “Fr.” Ray Blake suggests that people finally connect the dots.
The Juan Barros case is not Francis’ only scandal as of late, however. Far from it, in fact. “Crises and scandals have gathered at the Vatican in the past month. This pontificate is spreading chaos and confusion”, the secular National Review writes, underscoring once more the appropriateness of the nickname “Chaos Frank.”
Other main scandals and crises that are currently interfering with the Francis Show include:
- The guilty plea of a high-ranking Vatican judge to possession of child pornography
- “Cardinal” Zen’s outspoken resistance to a Vatican sellout of the underground church in China
- Francis’ request of $25,000,000 for a Roman hospital accused of money laundering
- “Cardinal” Maradiaga’s shady financial dealings
- Reports of sexual misconduct by “Bishop” Pineda of Honduras
- A dossier sent to the Vatican with allegations about 40 sodomite “priests” in Italy
Let’s look at each one of these briefly.
Until Feb. 21, 2018, “Mgr.” Pietro Amenta was a judge on the Vatican’s highest appelate court, the Roman Rota. He resigned that day after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography and receiving a so-called suspended sentence of 14 months in prison, part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. Amenta had had a few run-ins with the Italian police before, as summarized in this blog post. His computer was searched after an 18-year-old Romanian male accused Amenta of having fondled his private parts in a market square in Rome.
Then there’s the controversial deal Club Francis is making with the Communist nation of China. In a nutshell: The Vatican is in the process of selling out its persecuted Chinese underground hierarchy to their Communist oppressors, something “Cardinal” Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong is fighting tooth and nail and making a lot of noise about. Since its break from the Catholic Church in the 1950s, China has operated a government-run Communist “Catholic” church officially named the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. This pseudo-Catholic church is independent from Rome (see Pope Pius XII’s 1958 encyclical on Communism and the Church in China, Ad Apostolorum Principis) and has its own government-appointed bishops. The true Catholic hierarchy in union with Pope Pius XII had to go into hiding, suffering severe persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communists. (At this point, of course, the successors to the true Catholic hierarchy are all Novus Ordo bishops in union with Francis, but they too are persecuted by the Communists.) Instead of doing everything he can to support his own and fight the unjust oppressors, Francis is working on a deal with the Communist government and is ordering the underground hierarchy to step aside in order for the Communists to take their place as the legitimate “Catholic bishops”. “Betrayal” is too kind of a word for this!
Since January 2018, “Cardinal” Zen has been very outspoken about this and appeared at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta without an appointment. He has released statements, given interviews, and even appeared on EWTN’s The World Over program with Raymond Arroyo. He is making it clear that he will not go along with any such agreement, and he is telling people to join him in the resistance. Here are some of the most important links pertaining to this horrendous scandal:
- Cardinal Zen rips Vatican Secretary of State on talks with China (Catholic Culture)
- Card. Zen: I still don’t understand why they are in dialogue with China (Asia News)
- Cardinal Zen to Pope on China: ‘You’re Putting Wolves Before Your Flock,’ Will ‘Make a Massacre’ (CNS News)
- Underground Catholic: We are excluded from dialogue between China and the Holy See (Asia News)
- Cardinal Zen: Pope Francis is Backing a “Fake Church” in China (Veritas Vincit)
- Vatican-China deal is a very long way off… if it’s even done at all (La Croix)
- Cardinal Zen torches the Vatican and his critics over China deal (Life Site)
- Cardinal Zen on Vatican-China Proposal: ‘Better No Deal Than a Bad Deal’ (National Catholic Register)
- Parolin: “Why we are in dialogue with China” (Vatican Insider)
- Video: Interview with Cardinal Joseph Zen by Raymond Arroyo (EWTN)
That China is influencing the Vatican, and not the other way around, has just been underscored by an article that has appeared in the Taiwan Sentinel.
So much for China.
On Feb. 20, 2018, Life Site published a detailed news report in which they revealed that they had “obtained internal documents of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, a charity with a stellar history of assisting the world’s poor, showing that last summer the Pope personally requested, and obtained in part, a $25 million grant to a corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological hospital in Rome accused of money laundering”. It is customary for the foundation not to give grants larger than $200,000 each. Out of the $25,000,000 requested, the Papal Foundation sent a total of $13,000,000 to the “Pope”, with the gracious assistance of their board chairman, “Cardinal” Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. Lay members of the foundation raised alarm.
This has made quite a few waves. After the initial report by Life Site, further details and research was presented by the National Catholic Register, and major media outlets have picked up the story since, including the Associated Press. At the same time, Michael Sean Winters at the National Catholic Reporter blasted Life Site, claiming they are doing great harm with what he maintains is little more than a case of fake news. Yet, something does indeed seem “fishy about this”, considering that administrators of the hospital which was to receive the $25,000,000 grant “have been indicted 24 times, with 12+ convictions, some which carried 3+ year prison sentences.”
Another huge embarrassment for Club Francis is the recent story, reported also in the secular press, that the archdiocese of Naples has sent a 1,200-page dossier to the Vatican that exposes 40 active sodomite “priests” and seminarians in the church of Italy. The documentation was compiled by a male prostitute fed up with the hypocrisy of the Novus Ordo ecclesiastics. This story has turned into a veritable “media circus” in Italy, where the hooker has appeared on various radio and television programs across the country. As an aside, recall that when Benedict XVI resigned, he left a huge dossier on the so-called “gay lobby” in Rome for his successor, Francis. Other than first admitting its presence and then later making a flippant remark about never having seen “member of the gay lobby” printed on the Vatican ID card, Francis has not said anything about the pile of documentation against Vatican sodomites. In fact, sometimes it seems that Bergoglio has become their de facto leader.
On Dec. 21, 2017, the Italian L’Espresso published a story accusing one of Francis’ friends and chief advisors, “Cardinal” Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, of being involved in shady financial dealings. The accusations did not come from some anonymous source but were part of a report brought directly to the “Pope” by “Bp.” Alcides Casaretto of Argentina, whom Francis had sent as a special envoy to investigate claims against the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. “Casaretto … claimed the cardinal may have mismanaged Church funds and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Catholic university”, Catholic Herald summarized what was published in L’Espresso. An article on the same story was also published by Catholic World Report, which explained that “Maradiaga is being accused of investing more than $1.2 million in some London financial companies, including Leman Wealth Management. Some of that money has now vanished… L’Espresso also said that Maradiaga received nearly $600,000 from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa in 2015, and may have received a similar sum annually for the last decade, as compensation for his service as Grand Chancellor of the university.” Apparently, pushing a “poor church for the poor” is a lucrative job in Honduras!
Francis’ reaction to the allegations against Maradiaga was appaling: He called his buddy up, who denied any wrongdoing. Francis then proceeded to comfort him: “I’m sorry for all the evil they have done against you, but do not you worry”, according to a report by Vatican Media. In February 2018, L’Espresso ran a follow-up story and published the balance sheets of the Tegucigalpa diocese. Lo and behold, the university’s hefty payments to Maradiaga were not on the books, which contradicted the “cardinal’s” contention that the payments were for the diocese and not for him personally. The most recent follow-up article by L’Espresso does not boost Maradiaga’s credibility either. Martha Reichmann, the widow of the former ambassador of Honduras to the Holy See and dean of the Vatican Diplomatic Corps, makes serious accusations: “Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, the right-hand man of Pope Francis, has deceived us. In 2012, he pushed me and my husband to invest a lot of money into a London investment fund, managed by a Muslim friend, Youssry Henien, who then disappeared into nothing with our money.”
But not to worry, there is much more going on in Maradiaga Land. The auxiliary “bishop” who is in charge of the diocese while Maradiaga is undergoing cancer treatment in the United States, Juan Pineda Fasquelle, has been accused of sexual misconduct. The accusations come not just from anyone but from two former seminarians, and they were part of the report given to Francis by “Bp.” Casaretto in May 2017. Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register has published a detailed article on the case. Apparently a total of over 50 witnesses have testified against “Bp.” Pineda, who of course has also been accused of financial mismanagement in the diocese. It looks like Francis is going to have to make another phone call and offer some more comfort.
As if all this weren’t enough, the Vatican is now also trying to move against Francis’ critics: Raymond Arroyo, EWTN’s star news and commentary anchor, has been doing an outstanding job reporting on the corruption and scandals (incl. the Amoris Laetitia chaos) in and outside the Vatican, and he does not shrink from asking the right uncomfortable questions (for example, see him tear “Cardinal” Walter Kasper to shreds here). On Twitter, Francis’ bosom buddy “Fr.” Antonio Spadaro echoed someone else’s call for Arroyo to be fired (more on that here), and the reason why is clear: The news anchor brings a lot of light to a lot of things Club Francis would rather keep hidden (cf. Jn 3:19-20). In addition, the Vatican’s Secretariate of State is using a pretext to try to get the conservative Spanish web site Info Vaticana shut down and its domain transferred to them. To get the job done, they have hired one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, which has made clear to Info Vaticana that their client means business and will not settle for a compromise.
Amidst all this kerfuffle, the web site Church Militant asks: “Will Pope Francis Resign?” But this is a very tendentious headline, one that is perhaps meant to express the wishful thinking of Church Disneyland rather than accurately reflect the content of the article, which is basically that a lot of people who participated in a Church Militant poll want Francis to resign — but that’s quite a different thing from what is suggested by the title.
For all those who wish they still had Benedict XVI, our special page on the heresies, errors, and scandals of that lifelong Modernist provide a sobering reality check. If anything, Benedict was worse than Francis because he was more dangerous, always keeping an appearance of Catholicism, orthodoxy, piety, and good will — unlike Francis.
Speaking of Benedict XVI: Right on cue and just in time for Francis’ fifth anniversary, the “Pope Emeritus” has allegedly sent a letter once more endorsing Francis:
Long-time Vatican journalist Sandro Magister has released the full text of Benedict’s letter in English:
Benedict sent this letter on the occasion of the publication of an 11-volume work on the theology of “Pope” Francis. Thanks to Magister’s release of the entirety of the letter (something Vatican Media did not do), we now know that Benedict remarked that he did not read the book series that had been sent him and is not going to any time soon: “Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future….”
Nevertheless, Benedict’s missive includes high praise for the current “Pope”: “Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation, and [the books] therefore help in seeing the interior continuity between the two pontificates”, the Emeritus writes. How he would know that, not having read them, is anyone’s guess, though we can agree that the Modernism of Jorge Bergoglio is indeed the same in essence as the Modernism of Joseph Ratzinger. Plenty of continuity there.
Benedict XVI’s endorsement of Francis sounds so obviously contrived (see analyses here and here and here), and its release has been handled so clumsily, that one cannot help but suspect that the Vatican wants people to disbelieve it.
Think about that for a moment: What motive could the Vatican have for having Benedict XVI officially endorse and praise Francis and yet do it in such a way that everyone will suspect it didn’t actually come from him or he doesn’t really mean it? In this writer’s opinion, the motive is that the Vatican wants to trigger a schism between the more liberal Francis adherents and the more conservative Benedict adherents. Why? Because it will greatly enhance the credibility of the Modernist revolution that began with “Pope” John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council. This can easily be illustrated in one simple image:
More information on the possibility, significance, and effects of an intra-Novus-Ordo schism can be found here.
Folks, after five years of Francis, it’s obvious that the wheels are coming off. The Novus Ordo Sect is approaching its own demise at rapid speed, and that is a good thing, because once the “operation of error” itself has been removed (cf. 2 Thess 2), surely there is nothing that will prevent the true Catholic Church from rising gloriously once more, with a true Pope, recognized as such by the whole world.
Do not doubt it in the least, for just as “God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Mt 3:9), so can and will He put a real Pope back on the Chair of St. Peter and restore the Roman Catholic Church to her former glory, in imitation of her Divine Lord, who rose gloriously from the grave but not until after His humiliation (see Mk 9:11; Lk 24:25-26). Therefore, “be not faithless, but believing” (Jn 20:27).
Finally, we should not fail to congratulate the pseudo-pontiff on five years of chaos. Never before has a single man been able to make the case for Sedevacantism as compellingly as he has. Thank you, Jorge! Ad multos annos!