Luis Badilla scolds Vatican PR machine…
Vaticanist: Francis “Will Never Be Same Again” after Surgery for “Severe and Degenerative” Disease
This past Sunday, July 4, 2021, “Pope” Francis was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital for scheduled intestinal surgery.
The Vatican press office has been updating the public about the 84-year-old antipope’s status every day. The latest news is that of July 8:
- Declaration by Matteo Bruni on “Pope” Francis’ health (July 8, 2021)
So far, all the official communiqués from the Vatican have been positive and mollifying, though Phil Lawler believes that the Vatican has made a significant public relations blunder by postponing the announcement of Francis’ surgery to the very last minute.
Here are some of the most recent reports from the Novus Ordo and secular press on Jorge Bergoglio’s health condition:
- Pope Francis has further health scans in hospital after running a fever (Catholic News Agency/July 8)
- Pope temporarily had fever 3 days after intestinal surgery (Associated Press/July 8)
- Pope recovering normally, shows closeness to hospitalized children (Vatican News/July 8)
- After fever subsides, pope undergoes scans that rule out infection (Catholic News Agency/July 7)
On July 7, Rome Reports published a health update on Francis, noting that doctors have ruled out a tumor:
Meanwhile, a reporter at Crux has put together a medical dictionary for Francis’ colon surgery.
In the midst of all these positive and reassuring reports, however, comes a revelation by the credible, well-connected, and Francis-friendly Italian Novus Ordo blog Il Sismografo. Its editor is the Chilean Luis Badilla Morales, who used to work for Vatican Radio for many years.
On July 7, Badilla reported that Francis’ condition is rather serious and that the Vatican PR machine is not doing him any favors by downplaying the actual state of affairs. The American Vaticanist Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican translated the Italian report into English, from which we quote the most important lines:
…[T]here is a very significant detail that many in these hours underestimate, ignore or manipulate: the disease that has struck Pope Francis is severe and degenerative. It could also be chronic.
Certainly the Holy Father will return to the Vatican to resume his journey in the footsteps of Peter but he will never be the same again.
The Holy Father must take care of his health carefully and in this he must be helped by everyone, mainly Catholics. He knows that he will have to change his life a lot: fatigue, rest, limits, nutrition, rehabilitative physical exercises …
One small way to stay close to the Pope while he regains his strength — a slow, gradual and complex process — is to do away with flattery in the press. Pope Francis does not need it.
(Luis Badilla, “Pope Francis does not need flattery in the press”, Il Sismografo, July 7, 2021; translation by Robert Moynihan at Inside the Vatican, Letter #47, July 7, 2021.)
In a follow-up letter today, Moynihan expresses his concern that there is more to worry about than the mere physical recovery from complications of the surgical procedure. There is also, he notes, the fact that receiving general anesthesia at an advanced age can lead to permanent “fogginess” of the mind, as he knows from the personal experience of his own father.
Moynihan then proceeds to quote from an email he received from writer and researcher Steve O’Reilly, who mentions the same thing, namely:
“I saw your report on the Pope,” Steve wrote. “While the focus of all seems to be on his physical condition, there is something else I haven’t seen anyone else mention.
“I know in the case of my now departed parents… they each had hip-related surgeries in their 80s. My mother was never the same after it, apparently as a result of the anesthesia. Due to what happened to her, when my father had surgery… we requested as light an anesthetic as possible… so they only sedated him. Yet, even so, he was not quite the same after it. I’ve heard similar reports from others.
“My concern would be the effect this might have on the governance of the Church. If Francis is cognitively impaired even for a matter of months… would they tell us? Might someone take advantage of that impairment behind the scenes for their own purposes?”
(Steve O’Reilly; quoted by Robert Moynihan at Inside the Vatican, Letter #48, July 8, 2021.)
These concerns further underscore the points made by Badilla at Il Sismografo.
It remains to be seen what will happen next. Either way, at 84 years old the Modernist Bergoglio had better prepare for judgment.
He has a lot to repent of.
Image source: shutterstock.com