NEWS:  May 29, 2013
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
BERGOGLIO’S ‘PSYCHIATRIC REASONS’ -    On June 7, 2013, while answering questions of elementary school children from Jesuit schools, Pope Francis made some curious affirmations. When a girl asked him why he abandoned the papal apartments and moved to Domus Sanctae Marthae (Saint Martha's Inn), he said:

“I can’t live alone, do you understand? It’s not a question of my personal virtue, it’s just that I can’t live alone.”

Francis answering questions

Actually, I had to leave the papal apartments for psychiatric reasons

“A professor asked me this question, ‘Why don’t you go live there?’ and I answered, ‘Listen, professor, it’s for psychiatric reasons,’ because that’s my personality.” (original here)


This text from the Vatican Radio - later transcribed everywhere - is genuine. Indeed, the Pope’s words can be checked by anyone, since the entire meeting with those children was filmed. The excerpt that interests us is available here (with an English translation).

Judging by the applause, the students and their teachers were pleased by the Pope’s answer. I believe no one was actually paying attention to its content. The whole encounter had the cordial air of a party, where logic does not enter the picture.

However, I am not obliged to applaud the Pope for everything he does and says, as those children obviously were. Instead I am concerned about what Bergoglio is doing to the Papacy. Therefore, I will analyze his statement.

It seems to me that those spontaneous words have the merit of sincerity. He did not give too much thought to what he was saying. He just spoke from his heart.

So, the reason for abandoning the papal apartments and moving to Saint Martha’s Inn is that he “cannot live alone.”

This reason in my opinion is quite inconsistent because:
  1. He would not be alone in his papal apartments since he would have many secretaries, assistants, guards, domestics, etc.

  2. At his room in Saint Martha’s Inn, since it is not prepared to receive all those assistants, he has fewer persons around him than if he were in the papal apartments.

Mass in Saint Martha's Inn

Pope Bergoglio saying Mass in St. Martha's modern chapel for Vatican workers and guards

  1. Probably what he meant was that he needs to be among people, common people. However, at St. Martha’s he also lacks this possibility. He cannot leave the Inn lobby and walk out into the streets like any other guest for obvious reasons of security. So, the only place he can go is to the Inn Chapel, where he is saying his daily Mass for the employees of the Vatican. This would be the real reason for Francis to move.

    If he were in the papal apartments, however, nothing would be easier to arrange than a daily papal Mass said for as many Vatican workers as he wanted in one of the many chapels of the Vatican Palace. Therefore, this motive also is not convincing.

  2. Soon after he became Pope, it was widely reported that when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio abandoned his Palace to live alone in a simple apartment in a discrete neighborhood in the Argentine capital. So, then he wanted to live alone; now he says he cannot live alone. Logically speaking, the two explanations clash.

  3. What makes sense to me - either when he was in Argentina or now in Rome - is that Bergoglio cannot bear an aristocratic lifestyle. Since his early youth, he has been an ardent Peronist, a follower of Juan Peron, three-time president of the country. Peronism is a strong socialist-populist movement that strives to exalt the masses and destroy the aristocratic structure of society in Argentina. Thus, we have that old Peronist now applying to the Papacy and the Catholic Church what he learned and practiced all his life.

  4. Therefore, the excuse “I cannot be alone” seems to me nothing but inconsistent verbiage offered to please his audience.
As if he sensed the vacuity of this answer, Pope Bergoglio shortly added the second excuse transcribed above: “Listen, professor, it’s for psychiatric reasons.”

Here Bergoglio revealed once again his poor command of the language. If he would have said “it’s for psychological reasons,” that would be fine, since each man has his own psychology and the need not to be alone could be an understandable psychological requisite.

Pope Francis the clown

Impromptu and inaccurate remarks escalating

However, psychiatry is something different from psychology. Psychiatry deals with the disorders and diseases of the human psychology. No one who is psychologically balanced needs a psychiatrist. Only someone who suffers from a psychological pathology has a “psychiatric reason to not be alone.” So, if we were to take what he said literally, Bergoglio would have confessed to be psychologically ill.

A quick analysis of his psychology leads one to affirm that Jorge Bergoglio is not psychologically unbalanced. But this confusion between psychology and psychiatry shows without any shadow of a doubt that he is not as learned as he should be to be a Pope.

The problem becomes still graver when we consider that this type of confusion has spiraled into many fields - dogmatic, moral, historic, institutional, linguistic, etc. - as Pope Francis refuses to follow prepared texts for his speeches and insists on speaking spontaneously in order to surprise his audiences and make himself popular.

It is unpleasant and embarrassing for a Catholic to witness the present Pope commit such elementary mistakes, which would make someone the object of general jest were he an inexperienced young bishop before Vatican II.

NUNCIOS SHOULD FEAR RIDICULE - On June 21, 2013, Francis offered orientation to the Apostolic Nuncios gathered in Rome. As we know, the nuncios are the regular ambassadors of the Pope to governments with which the Vatican has diplomatic relations. They also have the mission to inform the Pope on matters in the local episcopates and to watch for the best candidates to become bishops. Finally, they transmit to the local churches guidelines coming from the Pope.

In the meeting at the Vatican, following his miserablist agenda, Pope Bergoglio told the Nuncios to abandon their “bourgeois lifestyle.” I reproduce a report with his words as summarized by London’s Telegraph (June 22, 2013, online):

He [Francis] said they had a vital role in the countries they represent by making recommendations for clergy who should be made bishops. He urged them to avoid candidates who were overly ambitious or showed “a princely psychology.”

“There is always a risk ... of giving in to that sort of bourgeoisie of the spirit and life which drives one to recline, to seek out a comfortable and tranquil life,” he told the ambassadors, who had gathered at the Vatican from all over the world.

“Giving in to such a worldly spirit exposes us pastors in particular to ridicule. We would perhaps be applauded by some, but those who seem to approve of us would criticize us behind our backs,” Francis said.


nuncios meeting with Pope Francis

Nuncios must put aside pomp & grandeur and adopt a miserablist lifestyle

This report provides us with a document in which the Pope officially tells his representatives to abolish their princely lifestyle. I was aware that Paul VI had recommended the Bishops to abolish their pomp; I also know of many recent general affirmations of Francis favoring the abolition of the aristocratic life in the Church.

Here we have the first document where that general orientation becomes specific, where his symbolic acts against the Papal Monarchy are translated into administrative measures touching the entire Church.

Thus, Francis gave three commands to the Nuncios: first, they should abolish their princely lifestyle, second, they should boycott any candidate to the bishopric who follows this style; third, they should transmit this miserablist orientation to the clergy.

What was the only reason given for this order? The fear of ridicule.

Before Vatican II, we were taught that Bishops and Cardinals must be willing to shed their blood for Christ and for the Faith. The divine example of Our Lord teaches us to accept every kind of persecution from the world, be it bloody or bloodless. Among the latter, the most common and efficient is the use of ridicule to make Catholics bend to the world.

Now, Pope Bergoglio establishes that the Nuncios should change their princely lifestyle so that they will not appear ridiculous or “be criticized behind their backs.” I believe this is a good criterion for a leader of a political party, a theater boss or a circus director. It is not the criterion for a Pope to give to Catholics who should defend their Faith in any circumstance and should not fear ridicule.