NEWS:  December 29, 2014
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
VATICAN FACTIONS FIGHTING  -  As the time goes by, it becomes much clearer that a silent but large bloc of Bishops is not content with the bold pace of reforms Pope Francis is imposing on the Church. We have seen that, in preparation for the Synod, Francis, inspired by Card. Walter Kasper, made a spectacular display of his policy regarding Communion for couples in irregular liaisons when he married 20 couples at a solemn Vatican Mass. He expected to be diligently followed by the Bishops at the Synod, but he miscalculated. Those guidelines were not endorsed by the Bishops at that meeting even though Bergoglio stressed in the opening speech that he wanted to be obeyed, declaring that the Bishops should act cum Petro et sub Petro.

Registering this quiet opposition was Card. Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, in an interview granted to the German theological monthly Herder Korrespondenz for its December issue. Schönborn reported that at the Synod he suggested the policy of “gradualism” regarding marriage. According to this policy, the Church should allow cohabitating couples access to Communion because they supposedly are on their way toward marriage.

In effect, Schönborn suggested that the Bishops demonstrate tolerance with this step-by-step march. He expressed surprise at the opposition his proposal caused. On both the marriage discussion and the ensemble of Bergoglio’s reforms, he issued this generalized conclusion:

Cardinals listening to Francis speak

Francis’ speech on ‘diseases’ of the Curia was received by poker-faced Cardinals with a formal politesse

“There is a certain temptation at the moment to dream of a powerful Church, a longing for political Catholicism which will impress people like in the 1930s. These Cardinals get extremely worried that the Pope is, as it were, descending from his throne.” (The Tablet, December 13, 2014, p. 28)

Since the agenda for the 2015 Synod was released in early December for the Bishops to study, the two sides are already taking positions.

On the one hand, we have those who have made public criticism of the Kasper-Bergoglio line on marriage. This group includes Bishop Athanasius Schneider from Kazakhstan, Cardinals Carlo Cafarra of Bologna, Camilo Ruini, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Angelo Scola of Milan, Fernando Filoni and the American Raymond Burke.

Also, the candidature of Archbishop Bruno Forte to become vice-president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference was duly torpedoed by a majority of the Italian Bishops. Forte is one of Bergoglio’s fans who was appointed secretary of the Synod. This boycott will diminish his authority in the coming October Synod.

On the other hand, Francis started beheading the Cardinals who have either openly criticized him or simply refused to sing in his choir. Examples of this: Card. Burke was replaced by Arch. Dominique Maberti as head of the Apostolic Signature, while Card. Antonio Cañizares was substituted by Card. Robert Sarah as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. (Cf. ibid., p. 31) Following the same agenda, in early December Francis initiated a series of talks on the family stressing his views.

Another blow was the papal speech to the Roman Curia on December 22, which traditionally should be a cordial Christmas greeting. It became a strong Bergoglian attack on the non-miserablist way of being an official of the Curia. He denounced the 15 “diseases” of the Curia he wanted to see cured. Poker-faced Cardinals and Monsignors listened to him with a formal politesse.

We see that a large quantity of sand is entering the gears of the Vatican political machine, making it more difficult for Pope Bergoglio to continue his high speed march toward the destruction of the Hierarchical Church. Hopefully, more sand will clog these mechanisms and put a stop to the auto-demolition planned by Francis.

THE RED AXIS – While experiencing these difficulties in the realm of the Church, Francis did not lose the opportunity to support Communism in the temporal sphere. Indeed, the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and partial lifting of the 50+ year-old American embargo against Cuba by Obama on December 17 came to light as another communist initiative of the American President.

Obama shakes hands with Raul Castro

Whoever supports the Cuban dictators accedes to their half-century crimes

Shortly after the first news reports, the media added a new bit of information: the negotiations were made following the inspiration of Francis. The Pope sent letters to both Raúl Castro and Barack Obama urging an end to the embargo; then, in October 2014, the Vatican hosted a diplomatic meeting between the two sides where the agreement was forged.

One of the unstated reasons for this accord is that Cuba is passing through another financial crisis caused by the interruption of the flow of Venezuelan petro-dollars into in its moribund economy. Since Venezuela itself has entered into political-economic chaos, it cannot supply its habitual donation to support the communist dictatorship of the Castro Brothers. Instead of revealing its failure to the world, the Cuban communist regime can now enjoy the strong support of the United States, after the Obama administration rushed in to assist it - the U.S.'s natural enemy.

Thus, Pope Bergoglio continues the same papal politics of rescuing Communism from its failures that has been in force at least since Pope Wojtyla’s historic visit to the Island in 1998, followed by Pope Ratzinger’s in 2012. Those visits were duly analyzed in this column (here and here) as shameful support for the worst enemy of the Church offered at the very moment when Communism was on the brink of perishing.

Shortly TIA will return to the topic of the lifting of the American embargo against Cuba. We will be publishing collaborations by writers and readers that reflect our opposition to this double betrayal by a Pope and an American President.

WOMEN RELIGIOUS EXCLAIM VICTORY – On December 16, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life issued the final report on the six-year investigation by the Holy See on women religious in the United States. The investigation was initiated in 2008 on the order of Benedict XVI under the direction of Card. Frank Rodé, then Prefect of the mentioned Congregation. The first commentaries, released almost a year into the investigation, pointed out that this whole body of women religious in the U.S. was contaminated by a “secular mentality” and “feminist spirit.” After protests and outcries by the sisters about the oppression of the “male Church” over the “poor women religious,” the picture changed with Francis’ election.

Cardinal Bras Aviz with nuns

Card. Bras Aviz at the launching of the final report on American women religious

Card. Rodé was replaced by Card. João Brás de Aviz, who fully subscribes to the Francis Revolution. Instead of criticism, Aviz’ final report praises the ensemble of sisters for their active role in social justice, stating that their work resonates with “Pope Francis’ insistence that none of us is exempt from concern for the poor.”

At a press conference to launch the report, Card. Aviz affirmed that the sisters were acting with “self-sacrifice” for the sake of “the spiritual, moral, educative, physical and social needs of countless people.” (The Tablet, December 20, 2014, p. 47)

Therefore, the Vatican has turned a blind eye to the complete secularization of the American sisters and the consequent abandonment of the habits, religious lives and rules established by their founders. These women have entered the temporal sphere preaching Socialism, class struggle, Feminism, Ecology, acceptance of homosexuality, adhesion to Buddhism and other pagan practices in their spirituality.

As soon as the American nuns were cleared by this report, the feminist demands acquired a new tone. Sister Joan Chittister ended her analysis of the Aviz report by imperiously calling for two points: The Vatican must place women in decision-making positions of the Church as proof of its consistency; no more investigations should be conducted without first listening to what the religious women have to say about it.

Yet again, another imposition of Francis…