NEWS:  August 23, 2017
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
AN ILL-INFORMED NOTORIETY –  In the last seven days hostile articles were directed at Tradition in Action in three London newspapers: The Times, The Independent and The London Economic. In this period we also received a message from the New York-based ProPublica newsroom communicating that TIA had been included in a list of hate organizations, based on an old and untruthful report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The ProPublica reporter implied that this organization would promote a boycott campaign against us with Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Amazon and other enterprises that control Internet traffic, donations and book sales.

The four attacks seem to reveal that someone is acting against TIA behind the scenes, trying to slander and defame us in order to prevent our action from advancing. Whether these simultaneous courses of action are coincidental or intentional, the best thing to do is to undo ill-information and establish the truth.

I will address first the two English newspapers and, then, transcribe the accusation of ProPublica as well as include TIA’s response to it.

The accusations of The Times & The Independent

1. On August 21, 2017, The Times of London, in an article titled “Theologians doubt Pope Francis is Catholic” signed by Philip Willan in Rome, affirms that:
    the independent tradition in action

    For a snapshot of The Times' full article click here

  • Anxious theologians and conservative Cardinals have created an alliance to attack Pope Francis as a heretic;

  • This group does not believe there has been a true Pope since Pius XII;

  • Card. Burke stated that one of the secrets of Our Lady of Fatima concerns a widespread apostasy; he also warned against confusion in the Church and advised the faithful to distinguish between Pope Francis’ personal opinions and the teachings of the Church;

  • 45 theologians analyzed Francis’ Amoris Laetitia and declared that it is not heretical, but "constitutes a grave danger to Catholic faith and morals";

  • Tradition in Action in the “extremist fringes of the Church holds that at least the last four Pontiffs were impostors”;

  • According to TIA, the 3rd secret of Fatima sustains that the Faith will not be preserved in Rome; that a fake Holy Father has devilish eyes;

  • Journalist Riccardo Cascioli organized a conference of Catholic theologians in April 2017 and affirmed that there are “two churches confronting one another across a worrying rift”, that the problem is not really Francis but “the Vatican chain of command” and that the central problem regards the Eucharist.
2. On August 22, 2017, The Independent of London and The London Economic in almost identical articles titled respectively “Strict Conservative theologians question whether Pope Francis is really Catholic” by Caroline Mortimer and “Is the Pope Catholic?” by Jack Peat affirm that:
    the time tradition in action

    For a snapshot of The Independent's full article click here

  • Tradition in Action claims there has not been a true Pontiff since the 1950s;

  • TIA supports that, according to Fatima, Francis is an antipope;

  • An extreme conservative branch of theologians claims that there has not been a true Pope since Pius XII;

  • According to TIA, the secret of Fatima says that an apostasy in the Church will begin at the top; Our Lady referred to a fake Pope with a devilish gaze;

  • There are also reactions against Francis in the Roman Curia;

  • Card. Burke manifested concern about the confusion, division and error in the Church; he also advised the faithful to distinguish between the personal opinions of Pope Francis and the formal teaching of the Church.
TIA’s response

To these accusations we declare that:
  1. Neither Tradition in Action nor any of its writers subscribe to the thesis that there have been no Popes since Pius XII. On the contrary, we believe that from John XXIII to Francis, all the Popes were validly elected Popes;

  2. Therefore, TIA has never called Francis or other conciliar Popes impostors, antipopes or fake Popes;

  3. These positions are those of the sede-vacantists, which are opposed to the positions defended by Tradition in Action and its writers, as can be verified on our website here, here, here, here and here.

  4. The three mentioned newspapers fail to distinguish that a Pope can be an apostate and even a heretic and not lose his pontificate, i.e., he is still a valid Pope. In this case, Catholics should resist his false teaching and obey the Pope when his teaching is in conformity with the traditional Magisterium of the Church. This position of resistance is the one that TIA adopts here, here, here, here and here.

  5. TIA has made no alliance with Card. Burke to attack Pope Francis. On the contrary, we have serious reservations about the positions taken by Card. Burke and other conservative Cardinals, as can be read here, here, here, here and here.

  6. Although TIA respects and agrees with the Letter to the College of Cardinals on Amoris laetitia signed by 45 scholars on June 29, 2016, we took no part in that initiative. We made no formal or tacit agreement with them.

  7. TIA has made no agreement with Mr. Riccardo Cascioli. Although some of his reported opinions seem reasonable, TIA does not agree with the affirmation that the crucial battle to resolve the crisis in the Church centers around the concept of the real presence in the Eucharist. We believe that the whole Catholic Faith is being destroyed based on a new theology that reinterprets God, Creation, sin, the Redemption, grace and all the Sacraments as well as Hell, Heaven and the Final Judgment.
london economic tradition in action

For a snapshot of The London Economic's full article click here

It is interesting to note that none of these newspapers bothered to contact TIA before rushing to publish these untruths. Also the almost simultaneous attack in the three newspapers – The Independent and The London Economic one day after The Times – and the repetition of the same defamations speak of a same head commanding the three of them.

Lastly, The Independent and The London Economic took a more dramatic and violent tone attributing almost all the reactions of theologians and cardinals against Pope Francis to TIA. Doing so, they exposed themselves to ridicule by ascribing to those untruths an exaggerated importance and, thus, revealing the great hatred that inspired it.

These are the answers we offer to the public and to the three newspapers that defamed TIA. If the aforementioned newspapers have any concern about the truth and any shame for deceiving their readers, they should post this answer in their next editions with due apologies to Tradition in Action.

Let us wait and see if they choose to be included in the circle of honest journalism or not.

If our readers want to give their testimonies to The Times, The Independent and The London Economic telling these newspapers that TIA is known as a sound Catholic organization and is definitely not sede-vacantist and not extremist as they claim, use these links to contact The Times, The Independent and The London Economic.

Attack from ProPublica

TIA also received from a self-titled newsroom – ProPublica – the following threatening message, which we present to our readers along with our answer.

propublica attack

ProPublica is a progressivist online paper that attacks the Trump administration and anyone it considers 'undemocratic'

Hello Tradition in Action:

I am a reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York. I am contacting you to let you know that we are including your website in a list of sites that have been designated as hate or extremist by the American Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have identified all the tech platforms that are supporting websites on the ADL and SPLC lists.

We would like to ask you a few questions:

1. Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2. We identified one tech companies on your website, PayPal. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with them? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3. Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4. Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them - what is your view of this campaign? Why? Our deadline is 5pm EST today, August 18, 2017.

Thank you,
Lauren Kirchner, ProPublica


TIA’s response

Hello Lauren Kirchner,

Thank you for contacting us about this “condemnation” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

We believe that the inclusion of Tradition in Action – TIA – on that list of anti-Semitic and hate groups was unjust and entirely arbitrary.

As soon as that evaluation was made public by SPLC, we published our refutation to it, which you can read here. The SPLC did not reply to our defense, which, according to the guidelines of a public debate, is the equivalent of an acceptance of our terms, following the adage: Qui tacet consentire videtur – He who remains silent, consents.

Additionally, anyone who browses our website can see that we are a Catholic organization, against Nazism and Fascism (here, here, here, here and here), as well as against racism.

Given this precedent – the accusation, our answer and no response to it – we would be grateful if your group would withdraw the name of TIA from the list of hate organizations. We believe that this reply answers your first question and clearly demonstrates that the following questions are not applicable to the case of TIA.

Cordially,
Atila S. Guimarães, Vice-president
Tradition in Action,
August 22, 2017

If our readers want to contact ProPublica to tell Lauren Kirchner that she is being unjust to list TIA among hate organizations, they may use this link.