by Christopher A. Ferrara
February 14, 2017
With each passing day it becomes more apparent that Antonio Socci was not exaggerating when he wrote that with the unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald J. Trump — a rude shock that has driven the worldwide liberal establishment to the brink of collective insanity — none other than Pope Francis has become “the only point of reference for the international Left, deprived of a leader…”
Whoever doubts it need only consult a revealing editorial in the Washington Post, one of the most prominent organs of international Leftist opinion. Under the telling editorial category “Global Opinions,” one Emma-Kate Symons provides a roadmap for “How Pope Francis can cleanse the far-right rot from the Catholic Church.”
Symons sees a vast right-wing conspiracy between the White House staff, led by Stephen K. Bannon, and those seditious, diehard traditional Catholics, led by the nefarious Cardinal Burke, who together are “undermining Francis’s reformist, compassionate papacy, and gospel teaching as it applies to refugees and Muslims” and seek to “legitimize extremist forces that want to bring down Western liberal democracy, Stephen K. Bannon-style.”
Translation: Cardinal Burke is defending Catholic orthodoxy while the White House is pursuing a pro-life, anti-open borders program.
They must be stopped, Symons frets.
Symons thinks she has found the Catholic nexus of the conspiracy to resist Francis as he helps to bring on the final triumph of the liberal zeitgeist over the backward Church, thus ushering in the End of History. She points the finger at a “Vatican operation” known as Dignitatis Humanae, or the Institute for Human Dignity, a rather bland think tank founded back in 2008, when it was located in the European Parliament building. Symons decries the fact that the Institute’s current advisory board (which in organizations of this type usually have a merely titular function) “includes two of the four cardinals openly challenging Francis on marriage and sexuality…”
How dare those cardinals oppose Francis as he labors to accommodate Symons and the rest of world opinion by overthrowing the teaching of John Paul II and all of Tradition on the impossibility of Holy Communion for public adulterers!
Symons warns that the Institute has featured on its website an address at the Vatican by Stephen Bannon, given last November, in which, among other things — oh the horror! — he dared to state that at the beginning of the 21st century there is “a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.” Clearly, Bannon must be some kind of lunatic, along with Pope Benedict XVI, another dangerous subversive, who said this back in 2010:
“[O]ur world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure….
“This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk wherever its place, the place of moral reasoning, is taken by the purely instrumental rationality of which I spoke earlier. In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake.”
Good thing Benedict was forced into retirement so that Francis could take his place!
Symons further warns that “the institute’s top office-bearers, Burke and his henchman, the media-savvy Breitbart contributor Benjamin Harnwell, are also encouraging Benito Mussolini fan Matteo Salvini, of Italy’s Northern League, and Muslim-baiting far-right Catholic poster girl Marion Le Pen, the National Front ‘rising star’ niece of party leader Marine Le Pen in France.”
Harnwell writes for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, so one might not be inclined to review him as any sort of dangerous extremist. But how can one deny this if, as Symons writes, he is a “henchman.” Henchmen are always evil, are they not?
Then too, Burke “encouraged” Matteo Salvini. One might ask: what is the evidence that Salvini is a fan of Mussolini? Here it is: some people at his rallies have been seen waving photographs of the late dictator and he has worn black shirts! And like any crypto-Fascist, Salvini is very critical of the European Union — along with all those neo-Fascists in England, who voted to leave it!
And what about that “Muslim-baiting far-right Catholic poster girl Marion Le Pen, [of] the National Front”? The danger here is that the people of France, weary of the endless disaster of unrestricted Muslim immigration and related mass murders, now appear poised to elect her as President of the Republic. That would bring millions of people into the orbit of the dastardly Burke-Bannon-Catholic conspiracy — just like Trump’s election did.
Symons alerts Francis to the dire threat Burke poses as he “tries to run an insurgency and rebukes the pope for his doctrinal ‘ambiguities,’ with the backing of thousands of priests…” Cardinals, thousands of priests, and who knows how many members of the faithful are kicking against the goad of what Cardinal Kasper has called “Pope Francis’ Revolution of Tenderness and Love.” What is going on here? The peasants are rising against tenderness and love!
Symons has a plan, however: “Francis could seize the agenda. In time-honored papal tradition, he could write an encyclical on the burning questions of populism and nationalism, with specific reference to migrants, Muslims and Jews, so priests including Burke know they are in breach of church teaching when they try to act as power brokers for the international extreme right.”
Such painful naiveté. As if a Pope could wave his magic papal wand and force Catholics to believe what Symons believes about such issues as populism, nationalism, migrants and Muslims by simply publishing an encyclical and demanding: “You must believe this!”
Francis must crush this rising peasants’ revolt before it is too late, Symons cautions. For “[i]f the pope doesn’t put the reactionary elements such as Burke and his cronies back in their place, they could force a real schism during his papacy and leave the church open to justifiable accusations it failed to stand up to enablers of extremism and neo-fascism within its ranks.”
Curiously, the Institute’s website (www.dignitatishumanae.com) seems to have disappeared following the appearance of Symons’ editorial, although its Facebook page is still accessible. Symons was able to link to it only days ago (February 9) when her editorial appeared. Has the Vatican, taking Symons’s advice, already made a move against the Institute or has that really rather tame organization shut itself down for fear of reprisal from the Bergoglian apparatus?
It would be easy enough to dismiss Symons’ little screed as a joke. But there is a deadly serious element to her laughable contentions: they illustrate how Francis has been instrumentalized by the Church’s enemies in order to crush all Catholic opposition to the consolidation of a unipolar world order. His role — wittingly or unwittingly — will be to assist the global “deep state,” which cares nothing about anything so trivial as Catholicism or the election of a President of the United States. To complete the assigned task, Francis must insure the permanent marginalization of the traditional Catholic proletariat and a purge of its radical leaders, above all Burke, so that the civil authorities will have a clear path to treating them as dangerous and even criminal radicals.
We are witnessing, to the extent humanly possible, an attempted merger of the Catholic Church with a worldwide secular hegemon — an outcome now principally impeded only by the Trump administration, the populist movements of Europe, and traditional Catholics within the Church who are resisting what would be her terminal liberalization under a wayward Roman Pontiff beloved by all the worldly powers.
Never has the world witnessed such a destructive affinity between political and ecclesiastical power at the highest levels. One can only see here yet another aspect of what the Third Secret of Fatima foretells, which Benedict XVI revealed in part during his pilgrimage to Fatima some seven years ago: “realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident.”
May the Blessed Virgin obtain the protection of the Church and the rescue of the world from the designs of those who would enslave both — with the unprecedented assistance of a Roman Pontiff. And may the Church be blessed with a Pope who, instead of being the instrument of worldly powers, will be the instrument of the world’s conversion to Christ through the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary — too long delayed by Church leaders who think themselves wiser than Mary, Seat of Wisdom.