As readers may already know, Cardinal Viganò recently wrote an open letter to Pope Francis asking him to resign. I will attempt to show the link connecting that letter to the actual resignations of Pope Benedict XVI, and to the recent bitter and acrimonious fight to prevent the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.
I have no credentials, knowledge or desire to pass judgment on a judge. But the enemies who loudly roared against the nominee showed no other qualifications, as champions of controversy, than a hardened front and a strong voice. As for their key witness of discredit, “Doctor” Ford, she turned out to be a cumbersome monument of incredibility, and a simple, squalid and genuine fake.
I only watched a short section of her testimony. There was a kind of confession in her looks which her modesty had not craft enough to color (1). And it was remarkable how easily and quickly she moved from a tearful recollection of her ancient offended chastity, to a wholehearted laughter shared with her attorneys.
For people run with great avidity to give evidence in favor of what flatters their vanity, feeds their ambition and satisfies their avarice. In the instance, the vanity of publicity and the ambition of being the center of national attention. As for avarice, this doctoress of Freudian psychology will no doubt monetize her notoriety, and soon sink into the swallowing gulf of dark oblivion (2).
But I digress.
There are several and various events connecting the open rebellion against the Pope and the bitterly contested nomination of a Supreme Court judge. I will attempt to separate from each other the scenes that are connected only by the order of time.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Viganò as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States in 2011. An Apostolic Nuncio equates to the charge of an Ambassador of the Vatican. Why “nuncio” and not “ambassador”? Because the word ‘nuncio,’ whose etymology is related to the word ‘announcement’, suggests and implies two functions: to diplomatically represent the Vatican with a foreign government, while simultaneously (and importantly), strengthening and maintaining the ties between the Vatican and the many churches and hierarchies in a country.
The term was already used in the early Middle Ages, to describe the representatives of the Pope at the Court of Byzantium, prior to the schism of 1054, that divided Christianity between the Catholic and the Orthodox. After the Council of Trent (1545-1563) the ‘nuncios’ also took up the role of the official ambassadors.
In his letter to Pope Francis, from which I quote extracts, the Cardinal does not mince his words,
“Bishops and priests, abusing their authority, have committed horrendous crimes to the detriment of their faithful, minors, innocent victims, and young men eager to offer their lives to the Church, or by their silence have not prevented that such crimes continue to be perpetrated.
To restore the beauty of holiness to Church, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, … we must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. “Whatever you have said in the dark … shall be proclaimed from the housetops.” (Lk. 12:3)
… But now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick….
The letter mentions the two preceding Nuncios to Washington, prematurely deceased, who
“… did not fail to inform the Holy See immediately, as soon as they learned of Archbishop McCarrick’s gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests.”
One of the deceased Nuncios had conducted an investigation and one of his aids, professor at the diocesan seminary in Newark , wrote a letter to the Vatican. In which he said that,
“…there was a recurring rumor in the seminary that the Archbishop (McCarrick) shared his bed with seminarians, inviting five at a time to spend the weekend with him at his beach house. And he added that he knew a certain number of seminarians, some of whom were later ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark, who had been invited to this beach house and had shared a bed with the Archbishop.”
Cardinal Viganò proposed a course of action as follows,
- Given that it seemed a new scandal of particular gravity, as it involved a cardinal, a scandal added to the many others affecting the Church in the United States,
- and that, since the matter had to do with a cardinal, and according to can. 1405 § 1, No. 2˚, “ipsius Romani Pontificis dumtaxat ius est iudicandi”; (it pertains to the Roman Pope the right and task to judge)
- I proposed that an exemplary measure be taken against the Cardinal that could have a medicinal function, to prevent future abuses against innocent victims and alleviate the very serious scandal for the faithful, who, despite everything, continued to love and believe in the Church.”
The Cardinal’s proposal resulted in Pope Benedict XIX imposing on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions that included,
“… to leave the seminary where he was living, and he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.”
There is evidence that these sanctions were communicated to Cardinal McCarrick by more than one party, including Cardinal Viganò when he was appointed Nuncio to the US.
Viganò then says,
“I repeated them (the sanctions) to Cardinal McCarrick at my first meeting with him at the Nunciature. The Cardinal, muttering in a barely comprehensible way, admitted that he had perhaps made the mistake of sleeping in the same bed with some seminarians at his beach house, but he said this as if it had no importance.”
The point is that these sanctions were not enforced. Viganò adds,
“…McCarrick had no difficulty in insistently presenting for the episcopate candidates known to be active homosexuals — I cite only the well-known case of Vincenzo de Mauro, who was appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Vigevano (a town near Milan in Italy), and later removed because he was undermining his seminarians .”
After the election of Pope Francis,
“… McCarrick, boasted openly of his travels and missions to various continents. In April 2014, the Washington Times had a front page report on McCarrick’s trip to the Central African Republic, and on behalf of the State Department no less. As Nuncio to Washington, I wrote to Cardinal Parolin asking him if the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid. Ça va sans dire (it goes without saying) that my letter never received any reply!”
I omit the list of other Church authorities, in the US and the Vatican who, according to Cardinal Viganò, were conniving to protect McCarrick. However, based on the profile of the eminences involved and the sequence of events, it is not far fetched to hazard a tenable reason for the otherwise inexplicable and unprecedented resignations from office of Pope Benedict XVI.
Or rather, the only previous historical instance is that of Celestine V, Pope in 1294 for only five months. Those were the times of Dante Alighieri. Dante dedicates some lines to Celestine V in the “Divine Comedy.” The reluctant Pope is not in Hell but permanently resides in a kind of Hell’s anti-chamber. Dante points to him and says, “There is he (Celestine V), who for cowardice, made the great refusal.”
With Benedict XVI cowardice couldn’t be the issue. Given the evidence produced by Cardinal Viganò, Pope Benedict probably realized he could not control or overrule the homosexual, or homosexual-protecting cabal, he was surrounded by.
With suitable modifications, it is possible to infer a parallel with the situation of recent US presidents, surrounded by so called neo-conservatives, who are neither ‘neo’ nor conservatives. But this is another matter altogether.
Still, puzzled as to why the sanctions against McCarrick were not enforced, Viganò travels to Rome for a conference.
“….On the morning of Thursday, June 20, 2013, I went to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, to join my colleagues who were staying there. As soon as I entered the hall I met Cardinal McCarrick, who wore the red-trimmed cassock. I greeted him respectfully as I had always done. He immediately said to me, in a tone somewhere between ambiguous and triumphant: “The Pope received me yesterday, tomorrow I am going to China.”
At the time I knew nothing of his long friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio and of the important part he had played in his recent election, as McCarrick himself would later reveal in a lecture at Villanova University and in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter.
Nor had I ever thought of the fact that he had participated in the preliminary meetings of the recent conclave. …Therefore I did not immediately grasp the meaning of the encrypted message that McCarrick had communicated to me, but that would become clear to me in the days immediately following.”
“…The next day the audience with Pope Francis took place. After his address, which was partly read and partly delivered off the cuff, the Pope wished to greet all the nuncios one by one. In single file, I remember that I was among the last. When it was my turn, I just had time to say to him, “I am the Nuncio to the United States.” He immediately assailed me with a tone of reproach, using these words: “The Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized! They must not be right wing, they must be shepherds!” Of course I was not in a position to ask for explanations about the meaning of his words and the aggressive way in which he had upbraided me.”
Cardinal Viganò continues with arguments against the nomination of various pro-gay Archbishops and Bishops in the United States, promoted and prompted by McCarrick.
Here is the conclusion of the letter,
“At the Angelus on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Pope Francis said these words: “Everyone is guilty for the good he could have done and did not do … If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly feed it. We need to intervene where evil is spreading; for evil spreads where daring Christians who oppose evil with good are lacking.”
If this is rightly to be considered a serious moral responsibility for every believer, how much graver is it for the Church’s supreme pastor, who in the case of McCarrick not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!
Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.
In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”
The Pope chose not to answer questions about Viganò’s open letter. But in a homily, he made indirect reference to it. Which prompted the Cardinal to write a second open letter, of which I will only quote the following statement,
“…the Pope’s reply to my testimony was: ‘I will not say a word!’ But then, contradicting himself, he has compared his silence to that of Jesus in Nazareth before Pilate, and compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church, though without ever uttering my name.”
After the second letter, an official voice of the Catholic establishment (in the instance Cardinal Ouellet), accused Viganò of having built a “political fabrication,” of having lodged a “monstrous accusation,” of having launched a “blasphemous attack on the Pope,” of having inflicted “a grievous wound on the Church” etc.
From now on, the affair acquires the tone of a tabloid, with invectives, accusations, hints and innuendos about Viganò’s obscure, supposed, and diabolic motivations. A detailed rendition would last as long as a night in the Artic, when nights are longest there (3). I have already driven the reader past the bounds of reasonably bearable patience. Incidentally, McCarrick resigned his cardinalship in July 2018.
The next step in connecting the turmoil in the Catholic Church with the nomination of Kavenaugh to the Supreme Court is an attempt at tracing the roots of the turmoil itself, and an examination of why it became inevitable.
In a previous article, “Quo Vadis Vatican?” I described the revolutionary about-turn of the Catholic Church on her relationship with the Jews, during the second Vatican Council. Meaningful, for example, is the following statement by Cardinal Kasper,
“The Catholic Church can attend to (whatever ‘attend’ means is left unsaid), attend to those who, from culture or habit, feel uncomfortable with the liturgical reforms and other reforms of Vatican II. But the Catholic Church cannot accept in any form and for whatever reason, the lingering-on of the prejudice and the diffidence and contempt towards Jews and Judaism. Let’s just consider how the accusation of having killed Christ, created and continues to create in certain places the conditions of an enmity that curses both Judaism and the Gospel of Humanity.”
Translated this means, the Catholics are essentially committing a sin by being unfriendly to the Jews. The Church, he says, needs no longer to proselytize and promote Jewish conversion. Simply because Israel was always in alliance with God, and was loved by God. The Jews are “our elder brothers of the Bible.” Therefore Israel does not need to convert to Christianity, unlike practitioners of other religions.
According to the same prelate Kasper, after Pope Pius XII, the Catholic Church has been and is in a continuous evolution, even re-evaluating established dogmas. One of the great results of the change is that the Catholic Church is now co-existential (his words), with Judaism. And, though not openly stated, ‘co-existential’ implies shared values and… policies.
Which brings us to another important Encyclical, recently issued by Pope Francis, which has to do with the family, “Amoris Laetitia” (The joy of love (in the family)). The essence of that long document can be summarized into one sentence, “The Church must be firm and flexible.” Given that ‘flexible’ is the antonym of ‘firm,’ once more we find an imposed lexical stress that the language itself is not really equipped to bear.
In the instance, the flexible firmness – or if you like, the firm flexibility – involves the issues of same-sex marriages, abortion, divorced couples, single parenting, sex-neutrality, homosexuality, transgenderism, sodomy etc. Issues that American Judaism, by their proud admission, has taken the lead in aggressively promoting and even enforcing. [Remember the Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples].
The Encyclical “Amoris Laetitia,” more than a program, represents a summary of an evolution begun 50 years ago. Out of several, I will produce one example, which will bring us closer to the connection with the storm surrounding the appointment of the latest Supreme Court judge.
Eugene Kennedy (1928-2015) was a psychologist, award-winning writer, public intellectual, syndicated columnist, etc…. and professor emeritus of Loyola University Chicago. He was a priest who dropped his priestly robes to get married, and a follower of Erik Erickson, a German-American Freudian psychologist of Jewish roots.
In 1970 Kennedy, with the approval and sponsorship of the American Catholic authorities appointed Erickson to conduct a study on the psychological profile of 219 priests.
Erickson had developed yet another theory on the psychological development of human beings. According to him, there are 7 stages of development in humans. Stage 6 is intimacy. In a nutshell, sex is needed to reach the final stage #7 of maturity. Otherwise a man is immature.
Say this to a group of people, Catholic priests, who have made a vow of celibacy. The inevitable conclusion is that, ipso facto, all priests are immature. In the instance, Catholic-funded Jewish psychology tells priests to act on their sexual desires, including, of course, homosexuality.
For psychology / psychiatry is a Jewish science, promoting Jewish values and in particular sexual liberation. Psychiatry substitutes the essentially free-of-charge Catholic confession with a license to sin, in exchange for juicy fees paid to the psychiatrist.
The Kennedy study, being conducted on behalf of the Catholic Church, was published with great clout, and we can imagine the devastating effects it had on the morals of the Catholic priesthood.
By the way, though raised as a Catholic, I am writing agnostically, and as a long-time follower of what Kant defined as the ‘categorical imperative.’ A trivial example of which may be found in the reason why most of us stop at a red traffic light, even if we are confident that no police is around to give a ticket.
Still, all conversations with my Catholic school friends and some of their Catholic parents, grandparents and relatives have led me to one conclusion. Episodes of deviance in the Church may have always occurred, but none of my friends and relatives – and myself – saw or reported any. The explosion of scandals is a historically recent phenomenon.
We reached the final link in the connection I was looking for. Kavanaugh is a Catholic, a point not openly discussed but not overlooked in the contentious debate. His enemies are the enemies of a view of life and society at the opposite pole of what (at least until recently), the Church represented. They keep their design always in view, and lay hold of any expedient that time should offer.
The core of the issue is very well exposed in a satirical article written for “Veterans Today,” by Kevin Barrett, and titled “Kavanaugh converts to Judaism to save Supreme Court nomination.” Where we read,
“In the latest shocking turn of events in an increasingly twisted saga, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has announced his impending conversion to Judaism. Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference on the Capitol steps, Kavanaugh said he will undergo a conversion ceremony, including a public circumcision by top Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi Yehuda Karinski, at the National Cathedral in Washington DC beginning at noon tomorrow…..
“By converting to Judaism and having the end of my penis sliced off, I will prove once and for all that I am qualified,” Kavanaugh stated.
He explained that his conversion solved the problem of Catholic overrepresentation on the court—he would have been the fifth Catholic out of nine justices—while simultaneously helping address the crisis of Jewish underrepresentation. Kavanaugh explained that there are currently only three Jewish justices, making up a mere 33% of the Court, despite the fact that Jews constitute more than 65% of America’s ruling elite.
As the fourth Jewish justice, Kavanaugh explained, he will be striking a blow against anti-Semitism by helping the Jewish community overcome institutionalized barriers of prejudice and racism that have impeded its natural rise to a position of complete dominance over all American institutions of power.
Kavanaugh also claimed that his public circumcision, which will be broadcast live in wide-screen close-up by CNN, NBC, Fox, and all other media, will provide a moving spectacle of atonement for his alleged crimes.
…. Defenders of Kavanaugh’s decision to convert included the five Jews who had been leading the anti-Kavanaugh movement: Diane Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Debra Katz, and Michael Bromwich. In a joint statement, the five vowed to switch sides and support Kavanaugh as soon as his conversion was completed and his offending penis mutilated.”
There you have it. It is a sign of the times that fear trumps truth, when truth must be sought in satire. Outside satire, as a right line describes the passage from point to point, a right opinion is that which connects distant truths by the shortest intermediate propositions.
In the instance, the intermediate propositions were not the shortest. On the other hand, whether to see life as it is will give us much consolation is uncertain. But the consolation which is drawn from truth, if any there be, is solid and durable; that which may be derived from error, must be, like its original, deluding and fugitive.
And if I have taxed the patience of my 25 readers, I did not do it on purpose.
- On the principle that one picture is worth a thousand words, this is a very short video clip from a recent Catholic Youth Synod in Rome — goo.gl/McQLfx
- I owe the information about the Loyola University psychological research to Professor E. Michael Jones.
(2) Richard III
(3) Measure for Measure