Daily Reading & Meditation: Thursday (August 30)August 30, 2018
BREAKING: Vatican Source: Pope Dismissed Cdl. Müller for Following Church Rules on Abuse CasesAugust 30, 2018
By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor, The Stream, August 29, 2018
Say that, five years back, I’d seen an article saying that:
The highest echelons of the Catholic church had been hijacked by a coven of men who committed or winked at the sex abuse of children.
The same men shrugged at bishops sexually targeting seminarians, as long as they met the age of consent. As if that were one of the perks of the office.
These men would come to power after a pope read a devastating dossier about widespread, drug-fueled gay promiscuity inside his own papal Curia. Then resigned in disgust or despair.
The worst among these men, with the darkest records of abuse or coverup, would conspire to elect their ally as pope.
That pope would reward them by rehabilitating cardinals disgraced for abusing or enabling the abuse of children. He would annul any punishments for abusers, undoing the old pope’s (already insufficient) efforts. And punish faithful officials who tried to seek justice.
This pope and his closest advisors would mock sex abuse victims, call them liars, and promote abuse enablers as long as the press would let him get away with it.
When his long train of abuses was brought to light by a senior Catholic diplomat, this pope would stonewall like Nixon. Meanwhile his underlings would scramble to discredit their critics’ motives with charges of racism, and deflect the secular media by waving their favorite shiny objects: promises to do more to promote open borders to global Islam, and control over the world economy by globalist, atheist agencies.
I would have been pretty darned skeptical. Heck, as a Catholic, I might even have gotten offended. “Them’s fightin’ words, Mr. Jack Chick,” I would have said.
The Hideous Truth
But the past five years have adjusted my expectations. So when a distinguished Catholic diplomat, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, released an anguished letter confirming all the bullet points above and more, my reaction was different.
I was happy. After five years of gathering darkness and doubt, I saw a break in the clouds. A glimpse of the gold light of heaven. If men like Archbishop Vigano are still in the Church, maybe I belong there too.
A Pastor with Courage
The 77-year-old Archbishop Vigano bet his reputation, his pension, his healthcare, and every friendship he ever made on a long list of specific charges. (Some say he risked his life; he is currently hiding in seclusion.) Not vague, sweeping generalizations, but factual assertions about particular people. He has told us where the documents exist which can prove or discredit his charges. They’re in his old office at the Holy See’s nunciature (embassy) in Washington, D.C.
Only Caesar can fix this.
My colleague Austin Ruse is right. A conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of American citizens on U.S. soil is a criminal matter. The U.S. Department of Justice should demand those documents from the Holy See, immediately. If Pope Francis insists on withholding them, shielding them behind “diplomatic immunity” like some Arab ambassador’s use of slaves? Then President Trump should act. He should suspend U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See and expel all its representatives. (Expect a dozen other nations to follow suit, by the way.)
At this point, perhaps only Caesar can fix this. In America, we need 49 more attorneys general to follow Pennsylvania’s example. Subpoena the sex abuse files of their local churches for the past 50 years. We need to see if patterns of criminal conspiracy pervade those churches too.
Italy Must Protect its Children
The government of Italy also has enormous leverage here. Why should it let cardinals who are or might be implicated in such a vast and sordid conspiracy against the innocence of children come and go as they please? Given Francis’ track record in how he chooses cardinals (see Abp. Vigano’s detailed, and still utterly un-refuted charges), why should a cardinal appointed by Francis be trusted to enter Italy?
Not for their ordinary work of consulting with the pope. And not for their crucial role of voting in future conclaves.
The government of Italy should demand from the Holy See the same documents that U.S. attorneys general demand from local dioceses. Italy should demand them for every living cardinal, for the purpose of determining which ones are safe to admit to the country. In the meantime, those who are non-Italians should be excluded from the country. Those who are Italians should be eligible for charges if they are guilty. It may be that such actions conflict with the Lateran Treaty. Let Pope Francis fire off a letter of complaint to the European Union.
Investigate Every Living Cardinal
I know what you’re thinking: This man just wants to undo Francis’ progressive stacking of the College of Cardinals. He wants to “fix” the next papal election. He’s counting on the fact that Francis has declared war on Italy’s patriotic government over mass Muslim colonization of Europe, especially Italy. Maybe even the fact that a priest at the Vatican was allowed to call Italian Interior Minster Matteo Salvini “the Antichrist” at Mass. With no rebuke or apology from the pope.
Given the illegitimate means which the pro-pedophile faction used to seize the Throne of Peter, I’m willing to see the laity use legal means to set it right. Remember that it was only the Emperor Otto the Great who saved the papacy in the 10th century, when papal elections were controlled by powerful prostitutes.
And you’d be partly right. Given the illegitimate means which the pro-pedophile faction used to seize the Throne of Peter, I’m willing to see the laity use legal means to set it right. Remember that it was only the Emperor Otto the Great who saved the papacy in the 10th century, when papal elections were controlled by powerful prostitutes.
But I’m not so crassly partisan as that. I don’t want the Italian government to investigate only Francis’ cardinals. I hope it investigates them all. There were cardinals appointed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI who proved themselves guilty. There may be solidly “conservative” votes in a future conclave who also need to be purged. The Church should not be governed by such men. The next pope should not be chosen by them. The people of Italy should not be exposed to them.
Constantine, a layman not even yet baptized, could summon the Council of Nicaea to address the Arian crisis. And the Church still thanks him for it. Surely the baptized Catholics who lead democratic Italy can protect Italian citizens, and (by the principle of double-effect) also serve the reform of the Church.
John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream, and author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.
He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He is a fellow of Citizens of the American Republic. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012 he was editor of Crisis.
He is author, co-author, or editor of twelve books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and Collegeguide.org, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.