Saturday, September 8, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, Sept 8

                                                               WEEKLY BRIEF
September 8 in the Catholic liturgical calendar, nine months after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Church celebrates the birth of Mary, Blessed Virgin and Mother.  In these troubled times for Catholic Americans it seems the highest ranks of both Church and State are rotten with corruption. It is good to reflect on the sacral order in which she who is  always pure lived among us.  She was the culmination of the Jewish People--the fairest blossom from whom the Savior and the King was born.  Her feminine receptivity allowed the ordered love of God to become incarnate. The Body of Christ which still lives and grows within the Church and nations first grew and developed within her motherly womb and embrace. Let us do as she did and humbly carry out the Will of the Father on earth as it is in heaven. The purification of both Church and nation has been a long time a coming and is absolutely necessary so we can be worthy protectors of the innocent, the pure, the beautiful and the feminine. Let us give praise to the Lord our God. Let us sing of Mary.

                                    I. POPE FRANCIS AND CATHOLIC CHURCH

Remember the 2013 plane interview of Pope Francis about priests and homosexuality. It doesn't play well (see below) as we continue to learn how deeply rooted the homosexual networks are throughout dioceses, bishop conferences, seminaries and the Curia. The Pope seems to say that homosexual behavior is a sin that once it is forgiven in confession must be forgotten. Can that be true for spiritual fathers? And what kind of sin is clerical sodomy? Is it not a sacrilege against the priesthood as well as a violation of a victim-willing or not, adult or  adolescent? Certainly the Pope is a different man today than in 2013. He told us then to remember Peter--he committed a horrible sin then repented and came back. But there is also Judas whom Jesus told the night before he died--"go do what you must do" and then washed him out of the priesthood. Jesus said it would be better if he had never been born. At some point the "devil enters into " a man and then he must be cast out of the inner circle; certainly  not given a place at the priestly table.  The priests who have committed pedophilia or sodomy are Judas--they must be washed out with no offer of reform. In the lay state they can do reparations and seek forgiveness of their sins.
The thousands of priests and bishops who didn't do enough to clean the priesthood are the Peters who can resume their priestly duties if they amend their lives and do the social task that now confronts them all--clean out the priesthood, the episcopacy and make sure no sodomite or psychological homosexual enters the next conclave of cardinals.  If we can focus the debate on these questions and convict priests and bishops who have engaged in sodomy to degradation of office and loss of benefices...then we can say bishops and the Holy Father are exercising their offices as their predecessors failed to do. Yes, it is for them to Judge--especially the Pope. Pope Francis actually has more of the ruler personality(the Shepherd King) than either John Paul II (the prophet-philosopher) or Benedict XVI (the priest theologian).  When we talk of the Church dealing severely and definitively with homosexuality, we are not looking at a confused teen-ager who needs a manly example and mercy. We are gazing into the malevolent eyes of the Chicken Hawk costumed as a father in a collar.  There is nothing gay about that Chicken Hawk. He does not need a bridge into the church. He needs a plucking of his feathers and a neck wringing.

Phil Lawler makes the best case for Vigano--not a good case for Pope Francis.  Later we will make our case for Pope Francis but this week we assemble much that is damning about the Pope. If he is to be the great reformer, he will start with himself--just like all of us.  

A Catholic in Brooklyn makes a case against Ed Pentin and Vigano on the "sanctions" imposed by Benedict on McCormick. The sanctions are not at the heart of the Vigano expose of the reality of Rome but they are at the heart of the accusation against the Pope.  Benedict basically told McCarrick "to keep a low profile".  That probably engendered some shouting in the nuncio's office between McCarrick and the nuncio when he was told the Pope knows about his homosexual shenanigans. BUT that is  a very different story than an accusation that Pope Francis lifted "the sanctions" of an abuser of seminarians.

Crux News quotes Ed Pentin that basically McCarrick was told to "keep a low profile."

On Monsignor Ricca and how he saw things in June 2013. Sandro Magister has been strongly critical of Francis since his election. He is a good reporter.

The "Who am I to judge? and "gay lobby"  transcript of that plane interview-July 28, 2013.  It shows at that time that the Pope would treat an act of consensual adult sodomy by a priest as a sin to be confessed forgiven and forgotten. He did not say that about the crime of  sexual abuse against a minor. His idea is that homosexual priests who "occasionally fall" are like all of us as sinners needing confession and forgiveness. This has been a widely held position of many "conservatives" as well. It is the position of Fr. Boniface Ramsey who has come to fame as one priest who tried to expose McCarrick earlier.  The acceptance of occasional consensual clerical sodomy(followed by confession) and "psychological homosexuality" as compatible with the  priesthood  is becoming less and less tenable.

From 2013 plane interview
Ilze Scamparini: (originally in Italian)
I would like to ask your permission to pose a question that’s a bit delicate. Also another image went around the world, which was that of Monsignor Ricca and of the news of his private life. I would like to know, Holiness, what do you intend to do about this question? How will this question be confronted and how does Your Holiness intend to confront the question of the gay lobby?
Pope Francis: (originally in Italian)
[For] that of Monsignor Ricca, I did what the Canon Law requires and did the preliminary investigation.  And from this investigation, there is nothing of that which he is accused.  We haven’t found any of that.  This is the answer. 
But I would like to add one more thing on this. I see that so many times in the Church, separately from this case and also in this case, the "sins of youth" are sought out, for example, and then these things are published. [These are] not crimes, eh.  Crimes are something else. The abuse of minors is a crime. No, sins. But, if a person, lay or priest or sister, has committed a sin and then has repented, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. 
When we go to confession and we truly say, “I have sinned in this,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right not to forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our [sins]. This is a danger. This is important, a theology of sin.  So many times I think of St. Peter. He committed one of the worst sins, that of denying Christ.  And with this sin, they made him Pope. We must think much.
But returning to your more concrete question, in this case I carried out the preliminary investigation and we didn’t find [anything]. 
That is the first question. Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Mah! So much is written about the gay lobby.  I have yet to find anyone who can give me a Vatican identity card with “gay” [written on it]. They say they are there. I think that when you encounter a person like this, you must make a distinction between the fact of a person being gay from the fact of being a lobby, because lobbies, all are not good. That is bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a very beautiful way, but says, wait a moment, how do you say... it says, [that] these persons must not be marginalized for this, they must be integrated into society.”
The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers, because this is one, but there is another, another [problem]. The problem is forming a lobby of this tendency, a lobby of the greedy, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies.  This is the gravest problem for me. And thank you so much for asking this question. Thank you very much!


Archbishop Vigano recalls  Pope meeting with Kim Davis(Sept 24,2015) that he arranged.
Vigano says that he met with the Pope on October 9 (he had been summoned to Rome) and the Pope said not a word about the Davis meeting.
Vigano does not report the subsequent meeting between him and Fr Rosica, CSB, and Fr Lombardi, SJ, on Oct 10. Here are their notes. 
One telling paragraph:
Here is the verbatim of the Archbishop’s words to us:
"Il Santo Padre nella sua paterna benevolenza mi ha ringraziato per sua vista negli USA ma mi ha detto che l'ho ingannato nel presentare questa Signora al lui alla nunziatura." (The Holy Father in his paternal benevolence thanked me for his visit to the USA but also said that I had deceived him his bringing that woman to the nunciature.) 
Vigano also told us: "Il Papa mi ha detto: tu non mi hai detto che lei aveva 4 mariti." (The Pope told me: “You never told me that she had four husbands.”) 

Vigano and Nienstedt
Archbishop Vigano has been accused of quashing an investigation into homosexual activities of "conservative anti gay marriage" John Nienstedt who resigned as  Archbishop of Minneapolis and St Paul.
Archbishop Vigano says he never said the investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt should be called off. He reports that in his meeting with two Minnesota bishops who met with him to express their concerns(April 12, 2014) he wanted Nienstedt informed and interviewed about charges that he had an affair with a  Swiss guard in Rome. The bishops and a priest(Fr Dan Griffith) interpreted his attitude as one of stopping the investigation. Fr Griffith wrote a 2014 memo(released later by Ramsey County Attorney's office and published by the NY Times.) describing the encounter with Vigano as a quashing of the investigation and  a cover up.  Cozzens had quoted Vigano that "Under no circumstances would Rome permit such an investigation,". Bishop Cozzens noted in a later statement  that Vigano thought the investigation should be more focused and that Archbishop be interviewed and notified about the Swiss Guard charge before the lawyers go to Rome for more investigation.     What exactly it meant to focus the investigation was described in a later setting by Archbishop Hebda as restricted to "grave delict or crime". Nienstedt resigned in June 2015 and Archbishop Hebda said the investigation was no longer necessary. In a later query about Nienstedt appearing in other priestly settings, he called Nienstedt "a priest in good standing".
Is a long term or short tern homosexual relation a "grave delict or crime"? It certainly isn't a crime in the secular west.  Do grave delicts lead to stripping the man of his office and benefices. Even if a bishop resigns his particular office; if he is a sodomite, should he still be "a priest in good standing". We have seen multiple investigations of priests and clerics conclude "no crime or canonical delict" was committed. This seems a huge deficit in the interpretation of canon law that we should be clarifying. Can a priest commit the act of sodomy and remain a priest?  Just go to confession and say your penance... and we are good?  That seemed to be the position of Pope Francis on the airplane in 2013. He isn't alone since it seems to be Archbishop Vigano's take on Archbishop Nienstedt as well.  

Here is an Aug 2, 2016 interview with Archbishop Hebda on the investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt.

Q. What about the investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt?
A. Here is what I learned about what happened: In January 2014, Archbishop Nienstedt charged Bishop [Lee] Piché with investigating for the archdiocese allegations that had been made about Archbishop Nienstedt, stemming from his days in Detroit and New Ulm. Bishop Piché engaged a local law firm, Greene Espel, to conduct the investigation. The investigation began broadly looking at allegations from Archbishop Nienstedt’s past. Greene Espel made a progress report to Bishop Piché in April 2014 with affidavits from those who were making the allegations. After consulting with others, Bishop Piché, Bishop Cozzens and Archbishop Nienstedt went to Washington, D.C., to update the nuncio regarding the allegations that had emerged.
On their return, Bishop Piché continued his efforts to complete the investigation. He focused the scope of the inquiry on whether there was credible evidence that Archbishop Nienstedt had committed a “grave delict or crime,” which is the standard under canon law that determines whether punishment is merited. In early July, after Greene Espel had interviewed Archbishop Nienstedt and others, Bishop Piché directed Greene Espel to conclude its report without conducting additional investigation beyond what it had already done to that point. As is reflected in the memorandum that was made public last week, this directive was controversial internally and led to a breakdown in the investigation. From what I know, different people had very different, yet strongly-held, beliefs on how to proceed.
In late July 2014, at the request of Bishop Piché, Greene Espel submitted a final report based on the work they had completed. In their report, Greene Espel cautioned that it had not completed all of the work it thought would be required as part of a thorough investigation. They also identified additional investigative leads that they believed should be considered. Bishop Piché then asked another attorney, Peter Wold, to follow through on identified leads to complete the investigation. Wold completed a report in early 2015. I know that Bishop Piché believes the investigation was comprehensive and completed to the best of his ability. In 2015, both the Wold report and the Greene Espel report were shared with the nunciature for advice on whether the matter should be referred for some type of canonical review or other determination.
I realize that some well-intended people have called for me to release the documentation that was produced in the course of the Archbishop Nienstedt investigation. Of course, at this stage, there is a great deal that is already publicly known about the investigation: the nature of the allegations was publicly reported in the media as well as released by the Ramsey County attorney; Archbishop Nienstedt also made his response publicly known; and I have provided an overview of the investigative process, its challenges and the related controversy.
On the other hand, some of those interviewed in the investigation came forward with an expectation of confidentiality. I feel obligated to do my best to honor their wishes. I also remain concerned that making even sanitized reports public runs the risk of identifying witnesses with their statements. As you would imagine, investigations of this sort necessarily involve assessments of witness credibility offered by others, not to mention other types of confidential information. Making those assessments and that information public could unnecessarily embroil the archdiocese in further litigation.
After considering a variety of competing interests, including what would be fair and just to all involved, and taking note of the intervening resignation of Archbishop Nienstedt, I believe it would be unwise for me to release all of the documents and witness information at this point. I understand that not everyone agrees with that conclusion, but I have weighed the ramifications of my decision and believe we are better off erring on the side of caution in situations where others may be harmed.
Allow me to stress that each and every witness involved in the investigation remains free to come forward as he or she chooses. They can each make that decision for themselves, and I will not interfere in any way with their decisions.
Q. What do you know about the claim made in the memo released by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office suggesting that there was a cover-up in the Archbishop Nienstedt investigation?
A. One of the documents released by the Ramsey County attorney was a memorandum by Father Dan Griffith to Bishop Piché on July 7, 2014, regarding Father Griffith’s concerns about the breakdown in the investigation. After that memorandum was written, Bishop Piché asked Greene Espel to complete a final, limited report, which they did. Peter Wold then completed the investigation. Both reports were confidentially shared with the nunciature for advice on whether the matter should be referred for some type of canonical review or other determination. I know that those involved within the archdiocese sincerely disagreed with one another about how to best move forward with completing the investigation. I know that Bishop Piché believes the investigation comprehensively addressed the allegations. What is apparent to me now is that the investigation was extraordinarily challenging and the process used by the archdiocese created additional issues.
As circumstances would have it, leaders of the archdiocese were also being investigated by law enforcement. For three years, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, along with the St. Paul Police Department, conducted a thorough investigation of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and its leaders. As reflected in the documentation that the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office released two weeks ago, that investigation included an examination of the very allegations that had been the basis of the Greene Espel investigation. Ramsey County also possessed the memorandum that raised concerns of a cover-up. They also interviewed the individuals they thought were important, including Father Dan Griffith, before completing their investigation.
On July 20, 2016, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, with the benefit of all the information gathered in his investigation, concluded, as he detailed at his press conference, that there was no basis for bringing criminal charges against any of the archdiocesan leaders. He also dismissed the criminal charges against the archdiocese.
I appreciate that this only answers the question of whether there was any criminal conduct, and does not address the issue of the internal investigation, which focused on whether Archbishop Nienstedt had engaged in conduct that compromised his ability to lead the archdiocese. That internal question became irrelevant in my mind when Archbishop Nienstedt resigned. Moreover, canon law is sufficiently realistic and practical in that it doesn’t authorize bishops to judge their peers, and does not contemplate any further role in this matter for me or the archdiocese.

{Comments: Completing an investigation and submitting findings to the Bishops conference and/or papal nuncio is not "judging their peers."   Is consensual clerical sodomy a grave delict? if Archbishop Vigano got the investigations to not follow adult homosexual interactions; if he got the investigators to first tip off Nienstdedt before going to his Swiss guard friend---that was interfering with the investigation. If the nuncio asks the bishops to retract their written understanding of what he did because he says they are wrong,  that is covering up their understanding of the matter. }  

Silence amidst a pack of wolves: Pope Francis prays to know when to talk, and when to maintain silence.  So far amidst the clamors, the conversation is maturing. The charge that Francis rehabilitated McCarrick is the wildest of his claims about the Holy Father. That has not yet been clarified.
Vigano's tendency to be technically accurate and substantively untruthful is also apparent.
Vigano's description of a huge network of homosexual clerics who are furthering a movement in the Church to sanction homosexual relations continues to ring very true. It is a great service that Archbishop Vigano has rendered the Church. We must not let his unprecedented truth telling be lost amidst his many faults, his self serving narratives of events that damn him, and his  distracting call for the resignation of Pope Francis. Nor can we suffer "Roman paralysis" by not initiating local actions of establishing clerical promoters of justice with strong lay staffs in each diocese and a National Bishops Committee of Inquisition with an aggressive lay staff  to investigate bishops' fitness for office. None of those actions require papal approval or initiative.  

And its power of exorcism

Should they still be priests?  Awaiting Cardinal Cupich the ruler. Unlike any other American bishop, Cupich has removed two priests from the exercise of their priestly office in his archdiocese for consensual male homosexual activity. These latest miscreants are going to give him a chance to make the same decision again and publicly tell his priests consensual sodomy is a grave delict. It doesn't matter if you get caught by the local police.  Any serious investigation would give Cupich over a hundred sodomites to discipline. It would lead to a lot of parish closings in one of the most lavender dioceses in America. If a priest commits sodomy, he should be stripped of his clerical state and all benefices. He has desacralized the priesthood and the Eucharist that flows from his consecrated hands.

                                                              II. THE NATIONS

American diplomats need to save American soldiers from an endless fight with no recognizable end in sight. It will take the close neighbors-Iran and Pakistan  and the far neighbors Russia, China, and India to understand the context. It will take the internal players including the Taliban to make the peace.  A Russian take.   Here is Afghan president saying he will negotiate with Taliban and Muslim leaders declaring the duty to bring peace.  The failure to achieve religious and political clarity amidst the think tanks has cost the blood of the warriors and the peace of a country.

A new era of cooperation. Pakistan has the real Muslim Nuclear shield.  Russia, China(Pakistan's closest ally) with Iran and Pakistan are the key neighbors to help end the war in Afghanistan. They are now forging a new regional alliance. The United States should be working for peace between Iran and Israel. Iran has many more allies than Israel and the new Pakistani Prime Minister is interested in Shia-Sunni cooperation. This places him very much at odds with MbS and the Saudi coalition that  the US is tied too. We (The US) are backing the wrong horse in this race.

The fate of network al Jazeera and the twisted paths Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the USA

"Brazil's Trump" is against corruption, political correctness, and a smothering state.  Brazil in largest country in South America-207 million people; Portuguese(not Spanish) speaking, about the size of continental US, 4 year term for President with one reelection allowed. It is a very strong office. If his stabbing does not kill him it will fortify his already frontrunner status. He has support of dynamic evangelical voters and military men. Here is a worried profile by American secularists.   he was nominated by the Social liberal party(PSL) in July 2018. They changed a good deal of their platform of the last few years to a more socially conservative and nationalist approach. He is vigorously anti abortion. Bolsonaro was also endorsed by a Labor Renewal Party. The new coalition has a name: Deus acima de todos-God above all. 

A Catholic Nationalist to be honored -a ruthless dictator to be exhumed

                                                           III. AMERICAN POLITICS

A coup against the President?    An excellent analysis of how Trump never staffed his Presiency with men who would carry out HIS new nationalist policies

The anonymous op ed     Our guess (made on Sept 7) is an economic conservative who liked John McCain. He will not be a major cabinet figure. (Our guess Kevin Hassett-chair of economic advisors--we will know this very soon).

If NY Times link is blocked by pay wall, here it is in full  read by a CNN announcer.

A review of Bob Woodward's Book  Fear  (a look inside the Trump White House).

John McCain, British Intelligence and the Russian Dossier

The disastrous foreign policy legacy of John McCain and the good fortune that he has left no heir.

The biggest resistance meeting yet---a leftist celebrates the funeral of John McCain.

Rev Jasper Williams on Black Lives not mattering until...

Rev Williams defense of his sermon after a storm of outrage against the prophet

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