Snakes on a Plane

You just knew somebody would eventually use that title…

I saw this and thought, “What in the heck is wrong with you people?! Please get some PR meetings in place, because you need them.” This was all a set up by someone and, guess what? Once again, it backfires and makes the Holy Father look like a mean jerk. Right up there with the “Great Accuser” mantra. I can only remember the last two popes and have read about others, but it seems that, unless they were complete tyrants, they all wanted to be “Papa” to all of us. They avoided the look of cronyism. And what’s been the word of the papacy? Oh, yeah, clericalism.

 Pope Francis Says It’s an ‘Honor’ to be Criticized by Americans

His throwaway remark, made in connection with a new book that claims influential American Catholics want him to step down, generated surprise aboard the papal flight today to Mozambique.

Edward Pentin

The use of “throwaway” is actually really good, because he just threw the remark away without a thought of any love for a good chunk of the Church. Let’s be clear, I don’t consider myself an “influential American Catholic,” which pretty much seems to be defined as “Rich Catholic.” That said, many, many Catholics, influential or otherwise, have serious concerns about the (ahem!) style of Pope Francis. I realize he lives in the papal bubble, but somebody might want to let him in on the fact that this is true.

A throwaway remark by Pope Francis aboard the papal plane this morning raised a few eyebrows among those traveling with him — and sent his press handlers scrambling.

First of all, I have a hunch that’s not true, but that’s just me. I think his handlers knew this guy was on board, they knew what he wrote, and they knew this was going to be handed to him. It would be soooo nice if they spent more time fixing problems with, oh, I don’t know, clergy abuse and the cover up of it rather than whining about how mean people are to the Holy Father. Geez. Again, I don’t remember the last two popes constantly talking about people who didn’t like them for this, that, or the other thing.  Might be because they actually understood that’s what it’s all about. Christ came to divide. I generally have a rule that the first person to claim to be a victim is probably the one in the wrong. It’s deflection, plain and simple.

After takeoff on his way to the Mozambique capital of Maputo, the Pope customarily greeted journalists on the papal plane. Among those he met was Nicolas Seneze, Rome correspondent for the French Catholic daily newspaper La Croix, which just published Seneze’s book, How America Wants to Change the Pope.

The book threads together different aspects of this pontificate — in particular the McCarrick abuse scandal and the Archbishop Carlo Viganò testimony — to conclude that influential figures in the U.S. Church are out to, if not replace Pope Francis, then to actively challenge him.

First of all, way to go, American Catholics! That the liberals even acknowledge you were the bane of their existence is great! It seems they can no longer go with the “Nothing to see here!” tactic. Proud to be among you! Quite frankly, I think our cultural spirit might help save the Church. We have a can-do spirit which enables us to conquer the landscape.

The book quotes professor Massimo Faggioli of Villanova as saying wealthy conservative Catholics have stepped into the vacuum of authority left by the sex abuse scandal to become the de facto leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Yawn. They continue trying the new tactic of declaring anyone who disagrees with them in “de facto schism.” Sorry, you look like a fool once again. Let me point out that of those you’ve already accused outright of being “devout schismatics” trump you in the area of Canon Law, as in two of the three are actually canon lawyers. So back off, Massimo.

On the plane, Seneze presented his book to the Pope, who recognized the cover, as he had read a review of it.

The Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero on Aug. 20 published a story headlined, “A plot from the USA to make the Pope resign.” A cover of Seneze’s book accompanied the article.

“He reads Il Messaggero every day so when he saw the cover of the copy I was holding, he instantly recognized it,” Seneze told the Register aboard the papal plane today, adding that the book was published in French today.

What plot? How many times has the Holy Father hinted that he may resign? Is that the fault of the “de facto leaders”? Next time a pope dies or resigns, we don’t want another nightmare like McCarrick having any say in who’s elected, not to mention the possibility a nightmare like McCarrick might be elected. If our cardinals are hiding something, we want it uncovered before going into a conclave. Who could argue with that?! (*Cough* Staff of American Magazine *Cough*) Do we really want molesters like McCarrick or Francisco Javier Errazuriz or those who covered up for them to vote for or be the next pope? Uh, hello, remember the abuse victims?  Geez.

“When I explained the picture to the Pope, he said: ‘Per me è un onore che mi attaccano gli americani (For me it’s an honor that Americans attack me).’”

I believe my kids call this “humble bragging.” Blech. And trying to portray the concerns of the faithful as “an American thing” is ridiculous. It’s worldwide, Holy Father. World. Wide. You think we’re bad, look at South America, and, oh, and how about Africa? You’ve got some continental-sized issues with the faithful.

“Seneze and his Vatican press colleagues were taken aback by the in-flight remark, and reporters immediately sought verification.

Vatican press spokesman Matteo Bruni later confirmed the remark but was quick to offer an explanation: “In an informal context, the Pope wanted to say that he always considers criticisms an honor, particularly when they come from authoritative thinkers and, in this case, an important nation.”

If they immediately sought clarification, the guy who made the remark was on the plane, for heaven’s sake! Again, you guys need some meetings. It was rather clear that Bruni was doing some serious damage control.

Seneze told the Register afterward that the Il Messaggero article was a little exaggerated. He said he doesn’t believe there is a plot as such being hatched in the U.S. to unseat the Pope.

Wait! What?! Didn’t you actually write this? Did you suddenly realize this was going to be the PR nightmare that it is? I don’t have the subscription, so I’m just reading the beginning of this piece, but let’s just take a gander at the picture caption you included!

An ultra-conservative fringe of the American Catholic right has fomented a coup against Pope Francis

Uh…Which is it? There’s some nefarious plot or there’s not?

Rather, he believes there’s a sense among some wealthy Americans, including some who are connected to the EWTN Global Catholic Network and other media organizations, that Francis is not acting as Pope and so should stand down, like a CEO who is underperforming.

Seneze said, “I believe these people see themselves as invested in the Church and they feel they are not getting a return on their investment.”

Oh, my gosh. Class warfare is strong with this one. Did you all know you were connected to EWTN? There may be concern for money on some side of this, but it’s not the side of concerned faithful.

Another article by Crux contains additional information to this whole debacle.

A long-time Vatican reporter from the French Catholic daily, Seneze told the pope that he wanted to explain the roots of American opposition to the Argentine, which has the support of several right-wing news outlets. In his book, Seneze names EWTN, founded by the late Mother Angelica, and Canada-based LifeSiteNews.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! Guess I’m just left out of those meetings.

The criticism against Francis is based on several points: His cautious opening to allowing the divorced and remarried to receive the Sacraments, his emphasis on the environment, his strong condemnation of the death penalty, and his criticism of the capitalist economic order championed by conservatives in the United States.

I’d say most of this is correct with the exception of the death penalty. It has nothing to do with strongly condemning it and everything to do with this: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-and-the-death-penalty-a-change-in-doctrine-or-circumstances-39898

In his book, Seneze explains the origin of the hostility against Francis in terms of two documents by the pope: Evangelii Gaudium, his first apostolic exhortation and considered the Magna Carta of his pontificate, and Laudato Si, an encyclical letter on the environment originally intended to ensure adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement pertaining to climate change.

The French journalist argues the ultimate goal of the opposition to Francis from some American quarters is to trigger a conclave to elect a new pope, and to guarantee the election of someone more aligned with their interests and vision of the Church and the world.

Yeah, not so much. I’d love to know how he’s come to this fantastical dream. There’s no doubt those faithful to Church teaching want the next Pope to be a strong leader in this area. We do not want ambiguity, but we’d also like to ferret out Cardinals like former Cardinal McCarrick and the seemingly never-ending line of them who should be taking a perp walk. Again, you would think EVERYONE would want that.

One of several initiatives to secure this, according to Seneze, is a project called the Red Hat Report, which the “The Better Church Governance Group” hopes to release by April 2020.

The Red Hat Report claims to be drawing on nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists to investigate every single cardinal elector, with the aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.”

That’s awful! They aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.” Those evil people. Oh, my gosh! Isn’t this exactly what you told us needed to happen? How many times did we hear that we needed to end “clericalism?” Always told them to be careful what they wished for, because their definition of it is “It’s wrong to call priests ‘father’”. Our definition actually is a little more based in reality.

Seneze also points to American millionaire Tim Busch as a key figure in this “war” against Francis. Busch sits on the board of EWTN and is a member of the Papal Foundation, a U.S.-based organization that gives donations to charities supported by the pope.

Several members of the Papal Foundation severely criticized a request by the pope for a $20 million bridge loan for a debt-ridden and scandal-plagued Church-owned hospital in Rome.

And who wants to give $20 million to a scandal-plagued hospital??? Not me, and if it were my money, I’m sure I would have said “No!” and donated my money to some other charitable fund. Little Sisters of the Poor, perhaps? Can’t remember the last time they had a scandal.

Seneze spoke to reporters after the pope’s remarks.

“I wanted to explain the difficulties between the pope and Americans, and how they are attacking him,” he said.

If the Vatican needed that explanation, it’s probably worse than we thought. Sorry, they’re not that obtuse.

Seneze’s book comes just a year after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former papal representative to the United States, released a letter accusing the pope of covering up for now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing minors and seminarians.

The letter, which was released through conservative news organizations, requested that Francis resign from office.

And…after it was released there, it was also released to any “Catholic” news agency that wrote about it as fast as they could because, well, it was news. Seems like some are just jealous because they didn’t get the scoop. Archbishop Vigano isn’t the reason there is strife between the hierarchy and the laity. That was their own doing. As usual, liberals are the root of the problem, so they prefer to shoot the messenger.

In conclusion, I’m hoping this in-plane interview will lead to a whole lot being donated to the “Red Hat Report.” I loved the idea from the start. In fact, shortly before this was announced, I put out a request for those who could afford to do so to investigate the heck out of the hierarchy. It was like my birthday when I saw somebody was going to do that! Those who have nothing to hide won’t protest. Those who do might be another story. Please check out their goals for yourself at https://betterchurchgovernance.org/ Don’t let anyone frame their goals for you. Their mission is far more mainstream that some would like you to think.

Oh, one more thing, since Massimo Faggioli is part of this little group chanting schism, why don’t you continue to give Villanova a call. Apparently that plea worked so well last time he banned me from his Twitter page so all must have done good. Maybe somebody will tell him to stop flapping his gums where he has no jurisdiction.

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
Office of the President
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699

Phone: 610-519-8881

Fax: 610-519-4514

Email: president@villanova.edu

Alumni, you can also go here:

Alumni Relations

Phone: 610-519-4580

Fax: 610-519-7583

Email: alumni@villanova.edu

 

 

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Snakes on a Plane

  1. German mgz. Der spiegel and Germ. Documenrtry film have brought out Bergoglios disgraceful misrule in Arg. With Grassi and Cocopalmeiro etc. Going back decades… . Not to mention.the bonehead leader of Jesuits Sosa and the Apostates LIKE ,Reese ,Martin amer mgz. And Massengale etc. Hsve brought Bergoglios papacy. To being the laughing of Church history…

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  2. I have to admit. Pope Francis’ strategy of dismissing all criticism as nothing more than the yammering of American right-wingers is diabolically brilliant. Someone is saying his encyclicals are theologically unsound? American right-wingers. Someone is saying that he promotes and coddles sexual degenerates and abusers? American right-wingers. Someone is saying that he tolerates fiscal corruption at the Vatican? American right-wingers. Someone is saying that he’s sold out faithful Catholics in China? American right-wingers. Someone is saying that his synods are promoting apostasy? American right-wingers. If he can use this garbage argument, and his yes-men nod in agreement and a friendly mainstream media doesn’t call him out, why wouldn’t he run with it? If he can get away with it, he never has to justify anything. He never has to apologize for anything. It’s dishonorable, sure, but it’s a tried-and-true tactic of Latin American strongmen. Fidel Castro employed pretty much the same strategy for decades.

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  3. Very well stated, and my thoughts *exactly*. I have a nagging feeling that we (American Catholics, and those of other countries, perhaps) are being manipulated and distracted from the very real threat to our Faith – the clerical abuse scandal, which has never been properly addressed, nor has anything been done to prevent it happening again to our satisfaction. Instead, we are bombarded by political and environmental issues, such as immigration reform and climate change, et. al., which are worthy issues. But without our Faith being upheld and protected, and other, far more urgent issues dealt with (such as abortion and the lack of a unified voice from our clergy on issues of Faith, for instance – https://www.lifenews.com/2019/09/04/catholic-priests-claims-climate-change-not-killing-babies-in-abortions-the-biggest-pro-life-issue/), we will never have the strength to go forward to defend and live the doctrine of the Church. I am getting very tired of smoke and mirrors, and nuanced comments from our hierarchy. It’s time to get down to business and remember who we are and Who we believe in. Peace to you and all here – Susan, OFS

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  4. Uh boy, where to start. And once you get started, how to end it! I don’t generally bother rehashing his misdeeds, we all pretty much know them, he’s trashed Catholicism and tradition and the West.
    There, that covers it.
    I have been on this lousy computer for six years now. Honestly, it’s taken over too much of my time.
    But here’s the thing, I’m inconsequential by myself, but together, we are not inconsequential. If only all the power brokers in American Catholicism squawked, they wouldn’t notice, but the numbers of us out here in the trenches, the suffering Church Militant, when we squawk, it adds up to something, doesn’t it, and has an effect.
    For whatever good it will ever do for the Body of Christ, I want to do it. So yes, here I am, an American, not wealthy at all, not employed by the church in any capacity (thank God), and I am saying this man Bergolio is to my Catholic mind an apostate who hates the West, and I’m not even convinced he is a Christian, let alone a Catholic. I get on my keyboard and peck away and do my little part, like you all do. Even if only God notices, that’s enough. So he’s right, we’re here, we Americans, and we see him and what he’s about, and we’re calling him on it as best we can. The Benedict option is not an option.

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  5. So we have a new player in the Divine comedy play – Sneezy from France – One of the 7 dwarfs of the apocalypse (probably a Freemason as well) – who has come to reveal the “real agenda” of those “nasty” Americans- whom he has only heard about and does not live with or near. Yup – I am ready for my bedtime story…”once upon a time, there was a truly holy man and everyone made up lies about him because, um because, um – oh yes, because they were mean people who were looking trying to – um stop the rebuilding of the faith that this holy man was accomplishing – but that holy man stood up to them and yelled back “Recycle! Give to the poor! Stop burning fossil fuel! Stop reproducing like rabbits! You are all destroying Mother Earth! How can any of you be saved?”
    And then, he just flew away on his carbon spewing jet to spread the good news to other unknown parts of the polluted planet. Our hero. The end (as Malaki Martin said)
    Please – stick to making French wine and give me a break.

    Liked by 1 person

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