On 17 February, Pope Francis released a letter written for those gathered for the World Meeting of Popular Movements held in California from 16-19 February — a meeting organized by the Vatican. Such meetings regularly take place in the Vatican and are initiated by Pope Francis himself in his attempt to work together with a variety of grassroots movements world-wide.
In the letter, which is dated 10 February, Pope Francis publicly praises the organization PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing — which was one of the promoters of this Vatican event. Francis writes:
I would also like to highlight the work done by the PICO National Network and the organizations promoting this meeting. I learned that PICO stands for “People Improving Communities through Organizing”. What a great synthesis of the mission of popular movements: to work locally, side by side with your neighbors, organizing among yourselves, to make your communities thrive. [my emphasis]
What Pope Francis does not mention here is that PICO is heavily funded by George Soros. Leftist watchdog website Discover the Political Networks describes PICO as a group that “uses Alinsky-style organizing tactics to advance the doctrines of the religious left.” As John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews reported in August of 2016, leaks from the Soros Foundation have shown how Soros funded PICO and other organizations in order to influence the Vatican in favor of certain policies and agendas. Westen reports:
Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros — one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors — paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.” The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included, “Buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.” […] Grantees were PICO, a faith-based community organizing group, and Faith in Public Life (FPL), a progressive group working in media to promote left-leaning ‘social justice’ causes. Soros has funded left-wing causes the world over and was just found to have been funding an effort to eliminate pro-life laws around the globe.
That there are already well-established ties between the Vatican and this progressive, often subversive, Soros-funded organization PICO can also be seen in this part of Westen’s report:
In order to seize on the opportunity provided by the Pope’s visit to the US, says the report, “we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America.”
In 2013 Cardinal Rodriguez endorsed PICO’s work in a video during a visit from PICO representatives to the cardinal’s diocese. “I want to endorse all the efforts they are doing to promote communities of faith,” he said, “… Please, keep helping PICO.”
This same network is right now taking steps to oppose President Donald Trump’s policies with regard to immigration questions, specifically the so-called Immigration Ban. It is organizing protests an different locations in the U.S. As one statement on PICO’s website regarding “Organizing for the Resistance” says:
This morning, PICO National Network, United We Dream, and Church World Service declared together on a media conference call that faith communities in America are taking a prophetic stance against President-elect Trump’s promised persecution of immigrants, Muslims and people of color by providing Sanctuary in more than 800 congregations. And this is just the beginning. […] Now is the time for us to create empathetic space for uncommon encounters across difference, building bridges and disrupting patterns of isolation and fear in our communities. This is a moment for multi-racial, multi-faith communities to reimagine the Beloved Community, taking bold and prophetic action to realize it.
This is part of the managed chaos we have been witnessing in the U.S. for some weeks now. And it seems that Pope Francis, in his own 10 February letter, encourages such crises:
As Christians and all people of good will, it is for us to live and act at this moment. […] The direction taken beyond this historic turning-point—the ways in which this worsening crisis gets resolved—will depend on people’s involvement and participation and, largely, on yourselves, the popular movements. We should be neither paralyzed by fear nor shackled within the conflict. We have to acknowledge the danger but also the opportunity that every crisis brings in order to advance to a successful synthesis. [sic. The dialectical method.] In the Chinese language, which expresses the ancestral wisdom of that great people, the word “crisis” is comprised of two ideograms: Wēi, which represents “danger”, and Jī, which represents “opportunity”. The grave danger is to disown our neighbors.
Pope Francis himself calls for resistance, and implicitly seems to encourage the self-proclaimed “chaos managers”:
But here we also find an opportunity: that the light of the love of neighbor may illuminate the Earth with its stunning brightness like a lightning bolt in the dark; that it may wake us up and let true humanity burst through with authentic resistance, resilience and persistence.
In reiterating some themes discussed before, Pope Francis adds:
Here are the roots of the authentic humanity that resists the dehumanization that wears the livery of indifference, hypocrisy, or intolerance. I know that you have committed yourselves to fight for social justice, to defend our Sister Mother Earth [sic] and to stand alongside migrants. I want to reaffirm your choice and share two reflections in this regard.
The pope adds the importance of protecting nature and his plea for religious tolerance, namely that “no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist. Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist.” [my emphasis]
Does it surprise us that this Vatican meeting in California “criticizes Trump orders“? As the Miami Herald reports:
Speakers at a Vatican-sponsored conference in Northern California — including an archbishop — denounced President Donald Trump’s orders on immigration and travel and vowed to fight them at a meeting Friday. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez said President Barack Obama deported a high number of people, but the harsh tone and cruelty coming out of the new administration was prompting mass fear and panic. [my emphasis]
In this context, this conference now called the Catholic Church to investigate its own “racism”:
The gathering of more than 600 clergy and social justice activists also included a session on racism Friday, where speakers encouraged religious people and institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, to confront their own racism. [my emphasis]
In November of 2016, the Italian historian Professor Roberto de Mattei had informed us that, after Hillary Clinton’s loss of the election, Pope Francis might very well now become the world leader of the Left. De Mattei then wrote:
On his return flight from Mexico on February 18th of this year , in commenting Trump’s plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico in order to slow down the migratory surge the Pope had said that “a person who thinks only of building walls and not bridges, is not a Christian.” […] Yet, no matter how strong the reservations towards Trump can be, for a Catholic it would be difficult to imagine a position of equidistance between him and Hillary Clinton, who had officially inserted a massive implementation of abortion and the LGBT agenda into her programme. [That is,] Unless self-defence against the migratory invasion is considered a graver sin than the legalization of abortion and so-called homosexual marriage.
De Mattei is to be commended for his far-sightedness. He not only predicted Pope Francis’ role as the leader of the Left world-wide, he also pointed to the increasing danger of incited and practiced violence in this regard:
For his part, after Clinton’s defeat, Francesco now remains the only point of reference for the international left, [now] lacking a leader. On November 5th at the conclusion of the Third World Meeting of the so-called “Popular Movements” in the Vatican, in the presence of revolutionary agitators from the five continents, Pope Francis turned to them saying: “I make your cry mine”. But the cry of protest, that is raised by the movements gathered in Paul VI’s audience hall, is, unfortunately, characterized by ideological fanaticism and incitement to violence. [my emphasis]
Not two weeks ago, major newspapers in this country came out with stories as to how Donald Trump’s closest advisor, Steve Bannon, now tries to influence the Vatican, with the help of Cardinal Raymond Burke. OnePeterFive’s author Christian Browne responded some of these attacks on Cardinal Burke with charitable indignation. However, if we are concerned about Trump’s advisor trying to influence Vatican policies, we might be just as concerned about Pope Francis trying directly to influence U.S. politics and supporting groups that are funded by George Soros, supporter of Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood. Worth noting in this context is the request made by The Remnant, on 20 January 2017, that the Trump administration should investigate “what appears to be a collusion between a hostile [Obama] United States government and a pope who seems to hold as much ill will towards followers of perennial Catholic teachings as he seems to hold toward” Trump himself.
As to the strategic and tactical networks of “revolutionary agitators,” we might recall the gifted Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881) in nineteenth century revolutionary France, and why Vladimir Lenin himself so greatly admired him and learned from him. Pope Francis himself would probably agree that Louis Blanqui was a greater revolutionary agitator and organizer than Saul Alinsky.
This post has been updated.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.