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The Holy See Press Office Botched Its Handling of the Ploumen Story. When Can We Have A Vatican Run by Grownups?

Over the past few days, we’ve been covering a story that managed, despite outrage fatigue across the Catholic world, to still shock and upset the faithful. The story is documented here and here, so I won’t bog this post down in details. Suffice it to say that Lilianne Ploumen — a rabidly pro-abortion Dutch politician so dedicated to her cause that she raised $300 million in just six months for “family planning” and abortion services around the world — nevertheless received the Order of St. Gregory the Great award from the Vatican. This award has been described as “the preferred award to acknowledge an individual’s particular meritorious service to the Church.” Moreover, it is a papal award, which of course at least implies that the pope approves of its bestowal (even though it appears its functional distribution goes through the Vatican Secretariat of State.)

Ploumen then went around bragging to the media after receiving it that she got it from the Vatican even though she was pretty sure they knew about her efforts to promote abortion. She commended the pope on how progressive he was for doing so. She said she saw it as confirmation of her work.

The Vatican, meanwhile, maintained a stony silence about the whole affair, until, after the combined pressure from the reporting of The Lepanto Institute and OnePeterFive (and the outlets that subsequently picked up on the story) pushed the Vatican into issuing a terse statement. More on that statement in a second.

I would first like to note something I find petty, unprofessional, and frankly juvenile in all of this. (Sadly, however, not at all surprising.)

I wrote to Greg Burke, the American who now serves as the Director of the Holy See Press Office, last Saturday evening, a day after our first report came out. I wrote:

Dear Greg,

This story is, for obvious reasons, controversial:

We’d very much like to get a statement from the Vatican on whether the pope knew she was being given this award, and why.

And if she did not receive it from the Vatican but purchased it second-hand, that’d be good to know as well.

We’re eager to publish a story correcting any part of this we’ve gotten wrong. It’d be awful to think a woman with such significant pro-abortion credentials would receive a papal decoration.

Pretty straightforward, right? A chance to clear the air. To deliver the information about what really happened to the audience most concerned about it. To show that in this case at least, the Vatican was the good guy.

But I received no response. Now, I know that people in the Vatican read us here, and they’re almost certainly not fans of our criticism. But I’ve interacted with Greg before when he wanted a story corrected, so it’s not as though he’s above a gruff reply when the situation warrants. Not in this case, though. Nothing.

And yet yesterday, when I got home from an evening visiting friends, I saw a brand-new story from the National Catholic Register (which, to my knowledge, hadn’t done anything with this story at all before last night) saying that the Vatican had issued a statement:

“The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.

Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs Ploumen promotes.”

Curious, I checked my email again to see if I’d missed something. Nothing there. I went to the Holy See Press Office website. Zilch. I finally fired off a message to a contact in Rome, who told me that to their knowledge, the statement was sent directly to journalists who had expressed interest in the story, and was to be found nowhere else.

That’s funny. I’m pretty sure my email to Greg Burke and the two full reports on that matter that appeared here constituted “interest in the story.” 

But of course, “Shadowbanning” is all the rage these days, and the Vatican communications apparatus — playground bully that it is — appears to be simply ignoring me. If that is in fact the case, I interpret it as a sign that a) There was no reason to hurry to update the story with the statement and b) There is no reason to view the statement as a sign of good faith intended to set the record straight, but simple CYA.

Frankly, from a PR standpoint, it’s a terrible statement. It only acknowledges what we had already reported — that Ploumen received the award as part of a group — while making an anemic excuse about how it doesn’t mean what it looks like it means.

Meanwhile, it does nothing to answer any of the following questions:

  • Why was no vetting process applied to the distribution of these awards?
  • Why was a 186-year-old papal decoration created to bestow a supreme honor on those who have served the Church well being given out like a commemorative Vatican snow globe or a pope pencil in a VIP visitor goody bag?
  • Why was there no statement condemning or distancing the Vatican from Ploumen’s public comments in which she says she was awarded a “prize” by a Vatican that probably knew what she was about in confirmation of her work?
  • Why was there no expression of remorse that an award was given to one of the most effective single promoters of abortion in the world today?
  • Why was the award not recalled?
  • If the award could not be recalled without creating a diplomatic crisis, why was there nothing in the statement encouraging Ploumen to voluntarily return it, or at the very least stop using it to mislead people into thinking the pope was rubber stamping her agenda?

The statement, if it can be characterized simply, does only two things: it tells the world that the award itself is now meaningless, so no big deal; and it expresses that the Vatican is really annoyed that those meddling kids were asking questions about it at all, and how dare they think there should be some connection between actual Catholic values and the bestowal of a papal award?!

It is yet another in a long line of communications failures from the Vatican. I’d think with the billion euros they’ve got tucked away under the mattresses, they could hire a competent staff of professionals. But I suppose until they can find a pope who acts like a Catholic, I should keep my expectations low.

Meanwhile, many of the faithful who heard the story went from open disbelief (“How can something this bad possibly be true?”) to excuse-making (“The pope couldn’t possibly have known!”) to, after the Vatican statement, saying, “See? It really wasn’t a big deal after all!”

Well, it was true, and it is a big deal, but as to whether the pope knew? That’s something worthy of addressing briefly here.

I think, in a way, it’s almost immaterial whether he knew about this or not. He has intentionally surrounded himself with corrupt and craven men. They are, by and large, lazy and vicious and self-serving — and simply don’t care about doing what is right.

And so, when a thing like this comes to light, the Vatican, rather than expressing the appropriate horror and concern, essentially acts indignant that they were called out at all. The attitude seems to be, “Who do you think YOU are to ask questions, peon?”

Only that’s not how things work anymore, and they don’t control the message. One of these days, they’re going to figure that out. Not answering emails isn’t going to stop me or any other Catholic writer from actively pursuing these stories. It is, however, going to encourage us to think they’re being underhanded. There’s an old and obvious rule of thumb: If you don’t want people to think you’re doing something wrong, don’t act like you have something to hide. Pretty basic.

The pope, of course, is nowhere to be found in any of this. No indication of regret from the papal plane, where he’s too busy joking with reporters he doesn’t go to a doctor for his health, but to a witch. (No, I’m not making that up.) No assertion that he will ensure the Vatican will be more diligent. No moral outrage that a woman who raised $300 million for abortion in 6 months is claiming he supports her work.

Complete. Radio. Silence.

Even if the pope were not actively, undeniably engaged almost daily in the deconstruction of the entire body of Catholic moral teaching, his silence in the face of scandal after scandal would tell the faithful that he’s perfectly fine with everything that’s happening. Pope Honorius, frankly, was anathematized for less.

Pope Felix III told us exactly what to think about this kind of behavior: “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”

This post has been updated.

259 thoughts on “The Holy See Press Office Botched Its Handling of the Ploumen Story. When Can We Have A Vatican Run by Grownups?”

  1. In the examination of conscience in my old hand missal is the following:

    Nine ways of being accessory to another’s sin.

    By counsel. By command. By consent. By provocation. By praise or flattery. By concealment. By partaking. By silence. By defense of the ill done.

      • Believe me I still have an older missal which gets used regularly. Along with that I have numerous objects just waiting for the time when the Holy Mass may have to be clandestine. Numerous Altar missals, vestment sets, sterling silver chalice sets, rituals, pontifical etc. All 1962 or prior. I think the time is near when these will be needed on a steady basis. I have a VA disability compensation check and even though it isn’t large I manage to lay up some of these treasures each month. Since I’m almost 74, I may not live to see the day but I have one of my sons who will know what to do with all of it. Things have gone way too far to be corrected overnight except by the finger of God.

        • Another anti-life editorial in today’s Irish Times. Every week this newspaper is pushing the anti-life message!
          Catholics have evolved in their thinking about abortion
          Irish Catholics stand by women, and trust them to be moral agents of their own lives by Jon O’Brien
          Ireland is undertaking a historic debate on abortion and the Eighth Amendment. A prominent voice in this debate will be the Catholic hierarchy. Just last week the Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin argued that even in instances of rape the Catholic position would be to deny a woman her right to end the pregnancy. He also called for the voices of Catholics to be heard.
          On that I agree with him – Catholics must be respected, and their views on the Eighth Amendment should be heard. Where we disagree is on what Catholics might have to say.
          The truth is that for years now the majority of Catholics have disagreed with the Church hierarchy on reproductive rights and the health of women, as well as on the role of the secular state. There are Catholics who strongly reject what the hierarchy claims as truth.
          The majority of Catholics trust women to grapple with tough moral questions about when and whether to continue a pregnancy, and to make those decisions for themselves.They will not be fooled again with the false equivalencies that ushered in the passage of the Eighth Amendment in 1983.
          For more than three decades Catholics have seen how this draconian law has punished and shunned Irish women – how it has forced those with the means to travel abroad for the healthcare they needed.
          They have witnessed its very real consequences for the lives of women, including Savita Halappanavar, and know there cannot continue to be more deaths like Savita’s. They feel they must speak out against the immorality of this law.

          Archbishop Martin says we should journey with women and support them with what we know is often a tough decision to continue a pregnancy. But to be truly compassionate we must be there for women irrespective of what choice they decide is ethical and right for them.
          The state and our local communities should stand ready to support a woman who decides to continue a pregnancy even if she does not have all the answers about how she will provide for that child.
          But we should also support the woman who decides she cannot continue a pregnancy and respect her privacy to make that decision responsibly and safely in her own community among her friends and family.
          The hierarchy may try to sway Catholic voters into believing that a vote for women’s conscience is wrong. But many good Catholics support a woman’s right to choose because of their faith, not in spite of it.
          Good conscience
          As reflected in the teachings of St Thomas Aquinas, Catholic teaching puts primacy on developing a good conscience and following it in moral decision-making, even if that means disagreeing with the Church hierarchy.
          Many of the hierarchy’s teachings on reproductive rights have not been received by the faithful. For instance, the majority of Catholic women have made conscience-based decisions to use contraception responsibly, and Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as other women. They understand these can be ethical choices.
          Armed with the knowledge that conscience is not about imposing beliefs that are out of sync with people’s lives but that it is about allowing the faithful to formulate their own moral positions, Irish Catholics have evolved in their thinking about abortion. They can reconcile the complexities of these weighty matters.
          They know you can be a woman who believes she would not have an abortion in any circumstances, but yet can support the right of other women to do so. Or that you have had an abortion and do not want other women to face the restrictions you faced; or that as a man you respect the right of every woman to make her own decision and be author of her own life.
          Right to decide
          Irish society has evolved greatly in 35 years. A secular society is one that respects freedom of religion and respects freedom from religion. It upholds the right to decide and follow your own beliefs, making your own moral decisions.
          Irish Catholics stand by women and trust them to be moral agents of their own lives. It is important that Catholic voices be heard – because so many of us know in our hearts that repealing the Eighth Amendment is the right thing to do.

          Jon O’Brien is president of Catholics for Choice, based in Washington DC

          • We must deal with reality of abortion, Harris to tell Dáil
            by Kevin Doyle, Irish Independent, Jan.17, 2018
            Abortion is already a reality in Ireland and needs to be dealt with through legislation, Health Minister Simon Harris will tell the Dáil today.
            The minister is to lead the Government side of the Eighth Amendment debate in the absence of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is still refusing to offer an opinion on the issue.
            Two days of statements will get under way this evening with all 157 TDs entitled to speak for up to 20 minutes on the Oireachtas committee report, which recommended allowing terminations up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
            Sources say Mr Harris will plead with deputies to set a “respectful” tone for the months ahead.
            The Irish Independent understands he will use the opportunity to argue that abortion is already a reality for women in Ireland today.
            The minister will point out that while it has been long known that Irish women travel abroad to end pregnancies, the growth of abortion pills now needs to be acknowledged.
            A source said: “The minister will make the point that as a State it’s time to take action to protect women and look after their healthcare needs with care and compassion.”
            Unusually for such a debate, Mr Harris told his advisers and department officials that he wants to write his own speech.
            It comes as pressure mounts on the Taoiseach to offer clarity about his own position.
            Mr Varadkar has been accused of “undermining” the work of the all-party committee on the Eighth Amendment by sending out mixed messages.
            He has publicly warned that allowing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks may be “one step too far”, but has also told Fine Gael TDs it is the “strong option” on the table ahead of a referendum.

            In the Dáil, he said he was committed to having a referendum in May or June.
            Mr Varadkar said he was not prepared to state his personal opinion until he knew exactly what question is being put to the people.
            He said there was uncertainty about whether it would be a simple case of asking whether people want to repeal the Eighth, or if it should be repealed and replaced with a line giving the Oireachtas sole power to legislation for abortion.
            “We are awaiting advice from the Attorney General about that because we would find ourselves in a very strange situation if we repealed the Eighth Amendment only to find out that other rights to life exist in other parts of the Constitution that might then make any legislation we pass unconstitutional,” he said.
            On the type of abortion regime that might be introduced, Mr Varadkar said draft legislation should be prepared before a referendum but “the legislation would then be in the purview of the Oireachtas and this Government does not have a majority in the House”.
            Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin criticised Mr Varadkar for not stating his view on the committee’s report, which was published before Christmas.
            “I think that’s unfortunate. I think it is not giving leadership. We need clarity,” he said.
            Fianna Fáil’s health spokesman Billy Kelleher accused the Taoiseach of “undermining” the process.
            However, he defended his own party leader, Micheál Martin, for stalling on making his own position clear.

          • Saint Dismas was forgiven completely by Jesus on the cross. Yes, he was a murderer and was forgiven but he also had the guts to say he was wrong. Murdering abortionists are way beyond all the serial murderers in history put together. Abortion, even in cases of rape are all wrong. In most cases of forcible rape it is almost impossible for the woman to conceive because of the emotional trauma. This has been proven over and over again. Even if they do conceive there are other things they can do like adoption. There is never an excuse for abortion. It is not a women’s health issue I don’t care if a thousand Caesars say so.

          • A lot of “jaw-jaw” to the effect that we must accept being moral cretins or be banished from any position in Irish life that’s remotely influential.

            I’d accept the banishment. It’s one of the crosses of our times, and maybe the most “white and black” of moral issues.

          • Here’s a slight emendation and addendum to this liberal drivel. It may help elucidate the paucity of thought that went into the original editorial. “Archbishop Martin says we should journey with women and support them with what we know is often a tough decision…. But to be truly compassionate we must be there for women irrespective of what choice they decide is ethical and right for them. So, they decide to steal that pair of Nike runner shoes they’ve been looking at for weeks over at Grahams? We’re there for them! They sell their sons and daughters into prostitution down off Grafton to earn some extra income, you say? We’re there for them! One of our ladies sniffs some coke to alleviate the emotional pressure caused by a male-dominated society? Hallelujah! Let’s make sure she gets some good stuff in a safe and relaxing environment!!”

            It’s sad to see the place that gave us writers like Burke, Goldsmith, Swift, Wilde, Yeats, and Heaney now serve up the watered-down poitín confected by a faux-Catholic shyster like Jon O’Brien.

          • Why is it a tough decision not to kill? I’m sorry but that sort of episcopal milquetoast masquerading, no doubt, as pastoral compassion concedes a moral ambiguity that does not exist.

            I wonder if somebody confessed the mere desire to kill a particularly cruel and demanding boss or a spouse who was a defiant, serial adulterer ( and who would not be completely defenseless as is an unborn child), would he say we “should journey with” such a penitent and “support them” with what we know is often a “tough decision”?

          • The Irish Time has long been anti-Catholic. The only Catholic they like is the suspended Redemptorist and pantheist Tony Flannery, who appears to think Maynooth seminary is not gay enough

        • Good planning! In my case it involved the altar rails for our sanctuary – when they ripped them out I stored them intact in my garage waiting for the day when a more enlightened priest might have them back again. We live forever in hope.

    • At the risk of repeating myself I continue with this spiritual hope and sentiment:

      I pray God openly rebuke them everyone, the ignorant, the malicious, and the cowardly, all who allow Almighty God, the Blessed Mother, and the Doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church to be mocked, manipulated, warped, and distorted in such a manner as to substitute man for God.

      I pray they be rebuked not that they perish in Hell, but that in rebuking them, God grant them the opportunity to repent and be saved from damnation.

      Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth….”

      Revelation 3:19 “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance….”

      Gather your willing Cardinals, Bishops, and priests together, Bishop Schneider et. al., however few there be, and have a public Mass offered for that intention, as an act of Mercy. Offer the Mass on March 19, 2018, the Feast of St. Joseph the Protector of the Universal Church and the 5th anniversary of Francis’ installation.

      To my mind it would be the appropriate spiritual response.

  2. I had a private papal audience once upon a time, but wasn’t admitted to any papal order of chivalry. All I received was a rosary from the hand of a saint.

    So I reckon I made out better than that Dutch abortionist.

  3. Many in Argentina have been saying for years that Bergoglio is a skilled pragmatist. I paraphrase one of the authors, who said that Bergoglio would praise pro-lifers at breakfast, o

    • As awful as Francis/Bergoglio is, he has never said that abortion is sometimes good and necessary.
      He did say that we Catholics should quit talking about it so much — which I took to indicate not that he thinks abortion is right, but that he thinks there are other issues that are more important, or that he thinks a focus on abortion is somehow clouding our witness to the Gospel.
      I disagree with him, of course, but I have known a number of Catholic priests and bishops who think this way.

      • I don’t think I said that Bergoglio said it. Let me repeat the meaning of my comment:
        We know the method Jorge Bergoglio uses to get his agenda through – he sometimes says what a catholic should say, and often bashes catholics for faithfulness to the Church and her perennial teaching. He manipulated the synods, and included statements in final documents, which the majority of bishops rejected. On Bergoglio’s command, rejected passages were included in the final document, constituting the basis for normalization of divorce and sodomy.
        If my claim is unjust, the just God will do His will in response. The claim is that Bergoglio is a deliberate deceiver, a skillful one, with many years of practice. He is pushing un-catholic situational ethics on the Church and the world. He rejects objective moral standards He denigrates people with many children by calling them rabbits. He refuses to stress the evil of abortion, while killing the innocent, all made in the image of God. is at the very root of humanity’s evils today. There are no greater causes than not murdering the little ones. A society which does it cannot be repaired.

  4. “Pope Honorius, frankly, was anathematized for less.”

    Well, somebody has to be the worst pope of all time. Why not now?

  5. From the first paragraph: “…which of course at least infers that the pope approves…” The proper word is implies, not infers.

  6. “Pope Honorius, frankly, was anathematized for less.”……….that’s when most of our Bishops themselves were actually Catholic.

  7. Awarding this woman could also be viewed as another another wave of destruction of the Church’s ‘icons’ and ‘monuments’ because it wounds not only others who previously have received the exact same Award, but it gnerates some anxiety amongst recipients of other Papal Awards because maybe their own Award for service will be dragged down to mean something almost shameful….by association with a future unworthy recipient. This effect of awarding Ploumen once again wounds the Papacy and wounds well meaning Catholics with Papal awards. The iconoclasts are running amok.

    • Were I a recipient of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, I’d resign from the Order
      and return the insignia. I would not want to be in such company as Ploumen.

      It is interesting that Ploumen’s Ordinary apparently wasn’t given a heads-up before
      the award was made. Standard practice in these situations is for a person’s bishop
      to be notified before one of his flock is given such a Papal Order. Evidently, that
      protocol wasn’t followed in this case, and Ploumen’s bishop was neither consulted
      while the award was being considered, nor alerted before it was announced.


        Is there a way to track down the information specified in the third paragraph of this comment — i.e., a list of all previous recipients?

      • How can this completely public pro-abortion woman have a bishop in good standing and how can she not be considered excommunicated!?! Does this award go to those who should be considered ex-communicated if they just happen to be standing in line to see the Pope at the Vatican!?! (I know she wasn’t in line, but I don’t buy what the Vatican spinmeisters are trying to sell!!!) What balogny! What EVIL!!!

        • I wonder if the Pope and his Vatican staff of advisors are even believing in the words “Excommunication ipso facto late sententiae”. Because this is the current status of Mrs Ploumen, due to her efficient advocacy for the “abortion rights”
          One may wonder if the Pope himself isn’t under this same status due to his unceasing appraisal of many well known abortion advocates like Mr Sachs or Mrs Bonino, and probably due to many other reasons, the least one being the suspicious way he was elected thanks to the St Gallen’s Mafia.
          In sum, excommunicated people awarding excommunicated people with prestigious Catholic distinctions.

    • Here is an extract from the Wiki list of recipients of this dodgy “honour”. You will notice that Lilianne Ploumen shares the list with the late Jimmy Savile, a very famous BBC celebrity and a tireless charity worker. Sadly, Jimmy’s award is “subject to a request for annulment”. A year after his much lamented demise in 2011, Jimmy was unveiled as one of the worst paedophiles in British history.

      Carlo Emanuele Ruspoli, 3rd Duke of Morignano, 2004[23]
      Paul Salamunovich, 1969, American choral conductor and expert on Gregorian chant.
      Jimmy Savile OBE, 1990, English radio DJ and television presenter-broadcaster[24] (at present subject to a request for annulment from the Archbishop of Westminster).[25]
      Roger Wagner, American choral conductor
      Mordecai Waxman, 1998, Rabbi (Conservative Judaism)
      Lilianne Ploumen, 2017, Dutch politician[26]

  8. Divine Providence allows Francis (and Trump) to be used as “tools of destruction/demolition”…in order to make room for the Kingdom…
    “And I will feed thy enemies with their own flesh: and they shall be made drunk with their own blood, as with new wine: and all flesh shall know, that I am the Lord that save thee, and thy Redeemer the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaias 49, 26

      • Bingo! Trump is more akin to St. Paul — knocked from his horse, blinded, and converted — than he is to Pope Francis, traitor and heretic. Hit the bricks, Curtis Bartel.

    • Trump has been more pro-life than the pope.
      The pope has to start obeying the Commandments!
      From a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement I, pope
      Who can express the binding power of divine love?
      Let the man truly possessed by the love of Christ keep his commandments. Who can express the binding power of divine love? Who can find words for the splendour of its beauty? Beyond all description are the heights to which it lifts us. Love unites us to God; it cancels innumerable sins, has no limits to its endurance, bears everything patiently. Love is neither servile nor arrogant. It does not provoke schisms or form cliques, but always acts in harmony with others. By it all God’s chosen ones have been sanctified; without it, it is impossible to please him. Out of love the Lord took us to himself; because he loved us and it was God’s will, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his life’s blood for us – he gave his body for our body, his soul for our soul.
      See then, beloved, what a great and wonderful thing love is, and how inexpressible its perfection. Who are worthy to possess it unless God makes them so? To him therefore we must turn, begging of his mercy that there may be found in us a love free from human partiality and beyond reproach. Every generation from Adam’s time to ours has passed away; but those who by God’s grace were made perfect in love have a dwelling now among the saints, and when at last the kingdom of Christ appears, they will be revealed. Take shelter in your rooms for a little while, says Scripture, until my wrath subsides. Then I will remember the good days, and will raise you from your graves.
      Happy are we, beloved, if love enables us to live in harmony and in the observance of God’s commandments, for then it will also gain for us the remission of our sins. Scripture pronounces happy those whose transgressions are pardoned, whose sins are forgiven. Happy the man, it says, to whom the Lord imputes no fault, on whose lips there is no guile. This is the blessing given those whom God has chosen through Jesus Christ our Lord. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Roman Franciscan Liturgy of Hours)

    • “But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast in those days. And he spoke also a similitude to them: That no man putteth a piece from a new garment upon an old garment; otherwise he both rendeth the new, and the piece taken from the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the new wine will break the bottles, and it will be spilled, and the bottles will be lost. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. And no man drinking old, hath presently a mind to new: for he saith, The old is better.” Luke V, 35-39

      • “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God.”
        Apocalypse XXI, 1-3

    • I don’t believe Cardinal Burke has abandoned the faith. I think he has already privately issued the correction to Pope Francis and is awaiting a specific period to give him a chance to address the matter. Once this time expires i believe he will publicly announce the correction. Keep the faith, we clearly have not been abandoned.

        • I think you will be proven wrong in a short period of time. Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider will go down in history as the leaders of this movement back to the true Catholic faith.

          • I hope you’re right…unfortunately, unless you have insider knowledge about the “specific period to give him (Francis) a chance to address the matter,” 485 days seems a tad excessive. At some point you have to wake up to reality and ditch wishful thinking. Burke and Schneider are men of the Council – your trust is probably very misplaced.

          • Bishop Schneider was a man of the Vatican council? He seems somewhat young to be around in the 1960’s as a priest. I don’t think Burke is old enough as well.

          • What I mean is that they both accept Vatican II and try to reconcile it under the guise of the “hermeneutic of continuity”…

          • They were stuck with the mess of Vatican II, trying to stay loyal to the Catholic faith and the Papacy. Clearly their personal views of Vatican II are similar to ours I would suggest. Look what Bishop Schneider recently stated about this papacy. Cardinal Burke has stated similar views. They are all we have with the exception of Cardinal Sarah, Brandmuller, Caffara, Meisner, and Bishop Fellay . These men, with divine intervention by our Blessed Mother, will bring the Church back to it’s place of honor.

          • Burke the Tiresome isn’t going to lead anything….did you see his latest sob story interview? These guys all come across as dejected school girls… and are about as effectual.

      • Cardinal Burke holds that the SSPX are in schism, when his boss is really the one who is in schism. Oblique criticisms are all that is heard. Even auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider manages to say something reasonably direct on the crisis, but not that strong either.

        • Sadly, they are the only prelates, with the exception of a few other good men, that stand for the true Catholic faith. They are on our side.

  9. No matter how the Vatican Press Office dices it Pope Francis has an obligation to clearly disassociate the Church from Ms Ploumen’s abortion activity. As you allude to Steve because of the scandal. For some to write it off as if it doesn’t matter simply adds to the perception of moral malaise within the Church. Furthermore this hasty attempt to mollify the scandal needs to be weighed along with the personal homage the Pontiff previously made to notorious abortionist Emma Bonino.

    • It is apparent that our shepherds at the Vatican no longer believe in God. When you don’t believe in God, there is no such thing as scandal, or sin, or heaven or hell, etc. There is only what you want, and your own agendas. Scandalizing the faithful? What’s that? Let’s get with the times, the exciting modern times and leave this backward, antiquated old religion to die a slow death, while we unveil its new rising in the image that we would like reflected: The New Pastoral, Merciful Global Church, where we will be friends with everyone, children deemed unfit will all be killed (Alleluia!!) and no one speaks any words that make people uncomfortable, namely words that were once spoken by Jesus which we’ve probably got all wrong because there were no electronic recording devices used back then.

      Fulton Sheen did say, the Antichrist will come as the Great Humanitarian, and his secret: He will not believe in God.

      The stage is set, my friends. May we have the strength to work to keep the faith alive in our families, even without any sacraments if necessary, like a small group of Japanese faithful did for 250 years.

      • Indeed Jobina!!! My H is reading about the Japanese faithful who for 250 years kept the faith ALIVE and WELL even with NO sacraments and NO priests!! They did everything they could do on their own and God gave them the grace to remain in the faith………remarkable!!! We may some day as terrifying as the thought is to me have to do the same. But I also believe that if we do, He will give us the grace to remain in the faith if we cling to Him through our Mother.

        • If you get a chance, would you mind telling the name of the book that your husband is reading? I think I’d like to read that myself.

          • H doesn’t remember, he’s read so many….a very avid reader he is!! Let me do some research and maybe I can find out.

          • Ok, Melanie, I did find a book on Amazon and I believe you can also get it on Kindle: “In Search of Japan’s Hidden Christians” by John Dougill. Not sure if this was the book or if H read an excerpt in another book, but this looks like it tells the entire story. ‘Deplorable’ was correct though in that they administered their own Baptisms, and married within their ‘groups’. According to the author they had a very rudimentary faith because of their short exposure and catechesis, but they memorized some prayers in Latin and observed some ‘devotions’. They had nothing to go on but memory and passing down to their children, and everything was ‘underground’ of course because of the ban on Christianity so they kept all this to themselves. To me, just absolutely amazing!!

          • I haven’t read the book, but after I read the reviews on the internet, I saw how anti-Catholic the author is in many parts of the book. He is apparently sympathetic towards Shintoism, actually, even though he is European. Although given the self-hatred these days amongst young Europeans, that should be no surprise. I was planning to get it and read, too, until I saw the reviews. I suppose it all depends on how much you can stomach anti-Catholic views. If you aren’t bothered then it might be worth it for the information. I think it was released to cash in on the movie “Silence.” Anyway, I just thought I would warn you in case you might be concerned.

          • Thank you Michael. I want nothing to do with helping anyone cash in on the movie “Silence.” It sounds to me like that movie promotes apostacy and if I am wrong, I feel no loss in missing it. I still appreciate the trouble Standtall took to seek it out and I’m sure there are other books available. I’ll do some searching on this topic.

          • You are welcome, Melanie. Someone asked me about this topic once and I made a list for him of books, which I have copied below. Unfortunately I haven’t yet read any of them. Maybe there is something in here that could help. About my previous comment, just for clarification, I wasn’t referring to the author, but rather the publisher, in my comment about cashing in on the movie (because of the timing). However, of course I absolutely share your opinion. I wish there were a way to get all the story from a sympathetic account.

            1. THE MARTYRS OF JAPAN, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

            2. THE SONG OF NAGASAKI, by Paul Glynn

            3. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN JAPAN, by Johannes Laures

            4. A VISION BETRAYED, by Andrew Ross

            5. THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY IN JAPAN by C. R. Boxer

        • Laity can administer Baptism and the Clergy only witness marriage. So they (could have had) two Sacraments validly.

    • What can we do Father? I feel so depressed. We are losing this battle and I can’t stand it much longer. How much longer Lord? ????

      • Know that I and others suffer along with you. We are being tried and His grace strengthens. We are as The Apostle teaches making up in our own sufferings what is lacking in that of Christ. The Apostle Paul means that as members of the Mystical Body we continue to contribute our part [participation] with Christ not only in our own salvation but the salvation of others weaker than ourselves. Take joy in that fact that your suffering has immense value for yourself and others.

        • The Catholic church is presently at the fourth Sorrowful Mystery on her way to the Crucifixion. We, Christ’s Mystical Body are sharing in this martyrdom, offered up for the conversion of sinners before this period of Divine Mercy comes to an end and His Majesty will finally return in justice. He sees all and “Behold, I make all things new.” Come Lord Jesus Come!

        • Our parish was explicitly told by our Irish parish priest, former Christian Brother, Fr James Keegan, that there was ‘nothing lacking in the suffering of Christ and that, therefore St Paul was wrong.” He also had issues with the accuracy of the gospel account of the amount of loaves and fishes left over after the feeding of the five thousand. It’s the rank and file priests and religious with little to lose who are the real propagators and instruments of modernism.

          • Apparently you’re in Ireland as is Bosco49. If not the issue is devastating here as well as in Ireland. Visited there as a layman on return from teaching at a seminary in Africa and was impressed with the faith of the Irish. It was 1974. Dublin had chapels for perpetual adoration. The parish i attended had copies of the breviary in the pews for the Laity. The church I went to for daily Mass in Killarney was packed every morning. Met Bishop Daley who as a priest heroically dodged bullets anointing the wounded Bloody Sunday 1972 Londonderry (a friend was being ordained for that diocese). One of the reasons I determined to become a priest. So I am grieved too by the loss of faith there, the blasphemous religious ed pamphlet showing two lesbians embracing recently highlighted in an article in CWR. Our priests many who lost the faith years past are now more vocal in their heresies. We’re up against it but we will win in the end.

          • Although in the context of this forum it’s not important, it’s Derry NOT “Londonderry” Fr.Peter.
            Excuse my yield to the nitpick elf.

          • Or “Doire Cholm Cille” for the real purists – since it existed long before the Protestant settlers put up their buildings in the 1610s. Previously, Doire had been based around the monastery founded by St Columba (Colm Cille) in the mid 500s (although there was a settlement even prior to that).

            Here’s a version of the name to annoy everyone: Londaindoire.

          • Londaindoire: Another dagger to the heart of a Patriot,
            another pang hits, AND with the use of native tongue.

            But ultimately, Patriotism is a vanity that leads to a cul-de-sac
            and easily hijacked by “old Nick”.

            As we climb higher upon the Mystical Mount all excess must go
            for as Our Lord prayed: ” May they all be ONE”

        • Indeed, Fr., the Church is walking the road to Calvary. In a certain but unmistakable sense, we are being crucified. But…….just as Jesus rose on the third day, such will it be for His Bride.

      • Be not depressed, do nor be alarmed, Jesus says to you and all, it will all come to pass….be willing to be crucified with Jesus and Mary so that Redemption’s Victory you will continue in Them!, bearing Fruit to the Eternal Father in the Power of the Holy Spirit that will last….

    • It is devastating here in Ireland where later in 2018 (and before Francis’ ‘visit’) we will hold a referendum on whether our Constitution (8th Amendment) shall be changed to allow abortion.

  10. The witch “joke” should not be underestimated. I think that the link between Pope Francis and the Taoist monk Liu Ming should be investigated and clarified. Although a first impression is just that Liu Ming is a Chinese traditional physician that healed PF, which is a good thing of course, the link with Taoism practices, new age therapies and the fact that PF referred to him as a “witch” could also suggest some form of shamanism. There is also another curious association with a Goan Indian psychic healer. May Steve Skojec investigate the issue?

    Quote: “Acupuncture, Chinese massage (the kind employed by Liu Ming) and energy-based therapies are defined as New Age in the February 3, 2003, Pontifical Document, “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life, A Christian Reflection on the New Age”. ”

    Well, let us hope that it was just a “joke”.

    • Probably a reference to the satirical play “The Pope and the Witch” by Dario Fo, 1997 Nobel prize winner for literature.

    • He seeks the aide of Taoism for healing and not many Catholics knew about it. I didn’t. Where’s the fun in that, if nobody knows he’s doing it? What if I were tempted to seek the aide of witchcraft but had been prevented by the hopes of preserving my soul? Well, if the Pope does it…every soul he diverts from Heaven seems to be another notch on the belt.

      • I think Chinese medicine is very beneficial, and can be used without sin. One need not adopt pagan doctrines to take advantage of ancient Chinese knowledge of the body and how it works.

        I think Francis’s reference to a “witch” had to do with the visit of some South American indigenous people, one of whom, a “healer,” put her hands on his head. It doesn’t necessarily mean Francis actually believes she has any supernatural powers!

        Francis continually reminds me of the late former pastor at my local parish. He used to put his foot in his mouth constantly, made inappropriate jokes, had little use for many “traditional” devotions, was a little embarrassed by pro-lifers (he didn’t support abortion, by any means, but, like Francis, he seemed to think there were other issues that were a lot more important), made jokes about Protestant fundamentalists (instead of seeing them as allies in the great culture war we are engaged in), and his politics definitely were left-wing. Was he an actual heretic? I don’t think so. But then, he wasn’t going around giving awards to abortionists, either.

        • Well, I wouldn’t fair to well arguing that Catholics should refrain from practicing ancient Eastern pagan religions, so I won’t. Personally, I’ll abstain.

          • This is all a very important subject, but we (including I, mea culpa!) have gotten way off the original subject of this thread. Perhaps 1P5 should do a whole separate thread on the “alternative medicine” practices of the pope. There’s obviously a lot of interest in that here, and it’s obviously an important topic. (Please note that I, personally, reserve judgment on this matter. For all that Bergoglio does wrong, I have yet to be convinced that his choice of health practitioner is sinful. But the doubts that the subject has raised in the minds of us all makes it that much more deserving of more in-depth investigation.)


          • I think that Heartlander got my initial thought, when I started this discussion. This topic is very important but Steve should address it in an alternative dedicated thread. This will give it also a wider visibility in the web.

            It is obvious that one thing is using non-western medicine, which can be legitimate in principle, and another thing is to look for “healing” in pagan practices, which is condemned by the Church and the Bible since it opens the possibility of demoniac influences.

            Demons too may “heal”, provide health and power in exchange of one’s soul submission! This is exactly what the devil promised to Jesus when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. Which is why the Church forbids witchcraft, divination, active participation in pagan cults, etc.

            **ATTENTION STEVE SKOJEC**, may you investigate the issue and prepare a new tread?

          • Indeed good many Conciliar nuns turned completely pagan. At least no young woman joins these New Age weirdos, yet many old orders of nuns will perish when these elderly children of V2 and the sixties die.

          • I read that article, I’m just not sure I trust everything it says.

            I know Christians who have derived much benefit from acupuncture, and there was nothing mystical involved. There are many Christians who use homeopathy. And I know trained, professional chiropractors and massage therapists who are devout Christians. Lumping all these things in with Reiki and other “New Age” things is a mistake, in my opinion.

            Nevertheless, I’ll try to keep an open mind until I learn more.

          • I’m not lumping anything. We were talking about the apparent Pope of the Roman Catholic Church seeing, regularly, for years, very specifically, a witch, a Taoist monk, to heal his body. I don’t wish anybody to be sick with even a cold, but the soul is more important. Our body will die even if it’s after a whopping 140 yrs; that’s nothing. There are also many Christians who use birth control and abort their children, so I’m not sure why you are telling me about your acquaintances’ choices of healing.

          • I respect you a lot, Melanie, and I always appreciate your comments. You’re right that “argument by anecdote” is not really an argument. I know better than to use that, and I slipped up. I’ll have to come up with something better, and that means looking into it more rigorously.

            For now, we’ll just have to agree to disagree, since I don’t see anything wrong with Eastern medicine to the extent that it does not touch explicitly on unChristian. I realize that you and others are saying that it does precisely that. As I said, I’ll just have to look into it.

            I do believe that God is much bigger than our human minds — even our Christian minds — can comprehend. I think that our bodies, made in His image, are more wondrous than most modern people give them credit for, and that there are many things about it that are as yet undiscovered by modern Western medicine. Western medicine, for all its accomplishments, is in a certain rut/paradigm and may have blinders on in some areas. Indeed, it is Western medicine that has given us amniocentesis, partial-birth abortion, hormonal contraception, in-vitro fertilization, attempts at cloning, manipulation of the human genome, assisted suicide, the “brain death” lie, organ transplants from still-living but comatose patients, etc.

            On the other hand, when looking at good things from the East, one always has to walk the line and be careful not to fall into anything unChristian. But that doesn’t mean we have to reject everything about them. There’s a difference between taking the good that another culture may have to offer and falling into paganism or demon-worship. Do you know anything about the Servant of God Matteo Ricci, who was a missionary to China in the 16th century? He is famous for having tried to reach the Chinese in their own language, using some of their own concepts. And what about the early Church, which took and used so very many concepts from those pagans/idol-worshippers the ancient Greeks? Are we to reject St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and everyone in between because they relied on Greek thought?

            God is so gracious and over-the-top generous that He has revealed aspects of Himself to people everywhere and in all times. I love what C.S. Lewis has to say in this regard — something to the effect that God has inscribed in all human beings, in our very nature, the instinct to seek and find and recognize Him, and that these other cultures have been pre-conditioned to receive the Gospel.

            I think we can sift these other ways of doing things, and keep the wheat and discard the chaff.

          • “I think we can sift these other ways of doing things, and keep the wheat and discard the chaff.”

            With prudence, but the problem and danger IS the lack of it.

          • I would be very leery of anything anti God seeping into my soul, during these visits.

            This stuff can become of conduit of something that is not of God.

    • It’s Bergoglio after all.

      The real tragedy here is that were we to find out that Bergoglio is involved in some sort of condemned practice we would not at all be surprised.

    • The use of a psychoanalyst suggests this friend of abortionist Emma Bonino is both credulous and lacking any strong spiritual interiority. It would be entirely plausible for him to use a pagan magician of some sort.

  11. Has Mr. Burke explained the picture of a smiling Francis posing with Ms. Ploughmen for a photo op? I would point out to him that this is no less damning than the infamous award that the pope received from the president of Bolivia (Christ nailed to a communist hammer-and-sickle, a smaller version of which he also gladly wore around his neck). The Register and Vatican PR department botched that incident as well, and it’s a big part of why I no longer trust them.

    • “What nobody disputes is the fact of the situation, which is that Francis just flat-out knows what’s going on.”
      This SAFE ABORTION lady should be excommunicated. We’ll leave that to up to the pope!

      • Her excommunication would be the only CYA possible. Steve Skojec was not deprived of any great scoop here, that statement had no bearing. Ted Bundy saved many lives working on a suicide hotline and he killed way fewer people than the number of babies killed in $300 million dollars worth of abortions. It doesn’t even take a Catholic to realize the perversity here. Many Christians who aren’t Catholic will be very upset to hear this and it sure won’t be encouraging them to convert, that’s the opposite of ecumenism, no?

        • Excellent analysis.

          It is an HORRIBLE scandal but in full reflection of the Anglicanism that the Vatican now models, it is simple routine now.

          And the Bishops sit and do nothing.

  12. “I think, in a way, it’s almost immaterial whether he knew about this or not. He has intentionally surrounded himself with corrupt and craven men. They are, by and large, lazy and vicious and self-serving simply don’t care about doing what is right.”

    And you wonder why Burke’s didn’t answer your e-mail?

  13. On any given day, it’s possible to find an excuse, perhaps even a semi-plausible one, by which to explain away some scandalous event or utterance. However, over a period of time, years in fact, a definite, unmistakable pattern begins to emerge. Such patterns can not be explained away. We’re at that stage now. At this point, it hardly matters what the spinmeisters and talking heads say. We know the drill by now. We know what’s going down. One can use the “lost car keys” excuse for being late for work, once in a blue moon. It won’t fly when it becomes a routine, almost daily occurrence.

    The acclamation of Bonino, the gutting of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican seminars with the abortionists and population control advocates, the obsession with protecting the environment (i.e. too many people), the refusal of Francis to go into bat for the Church when the Italian parliament was liberalizing the abortion law, his refusal to attend the March for Life etc., etc……the pattern can’t be denied and this latest scandal hardly makes a difference.

  14. I’m depressed. He is letting Father Martin run rogue too. I’ve been on his site fighting against these people pushing this agenda. How much longer Lord???

    • Pope Francis empowered Fr. James Martin, SJ, when he made him an official LGBT liaison for the Vatican. This Pope is actively wrecking the Church and trying to destroy the Catholic faith, in which he obviously does not believe. Frankly, I am relieved we no longer have to wonder whether this be the case. I am going to continue going to church on Sunday, and as often during the week when I can, and praying. What else can we do? At this point, it’s in God’s hands.

      • When I hear the heretic Martin , I think of this great Jesuit:
        Concupiscence by Fr. Gerald Kelly S.J. (Chastity A Guide For Teens, St. Mary’s, Kansas 1940)
        The nature of our emotions and passions and their connection with good and evil should be perfectly
        clear to us. Certainly, they are natural tendencies that God gave us for a good purpose. Anger is a
        subjective state that enables one to preserve his life when unjustly attacked and to exercise a justifiable
        protection over others; fear also helps to preserve the life by warning against danger; the sexual
        appetite helps to preserve the race. But though these things have a good purpose, they do not always
        incline to what is morally good. To put it plainly, they tend to go their own way and ignore the higher
        good. Your temper does not ask you, “Am I justified in striking this man?” Your fear will not ask, “Is it
        right for me to run away?” Your sexual passion will not ask, “Would God be pleased with this action?”
        In other words, these and the other emotions are merely blind tendencies; they are natural insofar as
        they express
        one side of our nature
        ; but to keep them from making sheer animals out of us, there is
        need of something to guide them in accordance with the dignity of a human being. They must be kept
        within the limits marked out by God, and these limits are made known through our reason and Faith.
        Hence the norm for all the emotions is that they must be controlled according to reason and Faith.
        That there should be some conflict between our emotions and our reason is a perfectly natural state for
        a human being, since we are the only creatures in the world that unite such tremendous extremes as the
        spiritual and the material. It is only natural that the lower appetites, which tend to act blindly, should
        want things that conflict with higher duties. The understanding of this natural phenomenon helps us to
        see the real wonder of the gift of integrity, which God gave to Adam, which he possessed before the
        Fall and which all of us would possess if there had been no original sin. By that gift Adam had such
        perfect control over all these appetites that ‘his reason was always the absolute master. There was
        perfect harmony, no struggle, no conflict.
        The loss of the gift of integrity was one of the punishments for original sin. We now experience that
        natural conflict which God would have spared us. Our appetites are inclined to work independently of
        reason and even to want what is contrary to reason. This inclination of the appetites to work
        independently of reason is what is known as
        . Concupiscence is not in itself a moral
        wrong, but it is an evil for us because it is the result of sin and because frequently it acts as a powerful
        incentive to sin. It is a force inclining us towards what reason tells us is forbidden, and it is simply a
        historical fact that no other appetite has been so successful overthrowing reason as has the sexual
        Without the gift of integrity we have to struggle to control our impulses. But we are well equipped for
        the struggle. First of all we have the promise of abundant help from God. And with that we have our
        free will, which by the practice of various virtues, is able to act in such a way that appetites are kept
        within the bounds of reason. For instance, anger is kept within reasonable bounds by the practice of
        ; the impulses of fear are controlled by the virtue of
        ; and the sexual appetite is kept
        within the bounds marked out by God by the practice of
        . By these diverse ways of exercising
        self-control we fulfill that need which decent people commonly recognize in regard to the emotions

    • Hang in there. Trust in the Lord, offer your sufferings for the conversion of sinners and pray for the Lord to Deliver His Holy Bride from these ravenous wolves.

  15. Hey, they’re already handing out the Body of Christ to anyone who wants it…

    What’s wrong with a medal?

    I suspect that Ploumen is actually telling the truth as to why she received it.

    • I suspect they’re like teenagers at their friend’s house party, when the parents are away. They’ve taken over the place, found these sweet awards and are now handing them out to all their pals, who just happen to be liberals. We can’t really ignore that what this lady does, is heroic to 75% of liberals.

  16. Sounds like a great pastoral idea! Instead of giving Communion to public adulterers and homosexuals, instead, how about some nice ‘Participation’ ribbons/cheap medallions at every Mass? Pin it on them whenever they show up in the Communion line. Make them bright and colourful so everybody can see it as they giddily smile all the way back to their pew…

  17. Can a kingdom divided in itself stand? If a Catholic attacks another Catholic they will both fall. Beware of ambition and popularity. We will be judged on every single word we utter. There were great reformers in the Catholic Church, the likes of St. Francis and many others who began by striving to be Holy themselves first. Many anti-Cathlic patriotism is only working against, bringing confusion to their minds, and become lukewarm Catholics and an easy prey of scismatic protestant Churches which there are many to choose from and demand much less than our beloved Catholic Church as many of them believe and practice a heresy such as Once saved always saved. It looks attractive but is nowhere found in the Bible that one invites Jesus to take control of their lives and from then on, no matter how they live, they cannot be lost! Their pastors teach that once that prayer is professed will punish them in this world for any sin commited being venial or mortal; but they can put their mind at rest for they are surely saved. Thank you and God bless.

    • I felt I was a little snarky with you and I apologize. You are absolutely correct, though, a divided kingdom will fall. Christ’s Church is not divided, and She will stand, those who profess a different faith are simply outside of Her and I pray for their conversion.

  18. Steve, do you really think that if, say, David Duke were to visit the Vatican in a delegation of American state politicians, he would be handed a medal like this? All that we read tells us Jorge Bergoglio is more aware of what is going on in his bailiwick than Joe Stalin once was in Moscow. But he didn’t know how this move would play in Peoria? Sure.

    • I would be surprised to find out that the Order of St. Gregory is awarded to everyone in an official state visit like pillow mint.

      Wouldn’t we have heard about it with Obama, Pelosi, or Trump?

      But the Vatican claims it doesn’t keep a record of who gets it (I’m sure!) so we just have to play more guessing games about facts while knowing this has the smell of something from the pasture, but not exactly the sheep.

      • Good points. Of course, after all the hard work Nancy and Barack have done to promote abortion, it’s hard to understand how they don’t merit this medal if Ploumen does; they’re certainly in the Dutch ghoul’s league. Trump not so much.

        • They’d both be grumpy. They’ll expect no less than a special ceremony to honour their support for ‘women’s health’ and ‘ reproductive choice (neither healthy or a choice for the baby).’

      • Not keeping a record is by design. It grants plausible deniability.

        They never have to justify anything. But do notice how leftists love to present honors and awards to each other quite often, even when they don’t qualify for the criteria of the awards they create themselves.

      • I would like to ask them what is the point of handing out “medals” if they are of no significant value? If the things do not matter why are they handed out?

  19. “Now it is time to speak, the time for silence is past ….The shepherds must give the warning signals … Let us lay down our lives for the sheep, for brigands have entered the fold and the roaring lion is rampaging about. Be ready for martyrdom! Satan himself is clothed as an angel of light.”

    -St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church

  20. They are afraid of this website, thus you are ignored. They tremble. They have sacrificed credibility in the mad drive to satisfy their appetite for relevancy. They are irrelevant — what could be worse for an episcopal caste that wants nothing more than to be held relevant.
    Thank you for writing the plain truth. Keep it up!
    This website is a jewel Mr. Skojec, and you are a brave man.

  21. Since when is child murder and contraception a political view? They are moral issues of the most basic order. True, politicians may have a stance on the issues, but that does not detract from their moral order. For the Vatican or any prelate or person to attempt to pass these issues off as just another political view is evil and disgusting. See folks, to them it just like climate change or welcoming Muslim migrants.

    • “Nor do I understand, brethren, by the lukewarm soul, that soul who would like to be worldly without ceasing to be a child of God. You will see such a one at one moment prostrate before God, his Saviour and his Master, and the next moment similarly prostrate before the world, his idol.

      Poor blind creature, who gives one hand to God and the other to the world, so that he can call both to his aid, and promise his heart to each in turn! He loves God, or rather, he would like to love Him, but he would also like to please the world. Then, weary of wanting to give his allegiance to both, he ends by giving it to the world alone. This is an extraordinary life and one which offers so strange a spectacle that it is hard to persuade oneself that it could be the life of one and the same person. I am going to show you this so clearly that perhaps many among you will be hurt by it. But that will matter little to me, for I am always going to tell you what I ought to tell you, and then you will do what you wish about it….”
      Could St. John Vianney be referring to a certain person living in Rome….

  22. (“The pope couldn’t possibly have known!”)

    John Allen says the Pope is engaged in the minutae of the running of the Vatican. He can’t possibly not know.

    He does not surround himself with incompetent people. Quite the opposite. He surrounds himself with people who are highly competent in the secular and the diabolical. After his own heart I suppose.

  23. Only that’s not how things work anymore, and they don’t control the message. One of these days, they’re going to figure that out.

    You have more faith in these people then than I do. They won’t. They will just spin it accordingly to themselves.

  24. There are really only two ways to look at this. Pope Francis has just blessed infanticide on a MASSIVE scale ($300 mil.) or he simply does not care that it might appear that way. Sorry folks, either way is just pure evil.

  25. When was a boy we used to pray “ for the intentions of the Holy Father and the conversion of Russia.” Now it’s the opposite.

  26. If only there was a way to know who’s gotten the award during the last few years… Is it really just anyone who visits representing a country? If it’s been just a handful it would not square with the excuse.

  27. “Previous recipients of the honor have included a wide variety of people including the media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1998, Matt Busby, former manager of Manchester United soccer team, and Rabbi David Rosen who was awarded the honor in 2005 in recognition for his work in Jewish-Catholic relations.”

    (From the Register article)

    Wikipedia has a thorough list.

    • Seeing that Rupert Murdoch had run some of the vilest newspapers in history (e.g. “The Sun” and “The News of the World” [aka The News of the Screws in England]) for years before receiving this “honour”, I think we know how much it is worth. No one could claim ignorance of the nature of Murdoch’s business when such papers had been printed by the million.

  28. I absolutely love this website! THANK-YOU everybody for keeping me informed on what’s happening in the Catholic church today. Like many of you it breaks my heart that there are those trying to destroy the one true Catholic faith. It is difficult for us all. It’s a hard battle to fight but we stand strong because we know the truth and we know Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. God Bless you all

  29. It seems that Chinese President Xi Jingping in the wake of Ploumen’s “success” is looking to make an
    impression and improve his odds of “recognition” for his efforts at “alleviating poverty.”

    JAN 16, 2018 BRIAN KELLY
    Cardinal Kung Foundation Christmas Newsletter 2017 (Please help the persecuted Church in China):

    Communist China announced a new Savior In recent months, local government officials visited many Christian-populated villages to implement a Property Alleviation Campaign. They proclaimed a new “savior”: “Jesus won‟t save you – President Xi Jinping will! ” Families who replaced their crosses or the religious images in their homes with the portrait of President Xi were given a quota from the Poverty Relief Fund. The Washington Post reported, “in Jiangxi province‟s Yugan county, villagers “willingly‟ removed 624 religious posters and images and replaced them with 453 images of Xi. Villagers were told that they cannot count on God to lift them out of poverty, but to “rely on the Party.” This brings nightmares to those who are familiar with the history of China, such as the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards, watching this building of another “cult of personality.”

  30. I am officially awarding this day, the Royalist Boostenhalter of Hanover to the Pope in charge. May he wear it with distinction to all official lavender weekend events at the Vat.

  31. The Question from Steve:

    “Why was there no statement condemning or distancing the Vatican from Ploumen’s public comments in which she says she was awarded a “prize” by a Vatican that probably knew what she was about in confirmation of her work?”

    The Answer from Pope John XXIII:

    “But at the present time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of
    severity; and, she thinks she meets today’s needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning. Not that there are no false doctrines, opinions, or dangers to be avoided and dispersed; but all these things so openly conflict with the right norms of honesty and have borne such lethal fruits that today people by themselves seem to begin to condemn them and in particular those forms of life which disregard God and his laws, excessive confidence in technological progress, and a prosperity consisting only in the comforts of life.*


    People don’t need to be taught right from wrong because they already know it and naturally condemn the wrong themselves….yeah, right…

    Well, some know right from wrong because we HAVE been taught it, and we see from this Vatican plenty of “things so openly in conflict with the right norms of honesty that have borne such lethal fruits” such as “false doctrines, opinions, and dangers to be avoided and dispersed”. Indeed, this whole episode with this baby-murdering monster being stroked is nothing but WRONG.

    And this Pope?

    He owns it all.

    * Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, October 11, 1962

    • Oh Barry, Barry, smh. I know that historically that medal signified a strong allegiance to satan, but when it is given out next yr, probably around Christmas time, it will not. No, that will be skinny puppy with horns and it will symbolize our common goal to rout out bullying from all corners of the globe and care for even the skinniest and freakiest animals in our fragile environment.
      Disclaimer: This is a joke, I have no knowledge that this medal will be awarded to anyone by the Vatican next yr.

  32. I guess the Vatican, in Vatican II style, intentionally misinterprets Christ’s advice concerning charity to not lot the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Nowadays all news from the Vatican is disturbing. Knowing about this is simply depressing. Where is the outrage sufficient for someone , anyone, to take action?

  33. …”I’d think with the billion euros they’ve got tucked away under the mattresses, they could hire a competent staff of professionals”…
    One should notice that the current staff of advisors into the communication issues includes Fr James Martin. Being an advocate of LGBT way of life is enough for the Pope in deeming that Fr Martin is without any doubt a “true professional “.

  34. If I were on the Papal plane, I’d like to ask:
    “Your Holiness, what is the maximum number of abortions one can perform or facilitate before they are excluded from being awarded a Papal Medal?”

  35. It is not that the Vatican is either for abortion or against it. They just give out the message that it is no big deal.

    • I’d venture to assume, not based upon any data I’ve seen, that a small number of people are actually abortion advocates and an extremely large number are neither for nor against, until they get pregnant or get someone pregnant, at which point they remain neither for nor against but they do go ahead and kill a baby in his mother’s womb. This is not the stance of the Church, so what the heck is the Vatican?

  36. In my (relatively uninformed) view there is something else at work here. Pope Francis and the people he surrounds himself with are full-on in support of the sexual revolution, the cultural revolution, the political revolution, and ultimately the triumph of socialist dictatorship. They will do everything they can to signal to their fellow revolutionaries their support. However, if they want to maintain their positions they will need to continually come up with excuses for this behavior so they can’t be frontally attacked by the remaining (small and weak) forces of orthodoxy. So they say as few Catholic things as are absolutely necessary. If Vatican II was 85% orthodox and 15% heterodox, Francis’ papacy is bound and determined to reverse that mix.

  37. Hardly any surprise here. Jimmy Savile, one of the most famous celebrities on the BBC and one of the worst paedophiles in British history, received a Papal Knighthood from John Paul II in 1990.

    Yes, the revelations of Savile’s numerous atrocious crimes emerged in 2012, a year after his death. But the Papal Knighthood was awarded years after the publication of Savile’s 1978 autobiography “Love is an Uphill Thing” where he described his barely legal sexual adventures with unashamed glee.

    Does anyone at the Vatican do any background checks on any recipients of honours?

  38. “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is
    not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is
    open to the suspicion of secret complicity.” Absolutely spot on.

  39. Perfect
    “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”
    Pope Felix III

  40. It is a BIG DEAL, because this Evil Woman is going around Shooting Off Her Mouth that the “pope” is quite ‘progressive [her word]’ and approves of her evil work.
    This “pope” IS THE DESTROYER!

  41. Steve this is good work you did and I hope you’ll wear this shadow banning as a badge of honor. B-team press relations by the Vatican press office.

  42. “..responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.”

    It would seem to be a VERY easy thing for a journalist to confirm all of the other recipients of the “honor”. How many diplomats and whom? Then compare that list to those who have received them prior to 2013.

    • Oh, but the Vatican says it doesn’t keep a list. From my last article on this:

      The late British media personality Jimmy Savile — accused after his death of raping or sexually abusing as many as 300 people, including children as young as nine years old — received the Order of St. Gregory from Pope John Paul II in 1990 for his charitable work. A formal request was initiated by the Catholic Church in England in 2012 to have the honor posthumously revoked. The Vatican’s response at the time came from papal spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi, who said that the Holy See “firmly condemns the horrible crimes of sexual abuse of minors”, adding that the revelations about Savile were “very grave”. Nevertheless, Lombardi stated that “As there does not exist any permanent official list of persons who have received papal honours in the past, it is not possible to strike anyone off a list that does not exist.”

      • It looks like a history of the Order of St Gregory ‘honour’ would make interesting reading. It sounds as if it is a purely secular award with no connection ti building up Christ’s Kingdom in any way so why have it? And now it is giving scandal but mostly because everyone would assume it is an Honour’ given by the office of the Papacy to hold up a ‘good work’ . Scripture says everything hidden will be made known.

  43. Thank you for the honesty and opennes to stand firm in opposition, Steve. By reading the many articles I grow not only deeper in my faith but also in my convictions of morality. Through the direction of my confessor and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am building a firm foundation in God’s deolontological (absolutism) method of decision making. Instead of jumpiong over the fence (agreeing or staying silent) anytime someone is in opposition, I question their reasoning and contemplate the facts before making my final assumption in matters of ethics and morals.

  44. If you missed out from the last few years of Vatican news, the pope is a closet Marxist/Regressive and has acted like one since his anointment. Pushing the Man Made Global warming hoax to redistribute capitalists wealth to communist is just one of his commie moves. He was a commie in south amercia was he not.

  45. Catholics will leave the Faith b/c of this “pope” & people will not become Catholics b/c of this “pope”. Ah, the Satanic game of chess, thanks to the Globalists! I am telling you Jorge is a Double Agent!

  46. I don’t even care about what the award stands for or does not: WHY RECEIVE THIS PERSON? Would Presidents Bush or Obama have received bin Laden? Would President Regan have received Castro? Would Roosevelt or Truman have received Hitler?

    That’s the point: why would a pope receive and lend any legitimacy to this person? This isn’t the 1950s, okay? There’s no Archbishop Sheen to a convert a willing Bella Dodd. There isn’t enough intellectual honesty left for that: instead we have the modernist Church leaders who realize that western society rejects their views but who desperately wish to be accepted having dialogue with people who either are not intelligent enough to understand the Church’s truths or who don’t care! Ultimately, these abortionists, SSM, transgenders, etc. advocates simply want to show themselves having a picture with Church leaders in order to mislead the faithful or to simply mock them. This a joke.

    • Indeed, politics and diplomacy, diplomacy being the art of avoiding the truth. Avoiding the truth to
      “keep the door open” with dialogue, a dialogue that (well past it’s sell by date) continues in zombie mode.

      They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them.
      1 John 4:5 Douay-Rheims

    • Catholic colleges, bishops, and Popes have NEVER treated abortionists as they would treat “racists,” rapists, or Republicans. They have always treated abortionists like Carter, Kennedy, Pelosi, etc., like normal, respectable public figures.

      When the KofC were seriously considering expelling their many prominent pro-abortion members, Virgil Dechant received a call from the Vatican’s Secretary of State warning him not to even think about doing such a thing. This was during the reign of John Paul II. Who, btw, was vocal in his support for Nelson Mandela, but never said a word as cops in America committed the mortal sin of removing people from abortion clinics, enabling the killing of babies. This crime was committed 60,000 times, and the Pope never noticed.

  47. Bonald’s take is worth sharing here:

    The Vatican claims
    “The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.”

    I’m calling BS on this. Someone should track down every head of state that has visited the Vatican in the last year and ask to see their medals. President Donald Trump recently visited the Pope. Did he get a medal? Is the Donald just too modest to mention it?

  48. What has the intrepid and bluntly speaking Miss Barnhardt said about Diabolical Narcissists? They love doing outrageous things, and then getting away with it. Isn’t that exactly the dynamic at play here? Francis has to be laughing hysterically, just like Barry Soetero after giving America the middle finger.

  49. Brilliant, Steve. If the usual suspects aren’t shamed and embarrassed, they have lost all hope. I repeat to them and especially to Fr. Bergoglio, what Padre Pio said to a man who said he didn’t believe in hell: “You will when you get there.”


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