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A Vatican That Can’t Be Trusted

In an essay at Rorate Caeli, Professor Roberto de Mattei takes note of the Vatican’s fairly recent and alarming habit of self-contradiction and obfuscation. He notes:

Information, disinformation, truths, half-truths and lies all seem to be jumbled up in the communication strategy of the Holy See. The history of the Church is being written through interviews, improvised discourses, articles on semi-official blogs and media-rumours, leaving the field wide open to all interpretations possible and giving rise to the suspicion that the confusion is deliberate.

Two recent examples.

The first regards the expulsion of the President of the IOR (the Vatican Bank), Ettore Gotti Tedeschi in 2012.  In Benedict XVI’s latest book “Last Conversations” with Peter Seewald, the “Pope Emeritus” takes responsibility himself for Gotti Tedeschi’s dismissal, due to what he says was the need to “renew the management” of the Vatican Bank. Yet Monsignor Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict’s secretary, at one time stated that Benedict XVI  knew nothing of this dismissal and “was surprised, very surprised at the motion of no confidence in the professor.” Andrea Tornielli, on October 22nd 2013, refers to it in an article entitled: Benedict XVI was very surprised at the expulsion of Gotti Tedeschi. On September 9th 2016, the same Vatican reporter, without indicating any contradiction, presents the new version, with the title: Ratzinger: it was my idea to change the management of the IOR in 2012.  What’s the truth then? Most certainly someone is lying and there  confusion remains.

I find this first example of particular interest. Do you recall how Pope Benedict was alleged by the Vatican to have broken his silence to refute the testimony we published from Fr. (Dr.) Ingo Dollinger indicating that Ratzinger himself had admitted that there was more to the Third Secret of Fatima than had been revealed? In my response to that statement, I made no secret of my skepticism that the rebuttal even came from Pope Bendict. It bore neither his crest nor his signature, and was instead buried in a routine Vatican bulletin, as if it had no great significance. It had certain hallmarks of a possible forgery, and to this day I doubt its authenticity — a doubt that has been echoed by certain persons in the Vatican with whom I have had contact.

The Bocca della Verità in Rome.

Here, now, we have another indication that this is not the first time the truth has been apparently manipulated to fit a communications strategy. De Mattei is correct – either Benedict knew or he didn’t, so which was it? Why is the truth so hard to come by?

De Mattei goes on to also cite the recent example of the papal letter to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region, already covered here multiple times. He writes:

There is no other interpretation”. Pope Francis’ position on the divorced and remarried – already expressed on his return flight from the Isle of Lesbos, at this point, seems definitively clear. Yet if this is his thought, why commit it to a footnote in Amoris laetitia and to a private letter not intended for publication, instead of stating it in a clear, explicit way?  Perhaps in this way, the contradiction of the perennial Magisterium of the Church would be public and formal, whereas the intention is to arrive at changing the Church’s doctrine in an ambiguous and surreptitious way?

In my analysis of the Vatican communications strategy this past February, I noted the same thing — and I don’t believe it to be accidental:

Catholics trying to make sense of the present pontificate by trying to make it fit within the paradigm of orthodoxy are being openly and cruelly manipulated. Francis and his advisors have not staged an obvious coup at the Vatican. They’re waging a disinformation campaign, using the tactics of subversion, not overt and total change. They’re working almost entirely within the confines of the existing doctrinal framework, while carrying out a slavishly-adhered to communications strategy that seeks to undermine and cast doubt on that same Church teaching wherever possible through easily-dismissable non-authoritative statements and actions.

This is why people who say that the pope’s comments on a plane can simply be ignored are demonstrating extremely poor judgment. By placing excessive emphasis on the non-authoritative character of informal statements, they’re underestimating the damage that such things do to existing formal teaching.

In another piece in June, I highlighted the deceptive practice of intentional mistranslations of papal statements and surreptitious changing of the wording of papal statements after publication to remove controversial context. As I said at the time, “This is Orwellian, it is deceptive, and it is unbecoming of the Vicar of Christ – or his surrogates.”

Today, De Mattei drives home the same point in his own analysis:

Divisions however, have their source in the two-forked language of the Devil and are defeated most of all by the truth: the truth of the Faith and morality, but also the truth of language and behaviour, which means renouncing all lies, falsification and reserve, following the teaching of the Gospel “[…] let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of  the evil one.” (Matthew, 5 v 37)

Something has definitively shifted in the way Catholic thought leaders are viewing this pontificate. The disparate reactions and explanations to various of Francis’ most troubling statements and actions are now beginning to settle into a sort of synthesis. Shock, credulity, and doubt, are increasingly giving way to a quiet and determined resolve. “It’s not us,” people seem to be saying. “It really is him…and it must be stopped.”

There is perhaps nothing new here for readers who have followed our coverage of the present papacy for some time. But it is nevertheless important to continue to document the consistency of these observations over time, tying together the loose ends that have been obscured through intentional misdirection and showing that the dots connect much further back than just the past few months.

Whether you’ve sensed it for a while or are just recently reaching these conclusions, it’s important for you to know that you’re not just imagining things. What a horrible thing not to be able to trust the Vatican to tell the faithful the truth. The shame of it will echo through history.

81 thoughts on “A Vatican That Can’t Be Trusted”

  1. In terms of communication strategy, are there not close parallels to the leftist strategies during and in the immediate wake of Vatican 2? I believe that Michael B. Dougherty made this point in one of his columns.

    In my opinion, the closest parallel is the gullibility of the “traditional” leadership, who continually refuse to accept that things are as bad as they are, or believe that the bad will fade away in time; they think that these are just arguments to be won in books and papers rather than an ideological mission of total change. However, during Vatican 2, perhaps more faithful spoke out forcefully than today, rather than running from any potential controversy.

    • Traditional Catholics have been calling for a Counter-Revolution for quite some time now but no-one has stepped forward to actually mount such a coup. The Cardinals & Bishops have shied away, possibly because of the lack of numbers to back them up in the Hierarchy but also because they value their livelihoods. This has all been predicted by Our Lady, of course, ‘the one who should speak will fall silent’. Could this be directed at Pope Emeritus Benedict, I wonder? Those who have sent letters – 45 academics, 500 priests & the 13 Cardinals who were chastised by PF plus all the singed online Petitions, have got us nowhere.

      The only recourse we have is to pray that extreme pressure will be brought to bear on PF from some Divine source to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That is all that is required just now for this monstrous situation to be turned around. It will necessarily be followed by the disclosure of the complete text of Third Secret which should ensure that a new conclave will bring about a Traditional Catholic Pope who will restore the CC to its rightful position.

    • I do not believe the Pope is evil, or intends destruction. I think he is merely a Jesuit of the 1960s, glad at last to be able to do what he thought needed to be done back then. An angry generation, and capable of doing a lot of harm when they finally get some power. A little stupid.

      • I don’t think anyone thinks he is evil or lacks sincerity. He is simply misguided and doesn’t seem to understand what the Papal office entails.

        • Misguided? Even though he has had so many people with good will asking – nay- pleading with him to clarify, to not go down this path. 13 cardinals writing him a letter, numerous Cardinals and bishops writing books before the synods…at least three books, 45 signatories asking him in the best of terms and privately to reconsider??? I call it hubris of the highest order at the very least.

          Fr. Hennigan, [I think I read in a comment somewhere that you are a priest, pardon me if I misaddressed you] I will double my efforts to pray daily for orthodox priests because it is you who will bear the brunt of this hubris of his. Imagine, an invincibly ignorant pope.

          I pray for PF every day as well and I will continue to do so. But I cannot help loathing what he is doing.

  2. Thanks brother for speaking up… A friend priest of the Legion of Christ told me very recently that I was lacking charity towards the pope to tell the truth about these things being wrong and leading the Church and faithful astray… wow

      • And Fr Maciel was a pervert of extraordinary sexual incontinence. He was even thrown out of the seminary he attended, and had to complete his studies before ordination privately (is that even valid?). And the embezzlement, and vast donations to keep JP2 in his accustomed posture of indifference.

    • Yes, a priest of the Legion of Christ woud say that. Maciel used to say “if we are to be mistaken, we will be mistaken with the Pope”. So, there you have the Legion/Maciel mindless attitude.

  3. Some of this must be due to the fact that, for some (many?), the pope is not expected to take positive steps to promote orthodoxy so long as he avoids outright heresy.

  4. What Steve is reporting is simple reality, and I’m really surprised at how many Catholics are continually taken in. I mean, does the Pope’s letter to the Argentinian bishops truly surprise anyone? Haven’t we known for years that the endgame was communion for the divorced and remarried and that Francis was deliberately using misdirection and confusion to take us there? I think that was obvious as soon as he called the first synod. I saw this day coming three years ago, and I’m not even very smart.

    And yet, at the time Amoris Laetitia was released, many faithful Catholics like Longenecker and Akin were doing all kinds of contortions to explain how the blindingly obvious couldn’t be true. Can’t anyone read the subtext, or understand the completely obvious intention behind Amoris Laetitia? Fr. Longenecker had the nerve to opine that by access to the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried, maybe the Pope was referring to Eucharistic Adoration! How could you be so willfully and obstinately blind? Now Robert Royal is shocked, shocked! Give me a break. A baby could have seen this coming.

    • Exactly. You can’t make anyone see what is right in front of them if they don’t want to see it. Blind guides the lot of them, hence so many bodies at the bottom of the Pit.

    • Spot on…and don’t for a minute think that communion for public adulterers is the end of it. The end game is to admit anyone in any ‘irregular relationship’ (e.g, same-sex) to communion. Bank on it.

      • Oh, I do. Francis has a way of telegraphing his moves far in advance. It’s an effective strategy, really. He first floats a trial balloon on an airplane presser or in some other informal manner. The Catholic world comes completely unglued, but there’s always enough plausible deniability and deliberate confusion so that the energy of faithful Catholics is sapped by fighting over the proper interpretation of the Pope’s “informal” remarks.

        After the dust has had time to settle, faithful Catholics are now in a position where the big fight over the Pope’s heterodox statement HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. This is devastating, because now some months later when he is officially implementing in policy what used to be an “off-the-cuff remark to reporters”, we are much less likely to rehash the same old fight. Already been there, and your average person’s attention span just isn’t that long. The idea has already been introduced into our minds some time ago, and that fact seems to make us more willing to go along with it when it actually becomes a reality.

        I think the Pope and his allies are surprisingly talented manipulators of human nature, but I agree with this article in that if Catholics have been slow to move we are nonetheless beginning to. More and more people are starting to wake up.

        • We give him too much credit for being cunning. The fact is that after 50+ years of modernist praxis, their is little if any resistance because there are few actual practicing Catholics, even less clergy and essentially ZERO Bishops. We need to recognize that the CINO’s are practicing Protestants aided and abetted by the wolves within the clergy. PF is just formalizing what has been in practice. No one should be surprised. He will become bolder and more outrageous. Next? Formalization of the special gifts derived from homosexuality straight ahead. Barring a supernatural intervention, there is nothing or no one to stop him naturally. All the frogs are just about finished boiling.

          • As regard to giving the Pope too much credit: I don’t think so. What I’m seeing is the same play being made repeatedly when the Pope wants to show his hand a little in anticipation of a big move. Think of female deacons or communion for Lutherans. Cardinal Marx says something about apologizing to gays at a speech in Ireland, and the Pope is affirming it just days later.

            It reminds me of how Joe Biden “slipped” and revealed that President Obama supported gay marriage, and then later Obama had to confirm it officially. It was an obvious setup. The situation with the Argentinian bishops is similar, I think. It would take very little effort to arrange, and the confusion that it engenders serves their purposes. You are right that a great many Catholics are of no threat to his plans, but he does have a sizable number of faithful Catholics to reckon with, and he has been very successful at keeping us off balance and fighting amongst ourselves.

            Somewhere along the way, I believe Pope Francis realized that if he can get everyone around him to “make a mess”, he’ll be the one cleaning up, if you catch my meaning.

          • Again, IMHO, you give him too much credit. The fact is that there is no one to stop him and he has and does know it…..right from the beginning. He sets up a game of charade, plays them out, knowing the ending before he starts. The whole thing is window dressing & drama for the nuChurch Bishops and their CINO’s in the pews. Question? Who has stopped him? Who can stop him? Who will stop him? It’s now 3.5 years of nonsense and novelty….and no serious credible push back. A few articles, papers, responses here and there but no one or no group with serious gravitas/clout has said Boo!

          • Speaking of despicable bishops, did y’all see this a few months ago? (Somehow I missed it until today.) Bishop Lynch of St. Pete, FL, takes the cake. He blames Catholics — AND CHURCH TEACHING — for the Orlando jihadist anti-gay massacre. (Yup, this is the same guy who abandoned Terri Schiavo to her murderous husband and a wicked judge.) This guy isn’t even Catholic, by my definition, and yet he’s a bishop — a wolf amongst the sheep instead of their shepherd. Just hideous.


          • God help us! He was the “shepherd” of the diocese in which I live. He’s now officially retired. Praying ardently for a holy shepherd who will die for the Gospel!

        • Unless there is co-ordinated momentum we can achieve little. There needs to be solid leadership provided in each country that will link up globally with such speed that it will be impossible for the Vatican to stop. These evil doers need ousting – ALL of them. They will not return to Christ’s Law which they abandoned decades ago. We have been too tame for lack of numbers up ’till now. That must stop & we must be organised, then things can happen. Don’t expect any help from the Bishops/Cardinals – they are careerists & most of them applaud what PF has done & continues to do at apace.

          • ASK FATHER: Could the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issue a binding interpretation of #AmorisLaetitia

            I read the whole article this morning on Fr. Z’s site?
            Is he telegraphing us something here?
            it seems, if I read this correctly, it could be done.

            Any thoughts?

          • Cardinal Schönborn has already declared AL to be a Binding Document, which he wouldn’t have done if it were not OK’d by PF. However, as PF doesn’t like signing off on anything that might get him into hot water & give those who oppose him (very few) the opportunity to denounce him, it is doubtful, but one never knows with PF. There were rumours of Cardinal Schönborn replacing Cardinal Muller at the CDF so there is the possibility PF had this in mind. Either way there will have to be a complete clearance at the Vatican so if this step would take us there quicker maybe it won’t be as bad as it might seem if it were to occur.

      • The end-end-game is to admit anyone at all to communion — whether they are Catholic or whatever. This is all about making the false ecumenical vision come true.

      • While not in any way disagreeing with you about the direction Pope Francis is moving in I would suggest that the end game is the trivialization of the Eucharist, the emptying it of all sacredness. It is to be available to all, penitent or not, “food for the journey” like bread picked up along the route as you travel.

    • This is how liberal, Modernists operate. I saw it in the seminary years ago, confronted the priests, nuns, and lay faculty, and was quickly shown the door. Thus, I am not a priest today, but happily married with a wonderful son. In today’s Catholic Church environment, I cannot see going forward with the permanent deacon program. At one point, I thought I would. However, I could NEVER pursue ordination at this point given the overall situation in the Church.

      • Put your trust in God. He will continue to lead you. For each man is called in different ways to serve the Lord. Abide by His will, and you will find your greatest joy.

      • But, unfortunately, many (mostly women) are chomping at the proverbial bit to be deaconized. I have a family member that was so traumatized by the Deaconate program in his diocese in the late 1970’s that he left the church completely. And would never discuss the causes. PF has several more milestones to put into his belt before he leaves. I predict that by October 16th the CC will have Lutherans at the door asking to receive, followed shortly there after by LBGTXYZ and then Deaconesses by Christmas. That is the way it appears to be trending for me. Lord please help us. And the USCCB sits twiddling (or smiling). More $$$$

      • I have considered applying to be a permanent deacon when I am older, but I’m considering the same thing you have been. When you’re ordained, you’re their man. Could I do that under this Pope? I increasingly think not.

          • Unfortunately they do not take permanent deacons – at least they didn’t when I last checked some years ago. 😉

            If that situation has changed, please do let me know.

          • The Ordained Deacons in traditional seminaries are on their last step to be Ordained Priests. So, only single men that are being formed for the Priesthood can be Deacons. Deo Gratias….

        • You are only “their man” if you take their money. For those of us who are not in the pay of the Church, a proper understanding of obedience allows us to maintain an appropriate distance from the bovine excrement.

          I do agree, though, that being ordained during this present regime is not pleasant at times. When he goes off on his crazy flights of fancy it makes me feel unclean, grubby and ashamed to be associated with the Catholic clergy. He really does fulfil every ridiculous caricature of the papacy which I bandied about when I was a Prod.

          • I hope you don’t associate PF & his coterie as ‘Catholic’. They are deviants that have usurped the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church & must now be dealt with. AL can never be considered a Binding Document as is being touted by Cardinal Schönborn who, it is rumoured, may succeed Cardinal Muller at the CDF. So while it is quite a plausible outcome it would be a situation that the Hierarchy must swiftly react to.

          • Of course not – they are modernists. Unfortunately unless they are dealt with by those who have the power to deal with them, they will continue to be the official face of the Catholic hierarchy to the Church and the world. I don’t see any groundswell among the Cardinals and bishops which makes it likely they will be dealt with. I don’t think there are enough Catholics in the hierarchy to deal with them.

          • This is an awful situation. On the one hand we shouldn’t have to call on the Pope(?) & Hierarchy to order, but what else can one do when they are flagrantly turning the Ten Commandments & Scripture upside down in order to enforce the evil NWO, a product of Marxist/Masonic/Modernism? There is no doubt that most members of the Hierarchy are in collusion with PF and even if he did resign there would be another to take his place. This is why it is imperative to get Russia consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary soonest & whatever force that takes will be for the best of causes. It will have to be done before IS really get a grip in Europe – these Cardinals don’t have a clue as to what is coming or how to deal with it as they do not hold the True Faith themselves that is the only answer to our collective woes.

    • I think, if you read his article in First Things, Robert Royal KNEW we were in trouble with this Pope, but in his mind, anyway, it took this letter to make a definitive confirmation that was proof of the interpretation of A.L. by Francis. He came right out and said that ‘this was the only way to interpret it’. I don’t think he’d done that prior, he kind of danced around it and sent others out to explain it, so he could in effect, kind of wash his hands of what he really meant. But I agree with Steve that for sure, he has caused confusion, and I’m not at all convinced it hasn’t been intentional.

  5. Those of us who are older and have been at this for longer know that the people in the Vatican have been lying for years.

    In 1974, we were told by “the Vatican” that the old Mass was forbidden. It took nearly a quarter of a century for Church officials to correct that lie.

  6. From the beginning there have been a host of bloggers, journalists and bishops who have given themselves over to being spin doctors by trying to explain away Fancis’ strange statements. How the cat is out of the bag and what he thinks is clear, so the spin doctors are reduntant. Enough is enough. Anyone with half a brain could have figured out where he was headed when he appointed Kasper to fire the first salvo in the whole pocess which concluded with Amoris Laeitia. It was clear that the main purpose of the two Synods was to coopt the bishops to his agenda. He beceme very angry when he failed and got huge opposition from heavy weight cardinals. See his reaction to the letter form the 13 cardinals. No surprises and those who are suprised have blinded themselves.

  7. The vast majority of Catholics are idiots trained by Pavlovian methods to accept the verbal diarrhea of PR-speak from politicians, newscasters, government educators, corporations and not surprisingly the Church that embraces the world before Christ quacks just like the other ducks.

    The methods of communist infiltrators, Alinsky-ites, sophists, propagandists and the language of the devil himself. “No, no God did not say you shall ‘surely die’… don’t think about that, just look at how good it looks, look to the good in the apple! Always focus on the good! Go on now, take a bite, it’s free! Don’t want to waste what the environment gives you!”

  8. “What a horrible thing not to be able to trust the Vatican to tell the faithful the truth. The shame of it will echo through history.”

    Entirely agree. And our shame will echo through history unless we oppose it. I never ever thought that I would be called to live through times like this, and I’m sure few others of us here knew that they’d be living through the new Arian controversy.

    Laypeople were out fighting in the streets on behalf of the Divinity of Christ in those days, while most of the bishops quietly refused to oppose the heresy, and I think we’re facing the same thing now. Laity, some priests and – who will be our St John Fisher?

  9. “[N]ot to be able to trust the Vatican” is a sad fact of today. Of course, 80% Catholics live day to day and don’t really notice a change. The 20% of the Catholics that take the Magisterium seriously will stick with the Magisterium and view Pope Francis’ comments as empty. Bergoglio and his leftist buddies can manipulate Zenit and Vatican Radio all they want. The end result will be low ratings for Zenit, small audience for Vatican Radio and increased attendance at San Pietro nella Roma. I pity the selfish people who wish for the corruption of the Lord’s project.

  10. Whilst we are rightly concerned as to the desecration of The Blessed Sacrament, perhaps we are missing a crucial point. What exactly, in non-convoluted/jesuitical language, does Franciscus believe to be the nature of The Holy Eucharist – “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity” in our understanding. If Franciscus’ understanding is different, then he is unable to discern any problem. I think we should be told!

  11. Right on Steve. Keep up your good work. The devil and his minions are working full time at the Vatican. We should all thank God you and others are seeking and proclaiming the truth.

  12. You forgot a couple of recent glaring examples of dishonesty and duplicity, Steve; the two phony, orchestrated Synods on the Family and the bogus interim relatio from the 2014 Synod which talked about “valuing the good in homosexual relationships” and other things never actually discussed by the bishops. The whole thing was a railroad job from Day 1.

    These men are liars. Accomplished, congenital liars.

  13. I think anyone who was able to maintain their trust in the veracity of the Vatican after that elaborately staged charade in 2000 when, 40 years behind schedule, we were finally given the official Vatican revelation of the third secret of Fatima is quite naive. And that was the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the official interpreter was then Cardinal Ratzinger. So the present pontificate can hardly be credited with originality in its deceitfulness. Satan is, indeed, the father of lies.

  14. Check out the following website that provides very rich and abundant Catholic Magisterium teachings and references. This is an English version of the original Spanish “Denzinger-Bergoglio” page. This site is established and maintained by a group of anonymous priests throughout the world. They present studies over 150 statements by Pope Francis that contradict with the teachings of Sacred Scripture, Popes, Ecumenical Councils, Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and Episcopal Magisterium.

    It pains me to reckon that there are so many similarities in the communication strategy between the White House and the Holy See for the past several years. God have mercy on us!

  15. Sadly, as we approach the 100th anniversay of our Blessed Mother’s Apparitions in Fatma, May 13th, 2017, one can ‘see ‘ the Devil possibly in his Final Battle……reading all of the bad news emittating from the Vatican. !

  16. In 1929, as a result of the Lateran Treaty, Pius XI suddenly found himself swimming in money. He handed over this windfall to an amoral relative, Bernardino Nogara, to invest. From that day to this, the Vatican has been a money making machine. Everything else you may think you know about the Vatican is just window dressing.

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