Poisoning the young at the Vatican

The Vatican played host to a youth festival on Easter Monday, inviting a bizarre rock star to entertain thousands of confused young Catholics prior to a prayer meeting led by the Pope. It was organised by the Italian Bishops Conference (you know, that outfit who thought this design was appropriate for a church) and Italy’s National Youth Pastoral Service.

The theme of the day was “#Follow Me”: the hashtag attests to its hipness, no doubt, and although it was meant to inspire young Catholics to “find their way and vocation in life”, it’s hard to see an event like this leading them anywhere other than to hell.

One presenter for the concert was an Italian media star renowned for her “heart-attack necklines” and pornographic Instagram feed. But the main event was Riccardo Fabbriconi, aka Blanco, a crossdressing rapper and pop singer.

Blanco at the Vatican. Nero is more like it.
One news outlet lauded his ‘courage’ for exposing his tattoos

Blanco sang his current hit, Blu Celeste, supposedly written to honour a dead friend of his. The music video is somewhat alarming, as Blanco appears in his underwear, in the centre of a circle of flames. It is reminiscent of a magic circle, the symbol beloved of witches and occultists who perform their rituals inside, believing themselves to be protected from ‘negative forces’. What else could you expect from a guy whose first words as a baby were allegedly to curse his parents?

“This will impress the kidz!”

While Fr Michelle Falabretti, spokesman for the Bishops Conference, called the singer “a gift” to the young people, some of the bishops weren’t so sure. But Falabretti tried to reassure them:

“… the context is very important. Woe to underestimate it! You risk not being on the same wavelength. (Oh, the horror.) The singer who at this moment attracts the very young most of all, means creating the conditions for mutual dialogue and listening. (Yep, he said that.) You need to know who they are, try to understand that inner world whose features the artists interpret and make explicit. And Blanco, with his lyrics that tell of hardships, hopes and wounds, gives voice to the anxieties and moods of the boys, (?) perhaps not of all, but certainly of many.”

At least he remembered to cover his chest this time.
On their way to the after-party at Coccopalmerio’s?

And what did Bergoglio have to say about all this? Not much. He just rambled on about the war, the flames of which his WEF buddies are busily fanning. But hey, who really cares? The kids were there for the concert, and not there for the Pope uttering some half-truths about Catholicism.

Actually, maybe Bergoglio could take some tips from Blanco when it comes to sharing the Faith: after all, the singer doesn’t hold back when it comes to showing the god to which he gives his allegiance.

This book proves Bugnini was a Freemason!

And Baggio, too, for that matter.

And a couple of others who have not been identified. What a treasure this is: finally we know that evidence of Bugnini’s Masonic membership exists, albeit lying in a dusty vault somewhere under the Vatican.

A priest by the name of Fr Charles Murr has just released a book which documents an investigation into ecclesiastical Freemasonry begun under Pope Paul VI. That’s right, Paul who was by no means a model Pope, had the fortitude to at least start the investigation. But unfortunately, as the books relates, he did not have the stomach to carry through the report’s findings.

Pope John Paul I also read the report but mysteriously died before he could take any action. The report then passed to John Paul II, who simply ignored it. Not very saintly of him, was it?

One wonders about the implications of the hierarchy confronting the fact that the Novus Ordo was created by a Mason. What does that say about the new Mass? What does it say about Traditiones Custodes? (Not what we say – which barely passes muster in polite conversation – but could we one day see a ceremonious tossing of an official Church document into an elegant Italian garbage bin?)

Would we see a very hasty evaporation of the ghastly Spirit of Vatican II as prelate after prelate tries to distance himself from the novelties imposed upon the Church by a Freemason?

No wonder the report has never been released. It would simply create a huge headache for the Church the intensity of which would make the abuse scandals pale into insignificance.

So until the report is opened by some unfortunate prelate, it will gather dust along with the so-called Red Dossier, Benedict XVI’s report into the sexual, moral and financial scandals in the Vatican. Both documents are no doubt mouldering in the archives somewhere near the real Third Secret of Fatima and the first drafts of the McCarrick Report.

But do read Fr Murr’s book, if you have the chance. If nothing else, it is a reminder that there has always been and will always be good men in Rome.

Fr Brian Lucas: Becciu’s man on the ground in Australia?

By now, most Catholics who care about such things will have seen that an Italian news outlet has reported yet another explanation for the terminus of some mysterious money transfers from the Vatican to Australia. Around $2 million was moved from Rome during 2016 and 2017 but for some reason, our betters have kept the transactions shrouded in secrecy.

Now, the Italian news outlet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (aka The Compass) claims that it has seen documentation proving that the payments were made in response to a request from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, specifically from the former Secretary, Fr Brian Lucas. It seems that Fr Lucas wanted to secure the internet domain “.catholic” and asked the Vatican department of Communications to pay for it.

So who is this Fr Brian Lucas and why has he not come clean on the reason for the payments? He has been an official spin-doctor for the Australian Church for years, so is no stranger to making statements to the media (or to helping preserve that teflon-finish on unworthy bishops’ mitres.)

Well, a little digging shows that Fr Lucas has had a chequered past when it comes to transparency. In fact, he has a history of failing to keep records on some pretty serious matters and has gone so far as to destroy vital documents. He has also rubbed shoulders with some fairly unsavoury characters on the Australian ecclesiastical scene.

From 1990 to 1996, Fr Lucas was head of the Special Issues Resource Group, which was the first body set up by the Church to handle sexual abuse committed by priests. As a civil lawyer, Lucas interviewed suspected abusers and decided on what course of action the Church should take. Unfortunately, that action was generally limited to suggesting that guilty priests left their ministry of their own accord – despite it being a crime to withhold knowledge of abuse since the early 90’s.

In 1992, Fr Lucas interviewed a priest suspected of abuse, Fr John Joseph Farrell. Although he claims that the predator made no admission of guilt, another priest who was present at the meeting, said that this was not true and that Lucas pressured him not to report Farrell’s misconduct. Farrell was eventually defrocked more than 10 years later.

Lucas’s response when asked why he had not been forthcoming? “We were trying to find a formula of words.”

You know, kind of like a sorcerer.

In 1996, Lucas presented a paper to the Canon Law Society which was subtitled, “To Shred or not to Shred.” While the title was no doubt hilariously appealing to like-minded academics, (Lucas called it “whimsical”) the effect of eliminating evidence in cases of criminal abuse has had very tragic consequences for victims -while administrators such as Fr Lucas appear to have lost little sleep over the matter.

In 2012, Lucas was one of the subjects of an investigation into the failure of the Newcastle-Maitland diocese to protect children from the predator priest, Fr McAlindon. Fr Lucas admitted to the inquiry that although he knew in 1993 that McAlindon had abused children, he did not go to the police. The case is particularly shameful as there had been complaints against McAlindon going back to the 1970’s.

Lucas said that he was not obliged to turn over offenders to the police but that his policy was to “… to entice him out of ministry with a view that in due course the criminal justice system will kick in.” In fact, Fr Lucas made it a practice to never keep written records of interviews with suspected abuser-priests. Lucas even claims not to remember some of his meetings with serial offenders, including McAlindon.

From 2003 to 2015, Fr Lucas sat on the board of Catholic Church Insurance Ltd – the organisation responsible for providing insurance to the Church: the last four years of that time coincided with the beginning of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. Just prior to Fr Lucas’ resignation, the Royal Commission specifically requested 2000 secret files on pedophile priests from the 90’s in order to assess at what point the Church knew that its predatory employees were offending.

The files were given to the Royal Commission, albeit later than the RC demanded, but were not made available to victims’ lawyers. So while CCI had been making compensation payouts, it was settling them out of court, ostensibly to avoid embarrassment to the Church. From one article:

The insurer’s inquiries aimed to determine exactly when church authorities were first alerted to a paedophile behaviour by clergy. The dates were vital as the insurer did not have to provide coverage for crimes committed after the date church authorities had official “knowledge” an individual was an abuser.

Such information is also of extraordinary value to victims seeking to find out what the church knew about their alleged abuse and subsequent liability, as well as for criminal investigations into the concealment of crimes.

Sydney Morning Herald

So, by concealing the files, the Church potentially saved a lot of money: if victims were unaware of the date that complaints were first made about an abuser, then their payout would be lower. There was less evidence for police to work with as well, not to mention that police would be none the wiser about the Church’s coverup.

It is true that in the past, there was generally not a great understanding of the harm caused by child sexual abuse, but that doesn’t excuse the consistent pattern of inaction exhibited by the Church. It also doesn’t excuse the failure of those in authority to take responsibility for treatment that multiplied the trauma of victims. (eg take a look here if you want to read Fr Lucas’ non-apology for his failings.)

An ABC special report from 2016 noted that although there was plenty of evidence that Fr Lucas had covered up several cases of abuse, the police had never taken any action against him. Does this mean that Fr Lucas has friends in very high places? From the report:

Barrister Dr Andrew Morison says authorities could charge Lucas for concealing a crime, but they have already, in the past, refused to do so.

“Father Lucas was criticised in respect of his conduct at Wollongong, in respect of his conduct at Newcastle, in respect of his conduct in regard to Father Farrell from Moree. I would have thought that he is in serious difficulty if this matter is appropriately referred to the DPP.”

One more thing – and this is, well, rather odd: in 1990, Fr Lucas co-wrote a book with a Fr Robert Borg and a Fr Gerard Kelly. Although it was once available on the St Paul’s bookshop website, it has now been scrubbed. Fr Borg was mentioned in a book about Australia’s priestly gay-cabal called Unholy Silence, by whistleblower and ex-priest, Kevin Lee. (Like some other anti-sodomite-priest whistleblowers, Lee met a tragic end some years ago.) Robert Borg was Lee’s contemporary at Manly seminary, and according to Lee, was one of a handful known to frequent gay bars. That didn’t stop his being ordained, however, and Fr Borg went on to become the Dean of the Broken Bay Cathedral. Claims of rampant sodomy and partying at the seminary were presented as testimony to the Royal Commission by the abuser-priest, John Farrell, who said he used the seminary’s gay culture as a reason for requesting laicisation in 2005. (Note the anomaly here: Farrell claims he requested to be laicised; other reports suggest that it was the Church that threw him out for being an abuser.)

However, Fr Lucas, who also attended Manly seminary, disagreed that there was a rampant gay subculture. So, it’s all just a bit …. odd. By the way, the name of the book was, ahem, Celebrating with Children.

The Sanctity of the Church by Romano Amerio

taken from Iota Unum, Chapter VI

#58. Sanctity of the Church. An Apologetical Principal.

That the Church is holy is a dogma of the Faith, included in the creed, but the theological definition of that holiness is a difficult business. We are not here concerned with canonized holiness, which has indeed varied in style with the centuries: the holiness of Emperor Henry II is markedly different to that of St. John Bosco, as is that of St. Joan of Arc from that of St. Therese of Lisieux. There is furthermore a gap between the heroic virtue of the canonized saint, and the holiness inherent in anybody who is merely in state of grace.

In the Summa Theologica, III,q.8,a.3 ad secundum, and in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the section on the creed, it is explained how the sins of the baptized do not prejudice the holiness of the Church, but this remains, nonetheless a complex notion which only a rigorous distinction can render clear. A definite distinction must be drawn between the natural element, and the supernatural element which produces the new creature, between the subjective and the objective element; between the historical element and the suprahistorical element which operates within it.

Firstly, the Church is holy because it is the body which has the God-Man as its head. In union with that head it becomes itself theandric (Relating to, or existing by, the union of divine and human operation in Christ): no profane body can be conceived as living in union with a holy head. Secondly, it is objectively holy because it possesses the Eucharist which is in its very essence the Sacred and the Sanctifier: all the Sacraments derive from the Eucharist. Thirdly, it is holy because it contains revealed truth in an indefectible and infallible way. The fundamental principle of Catholic apologetics must be located here: the Church cannot display, throughout its history, an uninterrupted sequence of activity in perfect conformity with the requirements of the Gospel, but it can point to an uninterrupted teaching of the truth: the holiness of the Church is to be located in the latter not the former.

It follows from this that those who belong to the Church will find themselves preaching a doctrine that is better than their own deeds. No man can preach himself, beset by weakness and failure; he can only re-preach the doctrine taught by the God-Man, or better, preach the person of the God-Man Himself. Thus, truth too is a constituent element in the holiness of the Church, and is forever attached to the Word and forever at odds with corruption, including one’s own.

The holiness of the Church is revealed in what could be called a subjective way in the holiness of its members, that is, in all those that live in grace as vital members of the mystical body. It appears in an obvious and outstanding way in its canonised members, whom grace and their own activity have pushed onwards to the highest levels of virtue. This holiness did not fail, be it noted once again, even in the periods of the greatest corruption of society and among the clergy; an age when the papacy was depraved by pagan influences saw the flourishing of Catherine of Bologna (+1464), Bernadino of Feltre (+1494), Catherine dei Fieschi (+1503), Francis of Paola (+1507), Jeanne de Valois (+1503) as well as many reformers such as Girolamo Savonarola (+1498).

Considerations and facts of this sort, however, do not clear the field of all objections. Paul VI conceded to the Church’s critics the fact that “the history of the Church has many long pages that are not all edifying” but he did not distinguish clearly enough between the objective holiness of the Church and the subjective holiness of its members. In another address, he put it in these terms: “The Church ought to be holy and good, it ought to be as Christ intended and designed it to be and we sometimes see that it is not worthy of the title.”

It would seem that the Pope is turning an objective note of the Church into a subjective one. It is indeed true that Christians ought to be holy, and they are inasmuch as they live in a state of grace, but the Church is holy. It is not Christians that make the Church holy, but the Church that makes them holy. It is also true that the biblical affirmation of the irreproachable holiness of the Church non habentem maculam aut rugam (Having neither spot nor wrinkle: Ephesians 5:27) is applicable to the Church in time only in an initial and partial way, despite the fact that it is indeed holy. All the Fathers take that flawlessness as connected with the final eschatological purification rather than with the Church’s pilgrim state in time.

Want your bishop’s attention? Try setting him alight

Frustrated Catholics of the Syro-Malabar rite have taken their Vatican II-endorsed rights as laypersons to new heights by setting alight effigies of their prelates. Their actions are the latest attempt to hold on to their favoured orientation of priests during the Sacred Liturgy, with some resorting to hunger-strikes in order to have their voices heard.

The pre-combustion effigies of Cardinals Sandri and Alencherry.

The Syro-Malabar rite is based in Kerala, in India and is one of the churches that sprang from the evangelisation of the apostle St Thomas. Today it includes millions of Catholics all over the world. The Church is in full communion with Rome, although burning effigies may not be the most effective way of demonstrating that.

The Syro-Malabar liturgy, like the Latin rite, had always been celebrated ad orientem – priest facing east, away from the people – but after Vatican II, some Syro-Malabar priests began to offer the Holy Qurbana, the Syro-Malabar title for the Mass, facing the people (versus populum).

The fabulous unbrellas of the Syro-Malabar Church.

In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited Kerala and attempted to reestablish the traditional orientation of the priest during the Holy Qurbana, but individual priests continued to offer the liturgy according to their own preference. This led to years of discussions until a compromise was finally reached in 1999: the Liturgy of the Word would be offered versus populum, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist was to be offered ad orientem.

Ad orientem Holy Qurbana plus Cranmer table.

The strangest fact in all of this is that priests and laity who want the Mass offered versus populum believe that this is an historic part of the Latin church – it is regarded by many as “Latinization”. In other words, they don’t realise that the “tradition” of Mass facing the people is only sixty years old!

By contrast, those who accept that at least part of the liturgy should be celebrated ad orientem see this as uniquely Oriental.

Last year, the Pope was asked to intervene, after which he wrote to the entire Church asking for the compromise solution to be implemented by Easter Sunday 2022. One wonders why the Pope is so indulgent with the Eastern Church when he is so rigid with the traditional Western Mass? Could it have something to do with the poor catechetical standards of the majority of Syro-Malabar Catholics and the relatively high standards of catechesis of traditional Catholics?

The situation flared up in March when some members of the laity set fire to effigies of the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, and the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Cardinal George Alencherry.

Cardinal Sandri took the opportunity to push the “synodality”, the Vatican’s flavour of the month, saying: “The Apostolic See understands that some have difficulty in following the synodal decisions, but exhorts all to avoid activism and protests using non-ecclesial and non-Christian methods such as hunger strike usque ad mortem [until death].”

So take a leaf from the Kerala Catholics’ book, if you are sick of sending petitions and emails to your bishop without getting a response. Although he has most likely been playing Nero while his diocese figuratively burns, seeing his own effigy go up in smoke just might catch his attention.