Monday, January 21, 2019


This is the latest from that great Vaticanista, Sandro Magister. I think it explains very well Pope Francis' initial rehabilitation and reintegration of soon to be laisized McCarrick and His Holiness first appointment of his spiritual son in Argentina. Sexual sins, sins of the flesh, are minor for this pope.

And yet apart from the sins below the belt, this pope is the most judgmental pope in recent history. It is typical of 1970's social activists for the poor. Sexual sins which most people have personal responsibility are given a pass, but social issues like poverty, global warming, war and peace and the like are made into personal sins where guilt is heaped upon those who really have no responsibility for these global issues.

It is a sort of self-righteousness and a club to hit those who are only concerned about the sins below the belt, which by the way, have caused the institutional Church to be at the brink of self-destruction. So perhaps these sins are more serious than the Holy Father thinks. One can only wonder about the psychology of minimizing something that causes so much destruction in the world of families and even ruins people's physical and mental health as well as causes deaths.    

Memo For the Summit On Abuse. For Francis, the Sins “Below the Belt” Are “the Lightest”

The most surprising news, in the journey that Pope Francis is preparing to go on to Panama for world youth day, is that he has selected for his entourage, among his official companions, the Frenchman Dominique Wolton (in the photo), who is not an ecclesiastic or even a Catholic, but a theoretician of communication, director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the legendary CNRS, and founder of the international magazine “Hermès.”
Above all, however, Wolton is the author of the book-length interview in which Jorge Mario Bergoglio spoke on the spur of the moment, without restraint, to the point of saying for the first time in public that he had entrusted himself for six months, when he was 42, to the care of an agnostic psychoanalyst in Buenos Aires.
The book, translated into multiple languages, was released in 2017, collecting in eight chapters eight conversations that the pope had with the author in 2016. Since then there has arisen in Bergoglio that sentiment of closeness with Wolton which led him to want to bring him along on his next journey. A sentiment akin to the one that ripened between Bergoglio and Eugenio Scalfari, another champion of the godless, whom the pope has often called in for talks with the confidence that Scalfari would then transcribe and publish in his own way that conversation of theirs, for the sake of building up a good image of Francis in the camp of the unbelievers.
This too is part of the communicative model that Bergoglio loves. Because in an interview with a suitable interlocutor he can give to a vast audience more than what appears in the official texts. He can lift the veil on his real thought.
For example, in the book-length interview with Wolton it is explained why Pope Francis sees sexual abuse committed by churchmen not so much a problem of morality and sex, but of power, and of clerical power in particular, which he condenses in the word “clericalism.”
When Wolton asks him why in the world so little attention is paid to the “most radical” message of the Gospel, which is the “condemnation of money madness,” Bergoglio responds:
“It is because some prefer to talk about morality, in their homilies or from the chairs of theology. There is a great danger for preachers, and it is that of condemning only the morality that is - pardon me - ‘below the belt.’ But other sins that are more serious, hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking a life… these are rarely mentioned. Get into the mafia, make clandestine deals… ‘Are you a good Catholic? Well then, pay me the bribe.’”
Further on the pope says:
“Sins of the flesh are the lightest sins. Because the flesh is weak. The most dangerous sins are those of the spirit. I am talking about angelism: pride, vanity are sins of angelism. Priests have the temptation - not all, but many - of focusing on the sins of sexuality, what I call morality below the belt. But the more serious sins are elsewhere.”
Wolton objects: “But what you are saying is not understood.”
The pope responds:
“No, but there are good priests… I know a cardinal who is a good example. He confided to me, speaking of these things, that as soon as someone goes to him to talk about those sins below the belt, he immediately says: ‘I understand, let’s move on.’ He stops him, as if to say: ‘I understand, but let’s see if you have something more important. Do you pray? Are you seeking the Lord? Do you read the Gospel? He makes him understand that there are mistakes that are much more important than that. Yes, it is a sin, but… He says to him: ‘I understand’: And he moves on. On the opposite end there are some who when they receive the confession of a sin of this kind, ask: ‘How did you do it, and when did you do it, and how many times?’ And they make a ‘film’ in their head.  But these are in need of a psychiatrist.”
Pope Francis’s journey to Panama is taking place less than a month before the summit at the Vatican of the presidents of the episcopal conferences of the whole world, to agree on shared guidelines in addressing sexual abuse, scheduled for February 21 to 24.
It will be interesting to see, at that summit, how Francis will reconcile his minimization of the seriousness of sins that he calls “below the belt” with the emphasis, on the other hand, of the abuse of power by the clerical caste, which he has repeatedly stigmatized as the main cause of the disaster.
Not only that. Perhaps it will become clear to what extent his minimization of sins of sex - and of the homosexual practices widespread among the clergy - may explain his silences and his tolerance toward concrete cases of abuse, even by high-level churchmen he has esteemed and favored:
Exemplary in this regard is the case of Argentine bishop Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta, for whom Bergoglio even acted as confessor, whom he promoted in 2013 as bishop of Orán and then, in December of 2017, called to Rome for a leading role at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, in spite of the fact that on two occasions - as documented on January 20 by Associated Press - the Vatican had received accusations from his diocese of his bad behavior "below the belt," with young seminarians, and twice the pope had asked him to respond to the accusations, deciding afterward to remove him from the diocese but also to promote him to an even more prominent position, evidently seeing as irrelevant, "light," that behavior of his:


Dan said...

I would say that it's not that most people "are only concerned about the sins below the belt," but that most people don't have that much control, or ability, to solve the problems of pollution, poverty, etc.

I think it's that those who use the social sins as a "club" to accuse, want to wallow in their sexual sins... in many cases.

Victor said...

I fail to understand the attention given to all this on this blog recently. We knew since he was elected by the manipulation of the St Gallen Mafia all these things about Francis. For instance:

What worries me more is all the anecdotal evidence coming out of Argentina that whatever the incompetent Bergoglio became involved with he created a mess:

The Egyptian said...

off topic didn't know how else to get this to your attention
Catholic Priest Slams March for Life as ‘Repulsive and Futile’

Franciscan friar Father Daniel Horan, a pro-LGBT priest and professor who will be speaking at the upcoming Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, took to Twitter this weekend to bash the March for Life and condemn without trial a group of white Catholic high school boys as “racists” for supposedly “taunting” a Native American man beating a drum.

What do we do with enemies such as this, and our pastor loves the 3 days of darkness, claims it is the way of the church, oh gag me, how does the church put up with such crap

David Osterloh

The Egyptian

TJM said...

It is apparent that the "sins below the belt" are a prerequisite for clerical advancement

Gene said...

The Church is circling the drain. It is approaching time to seek protestant alternatives.

DJR said...

Saint Jacinto Marto to her godmother, Mother Godinho: "The sins that lead more souls to hell are the sins of the flesh."

"Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.

"The sins of the world are very great.

"If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives.

"Men are lost because they do not think of the death of Our Lord and do not do penance.

"Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord, and they are not of God."

rcg said...

For starters I am skeptical that the Pope is accurately portrayed in these sorts of interviews. They seem to be a sort of real-time historical fiction, especially when they portray his motives and personal outlooks. However, he has the opportunity to correct these things and rarely does. So perhaps they are correct or he is careless of them.

But my concern is that they portray a man who is impractical as well as somewhat shallow. Can he not see that the maltreatment of a person is not scaled by the manner that it is done but that it is done at all? The sin is in the heart and mind with the contempt for a Child of God. We can rape them or simply leave them in anguished economic circumstances but I would hate to argue that distinction after the trumpet sounds. I must not have adulterous relations with my neighbors wives, nor just covet them. I am no theologian, but does the First Commandment go first because it is the greatest only and that the others are more “foregivable” or because Loving God first gives cause to all other acts? Pope Francis does not reflect good on his native culture with these attitudes.

Anonymous said...

I presume the HF is speaking of heterosexual sins "below the belt" since same sex is a sin that cry out to Heaven for vengeance

“Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1.7)

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Well, it is true that sins of the spirit are deadlier than sins of the flesh, per Pope Gregory the Great in Book 31 of his Morals on the Book of Job. However, the entrance sin to these greater sins are the sins of the flesh, specifically gluttony, as Evagrius Ponticus points out in his Praktikos. Evagrius 's thought came west through his disciple John Cassian, in books 5 through 12 in his Institutes. While the Pope is technically correct, he fails to provide context that the entry (light) sins are the doorway to the greater sins of the spirit

TJM said...


The protestant alternatives are even nuttier. PF will be gone at some point and the Church will heal.