Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Letter #136, 2021, Wed, Oct 27: Viganò to Gomez, by Carlo Maria Viganò

Probably the most well-informed, and certainly the most courageous, member of the clergy is out with another disturbing epistle. From Carlo Maria Viganò at insidethevatican.com:

 To His Excellency
    Msgr. José Horacio Gómez
    Metropolitan Archbishop of Los Angeles
    President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

    To Their Eminences and Excellencies
    The Archbishops and Bishops of the Dioceses of the United States of America

    And, for their competence:

    To His Eminence
    Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, s.j.
    Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    To His Eminence
    Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller
    Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

23 October 2021

    Your Eminences,

    Your Excellencies,

    I address you, Archbishop Gómez, as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and to You, Cardinals Ladaria and Müller, for your competence, some serious considerations related to the so-called vaccines against Covid-19.

    I believe there are some aspects of the question that now allow for a more complete evaluation of what these drugs are and what effects they cause; this evaluation ought to lead to a collegial stance, in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church and not influenced by biased information or by erroneous news spread by the producers of these drugs or by the media.

    1. Subject of the Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    The Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines was issued last year in the absence of complete data on both the nature of the gene serum and its components. I point out to You that the subject of the Note is limited to “the moral aspects of the use of the vaccines against Covid-19 that have been developed from cell lines derived from tissues obtained from two fetuses that were not spontaneously aborted,”[1] and it states that “[w]e do not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies.”[2] Safety and effectiveness are thus not the subject of the Note, which in expressing its opinion about the “morality of use” therefore does not even express its opinion about the “morality of production” of these drugs.

    2. Safety and effectiveness of the vaccines

    The safety and effectiveness of individual vaccines is determined after a period of experimentation that normally lasts for several years. In this case, the health authorities have decided to carry out experimentation on the entire world population, as an exception to the usual practice of the scientific community, international standards, and the laws of individual nations. This means that the entire population finds itself in the condition of being susceptible to suffering the adverse effects of the vaccine, at their own risk, when normally experimentation is done on a voluntary basis and carried out on a limited number of subjects, who are paid to undergo it.

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What’s Worse Than Catholic Churches Burning Down Across Canada? by Robert Bridge

Canada has an ideology that justifies criminality that’s similar to the BLM and Antifa ideological justification of crime. The response from Canada’s politicians has been similar to that of the Democratic party in the US. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

The West is on the cusp of a massive right-wing backlash from reckless liberal policies that refuse law and order its rightful place in the political establishment.

Following the grim discovery of mass graves from Catholic-run schools for indigenous children, churches across Canada are being torched to the ground. Instead of the liberal government of Justin Trudeau harshly condemning the attacks, however, it has sent a weak and passive message to the arsonists.

There is no doubt that the history of Aboriginal children, physically removed from their parents and forced to attend state-run residential in Canada from the 1880s until 1996, is an appallingly tragic one. Inside of the Catholic schools, an estimated 150,000 attendees were indoctrinated with the new social and cultural values of the dominant Euro-Christian nation. Over the years, many of the children were sexually abused, tortured and even murdered in these “central training industrial schools,” criminal actors in what can be best described as the cultural genocide of an entire race of people.

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada put out a lengthy report on the findings, as well as its recommendations for addressing the grievances. Yet for whatever reason, the Canadian media shied away from the story, possibly because it was too keenly aware exactly how complicit the government was in the egregious acts. Could that be the reason that not a single person has been put on trial for these crimes against humanity? Whatever the case may be, last month the suppressed news exploded to the surface like a volcano after nearly 1,000 unmarked graves were discovered on the territory of a former residential school in Saskatchewan province.

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Loathing the West: The Real Reason Why “Anti-Racism” Protestors Desecrate Christian Churches, by Vasko Kohlmayer

Anti-Christianity feeds well into the current batch of protestors anti-capitalism, anti-Western Civilization, anti-freedom, and anti-life agenda. From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com:

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act II, Scene II)

“Last weekend, at least four Catholic Church-affiliated buildings and statues from Boston to Los Angeles were set on fire or vandalized. A blaze that gutted the 249-year-old San Gabriel Mission, once led by Father Junipero Serra, is being investigated as possible arson” reported the Washington Times on July 15. The piece was titled “’No place for God’: Left-wing protesters turn focus to churches as vandalism, arson escalate.”

The article quoted Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle who said: “Given that there were four attacks on Catholic churches nationwide over a 48 hour period, from July 10 to July 12, suspicion, obviously, turns toward the left wing extremists who have been toppling statues of Saint Junipero Serra and attempting to remove a statue of Saint Louis.”

On June 1, the Catholic News Agency put out a wire headlined “Churches in 6 states damaged by violent protests.” It read in part:

“Church buildings in California, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Texas, and Colorado were attacked. Many of the defaced or damaged churches were cathedrals. The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver sustained permanent damage. Vandals repeatedly struck the Denver cathedral on multiple nights of the protests and riots over the weekend. The church building and rectory were spray painted with the slogans “Pedofiles” [sic], “God is dead,” “There is no God,” along with other anti-police, anarchist, and anti-religion phrases and symbols.”

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Pope Says He Will Address Sex Abuse Scandal Once He’s Finished Talking About Climate Change, from The Babylon Bee

VATICAN CITY—In his first public statement on the horrifying, devastating report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Pope Francis stated he would address the controversy in detail once he’s done talking about climate change for a few more weeks.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church claimed he is deeply concerned with the tragic report, but is “just too swamped” with work fighting climate change, criticizing capitalism, and advocating for other issues of social justice to talk about the repulsive report at the moment.

“Rest assured, once I have exhausted my talking points on the need for government policies to crack down on their carbon footprints, we’ll start looking this report over,” he said. “Then I’ll be sure to make a statement on it. We just didn’t want to jump to conclusions too early, something that we’re not concerned about with man-made climate change. Just with this.”

The Vatican vowed to launch a full investigation on the matter just as soon as it could, but it would have to wait until Western countries reduce their carbon emissions another 15%. “This is by far the most pressing issue facing the Church of Jesus Christ right now,” the College of Cardinals said in a statement.


The Vatican’s Latest Anti-Capitalist Paper Calls for More Government Regulation, by Ryan McMaken

Why would anybody think a government can raise standards of private virtue? Historically, governments have done the exact opposite. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

In the classic 1966 film, A Man for All Seasons, the family of Thomas More – chancellor of England and eventual Catholic saint –counsels Thomas to arrest power-mad Richard Rich because they suspect (correctly) Rich will betray Thomas and because “that man’s bad.” To this, More replies “there’s no law against that.” Another family member retorts: “yes there is – God law.” More answers with: “then God can arrest him.”

Robert Bolt, the learned atheist who penned A Man for All Seasons knew enough about Catholic philosophy to communicate important Catholic concepts with this scene.

Among these is the fact that, in the Catholic view, as voiced by Bolt’s Thomas More, not every sin, moral defect, or character flaw justifies intervention by the state. The fact that Richard Rich was a betrayer and liar was not sufficient, More understood, to apply More’s police powers as Chancellor of England. After all, for centuries, many Church leaders had long agreed that applying state coercion to cure every social ill was often a cure that was worse than the disease. As Thomas Aquinas notes: “Accordingly in human government also, those who are in authority rightly tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost, or certain evils be incurred.”

Moreover in response to the retort that “God’s law” demands action, Aquinas notes that even God himself is tolerant of moral defects:

Human government is derived from the Divine government, and should imitate it. Now although God is all-powerful and supremely good, nevertheless He allows certain evils to take place in the universe, which He might prevent, lest, without them, greater goods might be forfeited, or greater evils ensue.

So, when More jokes that “God can arrest” Rich if He sees fit, More is giving voice to an already established strain of thought in Catholic thinking.

Moreover, Aquinas’s views toward the state are relatively benign compared to others — Augustine, for instance — who viewed the state as a necessary but violent evil to be tolerated only because it might restrain the excesses of even worse criminals.

To continue reading: The Vatican’s Latest Anti-Capitalist Paper Calls for More Government Regulation

Welcome to Hell, Pope Francis, by Robert Gore

Pope Francis has been in the news lately with blistering criticisms of capitalism. According to a New York Times‘ article:

Pope Francis does not just criticize the excesses of global capitalism. He compares them to the “dung of the devil.” He does not simply argue that systemic “greed for money” is a bad thing. He calls it a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.” “In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism,” July 11, 2015

As far as SLL knows, the Pope has never defined the capitalism he condemns, so SLL will do it for him. Here is the definition from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary: “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, and by prices, production, and the distributions of good that are determined mainly in a free market.” It’s not a perfect definition, it omits the term “voluntary exchange,” but voluntary exchange is the necessary foundation of free markets so this definition will suffice. Importantly, the definition notes that economic decisions are made by “private decision rather than by state control.”

Those are the two choices: private decisions or state control, in other words, freedom or coercion. This choice is obscured or ignored by capitalism’s enemies and many of its so-called supporters. Capitalism is the economics of freedom, but while freedom is a necessary condition for capitalism, it is not sufficient. The legitimate function of government and its exercise of coercive power is to protect individual freedom: the freedoms to think and express one’s self, to produce and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, to voluntarily exchange one’s production and property, and the freedom of one’s person and property from violence or the threat of violence, either domestic crime or external invasion.

Freedom has not been embraced by an institution whose stock in trade since its founding has been telling people what to do. After the fall of the Roman Empire the Catholic Church became the dominant institution in Europe. For several centuries apostasy, or even questioning church dogma, was punishable by excommunication, torture, or death. The Catholic Church was a state, coexisting with secular states and, because of its religious authority, in many respects superior to such states. Popes and clergy invested rulers, launched crusades, fought wars, involved themselves with palace intrigues, subversion and revolution, rewarded allies, persecuted enemies, taxed the populace, and accumulated wealth and power. It was the vast gulf between what the Catholic aristocracy preached and what it did that outraged Martin Luther, ignited the Reformation, and embroiled Europe in religious wars.

The Reformation, Gutenberg’s printing press, the Renaissance, and the discovery of the New World brought the Middle Ages, aptly termed the Dark Ages, and the primacy of the Catholic Church to a close. It remained a powerful institution, but it was challenged by the Renaissance’s spirit of scientific inquiry—epitomized by its persecution of Galileo—the Enlightenment rejection of autocracy and promotion of individual rights, and the emergence of capitalism, championed by Adam Smith and adopted, albeit not completely, by the leaders of England’s breakaway colony in the New World.

The Catholic Church’s power dwindled. While Catholicism promised salvation for the faithful in the hereafter, capitalism delivered the goods, so to speak, in this life. In the 48-year period between the Civil War and WWI, when the US got as close to laissez-faire capitalism as any country has ever been, before or since, it realized more technological, industrial, scientific, and economic progress than Europe had experienced during the Dark Ages.

It is malignant sophistry to say that that progress did not reach the lower strata of society, the poor and downtrodden for whom the church professes concern. Millions of Emma Lazarus’s tired, poor, huddled masses, the wretched refuse of teeming shores, streamed to America, the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution, in search of freedom, opportunity, and a better life, and found them. Some of them were motivated by “greed for money” and made fortunes. The US and its fortune-seeking capitalists, many of whom then became fortune-dispensing philanthropists, improved the temporal lives of more people than the Catholic Church had during the entirety of its existence. Capitalism is responsible for creating an entirely new class, the middle class. Pope Francis recently admitted he had, in his preoccupation with the gap between rich and poor, overlooked the middle class, perhaps because it is a such an obvious consequence of the capitalism he maligns.

In the New World, Latin America—where the Catholic church forcibly maintained a dominance for which Pope Francis recently apologized—mostly failed to realize the benefits of capitalism. Aside from anarchy, the alternative to liberty and its concomitant, capitalism, is statism and its concomitant, coercion. Latin America has had all varieties of the latter, with right- and left-wing dictatorships at the extremes and kleptocratic, corrupt, welfare-state regimes of no consistent ideology occupying the middle ground.

Pope Francis wades into enraptured crowds of Latin American poor. It is statism, not capitalism, that has produced their poverty, as he should know from the history of his native Argentina. Its economy reached its zenith in the early 1900s, when it was the world’s tenth wealthiest by per capita income and came as close as it ever has to capitalism. Since then, a succession of repressive autocrats have led it through multiple recessions, depressions, inflations, deflations, currency devaluations and revaluations, debt binges, debt repudiations, corruption, and scandals. The tenure of current president Christina Fernández de Kirchner parallels that of another female Argentinian president, Isabel Perón. Kirchner presides over an economic basket case, but like Evita galvanizes her impoverished supporters with expressions of love, promises of bounty, and demonization of her opponents. Argentina’s long run of problems cannot be laid at the doorstep of capitalism.

The Pope has made his feelings about capitalism clear. It’s inconceivable that he would support anarchy; by default he must believe the solution to poverty and the inequality of wealth he decries lies with governments and coercion. There is a tendency among those who have criticized him to nevertheless give him the benefit of the doubt: he cares about the poor, he just doesn’t understand how the world works or what is the best way to help them. However, if he is going to label the supposed excesses of global capitalism the “dung of the devil,” he has an obligation to correctly label the system he is condemning.

There is not an economy in the world that is unfettered capitalism; they run a gamut from mixed economies characterized by varying levels of state intervention and private activity to totalitarian command economies. Statists have long misattributed perceived economic flaws to capitalism rather than governments and used such misattributions as an argument for more government intervention, which produces more problems, which means more government. If Pope Francis does not have the time or inclination to analyze the relative responsibility of governments versus private, profit driven businesses and entrepreneurs for income inequality, environmental degradation, and other perceived ills, he should keep his mouth shut.

The Pope ignores capitalism’s history of lifting masses of impoverished people from their poverty, including the recent ascension of hundreds of millions in Asia as China and India make incremental moves away from state economic control towards private economic activity and freer markets. Any honest humanitarian looking for the best way to alleviate poverty would enthusiastically embrace capitalism; it has a far better record than statist systems, which have produced more poverty than they’ve ever alleviated. This Pope, unlike some of his predecessors, ignores the wholesale misery and slaughter visited upon the world by statist regimes. That gets us back to the underlying fundamentals of capitalism versus statism: liberty protected by government versus coercion and control.

Pope Francis condemns love of money, but not love of power. Power stems from the ability to initiate force against unarmed victims, Mao’s gun barrel. If, as Catholic doctrine holds, everyone is a sinner from day one, how can some of us be trusted to hold a gun to the rest of us? The short answer: no one can be so trusted, such power corrupts all imperfect humans. It would seem only natural, consonant with church teachings, that Pope Francis would thus be deeply skeptical of state power and champion capitalism’s mutual consent and voluntary exchange. Capitalism has bestowed a cornucopia of benefits and dramatic improvements in standards of living. The statist, collectivist love of power has produced multiple houses of horrors, most recently the twentieth century’s.

Liberty, voluntary exchange, mutual consent, and the protection of property and contract rights secure individuals’ sovereignty over their own minds, bodies, and souls, the freedom to pursue their own interests. That is the real crux of the animus directed at capitalism—liberty’s economics—from proponents of both statism and religion. The Pope will never say that his condemnation of capitalism is a condemnation of individual autonomy, nor that it is an embrace of statist collectivism and coercion. Those, however, are the choices. Unfortunately, history has never moved in a straight line forward. A general embrace of his ideology would be a giant step backward. Justice requires accountability for one’s ideas, and Pope Francis is not being held to account. His vision is not the road to salvation, any more than Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s, or Mao’s were. It is the road to a not-at-all-subtle dictatorship that will “condemn and enslave men and women.” The Pope would see us in a collectivized hell on earth—a new Dark Ages—and the Catholic Church once again reigning supreme over the misery.

In closing, a quote from The Golden Pinnacle:

“Balzac wrote, ‘Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.’ Unfortunately, for most of human history, that statement has been correct. The savers and the innovators have had their labors plundered by their rulers or their priests. The kings acquired their fortunes through the outright theft of taxation or the stealth theft of debasement of the store of value. The holy men acquired theirs through blackmail—ostracism, damnation, and death awaited those who did not render unto the gods’ representatives here on earth. You can bet that the day after Jesus drove the moneychangers from the temple the priests invited them back in, because without the ‘contributions’ they extracted from the moneychangers, who performed a useful and productive function, the priests couldn’t survive.”

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