Draining the Pontine Marshes

The pope's confidant, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, recently issued a scathing critique of American Catholics who support Donald Trump.

Both Evangelical and Catholic Integralists [in the U.S.] condemn traditional ecumenism and yet promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.

However, the most dangerous prospect for this strange ecumenism is attributable to its xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations. The word "ecumenism" transforms into a paradox, into an "ecumenism of hate."

Does Spadaro ponder what he writes?  What is the Vatican but a theocratic state?

Spadaro then seems to take umbrage that these conservatives – which would include American Catholics – are Islamophobic.

In an organization like the Roman Curia, we have to assume that Rev. Spadaro speaks for the opinion of the Vatican and the pope.  Some troubling conclusions can be drawn.

Recently, Pope Francis sought to "embrace" gays within the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis has said all transsexuals and homosexuals should be 'welcomed' and embraced by the Catholic Church.

He said Jesus would never have turned away transgender people and revealed he had ministered to homosexuals as a priest, bishop and now as Pope.

We can argue all day about what the pope means by that, but with a million other moral collapses facing Western civilization, he should have been focusing on something else.  More interesting is how different his tone was seven years earlier when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

When Argentina was on the verge of redefining marriage in 2010, then-cardinal Bergoglio blasted out with all his canons (pun intended) on full enfilade.

In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family[.] ... At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts. ...

Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God's plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a 'move' of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Did the pope lose his mind on the flight to Rome?

When he came to America in 2015, Pope Francis talked about the sin of global warming.

I call for a courageous and responsible effort to 'redirect our steps' and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity," he said Thursday, quoting his recent encyclical on climate change. "I am convinced that we can make a difference." Departing from his printed text, he added, "I am sure."

Did he talk about abortion?  Was he as critical of the then-recent U.S. Supreme Court redefinition of marriage, as he had been when he was in Argentina?  The whole speech sounded as though it had been written by Obama or Al Gore.

Granted, Pope Francis did not speak ex cathedra on that matter – so maybe he did not damage papal infallibility, but he certainly damaged papal credibility.

This present pope seems to stick his moist finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, and chooses his theology and morality accordingly.  "The gay Prime Minister of Luxembourg and his husband have been welcomed to the Vatican," yet, somehow, the thought of American Catholics joining with Evangelical conservatives upsets the Vatican.  And the pope is affectionate when it comes to Islam.

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype.

Some might say the pope has to be politic in order to avoid retaliation against Catholics still in the Mideast.  Then why not keep his mouth shut?  It appears that reasonably soon, Catholics won't be found there at all anyway.

We cannot blame all of this on the pope.  He was chosen by the Vatican insiders who picked the guy they wanted.  The Deep Curia, as it were.

The "swamp" in the Vatican is not a recent development.  Historically, it has been commented on for well over a millennium, by both friend and foe alike.  However, recently, the Deep Curia seems to be drinking the same poisoned Kool-Aid that the European Union's leadership, especially Angela Merkel – daughter of a Lutheran preacher, by the way – have quaffed.

The ancient Romans tried to drain the Pontine Marshes, which infested central Italy.  It seems that the swamp went back to the Mons Vaticanus.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He writes on the Arabs of South America at http://latinarabia.com.  He also just started a website about small computers at http://minireplacement.com.