Archive for the ‘Roman Catholic Church’ category

The Pope’s Pilgrimage to Al-Azhar

April 27, 2017

The Pope’s Pilgrimage to Al-Azhar, Gatestone InstituteLawrence A. Franklin, April 27, 2017

“They cannot take the texts of the seventh century literally as they are in the Quran. He [the Pope] does not dare to say something like that because he doesn’t know the Quran well enough, and so on. So I understand his position, but it would be better to have a clearer and more frank discussion — with openness, but also with some realism.”

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During a meeting between the former Papal Nuncio to Cairo, Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, and Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam warned Gobel that “speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.” If there are any condemnations of violence against the Coptic Christians, they are likely to be articulated only by the Grand Imam and the Egyptian President.

If the Pope’s humble bearing is excessive, however, it might be interpreted even by peaceable Muslims as a submission. If Francis is asked by the Grand Imam to pray at al-Azhar’s mosque, that is a piety that el-Tayeb would not likely reciprocate in a Coptic Church in Egypt.

Facilitating the establishment of an Islamic-Christian relationship that excludes Judaism can only serve the Islamist goal of isolating Jews and Israel. Although relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar will improve in the near future, the honeymoon will not. The Grand Imam will doubtless protect his own theological power base and keep his distance from both the Vatican and the Egyptian regime.

The twin Palm Sunday bombings at Coptic Christian Churches by Islamic terrorists in Egypt, which killed 44 worshipers, draws attention to what is probably the principal reason for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Cairo on April 28-29. The Pontiff will likely seek the assistance of Egypt’s Muslim hierarchy to help protect Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the indigenous inhabitants of the country who now number about 9 million and constitute at least 10% of the population.

During his stay, Francis will meet with the Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb. Al-Azhar’s theological complex, which houses Islam’s oldest university, is considered the most influential center of Sunni Islam.

The Pope possibly hopes that the meeting with el-Tayeb will fully repair relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar. These were restored as a result of a letter sent by Pope Francis to the Grand Imam last year. The Papal letter was followed up by a visit to the Holy See by el-Tayeb in May 2016. Relations between the Holy See and al-Azhar had been severed in 2011 by el-Tayeb after he took offense at comments made by the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, on the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.

Grand Imam el-Tayeb now appears more disposed towards normalizing relations with the Vatican, especially since his amicable visit to the Holy See in May 2016. Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam is likely to be more agreeable toward Francis than he was toward Benedict. This show of flexibility might possibly also be an effort by el-Tayeb to get in line with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s own call for reform within Islam. However, Al-Azhar, determined to maintain its authority over theological matters, has initiated no substantive, doctrinal reforms in response to President Sisi’s declaration. In fact, Al-Azhar has pushed back against attempts by some Muslim reformists who have suggested a more liberal policy concerning women’s rights, including the ability to divorce.

El-Tayeb, even if he accepted responsibility for protecting the Copts, may prove unable to prevent Islamic terrorist groups from targeting Egypt’s minority Christian population. The alleged cooperation between the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood makes it especially difficult for Cairo to prevent terrorist acts. Islamic terrorist cells in Alexandria and the Sinai Peninsula, where many of the attacks on Copts have occurred, act independently of Egypt’s political and religious leaders. The targeting of Christians by these groups may also be part of a larger objective to destabilize the regime of al-Sisi, who has promised security to Egyptians, particularly Coptic Christians. Radical Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS view the Copts as their enemies; many members of this Christian sect support the Sisi government.

It was, in any event, al-Sisi who invited Pope Francis to visit Egypt during the Egyptian president’s visit to the Vatican in November 2014. Anti-regime elements might well attempt to stage a spectacular terrorist incident during the Pontiff’s visit, particularly targeting Francis himself.

The Pope’s upcoming visit is being organized by French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauron, who chairs the Pontifical Council of Inter-Religious Dialogue. Cardinal Tauron is, no doubt, cognizant of the “red line” laid down by the Grand Imam if the Vatican wishes to have amicable relations with the Muslim leadership. During a meeting between the former Papal Nuncio to Cairo, Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, and el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam warned him that “speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.” However, given the Pope’s past reluctance to condemn radical Islamic concepts, it is unlikely that, during his visit to Egypt, he will depart from this cautious public posture. Comments, if any, by Pope Francis on Muslim violence against Christians will, no doubt, be diplomatic and muted. If there are any condemnations of violence against the Coptic Christians, they are likely to be articulated only by the Grand Imam and the Egyptian President.

Nevertheless, Pope Francis will, it appears, publicly demonstrate his solidarity with fellow Christians by championing the Coptic Pope Tawadros II during memorial services for the recently martyred Copts. Francis, who is known to be fond of Tawadros, might express his deep personal concern for the welfare of the Coptic Pope — who was celebrating Mass inside St. Mark’s Cathedral when the bomber detonated his explosives just outside.

Francis is apparently most anxious to bring Copts and Catholics closer together, in the hope that the Egyptian Church will ultimately formally reunite with the Holy See. The Coptic Church first split from Rome in 451 A.D. However, the Vatican maintains deep respect for the Egyptian Church, which was established by one of the four authors of the Gospels, St. Mark, in Alexandria as early as 42 A.D.[1]

Catholic Pope Francis greets Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II at the Vatican, on May 10, 2013. (Image source: News.va Official Vatican Network)

If the Pope’s humble bearing is excessive, however, it might be interpreted even by peaceable Muslims as submission. If Francis is asked by the Grand Imam to pray at al-Azhar’s mosque, that is a piety that el-Tayeb would not likely reciprocate in a Coptic Church in Egypt.

The public stance of the Vatican concerning Islam has been routinely cautious. The most recent example of the Pontiff’s less-than-direct criticism of Islamist violence is his April 22 statement at a prayer service paying tribute to 21st Century Christian Martyrs in Rome:

Francis said the legacy of modern-day martyrs “teaches us that with the strength of love, meekness, one can combat arrogance, violence, war, and with patience, achieve peace.”

A professor of Islamic Studies at the Pontifical Institute in Rome, Father Samir Khalil Samir, also an Egyptian, characterizes the Pope’s diplomatic approach to Muslims, “who are the second-most important group in the world, to have a dialogue and understanding.” Khalil adds:

“I think it’s important to say things with charity, with friendship, but to say things as they are: that it cannot continue like this; we have to rethink Islam. This is my vision. They cannot take the texts of the seventh century literally as they are in the Quran. He [the Pope] does not dare to say something like that because he doesn’t know the Quran well enough, and so on. So I understand his position, but it would be better to have a clearer and more frank discussion — with openness, but also with some realism.”

This clearly modulated posture was apparent during a session of the Geneva Center of Human Rights Advancement and Dialogue. The theme of the Geneva sessions was “Islam and Christianity: The Great Convergence.” The March 15 Conference, attended by Muslim and Christian delegates, studiously avoided key issues of doctrinal divergence, and stressed instead alleged areas of common interest. The key sponsors of the conference were Algeria, Pakistan, and Lebanon, all of which are Muslim majority countries. The only non-Muslim state sponsor of the Conference was Malta. One of the oft-repeated themes of the sessions in Geneva was the ‘feel-good’ concept of the ‘common Abrahamic root’ of Islam, Christianity and Judaism — although no representatives of the Jewish faith were invited to the conference. Statements by representatives of Christian churches seemed overly optimistic about the prospects of developing positive relationships with Islamic societies.

The failure to invite Jewish or Israeli representation by conference organizers was presumably not an oversight. This omission would be consistent with the UN Arab bloc’s objective of isolating Israel in an apparent effort to destroy and replace it. That campaign includes efforts by Arab states to marshal support at the United Nations for suffocating Israel through diplomatic subversion as well as through economic strangulation. Facilitating the establishment of an Islamic-Christian relationship that excludes Judaism can only serve the Islamist goal of isolating Jews and Israel.

After the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt, mass murders of Egyptian Copts are likely to continue. Although relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar will improve in the near future, the honeymoon will not. The Grand Imam will doubtless protect his own theological power base and keep his distance from both the Vatican and the Egyptian regime.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.


[1] Tradition has it that Mark founded the Church in Alexandria as early as 42 A.D. but some Coptic documents assert that Mark came to Alexandria for the first time in 61 A.D. after several missionary trips with St. Paul and St. Barnabas.

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”

January 29, 2017

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, January 29, 2017

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing.

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church…. the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot.” — Laurent Dandrieu, cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world…Islam, through the sharia, their law…allows violence against the infidels, such as Christians….And what is the most important achievement? Rome.” — Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview, Il Giornale.

“[T]hey are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over.” — Laszlo Kiss Rigo, head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community.

François Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of our “stupidity”, warned Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei. Liberati claimed that, thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans, Islam will soon become the main religion of Europe. “All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam”, Archbishop Liberati explained.

Décadence is also the title of a new book by the French philosopher Michel Onfray, in which he suggests that the Judeo-Christian era may have come to an end. He compares the West and Islam: “We have nihilism, they have fervor; we are exhausted, they have a great health; we have the past for us; they have the future for them”.

Archbishop Liberati belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe. They speak in open opposition to Pope Francis, who does not seem too impressed by the collapse of Christianity due to falling birth rates, accompanied by religious apathy and its replacement by Islam.

2248Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei (left) belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe, and who speak in open opposition to Pope Francis (right).

Pope Francis’s official vision is personified by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, who was appointed by the Pontiff as the Secretary General of Italy’s Bishops. Last December, Galantino gave an interview in which he dismissed any religious motivation behind jihadist attacks and claimed that, instead, “money” is what is behind them.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing. One is the cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Laurent Dandrieu, who writes:

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church. The Church is watching the establishment of millions of Muslims in Europe… and Muslim worship in our continent as an inescapable manifestation of religious freedom. But the civilizational question is simply never asked …. By breaking away from the Europe’s indigenous peoples and their legitimate concerns, the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot”.

Dandrieu lists Pope Francis’ gestures and speeches in favor of Islam and migrants:

“On October 1, 2014, the Pope received Eritrean survivors of a shipwreck off Lampedusa; on 8 February 2015, he made a surprise visit to a refugee camp in Ponte Mammolo, northeast of Rome; on April 18, he used the first official visit of the new Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to demand ‘a much larger commitment’ for migrants; on 6 September 2015, at the conclusion of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, he called for ‘every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to host a family’ of refugees; on March 24, 2016, he chose to celebrate the Holy Thursday in a structure housing 900 refugees, and to wash the feet to twelve asylum seekers; on May 28, he received children whose parents died in a boat that sank, filled with migrants; during the general audience of June 22, Francis went down to the crowd to bring back fifteen refugees”.

But as Liberati’s case demonstrates, resistance to Pope Francis’ vision of Europe is growing inside the Catholic Church.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world”, Cardinal Raymond Burke said.

“Islam, through the sharia, their law, wants to rule the world and allows violence against the infidels, like Christians. But we find it hard to recognize this reality and to respond by defending the Christian faith (…) I have heard several times an Islamic idea: ‘what we failed to do with the weapons in the past we are doing today with the birth rate and immigration’. The population is changing. If this keeps up, in countries such as Italy, the majority will be Muslim (…) Islam realizes itself in the conquest. And what is the most important achievement? Rome”.

The first to denounce this dramatic trend was Italy’s most important missionary, Father Piero Gheddo, who said that, due to falling fertility and Muslim fervor, “Islam would sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe”. These concerns do not belong only to the Conservative wing of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a candidate tipped to be the next Pope, is very close to Pope Francis, and is a centrist. Last September, on the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, Schönborn delivered a dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots. “Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished'”, Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity”. He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe“.

After a Tunisian, who arrived among a flood of migrants into Germany, murdered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin, the Catholic archbishop of the German capital, Heiner Koch, another “moderate” Catholic leader appointed by Pope Francis, also sounded a warning: “Perhaps we focused too much on the radiant image of humanity, on the good. Now in the last year, or perhaps also in recent years, we have seen: No, there is also evil”.

The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Miloslav Vlk, also warned about the threat of Islamization. “Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim”, Cardinal Vlk claimed. He also blamed Europe itself for the Islamic takeover:

“Europe will pay dearly for having left its spiritual foundations; this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it. Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society”.

Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, has also questioned Pope Francis’ “welcoming culture”.

Among the Eastern Catholic bishops there are many voices raising concerns about Europe’s demographic and religious revolution. One belongs to the leader of the Catholics in Lebanon, who paid an extremely high price for the Islamization of their own country, including murder and exile, and now see the danger coming to Europe itself. “I have heard many times from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birth rate”, Cardinal Bechara Rai said.

Another voice belongs to the French-born Bishop Paul Desfarges, who heads the diocese of Constantine in Algeria: “It’s no surprise that Islam has taken on such importance”, Desfarges said. “It’s an issue that concerns Europe”. Sydney Cardinal George Pell then urged “a discussion of the consequences of the Islamic presence in the Western world”. Pell was echoed by Laszlo Kiss Rigo, the head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community, who said that “they are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over”.

On the political level, there is another a tendency, that of strong Catholic leaders who challenge Pope Francis on the Islamic question and immigration. The most important is the French presidential candidate François Fillon, one of the first politicians who “doesn’t hide the fact that he’s Catholic“. Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

US Catholic bishops hold “dialogue” with Hamas-linked group to engage in “advocacy in support of Muslim community”

January 11, 2017

US Catholic bishops hold “dialogue” with Hamas-linked group to engage in “advocacy in support of Muslim community”, Jihad Watch

“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago… said that as part of the dialogue’s launch last February, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego held a public discussion with Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.”

The Islamic Society of North America: “ISNA leaders view Islam as being superior to all other faiths and destined to replace them. Taha J. Alwani, a leading official of the Fiqh Council of North America, which is run under ISNA, writes: ‘In considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam will prevail over other religions.’…In July 2008, ISNA’s lawyers conceded that their organization, through its affiliate NAIT, had given financial support to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Their defense was that documentary evidence of those ties dated back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the U.S. government had officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.”

“Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities…”

Anti-Jewish hate crimes are two times more common than anti-Muslim hate crimes. What is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doing to combat anti-Jewish activities? Why, nothing. Nothing at all.

“Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities nationwide as well as a recent study by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project on Islamophobia, showing that Catholics who regularly obtained information from Catholic media were more likely to unfavorably view Muslims than those who did not.”

The Bridge Initiative is part of Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). It is run by Nathan Lean, the gutter thug who has several times published on Twitter what he thinks is my home address, in an obvious attempt to alert jihad murderers to my whereabouts and/or intimidate me into silence. Its study was designed to defame those who tell the truth about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and strong-arm Catholic bookstores into not carrying books by me and others who enunciate these unwelcome truths.

So it looks as if the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is throwing in completely with Hamas- and Saudi-linked groups that are determined above all to clear away all obstacles to the advancing jihad.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a disgrace to Catholicism, to Christianity, and to humanity.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

catholic-muslim-dialogue

“Catholic-Muslim dialogue opens to support American Muslims,” by James Martone, Catholic News Service, January 10, 2017 (thanks to M.):

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An emerging Catholic dialogue with Muslims aims to show public support for Islamic American communities.

The dialogue stems from concerns expressed by U.S. bishops in the wake of “a serious uptick in violence against American Muslims … to make sure that they are sensitive to what is going on in the (Muslim) communities,” said Anthony Cirelli, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The dialogue, underway since last February, will build on three already existing regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues, also overseen by the secretariat. Those gatherings have involved Muslim and Christian scholars and religious leaders and have focused largely on academic discussions and comparisons of their respective religious texts, Cirelli said.

The regional dialogues – mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West Coast – have been effective in creating a better understanding among Muslim and Catholic leaders on a theological level, Cirelli explained.

The national dialogue also will help Muslim leaders to better advocate for current concerns, “especially with the incoming (U.S.) administration,” said Cirelli, referring to calls by President-elect Donald J. Trump and others to monitor American Muslims and limit entry of Muslim visitors from abroad.

“While our meetings will still have as a central component the all-important theological conversation, right now there is an urgency to engage more in a kind of advocacy and policy in support of the Muslim community,” Cirelli told Catholic News Service.

Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities nationwide as well as a recent study by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project on Islamophobia, showing that Catholics who regularly obtained information from Catholic media were more likely to unfavorably view Muslims than those who did not.

“The bishops’ priority at the moment is to listen to (Muslims’) concerns, their fears, their needs … and so discern how we as Catholics can help them achieve their goals of full participation in their communities,” Cirelli said.

He said Muslim counterparts to the dialogue were still being identified.

“At this point in our nation’s history, we, the bishops, are mainly concerned with listening to and, when appropriate, coming to stand with our Muslim colleagues in their own difficult work of addressing the fears of ordinary Americans with respect to Muslims as well as their work in trying to change the negative narrative surrounding Muslims in our popular media,” Cirelli said.

The creation of the dialogue was motivated by the call of “Nostra Aetate,” the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on the relations with non-Christian religions.

“As the national conversation around Islam grows increasingly fraught, coarse and driven by fear and often willful misinformation, the Catholic Church must help to model real dialogue and goodwill,” Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield, Massachusetts, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said at the time the dialogue started in February.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago was designated as the dialogue’s Catholic chairman and assumed the position Jan. 1, Cirelli said.

He said that as part of the dialogue’s launch last February, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego held a public discussion with Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.

During the widely publicized event at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Bishop McElroy challenged U.S. Catholics to take an active role in combating “the scourge of anti-Islamic prejudice.”…

Italy: Priest bans Nativity scene for fear of offending Muslims

December 13, 2016

Italy: Priest bans Nativity scene for fear of offending Muslims, Jihad Watch

(The last Obama family “Christmas card” being sent from the White House does not mention Christmas, wishing everyone merely “Happy Holidays.” — DM)

Remember the rule: in Muslim countries, be careful to conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, be careful to conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities.

nativity-manger-scene

“Nativity Scene Could Offend Muslims, Priest Says,” by Nick Hallett, Breitbart, December 12, 2016:

A priest in Italy has caused uproar after announcing there would be no Christmas nativity scene at the local cemetery this year because it could offend Muslims and atheists.

Fr Sante Braggiè said there would be no crib in the cemetery in the northern city of Cremona because it may anger people of others faiths or none whose relatives are buried there.

“A small corner of the cemetery is reserved for Muslim graves,” Fr Braggiè said. “A crib positioned within sight of them could be seen as a lack of respect for followers of other faiths, hurt the sensibilities of Muslims, as well as Indians and even atheists.”

He also cited a lack of council workers to set up the crib as another reason for abandoning the tradition.

Corriere della Serra reports that Fr Braggiè’s predecessor as local priest, Fr Oreste Mori, strongly criticised the decision, saying: “Seriously? I can’t believe it!”

“We cannot renounce our culture and traditions,” he said. “That would be an unpardonable weakness.”

“I am, for the time being at least, in Italy, not Saudi Arabia.”…

The Incestuous Left and Those Who Provide Cover for them

October 23, 2016

The Incestuous Left and Those Who Provide Cover for them, American Thinker, Clarice Feldman, October 23, 2016

As the election nears, the media hype, designed to affect the results, demoralize and demonize Trump and his supporters and confirm the bias of its elite coastal consumers, continues. Saturday’s opinion-posing-as-news lead in the Washington Post says the end is near for Trump — the polls have him down everywhere and he was booed for crass attacks at the Al Smith dinner in New York. What do you expect from media whose reporters are literally in bed with the administration?

Not only are reporters feeding debate questions to the Clinton campaign, we have a video of one of them, Andrea Mitchell, seemingly being fed what to ask by Hillary’s traveling press secretary.

Extensive evidence from Wikileaks, FOIA responses, and “human sources” of the incestuous and improper coordination between the media and the Democrats have been detailed by Sharyl Attkisson. She concludes:

It can be argued that some individual accounts can be rationalized and are not serious breaches of ethics. But taken as a whole, it’s easy to see how we as journalists have done a poor job protecting ourselves from being co-opted by organized interests, often ones that are paid and politically-motivated. Whether we realize it or not, they’ve figured out how to exploit the media and use us to publish their propaganda. It implies a broad and growing trend that has seriously undermined the credibility of the news industry.

Opinion reporters and those who work for obviously ideological news groups are entitled to publish party propaganda. It’s one matter to provide viewpoint journalism. But it’s quite another for us to act as a tool of any interest, publishing narratives or talking points upon suggestion or demand, without disclosing we’ve done just that.

Wikileaks promises to unleash even more insider accounts of the Clinton campaign and DNC shenanigans this coming week and has said it has even more current information — material respecting serious wrongdoing by the DNC head Donna Brazile and Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate Timothy Kaine coming up next. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas says that on Monday he is releasing a video of Robert Creamer, shown as a vote fixer in previous videos, coordinating with Clinton and Brazile. “Anything happens to me, there’s a deadman’s switch on Part III, which will be released Monday. @HillaryClinton and @donnabrazile implicated.”

The media has hardly reported these disclosures and when it has it has downplayed them, but it is no longer a gatekeeper deciding what we are allowed to know, although it tries hard to hide Hillary’s obvious physical disabilities from the public eye.

As for the polls, Democrat pollster Pat Caddell says we may be in for a shock election night:

“All of the tracking polls keep holding at Trump being ahead,” he continued. “And then all of these other polls that are one-off polls, or whatever… I don’t know how they’re doing some of these university polls. You just put the name of some university and apparently it becomes credible, whether they know what they’re doing, or not.

Caddell was pointing out the discrepancy between the different types of polls. “But in any event, polling is all over the place…. Something isn’t adding up,” said Caddell.

“Something is going to happen here, I just sense it,” he concluded. Either “Hillary will glide into the White House, or we’re headed for one of the greatest shocks in American politics. I think it’s a very close call. I think the shock potential is enormous.”

Our own Jared E. Peterson fleshes out Caddell‘s point:

Here are some of the numbers available Friday, October 21, 2016:

Goebbels/Pravda: (with NBC and CBS as reported by RCP on the afternoon of Friday, October 21, 2016):

ABC/Washington Post: 47-43, Clinton

NBC: 51-43, Clinton

CBS:  51-40, Clinton

Non-Propaganda Machine-affiliated: (as reported on the afternoon of Friday October 21, 2016):

IBT/TIPP: 41-40, Trump

LA Times/USC Tracking: 44.5-43.8, Trump

Rasmussen: 43-41, Trump

To say there’s a huge difference between the current state of the race as depicted by Goebbels/Pravda versus that shown by major independent polling organizations, would be risible understatement.

The propaganda arm of the Democratic Party is showing a runaway race, while the independents present an extremely tight one, with Trump frequently leading by a nose.

We know that at least one — the NBC/WSJ poll which early showed Clinton with an improbable 11-point lead — was a barely disguised effort intended to manipulate public opinion using a small pool of voters, improbably weighted and produced by a firm with extensive ties to the Clinton camp.

As for the media account of the Al Smith dinner, it seems like the fake accounts of Trump encouraging violence at his rallies, it’s not a true account. Joe Concha reports that you weren’t being told that Hillary got just as mean and personal as Trump did and also received some boos even from such an elite Democrat supporting party — and Concha who quotes from their remarks is joined in this assessment by Piers Morgan.

It’s hard to disagree with Concha’s conclusion:

“Who would think the 2016 Al Smith Dinner would encapsulate the prism our media sees this campaign in so perfectly?

A prism where only one candidate exists.

Because as we’re seeing on television and in print today, it just somehow did.”

The dinner itself reflects how even the Catholic Archdiocese, which sponsors this dinner for the benefit of Catholic Charities, has been coopted by the left and vast sums of federal money. It looks as if it has lost its way. Catholic Charities receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal treasury as a refugee resettlement contractor. They accept thousands of unvetted Syrian Moslems and place them in communities already struggling to provide basic services, get them signed up for welfare benefits for which taxpayers then have to foot the bill and then lobby Congress for more funds to repeat this operation.

Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: These nominally Catholic organizations are the largest VOLAGs [voluntary organizations], with hundreds of offices spread throughout the country. They are prominent members of the open borders/amnesty movement. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is “the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops” and a grant-making vehicle of the USCCB. It was founded in Chicago in 1969 with the help of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, specifically to fund Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. CCHD has been a radical leftist funding vehicle ever since, giving millions to ACORN, the radical training school Midwest Academy, and others. The Industrial Areas Foundation, where a young Barack Obama was trained in “community organizing” with financial support from the Chicago Archdiocese, receives the largest percentage of CCHD grants of any CCHD grantee.

President Obama had this to say about CCHD:

I got my start as a community organizer working with mostly Catholic parishes on the Southside of Chicago that were struggling because the steel plants had closed. The Campaign for Human Development helped fund the project and so, very early on, my career was intertwined with the belief in social justice that is so strong in the Church.

USCCB founded the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., a $7 million subsidiary which assists illegal aliens based on “the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger.” It aggressively promotes amnesty, believing that “all goods of the earth belong to all people. When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.” USCCB has 270 field offices in 47 states. Board members include Donald D. Taylor, president of the extreme-left union UNITE HERE!

Catholics are not alone in this three-card Monte game — there are nine other such nominally faith-based organization receiving vast sums to bring refugees here, pushing for amnesty and more money for their operations which are disrupting American communities and transforming them.

Most if not all started out as private charitable institutions providing financial and other aid out of their own funds for this work. Iowahawk describes the transformation of so many of our once fine institutions as these:

“Take a respected institution.

Kill it.

Gut it.

Wear its carcass as a skin suit.

And demand respect.”

I don’t recall Catholic Charities or any of the voluntary resettlement contractors lobbying on the hill for better vetting of refugees or for a change in the UN processing of them abroad to include truly persecuted groups like Christian refugees. (They may have; I just haven’t seen it.) It’s a scandal — your money funds these nominally Christian and Jewish groups to bring in ever more inassimilable, low educated, unskilled, and sometimes very ill and dangerous hordes to transform us from a Christian-Judeo nation which believes in religious tolerance into one in which a growing minority of immigrants which a supremacist fantasy encourages demands for special privileges and the right to live off our bounty as they undermine what has created it.

The more refugee cases a volag is assigned, the more money the federal government hands over to the private agency. In some ways, the model resembles those charities that spend inordinately on fund raising and administration instead of on actually helping needy people.

Clearly, refugee resettlement policy and programs, from top to bottom, are overdue for congressional scrutiny and reform. Those organizations, including religious ones, receiving federal monies deserve close assessment. It is morally incumbent on religious refugee bureaus to examine their own hearts. As Christ said, it is impossible to serve both God and money (Luke 16:13). Their efforts would be a lot more honest and effective and a lot less harmful to their fellow countrymen and communities if they returned to reliance on private funding alone.

Hundreds of Catholic institutions are involved, including Catholic Charities of NY. The $177.2 million in federal grants to Catholic charities in 2015 are from a single charity organization. — the Catholic Charities of Chicago. So it’s fair to assume that the NY branch (for whom the Al Smith dinner is the beneficiary) itself garnered at least that much that year.

But the Al Smith dinner reflects more than its being a cover for leftist money-grubbing at our expense — it reveals a shocking disregard for Catholic sensibilities to curry favor with New York’s leftist elites and Hillary.

Recent history reveals the shift. Writing in the NC Register, Thomas Mcardle questions whether this dinner for the glitterati has passed its expiration date.

The overall message the Al Smith Dinner now sends to Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is that Catholic teachings on human life and marriage can’t be allowed to muss relations between the Church and an increasingly anti-Catholic state. But in both 1996 and 2004, the abortion-friendly position of first Bill Clinton and then Catholic Democrat nominee John Kerry led to both parties’ candidates not being invited by the Archdiocese of New York.

The decision to invite Hillary is even more inexplicable when the Archbishop had the same week demanded an apology from Hillary for the anti-Catholic material within her campaign disclosed by Wikileaks, and hasn’t received one.

Emails released last week by WikiLeaks showed Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri, both Catholics, in conversations with activists from two left-wing organizations. In the emails, Catholics were debased, with their beliefs being called “severely backwards.” Conservative Catholics also were accused of “an amazing bastardization of the faith,” and Rupert Murdoch was mocked for baptizing his children as Catholics in the River Jordan.

The U.S. Church’s bishops were slammed in the emails as well, referred to as “a middle ages dictatorship.”

Palmieri said in one of the emails she thought conservatives that had come to Catholicism did so because “they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion,” and that “their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Podesta admitted to helping launch a “progressive” infiltration of the Church in another email, and he took an active role in attempting to incite a liberal Catholic revolt against the U.S. bishops.

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this,” Podesta wrote. “But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.”

The “Catholic Spring” Podesta referred to had been broached in the email by Center for Progress president Sandy Newman, who had pondered how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or “who would plant them.”

With even more damaging Wikileaks and Project Veritas disclosures coming, the Clinton camp is now trying to question their credibility, source, and organizer. So far, the claims seem unpersuasive. Donna Brazile whose head seems to be moving next under the Wikileakd guillotine has suggested the emails were tampered with.  (You might remember that in 1988 she was fired from the DNC and Dukakis apologized for her conduct when she spread a lie that George H.W. Bush had a mistress.) Cryptographers debunk that.

Hillary has claimed that U.S. Security agencies told her the hacks were Russian, suggesting Putin is trying to influence our election. Like everything else she says, this, too, is false.  Rumors smearing Assange as a pedophile have been spread — doubtless by the trolls within the Clinton network.  Reddit sleuths trace them to the address of an intelligence agency that seems to share an address with an outfit on whose board sit Larry Summers and Neera Tanden, both major players in the Clinton shadow government Center for American Progress.

Whether this will pan out on further investigation, remains to be seen, but given what we know of how the Clintons operate I’d consider it a distinct possibility.

Former UK foreign minister Craig Murray hints the Wikileaks come from inside the Clinton camp itself.

“I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them. [snip]

But the key point is that WikiLeaks is a publisher. It is a vehicle for publishing leaks, and is much more of a vehicle for whistleblowers than for hackers. It does not originate the material. I have often seen comments such as “Why has WikiLeaks not published material on Israel/Putin/Trump?” The answer is that they have not been given any. They publish good, verifiable material that they are given by whistleblowers.”

It would warm my cold heart to think there is an honest person or two somewhere on the vast Clinton payroll.