The Church in the World

USCCB. Bishop Chairman Calls on Administration to Reverse Course on Federal Executions

June 30, 2020

WASHINGTON – Following the U.S. Attorney General’s decision to set new federal execution dates for four federal death row inmates beginning July 13, 2020, and the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States declining to hear their appeal, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Administration to reverse course on presiding over federal executions for the first time in 17 years.

Archbishop Coakley’s full statement follows:

“Now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeals of four federal death row inmates, and the Justice Department has set new execution dates beginning July 13, I reiterate the call made last July for the Administration to reverse course.

“As articulated to the Supreme Court in another case earlier this year, the bishops have been calling for an end to the death penalty for decades. Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have all called for an end to the death penalty around the world. As Pope Francis articulated through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the death penalty is unacceptable as an affront to the Gospel and to respect for human life. At their June 2019 meeting, the Catholic bishops of the United States voted overwhelmingly in affirmation of this position.

“Two of my brother bishops and I wrote. . . last year: ‘To oppose the death penalty is not to be “soft on crime.” Rather, it is to be strong on the dignity of life.’ To this end, I implore Attorney General Barr and President Trump to abandon this path to preside over the first federal executions in 17 years.”

(http://www.usccb.org/news/2020/20-109.cfm)

 

Carlo Maria Viganò: Letter to Usa President Donald Trump

June 7, 2020

Holy Trinity Sunday

Mr. President,

In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days – have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans. They seem to be so certain of already having everything under control that they have laid aside that circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions. The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the Covid emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations.

We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population. The same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony. It is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state and who expresses those goals faithfully and with conviction. It will not be surprising if, in a few months, we learn once again that hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom: Solve et Coagula, as the Masonic adage teaches.

Although it may seem disconcerting, the opposing alignments I have described are also found in religious circles. There are faithful Shepherds who care for the flock of Christ, but there are also mercenary infidels who seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves. It is not surprising that these mercenaries are allies of the children of darkness and hate the children of light: just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God. Thus the Invisible Enemy, whom good rulers fight against in public affairs, is also fought against by good shepherds in the ecclesiastical sphere. It is a spiritual battle, which I spoke about in my recent Appeal which was published on May 8.

For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship. Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on. And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.

For this reason, I believe that the attack to which you were subjected after your visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II is part of the orchestrated media narrative which seeks not to fight racism and bring social order, but to aggravate dispositions; not to bring justice, but to legitimize violence and crime; not to serve the truth, but to favor one political faction. And it is disconcerting that there are Bishops – such as those whom I recently denounced – who, by their words, prove that they are aligned on the opposing side. They are subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.

The American people are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters. However, it is important that the good – who are the majority – wake up from their sluggishness and do not accept being deceived by a minority of dishonest people with unavowable purposes. It is necessary that the good, the children of light, come together and make their voices heard. What more effective way is there to do this, Mr. President, than by prayer, asking the Lord to protect you, the United States, and all of humanity from this enormous attack of the Enemy? Before the power of prayer, the deceptions of the children of darkness will collapse, their plots will be revealed, their betrayal will be shown, their frightening power will end in nothing, brought to light and exposed for what it is: an infernal deception.

Mr. President, my prayer is constantly turned to the beloved American nation, where I had the privilege and honor of being sent by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio. In this dramatic and decisive hour for all of humanity, I am praying for you and also for all those who are at your side in the government of the United States. I trust that the American people are united with me and you in prayer to Almighty God.

United against the Invisible Enemy of all humanity, I bless you and the First Lady, the beloved American nation, and all men and women of good will.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

Letter from Northern Bishops to all MLAs in advance of vote on abortion motion in the NI assembly.

“Politicians and all people of good will, who recognise the extreme nature of the Regulations, should not meekly acquiesce to their promulgation”

The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland have reissued their call on Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to oppose new abortion regulations introduced by the Westminster Parliament, in advance of an Assembly debate on the issue tomorrow. Describing the Westminster regulations as ‘an unjust law, which was imposed without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland’, the Bishops urged the politicians ‘to take steps to formulate new Regulations that will reflect more fully the will of a significant majority of the people in this jurisdiction to protect the lives of mothers and their unborn children.’ With the motion in the Assembly specifically calling on MLAs to reject “the imposition of abortion legislation which extends to all non-fatal disabilities, including Down’s syndrome”, Bishops expressed concern about the ‘extreme nature’ of the Westminster regulations and called on them to defend the equal right of children with disabilities to appropriate protection and care both before and after birth, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In a series of messages on social media earlier today, Archbishop Eamon Martin called on people to contact their MLAs in advance of the vote, asking them to support the motion. Thanking those politicians who had brought the motion forward, Archbishop Martin described the Westminster regulations imposed on Northern Ireland in a series of tweets as ‘unjust, extreme and inhumane – they go much further than 1967 Abortion Act – imagine taking the life of an unborn child because the child has a cleft lip! These regulations offer no gestational limits for children with disabilities. Let’s take a stand for the equal right to life and care for all children, before and after birth, as well as their mothers.’ The Archbishop concluded by calling on people to contact their MLA’s, asking them to ‘defend life and equality for the unborn’.

The following is the letter sent by the Northern Bishops to all MLAs in advance of the debate on the motion in the NI Assembly tomorrow:

Dear Member of the Legislative Assembly,

As the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland, we have a responsibility to do all we can to promote a culture of care and respect for life in our society. This includes a responsibility to inform the conscience of all members of the Catholic Church and people of good will regarding the fundamental moral values at stake in the issue of abortion.

Our opposition to the new abortion Regulations brought into effect here by the Westminster Parliament is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching concerning the dignity of every human life, regardless of age, ability, gender or background. This teaching prohibits the direct and deliberate intention to end the life of an unborn baby at any stage of his or her development. This right to life of the child is inextricably linked to the right to life and well-being of the mother.

At the same time, we recognise that the legislation passed into law by the Westminster Parliament stands now to be implemented. While we regard this to be an unjust law, which was imposed without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland, we are morally obliged, wherever possible, to do all we can to save the lives of unborn children, which could be lost through abortion, and to protect mothers from the pressures they might experience at the time of an unplanned pregnancy. We trust that you recognise this to be an obligation we all share as concerned citizens and public representatives.

In our recent press statement (31 March 2020), regarding the new Regulations concerning abortion services, we indicated that we would be contacting MLAs with regard to the issues we have highlighted. We believe, ‘Politicians and all people of good will, who recognise the extreme nature of the Regulations, should not meekly acquiesce to their promulgation’.

In particular, we take this opportunity to encourage you to debate these Regulations as a matter of urgency. Insofar as they exceed the requirements of the Northern Ireland Act 2019, we urge you to take steps to formulate new Regulations that will reflect more fully the will of a significant majority of the people in this jurisdiction to protect the lives of mothers and their unborn children. Indeed, as the NIO has noted, this commitment to protect life was expressed by 79% of people, who responded to the consultation exercise conducted by the UK Government last December.

As the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland we are eager to enter into dialogue with MLAs from across the political parties in an attempt to explore, where possible, how new Regulations can be formulated, which express the will of most people in our society to support and protect the lives of mothers and their unborn children. As a first step, we have included with this letter our recent submission (see below) to the Westminster Scrutiny Committee dealing with the relevant legislation, for your consideration.

We are very conscious that you and all MLAs are under great pressure at this time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the many issues you are called upon to address every day. However, we trust that within the Assembly, time can be made to undertake the initial debate that is so urgently needed regarding these extreme Regulations.

We look forward to hearing from you about these issues in due course.

Wishing you every blessing and strength in your important work,

Yours sincerely,

Most Rev Eamon Martin DD
Archbishop of Armagh
Apostolic Administrator of Dromore

Most Rev Noel Treanor DD
Bishop of Down and Connor

Most Rev Donal McKeown DD
Bishop of Derry

Most Rev Larry Duffy DD
Bishop of Clogher

Most Rev Michael Router DD
Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh

Submission to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments on the Abortion (NI) Regulations 2020 – 3 April 2020

Preamble

As Catholic Bishops our opposition to the new Regulations is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching concerning the dignity of every human life, regardless of age, ability, gender or background. This teaching prohibits the direct and deliberate intention to end the life of an unborn baby at any stage of his or her development. This right to life of the child is inextricably linked to the right to life and well-being of the mother.

At the same time, we recognise that the legislation passed into law by the Westminster Parliament stands now to be implemented. While we regard this to be an unjust law, which was imposed without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland, we are morally obliged, wherever possible, to do all we can to save the lives of unborn children, which could be lost through abortion, and to protect mothers from the pressures they might experience at the time of an unplanned pregnancy.

To that end, we seek to highlight the Regulations, so that even when the legislation is being scrutinised by the relevant committees, consideration can be given to the fact that section 9 of the Executive Formation (Northern Ireland) Act 2019 Act was passed by parliament with the unexpected use of statutory powers and that there are special reasons which call for proper scrutiny of the extraordinarily sensitive issues by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The context in which section 9 of the Executive Formation Act was passed into law:

Abortion is a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly had clearly voted to retain the existing law.
The law is now set out in section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019 (“the Act”). The Secretary of State for NI is required to implement the recommendations of the CEDAW report at paragraphs 85 and 86.

The Overreach of the Regulations

Despite a context in which significant constitutional questions were raised by the passing of the Act, the Regulations go far beyond the requirements of the CEDAW recommendations.
Regulations must be made which appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary and appropriate. For the reasons outlined below the Regulations go far beyond what is necessary. Further, in the context that pertains, namely that section 9 concerned a devolved matter, the Regulations were inappropriate in exceeding what was strictly required.
Set out below are a number of the discrete areas, where the Regulations overreach and take the law beyond what the recommendations of CEDAW require. It is accepted that the CEDAW report at paragraphs 85 and 86 is not written in the style of a parliamentary draftsman, but nevertheless the appropriate course in transposing the recommendations into Regulations, is to adopt measures, which are proportionate, having regard to the CEDAW recommendations and the context in which the section 9 of the Act was passed.

(i) CEDAW does not require abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks as now permitted.

(ii) The incorporation of the provisions of section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 into the Regulations provides for abortion in almost all circumstances up to 24 weeks. There is no gestational limit laid down by the CEDAW Report and the current 24 week time limit in England Wales and Scotland is among the most permissive in Europe.

(iii) The inclusion of the word “seriously disabled” in respect of fetal abnormality in Regulation 7 of the Regulations eclipses and goes significantly beyond the wording of the language of CEDAW. Paragraph 85 of CEDAW refers to “severe fetal impairment which includes FFA ” The language of Regulation 7 of the 2020 Regulations mirrors the amendment to the Abortion Act[1] 1967, which refers to a substantial risk that the child would be “seriously handicapped”. This diminution of the language was clearly unnecessary and inappropriate. The manner in which the English and Welsh provision of “seriously handicapped” has been interpreted by Courts and prosecuting authorities reveals that the widest possible margin is allowed, including in one instance a child aborted because of a cleft palate[2]. It should be recalled that the UK has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009, which requires appropriate protection before as well as after birth for those born with a disability.[3]

(iv) Additionally and inter alia the Regulations omit to provide an appropriate inspection framework for abortions, sufficient conscience protection for all medical professionals and proper counselling provision for those considering an abortion.

Conclusion

It is understood that the Committee must act within its own Terms of Reference. There are nevertheless substantial and relevant matters, which we believe should be brought to the attention of parliament in the Committee’s report.

Ends

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Oisin Walsh +353 (0) 86 167 9504

The Most Monumental Social Engineering and Ideological Transshipment Effort in History. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute

The Most Monumental Social Engineering and Ideological Transshipment Effort in History

Is Bolstered by Mass Hysteria and Vatican Support

 

READ HERE

Download this article as a pdf

If the Guinness Book of Records were to track the most senseless attitude possible, the award would probably go to someone who committed suicide for fear of dying.

With the coronavirus epidemic, that is what the world is doing. It is playing out on the social scale, the very same chain reaction the SARS-CoV-2 virus(*) triggers in its victims: An overreaction by the body’s immune system leads to blockage in the lungs and death by asphyxiation.

(*) Throughout this document, except for quotes from other sources, we will employ the correct technical terms. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 designates the virus currently in circulation, and COVID-19 the disease it causes.

Apocalyptic Projections Based on Unreliable Mathematical Models

We can exemplify with Italy, the first Western nation attacked by the virus originating in China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) initially minimized the virus’s outbreak in Wuhan and congratulated the Chinese communist regime on its work to contain the epidemic. On February 17, however, through the Italian-American scientist Ira Longini, an important consultant, the WHO reversed itself. Based on statistical data provided by the Chinese leadership, it estimated that the virus would infect 66% of the planet’s 7.7 billion inhabitants, causing the death of 45–50 million people.

Transferring these projections to Italy, journalist Alberto Rossi calculated that if the country had not been more agile than others in isolating involuntary virus spreaders, the number of infected Italians would be in the 36–40 million range. He estimated the death toll would reach 400–450 thousand, equivalent to Italy’s dead during the Second World War: 330,000 soldiers and 130,000 civilians.[1]

Other journalists made even more apocalyptic calculations: “Suppose that in the end, only 30% are infected, close to 20 million”—imagined Francesco Sisci in the daily Il Sussidiario of March 9. “If—giving a discount—10% of them go into a [respiratory] crisis, that means that without intensive care therapy, they are bound to succumb. There would be two million direct deaths, plus all indirect ones resulting from a collapse of the health system.”[2]

A week later, Imperial College London released a team study led by Prof. Neil Ferguson. It became the pretext for many governments to impose extreme stay-at-home measures. The model predicted that, in the absence of such shelter-in-place orders, there would be approximately 510,000 deaths in the United Kingdom and 2.2 million in the United States, as it was a virus “with comparable lethality to H1N1 influenza in 1918 [the Spanish flu].”[3] This was shocking information, but presumably exaggerated, one would think. A 2005 reconstruction of the Spanish flu virus carried out at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, as well as subsequent studies, showed that the Spanish flu was a hundred times more lethal than other forms of influenza seen in the twentieth century.[4]

Although initial information coming from Wuhan did not corroborate this claim about the virus’s extreme lethality, the Imperial College’s projections were taken almost as a “dogma of faith.”  They led the British government to change its policy. The latter did not lift stay-at-home measures even when Prof. Ferguson, acknowledged in a tweet: “I’m conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background—I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented C) 13+ years ago to model flu pandemics.”[5]

The revelation provoked hundreds of Twitter responses, pointing to the extreme vulnerability of this programming language, further weakened by its large number of undocumented lines, which make independent verification almost impossible.[6]  Ten days later, a University of Oxford team came up with an alternative model assuming that a much larger number of inhabitants of the British Isles would already be contaminated so that the lethality rate would be far lower.[7]

Time will tell which model will prove to be more accurate. In any case, an April 9 study issued by the Institute of Virology at the University of Bonn presented a factual confirmation of the Oxford model. It denied the lethality rate that WHO and the Imperial College attributed to SARS-CoV-2. The study consisted of several in-depth tests carried out on people from the village of Gangelt, in the district of Heinsberg, the epidemic’s first focus in Germany. The daily Le Monde summarizes its results as follows: “A German study estimates a lower mortality rate. Surveys of 12,446 Gangelt residents show figures five times less than the original assessment. The researchers argue that this method identifies all infected people, including asymptomatic carriers.”

The study found that the population had a 15% infection rate, and the mortality rate was only 0.37%, which is five times lower than that assigned to Germany by John Hopkins University.[8]

In any case, it does not seem sensible for governments to take drastic measures, with enormous social and economic costs, based on mathematical models built on uncertain data. To prove it, let’s look again at Italy.

On the day these lines are written (April 20, 2020), the Civil Protection bulletin announced that, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, both the number of people testing positive in the country and those in intensive care units in need of respiratory help had decreased. One can thus assume that the peak of the epidemic is behind us (except that the virus can mutate and cause a new epidemic wave, as happened with the H1N1 swine flu virus between 2009 and 2011).[9]

To date, Italy’s official death toll from COVID-19 is 23,660. Suppose that the virus does not mutate, and that number will double by the end of the year. The total number of deaths would amount to 47,000. That would be almost ten times fewer deaths than the least alarmist projection made at the beginning of the epidemic, and fifty times less than the most alarmist projection made a mere month ago.

Forty thousand deaths is a very high toll. It would be a tragedy for the victims and their families, and a severe blow to Italy. Nor would that tragedy be lessened by the fact that the average age for the deceased is 81 years old (mostly males) with pre-existing pathologies in two-thirds of the cases, according to data provided by Italy’s Istituto Superiore de Sanitá.[10]

 

Economic Consequences “of Biblical Proportions,” Visible to the Naked Eye

Now let us look at the medal’s flip side: The economic consequences resulting from the drastic “horizontal” stay-at-home measures adopted in a short period by Italy’s national and regional authorities to contain the epidemic and the overwhelming of hospitals’ ICUs.

According to the Italian Institute of Statistics, 2.2 million companies suspended their activities, 49% of the total. That led to a 34% production drop and a 27% added value drop. A total of 7.4 million employees were unable to work (44.3% of the entire workforce), of whom 4.9 million were simple wage earners (42%).[11]

This sudden halt in economic activity will lead to “a tragedy of biblical proportions,”  predicts Mario Draghi, former president of the European Central Bank in a column in the Financial Times. It is the biggest crisis in the real economy in the last hundred years. According to investment bank Goldman Sachs, Italian GDP will fall 11.6% in 2020.[12] For Gustavo Boni, a European official, the contraction of Italian GDP will be between 12.5% and 15%, with an 85% drop in gross fixed capital stock and a 38% drop in domestic employment income. In turn, public debt will amount to 160% of GDP. That was Greece’s level when it was bailed out by the EU.[13]

Added up, this means that, once stay-at-home orders are lifted, millions of Italian workers risk finding their companies’ doors locked, and thousands of artisans and retailers could join the large numbers of the unemployed or file for bankruptcy. In the tourism sector alone (13% of Italian GDP), the economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore calculates that “almost one million jobs are at risk.”[14]

Maurizio Gardini, president of Confcooperative, one of the main associations of Italian cooperatives, says that when Italy lifts the shutdown, at least 20% (close to one million) of medium and small companies will be dead in the water. The consequences in terms of lost income, unemployment, and social unrest are indescribable.[15] A study by the Italian statistics agency (ISTAT) holds that the lockdown of productive activities will generate “the collapse of consumer and business confidence.”[16]

Italy is not an isolated case. Authorities in neighboring France have taken similar shutdown measures, based on equally alarmist projections of contagion and deaths. The consequences are similar as well. According to INSEE, the French statistics institute, economic activity fell 36%, while in the private sector, the drop was even greater (42%). In fact, 6.9 million private-sector employees are at home receiving partial unemployment assistance, and household consumption dropped by 35%.[17]

The economist and historian Nicolas Baverez said in his weekly column in the daily Le Figaro that “two months of confinement will leave France with a 10% drop in its GDP, a deficit of 12% to 15% and a public debt of more than 120% of GDP. Thousands of companies will go bankrupt, notably the smallest ones, and many of the 8.7 million partially unemployed will never get their jobs back, resulting in the growth of poverty.”[18]  (In fact, the Minister of Labor announced that 9.6 million private-sector employees are currently “protected”  by partial unemployment benefits. That is almost half of the entire labor force).[19]

According to Bruno Le Maire, French Economy Minister, in 2020, the country will experience its biggest recession since World War II.[20]  Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared in the National Assembly that the economic impact linked to the coronavirus will be “massive”  and “brutal,”  giving rise to “an economic shock that everyone imagines, but whose total impact no one yet knows.” [21]

If these are the forecasts for two countries whose economies are among the world’s most developed, one can only imagine what will be the impact from the SARS-CoV-2 blocking of economic activities for the rest of the world.

 

The Devastating Social Impact of the “Great Shutdown”: the Pandemic of Extreme Poverty

On April 9, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, declared we would see “the worst economic consequences since the Great Depression” of 1929, causing a drop in income per inhabitant in over 179 countries. The senior official added that poor or emerging countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America “are at high risk,”  all the more so as capital is migrating out of them at a rate three times faster than the 2008 financial crisis, which will trigger liquidity and solvency problems.[22]

Just five days later, the I.M.F. released its forecasts regarding what it called “the Great Shutdown”: a contraction of 3% of world GDP in 2020, with Europe and the United States being the most affected by the depression (-7.5% and -6.5% respectively). It does not rule out the possibility of an even more brutal drop in 2021. The social effect of the recession will be severe, with unemployment in the Eurozone increasing by 40% (reaching 9.2%) and tripling in the U.S.A. to reach 10.4% of the total workforce.[23]

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe,” stated Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization. The I.L.O. did indeed release an April 7 report, saying that “the crisis is causing an unprecedented reduction in economic activity and working time. As of 1 April 2020, estimates indicate that working hours will decline in the current quarter (Q2) by around 6.7 percent, which is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.”[24]

Huge losses are expected at all income levels but especially in high to middle-income countries (7% loss, equivalent to 100 million full-time workers), which is much greater than the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. The sectors most affected will be hotels, restaurants, manufacturing, retailing, administrative activities, and services. The ILO report states that there is a high risk that the final figure will be much higher than the initial projection of 25 million unemployed.[25]

This figure of 25 million certainly was extremely optimistic, since a study by the African Union suggested that Africa alone would see the suppression of 20 million jobs, and indebtedness would escalate.[26] As far as the United States is concerned, it went from almost full employment in February “to mass unemployment expected to reach 20% in April. In less than a month, 22 million jobs have disappeared,” says the Figaro’s Washington correspondent.[27]

The global result will be an exponential increase in extreme poverty. “I see no historical equivalent to the threat that COVID-19 poses to the most vulnerable populations,”  said Robin Guittard, Oxfam campaign manager in France.[28] In a study released on April 8, researchers at King’s College London and the National University of Australia predict that the pandemic could bring extreme poverty to half a billion of the planet’s inhabitants, destroying the progress made in the past three decades.[29]

 

The Increase in Deaths From Hunger in Poor Countries Will Be Much Greater Than That of COVID-19 Victims

The consequences of this exponential increase in poverty on the health of impoverished populations will be disastrous. Even the World Health Organization, the biggest promoter of strict stay-at-home measures, recognizes that there is a close link between extreme poverty and poor health. In a study published in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it recognizes the obvious, namely, that “The poor suffer worse health and die younger. They have higher than the average child and maternal mortality, higher levels of disease, and more limited access to health care and social protection.”[30]

Consequently, more than 3.42 million people died of hunger in the first months of 2020, a daily average of 30,800 deaths. That is, almost five times more than the global number of deaths by COVID-19 on April 5, the day registering the highest number of fatalities (6,367 victims) worldwide so far.

The World Food Program predicts that the loss of tourism revenues, the decrease in remittances and travel and other restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic will double the number of poor people suffering from acute hunger, adding 130 million to the approximately 135 million already existing in that category. “‘COVID-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread,’ said Arif Husain, chief economist and director of research, assessment, and monitoring at the World Food Programme (WFP).”[31] David Beasly, WFP Executive Director, exclaimed in an interview with The Guardian: “Now, my goodness, this is a perfect storm. We are looking at widespread famines of biblical proportions.”[32]

Statistically, this increase in acute hunger resulting from the economic collapse caused by confinement measures could be responsible for 30,000 additional daily deaths. A sizable share of those deaths would probably have been avoided if instead of listening to WHO ayatollahs and media icons, the authorities had listened to the opinions of other experts who suggested vertical isolation or smart virus control measures. In so doing, they would protect the population at risk (the elderly and people with serious underlying diseases) and quarantining those infected by the virus after carrying out thousands of tests.[33]

This is not an unrealistic alternative. This plan was highly successful in Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, Georgia, and Iceland.[34] In the first three Asian countries mentioned and in Japan, work stoppages affected only 10% of the active population.[35] The effectiveness of this strategy so far has been largely demonstrated. The total number of deaths in these four countries, with a combined population of 257.4 million people, today amounts to only 489, which corresponds to a mortality rate of 1.9 victims per million. In contrast, in Italy, despite the horizontal insulation strategy followed, where the entire population was ordered to stay at home, the figure was 391.32 victims per million (23,660 deceased), that is, 205 times more!

A March 19 editorial in The Wall Street Journal put it well, three days after the release of the Imperial College’s fantasy projections and even before the Oxford University report. It was titled “Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown: No Society Can Safeguard Public Health for Long at the Cost of Its Economic Health.”[36]

It is a pity that neither this editorial nor the above figures were shown to government officials who, driven by the good intention of saving lives and advised by WHO directors and Imperial College researchers, decided to halt “non-essential” economic operations in their countries. The impact of this paralysis will be all the more acute as “isolation, even if intermittent, should go on until 2022 in several parts of the world if a vaccine does not appear,” according to the magazine Isto é, referencing “a study by Harvard University, published in the journal Science.”[37]

In the Name of “Social Distancing,” WHO Sacrifices Children in Poor Countries

In this hasty decision to order everyone to stay at home, there is yet another shocking revelation.

On March 26, the World Health Organization published a document titled “Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.” It states that, based on “the recommended prevention measures of physical distancing, it is advised to temporarily suspend the conduct of mass vaccination campaigns due to the increased risk of promoting community circulation.”[38]

Following this recommendation, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has suspended its vaccination campaign. However, its scientific advisers estimate that this will increase the number of paralysis in children and that some countries free from this infectious disease will become infected again. According to the Madrid daily El País, polio is just one of many vaccinations that have been suspended in Africa. “Writing in Science, journalist Leslie Roberts documents that millions of children have been deprived of their polio, measles, papilloma, yellow fever, cholera, and meningitis vaccines. There is talk of 14 million, but it is a low estimate, certainly very low.”[39]

According to Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control, 23 countries have already stopped their measles campaigns, and another 16 are considering doing so even though it kills 3% to 6% of those infected (multiples more than COVID-19), and that the majority of its victims are malnourished children.

Facing what the Spanish newspaper calls the “devil’s dilemma,” authorities in most rich countries have chosen, like it or not, to spare potential COVID-19 victims (perhaps because they are a majority of voters) and to sacrifice children in poor countries. These will die or become disabled because of WHO’s irresponsible guidance.[40]

Given these data, would the reader not agree with us that the contemporary world is committing suicide for fear of dying from COVID-19? That is happening thanks to the irresponsibility of the WHO, political leaders, and media, which created the ongoing hysteria.

That is so obvious that a question naturally surfaces: Who benefits from this collective suicide in our contemporary society?

The Four Main Beneficiaries of This Collective Suicide

From a geopolitical point of view, the major beneficiary of the crisis generated by the epidemic that started in Wuhan was China’s Communist regime itself. But, within Western societies, three ideological currents (all of which, by the way, have shown themselves to be the great champions of extreme stay-at-home measures) will be its main beneficiaries: radical ecologists, world governance advocates, and the radical left.

  1. The Communist Party of Chin
    Despite the huge responsibility of China’s communist rulers for the still unclarified origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its spread in Wuhan and the entire Hubei province,[41] its greatest beneficiary, both internally and externally, is undoubtedly the communist regime in Beijing. John Gray, professor emeritus at the London School of Economics, summarizes it in an article for the NewStatesman:

    No one knows the full human costs of the Chinese shutdown. Even so, Xi Jinping’s regime looks to have benefited from the pandemic. The virus has provided a rationale for expanding the surveillance state and introducing even stronger political control. Instead of wasting the crisis, Xi is using it to expand the country’s influence. China is inserting itself in place of the EU by assisting distressed national governments, such as Italy. Many of the masks and testing kits it has supplied have proved to be faulty, but the fact seems not to have dented Beijing’s propaganda campaign. . . .
    The Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic has been blunter and more realistic: “European solidarity does not exist . . . that was a fairy tale. The only country that can help us in this hard situation is the People’s Republic of China. To the rest of them, thanks for nothing.”[42]

Bolivarian left-wing currents support this diplomatic and ideological expansion of Chinese influence. For example, Brazilian activist Paola Estrada, a member of Secretariat of the International Peoples Assembly, and also of the Brazilian chapter of ALBA Movements (Continental Coordination of Social Movements toward the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America). She attests:

It is becoming increasingly obvious that during the pandemic, China has taken on a much more prominent role than before in the economic and commercial spheres, as well as in the political and ideological aspects. It is still difficult to project scenarios for the outcome of this process. However, it is undeniable that the Chinese government has been applauded worldwide for its capacity, effectiveness, and speed in facing the advance of the epidemic in China. They did so by enforcing measures of social isolation, building hospitals, manufacturing tests and hospital supplies, qualifying professionals, and investing in science and technology. . . . In times of pandemic, when we have to deal with so many changes, uncertainties, sadness, and attacks by the right and imperialism, the example of the Venezuelan people, the Cuban people, and the Chinese people fill our hearts with the hope that another world is possible.[43]

  1. Ecologists

Soon after governments implemented stay at home measures, ecologists shouted loud and clear that it had been proven that in the face of a global threat, it was possible to impose drastic measures affecting the daily life of whole populations.[44] They suggested that, once the health crisis is over, it would be illogical not to declare a climate emergency and impose equally drastic measures to decrease CO2 production.[45]

In Spain, five associations (Amigos de la Tierra, Greenpeace, Ecologistas en Acción, SEO/BirdLife, and WWF) addressed the European Commission and the Spanish government. They requested that the relief and stimulus  packages meant to reactivate the economy be used to “speed up the transition to a carbon-free and green economy.” The distribution of funds should penalize “those most unsustainable activities” and be conditional on a commitment “to stop the loss of biodiversity” and favor “decarbonization.”[46]

Furthermore, the “European Alliance for a Green Recovery” was born at the initiative of MEP Pascal Confin. It includes 180 European leaders (79 MEPs from 17 countries, 37 top managers of multinational corporations, 28 business associations, and seven NGOs, in addition to groups of experts). Its purpose is to promote a “green”  solution to the coronavirus economic crisis and to “unleash a new European economic model.”  Since, for the Alliance, the “core element of economic strategy”  must be “the fight against climate change,”  the “massive investments”  to be made to save the economy must align with “ecological principles.”  The Alliance supports a letter that 13 European Union Environment and Climate Ministers sent to Brussels demanding that the Green Pact proposed by the newly empowered von der Leyen Commission be retained.[47]

  1. Globalists

As soon as European countries began to close their borders and take protective measures, “open society” advocates started to proclaim that the only solution for the pandemic would be a coordinated global response. Meanwhile, the nations bickered among themselves over the defective masks and test kits that China had “generously” sent.

Bill Gates published in several newspapers a column titled “A Global Strategy Against COVID-19,” saying that although governments have provided national responses, their leaders must recognize that as long as the virus is present somewhere, “it will be a problem for the entire world.”  He added that “we need a global response to fighting the disease” so that financial and medical resources (face masks, test kits, etc.) are distributed effectively, and countries commit to following WHO guidelines.[48]

For his part, Antônio Guterres, former president of the Socialist International and current UN secretary-general, presented a special report titled “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.” In it, he asks that at least 10% of world GDP be allocated to a solidarity fund to resolve the crisis.[49]

Gordon Brown, a former British Labor Prime Minister, gave the last touch to the package  by suggesting no less than some provisional form of global government to face the twin, medical and economic crises: “What we need is a working executive.”[50] He is now acting as a UN special envoy for global education.  And in an interview with El País, he reiterated:

We need a [summit] with commitments to provide the health emergency with the necessary funds. . . . And secondly, an Executive Task Force [a team with executive powers] at the G20, because good words are no longer enough. We need to take action in the coming days and do so in a coordinated manner. An executive body is needed to respond to the problem that you [the journalist] mention on [criticism] of international institutions. . . . Shared political leadership is needed.

According to Brown, in the current phase of efforts to preserve jobs, a national response may suffice. Still, in the next phase,

we will need fiscal coordination, monetary coordination, and collaboration between the different central banks. And I am not just talking about a model like the EU. I refer to the global scope. . . . In the growth phase, we will need a coordinated effort of fiscal stimulus around the world.[51]

In Latin America, the so-called Puebla Group made up of presidents, former presidents (e.g., Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, etc.) and socialist-oriented political, academic, and union leaders, published a statement. The signatories asserted that the current crisis “has no other solution than integrating Latin America and the Caribbean, and cooperating at the global level.” In this operation, the statement continued, the WHO “must play an even more important role than today.”

The document invited “governments, organizations, and peoples of the world, when the pandemic ends, to make a serene reflection  on a New Development Model that prioritizes previously unknown values such as the environment, social inclusion, reducing inequality, food security, military disarmament, multilateralism, and fiscal progressivity.”[52]

  1. The Radical Left

In turn, the radical left is lying in wait to surf the wave. In an article published in Intercept, writer and activist Naomi Klein explained that in the last two decades, she learned that “During moments of cataclysmic change, the previously unthinkable suddenly becomes a reality.” [53]

Along the same line, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek maintained that “the coronavirus will force us to reinvent communism based on trust in people and science.”  It would not be like the communism of the past. Rather, it would be “some kind of global organization that can control and regulate the economy, as well as limit the sovereignty of nation-states.”  The Italian philosopher Franco Berardi Bifo would not be outdone: “Is there anyone who does not like this logic because it recalls communism? Well, if there are no more modern words, we will still use this one, old indeed, but always very beautiful.”[54]

The radical left is acting coherently. It is openly proposing the nationalization of electric and telecommunications companies, private hospitals, hotels, etc. Pablo Iglesias, leader of the Podemos party and vice-president of the current Spanish coalition government, stated it eloquently during a meeting of his crisis cabinet.[55]

Even more troubling is the fact that  representatives of the Establishment are taking up proposals made until now by the radical left, such as a “universal basic income.” Note that the proposed monthly check from the government is not limited to temporary aid to unemployed workers due to economic or financial crisis. All sensible people, ranging from an analyst of the Acton Institute[56] to the secretary of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference,[57] consider that necessary. Nor does universal basic income correspond to Milton Friedman’s ‘helicopter money’ metaphor aimed at solving an economy’s temporary liquidity problems.[58] In reality, it is a permanent minimum wage distributed to the entire population, each person being able to choose whether or not he wants to work. The measure would supposedly guarantee the individual’s total “emancipation.”

A “universal basic income” was the central plank in the platform of Benoît Hamon, the French Socialist Party’s unsuccessful candidate for the presidency, in the recent elections. He took advantage of the epidemic to relaunch this proposal, claiming that “the universal wage for existence is an incomparable tool for emancipation. . . . Freeing everyone from exclusive dependence on salary earned at work, the universal wage gives each individual the ability to negotiate and choose. . . . Social emancipation goes through this individual practice of freedom. . . . The crisis will give birth to a new world.”[59]

In an open letter published in the London newspaper The Independent, no fewer than 500 academics and political leaders, mainly from the United Kingdom and the United States, called for the implementation of this universal basic income. They stated that “Without drastic government intervention, countless numbers will suffer, businesses will close, unemployment will skyrocket, and the economy will go into a steep recession and possibly even a second Great Depression.” Therefore, “an unconditional basic income should play a central role in the emergency response to this crisis.”[60]  However, as far as we are concerned, this cure is worse than the disease(**).

(**) Financial analyst Maurizio Milano made a lucid criticism of the “wartime socialism” that these academics and leaders advocate by calling for the creation, ex nihilo, of a huge mass of financial liquidity to acquire public and private debts, thus increasing deficits and the public debt: “Historical evidence teaches us that ‘emergencies’ are the ideal breeding ground for an increasingly invasive action by states, leading to irresponsible and fragile societies to the detriment of freedom, security, and general well-being.”[61]

Beppe Grillo, the former comedian and founder of Italy’s Five Star Movement, signed on to this open letter. In addressing the issue of universal basic income, he declared: “The emergency we are experiencing could favor a historic, revolutionary change that many always superficially considered as crazy, but which could change our future for the better.”[62]

A “New World” Imposed by Law . . . or by Force!

Some firebrands want to precipitate this revolutionary change in a violent way. For example, congressman Guillaume Larrivée, from the center-right party Les Républicains (of former President Sarkozy), wrote a column in the newspaper L’Opinion. He speculated that, in France, “the brutality of the economic and financial outbreak would fuel a social revolt based on a fertile ground of concerns and demands already very much alive (as shown by ‘yellow vest protesters’ and the challenge to retirement reform in the last two years). That would reopen the wounds of class and generational struggle, as well as territorial disputes in the ‘French archipelago,’ kindling fiery riots.” The French parliamentarian concludes: “I write without exaggeration: France would then be on the way to civil war.”[63]

A report by the Central Territorial Intelligence Service (the French equivalent of the FBI) confirmed the French congressman’s pessimistic prediction. It warned of a risk of social upheaval at the end of the lockdown. “Confinement prevents manifestations of popular discontent, but the anger does not diminish, and the highly criticized crisis management fuels the protests,” says the report. Intelligence officers fear the creation of “fight committees”  in urban peripheries and action by sectors of the extreme left to foster a “transversality of the struggles”  [spreading them across the population].[64]

Indeed, disturbances have already started. “A non-exhaustive list of episodes of urban violence recorded between April 12 and April 19 includes Le Havre, Évreux, Bordeaux, Villiers-sur-Marne, Mantes-la-Jolie, Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Villeneuve-la-Garenne, La Courneuve, Trappes, Grigny,” informs Le Figaro. “Ambushes are methodically prepared . . . with the storage of projectiles, mortars, and barricades to make the ‘buzz’ on social media. They observe the reactivity of the police and the mobilized personnel. The objective is clear: To assert that this is their territory and that they control it, a veteran police officer from a “sensitive sector” explains to the newspaper. The police have only one certainty: At the slightest incident, immediately denounced as a “police abuse,” riots erupt, with multiple calls for reprisals on social networks, the Parisian newspaper adds.[65]

The situation could evolve rapidly from some early protests with controllable violence such as last year’s “yellow vest” protests to massive and uncontrollable ones such as those in Santiago, Valparaíso, and other Chilean cities. These forced the government to yield to leftist pressure and to start a process that could result in the adoption of a Bolivarian-style constitution by a country that until recently boasted the highest per capita income in Latin America.

 A Transitory “Window of Opportunity” That the Organizers of the “New World” do not Want to Miss

If this scenario worsens, the disturbances will serve as an argument to accelerate programs to socialize the economy through legal means. In any case, the three ideological currents mentioned above—ecologism, globalism, and radical left—are unanimous in affirming categorically: “Nothing will ever be the same again.”

From where do the representatives of ideological currents with hitherto fringe importance at the ballot box derive so much self-assurance? Perhaps it stems from hopes that they will overcome their ongoing differences. Above all, though, they know they can rely on two factors that completely open up for them an unexpected “window of opportunity”: The population’s fear of the worsening or eventual second wave of the pandemic, and the moral support that Pope Francis has been giving to their agendas.

Panic Fueled by WHO, Governments, the Media, and Religious Authorities

In an online lecture, historian Roberto de Mattei recalled that contagion can be both a physical and psychological phenomenon. He recalled Gustave Le Bon, who wrote The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. “The modern theory of contagion, which was inspired by Le Bon, explains how protected by the anonymity of a crowd the most calm individual can become aggressive, acting at the suggestion of others or in imitation of them. Panic is one of those feelings that is spread by social contagion, as happened during the French Revolution in the period called the Great Fear [‘Grande Peur’].”[66]

Jacques Attali, an advisor to all French presidents on both the left and right, from Mitterrand to Macron, seems to have understood very well the use of panic as a weapon to promote a political agenda such as laying the foundations for global governance. Shortly after the first alarms caused by the H1N1 virus, he wrote a May 3, 2009 article in the weekly L’Express. He stated: “History teaches us that humanity does not evolve significantly until it is truly afraid: it implements defense mechanisms sometimes intolerable (scapegoats and totalitarianisms); sometimes useful (distractions); sometimes effective (therapies, setting aside, if necessary, all previous moral principles). Then, after the crisis has passed, it transforms these mechanisms to make them compatible with individual freedom and inserts them into a democratic health policy. This beginning pandemic could boost one of those structuring fears.”

The Élysée Palace’s gray eminence imagined several scenarios for the epidemic and added that, better than any “humanitarian or ecological narrative,” all of them could serve to “raise awareness of the need for altruism, at least in self-interest.” And that, in any case, it would be necessary to “establish a world police, world stocks and, therefore, worldwide inspection. That way, one would arrive much faster than mere economic convenience would allow, to lay the foundations of a true world government.” And he concluded: “Besides, it was through the hospital that seventeenth-century France began to establish a true State.”[67]

At the moment, no data allows us to affirm that this plan is being implemented. But one thing is certain: Several factors have contributed to spreading panic and, whether willing or not, international and national public health organizations have lent themselves to amplify it.

Yahoo!Life reported on its interview with Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, the person responsible for patient safety at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “‘We throw around the word pandemic—that terrifies people,’ he says, noting the word can bring up the terrible historical pandemics such as the bubonic plague and smallpox. ‘But really all we mean by that word is something that’s spreading across a large geographic area in a short amount of time. But it doesn’t necessarily indicate the virulence and deadliness of it. I think people think it’s like the movie Outbreak(***).’”[68]

(***)The film “Outbreak” was a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It tells the story of a new virus that the American government kept secret for many years for eventual use as a biological weapon.

The doctor further explained that another factor that may be contributing to increasing the panic about the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere is that it occurred at the end of winter and shares similar symptoms with those of the seasonal flu. Many people affected by the latter thought they had contracted the coronavirus.

Interviewed by the Belgian daily L’Echo, the French agnostic philosopher André Comte-Sponville gave other reasons worth mentioning. He was asked why societies today are acting so differently from half a century ago when the Hong Kong flu killed some one million people. There was a general indifference to the death toll back then. He replied:

The so-called ‘Asian’ flu of 1957–1958 had caused even more [deaths], and everyone forgot about it. Why this difference in treatment? I see three main reasons for this. First, globalization in its media aspect: We are informed in real-time of everything that is happening in the world. For example, every day, of the number of deaths in China or the United States, Italy, or Belgium. . . . Then, there is the novelty and the “cognitive bias”  it causes: COVID-19 is a new disease, which, for this reason, causes even more worries and surprises. Finally, we try to ignore death, and it becomes even more unacceptable when we are reminded of it.[69]

The media turbocharged these psychological factors of propensity to fear. Under the pretext of inciting the population to observe the preventive safeguards suggested by the authorities, media outlets contributed to the panic through nonstop reporting with apocalyptic tones.

A striking example of this tendency to exaggerate is an April 4 BBC report titled “Coronavirus: Five-year-old Among Latest UK Victims,” with daily information provided by the Ministry of Health. While the title highlights something that would fit in a single line of this report, which carries all kinds of news, the fact that the latter acknowledges that the girl suffered from an “underlying health condition” shows the title’s alarmist bias.[70]

Le Figaro’s columnist Renaud Girard denounced the tortuous nature of that news item: “While factually correct, the BBC article unconsciously feeds the collective psychosis by passing on this subliminal message: Even children die [from COVID-19]. Now, the statistical data shows just the opposite: The virus is almost harmless for children. Later, sociologists will have to carefully analyze the role that the media played in the emergence of a worldwide psychosis in the face of a less lethal disease.”[71]

Religious authorities, in particular the Catholic hierarchy, was another social group that contributed to the mass hysteria. In applying restrictive measures, they often anticipated civil authorities or went beyond what these required. The worst possible example came from the Vicar of Rome, the center of Catholicism. After consulting Pope Francis, he closed all churches. “Access to the parish and non-parish churches of the Diocese of Rome open to the public, and to church buildings of any kind open to the public, is denied to all the faithful,”  decreed Angelo Cardinal De Donatis.[72]  He had to reverse the order two days later, given the faithful’s anger. However, being deprived of the sacraments and spiritual consolation that prayer provides in the interior of a church could only increase anguish in the face of the epidemic and, indirectly, induce panic.

Aware of this, when the government first imposed restrictions, and some French bishops went further than the authorities by forbidding the celebration of masses and the administration of the sacraments, the Bishop of Bellay-Ars, Most Rev. Pascal Roland, broke ranks with them. He published a note titled “Coronavirus Epidemic or Epidemic of Fear?” In it, he stated that “more than the coronavirus epidemic, we should fear the epidemic of fear,” and that he refused to “give in to collective panic and submit to the precautionary principle that seems to move civil institutions.” For the fearless prelate, “the collective panic that we are witnessing today” was revealing of our “falsified relationship with the reality of death” and the “anxiety-generating effects of the loss of God.” And he asked: “Why should we suddenly focus our attention solely on the coronavirus? Why forget that every year, the seasonal, banal flu affects between two and six million patients in France and causes approximately 8,000 deaths?” The bishop concluded with an appeal: “So, let us not give in to the fear epidemic! Let us not be living-dead!”[73]

This communiqué, which in hindsight appears so realistic and clear-sighted, became a casualty to fear (and pressure from single issue-obsessed media). It was removed from the diocesan website.

Panic Has Led the Population to Submit to the Authorities’ Stay at Home Orders Voluntarily

In Brazil and some parts of the United States, people have taken to the streets to protest stay at home orders. In Europe, however, panic has so far led the population to take a submissive attitude to the severe restrictions on freedom of movement imposed by the authorities.

In France, a rebellious country usually, the day after the announcement of the stay at home order issued by President Emmanuel Macron, 96% of those consulted approved of them, and 85% regretted they were not imposed earlier! Those were poll results despite the population’s perfect awareness of the financial cost inherent to compliance.[74] The same is true in Spain, where a poll requested by El País revealed that only 21.9 percent believed that “we should make the stay at home order more flexible to reactivate the economy as soon as possible, even if this means a greater spread of the coronavirus.”  In comparison, 59.3 percent of those polled maintained that “the stay at home order should be maintained as long as possible, even if this means greater economic fallout and more unemployment.”[75]  In their opinion, the impact on the economy would be negative and lasting worldwide (61.1%), for Spain (69.7%), and the individual families of those surveyed (31%).

Under the headline “In Rich Countries, Health Remains the Priority,”  Le Figaro reported: “[A]ccording to a Kantar survey conducted between April 9 and 13 in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, 37 percent of the population lost part of their income, and 16 percent had it cut in half. However, a large majority of those polled continue to approve the costly measures adopted to fight the virus.” [76]

Even more serious, panic favors the population’s likely acceptance of the blackmail being proposed to it to lift the stay at home order: Submit to government control through smartphone apps that will report if individuals have been in contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus.

A survey conducted in France by a team from the Oxford University School of Economics revealed that about 80% of the people questioned (1,000 smartphone owners) would undoubtedly or probably install such an app if available. Most would even agree that telephone companies automatically install the app on their customers’ smartphones (with an option for customer uninstalling), and two-thirds of those questioned said they would probably or undoubtedly retain the vendor-installed app.

Approval for this blackmail (controlled “freedom of movement”) is such that up to 40% of the interviewees would have a more favorable opinion of the Macron government if this instrument of state surveillance were made available to them! Survey agents report that these results are broadly similar to those obtained in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.[77]

The “Stockholm Syndrome” on a Planetary Scale—Collective Diabolic Infestation?

The old ‘carrot and stick’ strategy is yielding results that would have been unimaginable just a few months ago. Suffice it to look at the panic caused by SARS-CoV-2 and people’s sense of security at their governments’ assurances that they will open the taps of public funding to secure individual incomes and keep companies solvent.

“What is happening, at this moment, is a strengthening of the State as a protective force for citizens,” suggests Isto é in its above-cited article. Its title is expressive: “The New World Order: The State Is Once Again the Great Protective Force, and the Only One Capable of Creating a Robust System to Provide Security for the Citizen, Guaranteeing Health, Education, and Encouraging Scientific Research.”[78]

Naivete goes so far as to apathetically accept a narrative of China’s communist rulers presenting the regime as a model of success in controlling the pandemic that resulted from their own irresponsible, if not criminal attitudes. For example, no one reacted when the UN-issued UN News bulletin reported in its March 16 issue: “China shows COVID-19 Coronavirus can be ‘stopped in its tracks.’” It quotes WHO’s representative in that country: “This lesson in containment, therefore, is a lesson that other countries can learn from and adapt for their own circumstances.”[79] Now, everyone knows that in China, the population is subjected to official social control policies through facial recognition and population rating programs, leading to prizes and punishments.

Only three months ago, the West’s masses were inebriated with the values of emancipation, autonomy, and individualism. Today they accept the prospect of Chinese communist-style control of their lives with the passivity of lambs being led to the slaughterhouse reveals that they were victims of an ideological transshipment unprecedented in human history. Their natural reaction should be that of the philosopher Comte-Sponville in the interview above: “A stay at home order is the greatest restriction of freedom that I’ve experienced, and like everyone else, I’m in a hurry to get out of it. In the long run, there is not even a question of sacrificing freedom for the sake of health. I’d rather catch COVID-19 in a free country than be spared from it in a totalitarian state!”[80]

What radical ecologists, green parties, and the handlers of Greta Thunberg have achieved only partially (based on apocalyptic projections of consequences of the much-trumpeted and supposedly man-made global warming), the coronavirus panic plus protective nanny songs from governments “on the warpath” against the pandemic obtained after less than two months of widespread stay at home orders. As Isto é aptly put it, that “makes people experience a kind of house arrest not yet experienced in contemporary societies.”[81]

That would be the Stockholm Syndrome on a global scale, whereby a kidnapped victim develops a relationship of complicity and a strong emotional bond with his or her kidnapper.[82] The proof is that, although they are ruining their economies through reckless stay at home orders, European leaders’ approval ratings have surged: Kurz, Austria (+ 33%), Conte, Italy (+27%), Johnson, UK (+ 20%), Merkel, Germany (+11%), and Macron, France (+ 11%).[83]

Faced with the dazzling, profound, and universal result obtained by this psychological manipulation of the masses, a Catholic observer must ask himself if it was not accompanied by a collective preternatural infestation. In 1959, Msgr. Léon Cristiani raised an analogous hypothesis concerning Chinese and Russian communism, in his book, Evidence of Satan in the Modern World. For the author, China manifested symptoms of diabolical possession. On the other hand, he thought Russia was the victim of preternatural infestation “only.” However, he also believed that the West was under the influence of the Evil One.[84] Is the increase of this influence not one of the factors in the current passivity of world opinion, faced as it is with the possibility of a dictatorship? A dictatorship that is at first health-oriented, but which then becomes ecological and socialist, and finally, atheist?

A Forewarning Essay by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on Unperceived Ideological Transshipment

However dominant may be the role the preternatural factor plays in this passivity, it largely resulted from fear, leading the population to accept restrictions they would normally reject.

The best study on such mass manipulations—not from a preternatural,  but a psychological and ideological perspective—is undoubtedly Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s essay Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue, the Latest Communist Ploy to Conquer World Opinion, published in the magazine Catolicismo (nos. 178–179, Oct.–Nov. 1965).[85]

In this work, the illustrious author describes the process to favorably predispose and transform people who resist explicit communist preaching into useful innocents. This is accomplished by acting implicitly upon their mentalities. That happens without patients realizing that they are suffering a psychological manipulation.

Two factors made the Western mindset especially vulnerable: fear and sympathy for communism. Although seemingly contradictory, both acted simultaneously and in tandem, initially predisposing the patient to an attitude of resigned inertia in the face of the communist advance. Later, that would turn into a favorable expectation and reach its final stage with the transformation of the victim into a convinced follower.

For example, some Latin American Catholics engaged in Catholic Action underwent a process of ideological transshipment. They ended up adhering to Liberation Theology, and later became militants of radical left groups advocating violent action.

The method—the Brazilian intellectual explains—presupposes finding a point of strong impressionability, for example, “a disaster like famine or disease.” At the same time, it is necessary to find a point of apathy that is symmetrical to the point of impressionability.

In our coronavirus case, the reader should take note of this paradox: Many of those who now uphold as a supreme value the lives of the elderly threatened by the virus are the same ones who until recently claimed the right of these same older people to euthanasia. Moreover, they advocate allowing women under shelter-in-place orders to abort at home, without restrictions, even if in the third trimester.

Another example of a point of apathy, Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira writes, would be “insensitivity to the fact that, if one should do everything possible against hunger and sickness—considered here as social evils—in no way should one try to do the impossible, the utopian, since this would only sooner or later aggravate the very same evils one desires to vanquish.”

With prophetic words, the author warns that it is necessary to apply solutions “with redoubled concern to prevent the natural delay of the cure from being added to the censurable slowdown resulting from our negligence. But one must frequently give up the impatient desire for immediate results. This desire, in effect, exposes us to the risk of preferring, rather than authentic solutions, the violent panaceas extolled by demagogy and effective only in appearance.”

All of this would seem to have been written yesterday about the coronavirus overreaction, rather than in 1965.

The Role of “Talismanic Words” and How to Exorcise Them

Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira continues. Having achieved this single issue fixation in the patient’s mind, the process handlers must then choose some “talisman words.” These must have a legitimate but artfully manipulated meaning that can evoke a constellation of emotions, sympathies, and phobias that the media can easily exploit and are likely to become strongly radicalized.

Here are some words currently employed and relentlessly repeated by the media: “shared responsibility,” “global solidarity,” “cooperative response,” “global strategy,” “inclusive protection,” “universal basic income,” “ecological conversion,” “common home,” and so on.

Gripped by the fascination of the “talismanic word,” patients “quickly accept as supreme and ardently professed ideals, the successively more radical meanings that it assumes.” The author illustrates his point with the word “dialogue.” He deemed it responsible for all of the Catholic Church’s surrenders in the face of the errors of the modern world. Yesterday, it was the dialogue with communism. Today, it is a dialogue with radical ecology, efforts to implement a secular world governance, and the radical left’s “another world is possible.”

Will the ongoing gigantic operation of social engineering and ideological transshipment succeed? If this process is based on the fear-sympathy syndrome, it is undeniable that the people’s panic of SARS-CoV-2, plus the illusory comfort and sympathy that many of them draw from government promises of health and financial protection are likely to raise leftist strategists’ hopes. Hopes of what? That they will be successful in leading millions to accept a “new world.” It would be a supposedly less frantic and selfish new world, one that shows more solidarity, is closer to nature, but, above all, one that is more controlled by an ecological-socialist Big Brother.

However, that leftist victory is avoidable. Even as their plan is underway, one can pierce it like a balloon simply by “exorcizing” the talismanic words. This is done through analysis, explaining their meanings, and thus disturbing their victims’ emotional enjoyment of the illegitimate meanings.

“[T]o ‘exorcise’ the talismanic word and incapacitate its magic effect,” the Brazilian professor explains, “one must, first of all, discover the myth incubated in its many meanings and compare its most applauded and radiating  meanings with its natural and common meaning to discover “the content of this word hidden in its mythical and radical meanings.” Whoever makes explicit and unmasks the hidden myth “will provide the patients of unperceived ideological transshipment with sufficient means to open their eyes to the action worked on them, see where they are being led, and defend themselves against it.”

One of the greatest difficulties faced by those wishing to carry out this enlightening and salvific work in the Catholic sphere is that Pope Francis and the Vatican are serving as fellow travelers for the promoters of the ongoing ideological transshipment.

The Role of the Religious Factor in the Process of Ideological Transshipment Toward the “New World”

In the current maneuver, there are two factors. First, the COVID-19 panic, and then, the “sympathy” factor, a romantic aspiration to leave the stress and individualism of the modern world and return to one more “respectful of nature,” more “open” and “supportive,” in which the luxury standards of industrialized “bourgeois” societies give way to the simplicity and frugality of the working class.

In fact, in a society as materialistic and hedonistic as ours, such change would be very transitory if driven only by panic, as Jacques Attali said in the above-cited text. However, popular resignation would be permanent and more profound if it considered the change as a spiritual improvement, not just something deemed inevitable to which one must resign oneself.

A minority of the population—the more “modern” and “advanced” parts of the middle and upper bourgeoisie that frequent “champagne socialist” circles could find such motivation in Eastern religions, yoga, vegetarianism, etc. But the sensible majority of the population needs to hear the voice of great religious leaders. In a mostly Catholic West, none can be better than the pope’s. All the more so if it is packaged as an echo of the “Poor Man of Assisi.”

Unfortunately, it is the game that Pope Francis is playing with his repeated calls in favor of integral ecology, a new globalization model, and “popular movements” as the leaven of future society.

Unfortunately, with his repeated calls for integral ecology, a new model of globalization, and “popular movements” as the leaven of future society, that is the game to which Pope Francis is lending himself.

Pope Francis Calls for “Ecological Conversion”

In fact, since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, Pope Francis has missed no opportunity to support these three ideological currents.

On Sunday, March 22, the pontiff of Laudato Si gave a video interview to Spanish journalist Jordi Évole on his television program on the La Sexta channel. Asked if the coronavirus crisis was “a revenge of nature,” Francis replied that nature never forgives and that it “is kicking us so we can take care of it.”[86]

Two weeks later, the pope returned to the charge. In an interview with his biographer, Austen Ivereigh, published in The Tablet, the pontiff praised the governments that implemented “exemplary” stay at home measures. Asked if the economic devastation caused by the crisis was a chance for an ecological conversion, he repeated that “nature never forgives,” and added: “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. . . . I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s response.” Later on, he added: “You ask me about conversion. Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out of the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption (Laudato Si, no. 191) and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.”[87]

At the General Audience of April 22—the UN’s International Mother Earth Day—the Pope declared: “As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst . . . Because of our selfishness we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth . . .  We have polluted it, we have despoiled it, endangering our very lives. . . . We have sinned against the earth, against our neighbours, and ultimately against the Creator. . . . We need an ecological conversion that can find expression in concrete actions.”

Pope Francis took the occasion to note that “various international and local movements have sprung up in order to appeal to our consciences” (notably the one led by figurehead by figurehead Greta Thunberg) and added, “It will be necessary for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us.”

Echoing the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, he added: “Today, as we celebrate World Earth Day, we are called to rediscover the sense of sacred respect for the earth, because it is not only our home but also God’s home. This gives rise in us to the awareness that we are on a sacred earth!”

Earlier in the address, he repeated that the coronavirus is a response of nature: “We have sinned against the earth, against our neighbors, and ultimately against the Creator, the benevolent Father who provides for everyone, and desires us to live in communion and flourish together. And how does the earth react? There is a Spanish saying that is very clear about this. It goes: ‘God always forgives; we humans sometimes forgive, and sometimes not; the earth never forgives.’ The earth does not forgive: if we have despoiled the earth, its response will be very ugly.”[88]

This idea of nature’s revenge had already been put forward by Fr. Benedict Mayaki, who published an article in Vatican News titled “Coronavirus: Earth’s Unlikely Ally.” In it, the African Jesuit stated that “we have never treated our Common Home as badly as in the last two hundred years.” Still, this epidemic “has an unintended benefit: the Earth is healing itself” since “changes in human behavior due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic are bringing unintended benefits to the planet.”[89] Because of outraged protests from readers, the Vatican’s media website withdrew the article an hour later.

However, Leonardo Boff was the one who first raised this hypothesis. In an article titled “Coronavirus: A Reprisal from Gaia, Mother Earth?” he stated:

I estimate that current diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, SARS, ebola, measles, the ongoing coronavirus and the widespread degradation in human relationships, marked by profound inequality/social injustice and the lack of minimal solidarity, are a reprisal from Gaia for the offenses that we continuously inflict on her. I would not say, like J. Lovelock, that it is ‘the revenge of Gaia,’ since she as Great Mother does not take revenge but gives us severe signs that she is sick (typhoons, melting polar ice caps, droughts, and floods, etc.) and, at the limit, she sends us a reprisal like the referred-to diseases because we do not learn the lesson.[90]

The Vatican Aligns Itself With the Promoters of Global Governance

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, both headed by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, an Argentine prelate very close to Pope Francis, issued a significant statement on the Vatican’s support for plans to globalize the response to the crisis.

The March 20 statement calls on people to fully support the propaganda of international organizations such as WHO and UNICEF, so that “their scientific evidence-based information can rise above the cacophony of unproven assumptions spreading all over the world.” It goes on to express concern about the “selfishness and shortsightedness of uncoordinated national responses.”

In the section titled “Shaping global interdependencies and help across and within nations,” the statement finds that “globalism has made the world unprecedentedly interdependent—and thus vulnerable . . . during crises.” But, it adds, “seeking protection through isolationism would be misguided and counterproductive,” whereas “A trend worth backing would be a strong demand for greater global cooperation,” and the support for international organizations. “Global problems such as pandemics or the less visible crises of global climate change and biodiversity loss demand global cooperative responses,”  says the document, insisting that “ global crises demand collective action”  and that “The prevention and containment of pandemics is a global public good (Laudato Si‘) and protecting it requires increased global coordination.”

It concludes by asserting that, “ At a time when rule-based multilateralism is declining, the COVID-19  crisis should encourage efforts to bring about a new—in the sense of different—globalization model aimed at inclusive protection of all.” This, in a “more responsible, more sharing, more equalitarian, more caring and fairer society. . . if we are to survive.”[91]

Bill Gates, Antônio Guterres, and Gordon Brown, great promoters of a new world order under the UN aegis, would have no difficulty subscribing to this declaration by the two Vatican Academies, which includes no mention of God.

Along the same lines is a  statement of which the Osservatore Romano published a summary. Issued by the Academy of Catholic Leaders, an entity born in Chile and present in several countries in Latin America, it was signed by 170 individuals, including Italian philosopher Rocco Butiglione and the Uruguayan Guzmán Carriquiry, vice president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.[92] In it, the self-described Catholic leaders affirm, in a Bolivarian tone that would have pleased Hugo Chavez, that “if problems are common, it is necessary to think about common solutions and initiatives. Either we die alone as nations, or we advance as all nations together as members of the same Great Fatherland: Latin America.

He continues: “If we choose the path of exacerbated nationalism, our countries are bound to plunge into chaos, populism, and authoritarianism. But if we choose the path of the Great Fatherland precisely as most of our countries celebrate the Bicentennial of their processes of independence, it will be an opportunity to re-found a new social pact based on solidarity and fraternity.” They repeat the leftist mantra of universal basic income, even if for a limited time: “We support the need for a temporary basic income that guarantees a life above the poverty line.” And, obviously enough, they imperatively conclude that “all governments in Latin America must make a formal and rigorous commitment to the instructions issued by the Pan American Health Organization during the pandemic.”[93]

Pope Francis to the Extreme Left: “I’m Available to Lend a Hand”

Pope Francis’s support for the postulates of the radical left, of which he has become the undisputed international leader,[94] was evident in letters he wrote to Luca Casarini and, on Easter Sunday, to Popular Movements.

Casarini was the leader of the “No-Global” protests that destroyed Genoa during the G8 meeting of July 2001. He is currently the regional secretary for the Sinistra Italiana (Italian Left) party and responsible for the organization Mediterranea— Saving Humans, which advocates admitting illegal immigrants into Italy. However, because of the pandemic, the Union’s borders are closed even for Europeans from the Schengen Area. On April 11, it was reported that Pope Francis sent Casarini a handwritten note in which he thanks “Dear Brother” for “his testimony, which has done me so much good.” And he concludes: “I want to tell you that I’m always available to lend a hand. Count on me.”[95]

Even more eloquent was his letter addressed on Easter Sunday to “dear friends” of “popular movements and organizations” around the world. In it, Pope Francis points out that “This may be the time to consider a universal basic income[96] which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out.”

The pope added, “If the fight against the coronavirus is a war, you are a true invisible army that fights in the most dangerous trenches.” “An army with no other weapon than solidarity, hope, and the sense of community that grows green these days when no one is saved alone.”

In a vague nod to the ecological and self-managing utopias of popular movements (such as Brazil’s MST or Argentina’s cartoneros), the pope expresses his hope that “governments understand that technocratic paradigms (whether State- or market-centric)  are not enough to address this crisis or the other major problems of humanity.” Because, he continues, “now more than ever, it is persons, communities, peoples who must be at the center, united to heal, care, share.” He goes on to say that popular movements “have an authoritative voice to testify” that change is possible, and asks them to “continue the struggle.”[97]

For its part, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development presided over by Peter Cardinal Turkson—in collaboration with two other agencies of the Holy See and notably the two Academies headed by Bishop Sánchez Sorondo—created five working groups to prepare for the aftermath of COVID-19. The second group “has the task of the night watch, like the sentry, to perceive the dawn,” the Ghanaian cardinal says. “To do this, it is necessary to connect the best minds in the areas of ecology, economy, health, and public security;” we “need prophecy, and creativity. We need to go above and beyond.”

Crises may follow one after the other, “in a cycle in which we will be forced to learn slowly and painfully [to] take care of our common home, as Pope Francis so prophetically teaches in the Encyclical Laudato Si. There is a need for courage, for prophecy.” Because “inhabiting the Earth as a common home requires much more. It requires solidarity in accessing the goods of creation as a ‘common good,’ and solidarity in applying the fruits of research and technology to make our ‘Home’ healthier and more livable for all,” concluded Cardinal Turkson, with a language close to that of green parties and the radical left.[98]

If This Worldwide Maneuver Succeeds, God’s Punishment Is Inevitable—but Our Lady Will Triumph!

The ideological transshipment that Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira denounced in 1965 was highly successful within the Catholic Church. The manipulation of the talismanic word “dialogue” led many sectors of the clergy and part of the laity to sympathize with socialism and communism. What were the results? Ill-fated liberation theology and the heterodox forms of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue informing the Declaration of Abu Dhabi, among others. But the maneuver failed on the political plane, because the Europeans did not allow themselves to be duped by a “Eurocommunism” with a human face, nor did Latin Americans fall for “Christian socialism.” The internal crisis behind the Iron Curtain and the arms race led to the collapse of the USSR and the recycling of communism into cultural neo-Marxism.

This ideological transshipment maneuver might be more successful in the current situation, characterized by panic. If that happens, even temporarily, an ecological and socialist “new world order” (either centralized or self-managing) could be imposed on humanity with the Vatican’s blessings.

In that case, humanity would undoubtedly deserve a great punishment whose preamble would have been the current pandemic. Some high-ranking prelates have come out strongly against the opinion that the coronavirus crisis is the hand of Divine Providence punishing the world for today’s immense sins—procured abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and civil unions, blasphemies of all kinds. These ecclesiastics claim that God could not indiscriminately punish both the just and sinners as COVID-19 does.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira answers this objection in a footnote of his work, Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue. All the reader needs to do is to replace the term “thermonuclear catastrophe” with  “pandemic,” “economic ruin,” or “ecological and socialist new world order” and he will have an updated version of this warning by the Brazilian Catholic leader.

After affirming that accepting the establishment of communism around the world to save peace (accepting the “new world order” to prevent COVID-19, we would say) would be a serious violation of the Law of God, the illustrious author writes:

This supreme sin, precisely on being committed by nations and not only by individuals, is subject to Divine Justice in a very special way.

Indeed, while the sins of individuals can be punished in this world or the next, it is not that way with the sins of nations. As St. Augustine says, since nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next life, they are rewarded for their good actions and punished for their bad actions here on earth.

Thus, in terms of justice, to a supreme sin of countries corresponds a supreme punishment in this world. And this could well be a thermonuclear catastrophe.

There is more danger of such a catastrophe in apostasy than fidelity.

This affirmation will be even better proven if we consider not only the punishment but also the reward. Nations faithful to the Law of God should receive just recompense on this earth. Nothing then is more suitable to attract the protection and favor of God to a nation, even regarding the goods of this life, than heroic fidelity in the face of a thermo-nuclear danger. This fidelity is the means par excellence to drive this danger away.

To steer clear of a well-deserved punishment from Divine Justice through new and even more lethal waves of SARS-CoV-2, let us avoid being dominated by panic and the greatest operation of unperceived ideological transshipment in history, even though this maneuver enjoys Vatican support.

Indeed, we must stand fast and refuse the “new world order” that the sirens of ecologism, globalism, and neo-socialism are offering us. We will thus remain faithful to the Law of God and the Divine Master’s counsel: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

It is this fidelity that will help advance the fulfillment of the great promise that Our Lady of Fatima made to the world at the Cova da Iria:

“Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute


[1] Alberto Rossi, “Coronavirus, l’allarme delle esperti: “Un terzo del mondo sarà contagiato. Milioni i morti,” Teleclubitalia.it, Feb. 17, 2020, https://www.teleclubitalia.it/185547/coronavirus-lallarme-delle-esperti-un-terzo-del-mondo-sara-contagiato-milioni-i-morti/.

[2] Francesco Sisci, “Scenario Coronavirus/ L’Italia non è la Cina, ma deve cambiare passo: con la Nato,” Mar. 9, 2020, https://www.ilsussidiario.net/news/scenario-coronavirus-litalia-non-e-la-cina-ma-deve-cambiare-passo-con-la-nato/1994403/.

[3] Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, “Report 9: Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to Reduce COVID-19 Mortality and Healthcare Demand,” Imperial.ac.uk, 3, Mar. 16, 2020, https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf.

[4] See Douglas Jordan, Terrence Tumpey, and Barbara Jester, “The Deadliest Flu: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus,” CDC.gov, accessed Apr. 27, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/reconstruction-1918-virus.html.

[5] Neil Ferguson, Twitter, accessed Apr. 26, 2020, https://twitter.com/neil_ferguson/status/1241835454707699713.

[6] See Benny Peiser and Andrew Montford, “Coronavirus Lessons From the Asteroid That Didn’t Hit Earth,” The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 1, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-lessons-from-the-asteroid-that-didnt-hit-earth-11585780465.

[7] See Matt Stieb, “Oxford Model: Coronavirus May Have Already Infected Half of U.K. Population,” New York Intelligencer, Mar. 24, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/oxford-study-coronavirus-may-have-infected-half-of-u-k.html.

[8] Thomas Wider, “Coronavirus : une étude dans le principal foyer de l’épidémie en Allemagne revoit le taux de mortalité à la baisse,” Le Monde, Apr. 10, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/04/10/coronavirus-une-etude-allemande-revoit-a-la-baisse-le-taux-de-mortalite_6036206_3244.html.

[9] See Anna Otte, Anthony C. Marriott, Carola Dreier, et al. “Evolution of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Viruses During the Pandemic Correlates With Increased Viral Pathogenicity and Transmissibility in the Ferret Model,” Nature, Jun. 24, 2016, https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28583.

[10] “Coronavirus, il quadro clinico dei deceduti in Italia,” Tg24.Sky.it, Mar. 6, 2020, https://tg24.sky.it/salute-e-benessere/2020/03/06/coronavirus-deceduti-italia.html.

[11] Chiara Lanari, “Coronavirus, drammatiche previsioni Istat: rischio shock economico,” Investireoggi, Apr. 8, 2020, https://www.investireoggi.it/economia/coronavirus-drammatiche-previsioni-istat-rischio-shock-economico/.

[12] Bruno Perini, “COVID-19: depressione economica, c’è chi sente già l’odore,” SenzaFiltro, Apr. 8, 2020, https://www.informazionesenzafiltro.it/covid-19-depressione-economica-ce-chi-sente-gia-lodore/.

[13] Gustavo Boni, “La crisi del coronavirus: che ne sarà di noi?” Osservatorioglobalizzazione.it, Apr. 6, 2020, http://osservatorioglobalizzazione.it/dossier/coronavirus-sfide-e-scenari/la-crisi-del-coronavirus-che-ne-sara-di-noi/.

[14] Perini, “Depressione economica,” https://www.informazionesenzafiltro.it/covid-19-depressione-economica-ce-chi-sente-gia-lodore/.

[15] Paolo Baroni, “Coronavirus “choc epocale”: in Italia a rischio 1 milione di imprese,” La Stampa, Apr. 7, 2020, https://www.lastampa.it/economia/lavoro/2020/04/07/news/coronavirus-choc-epocale-in-italia-a-rischio-1-milione-di-imprese-1.38689190.

[16] Lanari, “Rischio shock economico,”https://www.investireoggi.it/economia/coronavirus-drammatiche-previsioni-istat-rischio-shock-economico/.

[17] Marc Vignaud, “Coronavirus : l’activité chute de 36 % en France,” Le Point, Apr. 9, 2020, https://www.lepoint.fr/economie/coronavirus-l-activite-chute-de-36-en-france-09-04-2020-2370770_28.php#.

[18] Nicolas Baverez, “‘Le déconfinement, une urgence nationale,’” Le Figaro, Apr. 19, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/societe/nicolas-baverez-le-deconfinement-une-urgence-nationale-20200419.

[19] Océane Herrero, “9,6 millions de salariés du privé sont au chômage partiel, annonce Muriel Pénicaud,” Le Figaro, Apr. 20, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/9-6-millions-de-salaries-du-prive-sont-au-chomage-partiel-annonce-muriel-penicaud-20200420.

[20] Audrey Tonnelier, “Les conséquences, par secteur économique, du confinement des Français,” Le Monde, Apr. 7, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2020/04/07/les-consequences-par-secteur-economique-du-confinement-des-francais_6035832_823448.html.

[21] “Coronavirus : l’impact économique de l’épidémie sera “considérable», prévient Philippe,” Le Parisien, Apr. 8, 2020, http://www.leparisien.fr/economie/coronavirus-l-impact-economique-de-l-epidemie-sera-considerable-previent-philippe-08-04-2020-8296404.php.

[22] “Le coronavirus provoque ‘les pires conséquences économiques’ depuis 1929, prévient le FMI,” L’Obs, Apr. 9, 2020, https://www.nouvelobs.com/coronavirus-de-wuhan/20200409.OBS27303/le-coronavirus-provoque-les-pires-consequences-economiques-depuis-1929-previent-le-fmi.html

[23] Julien Bouissou, “Coronavirus : le FMI prédit une récession mondiale historique, avec un recul de la croissance estimé à 3% en 2020,” Le Monde, Apr. 14, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2020/04/14/coronavirus-le-fmi-predit-une-recession-mondiale-historique-avec-un-recul-de-la-croissance-estime-a-3-en-2020_6036559_3234.html

[24] “COVID-19 and the world of work.”Second edition. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/briefingnote/wcms_740877.pdf.

[25] https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-iglo/newsroom/news/WCMS_740893/lang–en/index.htm

[26] Anne Cheyvialle, “Le Covid-19 provoque une envolée du chômage dans le monde,” Le Monde, Apr. 7, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/social/coronavirus-1-25-milliard-de-travailleurs-courent-un-risque-de-licenciement-ou-de-reduction-de-salaire-selon-l-oit-20200407.

[27] Pierre-Yves Dugua, “Le Covid-19 met à terre l’économie américaine,” Le Figaro, Apr. 16, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/le-covid-19-met-a-terre-l-economie-americaine-20200416.

[28] Sébastian Seibt, “Coronavirus: 500 millions de personnes menacées par la pauvreté, ‘aucun équivalent historique,’” France24.com, Apr. 9, 2020, https://www.france24.com/fr/20200409-coronavirus-500-millions-de-personnes-menac%C3%A9es-par-la-pauvret%C3%A9-aucun-%C3%A9quivalent-historique.

[29] Bouissou, “le FMI prédit une récession,” https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2020/04/14/coronavirus-le-fmi-predit-une-recession-mondiale-historique-avec-un-recul-de-la-croissance-estime-a-3-en-2020_6036559_3234.html.

[30] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Health Organization, “Poverty and Health,” [DAC Guidelines and Reference Series], WHO.int, 14, accessed Apr. 27, 2020, https://www.who.int/tobacco/research/economics/publications/oecd_dac_pov_health.pdf.

[31] “Global Hunger Could Double Due to COVID-19 Blow: U.N.,” Reuters, Apr. 21, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-un-food/global-hunger-could-double-due-to-covid-19-blow-u-n-idUSKBN22313U.

[32] Fiona Harvey, “Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Will Cause Famine of Biblical Proportions,’” The Guardian, Apr. 21, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/21/coronavirus-pandemic-will-cause-famine-of-biblical-proportions.

[33] See, for example, Peter-Philipp Schmitt, „Wir haben neue Symptome entdeckt“ Frankfurter Allgemeine, Mar. 6, 2020, https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/gesundheit/coronavirus/neue-corona-symptome-entdeckt-virologe-hendrik-streeck-zum-virus-16681450.html and Hugo Martin, “Para un prestigioso científico argentino, ‘el coronavirus no merece que el planeta esté en un estado de parate total,’” Infobae, Mar. 28, 2020, https://www.infobae.com/coronavirus/2020/03/28/para-un-prestigioso-cientifico-argentino-el-coronavirus-no-merece-que-el-planeta-este-en-un-estado-de-parate-total/.

[34] See Audrey Wison, “The Countries That Are Succeeding at Flattening the Curve,” Foreign Policy, Apr. 2, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/02/countries-succeeding-flattening-curve-coronavirus-testing-quarantine/.

[35] Stefano Magni, “Lockdown: gli italiani sono i più reclusi del mondo,” La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Apr. 15, 2020, https://lanuovabq.it/it/lockdown-gli-italiani-sono-i-piu-reclusi-del-mondo.

[36] The Editorial Board, “Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown,” The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 19, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/rethinking-the-coronavirus-shutdown-11584659154.

[37] https://istoe.com.br/a-nova-ordem-mundial/

[38] World Health Organization, “Guiding Principles for Immunization Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic, WHO.int, Mar. 26, 2020, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331590/WHO-2019-nCoV-immunization_services-2020.1-eng.pdf. (Emphasis in the original.)

[39] Javier Sampedro, “El dilema del diablo,” El País, Apr. 10, 2020, https://elpais.com/ciencia/2020-04-10/el-dilema-del-diablo.html

[40] Ibid.

[41] Julio Loredo, “Le grandi lezioni di un piccolo essere,” Associazione Tradizione Famiglia Proprietà, accessed Apr. 28, 2020, http://atfp.it/varie/1722-le-grandi-lezioni-di-un-piccolo-essere.

[42] John Gray, “Why This Crisis Is a Turning Point in History,” NewStatesman, Apr. 1, 2020, https://www.newstatesman.com/international/2020/04/why-crisis-turning-point-history.

[43] Paola Estrada, “Guerra ao imperialismo e ao coronavírus na América Latina,” MST, Apr. 10, 2020, https://mst.org.br/2020/04/10/guerra-ao-imperialismo-e-ao-coronavirus-na-america-latina/.

[44] François Gemenne and Anneliese Depoux, “‘De la crise du coronavirus, on peut tirer des leçons pour lutter contre le changement climatique,’” Le Monde, Mar. 18, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2020/03/18/de-la-crise-du-coronavirus-on-peut-tirer-des-lecons-pour-lutter-contre-le-changement-climatique_6033464_3232.html; see also Beth Gardiner, “Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change,” e360.Yale.edu, Mar. 23, 2020, https://e360.yale.edu/features/coronavirus-holds-key-lessons-on-how-to-fight-climate-change.

[45] Gemenne and Depoux, “‘De la crise du coronavirus,’”https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2020/03/18/de-la-crise-du-coronavirus-on-peut-tirer-des-lecons-pour-lutter-contre-le-changement-climatique_6033464_3232.html

[46] Blanca Ruibal, Luis Rico García-Amado, Mario Rodríguez, Asunción Ruiz, and Juan Carlos del Olmo, “Una reconstrucción económica por la salud del planeta y de las personas,” El País, Apr. 19, 2020, https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-04-19/una-reconstruccion-economica-por-la-salud-del-planeta-y-de-las-personas.html.

[47] Manuel Planelles, “Nace una gran alianza europea para defender una salida verde a la crisis económica del coronavirus,” El País, Apr. 14, 2020, https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-04-14/nace-una-gran-alianza-europea-para-defender-una-salida-verde-a-la-crisis-economica-del-corononavirus.html.

[48] Bill Gates, “Una estrategia mundial contra la Covid-19,” El País, Apr. 11, 2020, https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/04/11/opinion/1586600730_628755.html.

[49] Jeanne Smits, “Coronavirus: le rapport de l’ONU qui annonce la globalisation des solutions en vue d’une société ‘plus égalitaire et plus inclusive,’” Reinformation.TV, Apr. 9, 2020, https://reinformation.tv/coronavirus-rapport-onu-globalisation-smits-90558-2/; see also “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity:Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19,” UNSDG.UN.org, Mar. 2020, https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/SG-Report-Socio-Economic-Impact-of-Covid19.pdf.

[50] Larry Elliott, “Gordon Brown Calls for Global Government to Tackle Coronavirus,” The Guardian, Mar. 26, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/mar/26/gordon-brown-calls-for-global-government-to-tackle-coronavirus.

[51] Rafa de Miguel, “Gordon Brown: “No bastan las buenas palabras. Necesitamos un G20 con poderes ejecutivos que pase a la acción,” El País, Apr. 18, 2020, https://elpais.com/ideas/2020-04-18/no-bastan-las-buenas-palabras-necesitamos-un-g20-con-poderes-ejecutivos-que-pase-a-la-accion.html.

[52] “Declaração—III Reunião do Grupo de Puebla—Progressismo é Humanidade,” Grupo de Puebla, Apr. 10, 2020, https://pt.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/declaracion-final-encuentro-virtual-grupo-de-puebla.pdf.

[53] Naomi Klein, “Coronavirus Capitalism—And How to Beat It,” The Intercept, Mar. 16, 2020, https://theintercept.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-capitalism/.

[54] Nicola Mirenzi, “Il Virus Dell’Avvenire. Slavoj Zizek e il Bisogno di ‘un Nuovo Comunismo,’” HuffingtonPost.it, Apr. 8, 2020,  https://www.huffingtonpost.it/entry/il-virus-dellavvenire_it_5e8d7c80c5b6e1a2e0fc234d

[55] Isabel Acosta and Carmen Obregón, “Iglesias quiso aprovechar la alarma para nacionalizar eléctricas y hospitales,” El Economista, Mar. 16, 2020, 6, https://s03.s3c.es/pdf/f/a/fa5c6ca439283c3e816c577d39ad2f4a_superlunes.pdf.

[56] Michael Severance, “Reddito universale? Non bastano le buone intenzioni,” La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Apr. 22, 2020, https://lanuovabq.it/it/reddito-universale-non-bastano-le-buone-intenzioni.

[57] “Responder a la emergencia y evitar la dependencia,” Cope, Apr. 21, 2020, https://www.cope.es/actualidad/linea-editorial/noticias/responder-emergencia-evitar-dependencia-20200421_690206.

[58] See Mark Gilbert, “Helicopter Money,” Bloomberg.com, Aug. 30, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/helicopter-money.

[59] “Benoît Hamon: ‘Notre société s’est lourdement trompée en préférant les biens aux liens,’” Le Monde, Apr. 16, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2020/04/16/benoit-hamon-notre-societe-s-est-lourdement-trompee-en-preferant-les-biens-aux-liens_6036725_3232.html.

[60] “Why More Than 500 Political Figures and Academics Globally Have Called for Universal Basic Income in the Fight Against Coronavirus,” Independent, Mar. 18, 2020, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/coronavirus-universal-basic-income-ubi-poverty-economy-business-migrants-a9408846.html.

[61] Maurizio Milano, “L’errore del socialismo di guerra per uscire dall’epidemia,” La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Apr. 17, 2020, https://lanuovabq.it/it/lerrore-del-socialismo-di-guerra-per-uscire-dallepidemia.

[62] Beppe Grillo, “Reddito Universale: è arrivato il momento,” beppegrillo.it, Mar. 30, 2020, https://www.beppegrillo.it/reddito-universale-e-arrivato-il-momento/.

[63] Guillaume Larrivé, “ ‘Contre la guerre civile, pour l’union nationale.’ La Tribune de Guillaume Larrivé, l’Opinion, Apr. 11, 2020, https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/politique/contre-guerre-civile-l-union-nationale-tribune-guillaume-larrive-215915. (Our emphasis.)

[64] “Les services de renseignement s’inquiètent d’une radicalisation de la contestation sociale après le confinement,” Atlantico, Apr. 12, 2020, https://www.atlantico.fr/pepite/3588764/les-services-de-renseignement-s-inquietent-d-une-radicalisation-de-la-contestation-sociale-apres-le-confinement.

[65] Jean Chichizola, “Les violences contre la police se multiplient dans les cités,” Le Figaro, Apr. 19, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/les-violences-contre-la-police-se-multiplient-dans-les-cites-20200419.

[66] Roberto de Mattei, “New Scenarios in the Coronavirus Era,” Lepanto Foundation, Mar. 14, 2020, https://www.patreon.com/posts/new-scenarios-in-34876378, 9:01–9:35.

[67] Jacques Attali, “Changer, par Précaution,” Attali.com, May 3, 2019,  http://www.attali.com/societe/changer-par-precaution/. (Our emphasis.)

[68] Rachel Grumman Bender, Yahoo!Life, Feb. 6, 2020, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/the-flu-has-killed-10000-americans-as-the-world-worries-over-coronavirus-221101770.html.

[69] Simon Brunfaut, “André Comte-Sponville: ‘J’aime mieux attraper le Covid-19 dans un pays libre qu’y échapper dans un État totalitaire,’” L’Echo, Apr. 27, 2020, https://www.lecho.be/dossiers/coronavirus/andre-comte-sponville-j-aime-mieux-attraper-le-covid-19-dans-un-pays-libre-qu-y-echapper-dans-un-etat-totalitaire/10221597.html

[70] “Coronavirus: Five-year-old Among Latest UK Victims,” BBC, Apr. 4, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52165443.

[71] “Renaud Girard: ‘Le confinement, remède pire que le mal?’” Le Figaro, Apr. 6, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/renaud-girard-le-confinement-remede-pire-que-le-mal-20200406

[72] “Coronavirus, la Diocesi di Roma chiude le chiese,” La Stampa, Mar. 12, 2020, https://www.lastampa.it/cronaca/2020/03/12/news/coronavirus-la-diocesi-di-roma-chiude-le-chiese-1.38585371.

[73] “Épidémie du coronavirus ou épidémie de peur?” Group Siloé/Source et Lumière de Siloé, Mar. 6, 2020, http://siloe37.over-blog.com/2020/03/epidemie-du-coronavirus-ou-epidemie-de-peur.html.

[74] François-Xavier Bourmaud, “Coronavirus: 96% des Français approuvent les mesures de confinement annoncées par Macron,” Le Figaro, Mar. 19, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/coronavirus-96-des-francais-approuvent-les-mesures-de-confinement-annoncees-par-macron-20200319.

[75] “Un 59% de los españoles apoya el confinamiento más estricto,” El País, Apr. 18, 2020, https://elpais.com/espana/2020-04-18/los-ciudadanos-priman-la-salud-sobre-la-economia-y-apoyan-el-rescate-social.html.

[76] Cyrille Louis, “Dans les pays riches, la santé reste la priorité,” Le Figaro, Apr. 16, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/dans-les-pays-riches-la-sante-reste-la-priorite-20200416.

[77] Johannes Abeler, Sam Altmann, Luke Milsom, Séverine Toussaert, Hannah Zillessen, “Acceptabilité d’une application téléphone pour tracer les contactsporteurs du Covid-19,” OSF, Apr. 6, 2020, https://osf.io/24uan/

[78] Vicente Vilardaga e Eudes Lima, “A nova ordem mundial,” Isto é, Apr. 17, 2020, https://istoe.com.br/a-nova-ordem-mundial/.

[79] “China Shows COVID-19 Coronavirus Can Be ‘Stopped in its Tracks,’” UN.org, Mar. 16, 2020, https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059502.

[80] Brunfaut, “André Comte-Sponville: ‘J’aime mieux, L’Echo, https://www.lecho.be/dossiers/coronavirus/andre-comte-sponville-j-aime-mieux-attraper-le-covid-19-dans-un-pays-libre-qu-y-echapper-dans-un-etat-totalitaire/10221597.html.

[81] Vilardaga e Lima, “A nova ordem mundial,” Isto é, https://istoe.com.br/a-nova-ordem-mundial/.

[82] See, Wikipedia contributors, “Stockholm syndrome,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stockholm_syndrome&oldid=953266399 (accessed

April 27, 2020.

[83] Steven Erlanger, “Coronavirus Has Lifted Leaders Everywhere. Don’t Expect That to Last,” The New York Times, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/world/europe/coronavirus-presidents.html.

[84] Leon Cristiani, Evidence of Satan in the Modern Worldhttps://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/evidence-of-satan-in-the-modern-world-6071, especially chapter 9.

[85] Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue, TFP.org, https://www.tfp.org/unperceived-ideological-transshipment-and-dialogue/.

[86] Mateo González Alonso, “El papa Francisco a Évole sobre el coronavirus: ‘Dios perdona siempre, nosotros a veces y la naturaleza nunca,’” VidaNuevaDigital.com, Mar. 23, 2020, https://www.vidanuevadigital.com/2020/03/23/el-papa-francisco-a-evole-sobre-el-coronavirus-dios-perdona-siempre-nosotros-a-veces-y-la-naturaleza-nunca/.

[87] Austen Ivereigh, “Pope Francis Says Pandemic Can Be a ‘Place of Conversion,’” The Tablet, Apr. 8, 2020, https://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/17845/pope-francis-says-pandemic-can-be-a-place-of-conversion-

[88] Pope Francis, “General Audience,” Vatican.va, 8:35–18:00, Apr. 22, 2020,  http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/fr/audiences/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200422_udienza-generale.html

[89] Franca Giansoldati, “Coronavirus, le tesi choc di un gesuita che imbarazza il Vaticano: il Covid-19 fa bene all’ambiente,” Il Messaggero, Apr. 1, 2020, https://www.ilmessaggero.it/vaticano/coronavirus_vaticano_fa_bene_all_ambiente_gesuita_vatican_news-5145977.html.

[90] Leonardo Boff, “Coronavirus: uma represália de Gaia,da Mãe Terra?” Leonardoboff.org, Mar. 11, 2020, https://leonardoboff.org/2020/03/11/coronavirus-uma-represalia-de-gaiada-mae-terra/.

[91] The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Responding to the Pandemic, Lessons for Future Actions and Changing Priorities, PAS.va, Mar. 20, 2020, http://www.pas.va/content/accademia/en/events/2020/coronavirus.html.

[92] “Manifesto dei leader cattolici dell’America Latina,” VaticanNews.va, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.vaticannews.va/it/vaticano/news/2020-04/manifesto-leader-cattolici-america-latina-osservatore-romano.html.

[93] “Manifiesto de Católicos Latinoamericanos con Responsabilidades Políticas: Un Compromiso y un Llamado a la Acción,” http://liderescatolicos.net/manifiesto/Manifiesto_politico_latinoamericanos_Completo.pdf.

[94] See Francis X. Rocca, “How Pope Francis Became the Leader of the Global Left” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-pope-francis-became-the-leader-of-the-global-left-1482431940.

[95] https://www.ilgiornale.it/news/cronache/papa-ong-grazie-che-fate-contate-su-me-1852920.html

[96] Spanish Vice President Pablo Iglesias criticized the reluctance of his country’s bishops to support permanent universal basic income, saying, “I stick to what the pope said, who has again demonstrated enormous social sensitivity by presenting the need for everyone to have a vital minimum income. And until further notice, the pope is the head of the Catholic Church.” “Pablo Iglesias defiende la renta mínima permanente y les dice a los obispos españoles que “hasta nueva orden» su jefe es el Papa,” InfoCatólica, Apr. 23, 2020, http://www.infocatolica.com/?t=noticia&cod=37502.

[97] “Pope Francis sends letter in support of social movements,” Radio Bayamo, Apr. 13, 2020, http://www.radiobayamo.icrt.cu/en/2020/04/13/pope-francis-sends-letter-in-support-of-social-movements/; see also, Washington Uranga, “La carta del papa Francisco a los movimientos populares del mundo,” Página 12, Apr. 12, 2020,  https://www.pagina12.com.ar/259242-la-carta-del-papa-francisco-a-los-movimientos-populares-del-.

[98] Massimiliano Menichetti, “We Must Think of the Aftermath of COVID-19 so We Are Not Unprepared,” Vatican News, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-04/turkson-think-covid19-aftermath-to-not-be-unprepared.html.

Bishops urge DOJ to confront the porn industry, protect porn’s victims.

With pornographic website traffic spiking while countries remain on lockdown, the bishops of the United States are urging the Justice Department to protect victims of human trafficking and exploitation by enforcing obscenity laws and prosecuting producers of violent pornography.

“We write to you today to urge you to confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry and to protect its victims,” the U.S. bishops wrote in an April 30 letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“This should include enforcement of obscenity laws, investigation of pornography producers and website owners for criminality, national leadership in encouraging states and localities to develop rigorous policies against the industry and in the service of survivors, and more.”

The bishops noted that pornography juggernaut Pornhub has made waves in the past few months by offering free “premium” subscriptions to its content to people in countries on lockdown during the pandemic.

Pornhub claims that on the days that the free premium memberships took effect in Italy, France and Spain, traffic in each country increased by 57%, 38% and 61% respectively compared to an “average day.”

The bishops acknowledged that many people are suffering through lockdowns and isolation alone, and echoed Pope Francis’ call to recognize the importance of “belonging as brothers and sisters” in the midst of crisis.

“Pornography is the antithesis of this. Rather than remembering and loving our fellow humans as brothers and sisters, it objectifies them – often directly exploiting them – and diminishes the health of users’ relationships with others,” the bishops wrote, noting that at least 15 states have declared pornography a public health crisis.

In December 2019, four members of Congress called on Attorney General William Barr to bring back the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Division.

The task force, founded in 2005 under the George W. Bush administration, was responsible for investigating and prosecuting producers of hard core pornography under obscenity laws. Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, dissolved the task force in 2011.

As the demand for extreme pornography— much of which includes violence— increases, lax or non-enforcement of obscenity laws “may provide a gateway for this demand to metastasize, increasing the incidents of trafficking, child pornography, other abuse, and broader unjust conditions,” the bishops wrote.

Many of the participants in pornographic videos— even if they have legally consented— “have their consent…compromised by desperate circumstances,” while many have not consented at all, the bishops noted.

In addition, pornography can have a devastating effect of families, they wrote. Porn provides a “terrible model and expectation of how persons should treat each other,” especially for the young.

“As pastors, we frequently see the pain that results from a pornography habit,” the bishops concluded.

“Marriages that are injured or even broken by a spouse’s pornography use, which some divorce lawyers report as a factor in over half of their cases, have a ripple effect on children and society. Strong families are necessary for strong, safe communities.”

On March 9, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) called for the attorney general to investigate Pornhub, highlighting the site’s promotion of videos showing the sexual assault and rape of a victim of human trafficking.

During 2019, at least 58 videos of the sexual abuse and rape of a 15-year-old girl appeared on Pornhub. The girl had been missing for a year and reportedly was forced to have an abortion. Her mother found her on the adult website, leading to the arrest of her captor, Christopher Johnson, a 30-year-old Florida man.

As of May 5, more than 862,000 people have signed an online petition at change.org calling for Pornhub to be shut down. The petition also calls for its executives to be held accountable for alleged complicity in human trafficking.

In November, the payment vendor PayPal abruptly cut payment services for Pornhub.

Laila Mickelwait, the creator of the petition and Director of Abolition for Exodus Cry, an anti-trafficking group, told CNA in February that because of the massive amount of content on Pornhub, she believes there are more instances of the sexual exploitation and child pornography than has been reported.

Mickelwait said the company that owns Pornhub has a monopoly on the pornographic industry.

“Everybody’s in agreement that children should not be trafficked and raped. Women should not be trafficked and raped for profit, for the sexual pleasure of billions of people who visit that website. There’s just no arguing with that,” she said.

 

Read the Document

«A crusade of prayer and fasting to stop heresies in the Amazon Synod». 13.09.2019

Various prelates and lay commentators, as well as lay institutions, have warned that the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris, issued by the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, to serve as the basis for discussion in the coming Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazon, have inserted serious theological errors and heresies into the document.

We invite Catholic clergy and laity to participate in a crusade of prayer and fasting to implore our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, for the following intentions:

that the theological errors and heresies inserted in the Instrumentum Laboris may not be approved during the synodal assembly;

that particularly Pope Francis, in the exercise of the Petrine ministry, may confirm his brethren in the faith by an unambiguous rejection of the errors of the Instrumentum Laboris and that he may not consent to the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church by introducing the praxis of the ordination of married men, the so-called “viri probati”, to the Holy Priesthood.

We propose a forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting to begin on September 17 and end on October 26, 2019, the day before the conclusion of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon. Anyone who first learns about the Crusade after the date of its beginning can naturally join the Crusade at any point.

During the forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting, we propose to pray daily at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and to fast once a week for the above mentioned intentions. According to the tradition of the Church, fasting consists in eating only one full meal during the day, and additionally, one may eat up to two smaller meals. Fasting on bread and water is also recommended to those who are able to do so.

It is our duty to make the faithful aware of some of the main errors that are being spread through the Instrumentum Laboris. By way of premise, it must be observed that the document is long and is marked by a language which is not clear in its meaning, especially in what regards the deposit of faith (depositum fidei). Among the principal errors, we especially note the following:

1.  Implicit pantheism

The Instrumentum Laboris promotes a pagan socialization of “Mother Earth”, based on a cosmology of the Amazonian tribes that is implicitly pantheistic.

  • Aboriginal people discover how all parts “are dimensions that constitutively exist in relation, forming a vital whole” (n°21) and therefore live “in communion with nature as a whole” (n°18) and “in dialogue with the spirits” (n°75);
  • Their life and “good living” are characterized by “harmony of relationships” between “the whole cosmos – nature, men, the supreme being” and the “various spiritual forces” (n°12 & 13), captured in the “mantra” of Pope Francis: “everything is connected” (n°25);
  • The beliefs and rites of the “elderly healers” (n°88 & 89) regarding the “many-named divinity” acting with and in relation to nature (n°25), “create harmony and balance between human beings and the cosmos” (n°87);
  • Therefore, we must listen to the cry of (n°146), stop the extermination of (n°17) and live healthily in harmony with “Mother Earth” (n°85).

The Magisterium of the Church rejects such an implicit pantheism as incompatible with the Catholic Faith: “The warmth of Mother Earth, whose divinity pervades the whole of creation, is held to bridge the gap between creation and the transcendent Father-God of Judaism and Christianity, and removes the prospect of being judged by such a Being. In such a vision of a closed universe that contains ‘God’ and other spiritual beings along with ourselves, we recognize here an implicit pantheism (Pontifical Council for Culture & Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, “Jesus Christ. The Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age’”, 2.3.1).

In the following affirmation the Magisterium of the Church rejects pantheism and relativism, teaching:

“They tend to relativize religious doctrine, in favor of a vague world–view expressed as a system of myths and symbols dressed in religious language. Moreover, they often propose a pantheistic concept of God which is incompatible with Sacred Scripture and Christian Tradition. They replace personal responsibility to God for our actions with a sense of duty to the cosmos, thus overturning the true concept of sin and the need for redemption through Christ” (John Paul II, Address to the United States Bishops of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska on their “Ad Limina” Visit, 28 May 1993).

2. Pagan superstitions as sources of Divine Revelation and alternative pathways for salvation

The Instrumentum Laboris draws from its implicit pantheistic conception an erroneous concept of Divine Revelation, stating basically that God continues to self-communicate in history through the conscience of the peoples and the cries of nature. According to this view, the pagan superstitions of the Amazon tribes are an expression of divine Revelation deserving an attitude of dialogue and acceptance on the part of the Church:

  • The Amazon is a “theological place” where faith “or the experience of God in history” is lived; it is “a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places” where the “caresses of God” become “incarnate in history” (n°19);
  • The Church must “discover the incarnate and active presence of God” in “the spirituality of original peoples” (n°33), recognizing in them “other avenues / pathways” (n°39), since the Creator Spirit “has nurtured the spirituality of these peoples for centuries, even before the proclamation of the Gospel” (n°120) teaching them “faith in the God Father-Mother Creator” and “the living relationship with nature and ‘Mother Earth’” as well as “with ancestors” (n°121);
  • Through dialogue, the Church must avoid imposing “petrified doctrines” (n°38), “formulations of faith expressed with other cultural referents” (n°120), and a “corporatist attitude, that reserve salvation exclusively for one’s own creed,” (n°39); by so doing, the Church will be journeying “in search of its identity towards unity in the Holy Spirit” (n°40);

The Magisterium of the Church rejects the relativization of the uniqueness of God’s revelation as contained in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, teaching:

“The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord (…) She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred Tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, n°21).

The Magisterium of the Church affirms that there is one unique Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Church is His unique Mystical Body and Bride:

“In connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith. Just as there is one Christ, so there exists a single body of Christ, a single Bride of Christ: ‘a single Catholic and Apostolic Church’. Furthermore, the promises of the Lord that he would not abandon his Church (cf. Mt 16:18; 28:20) and that he would guide her by his Spirit (cf. Jn 16:13) mean, according to Catholic faith, that the unicity and the unity of the Church — like everything that belongs to the Church’s integrity — will never be lacking” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – Declaration Dominus Iesus on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, n°16).

3. Intercultural dialogue instead of evangelization

The Instrumentum Laboris contains the erroneous theory that aboriginal people have already received divine revelation, and that the Catholic Church in the Amazon should undergo a “missionary and pastoral conversion”, instead of introducing doctrine and practice of universal truth and goodness. The Instrumentum Laboris says also that the Church must enrich herself with the symbols and rites of the aboriginal people:

  • An “outgoing Church” avoids the risk of “proposing a solution with universal value” or the application of “a monolithic body of doctrine guarded by all” (n°110) and favours interculturality, i.e. “a mutual enrichment of cultures in dialogue,” because “the active subjects of inculturation are the indigenous peoples themselves” (n°122);
  • Furthermore, the Church recognizes “indigenous spirituality as a source of riches for the Christian experience” and undertakes “a catechesis that assumes the language and meaning of the narratives of the indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures” (n°123);
  • By mutually sharing their “their experiences of God,” believers make “their differences a stimulus to grow and deepen their own faith” (n°136).

The Magisterium of the Church rejects the idea that missionary activity is merely intercultural enrichment, teaching:

“‘Missions’ is the term usually given to those particular undertakings by which the heralds of the Gospel, sent out by the Church and going forth into the whole world, carry out the task of preaching the Gospel and planting the Church among peoples or groups who do not yet believe in Christ. (…) The proper purpose of this missionary activity is evangelization, and the planting of the Church among those peoples and groups where it has not yet taken root. (…) The chief means of the planting referred to is the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (Second Vatican Council, Decree Ad Gentes, n°6).

“Through inculturation the Church makes the Gospel incarnate in different cultures and at the same time introduces peoples, together with their cultures, into her own community. She transmits to them her own values, at the same time taking the good elements that already exist in them and renewing them from within. Through inculturation the Church, for her part, becomes a more intelligible sign of what she is, and a more effective instrument of mission” (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, n°52).

4. An erroneous conception of sacramental ordination, postulating worship ministers of either sex to perform even shamanic rituals

In the name of inculturation of the faith, and on the pretext of the lack of priests to celebrate frequently the Eucharist, the Instrumentum Laboris supports tailoring Catholic ordained ministries to the ancestral customs of the aboriginal people, granting official ministries to women and ordaining married leaders of the community as second-class priests, deprived of part of their ministerial powers but able to perform shamanic rituals:

  • Since “clericalism is not accepted in all its guises” (n°127), “change is requested in the criteria for selecting and preparing ministers authorized to celebrate the Eucharist” (n°126), studying the possibility of priestly ordination “for older people, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their community, even if they have an existing and stable family” (n°129), who show “another way of being church (…) without censorship or dogmatism or ritual disciplines” (n°138);
  • Because in the cultures of the Amazon “authority is rotational”, it would be opportune “to reconsider the notion that exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the sacrament of Holy Orders” (n°127);
  • The Church must “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women” (n°129);
  • Recognition should be given to “indigenous rituals and ceremonies” that “create harmony and balance between human beings and the cosmos” (n°87), as well as to “traditional elements that are part of healing processes” performed by “elderly healers” (n°88), whose “rites, symbols and styles of celebration” should be integrated into “liturgical and sacramental rituals” (n°126).

The Magisterium of the Church rejects such practices, and their implicit opinions, teaching:

“The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n°1592).

“Christ, the only Son of the Father, by the power of the Incarnation itself was made Mediator between heaven and earth, between the Father and the human race. Wholly in accord with this mission, Christ remained throughout His whole life in the state of celibacy, which signified His total dedication to the service of God and men. This deep concern between celibacy and the priesthood of Christ is reflected in those whose fortune it is to share in the dignity and mission of the Mediator and eternal Priest; this sharing will be more perfect the freer the sacred minister is from the bonds of flesh and blood (…) The consecrated celibacy of the sacred ministers actually manifests the virginal love of Christ for the Church, and the virginal and supernatural fecundity of this marriage, by which the children of God are born, ‘not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh’” (Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, n°21).

“The will of the Church finds its ultimate motivation in the link between celibacy and sacred ordination, which configures the priest to Jesus Christ the head and spouse of the Church. The Church, as the spouse of Jesus Christ, wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ her head and spouse loved her. Priestly celibacy, then, is the gift of self in and with Christ to his Church and expresses the priest’s service to the Church in and with the Lord” (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, n°29).

“Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. (…) The fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. (…) In order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, n°1, 3 & 4).

5. An “integral ecology” that downgrades human dignity

In tune with its implicit pantheistic views, the Instrumentum Laboris relativizes Christian anthropology, which recognizes the human person as made in the image of God and therefore the pinnacle of material creation (Gen 1:26-31), and instead considers the human a mere link in nature’s ecological chain, viewing socioeconomic development as an aggression to “Mother Earth”.

  • “A fundamental aspect of the root of human sin is to detach oneself from nature and not recognize it as part of the human and to exploit nature without limits” (n°99);
  • “A new paradigm of integral ecology” (n°56), should base itself on “the wisdom of indigenous peoples” and their daily life that “teach us to recognize ourselves as part of the biome” (n°102), “part of the ecosystems” (n°48), “part of nature” (n°17);

The Magisterium of the Church rejects the following opinions: that humans do not possess a unique dignity above the rest of material creation, and that technological progress is bound up with sin, teaching:

“To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of ‘subduing’ the earth and having dominion over it. God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n°307).

6. A tribal collectivism that undermines personal uniqueness and freedom

According to the Instrumentum laboris, an integral “ecological conversion” includes the adoption of the collective social model of the aboriginal tribes, where individual personality and freedom are undermined:

  • “The sumak kawsay [‘good living’] concept has been forged from the ancestral wisdom of the indigenous peoples and nations. It is an experienced, older and more actual word, which proposes a community lifestyle where all FEEL, THINK and ACT the same, like a woven thread that sustains, wraps and protects, like a poncho of different colours” (Appeal “The Cry of the Sumak Kawsay in Amazonia” referred to in note 5 of n°12);
  • “Life in the Amazon is integrated and united with the territory; there is no separation or division between the parts. This unity includes all of existence: work, rest, human relationships, rites and celebrations.  Everything is shared; private spaces, so typical of modernity, are minimal. Life proceeds on a communal path where tasks and responsibilities are distributed and shared for the sake of the common good. There is no place for the idea of an individual detached from the community or its territory” (n°24).

The Magisterium of the Church rejects such opinions, teaching:

“The human person must always be understood in his unrepeatable and inviolable uniqueness. In fact, man exists above all as a subjective entity, as a centre of consciousness and freedom, whose unique life experiences, comparable to those of no one else, underlie the inadmissibility of any attempt to reduce his status by forcing him into preconceived categories or power systems, whether ideological or otherwise” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n°131).

“Man rightly appreciates freedom and strives for it passionately: rightly does he desire and must form and guide, by his own free initiative, his personal and social life, accepting personal responsibility for it (Veritatis Splendor, 34). In fact, freedom not only allows man suitably to modify the state of things outside of himself, but it also determines the growth of his being as a person through choices consistent with the true good (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n°1733). In this way man generates himself, he is father of his own being (Gregory of Nyssa, De Vita Moysis), he constructs the social order (Centesimus Annus, 13)” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n°135).

Conclusion

The theological errors and heresies, implicit and explicit in the Instrumentum Laboris of the imminent Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon, are an alarming manifestation of the confusion, error and division which beset the Church in our day. No one can excuse himself from being informed about the gravity of the situation and from taking appropriate action for love of Christ and of His life with us in the Church. Above all, all the members of Christ’s Mystical Body, before such a threat to her integrity, must pray and fast for the eternal good of her members who risk being scandalized, that is led into confusion, error and division by this text for the Synod of Bishops. Moreover, every Catholic, as a true soldier of Christ, is called to safeguard and promote the truths of the faith and the discipline by which those truths are honored in practice, lest the solemn assembly of the Bishops in Synod betray the mission of the Synod, which is “to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline” (can. 342). On October 13, 2019, during the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon, there will take place the Canonization of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. May the Holy Father and all the members of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon hear and accept the following luminous teaching of this newest Saint of the Church, in which he warned against theological errors similar to the above-mentioned errors in the Instrumentum Laboris:

“Private creeds, fancy religions, may be showy and imposing to the many in their day; national religions may lie huge and lifeless, and cumber the ground for centuries, and distract the attention or confuse the judgment of the learned; but on the long run it will be found that either the Catholic Religion is verily and indeed the coming in of the unseen world into this, or that there is nothing positive, nothing dogmatic, nothing real, in any of our notions as to whence we come and whither we are going” (Discourses to Mixed Congregations, XIII).

“Never did Holy Church need champions against [the spirit of Liberalism in religion] more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; … Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact; not miraculous: and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrines in common, or seeing the need of them” (Biglietto Speech, May 12, 1879).

May God, through the intercession of the many truly Catholic missionaries who evangelized the indigenous American people, among whom are Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo and Saint José de Anchieta, and through the intercession of the saints whom indigenous American people have given to the Church, among whom are Saint Juan Diego and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, and especially through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of the Holy Rosary, who vanquishes all heresy, grant that the members of the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon and the Holy Father be protected from the danger of approving doctrinal errors and ambiguities, and of undermining the Apostolic rule of priestly celibacy.

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

Bishop Athanasius Schneider
September 12, 2019

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

Politics in service of Peace. Statement by the Catholic Bishops of Australia for the 2019 Federal Elections. 17.04.2019

 Politics in service of Peace.

Statement by the Catholic Bishops of Australia for the 2019 Federal Elections. 

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Media Release

Australia’s Catholic bishops have called for respect and understanding in the federal election campaign, reminding Australians they all have a part to play in combating “crude tribalism” and promoting peaceful public debate.

The comments are included in Politics in service of peace, a statement the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released this morning. The name is derived from a quote from Pope Francis, who urged that “Good politics is at the service of peace”.

The bishops’ statement shares important principles of Catholic social teaching and comments on key policy issues to consider before voting.

“Election campaigns can be fractious; there will be claims and counter-claims; emotions will run high,” the statement acknowledges.

“But despite difficult and sometimes hostile debates, Australia is blessed to have peaceful contests, free of the physical violence known in other countries.”

The statement says people have “a responsibility to present our views clearly and, if necessary, to disagree”, but all views should be respected.

“We all have a role in promoting peace – which means speaking to our fellow Australians with love not hate, with respect not contempt, with understanding not indifference.

“We all need to be more open, interested and engaged in order to combat the crude tribalism that is infecting Australia and other nations at this time.” The statement, which includes a prayer for Catholics – and others – to use during the lead-up to the May 18 election, speaks of the importance of prayer and discernment in the electoral context.

“Democratic processes stripped of transcendent truth risk becoming soulless, with majorities deciding issues based on power rather than the consideration of truth and the common good,” it says.

“Some find the idea of the common good bemusing, but it’s critically important because it obliges us to look beyond our own needs and desires to consider the interests of the broader community.”

Among the policy issues the bishops’ statement addresses are economic fairness, support for the vulnerable and marginalised, including the unborn and older people, just treatment of those seeking asylum, action on climate change and the unacceptable differences in health, education and employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The bishops call that final reality “A running sore at the heart of the nation”.Significant attention is given to key areas in which the Church is a major service provider, including education, social services and health and aged care.

Politics in service of peace, can be found at www.catholic.org.au

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Address of His Holiness to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. 07 January 2019

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS ACCREDITED TO THE HOLY SEE
FOR THE TRADITIONAL EXCHANGE OF NEW YEAR GREETINGS

Regia Hall
Monday, 7 January 2019


 

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The beginning of a new year allows us to interrupt for a few moments the frenetic pace of our daily activities in order to review the events of past months and to reflect on the challenges facing us in the near future. I thank you for your numerous presence at this annual gathering, which provides a welcome opportunity for us to exchange cordial greetings and good wishes with one another. Through you, I would like to convey to the peoples whom you represent my closeness and my prayerful hope that the year just begun will bring peace and well-being to each member of the human family.

I am most grateful to the Ambassador of Cyprus, His Excellency Mr George Poulides, for the gracious words of greeting he addressed to me in your name for the first time as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. To each of you I would like to express my especial appreciation for your daily efforts to consolidate relations between your respective Countries and Organizations and the Holy See, all the more so through the signing or ratification of new accords.

I think in particular of the ratification of the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Benin relating to the Legal Status of the Catholic Church in Benin, and the signing and the ratification of the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of San Marino regarding the Teaching of Catholic Religion in Public Schools.

In the multilateral sphere, the Holy See has also ratified the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education. Last March it adhered to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, an initiative aimed at showing how culture can be at the service of peace and a means of unification between different European societies, thus fostering concord among peoples. This is a token of particular esteem for an Organization that this year celebrates the seventieth anniversary of its foundation. The Holy See has cooperated with the Council of Europe for many decades and recognizes its specific role in the promotion of human rights, democracy and legality in an area that would embrace Europe as a whole. Finally, on 30 November last, the Vatican City State was admitted to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

Fidelity to the spiritual mission based on the command that the Lord Jesus gave to the Apostle Peter, “Feed my lambs” (Jn 21:15), impels the Pope – and consequently the Holy See – to show concern for the whole human family and its needs, including those of the material and social order. Nonetheless, the Holy See has no intention of interfering in the life of States; it seeks instead to be an attentive listener, sensitive to issues involving humanity, out of a sincere and humble desire to be at the service of every man and woman.

That concern is evident in our gathering today and inspires my encounters with the many pilgrims who visit the Vatican from throughout the world, as well as with the peoples and communities that I had the pleasure of visiting this past year during my Apostolic Journeys to Chile, Peru, Switzerland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

That same concern leads the Church everywhere to work for the growth of peaceful and reconciled societies. Here I think in particular of beloved Nicaragua, whose situation I follow closely in prayerful hope that the various political and social groups may find in dialogue the royal road to an exchange beneficial to the entire nation.

This has also been the context for the consolidation of relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, with a view to the appointment, in the near future, of a resident Papal Representative, whose presence would serve above all as a sign of the solicitude of the Successor of Peter for that local Church.

So too with the signing of the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China on the Appointment of Bishops in China, which took place on 22 September last. As you know, that Agreement is the result of a lengthy and thoughtful institutional dialogue that led to the determination of certain stable elements of cooperation between the Apostolic See and the civil authorities. As I noted in my Message to the Catholics of China and to the universal Church,[1] I had already readmitted to full ecclesial communion the remaining official bishops ordained without pontifical mandate, and urged them to work generously for the reconciliation of Chinese Catholics and for a renewed effort of evangelization. I thank the Lord that, for the first time after so many years, all the bishops in China are in full communion with the Successor of Peter and with the universal Church. A visible sign of this was the participation of two bishops from Continental China in the recent Synod on young people. It is to be hoped that further contacts regarding the application of the signed Provisional Agreement will help resolve questions that remain open and make needed room for an effective enjoyment of religious freedom.

Dear Ambassadors,

The year just begun contains a number of significant anniversaries, in addition to that of the Council of Europe, which I mentioned above. Among these, I would like to bring up one in particular: the hundredth anniversary of the League of Nations, established by the Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919. Why do I mention an organization that today no longer exists? Because it represents the beginning of modern multilateral diplomacy, whereby states attempt to distance their reciprocal relations from the mentality of domination that leads to war. The experiment of the League of Nations quickly met with those well-known difficulties that exactly twenty years after its birth led to a new and more devastating conflict, the Second World War. Nevertheless, that experiment paved the way for the establishment in 1945 of the United Nations Organization. Certainly, that way remains full of difficulties and obstacles, nor is it always effective, since conflicts persist even today, yet it cannot be denied that it provides an opportunity for nations to meet and seek common solutions.

An indispensable condition for the success of multilateral diplomacy is the good will and good faith of the parties, their readiness to deal with one another fairly and honestly, and their openness to accepting the inevitable compromises arising from disputes. Whenever even one of these elements is missing, the result is a search for unilateral solutions and, in the end, the domination of the powerful over the weak. The League of Nations failed for these very reasons, and one notes with regret that the same attitudes are presently threatening the stability of the major international organizations.

To my mind, it is important that today too there should be no lessening of the desire for serene and constructive discussions between states. It is clear, though, that relationships within the international community, and the multilateral system as a whole, are experiencing a period of difficulty, with the resurgence of nationalistic tendencies at odds with the vocation of the international Organizations to be a setting for dialogue and encounter for all countries. This is partly due to a certain inability of the multilateral system to offer effective solutions to a number of long unresolved situations, like certain protracted conflicts, or to confront present challenges in a way satisfactory to all. It is also in part the result of the development of national policies determined more by the search for a quick partisan consensus than by the patient pursuit of the common good by providing long-term answers. It is likewise partially the outcome of the growing influence within the international Organizations of powers and interest groups that impose their own visions and ideas, sparking new forms of ideological colonization, often in disregard for the identity, dignity and sensitivities of peoples. In part too, it is a consequence of the reaction in some parts of the world to a globalization that has in some respects developed in too rapid and disorderly a manner, resulting in a tension between globalization and local realities. The global dimension has to be considered without ever losing sight of the local. As a reaction to a “spherical” notion of globalization, one that levels differences and smooths out particularities, it is easy for forms of nationalism to reemerge. Yet globalization can prove promising to the extent that it can be “polyhedric”, favouring a positive interplay between the identity of individual peoples and countries and globalization itself, in accordance with the principle that the whole is greater than the part.[2]

Some of these attitudes go back to the period between the two World Wars, when populist and nationalist demands proved more forceful than the activity of the League of Nations. The reappearance of these impulses today is progressively weakening the multilateral system, resulting in a general lack of trust, a crisis of credibility in international political life, and a gradual marginalization of the most vulnerable members of the family of nations.

In his memorable Address to the United Nations – the first time a Pope addressed that Assembly – Saint Paul VI, whom I had the joy of canonizing this past year, spoke of the purpose of multilateral diplomacy, its characteristics and its responsibilities in the contemporary context, but also of its points of contact with the spiritual mission of the Pope and thus of the Holy See.

The primacy of justice and law

The first point of contact that I would mention is the primacy of justice and law. As Pope Paul told the Assembly: “You sanction the great principle that relationships between nations must be regulated by reason, justice, law, by negotiation, not by force, nor by violence, force, war, nor indeed by fear and deceit”.[3]

At present, it is troubling to see the reemergence of tendencies to impose and pursue individual national interests without having recourse to the instruments provided by international law for resolving controversies and ensuring that justice is respected, also through international Courts. Such an attitude is at times the result of a reaction on the part of government leaders to growing unease among the citizens of not a few countries, who perceive the procedures and rules governing the international community as slow, abstract and ultimately far removed from their own real needs. It is fitting that political leaders listen to the voices of their constituencies and seek concrete solutions to promote their greater good. Yet this demands respect for law and justice both within their national communities and within the international community, since reactive, emotional and hasty solutions may well be able to garner short-term consensus, but they will certainly not help the solution of deeper problems; indeed, they will aggravate them.

In light of this concern, I chose to devote my Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, celebrated on 1 January, to the theme: Good Politics at the Service of Peace. There is a close relationship between good politics and the peaceful coexistence of peoples and nations. Peace is never a partial good, but one that embraces the entire human race. Hence an essential aspect of good politics is the pursuit of the common good of all, insofar as it is “the good of all people and of the whole person”[4] and a condition of society that enables all individuals and the community as a whole to achieve their proper material and spiritual well-being.

Politics must be farsighted, not limited to seeking short-term solutions. A good politician should not occupy spaces but initiate processes; he or she is called to make unity prevail over conflict, based on “solidarity in its deepest and most challenging sense”. Politics thus becomes “a way of making history in a life setting where conflicts, divisions and oppositions can achieve a diversified and life-giving unity”.[5]

Such an approach takes account of the transcendent dimension of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. Respect for the dignity of each human being is thus the indispensable premise for all truly peaceful coexistence, and law becomes the essential instrument for achieving social justice and nurturing fraternal bonds between peoples. In this context, a fundamental role is played by the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose seventieth anniversary we recently celebrated. The universal objective and rational nature of those rights ought rightly to be reaffirmed, lest there prevail partial and subjective visions of humanity that risk leading to new forms of inequality, injustice, discrimination and, in extreme cases, also new forms of violence and oppression.

The defense of those most vulnerable

The second point of contact that I would mention is the defense of those who are vulnerable. In the words of Pope Paul: “We want to speak… for the poor, the disinherited, the unfortunate, and those who long for justice, a dignified life, liberty, prosperity and progress”.[6]

The Church has always been committed to helping those in need, while the Holy See itself has in recent years promoted various projects aimed at assisting the most vulnerable, projects that have also been supported by different actors on the international level. Among these, I would mention the humanitarian initiative in Ukraine on behalf of those suffering, particularly in the eastern areas of the country, from the conflict that has now lasted for almost five years and has recently seen troubling developments in the Black Sea. Thanks to the active response of the Catholic Churches of Europe and of members of the faithful elsewhere to my appeal of May 2016, an effort has been made, in collaboration with other religious confessions and international Organizations, to respond concretely to the immediate needs of those living in the territories affected. They are in fact the first victims of the war. The Church and her various institutions will pursue this mission, also in the hope of drawing greater attention to other humanitarian questions, including that of the treatment of the numerous prisoners. Through her activities and her closeness to the people involved, the Church strives to encourage, directly and indirectly, peaceful paths to the solution of the conflict, paths that are respectful of justice and law, including international law, which is the basis of security and coexistence in the entire region. To this end, the instruments that guarantee the free exercise of religious rights remain important.

For its part, the international community and its agencies are called to give a voice to those who have none. Among the latter in our own time, I would mention the victims of other ongoing wars, especially that in Syria with its high death toll. Once more, I appeal to the international community to promote a political solution to a conflict that will ultimately see only a series of defeats. It is vital to put an end to violations of humanitarian law, which cause untold suffering to the civil population, especially women and children, and strike at essential structures such as hospitals, schools and refugee camps, as well as religious edifices.

Nor can we forget the many displaced persons resulting from the conflict; this has created great hardship for neighbouring countries. Once more, I express my gratitude to Jordan and Lebanon for receiving in a spirit of fraternity, and not without considerable sacrifice, great numbers of people. At the same time, I express my hope that the refugees will be able to return to their homelands in safe and dignified living conditions. My thoughts also go to the various European countries that have generously offered hospitality to those in difficulty and danger.

Among those affected by the instability that for years has marked the Middle East are especially the Christian communities that have dwelt in those lands from apostolic times, and down the centuries have contributed to their growth and development. It is extremely important that Christians have a place in the future of the region, and so I encourage all those who have sought refuge in other places to do everything possible to return to their homes and in any event to maintain and strengthen their ties to their communities of origin. At the same time, I express my hope that political authorities will not fail to ensure their security and all else needed for them to continue to dwell in the countries of which they are full citizens, and to contribute to their growth.

Sadly, in these years Syria and more generally the whole Middle East have become a battleground for many conflicting interests. In addition to those of a chiefly political and military nature, we should not overlook attempts to foment hostility between Muslims and Christians. Even though “over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims”,[7] in different areas of the Middle East they have long lived together in peace. In the near future, I will have occasion to visit two predominantly Muslim countries, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. These represent two important opportunities to advance interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding between the followers of both religions, in this year that marks the eight-hundredth anniversary of the historic meeting between Saint Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil.

Among the vulnerable of our time that the international community is called to defend are not only refugees but also migrants. Once again, I appeal to governments to provide assistance to all those forced to emigrate on account of the scourge of poverty and various forms of violence and persecution, as well as natural catastrophes and climatic disturbances, and to facilitate measures aimed at permitting their social integration in the receiving countries. Efforts also need to be made to prevent individuals from being constrained to abandon their families and countries, and to allow them to return safely and with full respect for their dignity and human rights. All human beings long for a better and more prosperous life, and the challenge of migration cannot be met with a mindset of violence and indifference, nor by offering merely partial solutions.

Consequently, I cannot fail to express my appreciation for the efforts of all those governments and institutions that, moved by a generous sense of solidarity and Christian charity, cooperate in a spirit of fraternity for the benefit of migrants. Among these, I would like to mention Colombia that, together with other countries of the continent, has welcomed in recent months a vast influx of people coming from Venezuela. At the same time, I realize that the waves of migration in recent years have caused diffidence and concern among people in many countries, particularly in Europe and North America, and this has led various governments to severely restrict the number of new entries, even of those in transit. Nonetheless, I do not believe that partial solutions can exist for so universal an issue. Recent events have shown the need for a common, concerted response by all countries, without exception and with respect for every legitimate aspiration, whether of states or of migrants and refugees themselves.

In this regard, the Holy See has actively participated in the negotiations and supported the adoption of the two Global Compacts on Refugees and on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. In particular, the migration Compact represents an important step forward for the international community, which now, in the context of the United Nations is for the first time dealing on a multilateral level with this theme in a document of such importance. Despite the fact that they are not legally binding, and that some governments were absent from the recent United Nations Conference in Marrakesh, these two Compacts will serve as important points of reference for political commitment and concrete action on the part of international organizations, legislators and politicians, as well as all those working for a more responsible, coordinated and safe management of situations involving refugees and migrants of various kinds. In the case of both Compacts, the Holy See appreciates their intention and their character, which facilitates their implementation; at the same time, it has expressed reservations regarding the documents appealed to by the Compact on migration that contain terminology and guidelines inconsistent with its own principles on life and on the rights of persons.

Among others who are vulnerable, Paul VI went on to say: “We speak for… the younger generation of today, who are moving ahead trustfully, with every right to expect a better mankind”.[8] Young people, who often feel bewildered and uncertain about the future, were the subject of the fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. They will also be at the forefront of the Apostolic Journey that I will make to Panama in a few days for the thirty-fourth World Youth Day. Young people are our future, and the task of politics is to pave the way for the future. For this reason, it is urgently necessary to invest in initiatives that can enable coming generations to shape their future, with the possibility of finding employment, forming a family and raising children.

Together with young people, particular attention needs to be paid to children, especially in this year that marks the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is a good occasion for serious reflection on the steps taken to protect the welfare of our little ones and their social and intellectual development, as well as their physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Here I cannot refrain from speaking of one of the plagues of our time, which sadly has also involved some members of the clergy. The abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable. Such abuse inexorably sweeps away the best of what human life holds out for innocent children, and causes irreparable and lifelong damage. The Holy See and the Church as a whole are working to combat and prevent these crimes and their concealment, in order to ascertain the truth of the facts involving ecclesiastics and to render justice to minors who have suffered sexual violence aggravated by the abuse of power and conscience. My meeting with the episcopates of the entire world next February is meant to be a further step in the Church’s efforts to shed full light on the facts and to alleviate the wounds caused by such crimes.

It is painful to note that in our societies, so often marked by fragile family situations, we see an increase of violence also with regard to women, whose dignity was emphasized by the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, published thirty years ago by Pope Saint John Paul II. Faced with the bane of physical and psychological abuse of women, there is an urgent need to recover correct and balanced forms of relationship, based on respect and mutual recognition, wherein each person can express in an authentic way his or her own identity. At the same time, the promotion of certain forms of non-differentiation between the genders risks distorting the very essence of manhood and womanhood.

Concern for those who are most vulnerable impels us also to reflect on another serious problem of our time, namely the condition of workers. Unless adequately protected, work ceases to be a means of human self-realization and becomes a modern form of slavery. A hundred years ago saw the establishment of the International Labour Organization, which has sought to promote suitable working conditions and to increase the dignity of workers themselves. Faced with the challenges of our own time, first of all increased technological growth, which eliminates jobs, and the weakening of economic and social guarantees for workers, I express my hope that the International Labour Organization will continue to be, beyond partisan interests, an example of dialogue and concerted effort to achieve its lofty objectives. In this mission, it too is called, together with other agencies of the international community, to confront the evil of child labour and new forms of slavery, as well as a progressive decrease in the value of wages, especially in developed countries, and continued discrimination against women in the workplace.

To be a bridge between peoples and builders of peace

In his address before the United Nations, Saint Paul VI clearly indicated the primary goal of that international Organization. In his words: “You are working to unite nations, to associate states… to bring them together. You are a bridge between peoples… It is enough to recall that the blood of millions, countless unheard-of sufferings, useless massacres and frightening ruins have sanctioned the agreement that unites you with an oath that ought to change the future history of the world: never again war! Never again war! It is peace, peace, that has to guide the destiny of the nations of all mankind! [And] as you well know, peace is not built merely by means of politics and a balance of power and interests. It is built with the mind, with ideas, with works of peace”.[9]

In the course of the past year, there have been some significant signs of peace, starting with the historic agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which puts an end to twenty years of conflict and restores diplomatic relations between the two countries. Also, the agreement signed by the leaders of South Sudan, enabling the resumption of civil coexistence and the renewed functioning of national institutions, represents a sign of hope for the African continent, where grave tensions and widespread poverty persist. I follow with special concern the developing situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I express my hope that the country can regain the reconciliation it has long awaited and undertake a decisive journey towards development, thus ending the ongoing state of insecurity affecting millions of people, including so many children. To that end, respect for the result of the electoral process is a determining factor for a sustainable peace. I likewise express my closeness to all those suffering from fundamentalist violence, especially in Mali, Niger and Nigeria, and from continued internal tensions in Cameroon, which not rarely sow death even among civilians.

Overall, we should note that Africa, beyond such dramatic situations, also shows great positive potential, grounded in its ancient culture and its traditional spirit of hospitality. An example of practical solidarity between nations is seen in the opening of their frontiers by different countries, in order generously to receive refugees and displaced persons. Appreciation should be shown for the fact that in many states we see the growth of peaceful coexistence between the followers of different religions and the promotion of joint initiatives of solidarity. In addition, the implementation of inclusive policies and the progress of democratic processes are proving effective in many regions for combating absolute poverty and promoting social justice. As a result, the support of the international community becomes all the more urgent for favouring the development of infrastructures, the growth of prospects for future generations, and the emancipation of the most vulnerable sectors of society.

Positive signs are arriving from the Korean Peninsula. The Holy See regards favourably the dialogues in course and expresses the hope that they can also deal with the more complex issues in a constructive attitude and thus lead to shared and lasting solutions capable of ensuring a future of development and cooperation for the whole Korean people and for the entire region.

I express a similar hope for beloved Venezuela, so that peaceful institutional means can be found to provide solutions to the political, social and economic crisis, means that can make it possible to help all those suffering from the tensions of recent years, and to offer all the Venezuelan people a horizon of hope and peace.

The Holy See expresses the hope too that dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians will resume, so that an agreement at last can be reached and a response given to the legitimate aspirations of both peoples by ensuring the coexistence of two states and the attainment of a long awaited and desired peace. A united commitment on the part of the international community is extremely important and necessary for attaining this goal, as also for promoting peace in the entire region, particularly in Yemen and Iraq, while at the same time ensuring that necessary humanitarian assistance is provided to all those in need.

Rethinking our common destiny

Finally, I would mention a fourth feature of multilateral diplomacy: it invites us to rethink our common destiny. Paul VI put it in these terms: “We have to get used to a new way of thinking… about man’s community life and about the pathways of history and the destinies of the world… The hour has come… to think back over our common origin, our history, our common destiny. The appeal to the moral conscience of man has never been as necessary as it is today, in an age marked by such great human progress. For the danger comes neither from progress nor from science… The real danger comes from man, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments that are as well fitted to bring about ruin as they are to achieve lofty conquests”.[10]

In the context of that time, the Pope was referring essentially to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “Arms, especially the terrible arms that modern science has provided you, engender bad dreams, feed evil sentiments, create nightmares, hostilities and dark resolutions, even before they cause any victims and ruins. They call for enormous expenses. They interrupt projects of solidarity and of useful labour. They warp the outlook of nations”.[11]

It is painful to note that not only does the arms trade seem unstoppable, but that there is in fact a widespread and growing resort to arms, on the part both of individuals and states. Of particular concern is the fact that nuclear disarmament, generally called for and partially pursued in recent decades is now yielding to the search for new and increasingly sophisticated and destructive weapons. Here I want to reiterate firmly that “we cannot fail to be genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of any employment of nuclear devices. If we also take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of error of any kind, the threat of their use – I am minded to say the immorality of their use – as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned. For they exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race. International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms. Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity”.[12]

Rethinking our common destiny in the present context also involves rethinking our relationship with our planet. This year too, immense distress and suffering caused by heavy rains, flooding, fires, earthquakes and drought have struck the inhabitants of different regions of the Americas and Southeast Asia. Hence, among the issues urgently calling for an agreement within the international community are care for the environment and climate change. In this regard, also in the light of the consensus reached at the recent international Conference on Climate Change (COP24) held in Katowice, I express my hope for a more decisive commitment on the part of states to strengthening cooperation for urgently combating the worrisome phenomenon of global warming. The earth belongs to everyone, and the consequences of its exploitation affect all the peoples of the world, even if certain regions feel those consequences more dramatically. Among the latter is the Amazon region, which will be at the centre of the forthcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in the Vatican next October. While chiefly discussing paths of evangelization for the people of God, it will certainly deal with environmental issues in the context of their social repercussions.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. Within a few months, an end would come to the last legacy of the Second World War: the painful division of Europe decided at Yalta and the Cold War. The countries east of the Iron Curtain recovered freedom after decades of oppression, and many of them set out on the path that would lead to membership in the European Union. In the present climate, marked by new centrifugal tendencies and the temptation to erect new curtains, may Europe not lose its awareness of the benefits – the first of which is peace – ushered in by the journey of friendship and rapprochement between peoples begun in the postwar period.

Finally, I would like to mention yet another anniversary. On 11 February ninety years ago, the Vatican City State came into being as a result of the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy. This concluded the lengthy period of the “Roman Question” that followed the taking of Rome and the end of the Papal States. With the Lateran Treaty, the Holy See was able to have at its use “that small portion of material territory indispensable for the exercise of the spiritual power entrusted to men for the sake of mankind”,[13] as Pius XI stated. With the Concordat, the Church was once more able to contribute fully to the spiritual and material growth of Rome and Italy as a whole, a country rich in history, art and culture, which Christianity had contributed to building. On this anniversary, I assure the Italian people of a special prayer, so that, in fidelity to their proper traditions, they may keep alive the spirit of fraternal solidarity that has long distinguished them.

To you, dear Ambassadors and distinguished guests here present, and to your countries, I offer cordial good wishes that the New Year will see a strengthening of the bonds of friendship uniting us and renewed efforts to promote that peace to which our world aspires.

Thank you!

 


[1] Cf. Message to the Catholics of China and to the Universal Church, 26 September 2018, No. 3.

[2] Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 234.

[3] PAUL VI, Address to the United Nations (4 October 1965), 2.

[4] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 165.

[5] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 228.

[6] Address to the United Nations, 1.

[7] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate (28 October 1965), 3.

[8] Address to the United Nations, 1.

[9] Ibid., 3; 5.

[10] Ibid., 7.

[11] Ibid., 5.

[12] Address to Participants in the International Symposium on Disarmament sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, 10 November 2017.

[13] PIUS XI, Address “Il nostro più cordiale” to the Parish Priests of Rome and the Lenten Preachers on the occasion of the signing of the Treaty and Concordat in the Lateran Palace, 1 February 1929.

 

 


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2018 joint statement on climate justice by Bishops’ Conferences

Catholic Continental Bishops’ Conferences have united in calling for “ambitious and immediate action” against climate change. Inspired by the message of Laudato Si’ and progress toward its fulfillment, leaders of the Church are asking political decision-makers to achieve real progress at the UN climate talks to be held this December in Katowice, Poland.

Their call is founded in the principles of urgency, intergenerational justice, and human dignity and rights. They stress the urgent need to act on the wealth of knowledge science offers us, transforming information into concrete actions and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. For these leaders and for all the Church, climate change is a matter of justice, and the bishops say that short-sightedness an “unacceptable injustice” inflicted on the young, who will inherit the planet, and the most vulnerable, who are the most affected by climate change.

The bishops call for specific policy changes. They urge decision-makers to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, calling this issue “a matter of life or death for vulnerable countries and people living in coastal areas.” They are also call for an “end to the fossil fuel era,” a “deep and durable shift towards sustainable lifestyles,” and systemic transformation in areas finance, agriculture, and respect for indigenous communities, which “offer valuable solutions for the care and sustainable management of natural resource.”

 

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