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The Gospel of Judas versus the Gospel of Christ

Fatima Perspectives #1298

The purported beatification of Enrique Angelelli, Bishop of La Rioja, the pro-socialist agitator who died in a car crash in 1976 during Argentina’s “Dirty War” against leftwing terrorists, has already provoked entirely justified criticism — for example, here and here. Angelelli’s alleged “martyrdom,” based on the belated claim that his car was forced off the road by unknown assassins sent by the military government, is reason enough to doubt the beatification, which in any event is not at all secured by a charism of infallibility. 

As even the liberal journal Crux magazine admits, the attempt to pin vicarious blame for the car crash on two octogenarian ex-military officials in 2014 — 48 years after the accident! — does not pass the smell test: “Another element of Angelelli’s sainthood case that has raised doubts is the fact that the documentation didn’t include the full report of the car accident in which he was killed. Though two people have been condemned for it, there’s a witness who says he heard the accident and there was no second car involved, meaning no one to throw the bishop’s car off the road.”

Rorate Caeli aptly summarizes this travesty of a beatification (conducted last Saturday by Vatican Cardinal Becciu, head of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints):

“There were many radical bishops in the wild years following the Second Vatican Council. But Enrique Angelelli, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina, was probably the most radical. He was a Communist in all but name and stridently supported the terrorist organization ‘Montoneros’, the leftist terrorist branch of the Peronist movement. It can be undoubtedly said that the horrid military dictatorship that governed Argentina from 1976 until the Falklands War was brought about as a brutal overreaction to the terrorist attacks coordinated by Montoneros in favor of a Socialist-Peronist revolution. Angelelli was so leftist, so radically leftist and so political, that the shocked practicing faithful of his own diocese used to call him in life ‘Satanelli.’”

My focus here is on what one commentator has aptly observed of the rabble-rousing prelate, who inserted himself into an armed conflict between a brutal military regime and its equally brutal terrorist opponents: that Angelelli was “a bishop who instead of being a follower of the Apostles of Pentecost, followed Judas.”

By this the commentator means that it was Judas who, being scandalized by the Passion, wanted Our Lord to act as a worldly revolutionary, leading a rebellion against Caesar. And it was Judas who rebuked Mary Magdalene for lavishly anointing the feet of Our Lord in anticipation of His Passion, declaring: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:4-6) As Saint John writes: “Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.” 

And what but thieves are the socialist and communist tyrants who, in the name of “the people,” mercilessly oppress them while they themselves live in luxury? Angelelli’s rabble-rousing sermons did not merely protest true injustices in Argentinian society, which certainly existed, but rather openly invited a socialist revolution that would have mired the poor in far worse misery, as we see today with the horrific state of Venezuela. One example is provided by a website that is a glowing tribute to the “martyr.” The site quotes these bromides of liberation theology whereby Angelelli stoked the resentment of the poor against the rich and invoked the theme of class warfare to topple “systems” of oppression:

“We are living an historic hour where the changes are profound in the mentality of men and in the structuring of human society. There are systems … that cause many sufferings, injustices and fratricidal struggles. Many men suffer and the distance that separates the progress of a few and the stagnation and even the retreat of many increase. The present situation has to bravely face, fight and overcome the injustices that it brings….

“The people are the ones who do not oppress but fight against oppression… The anti-people are the force that responds to outside interests. It is personified in a minority that wants to preserve its privileges. It is the one that prevents the growth of the people and struggles to plunge it into oppression and slavery. It is the one that slows down our history….”

This is precisely the Gospel of Judas, according to which “the people” engage in a struggle to achieve social and economic equality, a worldly kingdom of the triumphant proletariat — which, of course, always ends in their brutal subjugation, which Pope Francis never seems to notice as he relentlessly condemns only the injustices of capitalist economies.

But the Gospel of Judas, which is the gospel of Angelelli and the Pope who approved his “martyrdom,” is not the Gospel of Our Lord, Who admonished Judas: “For the poor you have always with you; but Me you have not always.” (Jn. 12:8). And it was Our Lord Who, rather than call upon His followers to rebel against the injustices of the Roman emperor, meekly submitted to an unjust death sentence on the orders of Caesar’s procurator.

The evil of liberation theology consists in its call for a worldly kingdom, the kingdom envisioned by Judas, rather than the Kingdom of Heaven. But no purported beatification can validate this falsification of the true Gospel of Our Lord. Like the other novelties of this calamitous pontificate, it will amount to nothing in a Church restored to her rightful order by that courageous and holy Pope who will finally honor Our Lady’s request at Fatima.

 

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