More Catholic than the Pope?
Fatima Perspectives #1304
LifeSiteNews reports that during a rally attended by a huge crowd in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, outside its world-famous cathedral, Italy’s deputy premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini “appealed to the six patron saints of Europe, Ss. Benedict of Norcia, Brigid of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, Cyril and Methodius, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)… then kissed his rosary, looked up to [the] statue of the Blessed Mother atop the 14th-century Milan Cathedral and said: ‘I entrust Italy, my life, and your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who I’m sure will bring us to victory.’”
Salvini is the head of Italy’s Lega (League) Party, which is part of a growing pan-European movement for the assertion of national sovereignty against the tyranny of the EU, including its insane policy of Islamicization through the mass migration of predominantly military-age Muslim males into EU member states.
Salvini’s checkered personal life aside (a divorce and a child born out of wedlock), the objective signification of his words is a stunning development in European politics, whose arid secularity had long since buried in the desert sands of post-Christian and post-modernist Europe even the bare mention of God, much less His Blessed Mother.
And who should be perceived as the most formidable opponent of Salvini’s rude interruption of the sociopolitical status quo but Pope Francis? In a blistering column entitled “The Electoral Campaign of Bergoglio,” Italian Catholic journalist Antonio Socci notes the “collective obsession of the elite” (my own translation) with Salvini, giving rise to a “party of demonization” that “appears to be envenomed by the desire to cripple him and stave off the victory of the League [in the next elections].” But what Socci finds most disconcerting is that the party of demonization has “identified as its moral and political leader a bishop who should occupy himself with the things of the Church, a bishop who is not even Italian and is the head of a foreign state, that is, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.”
“For weeks,” Socci continues, “Bergoglio has been engaged in an electoral campaign to the applause of the media, employing the theme of migrants. Heedless of the fact that, finally, with departures [from Africa] blocked, there has been a vertical drop in the number of victims at sea, he continues to impose his bombardment of Italy to surrender to mass immigration (but he does not welcome even one of them in the Vatican)…. Even Lucia Annunziata [a prominent liberal journalist-activist] yesterday celebrated ‘the opposition of Pope Bergoglio’ to Salvini.”
Not for Francis, notes Socci, is the crisis of faith in Italy, which has seen a further seven percent drop in Church membership during this pontificate. Nor does he seem much concerned with the worldwide persecution of Christians by communists and Islamists, whom he never criticizes as such, whereas for Christians “he reserves ferocious criticisms and even insults…”
What appears to occupy this Pope is “politics rather than God. A politics of the extreme Left that, for example, leads to him to receive in the Vatican royalty such as the Leoncavallo Social Centre [a leftwing social justice organization], but not the Catholics of Family Day or the March for Life, who are disgusted.”
Socci notes the damning fact that Francis has said of Salvini: “I cannot and do not want to shake his hand,” whereas “instead he shook the hand of Emma Bonino… an ultra-abortion, anticlerical laicist” Francis has lauded as “one of the greats of Italy today.”
Meanwhile, “Bergoglio’s right-hand man, Father Spadaro, has unleashed horrified invective against Salvini because he held up a Rosary before the gathering in Milan (Bergoglio prefers Bonino and Napolitano, who wave very different banners).”
In sum, Socci concludes — as should be obvious to all but the most resolutely obtuse by now — “many in the Vatican have forgotten God and pretend that everyone else has done the same. But the Catholic people do not want to betray their own faith and their own values. To Bergoglio, who makes objectionable declarations (even on Jesus) and conducts the politics of the Left, the greater part of Catholics prefer Salvini, who invokes the protection of the Madonna for Europe…”
Writing for Crux, the liberal commentator John Allen clucked his disapproval over the telling fact that “when Salvini mentioned Pope Francis, the crowd booed.” Lost on people like Allen is the chilling reality of the situation that crowd reaction reflects: that the Catholic people, even a not very observant Catholic people, have reason to believe that one of their politicians is more Catholic than the Pope. Yet another sign of an ecclesial crisis like no other the Church has ever witnessed.