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The Church as Banana Republic:
Pope Bergoglio "Orders" Ousted Head of Knights of Malta To Stay out of Rome during Knights' Election

by Christopher A. Ferrara
April 19, 2017

Back in January, Pope Bergoglio summoned Fra’ Matthew Festing, then head of the ancient Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta — sovereign no longer — to a secret audience on an hour’s notice. When Festing appeared as ordered, Bergoglio demanded that he write a letter of resignation on the spot and indicate in that letter that Cardinal Burke was responsible for the ouster of Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager “following the revelation of his involvement in the distribution of condoms…” (not to mention Boeslager’s involvement in a rather shady trust then under criminal investigation for money laundering).

During the audience at which his resignation was extorted from him, Festing asked Pope Bergoglio if it would be all right if he ran for reelection when the Order’s Council of State met to elect a new President in Rome on April 29. As Festing told the Catholic Herald: “And I said, ‘Hypothetically, what would happen if I was re-elected?’ He [the Pope] thought for a moment and said, well, that would be all right.”

Well, it isn’t all right with Pope Bergoglio, and Festing should have seen this coming. On April 15, Festing received a letter from the Pope’s “special delegate” to the Order, Cardinal Becciu, who writes of “healing wounds” in the Order and then advises him as follows: “In consideration of the above, and having shared the decision with the Holy Father, I ask you, in my capacity as Special Delegate, not to be present at the Complete Council of State and to forego your trip to Rome on this occasion [the election of April 29]. I ask you this as an act of obedience…”   

Of course it is an outrage that Pope Bergoglio would forbid Festing to participate in the meeting of the Council of State, the sovereign government of what is supposed to be a sovereign entity under international law and of which he is a voting member, or even to be present in the City of Rome for the election. This is a preposterous abuse of papal authority, directed to favoring one side in a political dispute over which the Pope has no jurisdiction.

Notice, however, the clever wording of Becciu’s letter, which insulates Bergoglio from direct responsibility for this thuggish maneuver: the order not to participate in the election and to stay out of Rome is presented as Becciu’s decision, which he merely “shared with the Holy Father,” who can thus plausibly deny that he gave such an outrageous order — as if anyone really believes otherwise.

Festing should have known better than to rely on any private representation by the wily Argentinian. This is, after all, the same Pope Bergoglio who, when unexpectedly confronted by grieving parents, six of whose nine children were consecrated to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), gave this answer to their plea about when the persecution of that flourishing traditional order — by Bergoglio himself! — would end:  “Soon, soon.”  I suppose that was literally true, however misleading: “soon, soon” the FFI was completely destroyed.

I quite agree with this scathing commentary on the Festing travel ban at Rorate Caeli:

“The city [of Rome] is not owned by the Pope, after all, and the temporal power of the papacy has, since 1929, been reduced to the very small limits of Vatican City and a few additional buildings in the region.

“Alas, that was before Caudillismo [extreme dictatorship] had reached the City! If only John Paul II and Benedict XVI had known about this extra-muros [beyond the walls] absolute power of the Pope. El Caudillo Jorge knows better: who cares about law and rights, if he hates you, he can just order you out, muchacho!...

“This is a violation of several laws under the guise of ‘obedience’ — these bullies must be taken to civil court. Only civil courts will stop this abuse and personal harassment by Francis and his henchmen.”

Father Gruner devoted a considerable part of his work in promoting the Message of Fatima to the problem of false obedience in the Church as it relates to the ecclesial crisis foretold in the Third Secret. There has been incalculable harm to the goods of the Church “under the guise of obedience” to “orders” that are not really orders and commands for which there is no authority. For example, the non-existent “prohibition” of the traditional Latin Mass, exposed as a fraud upon the Church by Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum, which declares that the traditional Mass was “never juridically abrogated” — that is, never legally prohibited but only de facto prohibited under the false appearance of a command by Paul VI, a command he never actually gave and had no power to give.

By such underhanded abuses of power has the Church been plunged into the worst crisis of her long history. We can only hope and pray for an end, or a miraculous change of course, of this atrocious pontificate, which is causing catastrophic division and disruption in the Church, and an end as well to the ecclesial crisis of which the Bergoglian tumult is but the latest and most acute stage.