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Vatican Secretary of State
Censors the Pope (Again)

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Readers of this column will be well aware of the various usurpations of ecclesiastical authority by the Vatican Secretary of State since Vatican II, in keeping with the post-conciliar “reform” of the Roman Curia by the infamous Cardinal Villot. The Secretary of State, in the person of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (following his predecessor Cardinal Sodano) has even taken it upon himself to “interpret” the Message of Fatima in a way that consigns its prophetic warnings entirely the past — conveniently enough for the Secretary’s requirements of post-conciliar “ecumenical” diplomacy and “dialogue.” (See The Secret Still Hidden.)

A key recent example of this phenomenon has largely escaped media attention, but it was noted by Catholic News Service. I am referring to the Pope’s visit to Brazil, and his remarks on the plane ride to that country that “he agreed with those [Mexican bishops] invoking excommunication for Catholic legislators in Mexico City who had voted in April (2007) to legalize abortion.” (CNS, May 10, 2007)

On this occasion, notes CNS, the Pope said to reporters on the plane: “Yes, this excommunication was not something arbitrary, but is foreseen by the Code (of Canon Law). It is simply part of Church law that the killing of an innocent baby is incompatible with being in communion with the body of Christ…. Therefore, they [the bishops] did not do anything new, surprising or arbitrary. They only underlined publicly what is foreseen in (canon) law, a law based on the Church’s doctrine and faith, on our appreciation for life and for human individuality from the first moment.”

Enter the Secretary of State. On May 10, 2007, the day after the Pope’s remarks, “the Vatican press office released the official transcript of the pope’s 25-minute session with reporters. The pope’s opening ‘yes’ to the direct question about excommunication had disappeared, and so had the references to Mexican bishops [my emphasis].” In addition to this outright censorship of the Pope’s remarks, there are various verbal tweaks, and “In the rest of the edited version, some of the pope’s verbs were changed to make his remarks more generic.”

When confronted over these changes, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi revealed “that it was routine for the Vatican Secretariat of State to review the pope’s extemporaneous remarks and clean them up a little for publication [my emphasis].”

Routine, is it? Well, it is certainly a good thing to have a direct confirmation of what we long believed: that thanks to the post-conciliar “reform” of the Roman Curia, the Pope himself has been subjected to oversight by the Vatican Secretary of State, including censorship of papal remarks deemed impolitic by the “prime minister” of the Church, to whom the Church’s divine Founder, of course, gave no authority whatsoever.

The ongoing usurpation of authority by the Vatican Secretary of State is just one of the elements of the ecclesial crisis so aptly described as “diabolical disorientation in the Church” by Sister Lucia of Fatima.

For more on Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s censorship of Our Lady of Fatima, go to