Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

A Discussion on Faith and Culture

Leon J. Podles  :: DIALOGUE header image 2

Papa Francisco

March 16th, 2013 · 56 Comments

The election of Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was somewhat of a surprise, although it should not have been, because he seems to have been the runner-up in the last papal election,, coming in second after Ratzinger.

A few thoughts:

From all reports he is dedicated to the poor and leads a simple, austere life.  He wants to seek out the most wounded and despised members of society. He is fiercely orthodox in his denunciations of abortion and gay marriage.

His record as Jesuit superior during Argentina’s dirty war has been questioned. Leftist terrorism in the1970s was designed to provoke a crack-down which would provoke a revolution. The leftists got the crackdown, but not the revolution, and the military executed 30,000 victims.  Bergoglio remained publicly silent, although he seems to have helped some victims.

What can one infer about his character from this public silence? It is hard to say. He may have had trouble understanding what was going on and uncertain about how to proceed. I think one can say that he does not seek out confrontation, even when provoked.

What does all this mean for the church?

His embrace of the despised may include abusers and enablers of abusers in the Church; he just visited Cardinal Law.

He may ignore the Curia and concentrate on the horrendous problems of the Catholic poor. The typical Catholic, we forget, is a South American or African peasant. These people face starvation, oppression, disease, and grinding poverty. If he concentrates on these problems he will be praised, and he may ignore sexual abuse and the corruption in the Church administration that has enabled it, viewing it as a minor problem compared to what the poor are suffering throughout the world.

That may have been the intention of the Italian cardinals, who are happy with the way the Curia functions and thinks that all the fuss about sexual abuse is Anglo-American Puritanism.

Tags: Vatican · clergy sex abuse scandal

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephen E Dalton // Mar 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I hope PFI pays attention to both the poor and the perverts. If he neglects the perv problem, the poor will suffer, because the perverts, in the long run, won’t give a damn about the poor. See EZ. 16:49 to understand what I’m saying.

  • 2 Father Michael Koenig // Mar 16, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Leon, I think Pope Francis’s aim was to visit the famous icon Our Lady Protectress of Rome. That cardinal Law was there and presented himself was an unfortunate consequence of his having been assigned to church containing the icon by JP II.

    From what I’ve read, Pope Francis is an advocate for all the weak, I can only hope he’ll see that as including victims of clerical abuse. I’m hopefull.

  • 3 Tony de New York // Mar 16, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Mr. Podles, i think u been 2 harsh on him.

    This is what he think the about the sexual abuse in the church.

    “I think that is the solution that was once proposed in the United States; of switching them to other parishes,” he says. “That is stupid, because the priest continues to carry the problem in his backpack.” The only answer to the problem, he adds, is zero tolerance

    Taken from:

  • 4 Mary // Mar 16, 2013 at 8:13 am

    One moment please Leon!
    “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

    Someone just sent me a copy of the Moynihan Report.in it he praises Pope Francis for his devotion to Mary.I responded thusly,
    Just so you know Moynihan’s opine means nothing.to me. I live in a Diocese where there is a clique of homosexual priests connected also to two other Diocese nearby. They rule!
    Years ago they developed a huge following by jumping onto the visionary phenomena that started with Medjugorje. They all were said to have joined the Marian Movement of Priests and so many did rosaries in the homes of lay people who had regular rosary meets and cenacles.
    Later, they attached themselves to homeschool groups and made themselves available for home visits and Masses for same, introducing so many families to the Legion and Regnum Christi.
    What annoyed me most was that these active clerical perverts wrapped themselves in the guise of “If a priest is devoted to Mary ,he must be a good priest!” That notion was passed around like popcorn amongst friends at a movie theatre! Now they are onto being known as devotees of the Traditional Latin Mass! Yet they still have their significant “partners” and even have been known to attempt to groom certain altar servers.
    I know this sounds like gossip but too bad for the feathers because the dung stinks to high heaven ! Sincere Catholics who worked for these priests or have gone for Spiritual Direction to them have been connecting and trying to figure out exactly what to do about them after the truth has been made clear . When they speak with the few decent priests they hang their heads in shame and turn red in the face.They know too !Sadly, when lay people discover the truth they just leave.There is not much one can do because these priests have carefully polished this veneer of holiness that serves to shield them from attack even from the parent’s of altar boys who dare to complain .

    Knowing what I know ,I often PRAY that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost will avenge these travesties and lies against the Most Favored Daughter , Birthgiver and Most Chaste Spouse of the Trinity, Our Holy Mother !
    As far as Pope Francis 1 is concerned, I ask, how will the Bishop of Rome ,as he calls himself , clean out the filth here ?
    I know now he cannot. Only God can really bring them to their knees.

  • 5 cm // Mar 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    A now officially debunked report was that he told Law to get out and never return to Mary Major, and that he wanted him in a monastery. I hope it was really true - if so, his first official act was an exorcism of a church clouded by perfidy. Marc Oullette, head and co-member of the Cong. of Bishops, is bragging today in an interview in his lovely Roman pied-à-terre, that he spoke to him for 2 minutes in the intro line about something important. Oullette is a Sulpician, the historical and current center of the high identity of priesthood. Although some Sulpicians have soundly criticized their tradition, his rhetoric has been high in the past. Let’s hope Francis will not rely on his pals to clean up the mess before checking his pals out first. Being that he generally has steered clear of visiting Rome, he has some catching up to do. He did take off his stole after the blessing on the loggia, indicating he sees a limit on that identity. It falls to advocates like Leon to take all reasonable measures to educate the Pope on the extent of the collusion of leadership and to urge him that poverty, peace and a clean environment start with the an episcopal house cleaning, even if most of them get bounced out. BTW, A Sulpician seminarian once told me the only vow Sulpicians take is to never eat at lower than a 4-star French restaurant…

  • 6 Joseph D'Hippolito // Mar 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    As a disenchanted non-Catholic, I’d like to make these points:

    1. Regarding Mary’s post about the Virgin Mary, too many Catholics are liable to deception as long as the Virgin’s name is involved. That reflects Catholicism’s egregious tendency to tranfer God’s tender, compassionate, loving side to Mary.

    2. I’m not sure how many of you know about the Prophecy of St. Malachy but according to that prophecy, Francis is to be the last pope. It should not surprise anybody that Francis’ humility has universal appeal and that his vision is orthodox yet ecumenical. If he has any role to play as the “Last Days” reach their climax, those traits will provide the foundation for that role.

  • 7 Oso Pious // Mar 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    In New Mexico the Pervered Arch-Shepherds and their enablers deliberately targeted and chose the poorest and most remote parishes for their experimental program of recycling pedophile priests! Soon Pope Francis will have a chance to meet our Governor, Susanna Martinez , at his up-coming Installment Mass in Rome. As a representative of New Mexico, the ground zero for recycling pedophile priests, Governor Susanna Martinez might actually have a few words to say to the new Bishop of Rome. As an alumnus of a Jesuit University, I am glad that Pope Francis is a Jesuit and that he is not a product of any minor seminary. I sincerely hope he will be the 21st Century version of someone like Martin Luther and really reform the Vatican. Viva Papa Francisco!!

  • 8 reid // Mar 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Joseph D’Hippolito, comment 6 - What I - a disenchanted Catholic - know of St. Malachy I learned from a short article in the New Columbia Encyclopedia. I have heard of but not made a study of the prophecy of St. Malachy. So I ask in sincerity (I’m not being a wise guy), why would one place credence in the prophecy of St. Malachy, an Irish churchman of the 12th century?

  • 9 Mary // Mar 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Reid and Joseph, I place my trust in the Word made Flesh and according to the Scriptures, Faith morality and love will continue to deteriorate in the world.
    When the Son of God returns will He find any Faith left in the world?
    Save Us O Lord Jesus as part of Your inheritance.

  • 10 mary ann // Mar 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    OSV just included a 4-color pamphlet for solicitations by the Servants of the Paraclete. “Help the poor brothers and priests who have the same problems we all face!” Aargh

  • 11 Joseph D'Hippolito // Mar 17, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Mary, I put my trust in the Word made Flesh, as well, not in ecclesiastical institutions.

    Reid, I suggest you get a book entitled, “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here,” by Tom Horn and Cris Putman. I don’t endorse everything they say but they give a detailed account not only about St. Malachy’s prophecy but other Catholic prophecies concerning the Church’s bleak future.

  • 12 Mary // Mar 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Mary Ann..It figures OSV, right?
    cm, I rec’d a call on the story that was debunked yesterday. The caller was very excited Pope Francis had begun the clean up and very disappointed at my skepticism concerning the story.
    The Orthodox Patriarch will be at the Pope’s installation Mass. This is a first since the Great Schism .
    A negative for the Traditionalist mindset but interestingly significant regarding a very ancient , Orthodox Prophecy.

  • 13 mary ann // Mar 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    We had good philosophy, we had good theology, with an academic approach to good liturgy, and now we have good evangelical preaching. That’s all nice. None of it will matter without good governance. Teach, Rule, Sanctify. They talk and talk.

  • 14 mary ann // Mar 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    The victims of the perverts are the poorest of the poor.

  • 15 Augusta Wynn // Mar 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    When he mentioned he wanted to pray at Cardinal
    Law’s spot (with more than a few spots available to him) couldn’t just one of his aides have mentioned that it was a goofy idea, sending a terrible message to clergy abuse victims and those who care about children?
    Cardinal Law’s reckless endangerment of children in his care and his subsequent escape to the Roman basilica brought international shame to the church.
    Is Pope Francis already asleep? Or is he sending a message that hierarchal enablers are safe with him?

  • 16 reid // Mar 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Joseph D’Hipplito - Thanks, I’ll try to track down a copy of the book. In the meantime, let me recast my question to you — why do you, a disenchanted non-Catholic, put any stock in a prophecy from a 12th century Irish churchman?

  • 17 Joseph D'Hippolito // Mar 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Reid, I think the prophecy has a lot of merit. Compare its descriptions of the popes with either their lives, papal names, papal coats of arms or other information. For example, the next-to-last pope is called “The Glory of the Olive.” Cdl. Ratzinger chose “Benedict” for his papal name. St. Benedict founded the Benedictine order, which includes an olive branch in its emblem.

    Check it out for yourself.

  • 18 Janice Fox // Mar 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Augusta, I think that Cardinal Law is the Archpriest Emeritus of St. Mary Major, one of the four main basilica churches in Rome. So Pope Francis is not really visiting Cardinal Law’s Church, but a church that has had a succession of leaders probably both good and bad. In any case it does seem that JPII forgave Law for his malfeasance in Boston, but Law is a has been now.

  • 19 Mary // Mar 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    “The victims of the perverts are the poorest of the poor.”

    Allow me to add to that in the strongest sense I can in print. These victims include the Faithful laity who have been subjected to the same as their pastors and Bishops and who have had to endure absentee priests for the confessionals weak and even heretical homilies and religious entertainment including liturgical dancing and folk Masses. The LAST one I was privy to was a children’s Mass that included singing the Our father to the tune of “Bingo was His Name O’!
    Topping it all off is the obvious shame that comes from the reaction of others who ask what religion you are and hearing ,”Oh they have a lot of problems with their clergy.”The WORLD is watching Pope Francis to see what he will do.

  • 20 Mary // Mar 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Where was Papa Francesco?

    Homosexual ceremony in a Basilica of Buenos Aires

    The elegant Basilica of the Most Holy Sacrament, where perpetual adoration takes place, is one of the preferred churches in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for marriages and ceremonies of high society. On August 25, 2012, the church was the stage for a sequence of scandals.

  • 21 Augusta Wynn // Mar 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    My point exactly, Janice. Four basilicas, churches everywhere, and the Jesuit Pope Francis visits Law’s basilica?
    Is this a public display of a fratres in unum mentality?
    Cardinal Law has maintained a prominent role in the church, even without a vote, in this election of Pope Francis the Jesuit.
    Cardinal Bernard Law is not a Has Been to the myriad of survivors (and those who couldn’t ) of his enabled pedophile priests.

  • 22 Father Michael Koenig // Mar 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Mary, are there any other sources for this story that might give more background (ie. was the archbishop informed before hand, was the priest celebrant punished, etc.)? I want orthodoxy and orthopraxis, etc. but find Tradition in Action and other Lefevrist style blogs a bit hard to stomach (that said, I like The Remnant but New Oxford Review would be my own favorite for news, commentary, etc.).

  • 23 Oso Pious // Mar 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Pope John Paul II was an active chess player in Poland before becoming Pope. Now I hear that Pope Francis is a chess player who plays very thoughtful and attentive moves. The Pope just recently publicly reconciled with the President of Argentina. In chess there are “good” bishops and “bad” bishops, according to how they function in a typical game. I think homosexuals and lesbians are a part of our world and our new Pope is just going to have to accept them as Jesus would. I have friends who are gay and their time has come. As long as people respect children and do not seek to harm them, who cares whom they love as adults? Jesus had his “beloved disciple”.

  • 24 reid // Mar 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks, Joseph. I will check it out for myself.

    Agree with your comment (13), mary ann. Good governance . . . apparently a strange concept to those in the engine room of the barque of St. Peter.

  • 25 Lee Penn // Mar 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Bergoglio has a history of supporting the United Religions Initiative.

    The United Religions Initiative (URI) is an interfaith movement launched in 1995 by William Swing, the now-retired Episcopal Church bishop for the SF Bay Area. The URI is influenced by Theosophy, the New Age movement, and neo-Paganism. It is on the liberal/trendy edge of the broader interfaith movement, and now has (by its own claim) 571 chapters (“cooperation circles”) worldwide.

    This weekend, I found statements from within the URI that Bergoglio has hosted/participated in some of their activities in Argentina.


    Laird Harrison, “Bay Area Catholics May Find the New Pope a Mixed Bag,” KQED News Fix, March 13, 2013, http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/03/13/new-pope-chosen/

    “Maria Crespo, an Argentine Catholic visiting San Francisco, said Cardinal Bergoglio supports women in traditional roles. “Argentina is quite a traditional country so there has not been much controversy about women’s roles that I can remember,” she said. “But he has given women positions of responsibility,” she said. Crespo, global support coordinator for the United Religions Initiative, said she had worked directly with Bergoglio on interfaith efforts. He hosted a meeting of Crespo’s group, which fosters interfaith cooperation, at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. “He is so open and welcoming and humble at the same time,” she said.”



    “In 2007, URI - represented by Bishop Swing, Maria Eugenia Crespo and CC [Cooperation Circle] members - celebrated the 10th anniversary of our first meeting in the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Little did we know one of our esteemed participant and friend, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, would be named Pope just five years later! Felicitaciones, Papa Francis!”


    There is a progression here.

    Under John Paul II, the URI was primarily attractive to Catholic dissenters … but the then-Archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada, allowed his diocesan staff and newspaper to promote it without hindrance.

    Under Benedict, William Levada was swiftly brought to Rome and raised to be the head of the CDF. When Levada was raised to be Cardinal, he invited some URI leaders to join in the festivities in Rome. The URI continued to spread, and attracted donations from Catholic leaders from 2004 onward. Donors acknowledged by the URI included the Archdiocese of Baltimore (2005), the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2004), Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Archbishop of Washington DC (2005), and Archbishop George Niederauer, of the Archdiocese of San Francisco (2008). Fr. James Channan, who served on the URI Global Council from 2002 to 2008, received an award from the Vatican in December 2005 as a “Pioneer of Christian Muslim Dialogue in Pakistan,” indicating Rome’s approval of his interfaith work. This award was granted during the reign of the former pope, Benedict XVI.

    Now, with Francis, we appear to have an occupant of the Chair of Peter who sponsored and participated in URI activities before coming to Rome.

    It will be interesting to see whether Francis carries this friendship into the Vatican, and aligns the RCC explicitly with the URI. Or, he may offer support to the interfaith movement as a whole, without favoring the URI over other parts of this movement.


    Meanwhile, the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions (CPWR), the oldest interfaith organization, has just issued two articles praising the new pope. To avoid overwhelming the combox, I am providing links to their two press releases:

    “The Parliament Of World Religion’s Welcomes Pope Francis – Celebrating a Leader and Patron for Global Interreligious Relations”

    And this:

    “Pope Francis and Interreligious Relations”

    The CPWR has an agenda, of course. They think that Christian evangelization is contrary to the principle of equality among all religions. Check out this paper from their web site:

    “Catholics and Interreligious Relations: Challenges Facing a New Pope” – written by a liberal Catholic.


    We are in interesting times. I will be updating my previous book about the URI (False Dawn) this year. It will, almost inevitably, include more ominous findings than I reported in 2004-2005.


  • 26 cm // Mar 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    The pope was going to the heart of Rome, a reminder of when Pope Gregory I led the people in procession to the same place to pray against the plague. A vision of St. Michael was seen by all. Francis had mentioned he was going to see the Blessed Mother the night before. I think he really did tell Law he should not have come and to leave, and even to get to a monastery. That may have been his first ecclesial act, maybe not planned, but also a reminder of the Lord casting out the money changers who were probably also dealing in temple boy prostitutes. Law is a very bad egg and Francis had to know how bad it looked for him to be there, and what an outrageous thing it was for him to do. That the press secretary tried to deny it is another lesson for Francis that the powers that be will keep trying to cover everything over at every turn.

  • 27 Mary // Mar 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Fr Michael , someone sent it on to me with the link.
    I am with you regarding the first two sources for Traditional Orthodoxy and am a little gun shy of the Remnant too.
    My own research into the history S American Catholicism leaves me queezy about the CIA US and Opus Dei political connections with the various Dictatoral murderous regimes. I know for a fact that there are many Hispanics who resent the Vatican’s political involvment and even recall the Follieri Group bragging f0r good PR about innoculating children down there for Hep A while they monopolized the market for purchasing Church properties here. All very sad for the families whose parents and grandparents built these Churches.
    That said, Papolatry is a very dangerous thing. How long has it been since we had a Pope who really took a stand against Bishops in N America who allow every aberration, liturgical and otherwise? I pray for the Pope but wonder how realistic it is to think he can turn things around in my lifetime even if he intends to.
    He stated he was the Bishop of Rome and as such I think he expects the other Bishops to follow his lead for their own Diocese. This is not encouraging imho, simply because so many will continue the statu quo.
    Reading Scripture the other night wherein the Apostles complained to Him that others were casting out demons in His Name. Jesus replied, “If they are not against us they are with us.”
    I am hopeful for the Ecumenist Movement in the Church with the Orthodox but do not feel the same about Papal attendance at Synagogues or Mosques simply because they are not “with us” in the Belief of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus.

    I am not fond of this site below either, but wonder about the trajectory of the Vatican since John Paul 2 first kised the Koran at Assisi .Is this the reason Pope Francis took his name or is it to rebuild the Church ? Is it a political globalist agenda or one that upholds the Faith for True Christian Believers?
    Only time will tell.


  • 28 Anonymous // Mar 19, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I was disturbed to read one thing he said this morning about the Pope’s job. he did not say it was to confirm his brothers in dai, to be the rock, or to use the keys. he said it was to embrace the poor.

  • 29 Mary // Mar 19, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Tradition in Action continues to bemoan the loss of the Papal Monarchy by referring to the new Pope as a ‘miserabalist” who does not even wear the tradiotnal red shoes. A sign that he is on the same track as the Vatican 2 reformists.But Benedict did wear red shoes and they were made by Prada.

    Considering the Documentation and testimonials given by Bella Dodd, it is well worth remembering that Cardinals are pretty much immune to punishment according to Canon Law.
    It seems to me that monarchist model has created a entangeled BUREAUCRACY that makes clean up a daunting task.
    …and that adorning the Papacy with the trappings of the midevil Church does not necessarily coincide with cleaning out the filth or bringing the Church back to the Traditional Faith.

    Society is being told to accept aberrations in sexuality as norm .Hilary has just made a public service announcement in which she states she accepts LGBT marriages according to her faith and the “friends’ she is acquainted with.
    I wonder which inclusive revised Biblical text she is reading? My Bible instructs us to love our neighbor too but at the same time these neighbors may not be welcome in our Church community because they do not hold the same Belief based on Scripture.Christianity is not all inclusive because we have a FreeWill to choose to Believe the Word of God or not. I pray Pope Francis sticks with Christ……period.

  • 30 Sibyl // Mar 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    There is a story that Pope Francis may send Cardinal Law back to Boston to (face the music) work atonement and healing in that Archdiocese.

    There is more accusation from Argentina, this time about an alleged or convicted sexual abuser priest, Fr. Grassi.

  • 31 Sibyl // Mar 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Grassi is not in jail, but is living near the school for poor children called ‘Happy Children’ that he founded.

    As with many CSA cases, it is difficult to get hard evidence since the heinous deeds are nearly always done in secret.

  • 32 TheAltonRoute // Mar 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Monarchy or not, how did the American Church function without all the bureaucracy a century ago or so? I remember having read in The Undermining of the Church by Mary Ball Martinez that the Vatican put pressure on national hierarchies to create bishops’ conferences. We know how those have turned out. To me it looks like a controlled demolition from the top down, where bishops’ conferences are designed to be the forerunners of national or regional churches - in other words the balkanization of the Church.

    Tradition in Action’s too obsessed with monarchy. Was the Church ever a pure monarchy anyway? Sure, there are monarchical influences, though.

  • 33 TheAltonRoute // Mar 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm


    I assume a large part of the Catholic Church in Latin America has been used as a tool by the British and later their American allies to dominate the region. The Jesuits, Opus Dei and the Legionaries come to mind as possible collaborators.

  • 34 James Kabala // Mar 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    The prophecies of St. Malachy were unheard of before 1590, when they were supposedly “discovered” in an old manuscript. Surprise, surprise - they are dead-on accurate up to 1590 and vague or questionable afterwards. (For example, the Benedictines do not “include an olive branch in their emblem;” rather, a group called the Olivetans is just one of many congregations within the Benedictine Order.) There is also the question of why God would reveal a boring list composed mainly of papal hometowns or descriptions of their coats of arms. At least other alleged prophecies usually claim to reveal worthwhile information.

  • 35 Mary // Mar 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Does anyone recall the gold nugget that was allegedly found amongst Pope Benedict’s butlers apartments with the stolen documents ? The piece came from a Director of a gold mine in S America .The accompanying letter was that the Pope should donate to his favorite Hispanic charity. After reading the story I researched gold mines down there and was horrified to read how the indigenous farmer’s land, crops and drinking water was being poisoned. They were begging for signatures on their petitions to stop the rape of their lands.

    The NYT article linked above explains all the gifts and requests made of a Pope. It is way too akin to the corporate lobbies and banking interests that rule DC.
    Seems to me that when a corporation like say Monsanto, has a vested interest in something such as say ,Genetically Modified Seeds …that ruffles the feathers of the populace peasants who are under the notion that they have a right to know the cause and effect of what they put into their bodies ,or have a right to keep their water sources or land clean and fertile, it plays well to have religion on your side, say nada or even support your endeavors.
    As the Catholic Church goes so goes the world!

  • 36 Mary // Mar 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Alton, Dodd testified that she answered to four Communist Party bosses in the Vatican who were Cardinals and that was back in the late thirties.

  • 37 Anonymous // Mar 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    “Dr. Bella Dodd, a high-ranking official of the Communist Party-USA, converted to Catholicism in April 1952 under the tutelage of Bishop Fulton Sheen. Stating that the Communist infiltration was so extensive that in the future “you will not recognize the Catholic Church,” Dodd also asserted that:
    Quote from: http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php/topic,3420491.0.html

    In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations. … I, myself, put some 1,200 men in Catholic seminaries.

    Dodd told her friend Alice von Hildebrand, the theologian, that “when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican ‘who were working for us’.”

    Manning Johnson, a former Communist Party official testified in 1953 to the House un-American Activities Committee regarding the infiltration of the Catholic Church:
    Quote from: Manning Johnson

    Once the tactic of infiltration of religious organizations was set by the Kremlin … the Communists discovered that the destruction of religion could proceed much faster through infiltration of the (Catholic) Church by Communists operating within the Church itself. …This policy of infiltrating seminaries was successful beyond even our communist expectations.”

  • 38 Janice Fox // Mar 21, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Thank you, James Kabala, for the historical background on the Malachy prophecies. When I was in college, we learned that although an accurate knowledge of history could help us avoid making the same mistakes over and over again, it could in no way enable us to predict the future.

    When I was in Sunday School, we learned that prophets were not people who were given a supernatural vision of future events, but those who could see the consequences of current political decisions. The most prominent example was Winston Churchill who saw that Hitler could not be appeased and that war was the inevitable consequence.

    For God’s directions concerning divining the future see Deuteronomy 18:9-22.

  • 39 Janice Fox // Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Why didn’t Bella Dodd name the four cardinals in the Vatican who were plotting with the communists to bring down the Catholic Church? How did she go about placing 1,200 party members in seminaries? Did she write recommendations for all of them? If these seminarians were so well educated that they could be admitted to Catholic Seminaries, would not at least some of them have been converted to the Truths of the Catholic Faith and publicly rejected their Communist ideology? In short what kind of documentation has ever been produced that what Bella Dodd said was true? Or was she trying to make a living selling books during the Communist scare of the 1950s?

  • 40 Mary // Mar 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Janice ,
    “….prophets were not people who were given a supernatural vision of future events, but those who could see the consequences of current political decisions.”
    I guess Gerald Celente might therefore, be called a ‘prophet”under the definition you were taught?

    I was taught that the prophets were inspired by God for His purposes which are to console guide and recognize the difficult times they endure which test Faith so His people “the elect” know how to respond and are assured that He is always ultimately in control and learn to love Him and trust in Him even more.
    Judas is an example of one who did not trust in His Mercy and forgiveness and so, he committed suicide.
    The Apocalypse aka Revelations would be an example of these prophetical “supernatural visions”.

    What you described are people like Gerald Celente. Trend forecasters who base their assumptions on past and present political decisions.
    By the way he makes some good points in the video interview above.

  • 41 Anonymous // Mar 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I’ld like to add to this that there is nothing new under the sun regarding human proclivity to sin.It has just gone global and the worst of it which can do the most harm both spiritually and physically to the largest amount people is now more concentrated in the power addicted persona of relatively very few.
    Malachi Martin once said that Satan now walks in jack boots in the corporate and political board rooms.He was no prophet either.

  • 42 TheAltonRoute // Mar 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I have no idea about the Bella Dodd material. New York and London were probably running the Kremlin to a large extent at the time anyway. The communist conspiracies feed into the Cold War craziness. No doubt the usual suspects were giving American technology to the Soviet Union in order to build up a rival superpower in order to play off the superpowers against each other. The Church got caught up in this charade after WWII. Real concern for the poor degenerated into liberation theology while concern for liturgical discipline evolved into obsessions over left-wing plots and right-wing restoration. Just smoke and mirrors galore.

  • 43 reid // Mar 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Joseph - I’ve been checking it out for myself. Based on the reading I’ve done so far on the prophecies of Malachy, I’ve reached two conclusions. (1) Malachy (b. 1094, d. 1148) didn’t write the prophecies. They were probably written sometime in the 1590s and falsely ascribed to him. The forger’s object was to influence the electors in favor of a certain cardinal during a papal conclave. Disenchanted non-Catholics should appreciate that. (2) The prophecies are not the words of an inspired prophet. For the popes after Gregory XIV (1590-91), the “prophecies” make a few hits here and there, but being right in parts isn’t enough for a series of predictions to be considered inspired. (Thanks, James Kabala, comment 34).

  • 44 Father Michael Koenig // Mar 22, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I’ve also wondered why Dodd didn’t name names. It seems she must have to someone (Bishop Sheen?), otherwise she would have been dismissed out of hand. Does anyone have any information on this or credible explanation of what happened. Also, why wasn’t anything done about her revelations? Finally, I’m also amazed that none of the plants converted or renounced his assignment. It all makes me wonder whether Dodd was a fraud who capitalized on her communist past during the cold war.

  • 45 Mary // Mar 22, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Fr Michael , Bella Dodd visited the Von Hildebrand’s home on LI not long after her conversion. She told them that Bishop Sheen instructed her explicitly NOT to reveal the names.
    I asked the very same question of a friend of Von Hildebrand’s who was kind enough to forward the PDF Docs to me from Alice and send along a copy of the notarized testimonials given by wittnesses who heard her soeak in public.
    My own suspicions arose against Bishop Sheen who , like Ratzinger in the CDF ,seemed to err on the side of not causing scandal for the ,”..good of the Church.”
    The results were the same per this philosophy.The Faithful were not alerted and warned . Neither were they made aware of the wolves in the pulpit preaching and teaching error or realize the rampant ebophile predation .
    I was also sent the notarized testimonial of a couple who heard Dodd speak. She traveled the country giving talks to Catholics at seminars and symposiums. Dodd said only the hx Party members were willing to take on the assignment.
    They were to appear to be orthodox until they reached the highest position in their clerical careers and then reveal their heterodox views in order to demoralize and destroy Church Doctrine.

    Speaking of prophets ….Bl Emmerick talks of a dream she had of the future in which she travels to Rome visiting the Basilicas there .She states that good Catholics do not trust each other or know who to trust which indicates what the times would be like .
    I will have to look it up again ,but interestingly I seem to recall she mentioned St Francis as accompanying her .

  • 46 Mary // Mar 22, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Leon , I sent you the PDF Docs on Dodd soem time ago .Feel free to publish them.

  • 47 Mary // Mar 22, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Toby Westermen was sent the same Documents at the time.

  • 48 Anonymous // Mar 22, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Another view of the Communist influence in American political and cultural history.

  • 49 TheAltonRoute // Mar 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm


    That Sheen told Dodd not to reveal the names does not surprise me. After all, Sheen converted the wife of Henry Luce. And we know that Mr. Luce was a very influential member of the Anglo-American establishment. Sheen’s boss Francis Spellman was very close to the centers of power on the East Coast as well. Sheen probably didn’t want to embarrass the power players Dodd knew to be communists. From reading Fr. Feeney’s newsletters, I get the feeling that he found Sheen to be a lackey of the northeastern establishment.

    Also, conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Eustace Mullins claimed that Fr. Walsh, SJ, of Georgetown helped shut down Joseph McCarthy.

    The picture is starting to become clearer to me that an influential portion of the American hierarchy has helped cover up the crimes of the Anglo-American establishment. These are the same people who turned Russia into the enemy of the United States while profiting off the Cold War military build-up in both the US and the Soviet Union.

  • 50 TheAltonRoute // Mar 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm


    Bob Hoatson’s complaint lists an incident where Bishop Sheen allegedly covered up sexual abuse of a young girl or woman. Yet a diocese in Illinois is still pushing for his canonization. What’s next? St. Francis Spellman?

  • 51 Mary // Mar 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Alton ,Great insight!
    I was friends with Mother Teresa of St Anne’s House in Stillriver. I can assure you that the stories about Fr Feeney were twisted and retwisted in print.
    Mother bacame a Catholic and a nun after WW2 She had been a military nurse and was around fifty I recall, when she heard Fr Feeney speak in Harvard Square. She told me the whole story first hand. How Joe Kennedy’s Jewish buisiness associates complained their university sons and daughters were converting to Catholicism after listening to Fr Feeney. They asked Joe to put a lid on him. So Joe contacted Cushing . Bobby even showed up at the st Benedict Study Center ( I believe that was the name in Harvard Square) and in a haughty and nasty tone said,” So your the priest who is telling my friends they are going to go to hell.” Feeney replied that he was telling them how to get to heaven and chastised Robert Kennedy for his arrogance. Cushing gave the false excommunication and when they went to Rome they discovered no papers were ever sent there. Cushing got Cook where he wound up and Cook was a good friend of Frannies as was Hoover. They hung out at the same cross dressing night clubs with Roy Cohn who later worked for a SMOM legal firm where Frannie got him a position. Mother told me that after she became a nun the Sisters would go to Boston and were spat upon in the street by the wives of Jewish businessmen. The Catholic institutions and hierarchy are and have been way too intertwined with politics .

  • 52 Mary // Mar 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Alton, Am I impressed with the robe swishing images of Sheen on EWTN’s replays? No!
    Nor was I ever impressed with those who follow in his image like Corapi,Eutenauer ,Roberts,Groeschel et al!

  • 53 TheAltonRoute // Mar 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm


    Ahh, the Kennedys, the Catholic lackeys of the northeastern establishment. Catholics, especially Irish ones, make good frontmen when the establishment wants to go after Catholics. The same with the Jews, who apparently have been the preferred tools of oligarchs for ages. The Cold War years of the 50s must’ve been something. I wouldn’t doubt members of the SMOM somehow mastered the art of being pro-Communist and anti-Communist at the same time, always with an eye for profits and geopolitics.

    Our friends the Jesuits are masters of the left-right charade:

  • 54 Mary // Mar 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Alton . now one is the Pope!
    I will read the link ,thanks!

  • 55 James Kabala // Mar 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    There was a time when back issues of Fr. Feeney’s newsletter had been posted online by a modern-day follower. (I don’t remember the URL, so I can’t say whether the site still exists.) They contained some good stuff but also such things as rants against “Jewish chairs” - apparently he (or one of his writers) believed that Jews had taken over the chair industry and had (deliberately?) changed the design of chairs so that they were now uncomfortable to sit in.

  • 56 James Kabala // Mar 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Hey, here it is:


    I agree that modern art and architecture is mostly bad, but this article is just a fusillade of anti-Jewish invective. It also contains perhaps the telltale sign of a anti-Semite - when a particular enemy is not Jewish, say he is anyway! (Picasso being the pseudo-Jew in question in this particular case.)

Leave a Comment