(Rome) Last year, the Vatican bureaucrats started hunting for InfoVaticana, the largest independent Catholic news platform in the Spanish-speaking world. Allegedly because it leads with the Vatican in its name. With a letter from Pope Francis to the multi-lingual news platform Vatican Insider, the Vatican provided proof that it was only an excuse.
The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a warning to the operators of InfoVaticana, the Spanish professional journalists, last year.
The news site, according to the accusation, operates by naming itself
"Vatican" in the name of unfair competition through misleading
advertising. The Vatican is serious. The State Secretariat appointed Baker & McKenzie, one of the top 10 global law firms, to take legal action against InfoVaticana. Cannons were used to shoot sparrows, said Gabriel Ariza and Fernando Beltrán, founders and operators of InfoVaticana .
They see the real reason for the unusual Vatican approach in their basic attitude and the pope-critical reporting.
The independent platform has in the past published critical accounts of
certain acts and statements of the ruling Pope, as well as of Spanish
bishops, including the Archbishop of Madrid appointed by Pope Francis.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Saturday, April 21, 2018
|Ex-Priest and Chief Director of the site Religion Digital Josè Manuel Vidal gives Pope Francis three bars of Turrón|
Religion Digital is an anti-church site founded by ex-priest José Manuel Vidal, whose "line is incompatible with the faith of the Catholic Church and the minimum of ties that a Catholic should unite with his shepherds," says Fr Josè Antonio Fortea described the website on September 2016. Vidal has been engaged in constant attacks against the Church and her doctrine for more than 20 years. The range of anti-church propaganda ranges from a platform for Church opponents to the publication of blasphemous cartoons.
InfoVaticana was founded in 2013 by Gabriel Ariza and Fernando Beltrán as a Church-loyal counterweight, so as not to leave Religion Digital the field of information.
Religion Digital has been reporting since 2013 with enthusiasm about Pope Francis while maintaining the anti-church line.
InfoVaticana reports, increasingly critical of certain statements and gestures of Pope Francis, as it continues the course of the defense of Church and doctrine.
The positions of the two news sites are diametrically opposed. This is evident not only in Spain, but - albeit attenuated - outside the Iberian peninsula. For example, in Rome: The papal house Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli cooperates with Religion Digital, the secret Doyen of the Vatican, Sandro Magister, with InfoVaticana .
While Tornielli goes to and fro under Francis in Santa Marta, advises the Pope on media issues, is part of the papal communication strategy, and receives first-hand information from Francis, Magister was stripped of accreditation by the Vatican Press Office due to his critical coverage in 2015 - after more than 30 years years of service. After a few months, he was accredited again. However, the shot in front of the bow was clear.
The same applies to InfoVaticana and Religion Digital. Under the governing Pope, it is clearly signaled who is well-liked and who is not.
The stick for InfoVaticana, carrots for Religion Digital
The Vatican Secretariat of State has appointed one of the top 10 lavender law firms in the world to initiate litigation against InfoVaticana. The Holy See accuses the news site of wanting to mislead, using the name of the Vatican in order to obtain donations. An absurd name dispute. It would be as if the city of Frankfurt would start a lawsuit against the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, or as if the cities of Zurich and New York were taking action against the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the New York Times. InfoVaticana utilizes the Vatican in its name because most of the coverage is focused on the Holy See and the Universal Church. There are various media with a comparable name references, which the Vatican Secretariat of State has not up to now.
In this detour, the Vatican tells the news site its disapproval, which goes so far as to put pressure on InfoVaticana and harm it. Although the Vatican has denied such an intention, the lawyers have not called back.
Digital Religion in Santa MartaOn Thursday, April 19, José Manuel Vidal, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Religion Digital, accompanied the theologian and former Jesuit Josè Maria Castillo to the Vatican. Castillo turned his back on the Jesuit order in 2007 for reasons of "mental hygiene," having for decades provoked conflicts with the ecclesiastical hierarchy with his heterodox views and his propagation of Marxist liberation theology. Castillo is a permanent columnist at Religion Digital and runs his blog on the news site with the provocative name "theology without censorship."
Castillo had been invited by Francis to the Pope's morning Mass in Santa Marta. Following this there was an encounter between the ex-Jesuit and the Jesuit on the Pope's throne (see Pope Francis "rehabilitates" Liberation Theologians ). In this context, there was also the encounter between Francis and Vidal, in which the head of the church found remarkably benevolent words for the news portal, as Vidal himself reported on his side:
"I told him what it was about and showed him a color print of Religion Digital and another printout of the front page of Pro Francisco that we've been hosting on our site for three years. Francis put both hands on mine and told me, 'Continue to renew a Church that goes out'.The encounter between Castillo and Vidal with Pope Francis proves what Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the Prefect of the Roman Congregation of the Doctrine of the Congregation, dismissed by Francis, that there is an "inner connection between the papists of today and the rebels of yesterday," between the great adversaries John Paul II and Benedict XVI," who yesterday "undermined the foundations of theology" and those who today present themselves as great Bergoglio followers.
Then I gave him three bars of Spanish turrón 1) . "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Religion Digital (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org