(Rome) "Because of the mental health", so Pope Francis assured, he does not read internet pages and blogs that criticize his administration. Yesterday, he warned the apostolic nuncios from "blogging" or "even joining groups," who are critical of him. In the same speech, however, Francis quoted just one of those websites that he says he does not read at all. Such as?
On January 16, 2018, Pope Francis met in Santiago de Chile with the Jesuits of that South American country. The main reason for the trip to Chile and Peru was the imminent Amazon Synod as his confidant, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, explained. That was only a few days before the storm of homosexual abuse scandal in the Church began to break over Francis.
Francis also approached his confreres of the Society of Jesus SJ) about heresy allegations that had been made to him indirectly a short time before in connection with the controversial post-synodal letter Amoris laetitia. Contentwise, he did not respond to the criticism, but demanded “not to read” such websites and blogs for reasons of "mental hygiene.”
Yesterday, the Pope received in audience all the Apostolic Nuncios who are doing their diplomatic service in different countries worldwide. Their meeting, to which he called them to Rome, ends tomorrow.
In his speech which was published only in Italian, Francis warned the ambassadors of the Holy See against criticism of his person. The head of the Church said:
"It is therefore incompatible to be a Pontifical Representative and to criticize the Pope behind his back, to have a blog or even to join groups hostile to Him, the Curia and the Church of Rome."
The third person in which Francis spoke of himself is capitalized in the original Vatican publication. The speech was published on the official website of the Holy See and in today's edition of Osservatore Romano. It should not be forgotten that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a retired apostolic nuncio, criticized the current pontificate with the greatest publicity so far and called for the resignation of Francis.
When the pope quotes what he does not read out of "mental hygiene"
Remarkably, Francis quoted yesterday for the nuncios, just one of those websites, of which he - as a directive to the Jesuits (and not just them) - said not to read them. The reference can be found in footnote 14. The source quoted by Pope Francis is Corrispondenza Romana, whose founder and editor, Professor Roberto de Mattei, is one of the intellectual critics of the current pontificate.
Footnote 14: an essay by Prof. Roberto de Mattei on Corrispondenza Romana.
The Bergoglians tried to correct this "embarrassment" immediately, first of all Il Sismografo, the digital press review hosted somewhere between the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Communications Dicastery, led by Luis Badilla, a former Chilean Minister of Popular Front Government of Salvador Allende. There, in tortuous form, an apology is sought, cited in Santa Marta for what was considered there a scandalous "Faupax", from such an illustrious and honorable, intellectually outstanding and deeply traditional source as the historian Roberto de Mattei:
"After numerous checks and verifications, we have come to a conclusion and present it to our readers, just as this conviction has formed in our editorial staff in these hours: in all probability the Pope was not adequately informed, without complete information and not consciously aware of the very nature of the source used in footnote 14 of his speech.”
Luis Badilla must have swept aside this formulation like the beads of sweat on his forehead. There were "so many" references to this source that Il Sismografo felt compelled to respond in order to protect the image of the Pope. Prof. de Mattei is presented by Badilla as an "anti-Bergoglian Italian intellectual" who "in those years did not spare Pope Francis allegations, epithets, adjectives and criticisms, often morally aggressive and not very polite to the Bishop of Rome.”
But what did Pope Francis quote from Corrispondenza Romana? At first glance "only" the litany of humility of Cardinal Secretary of State Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). Francis recommends it to the apostolic nuncios, stating that it comes from a "colleague," Merry del Val, son of a Spanish diplomat, himself serving many years as a diplomat in the service of the Holy See.
However, the essay by Roberto de Mattei on the Spanish-Irish cardinal cited in the source not only includes the litany, but a tribute to the "true aristocrat" whom St. Pius X, though only 38 years old, made Vatican secretary of state.
The red cape for the close circle of Francis, however, is Roberto de Mattei, the quoted author himself: historian, university professor, like his father and grandfather, descendant of the Sicilian nobility and one of the leading figures in Catholic tradition. It was about them he wrote under the title "Defense of Tradition," a book that was published in 2017 in translation by the theologian and philosopher Wolfram Schrems and with a foreword by the writer Martin Mosebach in German and is to be regarded as a standard reference work in German.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Vatican.va (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org
Book is available in English.