Saturday 13 April 2019

Salvini wore 'Benedict is my Pope' t-shirt after Bannon told him 'Pope Francis is the enemy’

I was interested to read in the Guardian that Mateo Salvini wore 'Benedict is my Pope' t-shirt after Steve Bannon told him at a meeting in April 2016, 'Pope Francis is the enemy’.

Bannon told him, “You can go around Europe and it’s [populism] catching fire and the Pope is just dead wrong."

Both he and Salvini are what Brendan Behan said was the only thing to be, bad Catholics. Bad Catholics in the sense that they have divorced and found new relationships, but they consider themselves defenders of Christendom against infidel invaders.

Before they rush to condemn Mateo Salvini and Steve Bannon, Catholics should bear in mind that they regard the Pope as infallible when he is enunciating a new dogma, which he has promised he will never do, or an old dogma or when he teaches what was taught at all times and in all places by the Church. Dogmas apart, they may even disagree when he teaches what was taught at all times and in all places by the Church if they follow their conscience, after properly educating themselves, though if they commit a mortal sin as a result they cannot receive communion. 

When the pope speaks about politics or climatology, he is stepping outside his area of authority and everyone is free to disagree with him. 

His attitudes towards divorce, sex and many other things have aroused controversy but in these areas he is supposed to be authoritative. On day to day political questions he is certainly not.

To any Catholic who thinks mass immigration at an unprecedented level from Africa and the Mahgreb is an incalculable danger to Christian Europe the Pope is, in a sense, a political enemy. It is possible to regard him and obey him as the Vicar of Christ and regretfully but firmly to oppose his politics.

In an interview given this week the wonderful Cardinal Sarah from Guinea, who would make a great pope, says that migration, 'encouraged by commercial liberalism', is tragic for the identities of peoples. Obviously he is right and this is what Messrs Bannon and Salvini are saying.


  1. Catholic Splendor

    Michel Houellebecq: Can the Catholic Church regain her former splendor? Yes, perhaps, I don’t know.

    It would be good if she moved away definitively from Protestantism and drew closer to Orthodoxy. Unity would be the best solution, but it would not be easy. The question of the Filioque could easily be resolved by competent theologians. The problem of the installation of Western barons in the Middle East no longer presents itself; even Donald Trump has dropped it. However, for the bishop of Rome, renouncing his universal ambition and having only an honorific preeminence over the patriarchs of Constantinople or Antioch, would be, perhaps, difficult to swallow.

    At the very least, the Catholic Church, imitating Orthodox modesty, ought to limit its interventions in the domains that are not directly within its competence (I mentioned scientific research, the government of states, and human love).

    It also ought to abandon this mania for organizing councils, which are, above all, the opportunity for triggering schisms.

    It ought to abandon encyclicals as well, and put a brake on its doctrinal inventiveness. (The Immaculate Conception, and above all papal infallibility, offend reason too directly. Reason is a big, peaceful animal, which falls asleep easily during services, but it is necessary to avoid useless provocations.)

    The Church can be inspired by Pentecostalism in the same way that pop music has been inspired by gospel and the blues. Moreover, it’s important not to forget a dose of madness—Dostoevsky offers the Russian version: “If it is necessary to choose between Christ and the truth, I choose Christ.” For the French version, we have Blaise Pascal.

    Basically, it amounts to this: The Catholic Church, in the course of its history, has granted much too much importance to reason (aggravated over the centuries, probably, under the influence of Protestantism). Man is a being of reason: That’s true, from time to time. But he is above all a being of flesh, and of emotion. It would be good not to forget that.

    1. He is a very good thinker who says things that are interesting If only Catholic theologians or academics believed in the Immaculate Conception or papal infallibility or even the Creed.

  2. Benedict kissed feet and prayed in mosques too. The leadership of the Catholic Church is populated by frail elderly homosexual boy-touchers. The biggest mistake anyone can make is to take these toe-kissing clowns in dresses seriously.

    Mr Bergolio is just a bloke who’s first act in the morning is to lay a dump just like 9 billion other people. Anyone who declares any man to be an infallible authority on anything is a fool.

  3. Kissing feet on Maundy Thursday goes back to Jesus doing so. English kings always did so when Maundy money was distributed. I used to know who discontinued the practice which is a beautiful Catholic one. The present Pope kissing women's feet seemed to me terribly terribly wrong.

  4. I looked it up and it was as I thought. King James II our last Catholic King was the last to do it. I presume Elizabeth I did it. William and Mary did not.