Danneels “called it a ‘mafia’ club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it ‘much more modern’, and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it.”
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is Pope Francis. So this “mafia” cabal succeeded. They got their Pope who would help them impose a “drastic reform of the Church, to make it ‘much more modern.'” Why an institution that claims to transmit and preserve divine revelation would need to be “modern” remains unexplained, but clearly this palace coup heralded a significant change in the Church’s stance toward Islam. Pope Benedict XVI said this on September 12, 2006 at the University of Regensburg in Germany:
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on — perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara — by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between — as they were called — three “Laws” or “rules of life”: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point — itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole — which, in the context of the issue of “faith and reason”, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that sura 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”
The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: “For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.” Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practice idolatry.
It is a swift and sudden descent from these honest, accurate, and carefully reasoned observations to this, from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, November 24, 2013:
In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.
And more twaddle from Pope Francis’ address to Congress, September 24, 2015:
Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism.
And because Roman Catholics in the U.S. have such an exaggerated and borderline idolatrous awe for the papacy, they go along with all this readily enough: if the Pope is a Leftist multicultutalist who dissembles about the nature of Islam and the jihad threat, well, then, so are they. Even those who realize that this is not only nonsense, but suicidal nonsense, fear to say anything, out of “respect” for the Pope and his office. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, filled with weak and feckless limousine liberals such as Robert McManus, Kevin Farrell and Jaime Soto, has for years been a mouth organ of the far Left, and so today is eager to go along with Francis’ futile, naive, and wrongheaded commitment to “dialogue” with the Religion of Peace, even at the price of abandoning Middle Eastern Christians to their fate and working actively to silence those who speak out against this persecution. It is as ruthless and persistent as any Inquisition board ever was in rooting out even the slightest public dissent from their “Islam is a religion of peace and dialogue will solve everything, so shut up about the persecuted Christians” line.
And so the Catholic Church hierarchy of today opens the gates of the West to those who would destroy it and kill, convert or subjugate its people. I am apparently a very bad Catholic, as I believe all this to be an abomination. People are afraid to criticize bishops — but that attitude is what led to the priest sex scandals. Bishops are neither impeccable nor infallible, and it does no one any good to stay silent when they are doing actual wrong that harms the Church and society as a whole. Catholics seem to have lost sight of that. But acquiescing to evil because a bishop is acquiescing to evil is neither genuine charity nor genuine obedience.
The Church could have and should have been a voice for a genuinely charitable response to the jihad threat, and a robust defense of the value of Judeo-Christian civilization. Instead, Danneels and his henchmen rule the day, and have their man in the Vatican, and cowardice and appeasement are passed off as “charity,” even as priests tell us to “be not afraid” while they cower and quake with fear in their comfortably appointed rectories, eager to do anything to appease the jihadis and buy a few more minutes of their miserable lives.
“Cardinal Danneels Admits to Being Part of ‘Mafia’ Club Opposed to Benedict XVI,” by Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register, September 24, 2015:
Further serious concerns are being raised about Cardinal Godfried Danneels, one of the papal delegates chosen to attend the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family, after the archbishop emeritus of Brussels confessed this week to being part of a radical “mafia” reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI.It was also revealed this week that he once wrote a letter to the Belgium government favoring same-sex “marriage” legislation because it ended discrimination against LGBT groups.
The cardinal is already known for having once advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990, for telling a victim of clerical sex abuse to keep quiet, and for refusing to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools.
He also once said same-sex “marriage” was a “positive development,” although he has sought to distinguish such a union from the Church’s understanding of marriage.
According to a forthcoming authorized biography on the cardinal co-written by Jürgen Mettepenningen, a former spokesman for Cardinal Danneels’ successor, Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard, and Karim Schelkens, a Church historian and theologian, the cardinal expressed satisfaction over the disappearance of “discrimination” against LGBT couples after legislation was passed approving same-sex “marriage” in 2003.
The authors of the biography, to be published Sept. 29, reveal that the cardinal wrote a letter on May 28, 2003, to then-Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who at that time was putting together his second government.
In the letter, the cardinal wrote favorably about “one of the last achievements of Verhofstadt’s first governments, the approval of a legal statute for a stable relationship between partners of the same sex.” Verhofstadt’s government introduced same sex-‘marriage’ into Belgium in 2003.
“He wanted to stop discrimination between married heterosexuals and homosexuals who had a long-term relationship,” write the two authors of the biography. “But there should be no confusion between the use of the term ‘marriage’.”
Asked about the letter, Verhofstadt said he did not recall it, but added: “I never had any problem with the cardinal. Our relationship was good.”
Under Verhofstadt’s leadership, from 1999 to 2007, the Belgian government not only introduced same sex “marriage”, but also laws on euthanasia, experiments on human embryos, and IVF.
Despite the poor record of the Belgian Church in resisting these laws, and the country being far smaller than many African countries that have one delegate representing them, Cardinal Danneels, 82, will be one of three Belgian prelates to attend the synod in October.
The Vatican listed him second in importance out of 45 delegates personally chosen by Pope Francis to participate in the upcoming meeting. He also took part in last year’s Extraordinary Synod as a papal delegate.
At the launch of the book in Brussels this week, the cardinal said he was part of a secret club of cardinals opposed to Pope Benedict XVI.
He called it a “mafia” club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it “much more modern”, and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it. The group, which also comprised Cardinal Walter Kasper and the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has been documented in Austen Ivereigh’s biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer.