Saturday, April 28, 2018

Part III: The Papal Posse/Papal Hanging Mob Attacks Pope Francis

This is the third in a series of posts I am doing in an analysis of an EWTN "Papal Posse" attack on Pope Francis and the Apostolic Exhortation, GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE.  I have renamed the "Papal Posse" as the Papal Hanging Mob, because that is a much more apt description of their actions.  As I have shown in my previous two posts (HERE and HERE), Raymond Arroyo and his two buddies, Robert Royal and Fr. Gerald Murray, have completely missed the meaning of this papal document, and are doing a grave disservice to all who listen to them.  They are spreading dissent and division in the Church, and they will have much for which they will have to answer.

Here, once again, is the video of the "discussion" by the Papal Hanging Mob.  We begin at the 19:49 mark.

At this point in the "discussion", Arroyo complains that the Aposotolic Exhortation equates the pro life cause with caring for migrants. Arroyo tells us that Pope Francis "puts them on the same plane". Arroyo and the Papal Hanging Mob obviously do not feel that the oppression and slaughter of those outside of the womb is as great an evil as the death of the unborn. Arroyo, as his custom, gives us a manipulated, partial quote, spliced together from different paragraphs of the Exhortation, obscuring the true meaning of the statements:
Some Catholics affirm that it is a secondary issue with respect to the 'serious' issue of bioethics . . . Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute the abandoned.
The sentence beginning with "Some Catholics" is taken from the last sentence of paragraph 102. The sentence after the ellipsis beginning with "Our defense" is a partial quote from the third sentence of paragraph 101. The sentence beginning with "Equally sacred" is a partial quote from the fourth sentence of paragraph 101. Arroyo does not include an ellipsis showing that portions have been omitted between these two sentences. I apologize if this seems confusing, but Arroyo did this in a very deliberate manner.

Below is the entire section of the document dealing with this issue.  Included are the two paragraphs cited here, with the parts quoted by Arroyo in red.  You can see how much has been omitted and manipulated:
100. I regret that ideologies lead us at times to two harmful errors. On the one hand, there is the error of those Christians who separate these Gospel demands from their personal relationship with the Lord, from their interior union with him, from openness to his grace. Christianity thus becomes a sort of NGO stripped of the luminous mysticism so evident in the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and many others. For these great saints, mental prayer, the love of God and the reading of the Gospel in no way detracted from their passionate and effective commitment to their neighbours; quite the opposite.
101. The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist. Or they relativize it, as if there are other more important matters, or the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend. Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate [second part of Arroyo's quote], for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute [third part of Arroyo's quote], the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection. We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.
102: We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue. Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the “grave” bioethical questions [first part of Arroyo's quote]. 
103. A similar approach is found in the Old Testament: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex 22:21). “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev 19:33-34). This is not a notion invented by some Pope, or a momentary fad. In today’s world too, we are called to follow the path of spiritual wisdom proposed by the prophet Isaiah to show what is pleasing to God. “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn” (58:7-8).
This is an unconscionable action on the part of the Papal Hanging Mob.  Pope Francis used examples of great saints along with Biblical quotes to explain his teaching.  None of this was even alluded to by the Papal Hanging Mob.  People trust this group of men, but the Papal Hanging Mob has used that trust to turn their viewers against the Holy Father through lies and manipulations.

Instead of a honest discussion of this passage, we get Arroyo playing devil's advocate for the benefit of Fr Murray:
Fr. Gerry, there doesn't seem to be a problem there.  I mean, all he is saying is that all human life is of worth.  What's the difficulty here?  I've seen a lot of articles and people grinding their teeth over this.
Following is Fr. Murray's biased response to Arroyo.  This response is a total misrepresentation of the Apostolic Exhortation and past statements by Pope Francis:
Well, the way it's been understood, and I think it's not unfair, is that he is equating the effort of the Church to stop abortion with the effort of the church to help migrants. And I don't think that's a proper analysis of the situation. You know, 3000 children a day are aborted in the United States. 3000 migrants aren't being killed or imprisoned. So therefore there is a complete magnitude of difference between how we help people who are basically violating the law by coming here illegally, but on the other hand we want to be charitable and figure out a solution, to the fact that the government is protecting doctors who kill babies in their mother's womb and in some states, pay for it. The outrage. . .the Pope says it has to be passionate about the pro life movement. Well, you know, we need some passion from all sectors of the Church on this matter. . . . I don't see very much pro life fervor in a lot of European countries and I think the Pope should light a fire under them about that.
I find this statement from a Catholic priest to be completely outrageous. First of all, there is the fact that he and Arroyo have ignored over 90% of the passage from the Exhortation on this matter, which of course would refute their arguments. It is no accident that the Papal Hanging Mob omitted the sentence, "[A]t stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development".  The Papal Hanging Mob apparently does not accept this statement, feeling that some stages of human development are not as important as other stages.  

The Pope does not just talk about people coming across the border illegally.  He talks about the "the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection."  Fr. Murray falsely reduces the scope of the Pope's statements by saying that abortion is more of a pressing issue than helping people "who are basically violating the law by coming here illegally."   This statement, of course, doesn't even begin to broach the subject of this portion of Guadete Et Exsultate.  Pope Francis is talking about such horrendous situations as that described a July 2016 article in The Independent in which it is reported that there are untold numbers of Syrian refugees who are victims of organ harvesting:
Migrants who are unable to pay people smugglers for their journey from Africa to Europe are killed for their organs, a former smuggler has said.
Nuredein Wehabrebi Atta, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in moving migrants, told Italian police that migrants who couldn't pay for journeys across the Meditteranean “were sold for €15,000 to groups, particularly Egyptians, who are equipped for harvesting organs".

His testimony has helped break open a transnational network dedicated to migrant trafficking with Italian police confirming they have detained 38 people suspected of being involved - 25 Eritreans, 12 Ethiopians and one Italian.
We hear pro lifers rightfully protest against organ harvesting from the unborn.  What about this same practice that is happening among those already born?  Don't those outside the womb have merit?  I guess, according to Fr. Murray, there just aren't enough of the "migrants" to be concerned about.  It is because of people like Fr. Murray that those who support abortion can look at pro lifers and say we don't care once the babies are born.  That would actually seem to be the case with Fr. Murray.  

Fr.  Murray also berates Pope Francis because he needs to "light a fire" under the European countries in regard to abortion.  I guess Fr. Murray has somehow missed Pope Francis's very clear and unambiguous statements against abortion.

This is from a November 2016 article from Crux:
Often faulted by critics as not being sufficiently clear when it comes to the Church’s negative judgment on abortion, Pope Francis on Sunday couldn’t have been more firm in calling it a “very grave sin” and a “horrendous crime.”
“I was thinking on the attitude of sending the kids back before they’re born, this horrendous crime, they send them back because it’s better like that, because it’s more comfortable, it’s a great responsibility- a very grave sin,” Francis said.
And in an article from
Although some Catholics are upset with Pope Francis about his positions or statements on other issues, the leader of the Catholic church has been very consistent this year and throughout his papacy in opposing abortion and putting forth the churches long-standing pro-life position.
A new book released earlier this year contains thoughts and commentary from Pope Francis based on a series of interviews has the leader of the Catholic Church. The book makes it clear Pope Francis believes there should be no compromise on the longstanding pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Pope makes it clear that the Catholic Church takes two heartfelt positions when it comes to abortion. First the church takes a clear cut stance in opposition to abortion itself as the destruction of human life. Secondly the Catholic Church also believes in restoration for women who have had abortions.
“[Abortion is the] murder of an innocent person,” Francis said. “But if there is sin, forgiveness must be facilitated.”
Pope Francis condemned the normalization of abortion in modern society as “perverse” acceptance of child killing.

Just what more does Fr. Murray expect Pope Francis to do?

Staying right on script in their condemnation of all things Pope Francis, Arroyo then turns to Robert Royal and asks: 
Is this a return to the seamless garment, championed by Cardinal Bernardin that many of us frankly thought that with John Paul and Benedict had been dispensed with? This idea that all these issues occupy the same moral plane?
I would like to know just where and when "John Paul" and "Benedict" "dispensed" with the idea that violence against humanity in any form is equally evil?  Where does it say that oppressing the poor is not as bad as abortion?  Where does it say we can turn our backs on refugees because that is not as evil as abortion?

Robert Royal chimes in and supports the idea that giving aid and comfort to some people isn't always necessary because by doing that, we are "reducing the urgency of dealing with abortion":
[Starts by saying that the problem in this country is that the Democratic party has used this idea of "seamless garment" to basically do nothing.] So by putting those things on an equal plane, it really reduces the urgency of dealing with abortion which, as Father was saying, is ongoing murder of human beings on a daily basis. Just reduces it to another political issue. I'm quite willing to admit that migrants - true refugees, not just people who claim to be refugees - do have a moral claim on us. But those things are prudential judgments. If we look to Europe, if we look to the United States, to Mexico, people are very nervous about refugees appearing on their doorstep, immigrants trying to enter illegally, when they are very hard to assimilate, in a country like Italy where thousands of people arrive from North Africa every week, they have a 50% youth unemployment rate. So in a country like that, where you are trying to prop up young people, prop up the family, encourage people to have children of their own, these are judgments that have to weighed against who you are going to to admit to your country. And right now, the European Union is not doing a very good job with this. So that is why we call this prudential. They are complicated things. In the case of abortion, we just have to stop the murder of children in the womb. You want to help out women who are in difficult circumstances, fine, that's another question. But we're talking about the destruction of innocent human life which has always been prohibited by Catholic moral thought.
Royal equates politicians who don't want to change anything with Pope Francis.  Again, this is just beyond the pale.  If the Papal Hanging Mob had actually read the Exhortation, they would realize there is nothing political about it.  But of course, they give us only the tiniest, redacted and edited portion, so we can only go by what they tell us.

Royal considers helping people who are literally dying because they are fleeing war and persecution to be a "prudential judgment."  I don't think that is how Our Lord will view these matters when we stand before Him and He asks us why we didn't help when we could have.  Yes, human life is being destroyed in the womb.  But those who are dying outside of the womb because of man's inhumanity to man are of no less importance.  That is the  message of the Pope.  And that is the message of Jesus Christ.  "Whatsoever you do to the least, you do to me."

I remind the Papal Hanging Mob of this quote from the Exhortation which they conveniently overlooked:
In today’s world too, we are called to follow the path of spiritual wisdom proposed by the prophet Isaiah to show what is pleasing to God. “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn” (58:7-8).
The Papal Hanging Mob have actually done the Pope a great service with their disingenuous attack against him.  This group of men have given us shining examples of why, as expounded by Pope Francis, it is so dangerous to enter into this kind of mindset.

I will continue with Part IV reviewing this Papal Hanging Mob broadcast in my next post.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Um, maybe it would be a good idea for Robert Royal and Father Gerald Murray to appear on Michael Voris's "Mic'd Up" talk show! :D

    1. There sure wouldn’t be any disagreements among them!

  3. Pope Francis does not affirm the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and calls those who do, triumphalists and rigortists. This is enforced in the new Apostolic Exhortation.
    In Italy there are more people who die through abortion then migrants at sea but he does not say this.
    He visited a hospital in Rome, the St. John Lateran Hospital, where abortions are approved and done it is reported. He did not say a word of condemnation and met the medical staff at that particular ward of horror. Was our pope there to encourage them?
    Like the Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference he does not approve of Catholics praying the rosary outside hospritals in Italy where abortion is available free and on demand.
    At the next synod for the Youth will our pope tell youth to protest outside hospitals where abortions are done?

    Did our pope excommunicate Cardinal Nicols for supporting euthanasia in the Alfie Evans case and not calling for public protests and prayers to prevent the toddler from being killed by the hospital ?
    -Lionel Andrades

  4. Pope Francis, Sergio Mastarella and Avvenire : immigrant babies are important but Italian babies are not

    January 9, 2016
    Italian newspapers maintain censorship on thousands of Italian babies killed in local hospitals in a cruel way

    SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
    Roma, il Papa con la mascherina visita il reparto di Neonatologia del San Giovanni
    Pope Francis visits hospital in Rome where 4000 abortions are done annually : no comment from the pope on in house abortion

    It's over a week and Italian newspapers
    have still not reported the thousands
    of Italian babies killed through abortion
    in local hospitals in 2015


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