Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Red Hat Report: Wealthy American Catholics Attempt to Control The Papacy

The scariest people in the world are those who believe they know what is best for everyone else.  These are the people Our Lord warned about when he said, "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God."  (John 16:2).

With the Internet, we now have daily cyber lynchings of Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals and even Pope Francis.  And the most amazing part of this is that it is Catholics who are the most vicious in their attacks against the Church.  Those doing the cyber lynchings literally believe they are more Catholic than the Pope and the majority of Church hierarchy.  They have convinced themselves, without the tiniest bit of self doubt, that they know what is best for the Church and that it is their God-given duty to destroy anyone and everyone who does not agree with them. 

And now we have a group of extremely wealthy and, might I add, arrogant group of American Catholics who seem to believe they have been given a directive from God Himself to choose our next Holy Father.  They call themselves "The Better Church Governance Group."

These people make the Pharisees plotting against Jesus look like bumbling amateurs.

As Crux reported:
As U.S. bishops work to formulate an official response to clerical sexual abuse and cover-up, a new watchdog group backed by wealthy Catholics is seeking to take matters into their own hands.
A new organization, which held an RSVP-only event on Sunday evening, plans to spend more than $1 million in the next year investigating every member of the College of Cardinals “to name those credibly accused in scandal, abuse, or cover-ups.”
“The Better Church Governance Group” held its launch on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA) with the stated intention of producing its “Red Hat Report” by April 2020.
It needs to be noted that this group of one percenters has no authority whatsoever from the Church to proceed with this project.  In fact, never in Church history have laity ever been given authority to judge and condemn Church hierarchy.  Our Lord specifically said He would build His Church on Peter.  However, these men seem to think they are the rock upon which the Church is built.

That is not to say that there have not been attempted coups in the Church.  Martin Luther, of course, is a prime example.  King Henry VIII is another example.  Need I say more?

So what is the purpose of "The Better Church Governance Group"? gives a great explanation in an article entitled, "Conservative Catholics Are Digging for Dirt on American Cardinals"  The subtitle of this article is even more clarifying: "Will the selection of the next pope become a political campaign, complete with smear tactics and soft money?"

The goal of the new Better Church Governance group, as Crux’s story makes clear, is to influence the selection of the next pope, who will be chosen by a subset of current cardinals. “What if we would have had someone else in 2013 who would have been more proactive in protecting the innocent and the young?” the group’s operations director, Jacob Imam, asked attendees at the event.  In other words: What if we could have prevented the selection of Pope Francis?
In fact, according to the Crux article:
Had we had the Red Hat Report, we may not have had Pope Francis,” stated one of the slide presentations accompanying [Jacob Imam's] remarks.
Oh yes, this is a direct attack against the Papacy.  There is no question of that.  And these Americans think they can accomplish their goal the same way they do in American politics:  by engaging in mud slinging and smearing their opponents.  They believe that just as their money gets them anything they want in American politics, their money can also be used to destroy all those they oppose in the Church, with the ultimate aim of taking out Pope Francis:
An independent investigation might sound like a straightforwardly encouraging development. What could be wrong with an attempt by outraged lay Catholics to shed sunlight on an ongoing scandal that the church hierarchy has utterly failed to confront? The trouble is that the church’s abuse scandals have become a proxy in a much larger ecclesiastical battle. The wealthy Americans behind Better Church Governance are crusading not just against Pope Francis’ leadership, but against cardinals with insufficient theological adherence to “traditional values”—and particularly against homosexuality in the church.
This is exactly what our Lord warned of in John 16:2.

As National Catholic Reporter states, The Better Church Governance Group seems to have already zeroed in on one cardinal in particular:
Although its publicly available literature casts the effort as non-political and one that is interested in gathering and collating information, an early memo associated with the effort drew severe conclusions about one of its targets, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state and a member of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals.
The NCR article goes on to state that the memo's author "backtracked on his critique of Parolin as well as an inference that could be drawn from the memo that the group intended to influence the outcome of a consistory".  However, that line is very difficult to swallow when one of the major talking points in their meeting was that had this group been around in 2013, they believe they could have stopped the election of Pope Francis.

NCR reports that this group wants to become permanent and a key component in deciding Church hierarchy:
The group, in its printed literature, outlined its ambition to expand its research to the entire episcopacy, not just cardinals, and of becoming a permanent commission.
This group is, in effect, trying to become Pope.   Dwight Longenecker said that he wanted the Pope to become a symbol with no power, and it seems that this group of rich Americans is trying to make that a reality by replacing the Holy Father's authority with their own.

From NCR:
While the publicly distributed literature of the Better Church Governance group declares that its primary project, The Red Hat Report, "is not intended to be a political project — and will not endorse or attack any cardinal," the memo apparently circulated as part of a fundraising effort and sent to potential participants, strikes a distinctly different tone.
The letter, over the signature of Philip Nielsen, executive director of the governance group and managing editor of the Red Hat Report, speaks of the group as "a non-profit watchdog" organization comprising "academics, Vatican reporters, and about thirty others" as well as anonymous contributors. NCR has received at least two copies of the letter.
The group says they are not looking to "endorse or attack any cardinal", but among those doing the investigating are 40 researchers and ten former FBI agents.  So if they are not looking to "endorse or attack", what is the purpose of all these investigators?

From NCR:
During his cocktail hour presentation, Imam explained that the group would begin investigations into the cardinals it considered likely papabile, or papal contenders, and work out through the rest of the cardinal electors, currently numbering 124.
In a recording of the presentation obtained by NCR, Imam can be heard listing a number of incidents in which he alleges Francis, as the then-cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, mishandled cases of sexual abuse by priests.
As can be plainly seen, this group is putting all of their efforts into targeting the College of Cardinals starting first of all with papal contenders.  The purpose of this is blatantly obvious, screaming in our face.  The Americans are going all out to ensure that the College of Cardinals consists only of those Cardinals with a stamp of approval from The Better Church Governance Group.

These rich Amerians, in effect, want to be the ones to elect the next Pope. They will be the real power behind the election of the next Pope.  The College of Cardinals will only be their stooges doing their bidding.
Each cardinal is being investigated by a team of about six people, according to the organization. "Currently we are constructing the dossiers of the American cardinals. We will soon begin forming groups in Italy to begin researching their cardinals," according to a flyer introducing the organization. Imam, it says, "is traveling around the world organizing regional teams to research their home cardinals." The group expects to grow "exponentially" throughout the year and sees "the potential for expanding our work to include the entire episcopacy and becoming a permanent Independent Commission."
. . .
According to an eight-point plan, the team will "audit" the cardinals "to name those credibly accused in scandal, abuse, or cover-ups; and to research who has responded strongly against corruption."
The group intends to "use this information to compose a dossier, assembled in the manner of political opposition research, on every cardinal elector, as well as on the influential or older cardinals connected with abuse or corruption."
In the final point of their plan, using Parolin as an example, the organizers outline their intention to use the information gathered "to edit the cardinals' English language Wikipedia pages. It is well known that at the last papal conclave many of the cardinals' secretaries used these pages to help the cardinals better know each other," writes Nielsen.
For example, he states, Parolin, "the very corrupt Vatican Secretary of State's Wikipedia page is currently very benign, with no links to scandal included despite the fact that he has repeatedly been linked with banking scandal's [sic] and was named in the Vigano letter." The latter statement is a reference to the controversial letter circulated by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former nuncio to the United States, who accused Pope Francis of mishandling the case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and further called for Francis to resign.
"We can change that," writes Nielsen, declaring that by the next conclave, Parolin "needs to be known, worldwide, as a disgrace to the church. Our plan would be to make sure that his Wikipedia page shows 'Church Watchdog The Better Governance Group, names Parolin, 'Extremely Guilty of Abuse' etc. with a link to the report. At the same time we would add all the pull-quotes from other sources that connect him to all the financial corruption, etc."
All of this cannot be viewed as anything less than trying to influence the election of the next pope.  However, in a case of "don't believe your eyes," Philip Nielsen tells us that this is not their goal at all, or at least it isn't now that they have been called out for their real motives:
In his response to questions sent by NCR in an email, Nielsen said that the "project team corrected a few of my early ideas" and changed the text of the memo.
"Most importantly," he wrote, "we have decided that our fundamental mission should have nothing to do with influencing any conclave. Many of our collaborators have emphasized this point to me since I wrote that memo. I accepted their correction and we have accordingly removed this goal from our project."
The same collaborators, he said, "pointed out to me that it was inappropriate for me to comment, either favorably or unfavorably, on the record of any cardinal."
The reference to Parolin, he said, "may indicate my personal bias at the time of writing," but, he added, in parentheses, "I have since gained a more rounded understanding of the cardinal."
Whew!  What is that smell?

This group is starting out with $1 million in funding, which is small change to these one percenters.  They have not yet released the names of those involved, which they say they will do later this month.  But you can be sure it includes Timothy Busch, Board Member of EWTN and Vigano supporter.

That puts EWTN and National Catholic Register and any other media group in reach of their tentacles directly in the pockets of this schismatic group.  And if they don't have Michael Voris on their payroll somewhere, they may as well have, because he will be supporting them in every way he can.  John Zuhlsdorf has already come out in support, and in fact printed a letter he received from Jacob Iman defending himself against the Crux article.

The Schism in the Church is in full swing.  Yes, these people are still technically a part of the Church, but in heart and mind they have completely separated.  And they know it!  But their defense is that they are the real Church and Pope Francis and all who support him are the great false church.  They might as well say, "Now we are all Michael Voris."

Who will you believe?  Do you believe in love and mercy as taught by Pope Francis, or do you believe in condemnation, rebellion, and acting against the Holy Spirit?

It's your choice.


  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, check out the following URL:

  2. "The wealthy Americans behind Better Church Governance are crusading not just against Pope Francis’ leadership, but against cardinals with insufficient theological adherence to “traditional values”—and particularly against homosexuality in the church."

    again ... "and particularly against homosexuality in the church."

    And you find this revulsion against "little problems" such as: the reign of the sodomite child molesters in the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the presence of homosexual orgiasts in Vatican apartments, and the notion that the pope can toss aside 2000 years of Christian doctrine, to be somehow problematical?

    These cardinals are not popes yet. So whatever blinders you may think you have to wear when it comes to overlooking Bergoglio's malfeasance, it doesn't apply to these others.

    1. I guess you have made your choice, Dave.

    2. And you have chosen as well. You have chosen the child molesters and sodomite infiltrators; and when called on your willingness to uncritically render the children up to these Molochs, you archly replied as to how nice it must be to be so strong as to resist.

      Your fideist tree brought forth perversion, outrage, infestation of the clergy, destroyed childhoods and lives, secret dealings, fraud, perversion in the sanctuary, heresy in the highest ranks of the clergy ... and a false charge of calumny leveled at the innocent by Bergoglio.

      "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
      Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
      A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
      Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
      Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

      The people your criticize are spending their own money to profile Cardinals. The people you defend, stole the money and the innocence of their parishioners in order to gratify their own perverted lusts. But you consider the latter to be worthy of mercy and the former of condemnation.

      What counts as a good fruit to you, is frighteningly obvious.

    3. Wow. I don’t agree with you, Dave, but you are a really good writer. You feel passionately and that is always a good thing. As Our Lord said, he would rather we are hot or cold. He hates tepid. You are definitely not tepid.

      I believe in the Catholic Church. It is not a human institution. It is Divine, founded by the Creator of the Universe, bought with His Precious Blood.

      He could have put angels in charge on earth or at the very least, allowed only the most holy and sinless among us to lead. But as St Paul told us, God’s uses not our strengths but our weaknesses. He chose the weakest among the apostles upon which to build his Church. In the OT, He chose a slave nation to represent Him. He chose a little shepherd boy, David, to be the great King of Israel.

      And in the Church, He puts weak and sinful men in leadership positions. I think that is why women are not ordained, because they are stronger than men, much less prone to betray those they love. Certainly the logical leader of the Church, the one upon whom to build it, would have been The Blessed Mother. But that is not how the Creator works.

      I am not supporting sinful men. I am supporting the Church. And I believe that despite all appearances to the contrary, Jesus Christ is in charge and does not need any help from me or anyone else to make things right. The Church is being cleansed and purified. The chaff is being separated from the wheat. The lambs are being separated from the goats.

      We need to be sure we are on the right side. And that is always the side of faith.

    4. Brooklyn,

      You are confusing the socially humble and lowly and even meek (in the old sense of the word), with the morally corrupt, whom you choose to refer to as weak.

      Far from renouncing worldliness and the spirit of the age, these brocade draped ponces - or is that "princes" - of the hierarchy are about nothing but that: the spirit of the age.

      David, a shepherd boy was not a morally corrupt youth, but presents in the Biblical description as bright eyed and ruddy, and willing to do battle; not, as some languidly slithering catamite. "And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armorbearer."

      And too there is a difference between those who recognize they have a thorn in the flesh, and those who celebrate it and would make it into a sacrament.

      If Jesus really wanted to do as you suggest, He would have appointed Judas the subverter, as chiefest of the Apostles; and not Peter, who merely on occasions lacked fortitude while under public pressure.

      And since you are fond of adverting to private revelations in addition to scripture, you might bear in mind the famous distinction made between the moral status of those who have on the one hand done evil acts, and those on the other hand who love and celebrate those acts.

      Finally I would urge you to compare the language of this pope whom you so esteem as pastoral, with the pastoral language used by Gregory.

      Bergoglio on the one hand, assures us he's not losing any sleep over the alarms his actions set off. And his spokesman says he may pronounce as he may without regard to to either tradition or scripture or both.

      On the other hand, Gregory on mercy:

      "Moreover, the virtue of humility ought to be so maintained that the rights of government be not relaxed; lest, when any prelate has lowered himself more than is becoming, he be unable to restrain the life of his subordinates under the bond of discipline; and the severity of discipline is to be so maintained that gentleness be not wholly lost through the over-kindling of zeal. For often vices show themselves off as virtues, so that niggardliness would fain appear as frugality, extravagance as liberality, cruelty as righteous zeal, laxity as loving-kindness. Wherefore both discipline and mercy are far from what they should be, if one be maintained without the other."

    5. Dave, if you cannot show respect for Pope Francis, I will have to delete your comments. I will not allow you to refer to him as Bergoglio. I am letting it stand this time, but from this point on, I will delete any comment that does not show proper respect to the Holy Father.

    6. Actually, in various places in Europe, it's common to refer to him as "Pope Bergolio," just as his predecessors had been referred to as "Pope Ratzinger" and "Pope Wojtyla," respectively, and as we call our bishops, for example, "Cardinal Dolan" or "Archbishop Listecki."

      I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with you and disagree just as strongly with Dave...just wanted to point out that where he's from, it may be commonplace.

  3. I wonder about Acton Institute. Are they quite moneyed?

    1. I will be very surprised if they are not represented in this group. Their main belief seems to be capitalism and they have not liked Pope Francis’ message at all.

  4. It is your blog and you may do as you wish. I have surprised myself by commenting here as much as I have. And I don't enjoy kicking at your dwelling place no matter how flimsy it appears to me to be.

    It is just that the experience of trying to reason with you has proved to be so baffling, as to be almost mesmerizing. It is not that you are bereft of the ability to reason, it is that you will discount so much plain, unchallenged, and even admitted evidence [I repeat, EVEN ADMITTED], in order to avoid conceding a conclusion which has already become self-evident: i.e., That the pope's cronies fully intend to "evolve" the doctrines of the Church away from what were until recently taught as unchanging truths and marks of the faith; and, that the pope himself by his actions and his inaction, by his spoken word and his words withheld, seems to be on-board with that.

    This is why I presented you with certain hypotheticals concerning a change in the tenets of the faith; if/then propositions which you then refused to entertain on the basis that they are impossible. But I would ask you what is impossible about the emergence of a situation which has already - according to the Pope's own English language spokesman - in significant measure emerged.

    It does not appear to me that any pronouncement on faith and morals by a pope, no matter how lunatic, and even should that pronouncement overthrow the core doctrines of the faith such as the literal Resurrection, and substitute others such as the co-divinity of The Buddha, would be seen by you as impermissible. This, as "The Faith" appears to mean to you, primarily if not exclusively, a faith in the sovereignty of the pope. A sovereignty which is construed not merely to bind or loose confessed sins, but to declare anything at all to be licit or illicit, mandatory or prohibited. And thus, a faith in that ... faith, and substantively, in not much else.

    That is why I repeatedly posed what I thought were outrageous and clarifying boundary questions which I thought no one, including yourself, would cross.

    But it appears to me that even should a pope declare that pederastic rituals performed in the sanctuary constituted eucharistic celebrations - as some of the evil men in the clergy have as much as said - you would not balk. Because, you say, you calculate that "it's impossible". "Impossible" that is, except for the inconvenient fact that pronouncements by Rosica, and actions engaged in by other prelates demonstrate that but for the present grace of God and the slightest of diminishing margins, it is not impossible at all.

    One would like to ask you if you know of anything at all, other than skepticism of the pope's pronouncements, or intolerance perhaps, to be per se and unchanging evil?

    I think the answer would have to be "No." And I think that the logic of your responses so far imply no other conclusion as tenable.

    You may well be what could be classified as an (evolutionary) theological voluntarist as well as a fideist.

    You should try and think these things through. Could that really be a faith the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? Could submitting your children to the sexual attentions of a homosexual priest who rejects the righteousness of Yahweh, ever be right?

    1. If I accept your conclusions, Dave then I have to accept that Jesus Christ lied to us. I have done many, many posts explaining exactly why Pope Francis is orthodox in his beliefs and teachings. You choose not to accept that, so I leave you to your beliefs. Read my quote from St Therese above.

    2. "If I accept your conclusions, Dave then I have to accept that Jesus Christ lied to us."

      No, not at all. You just have to accept that you may have over-inflated the meaning of two scriptural passages, which were even in Catholicism until the 1870's, not taken quite to the extreme you have gone.

      And to this point, Francis does not seem to have uttered outright heresy, though he has been negligent in governance, callous toward the long-suffering faithful, and allowed heterodoxy to percolate in the prelature, if not outright encouraging it.

      In fact you were warned by Jesus Himself of precisely these kinds of possibilities.

      "Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh."

      Would these not include worldly stumbling blocks to faith which may arise within the faith itself?

      At some point however, and no calm person would likely say it is now, precisely what you seem to deny, seems to be guaranteed by scripture to happen.

      "Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. "


      " ... if any man shall say to you: Lo here is Christ, or there, do not believe him. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand."

      Furthermore, Fr. Rosica's infamous boast that the Pope need rely on neither tradition nor scripture nor both in issuing teachings brings this to mind once again:

      " ... there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."

      Popes can be in error, you know.

      The question is if they are absolutely protected from promoting heresy. And, if so, if it because Providence will intervene to prevent them from straying from the established deposit of the faith; or whether is it because no matter what seeming heresy a pope proclaims, even if it contradicts the deposit of the faith, it becomes orthodoxy by virtue of the fact that a pope has said it.

      In effect, if not in outright avowal, you have been arguing the latter, while asserting the former.

      And with this, I will retire from further exchanges with you.

  5. -
    “No, not at all. You just have to accept that you may have over-inflated the meaning of two scriptural passages, which were even in Catholicism until the 1870's, not taken quite to the extreme you have gone.”

    Actually she does because the See of Rome is indefectible, precisely because of Christ’s promise. Ever other subset of the Church can fall into heresy.

    ‘Among the prerogatives conferred on His Church by Christ is the gift of indefectibility….
    The various bodies that have left the Church naturally deny its indefectibility...’

    (Too long to post here, so see the link.)

    0It is Christ who keeps the Church from failing. You perhaps can’t see an reason to believe it, but we believe things in faith not because they appear reasonable to our intellects, but because God can always be trusted. There are motives of credibility that point to the Church, but with faith the reason for believing is not because it seems sensible. Neither fideism nor rationalism is Catholic.

    And to this point, Francis does not seem to have uttered outright heresy, though he has been negligent in governance, callous toward the long-suffering faithful, and allowed heterodoxy to percolate in the prelature, if not outright encouraging it.

    This is how you frame the issue. Jesus also criticized those passing off themselves as super devout, not keeping their unessential traditions, and having charisma among sinners and the faithless. All these things convinced the “super devout” that Jesus was a malefactor on a quest to destroy Judaism and the Jewish nation. Moreover Pope Francis is the vicar of Christ who can govern the Church however well he pleases. Above him, the only authority higher, is God Himself. Seeing how God has not smote him yet, which would be required if God did not approve because the “first see is judged by no one”, nowhere in canon law does it say that the faithful can then take matters into their own hand and pretend to be on a God-given quest to wrest the Church away from the pope. I don’t think Church law has this as a gross oversight, but because it is understood that he pope cannot be a heretic, at least since Vatican I.

    I shall ignore your quoting of the bible, because you don’t read it with the dogma of indefectibility in mind, but the bible warns us to avoid sects and chasing teachers who tell us what we want to hear. Our true teachers are sent by God, not just lay apologists who seem devout and orthodox. The internet has given rise to a psuedo cyber-magiserium that is fighting against the true magisterium for control of the Church. And many are more persuaded by the rhetoric of this psuedo magisterium than the God-given one. Beware of these false teachers is what I have to say, though their rhetoric makes them seem like true apostles.

  6. Goodness me, Dave needs to take a chill pill.

    1. Um... I,m not David, but I’ve been looking at his posts long enough. I hope ne one mistakes me for him.

    2. I certainly didn't, and I don't think Hugh does, either. :)

    3. Nope I meant to reply to Dave Wilson


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