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Tuesday, February 2, 2016



 When I consider the visit of Pope Bergoglio to the central synagogue of Rome on January 17, 2016, I come to the conclusion that he and the movement he represents – Progressivism – are more up-to-date with the ideals of the Revolution than the Roman Jews. Let me take a look at what happened during that event. 

I watched the full footage of the visit – about 1 hour, 40 minutes, here – and I will comment on what I saw and heard.

Anti-Marian context of the event

A presupposition unknown to many readers is that the week before January 20 in Rome was traditionally a week of festivities to commemorate the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne – a French Jew from a family of bankers. This momentous act took place on that day in the Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Basilica in 1842 (here, here & here).

In the place where Ratisbonne saw Our Lady and converted an altar in her honor was erected
January 20 became the day of the Madonna del Miracolo (Our Lady of the Miracle), a very popular devotion in Rome. This miracle was the spectacular conversion of Alphonse, who, along with his brother Theodore, would found the Religious Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion for the conversion of the Jews to the Catholic Faith and the education of upper society girls.

After the Council, Progressivism completely changed the purpose of those festivities. It forbade Bishops and priests from publicly working or praying for the conversion of the Jews and transformed the week into a time for inter-religious dialogue with the Jews. What is stressed today is that Jews must continue to be what they are and not convert to Catholicism.

With this, Progressivism – which includes in its ranks the six conciliar Popes – boldly but implicitly states that Our Lady was wrong when she converted Ratisbonne and the Church was wrong for commemorating that event. Other implicit affirmations include:
  • The Catholic Church is not the only path for salvation;
  • Judaism is correct;
  • The Jews are not guilty for the murder of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This conciliar week of inter-religious dialogue with Judaism is, therefore, a particularly grave offense against Our Lady.

Such is the context that explains why John Paul II received 160 rabbis at the Vatican on January 18, 2005, and asked them to bless him; this is why Benedict visited the Rome synagogue on January 17, 2008, and for this reason Francis chose the same date to visit that synagogue this year.

Citizen Bergoglio rejects any papal or episcopal pomp

Francis’s visit to the Rome synagogue is a repetition of that made by his two predecessors. Thus, my comments about Wojtyla’s visit and Dr. Horvat’s observations on Ratzinger’s visit can essentially be applied to Francis’ visit. However, this month’s visit had new symbolic aspects that call for additional commentary.

Pope Francis visit to the synagogue 1 
A complete rejection of the papal retinue of
Cardinals and Bishops
The first thing that shocks the viewer of that footage is to see Bergoglio exiting his second-rate car alone without any retinue of Cardinals and Bishops to accompany him. Except for a few security personnel, only one priest accompanied the Pontiff, and this cleric donned for the occasion a no-longer-used black zuchetto to look as much as possible like a Jew.

Only after 30 minutes into the video did I note that Cardinals Kurt Koch and Walter Kasper were also present, already onstage in the synagogue in a secondary place. They came forth shortly after Francis’ arrival at the stage to greet him with the air of naughty boys and retired again to their backstage seats.

When a Pope leaves the Vatican, normally he is attended the whole time by the Cardinals whose Congregations are linked to the visit. Likewise, when a Bishop leaves his Palace, he is accompanied by an Auxiliary Bishop, a General Vicar and several priests associated with the goals of the visit. So, by leaving aside the habitual retinue of a Pope and a Bishop and going alone to the synagogue, Bergoglio was not only implicitly abandoning his status as Pope, but also his standing as Bishop of Rome.

He rejected absolutely any pomp or ceremony proper to a Prelate, acting like a simple priest or, one could even say, like a mere Roman citizen. This shocking divestment was remarked upon approvingly by one of the speakers in the synagogue: “Your visit does not carry the signs of ritualism.” (37’42”)

My first conclusion: During this visit the Jews maintained their rituals and traditions; Francis broke with all the Catholic ones. The latter’s apostasy is bolder than former’s apostasy. His message to the Jews was clear: “You should break with your traditions, as I am discarding mine.” The Jesuit Pope led the way on the path of Revolution.

Extravagant walk around the synagogue

As he left the car, Francis did not direct his steps straightaway toward the front gates of the synagogue to be received by the chief-rabbi of Rome. He stopped his car at a secondary street behind the synagogue and walked toward a smudged window with a plaque honoring some Jews who had been imprisoned there in the past. He stood there for five minutes and placed some flowers at the site.

Pope Francis visit to the synagogue 2
Walking by himself to call attention
to his pretended humility
Next, he sauntered down the street around the building for about a half block to a column with another plaque commemorating a boy and several others who had lost their lives. He deposited more flowers there and greeted some Jews in the street.

A third stroll finally brought him to the front entrance. This walk around the block took 10 full minutes. Finally inside the synagogue gates, he exchanged kisses with chief-rabbi Riccardo Segni. The rabbi did not deign to accompany Francis on his preliminary demagogic tour. He sent two of the secondary speakers to carry out the task.

Second conclusion: The message of this awkward 10-minute tour was: “See how humble I am to walk the streets all by myself ! See how touched I am by the sufferings these Jews experienced!” Here nothing is new: Bergoglio boasts again about his phony humility and concern for the marginalized.

Teaching rabbis to divest themselves of power

After the conventional greetings outside the synagogue with the rabbi, who was surrounded by a committee of Jews, Bergoglio entered the building. One would naturally expect for him to rapidly greet a few persons here and there on his way to the stage. No, it took him close to 15 minutes to walk some 35 yards as he inched forward, greeting persons in each row, as if he were there only for that. Doing so, he delayed as much as possible his arrival at the main platform, where he was awaited so the ceremony could begin.

Pope Francis visit to the synagogue 3
Inside the synagogue, 15 minutes greeting the people while the rabbis waited – a lesson in democracy
That delay should have irritated the synagogue heads. I have to confess that even I, a simple spectator, became impatient. It brought to my mind the words of Our Lord to Judas: “What you have to do, do quickly.”

Although Bergoglio and Judas have many similarities, he did not follow the divine advice. Considering that his address to the Jews took about 17 minutes and his greeting-walk about 15 minutes, we see that he had a reason for prolonging his arrival at the stage.

Third conclusion: Bergoglio’s message to the leaders: “You, the rabbis, need to realize that the people are more important than the leaders. You should serve your people and not have them serving you.” In other words, he was preaching in the synagogue the same type of democracy that he is establishing in the Catholic Church. Again, he showed himself to be more revolutionary than the Roman Jews.

Inviting Jews to embrace Liberation Theology
The papal address at the synagogue explicitly or implicitly repeated the same heresies his predecessors had also expressed:
  • The Old Covenant was not revoked;
  • Judaism adores the same God as Catholicism;
  • To be able to understand themselves Catholics must refer to Judaism;
  • The previous enmity between Catholics and Jews was wrong;
  • Whoever opposes Judaism as a religion is anti-Semitic.
We have heard these heresies time and time again over the last 50 years, so, no novelty here. But there was one innovation preached by Bergoglio.

Pope Francis visit to the synagogue 4
‘God loves each one, especially the poor, independent of his faith’ – doctrines & traditions don't matter
He told the Jews that what is important today is to struggle for ecology and life, for the poor, sick, marginalized and helpless and to oppose wars and violence: “Each person must be viewed with favor, just as God does, who offers his merciful hand to all, regardless of their faith and of their belongings, and who cares for those who most need him: the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the helpless.” (Translation by Vatican Radio, here)

We all know that Judaism imagines itself to be the sole true religion. We all know as well that Francis does not care about the Catholic Faith or any false faith.

Fourth conclusion: Bergoglio’s message to the Jews was: “What God wants right now from us is an existential faith, which is to fight for ecology and against social inequality. Doctrines and traditions – both Catholic and Jewish – make no difference; they are just folklore.” That is, he invited them, once again, to take a more revolutionary position that what they hold.

If I am correct in the conclusions of this article, then, a question comes to mind: Who is actually directing the Revolution at present: Judaism or Progressivism; the Jews or the Jesuits?