Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pope Francis, Evo Morales and Comrade Jesus

(Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

What the hell is going on in this picture?

Bolivian President Evo Morales is handing a crucifix in the form of a hammer and sickle to a smiling Pope Francis, that's what.

Could we be any further down the rabbit hole?

Let the amelioration begin.


And so it has:

The German-language Katholisches Medienzentrum is reporting that Pope Francis' initial reaction was "skeptical", but softened once the history behind the bizarre symbol - which also graced the neck-bling given to him moments before - was explained to him. You see, gentle reader, this symbol was very dear to Fr. Luis Espinal, S.J., a Spanish-born Bolivian Jesuit who vociferously promoted a synthesis of Marxism and Catholicism - so vociferously, in fact, that the Bolivian government had him arrested and executed as a political agitator. Never mind that Pope John Paul II denounced the movement as irreconcilable with the Christian conception of man. Never mind that Evo Morales has declared himself a Marxist and a Communist, and has undertaken drastic steps to isolate the Catholic Church - the traditional foe of Communism - in Bolivia. We're dealing with someone who exploited was very close to the poor in order to bring them to the brink of a Socialist revolution the message of the Gospel. Yes, yes, I know it looks like the symbol of the most murderous socio-political theory ever to be vomited upon the earth, but appearances can be deceiving: it's a symbol of liberation and love.

Welcome to Room 101.


The amelioration continues:

RomeReports has come out with a partial transcript - consisting of one short statement - of the meeting between President Evo Morales and Pope Francis. The statement in question: "That's not right" - uttered by the Pope as Morales began explaining what the symbol meant.

First, I'd like to read a complete transcript of the exchange.

Second, I'd like to know why, if the Pope knows not only what the sculpture symbolizes but also that it's "not right," does he proceed to smile and accept the hideous thing before the flash of a hundred cameras? If it's wrong, refuse it. Don't give the socialists of the world the very thing they want: a picture of the Catholic Pope accepting a symbol of the perversion of Christianity with a silly grin on his face.

And we thought "Who am I to judge?" was bad. This picture should never have happened, regardless of what the Pope intended to express by accepting the 'gift'.


The spin on this story has reached full throttle:

Catholic World News is reporting that Pope Francis "rebuked" President Morales for his gift of the hammer and sickle 'crucifix'.

By smiling and accepting the gift.

Harsh, Pope Francis. Harsh.

Meanwhile, Catholic News Agency is in full damage-control mode:

Who knows? Given the impressive size of that font and the gnat-sized attention span of the average viewer, they might actually be able to get the genie back in the bottle. The way things are looking, however, this seems to be shaping up into a battle of two captioned images:

In any event, when Jimmy Akin finds out about this, we will be sure to get 10 things to know and share about how there is absolutely nothing to see here.


Just when it seemed as though the fix was in: enter Holy See press officer Fr. Frederico Lombardi. According to the latest from Catholic News Agency, Fr. Lombardi commented on the encounter by opining that "Pope Francis' remark  likely expressed a sentiment of 'I didn't know' ['No sabía eso'], rather than 'This is not right' ['Non está bien eso']."

How's that for setting the record straight?

On the up-side, it seems that at least one prelate recognized the utter depravity of the object. Bishop Jose Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastián tweeted:

The height of arrogance is to manipulate God in the service of atheistic ideologies. Today, once again: #ChristCrucified.


  1. To be very, very, very generous with Francis we might say he reserved his comments for a private time, and that he was surprised, and/or did not want to embarrass the poor fool who gave him that hideous sacrilege.
    However, Francis puts himself in these situations deliberately. Why can't he just stay home and vet carefully who he sees? Why can't he just shut up for one single day, catch his breath and start again, carefully watching every word?
    In my humble opinion Maradiaga (sp?) had it right when he suggested Francis has a 5-year plan and is moving as fast as he can to make irreversible changes to Holy Mother Church.
    Dare we hope Our Dear Father in Heaven will 'call' Francis home before the destruction is near what Noah saw?

  2. Dear Barbara,

    Even if we're extremely generous, it would mean Pope Francis putting the feelings of President Morales - a man who considers the Catholic Church to be his "main enemy" - ahead of the millions of faithful Catholics around the world he knew would be scandalized the moment he touched that ... thing. I try hard to be charitable, but this is stretching it to the breaking point. Are we supposed to believe that gifts are not checked by staffers before they are presented to the Pope? Are we suppose to believe that L'Osservatore Romano can claim innocence in publishing the image long before any kind of clarification was even attempted? If we assume that it was his staff who set him up for this, will we see heads roll? I doubt it.

    This image will haunt the Church, and there's nothing the Vatican spin machine can do about it, short of Pope Francis publicly removing the image of Our Lord from it and dashing the remains to the ground, setting it alight and singing Te Deum as the black smoke rises above St. Peter's.


  3. We should be thankful Francis is so unguarded, emotional and impulsive. If he behaved with more dignity we might not have realized what he is up to.

  4. The hammer and sickle "cross" incident is quickly becoming famous. Hopefully, however, it will highlight rather than distract from the most important point: The Pope is now doing all he can to rehabilitate liberation theology--in direct contradiction to the efforts of his two predecessors.

  5. Oakes,

    With this little fiasco, he's put liberation theology on a heavy course of steroids. El Presidente can now proceed to beat Catholics in Bolivia into a socialist stupor with the apparent blessing of the Pope.

    I fully expect someone like Christopher Ferrara to cover this is detail in the near future.


  6. I think they pulled a fast one on the pope yet knowing he certainly is not a SJPII who would not have accepted such a blasphemous item with a smile, they figured it would work. And they were right. So they explained how the 'martyr' (but not for the Catholic faith) priest had designed it and so the pope just said he did not know about that. The pope accepted the familiar handling of his person when that creep put those chains on him. How dare he! That creep would not have done that to a previous pope. And then the pope let the outrage continue. Never have I known this pope to stand up strongly for the Faith. Rather he challenges it and belittles it and pushes the envelope essentially every day. It might be 'confusing' statements about how he approves of the 'theology' of a Kasper (serene on the knees) or it might be the nonliturigal vestment he just wore or it might be the hint of approving of something impure or scandalous from the 'sin-nod'. He surrounds himself with heretics, atheists, population control people, and even anti-Catholics. I challenge a good interpretation of all of this.

  7. Pope Francis is to the Catholic Church what Obama has been to America. Obama kicked the already weakened final supports out from under the country and America is NO MORE. Call it what you may but it is gone.

    The Pope is well on his way to doing the same to a Church already turned Protestant by the Modernist Heresy. If they aren't already the confused Catholics will soon be Useful Idiots for the Global Elite who Francis apparently serves.

  8. I'm not quite sure what to make of the comment, here and elsewhere, that John Paul II would not have accepted this horrible symbolic gift. Where's the evidence for that dream? We've all seen the pictures of Assisi. We've all seen the pictures of the nearly naked native woman 'dancing' right in front of that unfortunate pope. We've all seen the pictures of John Paul II being blessed by a miscellany of pagans, and we've all seen the picture where John Paul II kisses the Koran…unguarded? impulsive? spontaneous? Try apostate and diabolical disorientation.
    John Paul II, and Benedict XVI would have done just what this pathetic excuse for a pope did: they would have accepted it.

  9. Barbara, JPII understood the brutality and crushing of the human spirit under a Marxist regime. He lived it in Poland post WWII. He would not have accepted it.


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