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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (ChurchMilitant.com) - An influential Catholic writer is excoriating Pope Francis as a cunning climber of the Church's power structure who nonetheless serves as a "buffoon of a plutocratic group" claiming a need to rehabilitate capitalism for the global good.
The oligarchs in Francis' good graces feel guilty because they "know they have become hyper-billionaires while 90% of the world's population has received some crumbs," philosopher José Quarracino said, slamming the pontiff for cozying up to the world's elites by creating the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican.
And that's just for starters.
In a hard-hitting interview, the nephew and godson of former Cdl. Antonio Quarracino (who appointed Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires) described Francis in his earlier roles as cruel, harsh, divisive, ambitious and power-hungry.
"Bergoglio's leadership style is that of a despot who allows neither contradiction nor independent judgment. He has always surrounded himself with mediocre, submissive and servile personalities," Quarracino told Gloria.tv Friday.
The Argentinian philosopher recounted how Bergoglio "never encouraged pro-life movements that fought against the legalization of abortion."
Instead, "he sent encouraging words to left-leaning politicians facing criminal and civil cases, even if they were enemies of the Church," the writer lamented, illustrating how Francis arranged a 2014 meeting between then-Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner and far-left agitator George Soros.
But Francis never spoke up for Argentine gynecologist Leandro Rodríguez Lastra, who was convicted in 2018 for preventing an abortion and saving two lives after he decided to save an unborn baby and the mother who had taken an abortion pill, Quarracino noted.
"It has always been typical of him to play with opposites and to fall from one extreme to the other. One day he is orthodox, condemning abortion in front of a group of Catholic doctors and calling it a contract killing," the Buenos Aires-born writer explained.
"The next day he receives Emma Bonino or the Argentinean pro-abortion president. This has always been Bergoglio's cunning game. This way allows him not to be pigeonholed, even if this tactic is short-lived," Quarracino added.
Labeling the strategy "pure Jesuitism" — which Quarracino says "means duplicity" since the Society of Jesus has "mutated into a Society of Iscariot" — the philosopher insisted some commentators had confused Bergoglio's modus operandi for Peronism — a political ideology named after Argentinian general and president Juan Perón (1895–1974).
Even though "Bergoglio flirted with the Peronist world," and had close relations with the Peronist group Guardia de Hierro, Bergoglio is not a Peronist, Quarracino stressed. He "also flirted with the liberal and progressive world, always insofar as it was to his advantage."
In 1992, Bergoglio was "banished" to Córdoba by the Jesuits to keep him away from Buenos Aires, where he had served as provincial for several years. The end of his term was marked by great internal divisions between his allies and his opponents, Quarracino recounted.
A saintly Jesuit, Fr. Ismael Quiles, who was one of Bergoglio's teachers in the Society of Jesus, interceded with Antonio Quarracino to "rescue him from his exile," the philosopher noted.
"Bergoglio was very badly off spiritually and psychologically at the time. That's why my uncle asked the Holy See for him to be an auxiliary bishop — even though there were already others," Quarracino said, supporting his recollection by citing Austen Ivereigh's The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope — a hagiography of the pontiff.
As auxiliary bishop, Bergoglio wooed his younger clergy with "his simplicity, piety, caring and psychological guidance, which he exercised like no other — often for the better, in some cases for the worse," Quarracino approvingly noted. But "to those who fell out of favor with him, he was often harsh, even cruel" and "subtly sidelined the older clergy to promote his friends and young protégés."
The new auxiliary bishop "maintained a very Jesuit profile, very pious, very pastoral," and "dogmatically cultivated an orthodox profile with many Jesuit accents" with "much liberality and laxity in liturgical and sacramental matters," Quarracino revealed.
However, he added, in Bergoglio's pastoral approach to social problems he demanded the focus should not be on spreading the Faith through the sacraments.
At the same time, "he sometimes showed conspicuous behavior" like "suddenly breaking off all contacts without the disgraced person knowing what he had done wrong," Quarracino noted.
Bergoglio got on very well with his archbishop and managed to "stand out" from the four or five other auxiliary bishops. He rose to the rank of coadjutor bishop with the right of succession, thus immediately becoming archbishop after Antonio Quarracino's death.
Upon assuming power, the new archbishop made radical changes in the power structures of the archdiocese, ridding himself of his predecessor's most important collaborators like the saintly Msgr. José Erro, rector of the Buenos Aires Cathedral, "whom he told by phone to resign and retire — without consideration, without thanks," the philosopher observed.
"I think he did this to show the clergy of Buenos Aires that the leadership of the archdiocese was going to change radically. He swept away everything that suggested continuity with the preceding period, even if he was careful to preserve something of my uncle's legacy," the archbishop's nephew lamented.
He also distanced himself from "everyone he did not know and who did not belong to his circle of friends and was known for the fact that no one knew what he really thought, as he always told every interlocutor what he wanted to hear," Quarracino said.
"Many were shocked that Bergoglio as archbishop almost always put on a sullen, bitter, sad face — a 'vinegar face'" especially during liturgical celebrations, Quarracino added.
The writer described how "it was common for the faithful to comment on the sour face Bergoglio showed in all public activities. A parish priest he trusted half-jokingly half-seriously asked him not to make any more pastoral visits if he intended to appear with a 'vinegar face.'"
"On the other hand, it was noticeable that after his election as pope, he began to show a cheerful and jovial face, which was hardly ever seen before, so that some wondered whether his unfulfilled ambition to become pope motivated him during his time in Buenos Aires," Quarracino remarked.
Bergoglio did not become truly heterodox until a year and a half after he took office as archbishop in February 1998, Quarracino revealed. Instead of celebrating the Jubilee Year initiated by Pope John Paul II, the archbishop imposed a "Mass of the Millennium" on the archdiocese.
This "had nothing to do with the celebration of the Universal Church," but he "did this to show the 'world of the powerful' that he was independent enough to act independently of the Universal Church, while respecting the form," he added.
The high-profile archdiocesan seminary emphasized "pastoral formation" to the detriment of theological formation, with the new priests "becoming more and more social workers with a reduced theological and intellectual formation," Quarracino lamented.
Then-archbishop Bergoglio also forbade seminarians to wear the cassock, inside and outside the seminary, he observed.
In December 2020, Pope Francis launched the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican to reset the economy by creating "a more equitable, sustainable and trusted economic system," Church Militant reported.
A majority of the pope's "guardians" (as the council members are called) include the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kering group, Allianz, MasterCard, Estée Lauder, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, California state treasurer Fiona Ma and Johnson & Johnson.
The so-called guardians are on record promoting abortion, pansexuality, the Marxist Black Lives Matter (BLM) and uncontrolled immigration.