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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of faithful Catholics is launching a prayer campaign to rid the Vatican of corruption.
Organized by a self-described "group of Catholic friends, both lay and consecrated," "Let's Pray for the Church!" will take place on Oct. 5 — the eve of the Amazon Synod — in Rome.
Explaining their motivation, organizers quote Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger's Good Friday 2005 lament: "How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!"
The campaign announcement lists 10 "graces" participants are asking of God:
Church-watchers will recognize the petitions — directly or indirectly condemning various initiatives of Pope Francis — as an indictment of the current pontificate.
These initiatives include the appointment of accused predators to high-ranking Vatican positions (for example, Bp. Gustavo Zanchetta, Abp. Edgar Peña Parra); the engineered "coup" at the John Paul II Institute; praise for abortion activists Emma Bonino of Italy and Lilianne Ploumen of the Netherlands; the promotion of neo-pagan ideology via the Amazon Synod; the demonization of border security advocates; the betrayal of the underground Church in China; and the assertion, through the Abu Dhabi Declaration, that God wills a "diversity of religions."
Reiterating their call for a divine cleansing of the Church, organizers point to another warning given by Pope Benedict XVI.
"The sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church," the pontiff warned during his May 2010 trip to Fatima.
"Today we are seeing it in a truly terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies outside, but arises from sin within the Church," he added.
In their announcement, organizers recall, "As cardinal and as pope, Benedict wanted to remind us that there are men in the Church who are not 'of the Church,' who do not really belong to her, and who indeed work more than anyone else for her destruction."
They add: "'The villains and hypocrites who are in the Church,' St. Augustine said in De Civitate Dei [The City of God], will one day become the majority, according to the prophecy of St. Paul in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians."
Let's Pray for the Church! will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET). Participants will gather just east of the Vatican at Largo Giovanni XXIII, a square outside Castel Sant'Angelo. Those unable to attend in person are asked to join in prayer from afar.
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