The St. Gallen Mafia

News: Commentary
by Paul Brock  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 2, 2021   

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In 2015, Cdl. Godfried Danneels publicly labeled his St. Gallen group a "mafia."

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Cdl. Godfried Danneels

Danneels, a Belgian prelate, was the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels from 1979 to 2010. He was a key member of the St. Gallen mafia that he mentioned in 2015 — a group of powerful churchmen who worked behind the scenes to get Pope Francis elected in 2013.

Saint Gallen is located in the northeast corner of Switzerland.

Saint Gall was an Irish monk who spread Christianity throughout Switzerland, and he's known as the founder and patron saint of the city of St. Gallen.

Today, a majority of Catholics in Switzerland are nonpracticing. According to a 2020 Pew Research study on same-sex "marriage," a full 76% of self-identified Swiss Catholics are in favor of the unnatural practice, rejecting the Church's infallible teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman. 

Switzerland's 76% travesty is right in line with its pro-gay neighbors. In fact, the study revealed the top nine countries wherein Catholics favored gay marriage were European. Catholic support for sodomitical marriage in other European nations is as follows: 

  • The Netherlands — 92% 
  • Belgium — 83% 
  • The United Kingdom — 78% 
  • Spain — 75% 
  • France — 74%
  • Austria — 71%
  • Germany — 70%
  • Ireland — 65%

These numbers are the rotten fruits of bad catechesis in Europe. The Dutch Catechism was published in 1966, and before the Vatican demanded a heavy revision due to its heretical nature, the work had already made its way into seminaries, schools and parishes all across Europe. 

The dissident Dutch Catechism was in lockstep with the agenda of the notorious St. Gallen Mafia.

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This mafia was also referred to as a "circle of friends" in 2015 by St. Gallen's then-bishop, Ivo Fürer, who hosted the group from the time it first met in 1996. The mafia was founded and led by Cdl. Carlo Maria Martini. The other key members were Cdl. Godfried Danneels, Cdl. Walter Kasper, Cdl. Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Cdl. Achille Silvestrini.

Their goal, according to historian Henry Sire, was "to gather these powerful, like-minded prelates together to use their vast networks of contacts to bring about what political analysts would recognize as 'regime change.'"

Among the key members of the St. Gallen Mafia, only one — Cdl. Kasper — is still living.

The mafia would meet at a Benedictine monastery called "Fischingen." The group of high-ranking prelates strategized their "regime change" by attempting to shift the Church's teachings in a more liberal direction, notably on the following issues:

  • Priestly celibacy 
  • Offering Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics 
  • Voting for pro-abortion politicians 
  • Ordaining women priests 
  • Normalizing homosexuality

Among the key members of the St. Gallen Mafia, only one, Cdl. Kasper, is still living. 

These men, and the group as a whole, represent the threat that Pope St. Pius X warned of in his 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (subtitled "On the Doctrine of the Modernists").

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Cdl. Martini

In speaking of modernists who are "in the ranks of the clergy," Pope Pius X identified, "It may be that they have persuaded themselves that in all this they are really serving God and the Church — in reality, they only offend both." 

The leader of the mafia, Cdl. Martini, was an Italian Jesuit and was the archbishop of Milan from 1980 to 2004.

During the pontificate of John Paul II, Martini was pinned as early as 1993 to be the next pope. This idea was initially publicized in the London Sunday Times.

Martini's profile in the article also included his thoughts on women priests: "When people ask me, and it's usually Americans, 'Will we have women priests?' I answer: 'Not in this millennium!'" Martini went on to say about contraception, "The Church ... thinks very slowly." 

Cardinal Danneels was out on the loggia with Pope Francis on the night of his election.

Cardinal Kasper, a good friend of Danneels, is also liked by Pope Francis.

Ten years earlier, the Belgian Danneels endorsed condoms, telling a Catholic TV program, "If an HIV-positive person insists on having sex, he has to use a condom. Otherwise, he will commit a sin." 

Cardinal Kasper, a good friend of Danneels, is also liked by Pope Francis — who has called Kasper "a talented theologian, a good theologian." 

Kasper, a German cardinal, was president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 2001 to 2010.

The theological confidant of Pope Francis has referred to same-sex unions as a central issue, saying of these perverse relationships, "If the majority of the people want ... civil partnerships, then it is the duty of the State to recognize such rights." 

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Pope Francis and Cdl. Murphy-O'Connor

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, a British prelate, was the archbishop of Westminster from 2000 to 2009. He was also the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

Murphy-O'Connor was also good friends with Francis before he became pope in 2013; the two even met for dinner in March of that year in Rome.

Cardinal Silvestrini, an Italian cardinal, was the prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches from 1991 to 2000.

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Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger

Silvestrini was to some extent Martini's replacement in the St. Gallen Mafia after Martini was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease — the same disease from which Pope John Paul II suffered, and ultimately died in 2005.

According to German journalist and author Paul Badde, in an interview conducted by the National Catholic Register, at the invitation of Cdl. Silvestrini, the St. Gallen group met in Villa Nazareth (a Roman college residence). The purpose of the meeting was "to prevent the election of Joseph Ratzinger." 

And this meeting called by Silvestrini was held, according to Badde, "only three days after Karol Wojtyła's death!"

The 2005 conclave proved unsuccessful for the St. Gallen Mafia, as Ratzinger was elected — but 2013 was another story. 

Watch the full episode of Mic'd Up—The St. Gallen Mafia.

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