Social elites gather to discuss rise of 'populism'
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For the first time in history, the Vatican took part in the secretive Bilderberg meeting, a gathering of political and social elites to discuss issues affecting the world.
Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin made news last week because of his participation as the only religious member in the 2018 meeting, which took place from June 7–10 in Turin, Italy, a city historically known for its tolerance of anti-Catholic spirituality. The cardinal's attendance wasn't announced by the Vatican, though sources have confirmed his presence.
Parolin is one of the most powerful curial officials, second only to the Holy Father himself, and has been regarded by some Vatican insiders as the possible successor to Pope Francis.
The controversial conference was founded in 1954 by Labour Party member Denis Healey (a man known for his wide network of contacts with socialists across Europe), Joseph Retinger (founder of the European Movement, the lobby who led to the formation of the European Union), David Rockefeller (multibillionaire advocate of "a more integrated global, political and economic structure") and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (first president of the World Wildlife Fund and responsible for precipitating a constitutional crisis in his country).
Each year, around 150 members of European and North American political elites gather with financial, industrial and media figures to discuss worldly issues under the Chatham House Rule, which means the participants can use the information received but aren't allowed to disclose the identity of any of the speakers. Press is not welcome, and accounts of journalists who were harassed by police while trying to cover the meeting are common.
Among the topics for this year's meeting were populism in Europe, inequality, U.S. midterm elections, Russia, free trade and the "post-truth" world. As this year "populism" was first on the agenda (last year it was 8th), it's reasonable to assume that Cdl. Parolin's presence was fundamental for the discussion about the new "populist" government in Italy, whose program has caused the European Union and the Vatican to react apprehensively — mainly because of its approach to the wave of migration who has been overwhelming the country since 2011.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, stated: "We must safeguard the rights of Africans in Italy."
Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, head of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Abp. Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, have all voiced their concerns about Italy's future treatment of migrants and a possible exit of the European Union.
Hungarian-American investor George Soros, the tycoon known for fundingprogressive causes all over the world, has also been worrying about the rise of populism in Italy. Soros (who has been to previous Bilderberg meetings) was at the Festival of Economics of Trent on June 3, where he accused Matteo Salvini (new Minister of the Interior and national secretary of the Northern League Party) of being funded by Vladimir Putin. In an article for Corriere della Sera, Soros stated that the "European Union's flawed migration policies imposed an unfair burden on Italy."
Soros possibly knows why these policies have failed Italy. Emma Bonino, a former minister of Foreign Affairs who performed more than 10,000 illegal abortions, has admitted that she and her political coalitions actually orchestrated an agreement with the EU to allow for all ships with migrants to land in Italy, violating the Dublin regulation. Bonino has been partnering with Soros for over 25 years, at one point being part of the global board of his Open Society Foundation. Bonino now acts as a paladin for migrant rights and she has also been invited to previous Bilderberg conferences.
Member of European Parliament Mario Borghezio, from League, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis:
The Bilderberg meetings … are an important appointment for the strong globalist powers. ... The presence of Cardinal Parolin has struck the public opinion. ... Your Holiness, don't you think it's urgent and necessary to clarify that his presence doesn't mean an endorsement to the principles and goals … of the Bilderberg Club.
Oil companies such as BP, Total and Shell were present in force at this year's Bilderberg meeting. Those who weren't in Turin were in Rome for a conference promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the University of Notre Dame on June 8–9. The meeting, called "Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home," took place in closed doors in the Vatican and was attended by top oil executives and investors.
Ernest Moniz, former secretary of Energy under the Obama administration was also present, as well as Larry Fink, chairman of BlackRock. BlackRock is the largest investment fund on the planet and was described by Corriere della Sera as "the invisible rock that governs the world." The only person who declined the invitation due to other commitments was Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden, who was attending the Bilderberg meeting.
[Religions] must reconstruct their worldviews and ethics in the light of ecological thinking.
The secretive character of the Vatican's meeting was questioned by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana: "Since the publication of Laudato Si' … these high-ranking meetings have been taking place in the Vatican … but curiously they are all rigidly secret: no debate is allowed, as has always been the tradition of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. What happens here is simply the promotion of an agenda."
He also quotes Steven C. Rockefeller, who said in 1997, "If religions are to play a constructive role as members of the emerging new world community, they too must reconstruct their worldviews and ethics in the light of ecological thinking."
Pope Francis gave a speech to the oil tycoons in the Vatican conference, where he said that "there's no time to lose" as "the energy question has become one of the principal challenges, in theory and in practice, facing the international community."