A Great Darkness Surrounds Rome…

A Great Darkness Surrounds Rome…

vatican-cityBelow, an article by American writer Christopher Ferrara…

Antonio Socci is one of the most prominent Catholic voices in Italy, a journalist, author, commentator, and public intellectual of the first rank. I had the privilege of translating from the Italian his ground-breaking work Fourth Secret of Fatima in which he recounts how had he set out to disprove the existence of a suppressed text of the Third Secret only to become firmly convinced that such a text not only exists but is “well hidden” in the Vatican.

Socci is not a traditionalist. He is a Catholic of the “mainstream” who is nonetheless a supporter of the restoration of the Latin Mass. Indeed, Socci was full of praise for Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate. And so was I. (If you don’t believe me, take a look at what I wrote here and here in the immediate aftermath of the conclave.)

 I have been forced to change my mind and admit that the earliest critics of the former Cardinal Bergoglio, who knew far more about the man and his ideas than I did, were right from the beginning. Socci, too, has gone from supporting this pontificate to lamenting its alarming trajectory toward what would appear to be the completion of the post-Vatican II autodemolition of the Church (to the extent this is humanly possible and permitted by God).

In a few short months Socci has, in fact, become one of the harshest critics of the Bergoglian agenda, and rightly so. It appears that the last straw for him was the Pope’s outrageous rehabilitation of the Marxist priest Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, suspended by John Paul but restored to the exercise of the priesthood by Francis, even though d’Escoto had only days before thumbed his nose at Rome and hailed Fidel Castro as a gift of the Holy Ghost to the Cuban people (belying the Vatican’s flimsy cover story that he had repented of his errors).

As Socci writes with undisguised contempt: “In the Bergoglian epoch, the Vatican has practically rehabilitated Liberation Theology, born in the Sixties, which has caused many disasters, above all in Latin America, by having fomented the subjugation of the Church by Marxist thought.” As Socci notes with disgust, d’Escoto declared that Castro was the means by which “the Holy Spirit transmitted to us the message, this message of Christ, on the necessity of struggling to establish… the reign of God on earth…” Socci continues: “After this theological exaltation of the tyrant of Cuba, who for decades oppressed an entire people with a communist dictatorship, d’Escoto was gladdened by the revocation of his suspension by Pope Francis.”

The contrast with the brutal treatment Francis has meted out to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate sickens Socci, as it should any Catholic with a sense of justice:

The velvet glove used by Francis with the famous and powerful “comrade” d’Escoto contrasts with the iron fist he used to strike a good and humble religious of holy life, Father Stefano Manelli, spiritual son of Padre Pio and founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Father Manelli had even written to the Pope, but his letter was not even taken into consideration.

His religious family, orthodox, disciplined, and full of vocations, was annihilated by the will of Bergoglio, inasmuch as it applied the motu proprio of Benedict XVI on the liturgy. And he was too orthodox.

Father Manelli has never disobeyed the Church, has never deviated from right doctrine, has never thrown himself into politics like d’Escoto, and has never exalted communist tyrants. So, he was harshly punished.

Socci’s conclusion is chilling, coming as it does from one who strongly supported Francis but has seen the immense damage this pontificate has already caused, and is likely to cause, to the Church’s mission at a time of unprecedented moral and spiritual decline:

Today, in the Bergoglian epoch, there is a return precisely to Rahner, and to that philosophy which has already caused such damage among the Jesuits and in the Church. And in this empty abyss Catholics are tossed and turned “by every wind of doctrine.” Subjugated by any ideology and corrupted by any heresy. A great darkness surrounds Rome.

Socci shows us that more and more Catholics of good will are coming to the realization that the crisis in the Church has reached a new, and perhaps its final, stage. To remain willfully blind to what is happening is not to “trust the Church” but rather to ignore an alarm that is calling every Catholic to do what our confirmation oath requires: defend the faith of our fathers against an all-encompassing “para-conciliar ideology” that is threatening the Church like no mere heresy ever has. Source


Socci is a “mainstream” Catholic – not a “traditionalist”.  Do you agree with his assessment of the state of the Church today and if so, why? Would you identify the same scandals that brought Socci to recognise that “great darkness [that] surrounds Rome” or are there others, even more important, in your view?  Over to thee…

Comments (140)

  • Christina

    I have been reading the recent entries here with very mixed feelings. Petrus has summed up the counsel of perfection that Athanasius, Editor, et al are blessed in being able to follow. They imitate Mary in the Gospel story, while more troubled souls are afflicted with the Martha syndrome.They cannot help but be ‘troubled about many things’, and reasons for, and ‘historical causes’ of, the present crisis trouble them. I am in the latter group, and so I am in sympathy with Benedict Carter’s views and with his need to root for ’causes’. Of course, like him, I am sure, I know full well that Satan is the ultimate enemy and that Catholics are to blame for allowing him to triumph thus far, but I really do think that trying to work out how he has managed to do so so spectacularly, and whom he has used as his instruments is not a futile or ‘wrongful’ exercise. It really is a matter of temperament, and I do so wish I were a Mary, and had her blessed peace of mind.

    September 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    • Athanasius


      If only I were as Mary-like as you seem to think I am! Boy, that would be serious progress!

      Believe me when I say that I am not without curiosity in these matters. It’s just that I’ve been there, done that and got the T-shirt. I have found generally over the years that this kind of investigation either proceeds from or ultimately leads to bitterness and a desire to apportion blame and demand justice. Life’s too short for that!

      We have the teaching of the Popes about the evils of Freemasonry and Communism, surely that should suffice for us.

      Being as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove is not an easy teaching for Catholics of a more warlike inclination, but it’s Our Lord’s counsel and we have to abide by it or else end up all bitter and twisted like the “Resistance” folk.

      By all means do your historical investigations, but in a spirit of objectivity knowing that God will reward the good and the bad in due course. I’ve witnessed too many lose charity by their over-fixation on scandals they can’t handle!

      September 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        I fail to see, Athanasius, why one should end up as embittered as you suggest is inevitable from an investigation of the guilty men. The reasoning is puerile. Maybe you and others have reached the “comfortably numb” stage. Well, others refuse to go down into the night without a fight.

        September 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm
      • Athanasius

        Benedict Carter,

        If you fail to see then perhaps it’s because you’re not looking carefully enough. Read Bishop Williamson and his “Resistance” people, or try reading the various sites and blogs of the sedevacantists. That, hopefully, will open your eyes.

        In the meantime, I challenge you to present me with a single authoritative Church document or approved Catholic work from before the Council that goes further than a firm and general condemnation of Freemasonry and Communism as enemies of Catholicism.

        None of us should be prepared “to go down into the night without a fight,” that’s why we should concentrate all our efforts first on sanctifying our own souls.

        September 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Bishop Williamson and his pathetic “Resistance” people number no more than what, fifty souls, and are a total irrelevance to the Traditionalist movement. I am surprised that you have even bothered to mention them (four or five times now).

        September 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm
      • Athanasius

        I mentioned them because your comments about Jewish Freemasonry smacks of their mindset, which is destructive to the Traditional Catholic cause.

        You say fifty souls, but in fact the “Resistance” numbers a good many more than that, 16 priests in France alone, all mouthing off about the “Judeo-Masonic New Church” and now talking about consecrating a bishop. I’ve exchanged correspondence with some of these people and have experienced their bitterness first hand. That’s what happens when Catholics lose humility and charity.

        You should recall the damage done to the mission of the SSPX a few years ago when Bishop Williamson decided to tell the world what he thought of the Holocaust. Did his words advance the supernatural mission of the SSPX, or did it hamper that mission and ultimately lead to the loss of these souls from Archbishop Lefebvre’s holy work? I’ll say no more than that.

        September 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm
      • Summa

        This ‘resistance’ to me is a fanatical fringe splinter group who have no grounds to claim that the Society of Pope Pius X have abdicated the tradition in any way. Not once have I heard or sniffed an atom of liberalism or modernism at the Chapel I attend.
        I cringe at their terminology of Resistance MC – Marian Corps.
        Not sure if we have a stable group of people here.

        September 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        This is a blog Athanasius, not a hassock where we can be found on our knees praying.

        September 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm
      • Athanasius


        What we say on public forums should reflect the graces we receive when on our knees praying. I am assuming of course that we are all to be found daily on our knees praying, especially the Rosary. Blogging is a distant second to that particular duty.

        September 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm
      • editor


        “Well others refuse to go down into the night without a fight”.

        Tell those “others” that their attitude smacks of pride. By the truckload.

        Great saints did not have that attitude. St Thomas More kept silence for as long as he could, because he did not wish to give the Church’s enemies an excuse to put him to death. St Catherine of Siena wrote her plain speaking letters to popes and prelates without “investigating” the root cause of their weakness of character and faith. Those saints, like the rest, followed the grace being given to them by God, they didn’t seek to replace it with their own preferred methods along the lines of the Glasgow gang culture – “agree with me, or else, pal. ”

        Frankly, your comment to Athanasius that “maybe you and others have reached the comfortably numb stage” is arrogant in the extreme.

        Benedict, my advice is to beware of the danger of pride. It’s an ever-present danger for anyone seeking to work in Catholic Action. We must all pray and protect ourselves against it, every day.

        You read up all you want to about Jewish Freemasonry. You’ve now told us about a book to read if we want. You’ve done your bit. Now – rather than cause unnecessary argument, why not drop the subject? I have less interest in the writings of Michael E Jones than I do in the latest edition of the Woman’s Own. 😀

        So, let it go. We’ve had it up to the eyebrows. Which reminds me, I really do need to make an appointment with the nearest beautician asap…

        September 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm
  • Frankier


    I still think, wrongly of course according to some, that if you had mentioned any freemasonry other than the Jewish you wouldn`t have had all this hassle.

    That`s only my opinion though for all it`s worthlessness.

    September 16, 2014 at 6:49 pm
    • Benedict Carter

      Frankier,sure. It’s the great unmentionable and I am astonished at how Athanasius and others refuse to even let it be discussed.

      Look: I lost two uncles to our German friends in World War II. Another one was in a Nazi POW camp for five years. I have no axe to grind as far as the Jews are concerned OTHER THAN:

      i. The clear and material change on the Church’s teaching on the Jews (even now to the extent that Francis is on record as saying that there is no evidence whatever that the Catholic Faith has replaced Judaism and that therefore they remain the Chosen People), a change I totally reject;

      ii. The very deep – and growing – Judaizing tendency within the Conciliar Church;

      iii. The Talmudic hatred of Christ which is very evident today with the ADL and other organisations;

      iv. The role of Talmudic Judaism in fomenting revolution and anti-Christian persecution wherever and whenever possible.

      I have NOT said in any post here that (a) I hate Jews, (b) that all Jews are guilty of these crimes; (c) that I have any answer to any of it.

      The “hate” word and the “bad temper” words are all from Athanasius,not from me,

      September 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm
      • Athanasius


        “It’s the great unmentionable and I am astonished at how Athanasius and others refuse to even let it be discussed.”

        I’m astonished that you’re astonished! It has never been the method of the Church to single out individuals, groups or a particular race for condemnation, simple as that. The sin or error is roundly condemned but never the sinner or proponent of error.

        If conciliar Churchmen have succumbed to Masonic ideals it’s because they chose to sacrifice the truth for error. There’s no advantage to be gained by blaming the Jews for it.

        September 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        You have missed the point of my posts entirely Athanasius.

        By the way, to assert that the Church has never singled out this or that individual or group or race is palpable nonsense. The traditional teaching on the Jews of course leaves aside any subjective judgement of the state of soul of any individual but is clear on the collective guilt for Christ’s death of the Jewish race – at the same time as forbidding any actions against them that proceed from a desire for collective vengeance. A teaching that has always led to a tension on the borders but nevertheless coherent and clear.

        September 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm
      • Frankier


        There are people who hate being called homophobic for condemning the lifestyle of “good as you” people that aren`t a bit backward themselves at
        inferring that someone is anti-Semitic for condemning the bombing of Gaza.

        September 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm
      • Athanasius


        Are you deliberately trying to cause trouble? Benedict Carter has taken his leave of the blog and the subject is now dead. Let the matter rest!

        September 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm
      • Frankier


        Please DO NOT term me a troublemaker.

        You have acted in a very unchristian manner to someone simply because of your desire for political correctness.

        You certainly didn`t seem to want the matter to rest.

        September 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm
    • editor


      “Hassle”? So, we have to agree with Benedict, not discuss or it’s “hassle”?


      September 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm
  • Athanasius


    Please try to understand that when a person prefixes the word “Freemasonry” with “Jewish”, he does so in an antagonistic spirit. He would say he’s just being honest. The rest of us say he’s being imprudent in the extreme. Antagonism of this kind may satisfy bad temper but it’s not how the Catholic Church conducts herself and it will not win a single soul to God.

    September 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    • Benedict Carter

      How can the truth be “imprudent”? And why do you ascribe its use to bad temper? Now that one CAN call “imprudent”!

      September 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm
      • Frankier


        You are in deep trouble.

        Your behaviour is being described as being worse than the Cathoiic Church.

        September 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    • Frankier


      There lies the answer to all the, I`ll say it again, hassle..

      Obviously the simple answer is that it all depends on how you read it. I certainly didn`t detect any antagonistic spirit in what was said and I think Benedict`s replies show that he didn`t mean it in that way either. Otherwise, I would have condemned him too.

      I would assume that if there is ever any reason for anyone to mention the hanging of Mr Calvi (?) under London Bridge that they will be careful not to mention Italian freemasonry.

      If you read the first post on this thread Mr Carter was very enthusiastic in getting involved but I`m quite sure he may be sorry he didn’t catch a later plane from Ghana.

      I wonder why I keep thinking of an old departed near neighbour of mine, Rabbie Burns.

      September 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm
      • Athanasius


        Well, Rabbie was a Mason and Calvi was done in by P2, Italian Masons. So much for that information. I think we’re all generally aware of these facts.

        But your claim that Benedict Carter was enthusiastic in getting involved is a wee bit misleading. He was antagonistically enthusiastic. There is a huge difference between holy zeal and bitter zeal; the former being constructive, the latter destructive. Anyway, Benedict got angry and left so let’s leave it at that and move on.

        September 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm
  • Athanasius

    The truth can be imprudent when it is only part of the truth, BC, or when it is used to incite bad feeling towards others. A priest could reveal your confessed sins to someone; he would be telling them the truth, but that truth would constitute a very grave sin.

    September 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    • Benedict Carter

      See my reply to Frankier above.

      September 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm
      • Athanasius


        Your reply to Frankier does not address what I said about the proper and/or improper use of truth. Would you agree that truth can be used for ignoble purposes?

        September 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Of course. But if you hide truth because this or that evil man may misuse it, you do no-one a service.

    I am amazed that Catholics supposedly knowledgeable about the causes of this great crisis refuse to see the links between Talmudic Judaism, Masonry – and the growing direct influence on the ecumaniacal Church of Francis’ Jewish friends (as a latest example).

    September 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm
    • editor

      Benedict Carter,

      For the life of me I cannot see the point of all this carry on about “the links between Talmudic Judaism, Masonry and the influence on the…. Church” etc.

      I think I pointed out in my very first comment in response to you on this subject that the entire ecumenical and interfaith movement is at the root of the crisis – so what does the rest, the details, matter? What difference does it make whether this or that non-Christian religion has links to Masonry and so has influenced Pope Francis etc. HE is to blame for allowing himself to be influenced by non-Christian religions. End of. We know that the whole ecumenical movement is diabolical What possible difference can it make to blether on about “Jewish Freemasonry”? It’s a total red herring.

      On this blog, we like to get to the point and stay there, Benedict. The reasons for the crisis, humanly speaking have been well discussed on here but they are not the most important thing. Fatima matters. Whatever links exist between Talmudic Judaism & Freemasonry don’t. To prove me wrong on this, you need to explain clearly what we can do to end these links. Nought, I’d wager.

      I’ve returned to my computer after hours away and am dismayed that this (non)topic is still being aired.

      Give it a rest. Please and thank you…

      September 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Editor – why are you directing this solely at me? I have no interest in prolonging a discussion to no purpose, but I do have the right to reply to posts made to me.

    Anyway, you all enjoy your cozy little club. You obviously have your club line which I see I am not following. This Catholic blogging is a waste of time if the subject matter is closed.

    Goodbye from me!

    September 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    • editor

      Not so long ago we were the only blog where you could express your opinion without being blocked. Now we’re a cozy wee club / a waste of time, and all because we disagree with you on a particular topic.

      Anyway, thank you for your contributions from time to time on this blog. Much appreciated.

      Goodbye and awra best!

      September 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    Someone sent me this article today

    It shows a deeply embedded Protestant mindset in Catholics. I hope it fits in here. It definitely made me think of “great darkness”!!!

    September 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm
    • Summa

      Yes, quite true MM.

      That article epitomises the cart before horse mindset of the Catholic Church of today.

      It is one that views Latin Mass as a turn off; something that won’t respond to the needs of the young team. That is why we have the surrender of the Church to the liberal and modernist mindset.

      Next thing we will have the Church condoning teenage sexual exploration as a pastoral solution to the demands of the youth of today.

      I have a real ongoing fear that we are only at the beginning of a massive lurch towards laissez faire Catholicism, which will initiate a renewed attack on the SSPX by the corrupt within the. Vatican, hoping to bring about an expulsion.

      September 16, 2014 at 10:37 pm
    • Athanasius


      The article you linked does not show a Protestant mindset in Catholics, it shows complete apostasy from God and His Holy Church. There are practicing Protestants with more morals than those so-called Catholic students. As for the NCR, I can’t believe that publication is permitted to retain the name ‘Catholic’. We’re living in an increasingly insane world!

      September 17, 2014 at 12:45 am
  • Frankier

    I have to say that I am sorry how this has ended for Benedict.

    People should realise that not every one of has the odour of sanctity about them More like BO in my case.

    But it can get a bit disheartening to read comments from bloggers that would, in my case anyway,
    require the full sackcloth and ashes treatment, while saying the rosary 24 hours a day to make me worthy to be in the same room as them never mind being allowed to look at them.

    Benedict, please come back, I`m on my own now.

    September 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    • editor

      Nobody was anything but courteous to Benedict. I would have intervened otherwise.

      I’ve no patience with folk who thrown their rattles out of the pram because they are not getting their own way. These are discussions, and any adult should be able to discuss and disagree without being silly. People who don’t like heat should stay out of kitchens.

      Your comment above, e.g. about Calvi and “Italian Freemasonry” reveals a determination to stick with the non-issue which has, unfortunately, dominated this thread.

      I followed the Calvi murder closely and I never read anyone, anywhere refer to “Italian freemasonry.” Not even once.

      As others have pointed out, the popes have never prefixed freemasonry with any nationality or race. So why are you so offended by a reminder that all we need not do so either? Why is it so important to you to say “Jewish freemasonry”?

      What IS the big deal? Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

      I’m sorry you feel that you are “on your own” on this blog – I have clearly misunderstood you altogether. You are welcome to continue to blog here but on our terms, Frankier. On no other.

      September 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    • Athanasius


      Why would any Catholic with good intentions feel alone on this blog, of all places? What do you mean by “I’m on my own now”? What is it about your views on the Faith or your motives that makes you feel isolated here?

      And another thing: I will thank you not to give the impression that anyone here is portraying himself/herself as in the odor of sanctity, making you feel sinful. We are all sinners on this blog, not one of us even close to canonisation (except editor, of course). So please, cut out the hypocrisy.

      September 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm
      • Frankier


        Can you not take a joke? Really!

        I was only trying to be a bit light-hearted when I said I was on my own but
        you again take it the wrong way.


        September 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm
      • Frankier

        Ath again


        They say it takes one to know one.

        As for Rabbie, I was thinking more along the lines of his “admiration” for Holy Willies than his masonic tendencies.

        September 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  • crofterlady

    Catholic convert: way up above you spoke of Islam as evil. Somebody told me that it actually says in the koran that it is good to commit jihad against the infidel or words to that effect. Would you have any idea how I could find these references, verse and chapter, so to speak?

    Thanks for your very interesting research on what the saints had to say.

    September 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      Well, I can’t actually find chapter and verse as I no longer own a Koran sadly. But suffice it to say, I can say with certainty that Muslims are commanded to strike at the necks of the non-believers. Just look at the writings of the above Saints and what St. Paul said re the Mahometans.

      September 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Why look for references in the writings of a false religion, when in Holy Scripture (Galatians 1:8) St Paul clearly condemns any attempt to supplant the teachings of Christ and His Church:- “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema”. A very prescient warning in view of the fact that many years later, Mohammed would allege he received a new revelation from God, via the Archangel Gabriel . . .

    September 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Try this website – there are lots of quotes here:-
    What does the ‘religion of peace’ teach about violence: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

    September 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm
    • crofterlady

      Thank you, Wesminsteryfly.

      September 23, 2014 at 10:11 pm

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