Pope Francis Writes Letter to One of His Bitterest Critics, Antonio
Letter from Pope Francis to Antonio Socci
(Rome) The Catholic journalist Antonio Socci, a persistent Pope critic, has received a personal letter from Pope Francis. It is not the first time that Francis has shown his attention to critics. Shortly before his death, he telephoned the legal philosopher Mario Palmaro in Fall of 2013, who was then one of the most intellectually sharpest critics of this pontificate. Antonio Socci went so far in his Pope criticism in his 2014 published book "He is not Francis", to challenge the validity of the Pope's election. He was followed in this by neither canon nor other church representatives. In his latest book, "The Last Prophecy" he corrected [Socci publically disavowed this already?] this position. He has recognized since then, the election, but maintains his criticism of this pontificate. Now, he's received a surprising letter from the Pope. In the daily newspaper Libero , he reported it:
The letter that the Pope wrote about my book "The Last Prophecy." And my answer
Last Friday, I looked quickly over the house of my parents, it's full of memories of my father like his best picture: The miners carried one of their mates on a stretcher (my father risked his life in the mine and became handicapped).
He taught me that life is a struggle for the truth, and that truth and freedom are more important than bread. It was he who as a Catholic miner fought for the freedom of our country on April 18, 1948, I owe him the most important lesson: to live without lies.
And I thought immediately of him on Friday, when I received this letter by express delivery. My mother astonished, handed me a white envelope with the stamp of the Vatican City, by whispering to me: "Did the Pope write you?"
And indeed, the handwriting is unmistakable. He has written my address with a fountain pen in black ink (wherever he has found), on the back was the sender and underneath: "Casa Santa Marta - 00120 Vatican City".
I thought of my father, because he is a symbol for me of those Christian people, who are so despised by the pseudo-intellectual establishment that Pope Francis celebrates (I think of "La Repubblica"). That Christian people that has felt abandoned in the last three years by their shepherd.
Pope Francis has indeed triumphed among the anti-clericals with a big media success, but has led the Church into great confusion. It suffices to reflect on the statements yesterday made on the return flight from Mexico, where he "mixed" greatly in immigration policy, but stated that he would not interfere in the Italian debate on gay marriage (though he is Bishop of Rome and Primate of Italy).
On Friday, just when I got his letter, I saw the Holy Father on television because of the jointly signed statement by him and the Orthodox Patriarch Cyril. It involved memorable historico-political remarks, which has stuffed the "Obama Agenda" together with the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, which the Pope has disastrously circulated.
The declaration brings the Church back on the path of Benedict XVI. and is a true torpedo against "the dictatorship of relativism" of the West and against the dictatorship of Islamism in the East. It is a cry of freedom that allows the celebration of Christian values from the Atlantic to the Urals, and we returns to the big story of the Europe of the peoples and the cathedrals.
It's the opposite of what Francis did in those years.
The explanation takes decidedly (finally) to the defense of persecuted Christians and religious freedom at all longitudes, and does so with an appeal to a courageous Christian witness in public life. It attacks the nihilistic technocracy of Western Europe, which has denied its Christian roots and excludes the Christian to contempt. Finally, they vigorously defend the natural family and life from conception to its natural end.
However, immediately after the ceremony, carried out before the television cameras, Pope Bergoglio tried to "withdraw" his signature from the publication of this document by playing down its importance. He reduced everything to a proper "photo-op".
What explains this repentant and incredible backpedaling? Obviously, it allowed the Imperium of the "resigned" Benedict XVI. and "cropped" the pontificate of Francis, it impedes him from overturning the geopolitical positioning of the Church.
Therefore Francis (who showed in 2013. a bold independence with Syria) returned immediately in the assigned limits. It was not difficult for him because of the ease with which he normally speaks, withdrawing and contradictorily depending on the interlocutor. His Magisterium is often as changeable as the dress Saruman.
Probably one now wonders in the Patriarchate of Moscow, how many Franzi kisses are actually in circulation. We've asked that for three years. All boats so guided capsize, and in fact confusion rules in the Churc.
Perhaps the Pope is begging so emphatically because he wants prayer.
Unfortunately, he has many sycophants, courtiers, shoeshine boys and fans who celebrate him, but few of them pray for him and for the boat of Peter, which threatens to drown in the applause and the laughter of the world.
However, I pray for him.
When I opened the envelope, I saw that it came from him entirely. I understand the meaning of certain details: the popes communicate through the State Secretariat (in the past I have already received a papal letter of this kind).
That this was even handwritten by the Pope and a directly forwarded letter, without going through any Vatican office, has a precise meaning: It is intended to be of a familiar character, a fatherly gesture of affection and of Community.
Although I know how happily Pope Bergoglio leaves formalism behind, I would not have expected it. I sent him a copy of my book from the publisher Rizzoli. In it there is a dedication with which I tell the Pope that the book contains what my conscience requires me to tell him.
I was therefore very surprised to see his letter and read his truly informal words.
Vatican, February 7, 2016
Mr. Antonio Socci
I have received your book and the accompanying letter. Thank you for this gesture. May the Lord reward you.
I started to read it, and I am sure that many of my things in it will bring good things. In reality, critics help Us also, to walk in the right way of the Lord.
I really thank you very much for your prayers and those of your family.
I promise you that I will pray for you all and ask the Lord to bless you and the Blessed Mother, to protect you.
Your brother and servant in the Lord,
These are words that do not leave me indifferent. There are things this Pope does that move me deeply (as I have written in the book).
His evangelical freedom and his simplicity inspire me, his standing outside the clerical schemes. It is moving when he speaks of the view of Jesus, or as in the past few days in Guadalupe from the maternal eyes of Mary. And he recalled that Our Savior wants that no one is lost and is ready to invite everyone on His shoulders.
But ultimately, there is in his pontificate primarily from his Magisterium and from the government of the Church, and the face of disorientation and confusion that have entered the Christian people in these three years, so I wanted to tell the truth, even at the cost of professional and moral suicide.
Parrhesia, not hypocrisy
I've thrown into the nettles what the world calls by the name of 'Prestige,' built in decades of work, to be an outcast of the Catholic world, which is my home. I was, with one blow thrown among the "lepers." In those two years I had to digest a lot of verbal abuse. The most common were: "You are possessed by the devil" and "You're crazy."
Others called for an exorcist for me or even a judgement of excommunication. They even have assumed that I was in some sect, under some guru or an obscure "power" under a fog, but in any case outside of the Church.
I was banished from their media and my book has been placed on an index in certain Catholic bookstores, which probably has no problem having Augias and Mancuso for sale.
Today, however, the words of Francis gives justice for months and months of defamation. They are above all, for each one of us, an example of humility and fatherhood.
The legitimacy of the "criticism of the Pope", which is contained in the letter, also seems to teach that we should be bold and not fearful or opportunistic Christians. One should talk of parrhesia and not calculated hypocrisy.
In my book I quoted the words of the Spanish Bishop Melchor Cano (1509-1560), a great theologian of the Council of Trent:
"Peter does not need our lies and our flattery. Those who defend blindly and indiscriminately any decision of the Pope, are those that undermine the authority of the Holy See:. They destroy its foundations instead of strengthening it."
Francis knows, moreover, that for him, the danger does not come from the sincerity of the children of God, but from his court: one day he went so far as to say that "the Court is the leprosy of the papacy."
Incidentally, it is also true that a climate of real terror reigns in the Roman Curia and the other Curias during his pontificate, a never before experienced oppressive inquisitorial air. And for that he is responsible.
The way he has led Church affairs in these years and the recent Synod, unfortunately, shows that next to the paternal and understanding Francis there is also one who uses the power in a very hard way. Sometimes, in order to impose the Church heterodox teachings.
He is the one who raises an iron fist against large religious families and orthodox faith and then praises those who promotes the chasing of the winds of secular ideologies.
I continue to hope and pray that he will put an end to this climate and call for all to stay in the freedom and dignity of the children of God in the Church, as well as the Council teaches (without fearing purges, revenge and humiliation).
I hope above all that he remains faithful to the mission of Peter and defends the Catholic faith and neither sells it and nor tips it over: this is not permissible for him. He can not do it.
For even the Pope can not do what he wants, as Joseph Ratzinger has said. He is not an absolute monarch, as once some rulers were. He is the exact opposite: He is the guarantor of obedience. He is the guarantee that we are not of his opinion or the opinion of whomever, but profess the faith of all times, to defend it against the opinions of the moment.
Introduction / Text: Giuseppe Nardi
picture: Antonio Socci