Are We Able to Understand Pope Francis? (1)

February 03, 2022

A former Knight of the Order of Malta, Henry Sire was expelled after publishing The Dictator Pope. He gave an interview to Gloria TV, taken up by Aldo Maria Valli on his blog on December 10, 2021. There are several assertions about the essential role that the Argentine origin of the pope plays in his pontificate.

Henry Sire thus declares: “essentially the problem is that Bergoglio has no real principles, like the typical Peronist that he is.” A little further he affirms that “it has certainly a catastrophe for the Church to have as pope the representative of a very bad political culture such as Argentina’s.”

To the question, “What is this political culture?” He answers: “Dictatorial methods, obviously. Other elements in the culture include a loud-mouthed populism which enables a politician to claim he is supporting the people when in fact he does nothing for them, and a hereditary anti-Yankeeism [anti-Americanism] - which has been the motivation for Francis’ disastrous sell-out to the Chinese communist government.”

Question: “Francis loves to hide behind contradictions, for instances, by calling abortion a hit job and by calling the abortionist Emma Bonino one of the ‘great Italians.’ What ‘tactics’ is behind all this?”

Answer: “This again is typical Peronism, throwing out contradictory signals to opposite parties. An Argentinian would understand it perfectly well, but to the rest of the world it appears incomprehensible.”

Further, Henry Sire does not hesitate to affirm the following: “Francis has no policy but to win the applause of the modern-day elites by following every fad of theirs: climatic alarmism, uncontrolled immigration, an imitation Marxism which is in fact in the service of modern ‘woke’ capitalism.”

“If you look at Bergoglio's record before he became pope, he showed certain ‘popular’ sympathies, in the sense that he allied himself with the trade unions, etc., but he did nothing for the really poor in Argentina, and he has been the same as pope. His policy is simply to press certain linguistic buttons, and the media reacts slavishly, depicting him as the champion of the poor, for whom in practice he does nothing.”

These statements may seem peremptory, yet they are indirectly corroborated by a study published on the Res novæ website, on January 1, 2022, from the pen of Fr. Jean-Marie Perrot, and entitled The (Argentine) periphery now the center, and vice-versa.

The author examines “a theology of the people with Peronist founding principles” which characterizes the thought of Pope Francis. This is “maybe the most fundamental, the very keystone of Bergoglian thinking.”

Titled “At the cultural source of Pope Francis’ thinking”, this article is a long commentary, both a critic and a praise, as much of Francis’s thinking as of the theology of the people, through the presentation of a book from Juan Carlos Scannone, subtitled “Pope Francis’s Theological Roots.”

“It is interesting to note and keep in mind that the late Argentinian Jesuit Scannone taught Jorge Mario Bergoglio before becoming Francis’ devoted commentator.”

“We could summarize the origin of the theology of the people (and, according to Scannone, of Bergoglio’s thinking) in this way: the Latin-American Church has received primarily, from the Second Vatican Council, the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, supplementing it with the theme of poverty that the Conciliar Fathers, though encouraged by John XXIII at the beginning of the Council, had forgotten and which only appears as secondary on the final documents.”

“Moreover, this theme was placed at the source and center of the reflection and not in a static manner (which could only have had conservative, charitable consequences), but according to a radical and global dynamic of liberation.”

“According to its supporters, it was about interpreting, and inculturating Gaudium et Spes to the culture, but also the teaching of Lumen Gentium on the Church as the People of God. The inculturation of which we speak here has as one of its major components the association – and even the temptation of superimposing them – of the biblical and theological notion of the People of God and to the social, economic, and political reality of the people in Latin-American societies. We actually find this ambiguous polysemy in Francis’ documents.”