I'll bet you thought, after yesterday's blog, that we were done with Cyprus, didn't you?
Well, we're not, nor are we quite done with Pope Francis I(Jorge Maria Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires). And as you might gather from the rather lengthy title of this blog, these are thoughts about someone else's thoughts about Francis.
In this case, the thoughts of someone else are the thoughts of researcher and historian Dr Webster Griffin Tarpley, and they come, believe it or not, from Iranian Press TV:
Prior to the election of Jorge Maria Cardinal Bergoglio as Francis I, I noted that one thing to watch about the new pope would be precisely his stance on the Vatican Bank, which was, you'll recall, recently embroiled in yet more scandals involving money laundering charges, and some murky dealings with American banks. As readers of my Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations will recall, this is a relationship that goes back to at least 1948, when the Institute for Religious Works (The Vatican Bank's name), was used as a money laundering conduit for CIA funds entering Italy to ensure a Communist defeat at the polls in that year's election.
In this context, I think Dr. Tarpley's analysis is well worth pondering carefully, both for what it says, and also for some cautionary points. We may consider the primary core of Tarpley's analysis to be this rather succinct thesis statement:
"Bergoglio is also strongly identified with Catholic social doctrine, which has traditionally stressed a preferential option in favor of the needs of the poor, rather than a concern with the privileges of the rich, combined with a rejection of laissez-faire, neoliberal, or monetarist economics in favor of social solidarity. "
In other words, Bergoglio is not going to toe the bankster line of the Anglo-American oligarchy nor their compliant Eurocrat lackeys and lap-poodles (think Van Rompuy and such ilk here). This comes in the context of possible German long-term goals of attempting to reposition itself vis-a-vis Russia and the East, as we speculated in our previous blogs on Cyprus, and in the context of German calls for repatriation of its gold from London, Paris, and New York, a move that in my opinion can be read in no other way than as a signal of lack of confidence in the Western financial system, and therefore ipso facto as a lack of confidence in the EU, born as it was as a scheme of those very same oligarchs in London and New York.
In that regard, I would contend that the election of Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) of Germany, and now of Francis I from Argentina, was and is no accident: it means nothing less than that the cardinals of the conclave are reading the geopolitical tea leaves very closely, and very subtly, and drawing similar conclusions as we have drawn: the Anglo-American oligarchs are on the defensive even as their armies are projected into more and more regions of the world to "support democracy" or "combat terrorism". As I have indicated in a number of recent interviews on The Byte Show and in my News and Views, I believe that the conclave's decision itself was profoundly motivated by geopolitical and cultural considerations. Europe is no longer the center of Catholicism; the Third World is. So the Cardinals chose a candidate that (1) could represent that fact and represent the Third World; (2) could also represent the European culture and tradition of the Roman church, and in this respect, Argentina is a strong candidate with its very prominent old European "look" and feel, not to mention its rich Spanish, Italian, and German communities (and you are permitted to read between the lines there); (3) a pope that would represent a doctrine or position that was not that mercantilist position of the western financial oiligarchy. We might even, with some stretching of the categories here, view the position as a kind of "papal Peronism," a "third way" mediating between the mercantilism of the West and the Libertarianism of its Western opposition, and the left wing radicalism of statist socialism.
In this context, we may fully expect that Francis will make rather interesting overtures to the Orthodox East, and to Russia in particular, and I rather suspect these will be of a nature to leave theological wags in both churches scratching their heads.
In that respect, Tarpley makes some very important observations, and I reproduce them here because they need to be emphasized, for the "American" delegation to the conclave apparently made a tremendous effort to gain the papacy and to thereby subborn it to the agenda of those New York and London financial oligarchs:
"This papal election was also remarkable for what did not occur. Elements of the US Catholic hierarchy, evidently backed by forces within the State Department and the Obama White House, had made no secret of their desire to take control of the Vatican and employ it henceforth as an abject tool of US imperial policy. The New York Times and Washington Post contributed articles seeking to highlight the many advantages which they claimed would derive from electing the first American pope. The delegation of US cardinals, second in numbers only to the Italians, attempted to act as a political machine in Rome on the eve of the conclave, giving daily press conferences in an attempt to stampede the 115 members of the College of Cardinals into electing an American. "
And there's this:
"Since the 1943 Anglo-American invasion of Italy during the time of Pius XII, the Vatican has continuously found itself under pressure to toe the London-Washington imperial line. Some popes were able to assert a significant degree of independence, notably Paul VI Montini, whose reign marked the high point of influence within the church by veterans of the wartime European resistance against fascism. More recently, the Polish Pope John Paul II sought to condemn the aggression committed by the Bush administration, but was always pulled in the other direction by the Polish tendency to look to Washington as a counterweight against Russia. Benedict XVI turned out to be far weaker, reflecting the postwar subordination of Germany to the United States. He was always on the defensive because he had taken part in German air defense during World War II.
"The anti-imperialist tradition is strong in Argentina
"But now we have a pope whose national origin will tend to impel him towards independence from Washington. Among all the nations in Latin America, Argentina is surely second to none in its tradition of national sovereignty and resistance to imperialism, a tradition which has persisted through many changes of political regime. According to some reports, 10 Downing Street in London has already witnessed apoplectic scenes by Prime Minister David Cameron due to the fact that Pope Francis I Bergoglio, as the Argentinean that he is, regards the Malvinas (or Falkland) Islands as an integral part of Argentina, regardless of any referendum staged there by the British among their colonizers."
Our only quibble with Tarpley, a minor one to be sure, is that while we would both agree that Germany is for the moment compliant to Washington, as I have attempted to argue in numerous blogs, the gold repatriation issue signals something far different (and let's not forget Chancellorin Merkel's little visit to Beijing, where she took nearly her entire cabinet in tow). (I would also point out, contra Tarpley, that Giovanni Cardinal Montini, later Pope Paul VI, during his tenure in the Vatican Secretariat of State during World War Two and afterward, was intimately involved in helping to run the Vatican Ratlines out of Europe to aid escaping Nazis, Fascists, Rexists, and Ustashi).
What really leaped from the page of Tarpley's analysis however, was this short statement:
"He condemned the policies that were leaving the Argentine people 'strangled by the anonymous and perverse mechanisms of a speculative economy.'"
For "anonymous and perverse mechanisms of a speculative economy" read derivatives and credit default swaps. In other words, as far as Francis I is concerned, the plunder party is over, folks.
I view all of this, of course, as a mixed bag. It is, on the one hand, a good thing that the Vatican might have elected a man who will be his own man and not the plaything of the Anglo-American elite. If so, then his election is truly a milestone, for it marks the beginning of yet another world power's turn from that western oligarchy, a process that will begun by this pontificate, but certainly not ended by it.
But let us always, always remember, that the idea espoused by Mr. Tarpley, namely that the papacy's understanding of itself exists in a kind of Dante-esque Ghibelline world view of the separation of spiritual and temporal power, is simply not the history of that institution, nor its historical and oft-reiterated claims at all. In short, to become a pope, you must simply be a Guelph. Let us not forget that it was the Jesuit order that supported the definition of papal power and infallibility at Vatican One. To be sure, the Roman Catholic church has done an enormous amount of good in the world. We must remember that, always. We must also always remember, that in the name of its doctrine and power, it also roasted people alive, and that the core of those claims remains intact and, in that case, unrepentant. In a world where the growing trend to fundamentalisms and militant religious persecution of those "outside the fold" appears to be on the rise, it is a lesson of history we must remember.
There's another lesson of history we also need to remember. Most researchers who have studied the matter now tend to agree that the attempted assassination of Pope John-Paul I was a message from that Western elite to a papacy that looked like it might become increasingly "independent" of western interests. Francis I is therefore one to watch, not only for what he might or might not do (and we would only echo Tarpley's warning to the Vatican to oppose the UN's kooky Agenda 21 as the anti-human bankster BS that it is), but also for what those oligarchs might try to do to him. They didn't hesitate from attempting to kill a pope before, and won't again. The problem, however, for them is that Francis does represent a change in long-term alignment and policy, and therefore, the Cardinalate will only elect a similar candidate. (And thus, our previous warnings: if Francis represents such a long-term policy reorientation, watch carefully who he appoints as Cardinals, and watch what he does not only with respect to Russia, but with respect to China).
See you on the flip side.