I've been blogging the last two days about the strange moves coming out of the Vatican of Pope Francis I, and the signals that portend these strange moves, with the caveat that, when indulging in high octane speculation as an outsider peering into the world's old political chancery and biggest inter-generational pile of equity, such speculations are more than likely to be wrong, than right, but, that said, I'm going to continue to indulge in them here today.

Now let me recall the three main points of the previous two-days' blogs:

"Francis is making other interesting moves, such as:

"(1) calling for "more decentralization", i.e., less papal, and more episcopal, power:

Pope says power should be moved away from Vatican

"(2) criticizing "capitalism," which isn't surprising coming from the papacy; it's done it before, and often (think only of John XXIII or Paul VI, even John-Paul II). What's new here is the context(which we'll get back to):

Business Insider More: Pope Francis Inequality The Pope Just Published One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read

"(3) Seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is both old and new in a sense (and we'll get back to that too):

Pope Francis Meets Russian President Putin

As I pointed out yesterday, I believe these three points must be read as a whole, for they each impinge and impact the other. Today, our focus is on the "decentralization" meme coming out of the Vatican, and for the possible reasons for it, and the long-term trends that I believe the papacy may be seeing and responding to. Now, in this respect, I want to draw your attention to what I believe is the core set of statements in the first article from the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph (or, as it is sometimes known, the Daily Torygraph):

 “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” the Jesuit Pope wrote in the document, formally known as an “apostolic exhortation” to the faithful. The Church must not allow itself to be “caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures”, he wrote, in what amounted to a mission statement for the Holy See.

"It was time for “a conversion of the papacy” because “excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life”, said the pontiff, who has made reform of the Vatican’s dysfunctional finances and administration a priority of his papacy."

And this:

 "Pope Francis, who was elected in March after the resignation of Benedict XVI, said he was even “open to suggestions” on changes to his own powers.

“'It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it,' he wrote.

"Centuries-old customs and traditions should be cast aside as they got in the way of the Church communicating its core message, he said."(Emphasis added)

Now this is in my opinion another possible revolution in the making, for "changes to his own powers" can mean nothing less than some sort of significant modification of all those centuries accumulated expressions and assertions of papal power, from Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam to the First Vatican Council's definitions may perhaps be up for "redefinition", and, given the nature of those assertions, any modification most likely will be in the direction of less and not more papal power. After all, it's rather difficult to imagine where one could go from "infallibility ex consensu ecclesiae" and "supreme and immediate" jurisdiction along similar lines. Those expressions pretty much say it all, and they say it clearly. "Changes in papal powers" imply a limitation on them... a move towards a "constitutional papal monarchy" so to speak, and Francis may be hinting at that with his call to more evangelization.

But why the move at all?

One context that suggests itself is the extraordinarily centralized nature of papal Catholicism. In the modern world, it is as much a target as a benefit, and the curia knows this. How would the church survive if - God forbid - the Vatican or the pope himself were the target of an inspeakable act? Decentralization also makes the Church's finances much more difficult for external forces to follow. And the hiring of an auditor? While this suggests possibilities of external pressure on the papacy - and we saw such pressures on Benedict, particularly from the Western financial "Anglo-Sphere" and the Vatican Bank - the hiring of an auditor suggests some hardball in reverse, and a possible gateway for a two way flow of financial intelligence. So we may make one prediction: look for increasing "redefinitions" of papal power and authority vis-avis the bishops, and more particularly, the cardinals who lead various national and local churches.

But there is a deeper agenda here, and it is encoded in the call to a renewed evangelization and Francis's call for a "dirty and bruised" church. Roman Catholicism has never lacked for evangelism, for there is almost no corner of the world where its missionaries or representatives have not gone. So why a call from the Pope to - paraphrasing his words - "get down and dirty?" I suspect these words presage a new long term effort not simply to retrench into the second and third world, now the basis of the papacy's strength. That will continue. But I suspect it is also a call for something else, a "crusade" of sorts, to re-establish itself in its European homeland and in North America in the teeth of secular states and cultures increasingly encroaching on area that the papacy considers sacrosanct; one need only think of American Catholic bishops' opposition to certain aspects of Obamacare.

However, all this aside, I think there is another goal in mind, with this "openness to suggestions to changes in papal power," and that is the Orthodox Churches, particularly of Russia, and the eventual reunion of the two churches. Various doctrines unique to papal Catholicism, as distinct from Orthodox Catholicism, have kept the two churches apart for almost a millennium, and the Orthodox have made no bones about what they are: the changes in the West's doctrine of the Trinity, which, to the Orthodox, are of a piece with its doctrines of original sin, Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and above all, its definitions and assertions of papal power and authority, which the Orthodox will never accept. Francis' words seem to suggest a rather different ecumenical tack may be underway: allow the Orthodox Churches themselves to "make suggestions", and in the meantime, as the visit from Mr. Putin suggests, make common cause in action where both parties are agreed. And notably, Mr. Putin is being implicitly viewed by the Vatican as a kind of representative of Orthodoxy, since he is a member of the largest Orthodox church: The Russian Church.  This "openness" to "suggestions" allows us to make another prediction regarding the very long term future and what it might hold, for make no mistake, Francis' pontificate is but one stage in a much larger long term shift underway. That is, in order to effect that possible reunion, and to provide a real attraction to its evangelical efforts, a further liturgical reform may be in the cards, one back towards the kind of ritualism that the Roman Church used to be, but now longer is, known for. Similarly, this may also be signalling a quiet move towards the Anglicans, and particularly to those who have felt disenfranchised by the decision in many local Anglican churches to allow the ordination of women. Time will tell. But with respect to Russia, I think the  timing of these an announcements and of Putin's visit does strongly suggest something may be playing in the background of Roman Catholic-Orthodox-Russian relations.

The bottom line: we are watching the papacy reform itself, yet again, and this one promises to be even more sweeping than Trent or Vatican Two, since, in the modern world, with its power base shifting irrevocably toward the second world and third world, it must shift, and "reduce the target", and this can only be done by decentralization, which serves the double purpose of reaching out to the Orthodox Churches.

One thing above all seems clear: Francis I is embarked upon a long range program, one that will continue long after his pontificate ends and a new one begins.

See you on the flip side.

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Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. DEBRA on December 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Dr. Farrell: I am standing on a chair applauding all three of these Vatican blogs. I loved the point made in Blog #2 to the effect of: the Pope is attacking the fraudulent Banksters because, well, they are his main competitor. Very Black-Venetian-Nobility like. (New York City and London = Pisa and Genoa?)

    And then of course if the Jesuit Order felt that a coup d’etat against their power was imminent, well of course, they would have an Emergency Backup Plan ready to go.

    Which I suppose brings us again to the Secret Space Program, yaddy yadda.

    Now, my request to you is that you tie all of this together and explain how it relates to the Hermetic Trinitarian topological metaphor … cuz, oh, we know it does.

    Or maybe I will just keep reading my copy of “Financial Vipers of Venice.” I have a feeling that I am getting close to the answer.


  2. nobodyouwantoknow on December 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Benjamin Fulford told me that the Pope has signed a secret Executive Order that allows tithing with Bitcoins.

    BF also said: “A priest, a rabbi and a mullah walked into a pub. The bartender said, ‘Is this a joke?'”

    But seriously, folks, you’re a lousy audience, and you’re all going to hell unless you repent and join the Church of the SubGenius.

  3. marcos toledo on December 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Is Pope Francis 1 thinking of ending the ghost of Caesar- Papalism that has hung like a sword of Damocles over the Papacy since Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Putting and end to the Norman American burn down the house reign of terror over the Earth lo these past three hundred years.

  4. bdw000 on December 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    The Vatican’s “target” may be more than the second and/or third worlds: you think a few HUNDRED MILLION UNemployed in the FIRST world might look like a juicy target to the Vatican?? Just guessing 😉

    I read two or three years ago that China (at that time) had approximately 200 million unemployed. One story mentioned a bridge on one large city in China (forgot which one) that had fences all around it because so many people were committing suicide on it. Again, that was at least 2 years ago. Could the Vatican have their jealous eyes on people like these??

    Personally, I don’t see how traditional evangelizing could have much impact in today’s world. Most religious folks rarely switch denominations across the great protestant divide, and those who aren’t religious today are unlikely to fall for the trap of religion. That has nothing to do with geopolitical realignments of existing populations, of course.

    • Joseph P. Farrell on December 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Excellent and penetrating insight bdw… and I agree with you. We need to remember the Anglican ritualists in the 19th century spread Anglo-Catholicism precisely among the poor… but they had a beautiful ritual with which to do it. THe modern Roman ritual is simply ugly compared to what it once was, so they will have to do SOMETHING to make themselves appealing… beauty in their liturgy, not pedantry, would help. Just my opinion.

  5. Nidster - on December 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    The pope could expand his evangelical efforts into the ME. Syria would be the obvious choice if he wants a “bruised, hurting and dirty” church. Almost a third of the Syriac Christian population has fled the rebel-held northern town of Hassakeh after Christians became targets for kidnappings and assassinations.

    With regard to the rant on capitalism he has it confused it with the Corporatocracy that runs roughshod over the people.

    And lastly, I agree with what FC wrote, “Maybe Argentinian Pope Francis has been schooled by some Argentinian friends who know first hand how to build a decentralized empire after a military setback.”

  6. jedi on December 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    what to you expect from a group that burned people alive, practice pedophilia, treat its followers like sheep to be led too slaughter and expect a 10 percent weekly return and killed the son of god…..hey were broke, the world is destroyed thanks for the good times, welcome to hell, were heading to China.

  7. Frankie Calcutta on December 3, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Make no mistake about it, if the Vatican is doomed for an inevitable el mossad-a/el CIA-da attack, Roman Catholic monastic remote viewers have picked up on this a long time ago. If my memory serves me, I believe one of the Pius Popes had an exchange with a demon visitor (who spoke hebrew btw) who boasted of destroying the Church. I imagine the Vatican’s instincts are no different than the Nazi International and they are planning to maintain a global presence after they are rousted out of their current headquarters. Maybe Argentinian Pope Francis has been schooled by some of Argentinian friends who know first hand how to build a decentralized empire after a military setback. Maybe a new subterranean Vatican has already been built and furnished in anticipation of such a horrible event. Possibly under Denver? In the least, maybe the homeless Vatican will be offered a rental by the sympathetic Breakaways who may have foreseen this event as well… at least until Jerusalem has been readied by the Breakaways to headquarter the new global religion.

    My recommendation to the Vatican would be to use its wealth now to buy converts. Historically, there have been many instances of heathens converting to Christianity for a few baubles and some political power. Why not extend a lover offering to impoverished North Korea in return for mass Roman Catholic conversion? Then I would offer a lion’s share of the Vatican’s wealth to come to the aid of the desperate Japanese– with no strings attached. I would even send in suicidal monks to aid in the Fukishima clean up. Surely, the Japanese would be so impressed by this calculated gesture they would convert in droves. Then I would give China all the gold in the Vatican coffers and encourage them to start their own gold backed currency which the Vatican would herald. In return China would allow Roman Catholicism to flourish in its country while banning all other Christian denominations.

    part two: how to pull the rug out from under the American noahides and set up a Catholic theocracy in the United States using these lubavitchers’ decades old, carefully laid plan.

    • jedi on December 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      on a brighter note, one of the last wild salmon runs has become extinct….hip hip horray.

      • Frankie Calcutta on December 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        It does seem gloomy young jedi. I have latched on to the theory lately that we are living inside a computer game. This brings me some solace. Then I go on youtube and find something that makes me laugh:

        or something sadly percipient that indulges my unending melancholy:

        • RAJM on December 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm

          Blue Magic – best Tux of all time. Bring them back.

        • jedi on December 4, 2013 at 6:42 am

          Frankie, thats partially true, and I have the evidence….I dont think it is fair too talk about it or release it to the general public….the children think it is real, and seem to enjoy playing…..well some of them do.
          and even if you do…your words become garbled…a fail safe

  8. Robert Barricklow on December 3, 2013 at 10:58 am

    The woman said, “Your addicted to cigaretts.”
    The man replied, “Much better than being addicted to gold & diamonds”.
    The Vatican is addicted to power.
    It’s intelligence/finance apparatus is moving pieces to their advantage, looking way ahead, in moves and positions.

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