THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA AND THE POPE
Last week I blogged about Pope Francis issuing the order for all Vatican institutions to move their financial assets to the Institutum pro Operibus Religionis, or the Institute for Religious Operations (sometimes also translated as the Institute for Religious Works), also known as the Vatican Bank, or I.O.R. You might recall that I had to clear up a basic misunderstanding that had resulted from the way the story was reported, as many people thought the order meant that all church assets and investments and cash had to be deposited there. While the order does mean a considerable concentration of wealth, it does not mean that. Basically, it means that any institution coming under the day-to-day administrative jurisdiction (or "ordinary" jurisdiction) of the papacy, such as religious orders, must do so.
As you might recall, in my blog I argued that one must not understand this decision solely on the usual banking-finance-economics lines. Those approaches certainly are in play, and we'll get back to those in a moment. However, I also suggested that one must understand the move along the lines of the traditionalist vs. modernist split that has been a factor in Roman Catholic Church life ever since the (unfortunate) Second Vatican Council(really, if one gets down to it, since the First Vatican Council, and the opposition of traditionalist bishops to the proclamation of papal infallibility. But that's another story for another time). If you were alive at the time, you might remember the suddenness of its effects as the Latin mass was suddenly gone, and nuns all of a sudden started wearing habits that looked more appropriate for a game of volleyball on the sands of a beech, than for nuns' habits. The cosmetic changes were only the tip of the iceberg, as much deeper changes ensued, from the fuzzy-wuzzy language of the conciliar decrees (except when those decrees dealt with the papacy itself, of course, thank you Vatican One), to the sweeping changes in clerical education, and on and on we could go.
As I argued in my blog, the order should be read in the context of that ongoing post-Vatican II struggle between traditionalists and modernists. One thing that convinced me of the necessity of such a reading was that the article itself mentioned the Vatican Secretariat of State, and some of its more controversial occupants, including Jean Cardinal Villot who, as Cardinal Camerlengo was the cardinal who "handled" the corpse of John-Paul I when the latter died only 33 days into his pontificate, amid rumors that he was going to "clean house". Villot's actions that day were, and in my opinion remain, very dubious and suspicious.
In any case, shortly after my blog, a friend of mine, K.M., and I were discussing the affair, and K.M. suggested that Francis' order might have to do with the Knights of Malta, a speculation that now seems to be born out according to this story spotted and shared by many of you, including our friend Catherine Fitts at Solari.com:
Now if one were to read this article at face value, there's nothing whatsoever going on here, other than a minor issue with the Pope over the constitution of the order, and the order's attempts to become more "democratic":
The group, whose formal name is Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, was founded in Jerusalem nearly 1,000 years ago to provide medical aid for pilgrims in the Holy Land.
It now has a multi-million dollar budget, 13,500 members, 95,000 volunteers and 52,000 medical staff running refugee camps, drug treatment centres, disaster relief programs and clinics around the world.
Cardinal Silvano Tomasi, the pope's special delegate to the order, told reporters at a briefing along with some members of the provisional government that the order's new constitution would not weaken its international sovereignty.
But as a religious order, it had to remain under the auspices of the Vatican, said Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a member of the working group that prepared the new constitution approved by the pope on Saturday.
Francis convoked an extraordinary general chapter for Jan. 25 to begin the process of electing a new Grand Master.
The last one, Italian Giacomo Dalla Torre, died in April.
"We hope this will re-establish unity in the order and increase its ability to serve the poor and the sick," Tomasi said.
Under the previous constitution, the top Knights and the Grand Master were required to have noble lineage, something reformers said excluded nearly everyone except Europeans from serving in top roles.
The new constitution eliminates the nobility rule as well as the tradition of Grand Masters being elected for life.
"It will be more democratic. The question of nobility has now become secondary," Tomasi said.
Future Grand Masters will be elected for 10-year terms, renewable only once, and will have to step down at age 85. (Emphasis added)
I'm not buying, and let me tell you why (and, of course, herewith my daily high octane speculation).
You might have noticed this dull and relatively uninformative article was carried by Reuters and datelined by them, and like many other dull and uninformative articles carried by Reuters, this one was...well... dull and uninformative. What should one expect from a "news service" with strong ties to the Rottenchilds? Oh, and by the way, did we mention Pope Francis met with Lynne Rottenchild to back something called "inclusive capitalism" and other feel-good globaloney plans?
If one is wanting to "fix" global capitalism so that it becomes even more globaloneyist, what better way than to concentrate vast amounts of wealth in the Vatican Bank, and give Mr. Globaloney some say in how that money is administered? And while we're at it, let's not forget that Francis also hired accountants to review the Vatican Bank's operations and bring them into conformity with the rest of the western financial system. Did we mention that the accountants were also the auditors for Lloyd's of London and the Bank of International Settlements? I remember the day that Catherine Fitts showed up at my home when I still lived in Nuttyfornia, and we looked into the matter, and then looked at each other and both exclaimed "What!?!?!?" when we read that one.
Which brings us back to the article. There's something in it that caught my eye, and made me stop and think, and that was the reference to dropping the requirement that the officers of the Knights of Malta be nobility, in order for the order to become more "democratic" (as it answers to the absolutism of the Papacy!). What the article does not mention, and which I strongly suspect is one of the ultimate reasons behind this move, is the prevalence of Freemasonry among the European nobility, including among Roman Catholics. It's of a piece with the persistent, and believable, accounts of various laymen and clergy that there is a wholesale masonic infiltration of the Vatican. Indeed, the man most responsible for the "new Mass," Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, was most probably a Mason, and of course the whole Loge Propaganda Due scandal of the late 1970s and early 1980s involved some highly placed Masons throughout the Italian and Vatican governments. Fr. Charles Murr just published a book, Murder in the 33rd Degree, in which he summarizes the investigation of Archbishop Gagnon into Masonic infiltration, an investigation commissioned by Pope Paul VI shortly before his death. In the book, Fr. Murr plainly states that the problem was not confined to Bugnini, but included several well-known cardinals, many of whom were concentrated around the Secretariat of State.
From that point of view, the Pope's action in forcing a new constitution on the nine-hundred-year-old order might appear to be a blow against that old target.
Unless, of course, the rot at the center is so bad that it has been able to capture the Papacy itself, and is now using that coopted authority to clean out pockets of potential resistance...
... that, sadly, would be my view as of this moment, and pending further information. And for those really paying attention, I argued a case in the appendix of my book The Financial Vipers of Venice that the masonic infiltration of the papacy itself began in the 19th century, and with a seemingly very unlikely character....
And as for the concentration itself, well, let's just say, it's much easier to rob one bank, than several...
See you on the flip side...
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