Catholic prelate goes Putin one better

Since the Catholic Church isn’t a magazine, I can’t cancel my subscription. So the Church should instead cancel Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

Viganò and his enemy

By that I don’t mean the Church should silence His Excellency. He has a God-given right to air his views, no matter how preposterous.

It’s just that Archbishop Viganò has forfeited his right to air his views urbi et orbi as a Catholic prelate. He should be unfrocked and excommunicated.

Nothing in Viganò’s CV pointed to this melancholy conclusion. He is a holder of two doctorates and a successful Vatican diplomat. At retirement he was papal nuncio to the US, one of the top posts of that kind.

The archbishop had solid conservative credentials. He is critical of Vatican II, disparaging of Pope Francis and scathing of priestly immorality. All good.

But lately the archbishop began to go off the rails. First, he joined the anti-vaxxer campaign with nothing short of crusader’s zeal.

I happen to disagree with the anti-vaxxers, but there’s nothing shameful about refusing to be jabbed or doubting the efficacy of vaccines. The problem starts when such views attach to a fervent belief in some deep-state cabal conspiring against everything good. Suddenly a man making a dubious but possible argument turns into a febrile fanatic with a dangerous gleam in his eyes.

Once getting on that path, Archbishop Viganò quickened his step. Now he has come up with a “Declaration on the Russia-Ukraine Crisis”, in which he vindicated the title of this article.

His Excellency sounds as if he used the services of Messrs Gundyaev, Putin, Solovyov, Kisilyov and a prominent Mail columnist as his ghostwriters. The first name on that list belongs to the chap alternatively known as ‘Agent Mikhailov’ of the KGB and ‘Patriarch Kirill’ of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).

His Holiness has an excuse: he is doing his job. As a lifelong KGB agent infiltrated into the ROC, he is duty-bound to follow Christ’s teaching that no man can serve two masters. Since Gundyaev’s master is the KGB/FSB, its giant bulk leaves no room for serving God.

However, Archbishop Viganò’s allegiances are supposed to be different. Or so I thought. In fact, the archbishop unveiled in his pamphlet the whole kit and most of the caboodle of Putin’s propaganda.

“The Biden Administration, Nato and the European Union” provoked “the Russian Federation to trigger the conflict”. Now those evil-doers “deliberately want to maintain a situation of obvious imbalance, precisely to make impossible any attempt at a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis”. They are assisted in that undertaking “by the gross falsifications of the mainstream media”.

And, most ominous: “This is the trap set for both Russia and Ukraine, using both of them to enable the globalist elite to carry out its criminal plan.” It’s that deep state again.

So far, so Putin. Watch any programme on Russian TV or listen to any speech by Putin, and you’ll get all the same stuff chapter and verse. Or, if you want it in English, read The Mail on Sunday.

What you won’t get from Putin, not yet anyway, is a direct attribution of those dastardly crimes to a Jewish conspiracy. Putin’s Foreign Minister Lavrov did make some anti-Semitic remarks the other day, but Putin has so far restrained himself.

Not so His Excellency: “These Ukrainian billionaires wearing kippahs are those who are selling out Ukraine to the corrupted and corrupting West, trading their own well-being for the enslavement of their compatriots to the usurers who are taking over the world, using the same ruthless and immoral systems everywhere.”

Call me an inveterate idealist, but I don’t expect such rants from senior Vatican figures, especially those burdened with two doctorates. The Catholic hierarchy has its fair share of anti-Semites but, since Auschwitz and Treblinka, they have tended to keep such feelings to themselves.

Yet here is a retired papal nuncio adapting The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf to the needs of modern fascism. What happened to “…neither Jew nor Greek”, Your Excellency?

But never mind Galatians 3:28. The good archbishop also shows woeful disdain for many other parts of Catholic doctrine.

When a Catholic, especially a prelate, supports a war, he must believe it is just. The doctrine of just war goes back to Augustine, but it was neatly summarised by Thomas Aquinas.

Such a war must be declared by legitimate authority; its cause must be just; it must be waged with good intentions. Three centuries later, Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, considered the founder of international law, explained the doctrine in greater detail:

“The sole and only just cause is when harm has been inflicted.” However, “not every or any injury gives sufficient grounds for waging war.” Specifically, causes of just war can’t include “difference of religion”, “enlargement of empire” or “the personal glory or convenience of the prince”.

Allow me to translate from canonical into English. Viganò’s support of Putin’s war can only be doctrinally legitimate if he believes that his pet culprits, Biden, Nato, the EU and the Ukraine, planned to invade Russia. Since any sane person knows that no such plans were being hatched, Putin’s bandit raid doesn’t qualify as just war.

It qualifies as murderous, unprovoked aggression, making it the moral duty of any decent man, and the institutional duty of any priest, to come out against it with everything he has got.

Anyone endorsing fascism is himself a fascist – and a fascist can be neither a Christian nor any kind of believer nor, more generally, a righteous man. All he can be is scum.

It’s not only His Excellency’s antediluvian anti-Semitism that out-Putins Putin. He also turns his back on his Church, along with its whole history and dogma. In fact, I can’t recall offhand any other such heretical and schismatic pronouncements by a Catholic prelate, not in recent memory at any rate.

For His Excellency accepts the Moscow Patriarchate of the ROC as the ‘Third Rome’, a claim going back to the 16th century and still acting as the article of faith in that KGB Church. Hence Archbishop Viganò believes that the Catholic Church should renounce its heretical ways and dissolve itself in the ROC by placing itself under the aegis of ‘Agent Mikhailov’.

As an educated theologian, His Excellency expresses this idea with the benefit of his erudition: Perhaps Providence has ordained that Moscow, the Third Rome, will today in the sight of the world take on the role of κατέχον (2 Thess 2:6-7), of eschatological obstacle to the Antichrist”.

God help us, the man is off his rocker. Give him a general’s rank in the FSB, an archbishopric in the ROC, his own talk show on Russian TV – and a column in The Mail on Sunday.

3 thoughts on “Catholic prelate goes Putin one better”

  1. Archbishop Vigano made sense when he spoke out about Cardinal McCarrick, his protectors, and proteges. He made sense when he spoke out about the abortion-tainted covid-19 vaccines. He made less sense when he tied those vaccines to population control and some elitist cabal (I just cannot believe they are that smart and that coordinated, although Bill Gates is definitely a proponent). He makes no sense at all when justifying Putin’s war. I read on some blog, somewhere, that when an expert speaks out on a subject outside his remit he often sounds ridiculous.

  2. The man sounds more pagan than papal. It just goes to show how rare orthodox Catholics are. Most being in the cafeteria mold (Stephen Colbert) or the Christo-fascist mode (Mel Gibson) Why, the only rational, yet totally sincere, Roman I can think of is our host!

  3. That is the benefit of this Russian invasion and covid crisis.

    It made everything obvious. Take France: for long we had this very confusing situation with no real right wing and a far right full of contrast, excess and absurdities.

    We knew Marine Le Pen never held a real job, that her party was bankrupt and unable to be consistent (misusing european union funds, what a joke), still unable after 20 years not to propose local candidate that turned out to be known local real neo-nazis, etc. Now, everything makes more sense: Marine Le Pen made obvious she’s a peon of her russian banker, agreed to repeat USSR-vulgate to honor Red Army, her international policy is the same as Jean-Luc Melanchon’s. Fiat lux.

    No we understand why this Marine Le Pen, like father like daughter, is an impossible option. This right wing is doomed on the grand french political scale. They took propriety of important topics (security, migrations), tainted them, but could not be elected because people had a hunch they are rotten.
    Now it is no longer a feeling, a hunch, it is known: Marine Le Pen is against ukrainians nationalists that fight against foreign invasion, while she support Russia that purposefully imported clandestines africans to drop them at the polish and lithuanian border to invade Europe. She’s not a defender of France as nation, not at all. She’s a national threat.

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