Pope Francis as Jesuit provincial followed a sort of Peronist path

Says a new book not in the hagiographic mode of some of Francis’ biographers — not specifically Peronist but in the mode of a hardball politico.

A common accusation against Father Bergoglio [now Pope Francis] was to be that he was a divisive figure as Provincial.

Given the state of the Province as he found it, with a party of highly political figures who had been dragging it to disaster, one might think that this was inevitable, or even a good thing; but the reports are that his methods were rather in the direction of exacting loyalty to himself and marginalising those who failed to toe the line.

My way or the highway is too common the way of governance in Latin America, especially in Francis’ native Argentina, where near-cultic loyalty to individuals often holds sway.

From Colonna, Marcantonio. The Dictator Pope (Kindle Locations 406-409). Kindle Edition.


What’s not to like about Trump inviting new Dem senator to the White House?

It’s typical. He’s a schmoozer from a way back and a salesman. They had a good conversation, says the new man.

via Alabama Democrat Doug Jones: Trump ‘gracious’ in congratulatory call | Chicago Sun-Times

Read this and weep, all you Illinoisans . . .

Our state is a very big LOSER!

The Prairie State lost a record $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in the 2015 tax year, according to recently IRS data released. That’s up from $3.4 billion in the prior year. Many of the migrants were retirees who often flock to balmier climes. But millennials accounted for more than a third of the net outflow in tax returns.

While Florida with zero income tax was the top destination for Illinois expatriates, the Illinois Policy Institute notes that Illinois lost income and people on net to all of its neighbors—Wisconsin (6,000 people based on claimed exemptions), Indiana (8,200), Iowa (1,900), Missouri (2,000) and Kentucky (1,100). What’s the matter with Illinois?

Escaping to Wisconsin has new meaning.

via Illinois Drives People Away – WSJ

Jeffrey Tucker on Trump enraging the center-left by defiling the sanctity of Big Government, the sacred religion of the progressive left

Theirs is a deeply religious experience.

Writing last May in FEE (“Trump Defiles the Sanctity of Government, and It Drives the Center-Left Mad“) Jeffrey A. Tucker presented a very interesting and compelling explanation for why Trump has enraged the center-left more than probably any politician or president in history — he has defiled the essential holiness of Big Government, which is the sacred religion of the progressive left. Here’s a condensed version of Jeffrey’s article:

It’s how they fill the emptiness of or  empty cracks in their lives. If the small-gummint party thinks business — job creation, getting on with one’s life — is the nation’s business, the left thinks it’s politics.

For them it’s the air in the football, the water in the rivers, the food in the belly. They hate Trump, who

. . .  is not actually cutting back on the size of the state; he is doing something even more terrifying from the center-left point of view: he is ruining the mystery of the state, and thereby discrediting their holy institutions.

He must be stopped. Hence the Madame Defarge-like refrain, Resist!

They are losing their minds.

[He] is everything that the center-left fears most, a person who works, despite himself, to discredit the thing they love the most. He has demoralized them beyond consoling. Now we are seeing talk of impeachment. This seems to be some people’s last hope for saving the old faith.

via Jeffrey Tucker on Trump enraging the center-left by defiling the sanctity of Big Government, the sacred religion of the progressive left – AEI

Bad news for GOP out of Alabama?

True enough, but:

The good news, the Wall Street Journal points out in its editorial this morning, is that Judge Moore won’t be available for Democrats to make an issue of during the battle for control of the Senate.

The GOP has a better chance to expand its majority than it would have had Judge Moore won.

Better still if it gets its jobs-and-growth tax bill passed before [incumbent Republican] Senator [Luther] Strange retires to Alabama.

This glass may be half full.

via After Roy Moore – The New York Sun

Holy who’s on first? Francis warns vs. pushing the faith

It gets in the way of peace-making, he says. I did not know that, and I’ve been a Catholic longer than he has.

via On Evangelization and Mission, Should We Listen to Jesus (and the Church of All Time) or The Novelties of Bergoglio? – OnePeterFive

Didn’t we used to get monthly reports on the economy from Chi Trib and other left-leaning outlets during the Obama years?

All about new jobs, lower unemployment and the like?

Now not so much, even as there’s record-breaking news on that front regularly in 11 months of Trump such as this today in Wall St. Journal:

WASHINGTON—The economy appears to be on its firmest footing in at least a decade, with hiring picking up from earlier this year and the unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low in November.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 228,000 in November, the Labor Department said Friday. It was a slight slowdown from October hiring, which was boosted by a rebound from late-summer hurricanes, but was well above the pace recorded earlier this year. Revised figures showed the economy added 3,000 more jobs than previously estimated in October and September.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% last month, matching the lowest level since December 2000.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 195,000 new jobs and a 4.1% unemployment rate last month.

Rather good, eh? What happened?

Besides wholesale deregulation, job-creating free-marketing by the federal government, etc. etc.

via U.S. Employers Hire at Healthy Rate in November – WSJ

Francis the rule-breaker

Robert Royal ends his review of “The Dictator Pope” with this pungent observation:

Despite a few lapses [by the pseudonymous author Marcantonio Colonna], the most disturbing element [of his treatment of Pope Francis] remains: the abundant evidence – confirmed by many particular instances now over years of this papacy – that the pope has little use for established procedures, precedents, even legal structures within the Church.

These are not mere trivial rules, Pharisaic legalism, resistance to the Holy Spirit, etc. They are the means by which the Church seeks to be clear, fair, and orderly – and to address unjust actions or abuses by those in power.

And finally:

When the head of the Church himself does not much feel bound by the tradition or impartial laws he has inherited, what then? That the question even has to be asked is disturbing. Any answer will have to reckon with the eye-opening material in this compelling book.


via “The Dictator Pope” – The Catholic Thing

The Francis Thing: Whatever Francis wants, Francis gets

The Pope of Making Things Happen:

When Francis cares about something – as [pseudonymous author Marcantonio] Colonna shows – he makes it happen, whatever the opposition (at the Synods, it was considerable).

There’s a clear pattern of behavior, whatever uncertainties remain. On the divorced and remarried, the environment, immigrants, “Islamophobia,” the poor, the pope is relentless.

But he was not elected to revolutionize marital doctrine or “discipline.” Nor was he chosen to be a player in international politics.

He was elected to be a “reformer” who would mainly clean up Vatican finances and deal with the gay lobby, two things that played a role in Benedict’s resignation.

This is from author-commentator Robert Royal’s assessment of the newly released in English The Dictator Pope, which Royal encapsulates and praises.

via The Catholic Thing

“Dictator Pope” on EWTN agenda for tomorrow night (Thursday, 8 pm Eastern)

“Largely convincing” pseudonymous treatment of incumbent pontiff. 

The title above is the name of a book that appeared Monday in English (after earlier publication in Italian) by a writer who has assumed a grand Renaissance pseudonym: Marcantonio Colonna (an admiral at Lepanto).

He evidently could not publish under his real name, for fear of reprisals.

But the case he lays out is largely convincing: that Pope Francis has carefully cultivated an image in public as the apostle of mercy, kindness, and openness; in private, he’s authoritarian, given to profanity-laced outbursts of anger, and manipulative in pursuing his agenda.

Lifetime appointment, yes (or was before Benedict chose not to serve, in a move that had then Archbp Bergoglio dancing for joy, as the book relates.

Amazon has Kindle-ized book at $9.50.

via The Catholic Thing

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