Why did Evo Morales find such favour at the Vatican?

Why indeed?

Evo Morales, who fled to Mexico after resigning as president, may not be missed in Bolivia but his absence will be felt at the Vatican.

One of the most curious aspects of the first Latin American pontificate is that Morales enjoyed the status he did. He was the Holy Father’s favourite leader in the Americas.

Which was passing strange, as he was a tyrant.

He did some good things. But typical of his type, and when the going got tough for his programs, he got tough.

Latin American populists of both right and left invoke the people but are less keen when the people take a different view.

Morales demonstrated ruthless tendencies early on, suppressing opponents, seizing control of the courts and using the electoral authorities for his own benefit.

He promulgated a new constitution that had presidential term limits, but after being re-elected twice thought he would like to run again.

These guys. When they don’t get what they want, what they have decided is best for the so-called citizens, they pull out the stops and make them do it.

Like Francis, throwing away the Gospel-and-doctrine rule book to make things happen — throughout the world. He will close you down if you buck him, and Commonweal Mag and other leftists applaud or ignore it.

Morales played hob with election rules and the constitution and refused to leave the country, and . . .

. . . people took to the streets in massive protests. Morales first dismissed them, then invited observers from the Organization of American States to investigate.

When they reported that there were too many irregularities to make the elections credible, the protests increased.

Only the military could quell the growing disorder and declined to shoot the citizenry to protect Morales. When the military leadership “suggested” that it was time for Morales to go, he resigned and fled to Mexico.

The pope objected, right? Wrong. The papal mouth remained closed when his friend did obviously bad things.

After all,

Morales [had] met Pope Francis six times in six years. At the final meeting he felt comfortable enough to greet Francis as “brother”.

In 2015, the papal visit to Bolivia was crowned by a fiery populist address by the Holy Father to the World Meeting of Popular Movements.

Morales was seated beside Francis as the Holy Father employed the high-octane rhetoric on economics favoured by Morales.

Brothers indeed. He’s my kinda pope, said the one, my kinda dictator, said the other.

Ladies and gentleman and fellow Catholics, we gotta left-wing pope — a dictator pope as one writer put it, a political pope as another put it.

During the crisis following October’s rigged election, Bolivia’s bishops took a strong line against Morales and his corruption of the election. The Holy See was more muted, following the pattern of the last several years in Venezuela.

Is it not hard to take such a pope seriously?

Oh, and there was the Marxist crucifix, . . .

. . . that remarkable moment in Bolivia, instantly symbolic, when Morales presented the Holy Father the blasphemous hammer-and-sickle crucifix, the meaning of which the Holy See’s communication apparatus has not adequately explained to this day.

And that pagan statue business during the recent Amazon synod:

Morales’s gifts keep on giving. He is a devotee of the Pachamama, attending ritual sacrifices in her honour and promoting her cult.

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register tweeted that Morales was a “key figure” in the presence of the Pachamamas at the recent Amazon synod.

The new (acting) president in Bolivia, on the other hand, “took office holding an enormous Book of the Gospels, announcing that ‘the Bible was back’ in the presidential office.”

The hammer and sickle and Pachamama are no longer the accoutrements of the Bolivian president. How long before [she] is given a warm welcome at the Vatican?

A long time.

Cited article is by Fr Raymond J de Souza, priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario, and editor-in-chief of convivium.ca, here via Catholic Herald

Hong Kong Protesters Sing American National Anthem to Thank Trump for Signing China Bills


On Thanksgiving Day (in the evening, actually) Hong Kong protesters decided to sing the American national anthem as a gesture of thanks for President Trump signing two bills into law Wednesday that condemned China.

When they were done with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the protesters chanted “USA, USA, USA.”

Via PJ Media

Peggy Noonan, having for a long time held up skirts at Trump, whom she would never invite to a party, lies on her back and kicks her feet in the air as a clearly impeachable president

She loves the anti-Trump testifiers, except for the self-concentrated lieutenant colonel, whom she also would not invite, but detests Trump as mean and vulgar and hard to work with and declares him guilty beyond further consideration as having committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

Which have done or might have done what damage to the country? Weak on policy, strong on personal interaction, like a Henry James novel, she lays it all out, laying herself out for all to see.

via Trump’s Defenders Have No Defense – WSJ

Trump and Netanyahu will win again. American media have cried Wolf Blitzer for too long.

The venerable Spectator of the UK, now also of the US, offers a perspicacious glance at one of our and Israel’s current events.

What a relief it is turn away from the maelstrom of American politics, and the endless speculation over whether Donald Trump asked for a quid pro quo in the hope of generating negative coverage about Joe Biden, to the placid backwater of Israeli politics, and the endless speculation over whether Benjamin Netanyahu asked for a quid pro quo in the hope of generating positive coverage about himself.

How refreshing it is to stop wondering whether the Ukraine-impeachment circus is merely an attempt to reverse the voters’ decision and spin the 2020 election by replacing democracy with judicial process, and to start wondering whether the Netanyahu-indictment circus is merely an attempt to reverse the voters’ decision and spin the 2020 election by replacing democracy with judicial theater.

more more more here, Trump and Netanyahu will win again | Spectator USA

This is awful. Francis is all in for the poor, but he presides over a wasteful, dishonest bureaucracy.

And the financial world is watching.

ROME—An international network of financial watchdogs has suspended the Vatican’s access to its information, dealing a major blow to the Vatican’s financial credibility under Pope Francis.

Out you go, we can’t trust you:

The Egmont Group, a Toronto-based network of more than 160 national financial intelligence units around the world, has decided to suspend the Vatican watchdog from access to its secure web system, through which members share information about money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and other financial crimes, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Vatican  declined to comment. The holy munchkins are too busy preparing the next papal tirade against capitalism.


via Vatican Loses Access to International Financial Watchdog Information – WSJ

More alarming details:

News of the Egmont suspension came the day after the Vatican unexpectedly announced that Pope Francis was replacing his top financial regulator, AIF [Vatican’s Financial Information Authority] President René Brülhart, prompting a member of the regulator’s board to resign in protest.

Marc Odendall, a French German banker, resigned on Monday from the board of AIF, saying that the pope’s decision to dismiss Mr. Brülhart showed that the Vatican didn’t intend to address Egmont’s concerns.

“There is no point in staying on the board of an ineffective organization,” Mr. Odendall said.

Etc. etc. Hard reading.

Eat pork or die, the king said. Mother of seven had a response.

A mother’s advice . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Tomorrow’s first reading, from Second Maccabees 7:

22 She said to them: I know not how you were formed in my womb: for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you.

23 But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.

The king asked her to talk to him about his refusal. She said she would.

27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in her own language: My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age.

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Obama Left An Ambassador to Die, But We’re Supposed to be Outraged Over Trump’s Yovanovitch Tweet?

Dems mewl and puke in their show trial’s arms, grabbing at any new charge to make at the president, the columnist writes:

But what really gets me is how it’s been almost seven years since Barack Obama left one of his ambassadors to die in a terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate, and the same people who defended the Obama administration endlessly over that, are feigning outrage over Trump’s tweet expressing his opinion.

Democrats have been crying “impeach!” over everything for years, and now every time Trump expresses an opinion, we’re hearing “intimidation.”

The same party that defended the Obama administration’s failure to protect our consulate in Libya from an attack that claimed four American lives, including that of a U.S. ambassador, are now trying to tell us that we should be outraged over a harmless tweet—a tweet that, regardless of what one thinks of the content, was written after Yovanovitch started testifying, and as far as Trump knew, she wouldn’t have even had an opportunity to see until well after her testimony concluded? A tweet that she’d have been oblivious to had Schiff not brought it up.

And the aggrieved diplomat in this case had the nerve to bring that failure up as if to join the ranks of the abused.

(“Mewl and puke”? Try Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage.”)

The Daily Northwestern Apologizes to Students for Reporting News That Triggered Them

Oh my.

We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night — along with how we plan to move forward.

Here’s hoping no Medill student contributed to this.

Oops in spades. Sloppy of this one-time news person. The Daily in question is staffed by Medill students. My baaad.