English translation of French article in
Le Canard Enchaine? on Feb. 23, 2011 with explanations from Xavier Leger.
Our friend Xavier Leger has sent us an article that appeared in
Le Canard Enchaine,on Feb. 23, 2011.
For those who are unfamiliar with French media, Xavier has vouched for the credibility of this source. He has told us that the
Canard Enchaine is not a tabloid type newspaper. He advises that usually, it is the official channel to bring some problematic information to light, that it is considered a good source of political information and that even some bishops read it. Even if their sources are sure, we should consider that the tone of its articles are usually caustic and a bit caricatural.
Following is the best translation we have available from French to English. We felt that some of the clarity of meaning had been lost in translation and asked Xavier to clarify this for us.
Almost 80 wealthy businessmen, captains of industry, or directors of multi-national corporations, met on January 22 and 23 at the Vatican. This international religious souvenir conference was the result of an invitation from the foul smelling
Legionaries of Christ. Housed in the Domus Santa Maria, a six-story building located so close to St. Peter?s Basilica you can smell the incense, the participants did not travel all that way only to say two Our Father?s and three Hail Mary?s.
The purpose of this conclave: to squeeze millions of Euros out of them in order
to help the church meet the challenge of a renewed presence in the media landscape. Among them were several French patrons, including Claude Bebear (honorary president of AXA), Michel-Yves Bollore (older brother of Vincent), Jean-Francois Henin (former director of Credit Lyonnais), and Gonzague de Blignieres (CEO of Barclays Private Equity).
Sex and the Internet
spiritual heirs of Fr. Marcial Maciel were given the responsibility of bringing together this papal
inner circle, and of organizing the event. The Mexican priest, who founded the Legionaries of Christ in 1941 and passed away quietly in 2008, succumbed to evil temptations throughout his life. Enthusiastically so, since he was involved with at least two women and three children. As though possessed by the devil, this odd cleric was equal parts drug addict, plagiarist and pedophile.
It took the church more than sixty years to realize all this and to condemn his
serious and immoral conduct. All the while, the establishment of a vast system of corruption festering in the Vatican allowed Fr. Maciel to obtain favors from the Roman curia. For charitable purposes, no doubt.
Quickly coming off smelling like a holy rose after the condemnation of their spiritual leader, the Legionaries of Christ are being entrusted by the Vatican with a sacred mission. They must
evangelize the masses through modern and reliable media. That is why they need the money.
Small Donors or Employers
It was his hagiographer, the aptly named Jesus Colina, director of the Catholic news agency Zenit, who welcomed the pious employers. At this first
Catholic Davos, the wealthy attendees are being invited to contribute, by means of foundation grants, to the creation of
large Catholic media enterprises.
Bebear has written a check for one million euros. In turn Henin has shelled out 1.2 million to obtain God?s grace. These initial checks will be used to launch and operate an
internet platform. There is some urgency. A document sent to participants states,
The foundation of our civilization is at risk. Heavens!
As a final effort to persuade them, these
Catholic sponsors sensitive to the cause are entitled to one
private evening (visit) to the Sistine Chapel, a
dinner in the prestigious surroundings of the Vatican Museum, a religious talk with
Fr. Lombardi, spokesmanfor the pope, and to top it all off, an
angelus with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI.
But there is always a kill-joy. Not unexpectedly, the slick and holy are unhappy. It?s a mafia, confesses a cardinal.
Maciel may be gone, but his methods have survived him.
A Roman prelate, as always under the secrecy of the confessional, believes that
the Legionaries are taking advantage of the current weakness of the pope to reclaim their small business interests. And yet, that was why Cardinal Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI) chased them out of Rome.
While undoubtedly breaking with a certain Mafia tradition, they have donned a third philosophical cassock:
An octopus, like the Phoenix, will always rise again. After all, it is for the greater glory of God.
Overall, we would be concerned that the Legion, which has been under investigation and reform for some time now being entrusted to take a major role in raising enormous amounts of money from wealthy and powerful business people and in so doing they enter into a more intimate financial relationship with the most powerful people in the hierarchy. Xavier agreed that this is so and adds that the Legion would be
buying the Church in some way.
Xavier explained the title:
le premier cercle fricard du Vatican. The
premier cercledoes not translate exactly to mean
inner circle in English. It simply means the people who are physically around someone.
Fricard is a slang word meaning very rich.
The translation refers to
a renewed presence in the media landscape and the stated reason for this is to evangelize the masses by effectively using the media.
It seemed to us that the intention of this powerful group will not be so much to spread the good news about Jesus (that would be a good thing). It is more likely that they would be using the power of the media to influence the masses to counteract the bad image from all the sexual abuse scandals. This gets into a very gray area.
Xavier offered his opinion that the Legion is fueled by a persecution complex toward the outside world and the media and that their approach (rather than making real change) is to give the outward appearance that they are super achievers when they are not. With this new initiative the Legion may be attempting to progressively transmit its persecution complex and (deceptive) policies to the Vatican officials. As this happens, it could reduce the need for positive change in the Church and instead serve to bring about improvement only in the efficiency of covering up scandals.
Is the Legion being put into a position where they can remake the Church over into its (Maciel?s) own image? That is a scary thought.
Xavier advises that the Legion is taking over more control of the Vatican information services. The general manager of telecommunications for the Vatican is a Legionary (Father Fernando Vergez Alzaga: Click here.
Zenit, which is Legion owned and controlled has become a semi official news agency of the Vatican (they would tell you that it is not true, because they are independent, and work with other communities (which may be true)… But Jesus Colina is an ex LC, still under the influence of the Legion. Look at how Zenit treated the Maciel issue and how much the teachers of the CES of Rome are frequently interviewed about bioethics for instance). The Spanish version of L?Osservatore Romano is directed by a Legionary (Arturo Gutierrez:Click here. The most important web portal of the Catholic Church in Spanish (catholic.net) is directed by Legionaries.
We noted that the author of the French article used some colorful wording to describe Fr Maciel and he mentioned that his Legion established a
vast system of corruption festering in the Vatican. Xavier explained that some of these people are known to be
sharks who find in this kind of sponsorship an opportunity to obtain the blessing of the Church without having to make any serious examination of conscience. They are able to purchase an outward appearance of goodness.
hook that is being used in the media campaign is that
the foundation of our civilization is at risk. We wonder if there is more risk from the media trying to make the Church look bad or from this group of
fricards working together with the Legion (with full support from the Holy See) to achieve whatever agenda they might have.
The article mentions that one of the cardinals made a statement:
It?s a mafia. We asked Xavier if he thought this applied to the group of benefactors or to the Legion. Xavier said the comment referred to the Legion.
The French article refers to the
current weakness of the Pope. There is no explanation for this worrisome item of information. Is there some issue we are unaware of that is allowing the Legion to overcome any resistance from the Holy Father, who has bravely taken on the Legion and their founder for several years?
The article ends with a second comparison of the Legion to the Mafia and to the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
For those who believed that the Legion ship was slowly sinking, this article raises new concerns that the Legion may be getting a strangle hold on Vatican power to lead the church in a wrong direction. Fortunately we know that the good guys win in the end but the road ahead may be bumpy for a while.