The Inside Story of the Francis PapacyCould Pope Francis be the most tyrannical and unprincipled pontiff in modern times? Yes, says Church historian Marcantonio Colonna, in his controversial yet judicious new book, The Dictator Pope.Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope in 2013 as a liberal and a reformer. In fact, he was neither—except by coincidence. Though he was not well-known within the College of Cardinals that elected him, close observers in his native land already recognized him to be a manipulative politician, skilled at self-promotion, and a disciple of the populist dictator Juan Perón.Behind the mask of a genial man of the people is a pope who cares shockingly little about theology or the liturgy but is obsessed with his own power. Allying himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican, Francis rules by fear. He has obstructed or reversed the very reforms that were expected of him and attempted to alter Catholic teaching by subterfuge. In The Dictator Pope you will learn:Why the head of Francis’s own religious order thought he should not be made a bishopWhy Francis may have diverted Church funds to support Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaignHow true Church reformers have been punished by the Pope and his alliesHow Francis himself has mused that he might be the cause of a schism in the ChurchWhy clerics in the Vatican have gone from dismissing Francis as a “clown” to fearing him as a dictatorAbout the AuthorMarcantonio Colonna is the pen name of Henry Sire (H. J. A. Sire), an author and historian. Sire was born in 1949 in Barcelona to a family of French ancestry. He was educated in England at the Jesuits' centuries-old Stonyhurst College and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he gained an honors degree in Modern History. He is the author of six books on Catholic history and biography, including one on the famous English Jesuit, writer, and philosopher Father Martin D'Arcy, SJ. The Dictator Pope is the fruit of Henry Sire's four-year residence in Rome from 2013 to 2017. During that time he became personally acquainted with many figures in the Vatican, including Cardinals and Curial officials, together with journalists specializing in Vatican affairs.
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The Dictator Pope Review
- January 1, 1970Kevin EstabrookI dismissed this book the first time I saw it, thinking it would be biased and slanderous. Reading Mark Lambert's article, titled "Far from Gossip, 'The Dictator Pope' is 'Absolutely Reliable'" changed my mind.Though this book contains one unfortunate fact after another, and though it brought me to my knees on several occasions, I am reminded that the Church has survived "challenging pontificates" in the past and will continue to do so until the Lord's glorious and triumphant return.more
- January 1, 1970Theresa StinerHow can I say this is a 'good' book? It is a sad book. I believe it, for the most part, to be truthful. While reading it I thanked God for all the holy and saintly popes I have had in my lifetime of 63 years. I guess we were due for a more 'human' and political pope. With this it will be interesting to watch how the Holy Spirit watches over and protects the heart and truth of this one, holy, and apostolic church that the gates of hell will not prevail over it.more
- January 1, 1970BenedictThis is a far from perfect book, contains no groundbreaking information on the current Holy Father, and would seem to overreach on certain points, but it is a decent summary of many of the things about Papa Bergoglio that have given, and continue to give, many Catholics of all stripes some pause. UPDATE: I have much more esteem for this book now after reading the book on the Pope by Ross Douthat. Colonna, or rather H.J.A. Sire, has done a far job in describing, ideologically and psychologically, This is a far from perfect book, contains no groundbreaking information on the current Holy Father, and would seem to overreach on certain points, but it is a decent summary of many of the things about Papa Bergoglio that have given, and continue to give, many Catholics of all stripes some pause. UPDATE: I have much more esteem for this book now after reading the book on the Pope by Ross Douthat. Colonna, or rather H.J.A. Sire, has done a far job in describing, ideologically and psychologically, what makes the Holy Father tick. Douthat's book, on the other hand, makes zero reference to Peronism, which I am convinced is the key to understanding the mind of Jorge Bergoglio.more
- January 1, 1970Joyce BakerOn my God help us!Could Pope Francis be the Anti Christ! As a 74 old practicing Catholic I am sickened by what I head in in this book. And for the National Register and others not report what going on in the Vatican is a disservice to the church . Read and see what I am talking about. All had been verified by the author.more
- January 1, 1970Sean LancasterDisaster His modernist agenda has been exposed, this book puts it in black and white and is a must read for every concerned Catholic.
- January 1, 1970Christopher BlosserThe author's name, "Marcantonio Colonna", is a pseudonym. Having finished the book, particularly the stunning accounts of Francis' vindictiveness and the fate of those who have crossed him -- it occurs to me that the author was wise to write under a pseudonym. (According to the LifeSite news exclusive interview, the real Marcantonio Colonna was born in 1535, an Italian aristocrat who served as a Viceroy of Sicily, best remembered for his service as admiral of the papal fleet in the Battle of Lep The author's name, "Marcantonio Colonna", is a pseudonym. Having finished the book, particularly the stunning accounts of Francis' vindictiveness and the fate of those who have crossed him -- it occurs to me that the author was wise to write under a pseudonym. (According to the LifeSite news exclusive interview, the real Marcantonio Colonna was born in 1535, an Italian aristocrat who served as a Viceroy of Sicily, best remembered for his service as admiral of the papal fleet in the Battle of Lepanto). The author writes with the stated intent of "[exposing] the myth of the supposedly liberal Pope who was elected in 2013 and to urge the cardinals at the next Conclave to avoid electing an unknown figure who turns out to be quite different from what he had been thought." Why the title? -- according to the author, who has researched Bergoglio's past, "Bergoglio is ... very much the product of the peculiar political culture of Argentina, formed by the populist dictator Juan Perón, of whom Bergoglio was a follower from his early years, and whom he very much resembles in his style of government." Cultivating (with the help of the media) an image of mercy, kindness and openness, Francis in private reveals himself to be rather the opposite:[Francis] had long been known in his native Argentina as a manipulative politician and a skilful self-presenter. Behind the mask of a genial man of the people, Pope Francis has consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.Bad papist that I am, I admit to having not kept up with the latest news of Francis' pontificate over the past several years -- between the frequent denunciations of the "trads" and the repetitive -- or should I say interpretive -- apologetics of the pro-Francis contingent (ex. "he may have said X, but what he REALLY meant was X"), following along got so tiring after a while. That being said, The Dictator Pope offers a remarkable opportunity for everybody who has kept their head in the sand to acquaint themselves with all the major issues and scandals that has rocked the pontificate. Philip Lawler -- whose journalistic work I'm familiar with -- attests to the accuracy of the author's reporting, "he clearly knows his way around the Vatican, and has excellent sources inside the Roman Curia"; likewise Robert Royal acknowledges in his review: "It sometimes stretches evidence, but the sheer amount of evidence it provides is stunning. About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about." Even if you exclude from consideration the author's conspiratorial portrayal of the "St. Gallen Group" -- a conspiracy of bishops who identified and lobbied for Bergoglio as candidate to push reforms in opposition to the pontificate of Ratzinger -- or the shocking (but as yet undocumented) claim that "Peter's Pence" were diverted to fund Hillary Clinton's electoral campaign, there are enough publically known and footnoted points of concern here that would alarm all but the most furvent Francis-apologists.Beyond the accounts of financial corruption at the highest levels; the papal manipulations of the Bishop's Synod and tolerance (even promotion) of permissive interpretations of Amoris Laetitita; the liberalized "reform" of the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family; the papal repression of a Franciscan religious order after it expressed its wish to celebrate mass under the old rite (or "Extraordinary Form") -- I would have to say the most disappointing, upsetting subject was Francis' deficient response to the crisis of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.According to the author, the CDF under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was the first to take the crisis seriously, adopting a hardline response and imposing a policy of "zero tolerance":"According to data presented by the CDF to the UN Human Rights Commission in January 2014, Benedict XVI had defrocked or suspended more than 800 priests for past sexual abuse between 2009 and 2012. In 2011, the CDF sent a letter to the world’s bishops’ conferences, asking them to adopt stringent guidelines on how to respond to allegations that were to include assistance to victims, protection of minors, education of future priests and religious, and collaboration with civil authorities. The guidelines required bishops to forward all new cases to civil authorities and to the CDF. In a March 2010 pastoral letter to Ireland’s Catholics, Benedict criticised the lax application of the Church’s laws by bishops, whose failures had “seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness.” He noted a “misguided tendency” against applying canonical punishments that he said was due to “misinterpretations of the Second Vatican Council.”(On this topic, see also: Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal Our Sunday Visitor, 2010).Appallingly, Benedict's "this reform of accountability appears to have evaporated with Benedict’s resignation":... in the name of his favourite theme, “mercy,” Francis decisively broke with the Ratzinger/Benedict programme of reform, reducing the penalty for priest abusers to “a lifetime of prayer” and restrictions on celebrating Mass. In February 2017 it was revealed that Francis had “quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of paedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders.The author cites Associated Press’s Nicole Winfield's article, "Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy", noting that Francis has "surrounded himself with cardinal advisers who botched handling abuse cases in their archdioceses." Moreover, ... Francis scrapped the [sexual abuse advisory] commission’s proposed tribunal for bishops who botch abuse cases following legal objections from the congregation. The commission’s other major initiative — a guideline template to help dioceses develop policies to fight abuse and safeguard children — is gathering dust. The Vatican never sent the template to bishops’ conferences, as the commission had sought, or even linked it to its main abuse-resource website.(It's also worth noting that, post-publication of The Dictator Pope, this topic has resurfaced this past week with yet another instance of Francis' inattention and disregard to the gravity of the issue, failing to either read or act on an eight page letter from a victim detailing his abuse and a diocese' inaction).Returning to the general topic of the Francis pontificate, I found this book a rewarding, disturbing-if-not-particularly-surprising, read. Two other critical books are slated to come out this year, Phillip Lawler's Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock (February 2018) and Ross Douthat's To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (March 2018). I'll be curious to see how this measures up to them.more
- January 1, 1970Joseph RaborgThis is a great work for understanding some of the corruption surrounding the Vatican. It's very current and describes scandals extending into 2017. Essentially, Pope Francis places too much trust in the more liberal clergy, even though these same people are rather unsavory. Not all liberal clergy, mind you, but the ones with Pope Francis' ear.more
- January 1, 1970JasonMy confusion about Pope Francis has cleared up after having reading this book.
- January 1, 1970EduardoWhere there's smoke there's fireThis is an important book for those Catholics, or not, that are surprised by a book with this title referring to none other then Pope Francis. How can this be? A Pope that has been portrait in the main stream media as noting but a great spiritual leader and reformer?If your trust in the track record of the traditional media ability to guive us unbious reports of people and events has not been shaken in the last while then this book is not for you, it will read as Where there's smoke there's fireThis is an important book for those Catholics, or not, that are surprised by a book with this title referring to none other then Pope Francis. How can this be? A Pope that has been portrait in the main stream media as noting but a great spiritual leader and reformer?If your trust in the track record of the traditional media ability to guive us unbious reports of people and events has not been shaken in the last while then this book is not for you, it will read as some crazy rant by someone set in doing a character assassination. For all others this will shed more light in the relegious and moral corruption that has taken hold of the Vatican for the last 60 years and that the last 4 years under Francis has done nothing to stop it and may even have taken it to the a breaking point.This book is very well researched and it will, at the least, give you reasons to pause and look at things in a different way.more
- January 1, 1970Julie KosReally need to know this!If only that this information will inspire you to pray more for Holy Mother Church and her priests, bishops and pope,you need to read this book. Things are beginning to change and you need to understand why.
- January 1, 1970Paul GoingsI think that this is a very important book, but it was a difficult book to read. It is extensively footnoted, which is to its credit, but the sources are repetitive and frequently well-known as biased, so it is still not the balanced analysis that we need.more
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