(LifeSiteNews) — In this week’s first live episode of Faith & Reason, featuring John-Henry Westen, Father Charles Murr, and Liz Yore, Murr shared a story relating how his longtime friend Msgr. Mario Marini viewed then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Vatican maneuvers.
While Fr. Murr knew about the revelation for some time, he did not wish to share it beforehand, as all he had to go by was his word and that of another priest privy to the matter. Having spoken with the priest about a week before this episode, he decided now was the time to say something.
He begins with a biography of the life of Mario Marini for those unfamiliar with the man. Marini was born to a well-off Italian family. While Marini wanted to become a priest, he received a doctorate in civil engineering at the behest of his family, an anti-Catholic family who thought that it would dispel him of any vocation. It didn’t work, and Marini entered seminary after receiving his doctorate. He was financially cut off from his family and fell under the patronage of the then-Archbishop of Milan, Giovanni-Battista Montini, the future St. Paul VI.
Marini had a hand in the Second Vatican Council as a seminarian, helping as an ecclesial “page boy,” and was ordained a priest toward its end. He served in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State beginning in 1974 after serving as a priest in Mexico, eventually working in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Clergy, never appearing in official Vatican ceremonies. It was Marini who helped Murr discern a vocation to the priesthood.
The news Murr shares regarding Pope Francis was that he, Marini, and the other priest were having dinner shortly after the conclave of 2005 that resulted in the Ratzinger pontificate. According to Murr, Marini told him and the other priest that he was friends with the then-Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, and that Bergoglio told him that he considered himself a traditionalist, with an ire toward the liberation theology that needed to be rooted out of the Jesuits. After the conclave, however, Marini told the other priests that he was wary of the Argentine cardinal.
“From what Mario said, Bergoglio presented himself … as a very humble, pious, one of the last good Jesuits, who was suffering for how much he was defending the Society of Jesus and wanted to get things back on track,” Murr says. “Something happened in the 2005 election because after that Mario met with him but did not have the same confidence in him. He started taking a distance from him, and that was it.”
“There’s something wrong here,” Murr says, explaining that the way Argentine dictator Juan Peron would win people’s support was tell them what they wanted to hear, and that what the Church is dealing with is something similar to Peron.
Yore, commenting on Murr’s revelation, recalled that historian Henry Sire said that Cardinal Bergoglio “planted people in the Vatican.”
“He wanted to know who were the power centers, who had information,” Yore explains. “And it sounds very much like he was pumping Marini for information,” Yore says, with Murr confirming her opinion. Yore also recalls that after the 2013 conclave, people were relieved to hear media reports that Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was against liberation theology and a conservative.
Murr also notes that Marini was a man who could easily spot a lie, and that one needed to be a “very good actor” to fool him. He also notes, following an observation by Westen, that Bergoglio would not have been elected in the 2013 conclave if the cardinals knew how liberal he was. Murr also states that most of the episcopate and the College of Cardinals are displeased with the current pontificate, most of the reaction to it done in silence.
“It is wrong to interpret [their silence] as them being in agreement with what’s happening,” Murr says. “I believe the majority are not in agreement. I believe this is being done by a minority, and I think you’re going to see that in the next conclave.”
“Mario Marini would be spinning in his grave right now if he saw the reality of this,” Murr asserts. “He already, before he died, doubted. He doubted even then. But if you would see this reality, this would be outrageous.”
When Westen connected the revelation to the reaction to Fiducia Supplicans and how some in the Church say they do not see how it could lead to a supposed change of Catholic teaching despite Francis’ own actions regarding the homosexual question, Murr said, “I don’t know how someone can look at the 11 years of this pontificate and not come to see the reality.”
“Some just don’t want to. Some were educated in a way that they just can’t, they can’t bring themselves to seeing this. It was hard for all of us … to go through that and come to the conclusion that’s something is very wrong.” Murr also observes that if Francis falsely represented his opinions to Marini, he is sure he also did so to other Vatican officials he knows.
Referring to Francis’ recent statement about how it is hypocritical for priests to choose to bless a businessman who admitted to cheating in his business but not homosexuals, Murr pointed out that he himself blessed not just homosexuals, but also heterosexuals and those who were in divorced and remarried so that they return to God before death. To Murr, however, “this is not what he’s talking about.”
“What priests are refusing to go along with is blessing a union,” the priest stresses. “Everything is confused. His language is confused, and you’ve got this pious old man sitting there looking like, ‘Why don’t these people understand me?’”
“Nothing is straightforward,” Murr continues. “He loves confusion. And this is the whole thing. None of these seeds of chaos could have been sown other than in fertilized confusion.”
To Murr, the problem lies in the fact that if Francis were “speaking straight,” he would not be able to “get away with it.” “It doesn’t matter what you say because we’re on to something new now. Next!”
Yore opines that Francis begins “gaslighting” when people begin “making headway with him.” She points to two things: first, Francis will not silence his opponents, and second, his critics will not stop covering Vatican scandals.
“This is about the truth, and about the truth, we are not going to fudge, we’re not going to play games, we’re not going to deceive,” Yore says. “We are going to speak truth to power.” She also warns that in the following year, the Church will see changes to dogma.
“For God’s sake, step up and stop this deception, this destruction of the Catholic Church,” she says.
“I know the Church is suffering its crucifixion, and it was predicted in Marian prophecy, but we are also required to speak truth to power and not to be intimidated by a tyrant who name calls, or threatens, or cancels, or cancels contracts, rental agreements. We must stand up and speak. And so I think, when I see him gaslighting like this, we’re making progress.”
To Yore’s last point, Murr agreed, observing that Francis’ reaction was not “one of a man who’s confident of what he’s doing.”
The trio closed the show discussing how angry leftists threatened to intimidate conservatives in their homes, places of work, and their churches.
“This is mob rule,” Yore states. “This is what happens when the rule of law is not imposed and not made effective in our culture.” She predicts that there will be more of it, and that funding for it will be from men like George Soros. She also warns that Catholics will be in the “target zone” of the intimidation, suggesting that people “stand strong.” “That’s why we have St. Michael, that’s why we have the Rosary.”
Murr offers words of advice she heard from Mother Pascalina Lehnert when he asked her for advice on what to make of heresy at the Gregorian University in Rome – hold onto the faith.
“The faith of the ages hasn’t changed a bit. Nothing has changed. Our doctrines have not changed, what we believe has not changed. Nothing,” says the priest. “Stay with it. Pray. And you have to know that the Church has been in dire situations in 2,000 years, in very dire situations during its history. We’ve always come out rather well, and we’re going to come out rather well from this.”
While everything is being questioned today, he affirms, he assures that it will be “dynamically” reaffirmed once the crisis is over. He further notes that we were not put in the Church in this time to see the “final product,” as a thing that belongs only to God to see, but instead to play our part in putting the Church back together, much like how the men who dug the foundations for St. Peter’s Basilica never lived to see the building completed.
Tune in to this episode of Faith & Reason for more from Fr. Murr, Westen, and Yore.
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