Pope Francis: Catholic Church’s Pope, an ancient title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, in which capacity he is Sovereign ad vitam of the Vatican City State. Born: December 17, 1936 (age 78), Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Full name: Pope Francis. Nationality: Argentine. Parents: Mario Jose Bergoglio, Regina Maria Sivori.
During his visit to Italy two days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pope Francis at the Vatican. It has to be noted that, while the Pope is obviously not fooled about what’s happening in the world – undoubtedly, his Argentine roots play a role in his clear vision – Italy as a state also is trying to find a way to quietly mend relations with Russia outside of the EU. It’s interesting that Putin’s visit took place directly after the G7 bash in Germany, during which Merkel and Obama sang a lot of anti-Russian songs in-between of sips of banana-flavored beer (not kidding) and vowed more anti-Russian sanctions.
It is also happening against the backdrop of the US trying to sneak its mid-range nuclear missiles into the EU, targeting Russia, and many other ugly things that signal the fresh push for World War IV (WWIV because, in all truth, we should really consider the Cold War as WWIII). But more about that in another piece.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s third meeting with Putin in the past year is a signal that Italy is attempting to distance itself from Germany and the US. Italy is obviously trying to wiggle its way out the crippling anti-Russian, and return Russian, sanctions. Italians have told me that Italian agriculture is hard hit by the quid pro quo sanctions.
At the same time, Italy is trying to revive its lucrative energy cooperation with Russia, which the US and its vassals in the EU are actively sabotaging. Italian energy companies have been working on deals with Russia since Berlusconi. The most important component of these deals was the direct supply of the Russian gas to Italy via the southern route, which was supposed to be accomplished via South Stream. The northern route – Nord Stream – was successfully and very quickly pushed through by Germany, utilizing the German clout in international affairs.
Italian clout isn’t nearly as substantial. Moreover (I wrote about that in the past), Berlusconi’s reputation with women notwithstanding, he was undoubtedly pushed out of his post because of his close relationship with Putin and ‘excessive’ friendliness towards Russia.
The Italian energy companies, first of all Eni, took a blow after US managed to sabotage South Stream and the project was closed. The new Turkish Stream project is needed like fresh air by many countries, but it is already running into significant difficulties due to sabotage from the same source. See my video: Macedonia Coup Attempt – War Against Russia & China (LRL12). The new twist in this saga is coming up in one of my future vids. Stay tuned!
Pope Francis is another thing all together. Catholic church and the Vatican continue to hold a very substantial sway over worldly affairs, even if this soft power is invisible to most.
Francis’ interest in meeting with President Putin isn’t so much economics, although this issue concerns anyone who lives in Italy; while the Vatican is a separate state, it is, after all, geographically a part of Rome. Additionally, much of the Pope’s flock resides in Italy and surely, his people are well-aware of those farmers and shippers who are going bankrupt because of sanctions; they know of losses Italian energy and industrial companies are suffering.
Still the Pope’s main interest at this point is geopolitics and the diplomacy of peace. And that’s where it gets interesting.
During Putin and Pope’s behind-the-closed-doors visit, which lasted 50 minutes – longer than prescribed – Pope Francis gave Putin the “Angel of Peace” medal. This medal is said to have the ability to create peace and protection, as well as the solidarity among peoples. The choice of words is very interesting: a symbol – ‘talisman,’ ‘wish’ – of protection and peace is being given to Putin by the head of the Catholic church. ‘Solidarity’ is the word feared terribly in the US, but used broadly in socialist and left-leaning societies, including South America and Pope’s native Argentina. Pope Francis has also mentioned that the Bible addresses not just spiritual matters, but also geopolitics as one of the important aspects of human co-habitation. The above language of symbols and hints, typical for the Vatican, thus reflects an important message.
The US pressured (and by pressure I mean blackmailed, coerced and attacked in the media) Francis to take a tough line on Putin and condemn Russia. Meanwhile, the head of the so-called Greek-Catholic church of Ukraine archbishop Shevchuk criticised the Pope for meeting with Putin and urged him to shorten or cancel the meeting.
The Greek-Catholic church of Ukraine is something that was created in the 18-19th centuries, during a forceful Catholic conversion of the western Ukraine population – at the time under Catholic Poland and Austria-Hungary. It is in fact Catholicism disguised with a thin layer of Greek flavor (the words ‘Russian Orthodox’ were banished).
Since the 2014 Kiev maidan coup, Ukraine’s Greek-Catholics took a very violent posture against Russian Orthodox churches and priests, traditional for most of Ukraine. Many Orthodox churches in Donbass were destroyed by bombings or burned down and looted. Many priests and church-goers continue being threatened and humiliated. A large number of Orthodox churches all over Ukraine were forcibly taken away from the rightful owners and converted into Greek-Catholic ones.
Someone asked me last year, when all this was going on, whether Pope Francis was becoming a hidden ally of Russia. My reply was that the only thing Francis could do as far as Ukraine was to offer an olive branch and try to distance himself from what was happening in Ukraine. This is what he did.
The extreme violence and rage of the primarily Greek-Catholic element from western Ukraine isn’t something he can control. But after the violence finally calms down and the right people come to power in what is now Ukraine (recall my timeline: 2016 -2018), all the churches wrongly taken away from the Russian Orthodox church will be returned to the rightful owners. Let’s consider this one of my little predictions. Putin and Francis spoke behind the closed doors and the topics of their conversation were not disclosed. But knowing Putin, I am sure that he got a promise from the Pope that he would use his power to return the churches.
The Vatican continues being a powerful and deep-reaching conglomeration of various interests, from spiritual to financial and geopolitical. This is one of those entities that can subtly influence world opinion and serve as part of the diplomatic solution, when used for good. There are one billion Catholics in the world today. The power of the Catholic church stretches through Europe and Latin America, as well as many countries of Asia and Africa. Catholic influence in the US is not as significant and it is doubtful that Pope Francis would be able to talk any sense into the US ‘leadership.’ On the contrary, US has the audacity to admonish the Pope and read him lectures on how he should conduct his affairs. What else is new?
But it is out there for all to see that this Pope is different. Pope Francis clearly disagrees with the West and the US and he clearly prefers Putin. In fact, there is a talk of an unlikely alliance. Call it a soft-power diplomatic-spiritual alliance. Francis likes the fact that Putin has positioned himself as defender of Christians, who are under attack in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Francis also took a pro-Assad and pro-Syrian government position against the US.
Pope Francis and all heads of the Catholic Church – as leaders of most other main religions – prefer Putin to Obama, or other Western leaders. The reason lies in Putin’s straightforward conservative values combined with his active stance in promoting religious tolerance, equality, friendship and cooperation between various religions. I hear the same from prominent leaders of Jewish and Muslim religions. Since most people on the planet are religious, this is something that endears Putin to many.
Pope Francis is undoubtedly anti-US hegemony, anti-Western imperialism and militarism. He has to be as diplomatic and possible, but the fact remains: this is certainly his Argentine roots talking. Based on the above, Putin and Francis hit it off pretty well.
But it goes deeper than that. I believe that it’s well beyond Pope Francis and his personal preferences, although it helps to have the right man at the helm.
The Vatican elites aren’t blind. They see where the wind is blowing – and it’s away from the US and West, towards the East. Call it abandoning the sinking ship of the West OR steering the Vatican ship into more promising waters…
The Vatican is re-orienting towards the East, Russia and China.
And the Vatican isn’t the only one. Israel is doing the same, and not just Israel.
But what about Putin? Oh, he plays his master chess as usual. I wrote in 2014 that Putin, with his out-of-this-world tireless productivity, circled the world and managed to glue together a network of various allies all over the globe. Sure, the US has the biggest and scariest army in the world; it also controls the world media and financial system. It can intimidate, bribe, blackmail or attack anyone. That’s why countries are afraid to speak up. But the future is behind the alliance that is forming quietly, and often secretly, behind the scenes.
Putin continues looking for new allies, quietly weaving together the new world, where the US won’t be hegemon. And now the Vatican is slowly but surely shifting towards this alliance.
Italy is the friendliest towards Russia out of all significant Western economies. The Vatican, located in the middle of Italy, is positioning itself for the future. The Pope’s friendly position towards Putin and Russia also reflects the opinion of the majority of Catholics in Italy, Spain, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and all of Latin America, as well as Asia and Africa. And it’s not what Washington has hoped for.
An interesting confirmation of what I said from an unlikely source, CNN!
I really don’t read or watch CNN. But as I was looking for the Pope and Putin’s image online, this popped up: ‘Why only Putin could turn up late for meeting with the Pope’ – Link to article. Moscow (CNN):
“There aren’t many world leaders prepared to keep the Pope hanging around for a meeting. Russia’s President is perhaps the only one.
Pope Francis discovered this on Wednesday as he waited, patiently, for more than an hour at the Vatican for his guest to finally arrive. There aren’t many world leaders either who could annex one part of a neighboring country while backing a bloody rebellion in another part, and still avoid strong criticism from, arguably, the world’s most influential religious figure. Vladimir Putin appears to fall into that narrow category too.
The issue of Ukraine was raised, we’re told, during their brief, closed-door meeting. According to a Vatican statement, “The Holy Father affirmed that it is necessary to make a sincere and great effort to forge peace,” in the war-ravaged country. Pope Francis and Putin also agreed to “restore a climate of dialogue.”
But the exchange was not the condemnation called for by many, including members of the Greek Catholic congregation, who number millions in Ukraine, and who have expressed frustration at the Pope’s failure to criticize Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict. Nor are the words likely to satisfy the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, who urged the Vatican, ahead of the Putin meeting, to “say more about concerns on territorial integrity” in Ukraine.
To be fair, the Vatican is not following the same diplomatic agenda as Western governments regarding Russia.
Hale goes on to suggest that Francis may play a diplomatic role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine too. But if Wednesday’s meeting was anything to go on, in which the Pontiff and the President exchanged gifts, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
No, that meeting was more about Putin than the Pope. Just a day after being publicly scolded by the world’s industrial powers, the G7 — including a particularly strong rebuke from U.S. President Barack Obama — Putin was shoulder to shoulder with the spiritual leader of 1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide.
Russia may not be quite so isolated after all.”
New related article: Ask Lada: Pope Francis, Satanic Cults, Religions and Consciousness (Ep1)
To form a complete picture, also read it in concert with: Putin and Erdogan Troll EU at Baku’s First European Games
Find all EARTH SHIFT REPORTS