“Zombie” Catholicism: Pope Francis breathes new life into Cardinal Bernardin’s legacy.


While there is no indication that Francis knows the writings of Bernardin, who died in 1996, many say the pope’s remarks repeatedly evoke Bernardin’s signature teachings on the “consistent ethic of life” – the view that church doctrine champions the poor and vulnerable from womb to tomb – and on finding “common ground” to heal divisions in the church.

Ironically, the re-emergence of Bernardin — a man who was admired by a young Chicago organizer named Barack Obama — is exposing the very rifts he sought to bridge, especially among conservatives who thought his broad view of Catholicism was buried with him in Mount Carmel Cemetery outside Chicago.


Editor’s note: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression and only six months in, Pope Francis’ ill considered rhetoric has already alienated a good part – the most consistently faithful part – of the Catholic Church. No “seamless garment” is going to be able to patch that up, and the scheduled 2014 canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II is likely to only make things worse.

At least the late Cardinal Bernadin (who was my archbishop, as well as a working associate of Barack Obama/Barry Sotero) managed to conduct his nefarious business without insulting huge numbers of Catholics and that’s probably why he was such a remarkably effective operator. Thank God he died before they could elect him pope!

Pope Francis by comparison, has so far acted more like the humble, likable, but almost totally inept former American President Jimmy Carter – the guy who got Egyptian President Anwar Sadat killed – and by his timely gutting of the CIA and abandonment of the Iranian Shah –  lit the fuse of the powder keg which promptly exploded into today’s Middle East.

All the more reason to pray fervently for Pope Francis!


  1. Re Editor’s note:

    If only it were true that the CIA was “gutted” during the Carter years and remained so today! The world would likely be a more peaceful place, and the US safer. Alas, the early CIA quickly morphed into an unaccountable paramilitary organization that nowadays routinely rains death from drones down upon innocents. It has never been about “intelligence,” but solely about information that will serve its already decided goals. Like the stopped clock, it is only rarely tells the truth.

    In the day, one of these goals was to restore Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to sole power on the Peacock Throne of Iran (after his having ascended it during the war, thanks to an “Anglo-Soviet invasion”) in 1953: a goal not shared by the Iranian people. From Wikipedia:

    “During Mohammad Reza’s reign, the Iranian oil industry was briefly nationalized under the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh before a US-backed coup d’état deposed Mosaddegh and brought back foreign oil firms…”

    Thus, we see what the CIA was really after. The US-allied Shah helped to bring material prosperity to his people at the cost of their freedom, keeping them under his heel with the dreaded, torturing and murderous SAVAK. What followed, 26 years later, was the inevitable blowback for US meddling in the internal affairs of yet another country for the sake and perpetuation of the US military-industrial complex.

    Jimmy Carter deserves much opprobrium et contemptum in his own right. But when it comes to igniting “powder kegs” in the Middle East, he stands arm-in-arm with every post-WWII American president up to today.


    • Except Carter did it with such masterly flair, aplomb and self-righteousness!



      • OK, so I’ll give him style points.


  2. There are a number of testimonies which were brought up about Cardinal Bernardin being an active homosexual who abused many priests an seminarists.
    Are they hearsays, slanders or confirmed facts?
    For example, Mr Stephen Brady http://www.rcf.org has a thick file on him and many other gay clerics among his acquaintances.
    He is so quoted in Mrs Randy Engel’s book “The rite of sodomy” and that of Michael Rose “Good bye good men”


    • Goodbye Good Men should be required reading for every mature Catholic. I consider each of the sources you mentioned as being trustworthy, but as far as I know, there is no hard evidence of those things, which is why I prefer to deal with the late Cardinal’s modernist theology and liberal politics, of which abundant proof exists. Thank you for commenting and may God richly bless you and yours.



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