This Week in the News

The FBI’s Inappropriate Conduct in the Twitter Scandal

The New York Post wrote on December 19:

“The FBI reimbursed Twitter to the tune of more than $3 million as it pushed the social media company to ban accounts and target so-called ‘foreign influence’ operations, the latest installment of the ‘Twitter Files’ revealed on Monday.

“In an email dated Feb. 10, 2021, an unidentified Twitter employee told then-deputy general counsel Jim Baker and then-general counsel Sean Edgett that ‘we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019! The email, published by independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, explained that Twitter’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) division had instituted a ‘reimbursement program’ in exchange for devoting staff hours to ‘processing requests from the FBI.’

“The message added that Twitter had opted not to exercise its right of reimbursement prior to October 2019, though it did not say why… The reports by Shellenberger and fellow independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, have revealed extensive collaboration and employee overlap between Twitter and the FBI, who Taibbi reported last week treated the social media company as a ‘subsidiary’ and repeatedly reported supposed ‘misinformation.’

“In the sixth installment of the Twitter Files, published Friday, Taibbi revealed that the bureau was so aggressive in sending Twitter ‘possible violative content’ to review that an employee described one set of materials as a ‘monumental undertaking’ that required several colleagues to pitch in and help.

“On Monday, Shellenberger reported that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies repeatedly primed Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth to dismiss The Post’s bombshell October 2020 report on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop as a Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation. The files reveal the FBI could communicate with top Twitter executives through multiple channels, including email accounts and specially built encrypted portals. The bureau would often send the company lists of users they wanted investigated for terms of use violations.

“In some cases, Shellenberger noted, Twitter would probe cases presented by the bureau but come up empty, not finding evidence of a foreign influence campaign… ‘Time and again, FBI asks Twitter for evidence of foreign influence & Twitter responds that they aren’t finding anything worth reporting,’ Shellenberger writes. The FBI also made repeated requests for internal data from Twitter that the social media company refused to send over, citing privacy concerns.

“As recently as August 2022, Twitter continued to work with the FBI, which pressured the company to disclose more sensitive information. Baker and Edgett were fired after billionaire Elon Musk bought the social network in October.”

Has the USA become an autocratic dictatorship?

How the FBI and Twitter Suppressed the Hunter Biden Laptop Story

The Daily Mail wrote on December 20:

“Jim Baker, Twitter’s top lawyer and ex-FBI general counsel, personally intervened to say it [the Hunter Biden laptop story] should be banned. Baker told Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, that the laptop story should be blocked – a day after getting a top secret briefing from his former FBI colleagues… Baker’s shameless attempts to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story – which has since been proven to be accurate – where also shared by Shellenberger.

“Monday’s Twitter Files release also showed that so many ex-FBI staffers had joined the social media network, there was now a private Slack channel set up just for them… the latest batch of Twitter files have sparked concerns about what else those former government operatives may have been up to.

“The most recent ‘Twitter Files’ also revealed how an FBI official-turned Twitter lawyer sent a letter thanking the Bureau for its help suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story…

“Baker became involved… because he had previously held top secret security clearance during his work for the FBI – during which he had been involved in one of the Bureau’s investigations into Donald Trump… Once Baker was given clearance [by the FBI]… the FBI fed him information intended to influence… Twitter executives into believing that the [Hunter Biden] laptop story was hacked… Hours after The Post published their laptop story the next day, it was almost immediately censored by Twitter and thus undermined in the public eye. The files showed that… Hunter Biden was earning millions in foreign business dealings…”

The conduct of the FBI has been appalling. It might also have been illegal. Notice the next article.

Dismantle the FBI

Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column, which was published by the Ron Paul Institute, on December 19:

“As we learn more and more from the ‘Twitter Files,’ it is becoming all too obvious that Federal agencies such as the FBI viewed the First Amendment of our Constitution as an annoyance and an impediment. In Friday’s release from the pre-Musk era, journalist Matt Taibbi makes an astute observation: Twitter was essentially an FBI subsidiary.

“The FBI, we now know, was obsessed with Twitter. We learned that agents sent Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth some 150 emails between 2020 and 2022. Those emails regularly featured demands from US government officials for the ‘private’ social media company to censor comments and ban commenters they did not like.

“The Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), a US government entity that included the FBI as well as other US intelligence agencies expressly forbidden from domestic activities, numbered 80 agents engaged regularly in telling Twitter which Tweets to censor and which accounts to ban. The Department of Homeland Security brought in outside government contractors and (government-funded) non-governmental organizations to separately pressure Twitter to suppress speech the US government did not like.

“US Federal government agencies literally handed Twitter lists of Americans it wanted to see silenced, and Twitter complied. Let that sink in.

“This should be a massive scandal… As Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote over the weekend, a new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll found that even though the mainstream media has ignored the ‘Twitter files,’ Americans have not. Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that Twitter was involved in politically-motivated censorship in advance of the 2020 election. Some 70 percent of those polled believe Congress must take action against this corporate/state censorship.

“As Professor Turley points out, although the First Amendment only applies to the US government, ‘it does apply to agents or surrogates of the government. Twitter now admits that such a relationship existed between its former officials and the government.’ So now we have proof that the FBI (along with US intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security) have been acting through ‘private’ social media companies to manipulate what Americans are allowed to say when they communicate with each other. Is there anything more un-American than that? Personally, I find it sickening.

“We do not need the FBI and CIA and other federal agencies viewing us as the enemy and attacking our Constitution… End the Federal Bureau of Investigation!

A demand which should be considered. But it won’t happen. Apart from the Democratic opposition to such a move, even too many House and Senate Republicans are unwilling to entertain that possibility.

The FBI “Responds”

Newsmax wrote on December 21:

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation defended itself following a slew of accusations levied against it by journalists releasing Elon Musk’s Twitter files… In a Wednesday statement, the agency suggested reporters Matt Taibbi, Lee Fang, and Bari Weiss, as well as author Michael Shellenberger, were ‘conspiracy theorists’ in their threads exposing internal Twitter documents. ‘The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding, and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries,’ the statement read.

“The FBI further argued its tips from agents to Twitter employees provided ‘critical information’ to the social media platform to protect themselves and their customers… It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,’ it added.”

The FBI’s “defense” is even more troublesome, as the underlined sentences prove.

Europe Threatens Musk

The Ron Paul Institute published the following article by Professor Turley on December 17:

“I was struck by the European Union (EU) rushing into the controversy to threaten, again, sanctions against Musk.. We have been discussing efforts by figures like Hillary Clinton to enlist European countries to force Twitter to restore censorship rules… Clinton and others are resorting to good old-fashioned state censorship, even asking other countries to censor the speech of American citizens. It is an easy case to make given the long criminalization of speech in countries like France, Germany, and England.

“The EU responded immediately by threatening Musk that restoring free speech could result in immediate sanctions or an entire ban. Now, EU commissioner Vera Jourova warned that the EU’s Digital Services Act was preparing to act to defend press freedom…

“Jourova’s self-righteous tirade was almost comical given the EU’s long-standing attacks on free speech and silence of prior media suspensions… Where was Jourova and the EU when Twitter was aggressively suspending media like the New York Post for publishing the true story of Hunter Biden’s laptop? How about the slew of conservative writers and experts barred for questioning official accounts on issues ranging from Covid to climate change?

“Not surprisingly, the EU is threatening to use the unprecedented anti-free speech law recently passed by the body… [This is] a roadmap for state censorship on the Internet. It is the Western embrace of Chinese style speech controls on the Internet…”

And it will only get much worse in Europe.

Title 42 Stays, Pending Further Order

Fox News wrote on December 19:

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked an order that would lift Title 42, the pandemic-era health policy that has been used to deter migrants more than 2.5 million times. The order Monday by Chief Justice John Roberts comes as cities along the U.S. Mexico border have been scrambling to prepare for an expected influx of migrants in anticipation of Title 42’s end. Earlier Monday, 19 states had asked the high court for an emergency stay that would keep Title 42 in place. In the one-page order, Chief Justice Roberts granted a stay pending further order…

“El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico on Sunday were preparing for a surge of as many as 5,000 new migrants a day in anticipation of Title 42’s expiration… Immigration advocates sued to stop the use of Title 42 to limit who can apply for asylum, saying that the policy goes against American and international obligations to people fleeing to the U.S. to escape persecution…”

This controversy won’t end any time soon.

No More Vaccine Mandates for Members of U.S. Military

Breitbart wrote on December 16:

“Members of the U.S. military deserve ‘healthcare freedom,’ Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said on Thursday following the Senate approving the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which repeals the military vaccine mandate enforced under the Biden administration. The Senate on Thursday passed the NDAA — it saw overwhelming bipartisan support with a 83-11 vote — which repeals the military vaccine mandate…

“Lawmakers on the House side, while celebrating the end of the vaccine mandate on members of the military, are also warning that it does not go far enough... Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has… called for further action, demanding the end of ‘all COVID vax mandates’ remaining across the board:… ‘The military COVID vaccine mandate will end! Page 407 & 408 of NDAA text just released. Next steps: end all COVID vax mandates (healthcare workers and foreign visitors), and reinstate all members of military wrongfully terminated due to vax.

“After passing both the House and Senate, the NDAA now heads to President Biden’s desk.”

The TSA will announce on or before January 8 whether to uphold or abolish the current vaccination mandate for tourists entering the USA.

The House Committee Urges DOJ to Charge Trump Criminally

The Associated Press wrote on December 19:

“The House Jan. 6 committee urged the Justice Department on Monday to bring criminal charges against Donald Trump for the violent 2021 Capitol insurrection, calling for accountability for the former president… the committee alleged violations of four criminal statutes by Trump, in both the run-up to the riot and during the insurrection itself…

“The panel… will dissolve on Jan. 3 with the new Republican-led House…

“House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California… decided not to participate after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected some of his appointments. That left an opening for two anti-Trump Republicans in the House — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — to join seven Democrats... The committee members said that full accountability can only be found in the criminal justice system. ‘No one should get a pass,’ said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.”

Schiff is one to talk. Note that the Wall Street Journal had published the following article on May 22, 2020:

“In the good old days if a member of Congress was caught in a major lie, knowingly misleading Congress and the American public, there were consequences. His own party would denounce him, the electorate would surely vote him out of office but perhaps he would resign in disgrace beforehand. But not today.

“Rep. Adam Schiff was playing to the base with a calculated lie, cheered on by fellow party members and supported by most of the media. He is a hero—to some. There are not, nor will there be, consequences for him. How times have changed. Any wonder the approval rating of Congress is at such an abysmally low rating?”

No Legal Relevance of a “Political Stunt”

Fox News wrote on December 19:

“The committee’s unprecedented criminal referral holds no official legal weight, and a final determination in whether to pursue the charges will be up to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department.

“The committee also referred several GOP House lawmakers Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Scott Perry, R-Pa., to the House Ethics Committee for not complying with subpoenas.

“A spokesperson for Jordan responded to the committee’s referral in statement to Fox News: ‘This is just another partisan and political stunt made by a Select Committee that knowingly altered evidence, blocked minority representation on a Committee for the first time in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, and failed to respond to Mr. Jordan’s numerous letters and concerns surrounding the politicization and legitimacy of the Committee’s work.’”

Of course, this entire Committee consisting of Trump-haters has been a sham and a farce all along.

Newsmax wrote on December 19:

“… it’s unconstitutional for members of Congress to recommend prosecution for anyone, making the committee’s determination a ‘worthless piece of paper,’ Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said… not only should the DOJ reject the committee’s recommendation, but it should reprimand the committee for referring the former president to face charges, said Dershowitz.

“However, Dershowitz said he hopes for a reprimand, but he does not think that will happen, even if he does expect that the DOJ won’t take the recommendation seriously. ‘The Justice Department will say [to] Congress, Look we process, we investigate,’ said Dershowitz. ‘Don’t tell us who to investigate and who to prosecute. You had a kangaroo hearing. One-sided. You didn’t allow a cross-examination. You didn’t allow any adverse witnesses, so don’t expect us to take seriously any recommendations. You made a bad prosecution, so the American public should make no conclusions based on this one-sided recommendation and it should ignore it as well.’”

That is what the DOJ should say. We doubt that it will say that.

Pelosi’s Kangaroo Court

Newsmax wrote in a related article, on December 19:

“Former President Donald Trump’s campaign blasted the House Jan. 6 select committee on Monday for being a ‘Kangaroo court’ that ‘makes a mockery of democracy.’… When creating the committee in 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flouted House rules by not allowing the House Republican leadership to select their members. ‘Nancy Pelosi refused to accept two Republican members (Jim Banks and Jim Jordan) for the January 6th select committee,’ Trump’s statement read.

“Instead, Pelosi and her committee itself selected the Republicans, picking Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., both among Trump’s biggest GOP detractors… Cheney was so zealous in her efforts to ‘get Trump,’ the Washington Post reported, that at least 15 former and current committee staff members suppressed other key findings in the final report

“In revelations made by the House Committee…, no evidence has been provided to the public that indicated Trump or his top aides orchestrated or encouraged the protests at the Capitol. But significant evidence, including text messages from top White House officials, Trump family members, and other close supporters, showed that the protests caught the president and his inner circle completely by surprise.”

All of this is truly shameful and unworthy of the USA—or any supposedly free democratic nation.

Democrats and Republicans in Opposition to the Law of God

Life Site News published on December 20 the following editorial by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America:

“A large scandal has been created, as well as discouragement, upon learning the news of the gala event hosted by President Donald J. Trump for openly homosexual supporters of the Republican Party. This endorsement of LGBT ideology is even more serious if one considers that, only two days previously, Joe Biden signed the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ which recognizes the legal validity of so-called homosexual marriages in the United States, in violation of the Natural Law and also the Law of God.

The Democratic Party is totally anti-Christian and obstinately determined to implement the globalist agenda of the New World Order. On the other hand, the Republican Party is recklessly pursuing a minority of voters who are indulging in lifestyles that are contrary to the Commandments and to the common good. American Catholics find themselves today in the impossible situation of being represented by a political class that is revealing itself to be completely incapable of representing and expressing Catholic convictions in moral and religious matters. This causes voters to become disaffected, which is added to electoral fraud and scandals that are emerging about media censorship and the manipulation of electoral consensus.

“Up until now, certain aspects of the political platform of the Republican Party were able to be overlooked to some extent due to the much more serious threat embodied by the Democratic Party. But it is now evident that the action of the deep state has contaminated the entire political elite without distinction, even involving Donald Trump, who up until now seemed to be a source of hope for the future of the United States.

A nation that offends the Law of God cannot hope to be blessed by the Lord, and those who support sinful lifestyles ought to think of the Judgment that awaits them rather than pleasing those who are corrupt in a calculated effort to win votes. This nonchalance in political action by Republicans is no less harmful than the open opposition to the perennial Magisterium of the Church on the part of Democrats.”

This world is thoroughly in the hands of Satan the Devil.

Germany’s Disastrous Military

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 19:

“The German military faced yet another PR disaster on Monday after reports emerged over the weekend that a training exercise involving one of its key weapons, the Puma tank, left not a single one operational. The conservative opposition was quick to jump on the news as supposed evidence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s mismanagement of the Bundeswehr, particularly under the control of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. ‘It’s a nightmare,’ Christian Democrat (CDU) parliamentary group leader Johann Wadephul told German  public broadcaster ARD. ‘The Puma is supposed to be a main weapon system of the German army. And if the Puma is not operational, then the army is not operational.’…

“The new debacle comes on top of several alarming headlines in the German media recently about the state of the country’s military. These suggested the Bundeswehr only has enough ammunition for two days of intense fighting — a figure apparently leaked by unnamed sources in defense circles. If this is true (and such information cannot be confirmed, as it is a state secret), German ammunition supplies are well below the standards expected by NATO, which requires each member to have 30 days’ worth of ammunition. To make up that shortfall alone, defense experts say Germany needs to invest another €20 to €30 billion.

“The state of the Bundeswehr’s hardware has long been a topic of concern: There have been several stories in recent years about tanks and helicopters that needed repairing, rifles that fail in hot weather and soldiers having to train in the cold without thermal underwear.

“Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a ‘Zeitenwende’ (turning of the times) which was hailed as a sea-change in the country’s approach to foreign policy and military strategy.

“To prove he meant it, Scholz announced an increase in the annual defense budget, making it the largest in all of Europe, as well as a €100 billion ($112.7 billion) one-off ‘special fund’ to modernize the military. Nine months later, some are wondering where that mountain of money is… Rafael Loss, a defense analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)… says Germany lacks a sense of urgency in reacting to the geopolitical implications of Russia’s attack on Ukraine…

“NATO partners in northeastern Europe have already expressed concern that Germany is not a military partner to rely on in a crisis. At a conference in Berlin in late October, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks asked his European colleagues, ‘We’re prepared to die, are you?’ Addressing the Germans specifically, he said, ‘A lot will depend on the military power of your country, and, I’m sorry, your military power is currently not there.’…

“Germany has signed a deal to buy 35 American-made F-35 fighter jets to replace its aging fleet of Tornados, at a cost of €200 million each. But it will take until 2027 before these are ready for use… Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended everything. The stories about Germany’s ammunition shortages emerged partly because questions were raised about maintaining supplies for the weapons Germany is sending to Ukraine. ‘We need roughly 15 times more ammunition to ensure a sustained supply of ammunition for the weapons provided to Ukraine, while rebuilding the German armed forces at the scope required,’ said [defense analyst] Loss.

“But there are also underlying long-term issues. In the past few decades, the Bundeswehr has sold off many of its Cold War-era storage bunkers — meaning that even if it did have the NATO-stipulated 30 days’ worth of ammunition, the military would be struggling to find anywhere to keep it.

“For that reason, defense analyst Loss thinks the criticism from the opposition conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) sounds hollow. ‘Things weren’t different for the last 16 years when the CDU was in power,’ he said. ‘It’s funny seeing the SPD and the CDU blaming each other for the sad state of the German armed forces, but I think both share roughly equal blame.’”

That is why the current political system in Germany with all its incompetent leaders will be replaced soon with a charismatic dictator—the “beast” of the Bible—with horrible consequences for the entire world.

Hungary for Dissolution of EU Parliament

Radio Free Europe wrote on December 21:

“Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose right-wing nationalist government has been targeted by corruption accusations and criticized for backsliding on the rule of law, on December 21 accused the European Union of ‘Hungarophobia’ and pointed the finger at the scandal-ridden European Parliament, calling for its dissolution…

“One of the European Parliament’s vice presidents earlier this month was charged in connection with allegations of bribery by soccer World Cup host Qatar. ‘The swamp should be drained,’ Orban said, using a phrase first coined by former U.S. President Donald Trump, a close Orban ally… ‘What the EU is doing today is a few rule-of-law people trying to impose their will on a few countries,’ Orban said.

“Orban is widely considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest EU ally and has repeatedly claimed that sanctions prompted by Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine have caused more damage to European economies than to Russia.”

The irony is, Europe WILL change in that ten nations or groups of nations will emerge, leading to a total autocracy and dictatorship.

Russia To Increase Military By More Than 30 %

France 24 wrote on December 21:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin supported a proposal by [the] Defence Minister to boost the Russian military by more than 30% on Wednesday ‘It is necessary to increase the number of armed troops to 1.5 million servicemen, including 695,000 contract soldiers,’ Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian President Vladimir Putin…

“Shoigu also proposed raising the age range for mandatory Russian military service to 21-30, compared to 18-27 at the moment.”

The military buildup by Russia, China and other Far Eastern nations will lead to a powerful collaboration between those nations, called in the Bible the “kings of the East.”

Russia Fumes After Zelenskyy’s Visit

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 22:

“Moscow on Thursday denounced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington claiming that it showed Kyiv was ‘not ready for peace.’ Zelenskyy met with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday and addressed Congress in his first official trip outside of Ukraine since Russia launched the war in February.  

“Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow regretted that neither Biden nor Zelenskyy said ‘even a few words that could be perceived as potential readiness to listen to Russia’s concerns.’    

“Biden announced on Wednesday that the US would provide Kyiv with an additional security aid of $1.85 billion (€1.737 billion), including the Patriot air defense system. Peskov said that this signaled that the US was ‘continuing its line of de facto fighting an indirect war with Russia to the last Ukrainian,’ adding that the Patriot missile would not deter Russia from achieving its goals in Ukraine.

“In a statement issued by the Russian Embassy in the US on Thursday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov’s [said]: ‘What was essentially announced […] was the need to continue the ‘proxy war’ against our country’…

“The Russian envoy said the US supplying weapons to Ukraine was ‘deeply disturbing.’ He added that Moscow stressed that ‘the provocative actions by the US are steadily leading to an escalation, the consequences of which cannot even be imagined.’”

Tucker Carlson Bashes Biden Over Zelensky’s Visit

Express wrote on December 22:

“Tucker Carlson (Fox News) … bashed Biden for refusing to ‘specify’ the details of what winning conditions would look like for the administration… [He asked:]  ‘Push the Russian Army back to pre-invasion borders? That sounds reasonable, that’s what most Americans likely assume, those still paying attention…

“‘But that is not what Zelensky means, it is not what he is asking for, Zelensky is demanding regime change in Russia… What happens if he wins? What does the ensuing chaos look like? Who secures the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons? Strangely those questions didn’t come up today… The point was to fawn over the Ukrainian [leader] and hand him billions more dollars from our own crumbling economy.’”

Riots Break Out in Jordan

Israel Today wrote on December 21:

“In recent days, violent demonstrations in the Kingdom of Jordan have been expanding, leading to, among other things, fatalities in the security forces. Escalating fuel prices have triggered the current spate of violence… truck and taxi drivers went on strike and demonstrated in the streets of the kingdom. Many Jordanians joined them. They burned tires and blocked roads. The Jordanian government opened an emergency command center to monitor and deal with the crisis, and a decision was taken to expand the Jordanian army’s forces in the south of the kingdom to prevent further demonstrations…

“The riots climaxed Friday, when one of the patrols sent to suppress the protesters came under fire. Jordanian TV officially reported the death of Ma’an’s deputy police chief, Lt. Col. Dr. Abdel-Razzaq Al-Dalba… In response to violent incidents, the Jordanian government announced that it had taken steps to block some social media countrywide.”

At the same time, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he has been able to form a right-wing and extremely conservative government, which is bound to clash with Jordan and other Middle Eastern nations. JTA wrote on December 21:

“Netanyahu hasn’t officially signed any coalition deals yet with other parties (he has until 48 hours before the new government is seated Jan. 2 to do so), and some of his expected new partners are first demanding new legislation that has been delayed until after coalition talks.”

Vatican Defrocks Pro-Life Priest

Newsmax wrote on December 18:

“The Vatican has defrocked Father Frank Pavone — who has been described as ‘the most vocal Catholic priest in America for the pro-life movement’ — in a move that has shocked Church conservatives… [The] priest [was stripped] of his religious title and powers, returning him to the laity with no official status in the Church.

“The letter [of the Vatican] alleges that Pavone was guilty of ‘persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop’ and ‘blasphemous communications on social media.’ The letter doesn’t spell out what the disobedient acts Pavone had engaged in, or identify the ‘blasphemous communications,’ but supporters of Pavone were quick to come to his defense.

“‘The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled while an evil president promotes the denial of truth & the murder of the unborn at every turn,’ Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas wrote on his Twitter account Saturday. ‘Vatican officials promote immorality & denial of the deposit of faith & priests promote gender confusion devastating lives…,’ Bishop Strickland continued…

“Pavone has come under fire in the past over his statements in support of former President Donald Trump and actions he has taken as a leader in the pro-life movement…

“Pope [Francis’s] decision to laicize Pavone appears to be part of a wider effort to undermine the Church’s traditional stand to protect the unborn…”

Reuters wrote on December 18:

“The [Vatican’s] letter… says Pavone will not be allowed to appeal… After Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020, Pavone was among Trump supporters who questioned the validity of the elections

“In a one hour, 40 minute video on Sunday… he said: ‘I’m never going to leave the priesthood.’”

The ongoing conflict between liberals and conservatives within the Catholic Church may ultimately lead to an “explosion.”

The Elegant Demon in the Vatican

The Daily Mail wrote on December 22:

“The Pope told Vatican staff to beware the ‘elegant demon’ that lurks in self-righteous Catholics in his traditional Christmas speech. Francis used his annual Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia to again put the cardinals, bishops and priests who work in the Holy See on notice that they are particularly vulnerable to evil. Pope Francis has long used the annual speech as a chance to rebuke bureaucrats in an examination of conscience to help them repent before Christmas.

“Francis told attendees that by living in the heart of the Catholic Church, ‘we could easily fall into the temptation of thinking we are safe, better than others, no longer in need of conversion.’ ‘Yet we are in greater danger than all others, because we are beset by the ‘elegant demon’, who does not make a loud entrance, but comes with flowers in his hand,’ Francis told the churchmen…

“Francis appeared to also want to take broader aim in this year’s speech at arch-conservatives and traditionalists who have become his biggest critics. Francis blasted their way of living the faith, insisting that being Catholic doesn’t mean following a never-changing set of strict rules… Some have even gone so far as to accuse him of heresy for some of his gestures and preaching, including allowing ‘pagan’ statues in the Vatican.

“Francis dedicated the bulk of his speech this year to the need to be vigilant about the work of the devil… He told the Vatican bureaucrats it’s not enough to merely condemn evil or root it out, since it often comes back in different guises, stronger than before. Francis used the term ‘we’ repeatedly, suggesting he includes himself among those in the Vatican who must remain mindful of the devil in their midst… ‘That is how these elegant demons are: they enter smoothly, without our even being conscious of them.’…”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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