Panic Fueled by WHO, Governments, the Media, and Religious Authorities
In an online lecture, historian Roberto de Mattei recalled that contagion can be both a physical and psychological phenomenon. He recalled Gustave Le Bon, who wrote The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. “The modern theory of contagion, which was inspired by Le Bon, explains how protected by the anonymity of a crowd the most calm individual can become aggressive, acting at the suggestion of others or in imitation of them. Panic is one of those feelings that is spread by social contagion, as happened during the French Revolution in the period called the Great Fear [‘Grande Peur’].”67
Jacques Attali, an advisor to all French presidents on both the left and right, from Mitterrand to Macron, seems to have understood very well the use of panic as a weapon to promote a political agenda such as laying the foundations for global governance. Shortly after the first alarms caused by the H1N1 virus, he wrote a May 3, 2009 article in the weekly L’Express. He stated: “History teaches us that humanity does not evolve significantly until it is truly afraid: it implements defense mechanisms sometimes intolerable (scapegoats and totalitarianisms); sometimes useful (distractions); sometimes effective (therapies, setting aside, if necessary, all previous moral principles). Then, after the crisis has passed, it transforms these mechanisms to make them compatible with individual freedom and inserts them into a democratic health policy. This beginning pandemic could boost one of those structuring fears.”
The Élysée Palace’s gray eminence imagined several scenarios for the epidemic and added that, better than any “humanitarian or ecological narrative,” all of them could serve to “raise awareness of the need for altruism, at least in self-interest.” And that, in any case, it would be necessary to “establish a world police, world stocks and, therefore, worldwide inspection. That way, one would arrive much faster than mere economic convenience would allow, to lay the foundations of a true world government.” And he concluded: “Besides, it was through the hospital that seventeenth-century France began to establish a true State.”68
At the moment, no data allows us to affirm that this plan is being implemented. But one thing is certain: Several factors have contributed to spreading panic and, whether willing or not, international and national public health organizations have lent themselves to amplify it.
Yahoo!Life reported on its interview with Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, the person responsible for patient safety at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “‘We throw around the word pandemic—that terrifies people,’ he says, noting the word can bring up the terrible historical pandemics such as the bubonic plague and smallpox. ‘But really all we mean by that word is something that’s spreading across a large geographic area in a short amount of time. But it doesn’t necessarily indicate the virulence and deadliness of it. I think people think it’s like the movie Outbreak.’”69 The doctor further explained that another factor that may be contributing to increasing the panic about the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere is that it occurred at the end of winter and shares similar symptoms with those of the seasonal flu. Many people affected by the latter thought they had contracted the coronavirus.
Interviewed by the Belgian daily L’Echo, the French agnostic philosopher André Comte-Sponville gave other reasons worth mentioning. He was asked why societies today are acting so differently from half a century ago when the Hong Kong flu killed some one million people. There was a general indifference to the death toll back then. He replied:
The so-called ‘Asian’ flu of 1957–1958 had caused even more [deaths], and everyone forgot about it. Why this difference in treatment? I see three main reasons for this. First, globalization in its media aspect: We are informed in real-time of everything that is happening in the world. For example, every day, of the number of deaths in China or the United States, Italy, or Belgium. . . . Then, there is the novelty and the “cognitive bias” it causes: COVID-19 is a new disease, which, for this reason, causes even more worries and surprises. Finally, we try to ignore death, and it becomes even more unacceptable when we are reminded of it.70
The media turbocharged these psychological factors of propensity to fear. Under the pretext of inciting the population to observe the preventive safeguards suggested by the authorities, media outlets contributed to the panic through nonstop reporting with apocalyptic tones.
A striking example of this tendency to exaggerate is an April 4 BBC report titled “Coronavirus: Five-year-old Among Latest UK Victims,” with daily information provided by the Ministry of Health. While the title highlights something that would fit in a single line of this report, which carries all kinds of news, the fact that the latter acknowledges that the girl suffered from an “underlying health condition” shows the title’s alarmist bias.71
Le Figaro’s columnist Renaud Girard denounced the tortuous nature of that news item: “While factually correct, the BBC article unconsciously feeds the collective psychosis by passing on this subliminal message: Even children die [from COVID-19]. Now, the statistical data shows just the opposite: The virus is almost harmless for children. Later, sociologists will have to carefully analyze the role that the media played in the emergence of a worldwide psychosis in the face of a less lethal disease.”72
Religious authorities, in particular the Catholic hierarchy, was another social group that contributed to the mass hysteria. In applying restrictive measures, they often anticipated civil authorities or went beyond what these required. The worst possible example came from the Vicar of Rome, the center of Catholicism. After consulting Pope Francis, he closed all churches. “Access to the parish and non-parish churches of the Diocese of Rome open to the public, and to church buildings of any kind open to the public, is denied to all the faithful,” decreed Angelo Cardinal De Donatis.73 He had to reverse the order two days later, given the faithful’s anger. However, being deprived of the sacraments and spiritual consolation that prayer provides in the interior of a church could only increase anguish in the face of the epidemic and, indirectly, induce panic.
Aware of this, when the government first imposed restrictions, and some French bishops went further than the authorities by forbidding the celebration of masses and the administration of the sacraments, the Bishop of Bellay-Ars, Most Rev. Pascal Roland, broke ranks with them. He published a note titled “Coronavirus Epidemic or Epidemic of Fear?” In it, he stated that “more than the coronavirus epidemic, we should fear the epidemic of fear,” and that he refused to “give in to collective panic and submit to the precautionary principle that seems to move civil institutions.” For the fearless prelate, “the collective panic that we are witnessing today” was revealing of our “falsified relationship with the reality of death” and the “anxiety-generating effects of the loss of God.” And he asked: “Why should we suddenly focus our attention solely on the coronavirus? Why forget that every year, the seasonal, banal flu affects between two and six million patients in France and causes approximately 8,000 deaths?” The bishop concluded with an appeal: “So, let us not give in to the fear epidemic! Let us not be living-dead!”74
This communiqué, which in hindsight appears so realistic and clear-sighted, became a casualty to fear (and pressure from single issue-obsessed media). It was removed from the diocesan website.
Panic Has Led the Population to Submit to the Authorities’ Stay at Home Orders Voluntarily
In Brazil and some parts of the United States, people have taken to the streets to protest stay at home orders. In Europe, however, panic has so far led the population to take a submissive attitude to the severe restrictions on freedom of movement imposed by the authorities.
In France, a rebellious country usually, the day after the announcement of the stay at home order issued by President Emmanuel Macron, 96% of those consulted approved of them, and 85% regretted they were not imposed earlier! Those were poll results despite the population’s perfect awareness of the financial cost inherent to compliance.75 The same is true in Spain, where a poll requested by El País revealed that only 21.9 percent believed that “we should make the stay at home order more flexible to reactivate the economy as soon as possible, even if this means a greater spread of the coronavirus.” In comparison, 59.3 percent of those polled maintained that “the stay at home order should be maintained as long as possible, even if this means greater economic fallout and more unemployment.”76 In their opinion, the impact on the economy would be negative and lasting worldwide (61.1%), for Spain (69.7%), and the individual families of those surveyed (31%).
Under the headline “In Rich Countries, Health Remains the Priority,” Le Figaro reported: “[A]ccording to a Kantar survey conducted between April 9 and 13 in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, 37 percent of the population lost part of their income, and 16 percent had it cut in half. However, a large majority of those polled continue to approve the costly measures adopted to fight the virus.”77
Even more serious, panic favors the population’s likely acceptance of the blackmail being proposed to it to lift the stay at home order: Submit to government control through smartphone apps that will report if individuals have been in contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus.
A survey conducted in France by a team from the Oxford University School of Economics revealed that about 80% of the people questioned (1,000 smartphone owners) would undoubtedly or probably install such an app if available. Most would even agree that telephone companies automatically install the app on their customers’ smartphones (with an option for customer uninstalling), and two-thirds of those questioned said they would probably or undoubtedly retain the vendor-installed app.
Approval for this blackmail (controlled “freedom of movement”) is such that up to 40% of the interviewees would have a more favorable opinion of the Macron government if this instrument of state surveillance were made available to them! Survey agents report that these results are broadly similar to those obtained in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.78
The “Stockholm Syndrome” on a Planetary Scale—Collective Diabolic Infestation?
The old “carrot and stick” strategy is yielding results that would have been unimaginable just a few months ago. Suffice it to look at the panic caused by SARS-CoV-2 and people’s sense of security at their governments’ assurances that they will open the taps of public funding to secure individual incomes and keep companies solvent.
“What is happening, at this moment, is a strengthening of the State as a protective force for citizens,” suggests Isto é in its above-cited article. Its title is expressive: “The New World Order: The State Is Once Again the Great Protective Force, and the Only One Capable of Creating a Robust System to Provide Security for the Citizen, Guaranteeing Health, Education, and Encouraging Scientific Research.”79
Naivete goes so far as to apathetically accept a narrative of China’s communist rulers presenting the regime as a model of success in controlling the pandemic that resulted from their own irresponsible, if not criminal attitudes. For example, no one reacted when the UN-issued UN News bulletin reported in its March 16 issue: “China shows COVID-19 Coronavirus can be ‘stopped in its tracks.’” It quotes WHO’s representative in that country: “This lesson in containment, therefore, is a lesson that other countries can learn from and adapt for their own circumstances.”80 Now, everyone knows that in China, the population is subjected to official social control policies through facial recognition and population rating programs, leading to prizes and punishments.
Only three months ago, the West’s masses were inebriated with the values of emancipation, autonomy, and individualism. Today they accept the prospect of Chinese communist-style control of their lives with the passivity of lambs being led to the slaughterhouse reveals that they were victims of an ideological transshipment unprecedented in human history. Their natural reaction should be that of the philosopher Comte-Sponville in the interview above: “A stay at home order is the greatest restriction of freedom that I’ve experienced, and like everyone else, I’m in a hurry to get out of it. In the long run, there is not even a question of sacrificing freedom for the sake of health. I’d rather catch COVID-19 in a free country than be spared from it in a totalitarian state!”81
What radical ecologists, green parties, and the handlers of Greta Thunberg have achieved only partially (based on apocalyptic projections of consequences of the much-trumpeted and supposedly man-made global warming), the coronavirus panic plus protective nanny songs from governments “on the warpath” against the pandemic obtained after less than two months of widespread stay at home orders. As Isto é aptly put it, that “makes people experience a kind of house arrest not yet experienced in contemporary societies.”82
That would be the Stockholm Syndrome on a global scale, whereby a kidnapped victim develops a relationship of complicity and a strong emotional bond with his or her kidnapper.83 The proof is that, although they are ruining their economies through reckless stay at home orders, European leaders’ approval ratings have surged: Kurz, Austria (+ 33%), Conte, Italy (+27%), Johnson, UK (+ 20%), Merkel, Germany (+11%), and Macron, France (+ 11%).84
Faced with the dazzling, profound, and universal result obtained by this psychological manipulation of the masses, a Catholic observer must ask himself if it was not accompanied by a collective preternatural infestation. In 1959, Msgr. Léon Cristiani raised an analogous hypothesis concerning Chinese and Russian communism, in his book, Evidence of Satan in the Modern World. For the author, China manifested symptoms of diabolical possession. On the other hand, he thought Russia was the victim of preternatural infestation “only.” However, he also believed that the West was under the influence of the Evil One.85 Is the increase of this influence not one of the factors in the current passivity of world opinion, faced as it is with the possibility of a dictatorship? A dictatorship that is at first health-oriented, but which then becomes ecological and socialist, and finally, atheist?
A Forewarning Essay by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on Unperceived Ideological Transshipment
However dominant may be the role the preternatural factor plays in this passivity, it largely resulted from fear, leading the population to accept restrictions they would normally reject.
The best study on such mass manipulations—not from a preternatural, but a psychological and ideological perspective—is undoubtedly Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s essay Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue, the Latest Communist Ploy to Conquer World Opinion, published in the magazine Catolicismo (nos. 178–179, Oct.–Nov. 1965).86
In this work, the illustrious author describes the process to favorably predispose and transform people who resist explicit communist preaching into useful innocents. This is accomplished by acting implicitly upon their mentalities. That happens without patients realizing that they are suffering a psychological manipulation.
Two factors made the Western mindset especially vulnerable: fear and sympathy for communism. Although seemingly contradictory, both acted simultaneously and in tandem, initially predisposing the patient to an attitude of resigned inertia in the face of the communist advance. Later, that would turn into a favorable expectation and reach its final stage with the transformation of the victim into a convinced follower.
For example, some Latin American Catholics engaged in Catholic Action underwent a process of ideological transshipment. They ended up adhering to Liberation Theology, and later became militants of radical left groups advocating violent action.
The method—the Brazilian intellectual explains—presupposes finding a point of strong impressionability, for example, “a disaster like famine or disease.” At the same time, it is necessary to find a point of apathy that is symmetrical to the point of impressionability.
In our coronavirus case, the reader should take note of this paradox: Many of those who now uphold as a supreme value the lives of the elderly threatened by the virus are the same ones who until recently claimed the right of these same older people to euthanasia. Moreover, they advocate allowing women under shelter-in-place orders to abort at home, without restrictions, even if in the third trimester.
Another example of a point of apathy, Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira writes, would be “insensitivity to the fact that, if one should do everything possible against hunger and sickness—considered here as social evils—in no way should one try to do the impossible, the utopian, since this would only sooner or later aggravate the very same evils one desires to vanquish.”
With prophetic words, the author warns that it is necessary to apply solutions “with redoubled concern to prevent the natural delay of the cure from being added to the censurable slowdown resulting from our negligence. But one must frequently give up the impatient desire for immediate results. This desire, in effect, exposes us to the risk of preferring, rather than authentic solutions, the violent panaceas extolled by demagogy and effective only in appearance.”
All of this would seem to have been written yesterday about the coronavirus overreaction, rather than in 1965.
The Role of “Talismanic Words” and How to Exorcise Them
Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira continues. Having achieved this single issue fixation in the patient’s mind, the process handlers must then choose some “talisman words.” These must have a legitimate but artfully manipulated meaning that can evoke a constellation of emotions, sympathies, and phobias that the media can easily exploit and are likely to become strongly radicalized.
Here are some words currently employed and relentlessly repeated by the media: “shared responsibility,” “global solidarity,” “cooperative response,” “global strategy,” “inclusive protection,” “universal basic income,” “ecological conversion,” “common home,” and so on.
Gripped by the fascination of the “talismanic word,” patients “quickly accept as supreme and ardently professed ideals, the successively more radical meanings that it assumes.” The author illustrates his point with the word “dialogue.” He deemed it responsible for all of the Catholic Church’s surrenders in the face of the errors of the modern world. Yesterday, it was the dialogue with communism. Today, it is a dialogue with radical ecology, efforts to implement a secular world governance, and the radical left’s “another world is possible.”
Will the ongoing gigantic operation of social engineering and ideological transshipment succeed? If this process is based on the fear-sympathy syndrome, it is undeniable that the people’s panic of SARS-CoV-2, plus the illusory comfort and sympathy that many of them draw from government promises of health and financial protection are likely to raise leftist strategists’ hopes. Hopes of what? That they will be successful in leading millions to accept a “new world.” It would be a supposedly less frantic and selfish new world, one that shows more solidarity, is closer to nature, but, above all, one that is more controlled by an ecological-socialist Big Brother.
However, that leftist victory is avoidable. Even as their plan is underway, one can pierce it like a balloon simply by “exorcizing” the talismanic words. This is done through analysis, explaining their meanings, and thus disturbing their victims’ emotional enjoyment of the illegitimate meanings.
“[T]o ‘exorcise’ the talismanic word and incapacitate its magic effect,” the Brazilian professor explains, “one must, first of all, discover the myth incubated in its many meanings and compare its most applauded and radiating meanings with its natural and common meaning to discover “the content of this word hidden in its mythical and radical meanings.” Whoever makes explicit and unmasks the hidden myth “will provide the patients of unperceived ideological transshipment with sufficient means to open their eyes to the action worked on them, see where they are being led, and defend themselves against it.”
One of the greatest difficulties faced by those wishing to carry out this enlightening and salvific work in the Catholic sphere is that Pope Francis and the Vatican are serving as fellow travelers for the promoters of the ongoing ideological transshipment.
The Role of the Religious Factor in the Process of Ideological Transshipment Toward the “New World”
In the current maneuver, there are two factors. First, the COVID-19 panic, and then, the “sympathy” factor, a romantic aspiration to leave the stress and individualism of the modern world and return to one more “respectful of nature,” more “open” and “supportive,” in which the luxury standards of industrialized “bourgeois” societies give way to the simplicity and frugality of the working class.
In fact, in a society as materialistic and hedonistic as ours, such change would be very transitory if driven only by panic, as Jacques Attali said in the above-cited text. However, popular resignation would be permanent and more profound if it considered the change as a spiritual improvement, not just something deemed inevitable to which one must resign oneself.
A minority of the population—the more “modern” and “advanced” parts of the middle and upper bourgeoisie that frequent “champagne socialist” circles could find such motivation in Eastern religions, yoga, vegetarianism, etc. But the sensible majority of the population needs to hear the voice of great religious leaders. In a mostly Catholic West, none can be better than the pope’s. All the more so if it is packaged as an echo of the “Poor Man of Assisi.”
Unfortunately, it is the game that Pope Francis is playing with his repeated calls in favor of integral ecology, a new globalization model, and “popular movements” as the leaven of future society.
Pope Francis Calls for “Ecological Conversion”
In fact, since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, Pope Francis has missed no opportunity to support these three ideological currents.
On Sunday, March 22, the pontiff of Laudato Si’ gave a video interview to Spanish journalist Jordi Évole on his television program on the La Sexta channel. Asked if the coronavirus crisis was “a revenge of nature,” Francis replied that nature never forgives and that it “is kicking us so we can take care of it.”87
Two weeks later, the pope returned to the charge. In an interview with his biographer, Austen Ivereigh, published in The Tablet, the pontiff praised the governments that implemented “exemplary” stay at home measures. Asked if the economic devastation caused by the crisis was a chance for an ecological conversion, he repeated that “nature never forgives,” and added: “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. . . . I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s response.” Later on, he added: “You ask me about conversion. Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out of the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption (Laudato Si’, no. 191) and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.”88
At the General Audience of April 22—the UN’s International Mother Earth Day—the Pope declared: “As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst . . . Because of our selfishness we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth . . . We have polluted it, we have despoiled it, endangering our very lives. . . . We have sinned against the earth, against our neighbours, and ultimately against the Creator. . . . We need an ecological conversion that can find expression in concrete actions.”
Pope Francis took the occasion to note that “various international and local movements have sprung up in order to appeal to our consciences” (notably the one led by figurehead Greta Thunberg) and added, “It will be necessary for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us.”
Echoing the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, he added: “Today, as we celebrate World Earth Day, we are called to rediscover the sense of sacred respect for the earth, because it is not only our home but also God’s home. This gives rise in us to the awareness that we are on a sacred earth!”
Earlier in the address, he repeated that the coronavirus is a response of nature: “We have sinned against the earth, against our neighbors, and ultimately against the Creator, the benevolent Father who provides for everyone, and desires us to live in communion and flourish together. And how does the earth react? There is a Spanish saying that is very clear about this. It goes: ‘God always forgives; we humans sometimes forgive, and sometimes not; the earth never forgives.’ The earth does not forgive: if we have despoiled the earth, its response will be very ugly.”89
This idea of nature’s revenge had already been put forward by Fr. Benedict Mayaki, who published an article in Vatican News titled “Coronavirus: Earth’s Unlikely Ally.” In it, the African Jesuit stated that “we have never treated our Common Home as badly as in the last two hundred years.” Still, this epidemic “has an unintended benefit: the Earth is healing itself” since “changes in human behavior due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic are bringing unintended benefits to the planet.”90 Because of outraged protests from readers, the Vatican’s media website withdrew the article an hour later.
However, Leonardo Boff was the one who first raised this hypothesis. In an article titled “Coronavirus: A Reprisal from Gaia, Mother Earth?” he stated:
I estimate that current diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, SARS, ebola, measles, the ongoing coronavirus and the widespread degradation in human relationships, marked by profound inequality/social injustice and the lack of minimal solidarity, are a reprisal from Gaia for the offenses that we continuously inflict on her. I would not say, like J. Lovelock, that it is ‘the revenge of Gaia,’ since she as Great Mother does not take revenge but gives us severe signs that she is sick (typhoons, melting polar ice caps, droughts, and floods, etc.) and, at the limit, she sends us a reprisal like the referred-to diseases because we do not learn the lesson.91
The Vatican Aligns Itself With the Promoters of Global Governance
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, both headed by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, an Argentine prelate very close to Pope Francis, issued a significant statement on the Vatican’s support for plans to globalize the response to the crisis.
The March 20 statement calls on people to fully support the propaganda of international organizations such as WHO and UNICEF, so that “their scientific evidence-based information can rise above the cacophony of unproven assumptions spreading all over the world.” It goes on to express concern about the “selfishness and shortsightedness of uncoordinated national responses.”
In the section titled “Shaping global interdependencies and help across and within nations,” the statement finds that “globalism has made the world unprecedentedly interdependent—and thus vulnerable . . . during crises.” But, it adds, “seeking protection through isolationism would be misguided and counterproductive,” whereas “A trend worth backing would be a strong demand for greater global cooperation,” and the support for international organizations. “Global problems such as pandemics or the less visible crises of global climate change and biodiversity loss demand global cooperative responses,” says the document, insisting that “global crises demand collective action” and that “The prevention and containment of pandemics is a global public good (Laudato Si’) and protecting it requires increased global coordination.”
It concludes by asserting that, “At a time when rule-based multilateralism is declining, the COVID-19 crisis should encourage efforts to bring about a new—in the sense of different—globalization model aimed at inclusive protection of all.” This, in a “more responsible, more sharing, more equalitarian, more caring and fairer society. . . if we are to survive.”92
Bill Gates, Antônio Guterres, and Gordon Brown, great promoters of a new world order under the UN aegis, would have no difficulty subscribing to this declaration by the two Vatican Academies, which includes no mention of God.
Along the same lines is a statement of which the Osservatore Romano published a summary. Issued by the Academy of Catholic Leaders, an entity born in Chile and present in several countries in Latin America, it was signed by 170 individuals, including Italian philosopher Rocco Butiglione and the Uruguayan Guzmán Carriquiry, vice president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.93 In it, the self-described Catholic leaders affirm, in a Bolivarian tone that would have pleased Hugo Chavez, that “if problems are common, it is necessary to think about common solutions and initiatives. Either we die alone as nations, or we advance as all nations together as members of the same Great Fatherland: Latin America.
He continues: “If we choose the path of exacerbated nationalism, our countries are bound to plunge into chaos, populism, and authoritarianism. But if we choose the path of the Great Fatherland precisely as most of our countries celebrate the Bicentennial of their processes of independence, it will be an opportunity to re-found a new social pact based on solidarity and fraternity.” They repeat the leftist mantra of universal basic income, even if for a limited time: “We support the need for a temporary basic income that guarantees a life above the poverty line.” And, obviously enough, they imperatively conclude that “all governments in Latin America must make a formal and rigorous commitment to the instructions issued by the Pan American Health Organization during the pandemic.”94
Pope Francis to the Extreme Left: “I’m Available to Lend a Hand”
Pope Francis’s support for the postulates of the radical left, of which he has become the undisputed international leader,95 was evident in letters he wrote to Luca Casarini and, on Easter Sunday, to Popular Movements.
Casarini was the leader of the “No-Global” protests that destroyed Genoa during the G8 meeting of July 2001. He is currently the regional secretary for the Sinistra Italiana (Italian Left) party and responsible for the organization Mediterranea—Saving Humans, which advocates admitting illegal immigrants into Italy. However, because of the pandemic, the Union’s borders are closed even for Europeans from the Schengen Area. On April 11, it was reported that Pope Francis sent Casarini a handwritten note in which he thanks “Dear Brother” for “his testimony, which has done me so much good.” And he concludes: “I want to tell you that I’m always available to lend a hand. Count on me.”96
Even more eloquent was his letter addressed on Easter Sunday to “dear friends” of “popular movements and organizations” around the world. In it, Pope Francis points out that “This may be the time to consider a universal basic income97 which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out.”
The pope added, “If the fight against the coronavirus is a war, you are a true invisible army that fights in the most dangerous trenches.” “An army with no other weapon than solidarity, hope, and the sense of community that grows green these days when no one is saved alone.”
In a vague nod to the ecological and self-managing utopias of popular movements (such as Brazil’s MST or Argentina’s cartoneros), the pope expresses his hope that “governments understand that technocratic paradigms (whether State- or market-centric) are not enough to address this crisis or the other major problems of humanity.” Because, he continues, “now more than ever, it is persons, communities, peoples who must be at the center, united to heal, care, share.” He goes on to say that popular movements “have an authoritative voice to testify” that change is possible, and asks them to “continue the struggle.”98
For its part, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development presided over by Peter Cardinal Turkson—in collaboration with two other agencies of the Holy See and notably the two Academies headed by Bishop Sánchez Sorondo—created five working groups to prepare for the aftermath of COVID-19. The second group “has the task of the night watch, like the sentry, to perceive the dawn,” the Ghanaian cardinal says. “To do this, it is necessary to connect the best minds in the areas of ecology, economy, health, and public security;” we “need prophecy, and creativity. We need to go above and beyond.”
Crises may follow one after the other, “in a cycle in which we will be forced to learn slowly and painfully [to] take care of our common home, as Pope Francis so prophetically teaches in the Encyclical Laudato Si’. There is a need for courage, for prophecy.” Because “inhabiting the Earth as a common home requires much more. It requires solidarity in accessing the goods of creation as a ‘common good,’ and solidarity in applying the fruits of research and technology to make our ‘Home’ healthier and more livable for all,” concluded Cardinal Turkson, with a language close to that of green parties and the radical left.99
If This Worldwide Maneuver Succeeds, God’s Punishment Is Inevitable—but Our Lady Will Triumph!
The ideological transshipment that Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira denounced in 1965 was highly successful within the Catholic Church. The manipulation of the talismanic word “dialogue” led many sectors of the clergy and part of the laity to sympathize with socialism and communism. What were the results? Ill-fated liberation theology and the heterodox forms of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue informing the Declaration of Abu Dhabi, among others. But the maneuver failed on the political plane, because the Europeans did not allow themselves to be duped by a “Eurocommunism” with a human face, nor did Latin Americans fall for “Christian socialism.” The internal crisis behind the Iron Curtain and the arms race led to the collapse of the USSR and the recycling of communism into cultural neo-Marxism.
This ideological transshipment maneuver might be more successful in the current situation, characterized by panic. If that happens, even temporarily, an ecological and socialist “new world order” (either centralized or self-managing) could be imposed on humanity with the Vatican’s blessings.
In that case, humanity would undoubtedly deserve a great punishment whose preamble would have been the current pandemic. Some high-ranking prelates have come out strongly against the opinion that the coronavirus crisis is the hand of Divine Providence punishing the world for today’s immense sins—procured abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and civil unions, blasphemies of all kinds. These ecclesiastics claim that God could not indiscriminately punish both the just and sinners as COVID-19 does.
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira answers this objection in a footnote of his work, Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue. All the reader needs to do is to replace the term “thermonuclear catastrophe” with “pandemic,” “economic ruin,” or “ecological and socialist new world order” and he will have an updated version of this warning by the Brazilian Catholic leader.
After affirming that accepting the establishment of communism around the world to save peace (accepting the “new world order” to prevent COVID-19, we would say) would be a serious violation of the Law of God, the illustrious author writes:
This supreme sin, precisely on being committed by nations and not only by individuals, is subject to Divine Justice in a very special way.
Indeed, while the sins of individuals can be punished in this world or the next, it is not that way with the sins of nations. As St. Augustine says, since nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next life, they are rewarded for their good actions and punished for their bad actions here on earth.
Thus, in terms of justice, to a supreme sin of countries corresponds a supreme punishment in this world. And this could well be a thermonuclear catastrophe.
There is more danger of such a catastrophe in apostasy than fidelity.
This affirmation will be even better proven if we consider not only the punishment but also the reward. Nations faithful to the Law of God should receive just recompense on this earth. Nothing then is more suitable to attract the protection and favor of God to a nation, even regarding the goods of this life, than heroic fidelity in the face of a thermo-nuclear danger. This fidelity is the means par excellence to drive this danger away.
To steer clear of a well-deserved punishment from Divine Justice through new and even more lethal waves of SARS-CoV-2, let us avoid being dominated by panic and the greatest operation of unperceived ideological transshipment in history, even though this maneuver enjoys Vatican support.
Indeed, we must stand fast and refuse the “new world order” that the sirens of ecologism, globalism, and neo-socialism are offering us. We will thus remain faithful to the Law of God and the Divine Master’s counsel: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
It is this fidelity that will help advance the fulfillment of the great promise that Our Lady of Fatima made to the world at the Cova da Iria:
“Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”
April 26, 2020
The American TFP
67. Roberto de Mattei, “New Scenarios in the Coronavirus Era,” Lepanto Foundation, Mar. 14, 2020, https://www.patreon.com/posts/new-scenarios-in-34876378, 9:01–9:35.
68. Jacques Attali, “Changer, par Précaution,” Attali.com, May 3, 2019, http://www.attali.com/societe/changer-par-precaution/. (Our emphasis.)
69. Rachel Grumman Bender, Yahoo!Life, Feb. 6, 2020, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/the-flu-has-killed-10000-americans-as-the-world-worries-over-coronavirus-221101770.html. The film “Outbreak” was a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It tells the story of a new virus that the American government kept secret for many years for eventual use as a biological weapon.
70. Simon Brunfaut, “André Comte-Sponville: ‘J’aime mieux attraper le Covid-19 dans un pays libre qu’y échapper dans un État totalitaire,’” L’Echo, Apr. 27, 2020, https://www.lecho.be/dossiers/coronavirus/andre-comte-sponville-j-aime-mieux-attraper-le-covid-19-dans-un-pays-libre-qu-y-echapper-dans-un-etat-totalitaire/10221597.html
72. “Renaud Girard: ‘Le confinement, remède pire que le mal?’” Le Figaro, Apr. 6, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/renaud-girard-le-confinement-remede-pire-que-le-mal-20200406
73. “Coronavirus, la Diocesi di Roma chiude le chiese,” La Stampa, Mar. 12, 2020, https://www.lastampa.it/cronaca/2020/03/12/news/coronavirus-la-diocesi-di-roma-chiude-le-chiese-1.38585371.
74. “Épidémie du coronavirus ou épidémie de peur?” Group Siloé/Source et Lumière de Siloé, Mar. 6, 2020, http://siloe37.over-blog.com/2020/03/epidemie-du-coronavirus-ou-epidemie-de-peur.html.
75. François-Xavier Bourmaud, “Coronavirus: 96% des Français approuvent les mesures de confinement annoncées par Macron,” Le Figaro, Mar. 19, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/coronavirus-96-des-francais-approuvent-les-mesures-de-confinement-annoncees-par-macron-20200319.
76. “Un 59% de los españoles apoya el confinamiento más estricto,” El País, Apr. 18, 2020, https://elpais.com/espana/2020-04-18/los-ciudadanos-priman-la-salud-sobre-la-economia-y-apoyan-el-rescate-social.html.
77. Cyrille Louis, “Dans les pays riches, la santé reste la priorité,” Le Figaro, Apr. 16, 2020, https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/dans-les-pays-riches-la-sante-reste-la-priorite-20200416.
78. Johannes Abeler, Sam Altmann, Luke Milsom, Séverine Toussaert, Hannah Zillessen, “Acceptabilité d’une application téléphone pour tracer les contactsporteurs du Covid-19,” OSF, Apr. 6, 2020, https://osf.io/24uan/
81. Brunfaut, “André Comte-Sponville: ‘J’aime mieux, L’Echo, https://www.lecho.be/dossiers/coronavirus/andre-comte-sponville-j-aime-mieux-attraper-le-covid-19-dans-un-pays-libre-qu-y-echapper-dans-un-etat-totalitaire/10221597.html.
83. See, Wikipedia contributors, “Stockholm syndrome,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stockholm_syndrome&oldid=953266399 (accessed April 27, 2020.
84. Steven Erlanger, “Coronavirus Has Lifted Leaders Everywhere. Don’t Expect That to Last,” The New York Times, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/world/europe/coronavirus-presidents.html.
85. Leon Cristiani, Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/evidence-of-satan-in-the-modern-world-6071, especially chapter 9.
86. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue, TFP.org, https://www.tfp.org/unperceived-ideological-transshipment-and-dialogue/.
87. Mateo González Alonso, “El papa Francisco a Évole sobre el coronavirus: ‘Dios perdona siempre, nosotros a veces y la naturaleza nunca,’” VidaNuevaDigital.com, Mar. 23, 2020, https://www.vidanuevadigital.com/2020/03/23/el-papa-francisco-a-evole-sobre-el-coronavirus-dios-perdona-siempre-nosotros-a-veces-y-la-naturaleza-nunca/.
88. Austen Ivereigh, “Pope Francis Says Pandemic Can Be a ‘Place of Conversion,’” The Tablet, Apr. 8, 2020, https://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/17845/pope-francis-says-pandemic-can-be-a-place-of-conversion-
89. Pope Francis, “General Audience,” Vatican.va, 8:35–18:00, Apr. 22, 2020, http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/fr/audiences/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200422_udienza-generale.html
90. Franca Giansoldati, “Coronavirus, le tesi choc di un gesuita che imbarazza il Vaticano: il Covid-19 fa bene all’ambiente,” Il Messaggero, Apr. 1, 2020, https://www.ilmessaggero.it/vaticano/coronavirus_vaticano_fa_bene_all_ambiente_gesuita_vatican_news-5145977.html.
91. Leonardo Boff, “Coronavirus: uma represália de Gaia,da Mãe Terra?” Leonardoboff.org, Mar. 11, 2020, https://leonardoboff.org/2020/03/11/coronavirus-uma-represalia-de-gaiada-mae-terra/.
92. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Responding to the Pandemic, Lessons for Future Actions and Changing Priorities, PAS.va, Mar. 20, 2020, http://www.pas.va/content/accademia/en/events/2020/coronavirus.html.
93. “Manifesto dei leader cattolici dell’America Latina,” VaticanNews.va, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.vaticannews.va/it/vaticano/news/2020-04/manifesto-leader-cattolici-america-latina-osservatore-romano.html.
94. “Manifiesto de Católicos Latinoamericanos con Responsabilidades Políticas: Un Compromiso y un Llamado a la Acción,” http://liderescatolicos.net/manifiesto/Manifiesto_politico_latinoamericanos_Completo.pdf.
95. See Francis X. Rocca, “How Pope Francis Became the Leader of the Global Left” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-pope-francis-became-the-leader-of-the-global-left-1482431940.
97. Spanish Vice President Pablo Iglesias criticized the reluctance of his country’s bishops to support permanent universal basic income, saying, “I stick to what the pope said, who has again demonstrated enormous social sensitivity by presenting the need for everyone to have a vital minimum income. And until further notice, the pope is the head of the Catholic Church.” “Pablo Iglesias defiende la renta mínima permanente y les dice a los obispos españoles que «hasta nueva orden» su jefe es el Papa,” InfoCatólica, Apr. 23, 2020, http://www.infocatolica.com/?t=noticia&cod=37502.
98. “Pope Francis sends letter in support of social movements,” Radio Bayamo, Apr. 13, 2020, http://www.radiobayamo.icrt.cu/en/2020/04/13/pope-francis-sends-letter-in-support-of-social-movements/; see also, Washington Uranga, “La carta del papa Francisco a los movimientos populares del mundo,” Página 12, Apr. 12, 2020, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/259242-la-carta-del-papa-francisco-a-los-movimientos-populares-del-.
99. Massimiliano Menichetti, “We Must Think of the Aftermath of COVID-19 so We Are Not Unprepared,” Vatican News, Apr. 15, 2020, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-04/turkson-think-covid19-aftermath-to-not-be-unprepared.html.