By Kevin D. Annett
Always provide your opponents with what they wish to see, and by that means, deceive and control them; for thus will they see what you appear to be, and few of them will experience who you really are. – The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli
A legal judgment is void if the court that rendered judgment lacked jurisdiction or acted in a manner inconsistent with due process.
-Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., citing Klugh v. United States, D.C.S.C
There is nothing more important for any Prince than appearing to be religious.
In 1529, Martin Luther described the Vatican’s gestures at “reform” as “farts laced with perfume”; and one of his lampooning publicists depicted the oxymoron of papal reform with a cartoon of fat cardinals brushing the dust off the statues in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Things don’t change much in Rome. Five centuries after Luther, the tried and true method of all despots in damage control – of tightening the reins of power while feigning liberality – is unfortunately alive and well.
Ask Jorge Bergoglio.
The Jesuit pinch hitter from Buenos Aires was brought in to the Augean filth of Rome to do exactly such a spin, as he was trained to do in the 1980′s as the chief public relations gnome for the butchers of the Argentinian military junta. And last July, as the appropriately benign-looking “Pope Francis the First”, Bergoglio issued something he calls an “Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio” concerning “the jurisdiction of Judicial authorities of Vatican City State in Criminal Matters”.
Wow. Sounds impressive, eh? From the sounds of that, you’d almost think that the Roman Catholic Church is a legitimate government, and has some kind of legal jurisdiction when it comes to matters of crime.
But illusions aside, this latest effort at statue-cleaning at the Vatican reminds me of something an Irish priest told me last May in Dublin:
“Ratzinger was a dinosaur, but this new Pope is another Borgia”
Nicolo Machiavelli was the hired scribe for the Borgias, those Renaissance thugs who ran Rome and the papacy with their friends and relatives. Nicolo even dedicated his book The Prince to Cesare Borgia, the throat-cutting illegitimate bastard of Pope Alexander VI: another cutie who raped his own daughter Lucrecia and signed the Bull Inter Catera that carved up the world between Spain and Portugal and gave the green light to global genocide.
I figure Pope Francis is a real devotee of Machiavelli, since he’s following the guy’s advice to rulers to the letter. For the basic message of The Prince is that law and morality is a fiction and does not apply to popes and kings; and that such rulers must use every means of deception, violence and crime to hold on to their thrones while simultaneously making themselves seem pure and just.
Which brings us to Bergoglio’s Apostolic Letter, over which some of our especially naive colleagues are rapturing like it’s the heralding of the dawn of a new age.
Uh uh. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Letter does three things: defrays criticism of the Vatican, avoids prosecution for defying the Law of Nations by co-opting that Law, and silences and criminalizes internal whistle blowers and critics. And it does so by expanding the power of church courts and canon law to prosecute and jail such critics in order to place a final lid over any information leaks in the church: including any reporting of child rape and trafficking.
All of this stench is perfumed, of course. As Machiavelli says, use the language of your opponents and thereby disarm them. For the opening sentence of the Apostolic Letter reads,
“In our times, the common good is increasingly threatened by transnational organized crime …”
Indeed. Transnational organized crime, like the Vatican itself, which on August 4 was declared to be a transnational criminal body under international law because of the very policies enunciated by Bergoglio in his July 11 Letter: policies that aid and abet, among other things, human trafficking, rape, and money laundering for organized crime.
It’s always absurd when the Al Capone mobsters call for law and order, and announce new policies to police their operations more justly. The Chicago hood occasionally sponsored official “crime investigations” by his bought and paid for judges, who always rendered a verdict that never touched the operations of their paymaster.
But Jorge Bergoglio has done Al Capone one better: he is appropriating the very international legal conventions that have convicted him and his church in order to solidify the legal untouchability of the Vatican Incorporated for its proven crimes against humanity.
The Apostolic Letter does so simply, by announcing that as of September 1, 2013, the “Vatican legal system” will incorporate the provisions of international law, including the Geneva conventions on war crimes, the convention on the rights of the child, and other laws prohibiting racial discrimination and torture.
Sounds good? Think again, people. For the power to apply such laws within the catholic church will, as of September 1, be completely in the hands and under the sole jurisdiction of church law and Vatican courts: precisely like the internal “legal commissions” within the Mafia that regulate mobster behavior.
In effect, the Apostolic Letter states that all of those international human rights laws have no binding authority on the church unless the church makes it so, since the power to enforce those Conventions now lies not within secular or international courts, but solely within church courts.
By thus placing his church outside the jurisdiction of any other court, the Pope has told international law to go screw itself.
Even worse, anyone who reports any of these crimes within the church now faces even stiffer punishment for doing so. The Letter states,
“I establish that the competent Judicial Authorities of Vatican City shall also exercise penal jurisdiction over crimes committed against the security, fundamental interests or the patrimony of the Holy See”.
Penal jurisdiction means the power to prosecute and jail. And the same jurisdiction applies as well to any leakage of information from the church, including, under standing church laws like Crimen Sollicitationas, the reporting of child rape and trafficking.
Let me say that again: it is a crime under catholic law to report the rape of a child.
I am the State, declared Louis the 14th of France. But Pope Francis has now proclaimed, I am the Law.
I guess that is an inevitable development for any megalomaniac regime that considers that one man is the link between God and all humankind. In that sense, poor Jorge deserves not a papal tiara but a strait jacket. But since this particular lunatic is armed with trillions of dollars, a few billion followers, and now the power to appropriate and ignore international law – well, folks, things do not look good.
But of course, remembering Machiavelli, that’s just the appearance they want you to see.
The truth is that the Apostolic Letter is an act of extreme desperation, arising from a collapse of the authority of the Vatican, as in 1870, when the army of nationalist leader Giuseppe Garibaldi abolished the papacy and its secular power. In response, Pope Pius IX unilaterally declared himself and his papal descendents to be “infallible”, without even getting a majority of his Cardinals to agree with him.
Not coincidentally, the same pope declared soon afterwards that he was God, announcing in 1872,
“I alone am the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Such bizarre and sudden claims of absolute authority are always made by those without any, as any tottering despot knows. Jorge Bergoglio has simply pulled another Pius act, now that the Vatican Bank is facing insolvency and his predecessor Joe Ratzinger and various complicit Cardinals are evading arrest within the walls of the ever-besieged Vatican.
And Jorge Bergoglio himself is next on the block. He has already been declared a war criminal in absentia by the International Common Law Court of Justice. He has also been named in cases before the courts in Argentina and Spain concerning his complicity in the death of Argentine citizens during the Dirty War. Jorge is hardly the one to be lecturing the world about the law.
Distractions like the Apostolic Letter are not the issue at all, ultimately, in the face of the enormity of the crimes of the Vatican. This is especially true once we recognize the fictitious nature of that religious corporation’s claims to be any kind of govenmental or judicial body.
And besides, have we all forgotten that the Vatican and its church has already been indicted as an international criminal organization? Such a body, according to the United Nations Convention on the subject, has lost its authority and right to exist.
In reality, Catholic “Canon law” has no lawful authority, and not only because it has been lawfully convicted as a global criminal conspiracy. For canon law is merely a set of internal corporate statues that do not negate common law rights or the laws of other nations, as the Apostolic Letter claims to establish.
A bunch of crooks have no jurisdiction over themselves just because they say they do.
If the rest of us are too stupid or frightened to tell the Al Capones and the Jorge Bergoglio to get stuffed, and to arrest and prosecute their sorry asses, then let our fate be on our own heads.