Category Archives: Interviews

Marco Tosatti speaks with FromRome.Info

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An Interview with Marco Tosatti, one of the leading Vaticanista of Italy, who has covered the Vatican for nearly 40 years. He explains his career, how it has changed, what the Crisis of Bergoglio is doing to Catholics and Clergy and what they in turn are revealing to him.

Many thanks to Marco Tosatti for consenting to be interviewed
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, of FromRome.Info

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

First, let me thank you, Mr. Tosatti, for granting me the opportunity to interview you. I consider it a great favor. — First of all, since there is so little biographical information about you, available in English, I would ask you to relate for my readers something about yourself, your professional career as a Vaticanista, and what you saw as your more memorable moments of the life of the Church in the last nearly 40 years.

I was born into a family of journalists. My father was a journalist, and I was a year and a half old when he passed away, in a tragedy which is well known in Italy (Editor’s Note: The Superga Plane crash of May 4, 1949). He was on the plane with the Grande Torino Soccer Team, on a return trip from an exposition match with the team from Lisbon. My older brother, Giorgio, was one of the most noted sports journalists of Italy. I myself never thought of doing anything else but being a journalist: I was taught from my youth that it was a needed and noble profession.

Before I covered religious news, I worked more than 10 years in other sectors: daily news — I was the first journalist on the scene of where the cadaver of Aldo Moro was dumped, having arrived together with the Police), labor news, political news, and news regarding public education.  I only became a vaticanista by chance, when my predecessor retired:  I was far from the Church at that time, and for the many years of my life I have been a vaticanista.

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

I myself can remember as a child, a communion rail, receiving the Sacrament on the tongue, and priests who always dressed as priests. A great deal, however, has changed in the Church since then. For yourself, on the other hand, I read that it was your work as a Vaticanista which was the occasion of your conversion to the Faith. Can you share with my readers how that came about, if this is not too personal of a question?

I believe that it was a gradual process for me; and I also believe that John Paul II had a great role in this. I was struck by how a person who was so extraordinarily intelligent prayed, with the abandonment of a child. It presented me with a problem, which in Zen Buddhism could be called a Koan: to be incredibly intelligent and have total faith in something which the mind cannot reach.  So I began to pray myself.

Brother Alexis BugnoloBack when you began your career as a Vaticanista, there was no internet, and anything the world knew about the Vatican or the Pope was something you heard of only in Church publications for the most part, there was so little interest in particularly Catholic news. How did the job of reporting about the Vatican for a secular newspaper change during the many years of your career? Was there always the same interest in the same kind of news, or did the interest of your editors and your readers change also with the passing of time?

I began in December, 1981, and it was just then that occurred the downfall of Jaruzelski in Poland. There was a lot of interest in the story, but it was always or nearly always only of a political nature. The Vatican was very different back then. I joke: Vaticanisti were compared with journalists from Moscow, because the closure to the world of Mass Media was similar in both capitals … then, everything changed, as wee have seen: the prelates began to speak, give interviews and thus it went. With John Paul II it was certainly easy to get a story; also because Joaquin Navarro Walls was outstanding in finding news stories to feature. Nevertheless, I would say, as is today, it was mostly superficial news. But I believe that such is inevitable, in the genre of Mass Media.

Brother Alexis BugnoloMuch of what is happening in the Church right now is profoundly shocking Catholics on a daily basis. We are finding it difficult to understand what is going on, and so there is, on the one hand, a very avid interest for news, and on another, after nearly 7 years of scandals, a strong desire that the bad news itself just go away. What have you noticed about how the faithful are reacting to the news of the Bergoglian regime and how their interest in it has changed in these last 7 years?

From the time when Social Media took on the role which it has today, it is much simpler for journalists to understand what the public wants. At my blog, Stilum Curiae, I do a lot of interaction with my readers. I am present on Twitter, have two profiles and a page on  Facebook, have a channel on Telegram and on VK.  What I perceive in regard to the latter, is the problem many Catholics have, to confront ambiguous, contradictory messages which clearly break with the doctrine and praxis of the Church as they have known and lived it up until a few years ago. Persons who were timid five or six years ago, in their protest against what is going on in the Church have become more and more explicit and are protesting openly. I am sure that for their part, they are much more interested in the real content of the message than in the images of propaganda they find on social media.

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

For anyone who has studied how the Communists have taken down governments and overthrown entire societies from within, the events of the last 7 years in the Church are deeply troubling. The growing consensus is that Marxism has replaced Catholicism, and that the great world powers along with George Soros are behind this coup d’etat. Do you sense from your contacts among the clergy here in Italy a similar growing awareness of the root of the problem?

Not a few persons, priests and no, they are more and more convinced that the Church of the ages is undergoing an unrelenting attack on the part of anti-Christian ideological, political and financial forces; a battle which has not let down in recent centuries, and which probably is now aiming directly at the internals of the Church.  Certainly, this kind of problem did not seem to exist, when I began to serve as a vaticanista; and it grew to extreme proportions from the moment in which Benedict XVI renounced.

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

The resignation of Pope Benedict was for believing Catholics a true occasion of psychological shock. Even one European Bishop said, upon hearing the news, that he thought it was a Mardis Gras day joke. On that account, it is not surprising that Catholics have made the events of February 2013 the subject of intense discussions and investigations. — Since you are a professional Vaticanista, I ask if you can relate both personally and professionally how you reacted to the events of Feb. 11, 2013 and what followed up to Feb. 28 of that month.

I was taken by surprise. Even now I do not have a clear and unequivocal answer for that deed.  And, according to me, it should never have been done.  And the actual situation in the Church, the confusion, the divisions and all of that in which we are living, had its origin precisely in that deed.  But I do not, yet, know how to explain to myself and to others what Benedict XVI did.  I hope that when — many years from now — Benedict XVI leaves us, some elements of clarity are able to emerge.  At the moment, I am not excluding any hypothesis.

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

From what you know and whom you know among the clergy and workers at the Vatican, what can you reveal about the discontent there? An eminent Vaticanista, whom I quoted anonymously last week, said opposition to Bergoglio is already at 100%. But I wonder what kind of opposition it is or could be, if no one is willing to go on record with public questions as to the legitimacy or orthodoxy of what is going on.

There is no doubt, that inside the Vatican, there reigns great fear and uncertainty.  And it is from that, there comes to my ears how insufferable this regime is, its stunts, its ambiguities and the confusion it is creating is very great. It was not by chance that during the Amazon Synod even Cardinals and prelates close to Bergoglio took a position in the small circles against the suggestion of ordaining viri probati (Editor’s note: married laymen).  But, as Manzoni used to say, if one does not have courage, he cannot inspire it . . . Luckily there are some Cardinals and Bishops who do not fear to speak.

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

As you may know, FromRome.Info is the only news site for the PPBXVI Movement: what I call those Catholics who accepting the terms and obligations of Canon Law, hold that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope because his resignation was not in conformity with the requirements of Canon 332 §2 and that the response of the Cardinals to it violated both Canons 40 and 41. I heard from a lot of my sources that there are great numbers of Canonists and Clergy who also have grave doubts as to the validity of the renunciation or believe there should be an investigation. What are you hearing from your sources about these matters and this controversy?

I admit that I do not know much about this; I never studied Law nor Canon Law.  What I can say is this. Even Cardinals contrary to Bergoglio, and who probably did not vote for him in the Conclave, admit that, alas, his election is legitimate. Second: the problem with Benedict XVI, whether he renounced legitimately or not, is that he has renounced being pope, and does not want to do the job. If we have a possible “claimant” who is not claiming, rather, who does not want to make a claim on the position, what can we do about it?

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

The crisis of having a man whom you think is the pope be a man whom you recognize is a raving heretic and Marxist, is a crisis which is shaking to the core those Catholics who are not members of the PPBXVI movement, as I have defined it. Many have left the Catholic Church, many more have left the practice of their faith. Many are holding on to the hope that Bergoglio is going to have a change of heart or that the Cardinals will do something about him. But the years pass and nothing is done. If anything the Cardinals declare themselves for the regime after the manner of TV testimonies of the Soviet or Maoist era. According to what you are hearing, how are Italian Catholic responding psychologically and intellectually to this seeming contradiction between what a pope should be and what the man they hold to be the pope is not.

The uneasiness is there, no doubt. Some people close their eyes and say: right or wrong, my pope. Others look and see; and think that the Church has certainly seen popes of all kinds in its long history, and whether it be true what we have been told: non praevalebunt. We must suffer it and pray

Brother Alexis BugnoloFinally, I express my surprise that you have consented to this interview. I surmised that just a few years ago you would not even want to talk with someone who considered Benedict the true Pope and Bergoglio an Anti-pope. Was your decision based on recent events, such as the slapping or the book controversy, or have you personally decided that the gravity of the present situation in the Church requires you as a Vaticanista to start considering all possibilities?

No, why not? I’m always willing to talk to anyone who wants to. We may have, we probably do, different ideas on some points about the situation, but that doesn’t prevent anything. What has changed is my position. If a few years ago you could have placed me among the “center moderates”, now I find myself among the opponents of this Church government. But the problem is that I remained what I was: it’s not me who moved…

Brother Alexis Bugnolo

Thank you, Mr. Tosatti, for granting me this interview, and for the permissions to republish in English some of your posts at MarcoTostatti.com.  I am sure the readers of FromRome.Info are also grateful. Praised be Jesus Christ!

This interview was conducted by email in both English and Italian. FromRome.Info publishes here its English translation of Tosatti’s responses.

Marco Tosatti publishes his writings and reflections at MarcoTosatti.com

The republication of this Interview is forbidden
without express permission of the publisher,
who however grants permission for citation of an individual response with a link to the original whole, here at FromRome.Info, for those sites
which want to publicize it

POSTSCRIPT: A pope is pope, not because he claims to be pope or because others claim he is pope, but because he accepted his valid election as the pope and has not yet renounced the petrine munus according to the norm of Canon 332 §2. This concept of being is something unique to those holding offices in Christ’s Church on account of their supernatural origin in the Divine Will, Which has promised to bind Itself to the decrees of the Successors of Saint Peter in Canon Law, and without the consent of Which no office in the Church is validly conferred. It is on this basis, the basis of Canon Law, that the Catholic Faithful alone have the duty to obey those who hold office in the Church, for otherwise, obedience would be divorced from Faith, and the hierarchical structure of the visible Church would be in schism with the theological virtue and its obligations, and the institutions of the Church would not be approved of by the Divine Will, which all Christians must obey and prefer to the will of mortal men.

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An Interview with David Domet, the Vox Cantoris blogger who stood up to Fr. Rosica

Fr. Thomas Rosica meets Pope Francis, during the recent Extra-Ordinary Synod on the Family
Fr. Thomas Rosica meets Pope Francis, during the recent Extra-Ordinary Synod on the Family

French Translation | Italian Translation

Q. The Catholic world is gladdened to hear today that Fr. Rosica has decided not to take legal action against you, for your public criticism of his positions at your now famous blog, Vox Cantoris. As one of those who would like to know more about this sad episode, I am honored that you have consented to be interviewed by the From Rome blog.

Let us begin, therefore, with the facts of the case. When and how did you receive the threat of legal action, what Fr. Rosica now calls, the cease and desist letter?

Mr. Domet:  Well, it clearly did not seem to me as a “cease and desist letter” which could have been written by him without the aid of one of Toronto’s most expensive law firms (though he does state the work was “pro bono; the fees to my Solicitor are certainly not, I’ve already paid her a retainer, as is just). The letter was quite clear on its demands and what was more astounding was the continued threat of a lawsuit even had I complied with their demands which I was not prepared to do. I was at lunch on Tuesday, February 17, the day before Ash Wednesday with a colleague and it came across my smartphone. Suffice to say, after reading it, lunch was over. The letter is available on line at my blog, people can read it and draw their own conclusions.

Q. What was your and your wife’s reaction at receiving such a communication from a man of God? and this at the beginning of Lent?

Mr. Domet:  I was astounded and shocked, and my wife was extremely hurt and upset; and frankly, afraid as I was of what this meant for us and our home and my son; this has been very hard on her, especially coming from a priest. We know so many and work with so many priests organizing and assisting, consulting and training for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and chanting the Mass. She herself has a beautiful voice and assists me every week in the traditional rite. I also sing weekly in the Ordinary Form so my work with priests is well known and my love and respect for these good priests with whom I work is without doubt. The affects upon us have been physical, too, with more than a few chiropractic adjustments for neck and shoulder pain and stress. As for Lent, well; since we married nearly two years ago, life’s been pretty soft. Our Lent began with a very heavy cross much more so than the usual we might try to put upon ourselves. We have both been sustained by prayers from so many people around the world and we have many times offered up this trial to God our Father united with the Cross of Christ. We are happy that we can now regroup over the next few days and rest and then get on with a more structured Lenten focus.

Q. Who is Jesus Christ and what does the Catholic Faith mean to you? And how did this magnify your dismay at what had happened?

Mr. Domet:  He is my LORD and saviour and King of all; if I try to do anything without him I fail – I’ve proven that more than once and “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” was what I remembered in this matter. Nothing is more important than the Catholic Faith as given to us by Our Blessed Lord; He and It are the rock on which life makes sense and truth is anchored.

As for my dismay, what else can we expect? Look around at the world and at the Church. The Church for many reasons is weak so faith is weak; when faith is weak, Catholics are weak and the world is inflamed with evil and terror. I am dismayed that there are so few Catholics, whether priest, prelate or laity, prepared to stand up for Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. In Canada, we have over 40% baptized as Catholics, in the United States of America maybe 30% ; if every one of us went to the Sacraments and Mass on Sunday and lived our faith we would change our nations overnight! If that is the situation here, how much more for Europe where the percentages are even higher? My dismay is your dismay—the failings of Catholics to be Catholic and stand up for Our Lord.

Q. What did you do first, seek advice or contact the Law Firm in question?

Mr. Domet:  I sought advice from a very small group of close advisors. I did not contact the law firm directly – I needed to secure the right Solicitor and found her, a Catholic with some other background knowledge which I cannot reveal but which aided our strategy. Our first contact back to the law firm apparently engaged “pro bono” by Father Rosica was by mail with the response to their first letter and contact was only made by my Solicitor.

Q. What was the advice given, or response from the Firm, as the case may be….?

Mr. Domet:  As I indicated this on my own blog, Vox Cantoris; we responded to the deadline in the first letter to prevent an injunction on their part, though not meeting their demands, of course. We stated our position and suggested other options for discussion within the Church which were rejected.

Other items were then put on the table, making demands on me that were impossible to accept. It became apparent to me that we needed to communicate with clarity what we were not prepared to do,  and what we were prepared to do, which was to defend ourselves and engage a crowd-funding campaign to sustain it.

Q. Out of respect for your contact in the Secretariat of State, I won’t ask you to divulge his name. And, assuming the advice he gave you was not his own, but that which he was counseled to give, can you tell us what advice did he give you? And did you ask him to explain why he gave such unexpected advice?

Mr. Domet:  As I stated on my blog, I first “took it to the Church” as we are commanded to do in Holy Scripture. Frankly, it was easier to go to my contact in Rome than my own Chancery in Toronto. I can only assume that the information coming back to me was his personal advice and nobody else’s and I have no reason to believe otherwise. However, I was asked to state my “intention” and I did not respond to it and was then asked the next morning again and that maybe it would be better to “seek humility” and “apologise.” I did not and was advised not to respond to either. The fact is, intervention could have happened on the first or second day.

Q.  Personally, I have seen time and time again, members of the clergy use spiritual counsels to convince the laity to assume a posture of excessive respect toward the clergy which seems to be would only enable further abusive behavior by members of the clergy, the same or otherwise. Was this any part of your own reaction to the advice given you through your contact in the Secretariate of State? And how does that reflect on the state of affairs in the Vatican, under Pope Francis, in your opinion?

Mr. Domet:  I don’t think that I am qualified to give an opinion on the Secretariat of State and its operation under Pope Francis. However, let me state this; I’ve heard a lot of clergy do exactly as you stated and I myself have seen it directly, I have experienced it directly. It is the height of clericalism and it is detestable.

It is particularly detestable to attempt to do it to informed laity, which is in direct contravention of our rights and duties under Canon 212 §3 and the precepts of Vatican II, which they preach when it suits them.

Look, our parents and grandparents were victims of a clericalism that destroyed the liturgy and the faith for millions of souls. The same clericalism abused and sodomised and destroyed lives. This same clericalist attitude demanded that we “pay, pray and obey” while they “preyed!” Some of them say that we who wish to live by the Law and desire proper liturgy are Pharisaical and pelagian and desire clericalism. Nonsense! It is they that are the Pharisees, they are the clericalists –I’ve seen it; I’ve lived it and I’ve had direct experience with all of it and in some ways that I would rather not discuss at this time.

Q. What should catholics, and especially catholic bloggers who are faithful to the teaching of Christ, do, when confronted with such a letter?

Mr. Domet:  Pray. Ask for spiritual warriors to pray especially Carmelite Nuns (thank you to them!!!). Assemble a small team of advisors and a practicing Catholic lawyer including a Canon Lawyer; but something tells me this won’t be happening again anytime soon.

Q.  And how do you think your case gives good example of what should be done in the future, regarding attempts by an ever increasing number of clergy and religious to urge and push the Church to abandon Christ’s teaching about faith and penance, marriage, chastity, and the traditional Eucharistic Discipline?

Mr. Domet:  The example is quite clear; the Catholic blogosphere lit up with what happened; we need to see the power in that and take up the cause for the faith the family and the Holy Eucharist which seems to me to be at the heart of the matter.

How can those of us now unite to form an army of devoted and believing Catholics that blog to prevent an attempt to overturn doctrine at the Synod?

What vehicle can we use to coordinate our work, not control it, but to coordinate and disseminate and educate and catechise beyond just our few hundred readers?

Well, that’s what it was, I dare say now it is in the thousands! This situation since Ash Wednesday also shows the Church the power of blogs and how we will not be silent anymore in the face of heterodoxy. I can still remember as a child how my late mother particularly lamented what was done in the 1960’s. They had no way to stop it, no tools to fight back, we do and there is no excuse anymore not to use it to the advantage of the Church with “clarity and charity” as my own Archbishop will often state.

Q. Do you believe the proposals of Cardinal Kasper are, as Cardinals Muller and Sarah describe them, heretical, inasmuch as they propose to divorce Catholic Faith from Traditional discipline regarding the Sacraments?

Mr. Domet:  Yes, 100% without reservation. Let me say this too. I married my lovely Frankie nearly two years ago; we courted for nearly two before that. I was married previously in the Church but was granted a “Decree of Nullity” many years ago. Let these prelates stop with the distortion of the facts. The annulment process, at least I can speak of here in Toronto, is rigorous and thorough as it must be, but it was not “painful.” It took time because I was lazy with my documents. My recollection is the cost was a suggested donation of $900 Canadian for which I received a tax receipt — so we can get off that carousel that it is not possible to obtain one.

One cannot divorce the Catholic Faith from Traditional discipline regarding the Sacraments and still remain Catholic.

Q. What do you think Catholic Cardinals and Bishops should be doing now to avert a disaster in October at the Synod for the Family?

Mr. Domet:  Our own Cardinal Archbishop Thomas Collins has addressed the matter publicly and upholds the doctrine. He has asked for input from the faithful and I have certainly provided my own. What the Catholic faithful need to see are more examples of prelates such as Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Sarah, Archbishop Cordileone, the Polish bishops and many of those in Africa. Why are they not all speaking out? What are they afraid of? I’ve had enough of bishops in Belgium and the United States and here in Canada musing about blessing and accepting of alternative lifestyles. Yes, they have said this; I don’t need to name them here. I’ve heard enough of this “mercy” it is a false mercy – there is nothing merciful about someone being left in a place that will jeopardise their eternal salvation.

Q. If the Pope and those who prefer loyalty to him to loyalty to Christ Jesus, should push or declare any deviation from the Faith or traditional discipline of the Sacraments in the October Synod, will you stand with the Pope or with Jesus Christ?

Mr. Domet:  I stand with Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Let us not, as Catholics, give an exaggerated status to any pope along the lines of what our protestant friends think – an infallibility without respect for the Gospel, which he does not possess. The First Vatican Council defined it very clearly.

Q. How high do you think the stakes are in this battle?

Mr. Domet:  As high as they can be; schism, heresy and the loss of souls and as our beloved Benedict XVI said, “the very future of the world is at stake”; God will not be mocked.