Putin v. Francis – FAKE NEWS

Putin FrancisClaimed: Russian Prime Minister and former-KGB Lt Colonel Vladimir Putin has offered some rather negative comments about His Holiness Pope Francis.

QUAERITUR: Is this “fake news”?

Sure looks like it.

From Your News Wire (my emphases and comments):

Putin: ‘Pope Francis Is Not A Man Of God’

President Putin has slammed Pope Francis for “pushing a political ideology instead of running a church”, and warned that the leader of the Catholic Church “is not a man of God.” [I’ll take that as a “no” vote.]

“Pope Francis is using his platform to push a dangerous far-left political ideology on vulnerable people around the world, people who trust him because of his position,” Putin said.  [Do I correctly recall that Putin once remarked that Communism is a “blind alley”?]

“If you look at what he (the Pope) says it’s clear that he is not a man of God. At least not the Christian God. Not the God of the Bible,” Putin said at the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Kronstadt.  [Holy cow!  Look at this place!  HERE]

“He dreams of a world government and a global communist system of repression.

“As we have seen before in communist states, this system is not compatible with Christianity.”

The pope has become increasingly brazen this year in pushing the globalist agenda and far-left talking points upon the masses. Earlier this year he called for a global central bank and financial authority, and more recently he said “Americans need to be ruled by a world government as soon as possible for their own good.”  17_08_05_Spadaro_Thought[We can also call that Spadaro Thought, I think.]

Pope Francis’s idea that Americans would be better off under a world government doesn’t stop there. The radical leftist pontiff also went on record stating that Europe should become one country under one government.

He is also on record calling for a China-style one child policy for Western nations, [Is that true?  I thought he criticized it.] as well as telling a congregation in Rome that having a personal relationship with Jesus is “dangerous and harmful.”

While Putin is a practicing Christian, he is not a Roman Catholic, and the pope is not his leader. According to his recent statements, President Putin does not even consider Pope Francis to be Christian.

The Russian president is rarely openly critical of foreign leaders, instead preferring to use diplomacy to win people over to his side. However notorious globalists including George Soros, Jacob Rothschild and Bill Gates have received tongue lashings before, and now Pope Francis has joined their company.  [Misdirection?]

Pope Francis is trying to lay the groundwork for a global communist government. President Putin is wise to his ruse and has called him out on it. It’s time for more world leaders to tell the pope to stay in his own lane.  [So the writer of the piece doesn’t like Francis.]

Okay… no love for Francis from “Russia” (=the writer).

The moderation queue is ON.


Another term for “fake news” could be “disinformation”.

Have any of you read the eye-opening book about “disinformation” by the Romanian General who was in charge of intelligence?

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism by Ronald Rychlak and Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa.

Pacepa fled to the West when he was asked to start killing people. He is an expert on the Soviet techniques of framing, disinformation, creating false narratives and history. The book exposes the Communist background of seemingly-benign organizations and explains the treatment received by Cardinals Stepinak, Mindszenty and Wysznski and, of course, Pius XII.

It is riveting.


Need a Kindle?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lusp says:

    But I saw a picture of him kissing an icon, he must be OK!

  2. erick says:

    This is almost certainly fake news. There are many reasons why. The dead giveaway for me was the author’s putting the word “globalist” in Putin’s mouth. That is written to appeal directly to the political “alt right” in this country. This is clearly just a propaganda piece.

  3. erick says:

    You may or may not trust this source, but it appears to be the official transcript of Putin’s remarks there:

  4. Andrew1054 says:

    I say this “fake news”. If you watch any interview with Putin he is very shrewd when it comes to public statements. I can’t see him shooting his mouth off like this. The article itself is also badly written. I don’t believe it.

  5. Andrew1054 says:

    I say this is “fake news”. If you watch any interview with Putin he is very shrewd when it comes to public statements. I can’t see him shooting his mouth off like this. The article itself is also badly written. I don’t believe it.

  6. gheg says:

    It’s clearly fake news. Check out the story about Britney Spears revealing that Prince William is literally a reptile.


  7. donato2 says:

    Fake news or not (I think it is largely invented), Pope Francis is to blame for having said things that make people wonder if articles like this are true. What this article says would not be remotely plausible if it pertained to either of our previous two popes. Not so with Pope Francis. Even if Putin never said what the article says he says, it is plausible that he did say those things and it is also plausible that there is some element of truth to at least some of them.

  8. mburn16 says:

    Putin is shrewed, but as a Conservative Orthodox leader, he may not have much to lose in criticizing a leftist Pope. But I don’t think he would be likely to use “Communust” as a slur.

  9. Ed the Roman says:

    I’ve read quite a bit of Pacepa. He was not by any stretch a consistently nice man, but he’s honest about what he did, and what he wouldn’t do.

  10. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Your News Wire is a very bizarre site. I dug this up:

    Sean Adl-Tabatabai of Your News Wire

  11. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Donato2 wrote: “Pope Francis is to blame for having said things that make people wonder if articles like this are true.” Really? The pope’s comments “make” people wonder? Francis “makes” people assassinate his character?

    Our Catholic faith teaches that God created us with free will and reason. Let’s not blame the Pope and give liars a pass, if a fake news site with unscrupulous writers wants to defame Francis. As for the last two popes, they were the subject of plenty of hit pieces as well, which were written regardless of what St. John Paul and Benedict XVI had actually said and written. I think some Catholics have a double standard–if they like the pope, he is a poor victim when criticized. If they dislike the pope, then they say that the pope has provoked his enemies, who need to be indulged because they can’t help but trash the Vicar of Christ.

  12. Fr. Frank says:

    I’m going to channel my inner Yogi Berra and say, “Just because it’s fake doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

    [Rather, your “inner Dan Rather”!]

  13. av8er says:

    The book Disinformation is a must read. In particular is delves into excruciating detail on the Soviet’s plan to discredit pope Pius XII.

    Reader’s digest version: use a grain of truth to wrap a narrative around what you want people to believe. Most effective when “news sources” of the nation being targeted is printing/publishing/airing those narratives.

  14. albizzi says:

    “Sweet kisses from Russia” to Pope Francis…

  15. Boniface says:

    Fr Sotelo: well said, sir!

    Some say that even though this particular story may be fake news, the fact that someone might initially *think* it’s true is Pope Francis’ fault…

    What they don’t see is that their negative view of the present Holy Father is itself a product of dozens upon dozens of distortions, misquotes, and lies peddled by an anti-Catholic media since the very beginning.

    In other words, some people are suffocating from the smoke of a “fire” that was never even lit in the first place.

  16. Boniface says:

    If I may add another thought:

    I was beyond weary of the lies about and malicious attacks by the leftist media against St. John Paul and Benedict XVI through the 90s and 2000s.

    The media knew that to a large extent St John Paul, due to his obvious personal holiness, the respect he commanded from world leaders, and enormous popularity, was relatively untouchable. But they constantly went on about how when he was gone, their dream pope would come along, ordain women, allow contraception, etc etc. When it didn’t happen and they got Benedict, who didn’t have the charisma etc oj John Paul, and therefore was vulnerable, they took the big knives out. Benedict was reviled and trashed weekly.

    Don’t forget how, upon Francis’ election, his anti-homosexual adoption quotes from Argentina (“an invention of the father of lies” – boom!) were being publicized all over. The narrative was, for maybe a week, “here we go again with some mean nasty old white man pope keeping the Church in the dark ages, blah blah.” However, the media switched gears soon after and began to adopt the narrative that Francis was on their side – the good guy against the rest of the bad Church. This was a clever tactic – more effective than the “bad guy pope against the good Church” tack they took against St JP and especially B16. Of course no matter what their approach, the leftist elite hate the Church with a near-diabolical fury, and seek to do damage however they can. But in the case of Francis, the very people who were the last bastion of respect for the papacy were taken in by a new sort of lie – that the pope could not be trusted, that he was on the side of leftists. And that is sad indeed. They don’t see the damage they are doing, and how it will come back to bite us all later. Being a “traditional” Catholic – being truly Catholic at all – means union with and deep respect for the papacy and whoever holds it.

    It’s hard work, but I’ve followed Pope Francis’ doings and sayings weekly or daily since his election. He never did or said what most people think he has – and much of what he has said, which, frankly, is far more bluntly “traditional” than what other recent popes have said, goes unreported. Since when have we had a pope who talked so clearly about the devil, and so often and plainly? And who pushes confession constantly, and makes sure he himself is seen going? (This isn’t a criticism of other popes). Talking about incarnate evil and confession – basically kryptonite to liberal “c”atholicism.

  17. crjs1 says:

    Well said Fr Sotelo!

    There seems to be growing glee in some parts of Catholic blogosphere – not here I hasten to add – to find fault in each and everything the Pope says. Or a joyful rush to lay the blame for every whacky heretical utterance from a priest at the Popes door! Even when the pope says somthing 100% orthodox and traditional he is only pulling wool over our eyes, according to some, before he declares himself as the antichist and ordains 12 lesbian priestesses… it’s tiresome and lazy.

    We don’t need papolatry, but a degree of respect and a honest desire to take what the Pope says in good faith, would be very welcome. It comes across by sone in traditional catholic blogosphere that they relish defaming the Holy Father at every opportunity.

  18. Poor Yorek says:

    Photo Caption:

    “The difference between you and me? I make this zucchetto look good.”

  19. Cornelius says:

    Fake? Sure. But accurate? Yep, right on target.

  20. Mojoron says:

    Every time (almost) Pope Francis comes up on Facebook on a conservative page he is often caste in a negative light primarily when the issue is Fr. Martin and homosexuality, both being Jesuits, they catch the same negative words. I have to be careful when I stick up for the “Church” while still being unsupportive of the likes of Fr. Martin, et. al. It is real tough sometimes but most conservatives rarely cast a big net when they besmirch someone and are often open to dialogue.

  21. Imrahil says:

    Apart from the fact that the assertion that the Holy Father favors a one-child policy is completely bogus (all he did say in this regard was rightfully reminding Catholics that NFP is a valid Option, in a language some – not justifiedly – took scandal of; no mention at all about “just one child”),

    the whole thing gives out a distinct smell, and the smell is “invented by a Protestant or at least a Protestant-influenced mind of the West”.

    I cannot put my finger on it so really, but catchphrases like “not a Christian” (as if the christological heretics hadn’t been), “does not believe in God, […] at least not the God of the Bible”, “Christianity” and so forth do not fail to leave their impression. As does the entire lack of specifically Eastern Orthodox criticism of the Papacy as an institution with the usually accompanying its accusation of going in for worldly power. If he had said what he is here reported to have said, he would not have left out such a general remark.

    This is not how a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian talks.

    (I think btw. that Putin is sincere in the Eastern Orthodox devotion he displays. That doesn’t mean he’s right in all he’s doing.)

  22. The Astronomer says:

    To back up the statement I’m going to make, I’d like to make clear that my past employment with the U.S. Intelligence Community is known to Fr. Z and we’re connected on LinkedIn. I have direct knowledge of the topic.

    The Russian term is ‘desinformatsiya’ (disinformation). It was known to U.S. intelligence in the 1960s/70s that the KGB and affiliated intelligence services, especially the Romanians and Cubans, were very keen on transforming Central and South American Catholic culture into a this-world-only focus over time. They used various networking and agent-of-influence techniques to gradually introduce the ideas of early-twentieth century Communist theorist Antonio Gramsci to all levels of Catholic hierarchy. Simply put, Gramsci saw how the Catholic Church and its transcendent values were the ‘glue’ that held Western Society together. His genius was in theorizing that if the Church’s vocabulary could be re-engineered to slowly remove all association with the transcendent supernatural, Marxism could penetrate and transform Catholicism. Therefore, sin as an offense that removed a soul from the state of sanctifying grace with Our Lord was transformed into ‘exploitation of the poor by American capitalism.’ This is how the infamous “preferential option for the poor” came into vogue from the 1968 Medellin Conference, with its distinctly Marxist orientation.

    This is why when St. John Paul II visited Nicaragua and held Mass there, the Communist Sandanista regimes’ fellow traveler clergy, including a clique of notorious Jesuits, openly opposed the Pope, to the point of shouting down his homily.

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    I second the comments of Ed the Roman and av8er.

    donato2: You raise a key point. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of Pope Francis, much of this article is plausible (factual or not is a different matter) because of Francis’ verified record of occasional unusual comments and writings. Just a small amount of plausibility makes a piece of propaganda effective.

    My two cents: Overall, the article combines disinformation and agitation. I have no idea if this author or website receives a pay check from the Kremlin (see the Cold War tactics known as “press placement” and “agent of influence”).

    This article, however, contributes to several of Putin’s goals: 1) agitate and thus splinter the West in order to weaken it’s resistance to Russian imperialism; 2) weaken the Catholic Church and strengthen the Russian Orthodox Church (Putin and his gang well remember what St. John Paul II, Pres. Reagan, and PM Thatcher did to the Soviet Union); and 3) create friction between a. traditional Catholics and b. evangelical Protestants and c. “moderate” Catholics to inhibit them forming a powerful coalition. #3 assists in achieving #1 and #2.

    Thus, the recent Spadaro/Figueroa article bashing both traditional Catholics and evangelicals can be viewed not only as an attack on both, but also as an effort to drive a wedge between them (that is, weaken the coalition of traditional Catholics and evangelicals.)

  24. moon1234 says:

    Why not listen to Putin in his own words on what his faith means to him. Listen to this and then try and think of ANY world leader who publicly holds similar views. It is why I don’t believe ANY of what the media tries to head upon this man.


  25. spock says:

    OK, some of us need to fess up. I want to know who is conspiring with Evangelicals on an Ecumensim of Hate. Tradition minded Catholics working well with Evangelicals is completely outside of my experience. I must be leading a sheltered life.

    Who is doing this ? Come on, fess up !!! I want names. Names of particular churches like Saint Bob’s in Monona WI or something. Not some generic “some people” etc. etc. I don’t think it’s the Orthodox. If I had nickel for every time I saw an Orthodox contingent at an abortion rally, I’d have $0.25. I don’t think it’s them. Need help here.

    In the words of Sgt. Schultz, “I know NOTHING !!!”

  26. Semper Gumby says:

    moon1234: As you point out, that video you link to is Putin’s publicly held views. Recall that Putin’s regime has assassinated dissidents and journalists, invaded Ukraine and Georgia, annexed Crimea, instigated numerous border incidents in the Baltics, and during the Crimea annexation a state journalist appointed by Putin stated publicly that Russia had enough nukes to turn the U.S. to radioactive ash.

    You may want to reconsider your enthusiasm for Putin, and look closer at the relationship between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Spock: Not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but in case not, a good place to start is the Fr. Neuhaus and Chuck Colson initiative Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Other examples include occasional cooperation at pro-life protests, and at bible readings (no conversion attempts allowed) by servicemen overseas in austere conditions (such as Joshua and the Canaanites for example.) As far as the Orthodox, they seem to be rarely spotted in the wild.

  27. marilenafromexsultet says:

    Y’all should watch Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews. Especially Semper Gumby.

    Here’s a clip from the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IvI3annh8o. Notice the backround (chapel in his private residence).

    Putin is a covert.

  28. marilenafromexsultet says:

    I meant to say convert.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    marilenafromexsultet: Thanks for the invitation, but I think I’ll pass on watching some Showtime video about Putin and Oliver Stone.

    I cordially invite you to read, among various authors of recent Russian history, David Satter’s “Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State.”

    You can assert that Putin is a convert, but that does not make it a fact, nor does that assertion guarantee that a conversion has had a positive influence on his behavior. Please read the first two paragraphs of my last comment. Cheers.

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