Two seriously ugly signs of the times involving papal honors and the silencing of bells


What sort of person is this Ploumen, to whom the papal honor was given? Ed Pentin has more extensive information. HERE

Ploumen’s work in support of abortion has been monstrous: In protest at President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy last year which ended federal funding international organizations that perform or promote abortion, Ploumen set up an NGO called  “She Decides” which sought to continue funding many of those organizations. By July 2017,  “She Decides” had raised $300 million; it now has a war chest of $390 million, most of it going to UN agencies. It is backed by 60 countries, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Her campaigning has also gone beyond abortion to include being a radical supporter of homosexual rights. In 2010, she urged homosexuals to disrupt Mass in a Dutch cathedral after an openly homosexual man was denied Holy Communion. Last September Ploumen was a prominent speaker at the LGBT’s Core Group at the United Nations. The Vatican statement made no explicit mention of her political activism in that area.

In 2015, and also in her capacity as a Dutch minister, Ploumen had a private audience with the Pope to discuss climate change. The Dutch government had co-organized a Vatican conference on the issue ahead of the intergovernmental climate change talks in Paris later that year.

So… radical homosexualist as well as a radical infanticide.

Jesuit educated?

___ Originally Published on: Jan 15, 2018

Signs of the times.

This first item struck me as being right up there with someone in Hawaii pushing the wrong button, or maybe a prime example of fake news.

A few days ago I saw tweets and a report that the Holy Father had awarded the papal honor of St. Gregory to an infamous promotrix of abortion in Holland, Lilianne Ploumen. She is the Dutch Ministrix of Development.  She had, inter alia, worked to fill the gaps of funding for abortions overseas after Pres. Trump cut funding.

“It can’t be true”, I thought.  “Or if it is, then someone pushed the wrong button.”

I was amazed.  However, what was more amazing about it is that even she seemed amazed.

Watch the video below as she talks about getting the award. Transcript:

BNR – And this is the umpteenth prize that Lilianne Ploumen observes, won in 2017 and from whom they came.
Ploumen – Yes, it is a high distinction from the Vatican; from the pope.
BNR – From the pope.
Ploumen – Beautiful.
BNR – Yes.
Ploumen – It is Commander in the order of St. Gregory.
BNR – And that despite that you are pro-abortion. [Note how amused they are here.]
Ploumen – Yes you can check.

The Card.  Eijk of Utrecht jumped in to say that he had nothing to do with this papal honor.  Usually local bishops are involved when they are bestowed.  They put in requests, the mandarins in Rome go through their gyrations and honors are awarded.

The Holy See’s Press Office issued a statement over the signature of one of the collaborators of the office, not over Greg Burke’s (he’s off to S. America with the Pope and in this age of social communications, with inboard wifi, etc., that leaves him out of the loop).   The press office statement says that this award was part of a routine exchange of honors for diplomatic purposes during a state visit.  Therefore, it has nothing to do with Ploumen’s advocacy of abortion.


Yes, I’m afraid that it does!

I know that the Pope himself is not bothered with most of these awards.  This is handled in the Secretariat of State.  But you’d think that someone in SecState, who knows the situation in Holland, would have said something like, “Ummm.. guys?  Maybe we should pick someone who isn’t famous for being pro-abortion?  I’m jus’ sayin’.”

I keep circling back to that video….

Does this not fit the definition of scandal?

Does this action in some way diminish the Church’s moral authority in defending human life, fighting abortion, and even working on the world stage to prevent abortion in developing countries?

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.

The flip side of this is, of course, that when an authority fails to act to prevent or diminish scandal, that authority is negligent, perhaps sinfully so.

Think, in another context, of a Catholic school inviting an infamous homosexualist advocate to speak.  Even it the Jesuit is going to talk about something that has nothing to do with homosexuality, every one there knows that he and his primary message – set aside for tonight – is tacitly being approved by the fact that he has been whitelisted to speak.

Nudge… wink.

Shifting gears…

The Religion if Peace is invading Europe.  It is a form of jihad involving immigration called hijra.  It is intended precisely to spread Islam.    Build up your numbers in a region and then move against the infidel, now powerless to defend.

Nearly all our pastors seem to be prone in the face of the OBVIOUS.

Pam Geller’s site reports that practitioners of the Religion of Peace in near Genoa, Italy, have demanded that church bells be silenced.

“Before Christmas we received a letter from a lawyer who, in the name of his client, ordered to stop the bells of the church of the Blessed Sacrament,” said Fr Michele De Santis, the Chancellor of the Curia, [i.e., the chancery] ” so we advised the parish priest to stop them. ».

So, the parish has curtailed the use of their bells.

Hmmm… the blessing of bells is nicknamed “baptism”.  They are washed with holy water, annointed with chrism and given a name.  They speak, and remind us to of God and remind us when to pray, as at certain times of day they ring the Angelus and Mass times, alert us to 3 o’clock on Fridays, let us know of burials and marriages, etc.

It’s okay for muslims to have calls to prayer from the tops of towers, but not Catholics.

Shutting down bells in Catholic church towers is like disarming a population before the imposition of tyranny.

I am sure, however, that the catholic Left will be sympathetic both to this anti-bell movement as well as the award to the Dutch abortion promotrix.   How sophisticated they will strive to sound as they explain how the delicate work of diplomatic circles can be, the need to make friends, not stir the pot too much.  How thoughtful they will appear, as they, with a slightly sad smile explain that bells are, in the end, not such a big deal.  We have to be respectful of different ways.  We have to welcome the immigrant and – hey! – they aren’t used to bells.  They don’t have them where they come from!  It would be inhospitable to cling to the unnecessary trappings – in fact old and probably outdated practices.

Abortion… hijrajihad by immigration/invasion.

Can’t we all just get along?


As per a request in the comments…

Everyone, please read

Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War by Sebastian Gorka.


More on this HERE.

And get a Kindle!  US HERE – UK HERE

I also recommend The Grand Jihad by Andrew McCarthy.  This explains how and why the liberal left coddles and cooperates in the destruction of Western culture.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, New catholic Red Guards, Pò sì jiù, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jaykay says:

    “How thoughtful they will appear, as they, with a slightly sad smile explain that bells are, in the end, not such a big deal”

    And the furrowed brow, Faddah.

    Because, in the end, nothing is really such a big deal. Until they’re dragged by the legs out of their safe spaces, screaming ” But I’m with you… “

  2. JARay says:

    Giving the woman Lilianne Ploumen the honour of Dame Commander of St. Gregory is indeed appalling. She herself was amazed because she knows full well what the Church teaches and what she stands for. I see that Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said publicly that those bishops who follow the Pope are in schism from the perennial teaching of the Church i.e. the talked about schism is already here.
    This makes me horrified.

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    A friend of mine whom I congratulated about his reception of a papal honor seemed embarrassed about the whole thing (this is because he is holy and humble) and told me “oh just wait they’ll give you one some day too.” This sure puts it in perspective how much such an award would say about either of us! I guess it is not much indication of “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.

    A priest I know explained glumly one time about his Chaplaincy of His Holiness, I paraphrase, “at that time they were making lots of Monsignors indiscriminately.”

  4. DMorgan says:

    We are in seriously disturbing times Father. No time for the faint of heart.

    [You said it.]

  5. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I am more deeply disturbed by the Papal honor bestowed on a famous abortion-rights promoter. Once again I must shake my head at who this Pope honors and who he villifies, who he promotes and who he demotes, who he fires and who he hires…

  6. Grant M says:

    What would be the reaction if I told my local mosque to turn off its loudspeakers? If I can tolerate the fajr azan, (especially if its well-chanted- usually I just sleep through it anyway), then I think our Muslim friends should be able to tolerate a few church bells.

  7. Traductora says:

    The left has been shutting down bells everywhere it gets control (I remember when they forced the local Orthodox church in San Francisco to stop ringing their wonderful bells — and this was many years ago). It’s not surprising that they stamp out bells and support muzzeins, because for some reason, the Islamic call to hate seems to be music to the ears of the left.

    However, Francis’ blatant support for this woman who has built her career on pro-abortion activities and pro-LGBT(etc.) activities is just insane. [IF Francis even knew about it. Read again my entry, above.] And the fact that virtually nobody except you humble parish clergy and we even more humble laity are even saying anything about it is the thing that is devastating to me. What are we going to do??? [First, keep breathing… into a paper bag, if necessary. Then, GO TO CONFESSION! Then, with ice in your veins and a heart burning for God, plot how you will strive for personal holiness.]

  8. Philmont237 says:

    I spent six months in a Muslim country having to listen to the call to prayer from the loudspeakers of a mosque right next door to my apartment building.
    Returning to Germany and hearing the church bells ring was enough to bring me to tears when I got home.

  9. chantgirl says:

    While I find it easy to believe that some higher up sympathizes with Lilianne Ploumen’s abortion and contraception “work”, I also have to wonder if the award was not also meant as a snub to Trump. He seems to be loathed by the Vatican, and it was his reinstatement of the Mexico City policy that spurred Ploumen’s She Decides fundraising.

    Soften the Church’s image on life issues, and flick-off Trump at the same time- two birds with one award.

  10. Riddley says:

    Father, you’ve recommended a book about Islam and the “War on Terror” several times. Could you remind us what it was please, as it seems rather germane.

    [I’ll add them to the post, above. Thanks for asking.]

  11. ServusChristi says:

    In addition to that, I hear Italian faithful are not allowed to pray the Rosary aloud lest it offend the follower of the Religion of Peace. Or maybe even Earth hour may not be observed in Rome due to what happened in Sweden.

  12. rtjl says:

    It is getting very difficult to prevent my thoughts from turning in the following direction….

    The abomination of desolation stands revealed in the heart of the sanctuary as (adultery,fornication)/homosexuality/(contraception,abortion) are all but openly endorsed by powers in control of the Vatican. It seems that Astarte, Baal and Moloch have been placed in the sanctuary by our very leaders. “Jerusalem”, the holy city, is surrounded by armies as the enemies of our civilization (Muslims) threaten to invade and conquer.

    Perhaps it is time to flee to the mountains. But what can that mean in practical terms?

  13. JonPatrick says:

    This made me think of how over the weekend we watched “Darkest Hour” where newly minted Prime Minister Churchill is almost alone in being determined to stand up to the Nazis while the Chamberlains and Halifaxes, the establishment types want to do the “sensible” thing and negotiate peace terms with Germany. He seemed to understand what the rest of them didn’t, that negotiation and capitulation wasn’t going to work and you had to stand and fight. It was a pivotal moment – if Britain had capitulated the whole outcome would have been different – no place to launch a D Day invasion, most likely the Soviets would have tired of a one front war and sued for peace also, Europe might look quite different today. If only we had a Churchill in charge now.

  14. Michael says:

    St. Catherine of Genoa, ora pro nobis!

  15. LarryW2LJ says:

    ” The press office statement says that this award was part of a routine exchange of honors for diplomatic purposes during a state visit. Therefore, it has nothing to do with Ploumen’s advocacy of abortion.”

    To the Vatican Press Office :

    “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck …… it’s a duck. Please ……. we’re not THAT stupid.

  16. I think the whole idea of papal honors or any bestowal of orders of knighthood has become corrupted. I’ve seen too many instances of people getting awards for little other reason than who they know. And often these individuals, while not necessarily promoting abortion, either lead public lives that are less than exemplary, or if they are Catholic, are public in their dissension.

    Vanity of vanities!

  17. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Europe is lost. I have written it off.

    Don’t think things like what we’re seeing today DIDN’T happen in the centuries leading up to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

    The Eastern Roman Empire didn’t fall in a day. It was a very slow, very gradual process. One town’s church bells in Eastern Anatolia were silenced after another. A couple young Legionaries “went missing” in a heavily muslim area. A little skirmish here and there. A few Christian Priests ended up dead, and the local muslim authorities didn’t do as thorough of an investigation as they should have. Paint thrown on Churches and cemeteries…

    It all culminated on May 29th, 1453.

    I for one say, “Let the muslims have Europe. We’ll take the Solar System.”

    I’ve already decided that I’m going to be watching a news report about the “Fall of Stockholm” and “Rape of Paris” from my retirement home on Mars.

  18. Eugene says:

    I do not recognize the church I was baptized into and adhered to for my life anymore, I am so sick of all these sick happenings. Truly there is an agenda, and its not so hidden anymore. I don’t care for the shepherds, the apparatus, the clique, the mafia that is allowing all this to happen. They have stolen my church and most Catholics, lay or clerical could care less.
    Re; Italy and Bells, yes I am writing from Italy where I am here for work and one of the most unwelcome signs as I fly regularly into the airport in Venice is the shiny new mosque I see from the air and then the even sadder sight of very old neglected churches I pass on my drive to where I work. Within 5 kilometres of where I am writing now there is one abandoned large church and one abandoned roadside chapel dedicated to St Anthony. Thank you VII, thank you apathetic modern comfortable Catholicism. Thank you spineless Catholics who aren’t standing up for their religious patrimony.
    Back to prayer, save the 6 bishops, the lay writers, the few priests, who have protested the actions of the present regime in Rome, NO ONE from the Catholic clerical establishment is coming to save us. Those of TRYING to be faithful are just left to our own devices..prayer, sacraments, catechism and the bible. Truly this is a time of purgation. Our only hope is the Triune God, His angels and saints.

  19. Ave Maria says:

    I have been told that exorcized blessed bells expel the demons in the air. No wonder those of the infidel want them silenced. And as to honoring an abortion supporter…and an abortionist like Bonino and others placed now in high places who are all for population control…you cannot say the pope is not accountable. IF–big if–in this one instance, he is totally unaware (although the rest of the world is not), he is still accountable because he has placed into position those corrupt ones who honor persons of that sort. Evils are called good now and by those who are supposed to be our shepherds. We live in a wicked time but then depending on where a person lived, there has been many wicked times. We must cling to Christ and what His Church has always taught and not look to the new false church.

  20. gaudete says:

    ” The press office statement says that this award was part of a routine exchange of honors for diplomatic purposes during a state visit. Therefore, it has nothing to do with Ploumen’s advocacy of abortion.”

    And this is exactly how things work, like it or not. [I DON’T like it. Not one bit.] The receiving state hands in a list of the people involved in the visit, ordered by importance in terms of protocol rank, the visiting state bestows decorations on them according to a previously agreed ratio (e.g. get one bestow one or get one bestow three). The only way out or prevention strategy is – not to agree on protocol exchange of decorations in the first place (except for the heads of state themselves)!

    [Look at what this empty practice has produced. Moreover, it empties the honors of honor. This should not have happened. And for the Dutch to present this one as an inevitable recipient was hardly the act of a genuinely friendly government.]

  21. Imrahil says:

    Dear JonPatrick,

    the thing is that when Hitler did open war after it had been prolongued by appeasement,

    1. it was proven as obvious that you couldn’t have peace with Hitler. Thus, the Second World War started as an obvious crusade – without the need to concede that the Germans did at least have some point the principle of free decision of the peoples and the actual decision the Bohemian Germans had.

    3. Britain had another year to get her armaments up.

    I’m not quite so sure Chamberlain is the bad guy here.

  22. tamranthor says:

    For those who would excuse this “honor” by calling it diplomacy, the Holy See has no business doing business as usual, i.e. secularly. Yes, the Vatican is a City-State, but it is not a secular one and need not behave so.

    And no, I cannot excuse the Pope by allowing that he may not have known about the award in advance. He most certainly knows about it now, and he has not rescinded it nor commented on the false purpose for which it was given.

    For a man of whom it is said he has a spine of steel, he certainly has difficulty standing firm in the face of the attacks upon the Church, or even acknowledging which attacks are detrimental to the Church. He identifies those who defend Her as evil, and those who would destroy Her as good. I do believe St. Paul mentioned this somewhere…..

  23. Vincent1967 says:

    I was horrified to see this. I cannot believe that diplomatic niceties trump the defence of the absolute dignity of every human being from conception until natural death. I don’t know what horrors can now come next. I love the Church, but each day I think more and more that there can’t be anything worse to come. And then there is.

  24. Geoffrey says:

    I have to say that I am surprised that papal honours are still being distributed during this pontificate. I believe I heard that the Holy Father put a stop to appointing any new Gentlemen of His Holiness. Then there were the new rules regarding monsignors. And don’t get me started on the Order of Malta debacle, even though that is not a papal honour…

    Is there a precedent of papal honours being revoked? I know Pius XII removed one of the two Prince Assistants at the Papal Throne for getting a divorce, and replaced his family with another princely family…

  25. Ivan says:

    “It’s okay for muslims to have calls to prayer from the tops of towers, but not Catholics.”
    If we, the most ‘official’ Christians did not have asked for our countries to be secularist rather than Catholic, we should not now have to beg for Christian ‘equality’. In almost every (today de-Christianized) western country. Even in Italy!
    We should think here (remember us) on alteration of Lateran treaties and secularization of Italy, which has happened in 1984.

    @Ave Maria,
    “I have been told that exorcized blessed bells expel the demons in the air. No wonder those of the infidel want them silenced…”
    The Islamists, especially in Italy, hate the bells and the sound of the bells even more, because many bells in Italy have been cast out of the won weapons of losers of great victory at Lepanto…

  26. Prayerful says:

    I have to see this as some sort of anti-Trump gesture by some worldly curial bureaucrat. It could be taken as a routine diplomatic gesture with the bonus for that bureaucrat of poking at Pres Trump. No matter how cynical the Pope could be, he surely would not have approved it. I hope so.

    Yet Pope Francis is very friendly with Senator Emma Bonino, calling her ‘one of Italy’s forgotten greats’ and Italian bishops invite her to this and that event. She campaigned for the legalisation of abortion in Italy and personally carried out very many abortions with a bicycle pump and a jam jar, she boasted of some 10,000 killings, and never repented of it.

    I am very wary of this Pope to say the least.

  27. stephen c says:

    I never believed that Pius XII was as helpful as his detractors say he was to the evil and violent politicians of his day. So, I have not prayed for him the way I pray for our poor elderly Pope. Why is the poor man so full of praise and commendation, again and again, for people with hatred in their heart for the innocent? Are we Christians not praying for him enough, in these troubled times? There are many good Jesuits and many good old priests, and there are even many liberals who do not praise abortionists. It is sad to see such un-Christian behavior where it should be so little expected. These are troubled times.

  28. Semper Gumby says:

    A bit late here, just thought I’d chip in my two cents on these Signs of the Times.

    In 1982 George Kelling and James Q. Wilson wrote an article in the Atlantic (it’s doubtful the Atlantic would publish it today) titled “Broken Windows.” The article was about law enforcement and crime rates. Kelling and Wilson suggested that by paying attention to the minor crimes the major crimes would be reduced.

    Perhaps these two Signs of the Times, that “award” and the silencing of a church bell, could also be viewed as “broken windows.” Here’s a quote from that article:

    “Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones…one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing. (It has always been fun.)”

    Well, most of the leadership today in Europe, California, the Vatican, Protestant churches, universities, the Fishwrap etc., seem to be uninterested in a simple fact. Once enough windows are broken, the landscape will become quite feral, and they will not be able to tame it. Not without tyranny. Though, for them, that tyranny would be the “heaven on earth” of the Marxists. Deo Volente, those men and women will learn to rejoice in repairing windows rather than in breaking them.

    “The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. My God is my helper, and in him will I put my trust. My protector and the horn of my salvation, and my support.”

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