The Scent of a Dangerous Woman |
Storm clouds on the horizon bode problems ahead as a clash of cultures is inevitable with Benedict's right-hand man - erh, woman - raising many eyebrows as the first ever woman to hold such a powerful non-elected position in the Vatican. Can you say Hillary?
"First of all, Catherine of Siena was a great mystic who was inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost to lead the Church toward Christ and away from schism. She steered the Church toward its proper, traditional, and divine purpose and mission and away from those who would twist that mission and purpose toward secular, modernist, and radical directions. Conversely, the pattern today and especially among many if not most lay advocates of "Church reform" is away from traditional, divinely inspired paths and toward modernist, secular, radical, feminist, and sodomite agendas. Despite the twisted logic and arguments of liberals and Church modernists, the advocacy of married and female clergy and a greater openness to sodomite and feminist agendas is not an advocacy toward Christ and away from schism but rather quite the opposite, pushing the Church toward a pluralistic, relativistic, proportionlistic morality that stands exactly against what Christ stood for. Such an agenda is obviously pushing the Church toward schism and not away from it. In short, what Stampa and Burke stand for is exactly the opposite of what Catherine of Siena stood for. She wanted to preserve and protect the true faith while they want to overturn, redefine, and usurp the status quo given their background and associations. It is a blasphemy to compare that great saint to these two women, and only adds fuel to the contention that all of this comes from the depths of hell!"
The recent election of Joseph Ratzinger as Benedict XVI has had the expected share of "storylines" regarding his supposed conservative bent and hard-nosed, rigid tenacity toward tradition. Anyone with even a whisper of knowledge regarding the Vatican hierarchy and the false fruits of Vatican II knows that this supposed conservatism and traditional leaning is vastly overblown and quite inaccurate for the new Pope's alleged leanings are not conservative when compared to pure tradition and truth and, besides, we have evidence already discussed in other pieces by other writers that Benedict is not likely going to remind anyone of Pius XII anytime soon. As if this overblown conservatism was not enough to warrant caution as this new papacy begins to churn, we now have a new concern. It has been well reported that Benedict's most trusted advisor is Ingrid Stampa, the 55 year-old-German laywoman and academic, who has been at his side since 1991. She has been extensively touted as his powerful counsel, support, and "brain trust". While I do not want to pre-judge unjustly, there is something about this woman's background and her powerful influence over the new pope that inspires concern and invites caution.
Ingredients of an Omninous Brew
It is easy for many to ignore or downplay individual ingredients as insignificant or overplayed, but one must consider each ingredient individually and then consider the entire interplay and combination of such factors in developing one's perception of a situation or person. In the interest of brevity and clarity, I have decided to present these ingredients in bullet form.
- Stampa is lay affiliate of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, yet another one of those lay participation groups that promotes and supports greater lay participation in Church affairs. Sister Isabelle Naumann, a theologian with that group, has stated that it is unfair to "box" and "label" Benedict XVI as a "traditionalist" or one who is "inflexible" considering that he is a "person of dialogue who works continually for what Vatican II stands for". It is safe to say that this group thinks that being a "traditionalist" is a negative thing because it is not conducive to having an open mind about reform. Illinois Appeals Court Judge Anne Burke, who until recently was the Chair of The US Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Lay Review Board, has often expressed similar desires to have greater lay participation in Church affairs. Burke recently spoke at a Call to Action event held April 5, 2005 which was billed as a call to increase female and lay participation in the Church including promoting an end to male-only priesthood and priestly celibacy. Without necessarily labeling all such lay groups as being dissident, radical, and schismatic, common experience has shown that most such groups begin by seeking "reform" and end up demanding female and married priests, embracing sodomites, and other modernist and secular "innovations". Anyone who doubts this should consult the aforementioned Call to Action and add Voice of The Faithful plus The Sisters of Loreto. As a lay affiliate of such a group, Stampa is likely to favor such "reforms" in some way, and hence is a dangerous influence in that regard. Call to Action leaders describe their radical agenda as "non-defiant defiance" and brush off lay Catholics who do not support their agenda as lacking "theological maturity". Given Stampa's lay status and her influence plus background, doesn't it seem reasonable that groups such as Voice of The Faithful, Call to Action, and The Sisters of Loreto would be thrilled to have her at the ear of Benedict?
- Stampa is a scholar being a former Professor at the Conservatory in Hamburg. She speaks at least 3 languages and has an advanced degree in ancient music. Certainly there is nothing wrong with being intelligent and well-educated, but common experience shows that many, if not most, scholars tend to be more liberal, reformist, secular, modernist, and pluralistic in their thinking and philosophy. Anyone doubting this observation need only ask Mel Gibson who some of his greatest critics were.
- Stampa is on record as having ghostwritten and translated for Benedict XVI and is generally regarded as his personal spokesperson. She is considered the first person of his inner circle and has a tremendous amount of influence on him. She has been called the "Karen Hughes to Benedict's Bush" and is widely seen as his "right hand woman". She is the first laywoman in Vatican history to enjoy a Pope's daily confidences with a strong voice over his schedule and activities. In short, she has great if not complete control over who sees the Pope and whose ideas influence him. Most observers see the combination of her background and her influence to be a signal of greater rank-in-file Catholic involvement in daily Church life and administration. Many of these observers have added that such changes ring more Voice of The Faithful than conservative, let alone any kind of Traditional leanings.
- Although there is also nothing wrong with being unmarried and 55 years of age for someone who is a religious, the fact that Stampa is not a religious and yet is unmarried and therefore has no family adds fuel to the concern as to what her views on marriage, traditional family structures, and the role of women in the Church are. Besides that, what about the proper decorum Catholic clergy have always been expected to observe? It only creates rumors and scandal when one hears that an unmarried woman lives in the same household as a cleric. In this case being the pope, it makes it all the more scandalous. There have been rumors from the past, but nothing to substantiate and so we leave it at that. Nevertheless, the scent of an unmarried woman can only be a temptation to one who leads a celibate life.
Absurd Comparisons of Familiar Tone
It is often said that the devil relishes mocking and imitating piety, holiness, and sacredness with trumped-up facades and similar imitators. Many note how the black satanic mass imitates and mocks the true, Holy Mass in many ways. New Age and feminist ceremonies have been reported to imitate traditional, holy rites and prayers with twisted, distorted versions. If anyone has any doubt that the Stampa influence may be dangerous, let him or her listen to those who have already begun comparing this woman to the great St. Catherine of Siena, the 14th century mystic who broke through the Papal Court and its red tape and single-handedly influenced Pope Gregory XI. Just as St. Mary Magdalene has been used by feminists to promote their goddess agenda, many so-called "progressive" Catholics and the liberal media are now using Catherine of Siena as a symbol of a female breaking through Church red tape and corruption to "reform" the Church and guide it toward enlightenment. The fact that Stampa (and even Judge Anne Burke for that matter!) have been compared to this great saint should be disturbing to anyone because it smacks of the kind of twisted distortion only hell can conjure up.
First of all, Catherine of Siena was a great mystic who was inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost to lead the Church toward Christ and away from schism. She steered the Church toward its proper, traditional, and divine purpose and mission and away from those who would twist that mission and purpose toward secular, modernist, and radical directions. Conversely, the pattern today and especially among many if not most lay advocates of "Church reform" is away from traditional, divinely inspired paths and toward modernist, secular, radical, feminist, and sodomite agendas. Despite the twisted logic and arguments of liberals and Church modernists, the advocacy of married and female clergy and a greater openness to sodomite and feminist agendas is not an advocacy toward Christ and away from schism but rather quite the opposite, pushing the Church toward a pluralistic, relativistic, proportionlistic morality that stands exactly against what Christ stood for. Such an agenda is obviously pushing the Church toward schism and not away from it. In short, what Stampa and Burke stand for is exactly the opposite of what Catherine of Siena stood for. She wanted to preserve and protect the true faith while they want to overturn, redefine, and usurp the status quo given their background and associations. It is a blasphemy to compare that great saint to these two women, and only adds fuel to the contention that all of this comes from the depths of hell!
Where There is Smoke...
As would be expected, the election of any new Pope brings with it concerns and questions about what paths and direction said new Pope will take. In this environment surrounded by radical, destructive and sinister forces, the future of our Church is at stake at every turn. Given the combination of factors involved in assessing Stampa's background and associations, I believe that at least a cause for concern arises. Given the ridiculous comparisons with a great saint, this concern is only increased in view of the widely different circumstances. So-called Vaticanologist Rocco Palmo has even brought up a Mother Pasqualina Rehnert, a German nun, as an example of a female who exerted "tight-fisted control over Pope Pius XII and was dubbed "The Popess" as a result". Despite my best efforts to dig up information on this nun, I could find nothing. Given the liberal media's love of bashing Pius XII, I will assume that this is their way of inferring that powerful influences by a woman in high places is not all that new in the Vatican and holding up their favorite Papal Pinata to prove it. Even this "defense and comparison" to this situation is troubling.
Much has been made of the close bond and influence of Ingrid Stampa over the new pope Benedict XVI. It is widely believed and circulated that this influence is considerable and powerful and, given Stampa's background and associations, this influence could be troubling. It is reported that upon being elected Benedict said to Stampa, "Let us together follow the will of God". Given the fact that the Conclave was supposedly electing a new Pope and not a new power couple, this comment by Benedict is troubling in and of itself. Perhaps the best summary of this need for concern can be made by alleged Vatican observer and expert Rocco Palmo, who asserted that "by inviting Stampa, who will be his 'Catherine' (of Siena) to join his new mission, at the dawn of a new era in the Catholic Church… (Benedict has made a) …clarion call for openness and change from the top…that a woman's place is not just at the heart of the Church, but its head as well (emphasis mine)"
The feminists and Church modernists who want greater female influence in the Catholic Church must be brimming with hope and excitement. Our reaction, however, should be much more concerned… One has to wonder if the NOW banner will not soon be flying above the Vatican. Given all of the points made, I firmly believe that the relationship and influence of this Ingrid Stampa over Benedict XVI bears careful watching.
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.