The SNC-Lavalin scandal threatens to take down Trudeau.
Of those with some knowledge of the controversy, 41% agreed with this statement: “Yes, the prime minister did something wrong.” “Only 12% said that the prime minister “did not do anything wrong.”
Click here for the article.
Last week a Portland police lieutenant named Jeff Niiya was accused of colluding with right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer after a string of his texts were released to the public. Lt. Niiya’s job is to coordinate with protest groups coming to the city and the texts show him doing just that, i.e. chatting with Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson about the group’s intentions and planned movements. As I noted last week, Lt. Niiya has previously been in close contact with a member of Antifa who became an outcast when other members of the group learned she’d be talking with police.
But the texts with Patriot Prayer were seen as something far more sinister by the far-left denizens of Portland. That included left-wing city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty who declared the texts were proof police were in “collusion with right-wing extremists.” Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, called for an investigation saying, “It is imperative for law enforcement to remain objective and professional, and in my opinion, these text messages appear to cross several boundaries.” Portland’s Police Chief Danielle Outlaw agreed to investigate the texts to see if they showed anything improper. Yesterday, the Oregonian reported that it was Mayor Wheeler’s office that was asking for and receiving information about Patriot Prayer’s location and plans from Lt. Niiya:
The Mayor’s Office has relied on a Portland police lieutenant to keep tabs on right-wing protest leader Joey Gibson, sometimes texting him at all hours to ask about Gibson’s whereabouts or plans.
It’s the same lieutenant, Jeff Niiya, who has come under fire in the last week from Mayor Ted Wheeler and other city officials…
“Certainly the mayor’s initial comments gave the impression that he was unaware of the communications between Niiya and Gibson,’’ said Lt. Craig Morgan, president of the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association. “These texts show that not only was his top aide aware of the conversations, but he was requesting specific information about Patriot Prayer and Gibson as situations developed.’’
Despite the fact that it was the Mayor’s own office requesting the information Lt. Niiya was gathering on Patriot Prayer, the investigation prompted by Niiya’s texts remains ongoing. As part of that process, Police Chief Outlaw scheduled a listening session to hear the community’s concerns Thursday night. Reporter Andy Ngo, who attended the meeting, says it quickly became a “sh*tshow” and a “circus of identity politics and hysteria.”
It’s not hard to imagine why Antifa anarchists like the idea of a city without a police force. That’s pretty much what they got last August when Mayor Ted Wheeler allowed an Occupy ICE camp full of vile extremists to grow and fester. Protestesters became so violent that ICE officers called 911 for help but Mayor Wheeler ordered the police not to respond. When the same mob turned on a woman running a food cart and burned it down, the police never responded. In the end, it was Police Chief Danielle Outlaw who demanded the Mayor allow her to clear out the camp. Naturally, the protesters left behind loads of garbage for the city to clean up.
At this point, Chief Outlaw seems to be one of the few city officials with any sense. Hopefully, she won’t buckle under the pressure from extremists to condemn Lt. Niiya.
Illinois State Police rescinded more than 10,000 gun licenses last year — and more than 75 percent of the revocation recipients ignored it, according to newly released data.
The state agency provided the staggering figures late Thursday, as part of a trove of law-enforcement documents involving Gary Martin, the convicted felon who fatally shot five co-workers and wounded several police officers at an Aurora warehouse last week. Martin, 45, went on a rampage after learning he was being terminated — opening fire with a gun he never should have been allowed to purchase.
In the shooting’s wake, authorities disclosed that Martin passed two background checks before buying the Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun used in the mass killing. Illinois law prohibited Martin as a convicted felon from holding a firearm owner’s identification card or owning a gun.
Illinois State Police — which approved Martin’s FOID card in January 2014 — released a detailed account of the shooter’s background checks amid questions about how his aggravated assault conviction from Mississippi in 1995 could have been missed.
“The only way we can honor those who died — the only way we will ever be safer — is to shine the brightest light on the good, bad, and ugly of this system and to lay bare for the public and policy makers the depth and breadth of our vulnerabilities,” ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly said in a statement Thursday.
According to the agency, Martin passed a background check when he applied for his FOID card and again when he purchased the handgun from a local dealer in March 2014.
State police used at least five Illinois-centric and five federal databases to review Martin’s criminal history before granting approval, according to the agency’s report. None of them showed that Martin had been convicted of beating and stabbing his then-girlfriend in the mid-1990s, authorities said.
In fact, federal databases omitted Martin’s felony conviction as recently as Wednesday, state police said. It only appeared in the system Thursday, according to the release.
It’s an unsettling shortcoming that raises questions about the thoroughness of the federal crime databases. Martin’s criminal court records are available to the public on the internet, and his conviction is referenced in public document databases used by the Chicago Tribune and news organizations around the country.
In 2013, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics found at least 25 percent of felony convictions are not available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to state police. Congress passed a law last year aimed at addressing the problem.
State police only discovered Martin’s Mississippi conviction after he agreed to be fingerprinted in March 2014 in order to expedite the processing of his concealed carry license. Illinois does not require fingerprinting to obtain either a FOID or concealed carry license.
There are currently 2,285,990 active FOID cards and 325,187 active concealed carry licensees statewide, according to state police. Of the concealed carry holders, only 126,559 submitted fingerprints with their applications.
After learning of the omission in Martin’s background check, ISP said it notified both Martin and the Aurora Police Department in April 2014 that he was no longer able to possess a gun. He was given 48 hours to find a qualified owner for his weapon or relinquish it to local authorities, as well as submit a document called the Firearm Disposition Record to Aurora police.
Aurora officials say they have no record of receiving ISP’s revocation notice and, even if they did, the department had no legal obligation to confiscate the gun. State law, however, does allow local law enforcement to obtain a search warrant to retrieve a revoked FOID holder’s weapons.
Illinois State Police does not have copies of revocation notices sent to local police departments in 2014 because the agency only preserved those records for three years, according to the statement.
State police said an “exhaustive search” failed to turn up Martin’s returned FOID card or document detailing how he had relinquished his handgun. It’s an unsurprising result, given the vast majority people ignore their revocation notices, state statistics show.
In 2018, 10,818 FOID cards were revoked, according to state police. Only 2,616 Firearm Disposition Records were returned — meaning more than 75 percent of those with revoked licenses ignored the order.
There have been only 110 arrests since 2014 for failure to return a FOID card or not submitting the Firearm Disposition Record. There were only 10 arrests statewide for the offense in 2018.
Just Thursday, Johns Hopkins University released an analysis of Illinois gun laws that found that failure of law enforcement to follow up on revocations was one blind spot the state should address by telling law enforcement to be more aggressive in their efforts to dispossess the barred owners.
Previous attempts in Illinois to mandate the follow-up has been met, however, with concerns this would overtax departments.
Report co-author Cassandra Crifasi said policymakers need to weigh this against the “public safety benefit” to getting guns out of the hands of people who are barred from having them.
“There is more weight behind the revocation if there is some legislative action, but we also recognize that at times there are constrained resources and sometimes law enforcement has to prioritize,” she said.
© 2019 the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
As Red State‘s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote this morning, actor Jussie Smollett pleaded with castmates yesterday to not believe the felony criminal charges that have been filed against him.
But a new report out today from TMZ indicates that his attempts to maintain the support of the “Empire” cast and crew aren’t working:
Jussie Smollett betrayed the trust of his “Empire” coworkers and damaged the show’s image, and now several cast members want him written off immediately … according to our sources.
We’re told many of the “Empire” actors are “f**king furious” and feel if FOX honchos don’t fire Jussie, he should quit on his own … because he doesn’t deserve a spot on the hit show.
The feelings of animosity stem from the fact everyone on set had Jussie’s back after the “attack,” but in light of the new evidence police have laid out … many of them feel hurt and embarrassed.
Worse yet for Smollett, “Empire” producers are taking steps to remove the character “Jamal” from the show, just a few days after expressing solidarity with him:
Jussie Smollett’s character has been removed from the final two episodes of the upcoming season of Fox’s “Empire,” the show’s executives said Friday.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out,” co-creators Lee Daniels and Brett Mahoney and executive producers Danny Strong, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer told Fox News.
“We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season,” the statement continued.
In a news conference yesterday, the Chicago PD laid out their case against the actor, and blasted his attempt at using the sensitive issue of race to manipulate people for financial gain.
As transcribed by Red State‘s Jennifer Van Laar:
“This morning I come to you not only as the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, but also as a black man who spent his entire life living in the City of Chicago. This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How could an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?”
The disgraced actor could face up to three years in prison if convicted, which would kind of force the issue with “Empire” producers, anyway.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–
MSNBC covered the Smollett hate crime FEVERISHLY.
Until it all turned out to be a hoax.
Now they’re not totally sure what you’re talking about. Jussie WHO?
These people are truly repulsive. “Journalism” my A$$.
According to Fox News:
News of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett being accused of orchestrating a fake hate crime has dominated the news cycle the past 48 hours, with everyone from President Trump to some 2020 Democratic candidates to your local barista chiming in – but anyone who relies on MSNBC primetime for their news might not know it even happened.
The hosts of MSNBC’s primetime lineup have oddly avoided the ongoing scandal surrounding Smollett, staying stone silent both Wednesday and Thursday nights about a story that has commanded the attention of the nation.
“All In With Chris Hayes,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” and “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams” did not utter Smollett’s name the last two nights as news unfolded that Smollett was being charged with orchestrating an elaborate hoax involving two “bogus” crimes — one involving an alleged attack, and one involving a threatening letter — allegedly all in order to get a pay raise.
These people are SCUM.
I wonder if, deep down, they’re ashamed of the HACKS they’ve become. Probably not.
“To downplay or ignore the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax charges is a politically biased journalistic choice. The Smollett case represents the collapse of a cherished MSNBC false narrative, that Trump supporters supposedly are racist, homophobic and violent,” Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News.
Much of the far-left network’s recent primetime coverage was dedicated to remarks made by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the legal trouble surrounding Roger Stone, the Mueller investigation and a variety of President Trump-related stories.
Because of COURSE.
If it doesn’t DIRECTLY feed their Trump Derangement Syndrome, they won’t cover it.
Fox News came up with the PERFECT explanation for it:
HUH. WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT?!
This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.
The North Korean government has ordered staff in its overseas missions to be prepared to operate under an “emergency duty” system ahead of the second U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled for Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The emergency duty period started Feb. 19 and will last for ten days, according to sources. During the ten-day period, embassy and consulate staff will keep tabs on North Korean citizens abroad and report on reactions in the local media with the aim of ensuring the summit goes smoothly.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pyongyang gave special orders to consulates and embassies,” a North Korean trade worker in China told RFA’s Korean Service this week.
“[They have to] report any reaction or response from [people] in the countries they are in related to the second U.S.-North Korea summit,” the source said.
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Vietnamese capital next week, for their second summit in an effort to address a nuclear arms dispute that has kept the Korean War foes at odds for the last 25 years.
In the face of criticism that Trump gave Kim too much simply by meeting with him in Singapore last year, U.S. officials say Washington remains focused on getting the North Korean leader to denuclearize.
“I don’t know if North Korea has made the choice yet to denuclearize, but the reason why we’re engaged in this is because we believe there is a possibility,” Reuters news agency quoted a U.S. official as saying Thursday.
“It is ultimately about the denuclearization of North Korea. That was what was agreed between the two sides and that is the overriding goal that President Trump is seeking to achieve with this summit. This is an important step towards that ultimate goal,” the official said.
North Korea is keen to get relief from economic sanctions imposed by Washington, the United Nations and other countries over its nuclear and missile programs, but Washington says U.S. sanctions would remain in place until there is movement on denuclearization.
RFA’s source said the emergency order also meant that “diplomatic staff and their families are under close watch,” said the source, who added that similar steps were taken before the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore last June.
“Overseas trade workers also need to operate under [this system],” said the source, adding, “The consulate gathered representatives of trade workers and resident communities to report the movements of all trade workers beginning today.”
“They say that if anyone travels without permission from the trade representatives, they will be punished as if they were threatening Kim Jong Un himself.”
“In Beijing, there are a number of long-term trade workers who have been actively engaged in enterprises in Southeast Asia, especially in Taiwan, Hongkong, Cambodia and Vietnam,” said the source, adding, “They are also on the watch list [this time] so they can’t really move around [the region].”
“The State Security department is especially keeping a close watch on them,” the source said.
“Trade workers are not happy with the order because [it is as if] suspicion is falling upon them even though they’ve been loyal to the Workers’ Party and earning foreign cash [for the country],” said the source.
“But they can’t really express how they feel. If they say something unpleasant and any incident happens in any of the countries neighboring Vietnam during the summit, there’s no way they’ll avoid being charged with treason.”
In the second summit between North Korea and the United States, both countries will try to build on the agreement made after the first summit held last June, to continue toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The Kim regime has claimed that several testing sites have been destroyed but international inspectors have not been invited to verify this claim.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in January admitted that the administration was still awaiting “concrete steps” by North Korea to scrap its nuclear arsenal.
Reported by Hyemin Son for RFA’s Korean Service. Translated by Leejin Jun. Written in English by Eugene Whong.
Did he pay with a check?
Forgive me for snickering at the misfortune of another. Remember, I’m a Jets fan. This is as close as I’ll ever get to an exciting day in sports.
Kraft is worth something on the order of $6 billion, by the way. Even at the age of 77, how is this guy having trouble getting laid?
It’s amusing to think of a fabulously wealthy, successful mogul publicly embarrassed over something as grubby as this — until you read a little further about the case and realize why cops were so interested in this particular “massage parlor.”
It’s a suspected sex trafficking ring, according to TMZ. Even Homeland Security was involved. The local sheriff hinted as to why in today’s presser:
As for the human trafficking case in Martin County, Snyder described the operation as an 8-month, multi-agency investigation. “The tentacles of this go from here to New York to China, in Florida from here to Orange County,” Snyder said.
Snyder stressed the case is bigger than what was disclosed Tuesday.
“I think it’s very safe to say without any hyperbole that this is the tip of the iceberg,” Snyder said.
Twenty-five men in all are being charged. There’s “video evidence” against all of them obtained by police as part of the sting, according to the chief of Jupiter PD, and not just video of them entering and exiting the building. Allegedly Kraft is on tape engaged in “a sex act.” “The Patriots aren’t the only ones who can videotape their targets without their knowledge,” says Josh Jordan.
The important question now: Can this be used somehow to get Tom Brady banned from the NFL? Stand by for updates.
Update: Kraft did nothing illegal, a spokesperson says: “In a statement, a spokesperson for Kraft said they ‘categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.’” Are they suggesting he was given a freebie? Or that the report of a sex act caught on tape is wrong?
Here’s some news I wasn’t expecting.
Jupiter, Florida police have issued an ARREST WARRANT for Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, in relation to a prostitution ring sting.
…Right? I’m shocked. Where the HELL did THIS come from?!
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a wanted man — cops say they’ve issued a warrant for his arrest as part of a recent prostitution, human trafficking sting operation in Jupiter, Florida.
Cops say 77-year-old Kraft will be charged with 2 counts of “soliciting another to commit prostitution,” according to Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr.
Chief Kerr says he was “stunned as everybody else” when he saw Kraft’s name as a suspect.
Officials say Kraft is accused of soliciting a prostitute on at least 2 separate occasions at a massage parlor in Florida roughly “a month ago.”
Cops say the name of the establishment that Kraft visited is Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.
Cops say they have obtained evidence from body cam video and surveillance that has been conducted over the last several months.
Officials say Kraft was driven to the spa by a chauffeur.
The average cost per visit for services is $59 or $79 per hour, according to police.
As for the next steps, officials say the State’s Attorney has the warrant and it will be sent to Kraft’s home in Massachusetts.
Kraft will be charged with a misdemeanor and will have to appear in court.
So far, no official comment from either Kraft or the New England Patriots. We’ve also reached out to the NFL, as he will likely face discipline from the league.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the operation — including Homeland Security, the IRS, the Jupiter P.D., Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and more.
Officials say the women accused of running the sex trafficking ring operated out of local spas which touted themselves as massage parlors.
The investigation took roughly 8 months and officials say they’ve identified more than 100 men suspected of being “Johns.”
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”
This CLEARLY is only the beginning. We’ll keep you updated.
Suddenly, the journalists at MSNBC are concerned with executive overreach. Liberal reporters didn’t care much during the Obama years, but now that Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, MSNBC is concerned.
Reporting on news that Democrats will try and stop it, correspondent Garrett Haake goaded, “How many Republicans come out and get on this resolution? After as much Republicans have talked about executive overreach in the Obama presidency, how will they react now? When this thing moves over to the Senate, that’s the same question we’re seeing one more time there.”
Where were MSNBC journalists during Obama’s questionable executive moves?
Haake continued, “There have been about half a dozen, maybe ten Republican senators who have spoken out about the President’s action here on this national emergency. Will they put their votes where their mouths on and vote with Democrats to say they don’t think it’s appropriate?”
Talking to a former Democratic Congresswoman, MSNBC Live co-host Craig Melvin suddenly discovered “too much authority” in a President could be a problem:
I want to bring into the conversation former congresswoman Donna Edwards. She just wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that’s quite timely. The headlines, it’s time for Congress to take back its power. It’s worth noting, I think, that this is not an entirely new phenomenon. You could make the argument that Congress ceded far too much authority a long time ago to the executive branch.
Convenient the timing of when these philosophical revelations happen for journalists?
CRAIG MELVIN: Breaking news on this Friday. House Democrats just introduced a plan to terminate President Trump’s emergency declaration along the southern border before it ever takes effect or reaches a courtroom. It is the latest challenge that pits Democrats in the house against the president of the United States in the battle for power. Who holds that power, who checks that power, who has the backing of the majority of the American people? MSNBC’s Garrett Haake live for us on Capitol Hill right now. He is following this breaking story. It’s all moving pretty fast. Bring us up to speed on where we are right now, sir.
GARRETT HAAKE: Craig, House Democrats are going to move fast here. They introduced this legislation or this resolution, I should say, this morning. They’re going to work it through the rules committee. On Monday, they’re going to bring it to the floor on Tuesday. They want to get this thing passed through the House and over to the Senate side as quickly as possible. Now, we know this will pass the House. It’s already been introduced with enough cosponsors that if not a single other person signs on, it will pass the House. Right now, it only has one Republican signed on. That will be a big thing to watch on Tuesday. How many Republicans come out and get on this resolution, After as much Republicans have talked about executive overreach in the Obama presidency, how will they react now? When this thing moves over to the Senate, that’s the same question we’re seeing one more time there.
There have been about half a dozen, maybe ten Republican senators who have spoken out about the President’s action here on this national emergency. Will they put their votes where their mouths on and vote with Democrats to say they don’t think it’s appropriate? Now if this passes both houses, it goes to the President’s desk where he will veto it. Can this garner enough support to override a presidential veto? That will be really tough. And I think we’ll know the answer to that on Tuesday. Can Democrats in the House where they have the majority bring enough Republicans over that they could maybe threaten a veto proof majority? If they can’t do it in the House, they won’t be able to do it in the Senate. But even if this thing just passes both houses and goes to the president, it would require President Trump to use his veto pen for the very first time, a major fracture in the Republican Party and would send a pretty strong message to the country about where everyone stands on this wall emergency measure.
MELVIN: I want to bring into the conversation former congresswoman Donna Edwards. She just wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that’s quite timely. The headlines, it’s time for Congress to take back its power. It’s worth noting, I think, that this is not an entirely new phenomenon. You could make the argument that Congress ceded far too much authority a long time ago to the executive branch.
Pope Francis delivers a speech during the four-day meeting on the global sexual abuse crisis, at the Vatican, February 21, 2019, (CTV via Reuters)The Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse scandals, its inadequate response, and a salacious book all reveal a deep moral rot.
Pope Francis is conducting his extraordinary summit with cardinals on the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. And we can expect it will go nowhere.
The summit is happening in light of two events outside of it. The first was Pope Francis’s recent laicization of the former cardinal archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, a man who was notorious for his sexual abuse of seminarians and other priests, while at the same time he was the public-relations face of the Church’s response to sexual abuse and cover-up in the early 2000s. McCarrick was finally publicly exposed when an investigation into his abuse of a minor became public last year.
The second is the publication of a sensationalist book by sociologist Frédéric Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican, which claims to document the sexual hypocrisy at the top of the Roman Catholic Church. The book is fascinating because it relies on scores of interviews with cardinals and is written in a loose, gossipy style. Some of the pope’s trusted confidantes were sources for the book. We’ll come back to that in a minute.
These two events also reveal the problems inherent to Pope Francis’s summit. The laicization of McCarrick is held up as a victory of accountability, even justice, but actually amounts to a public-relations move. McCarrick was not afforded the normal forms of defense given to men in his position. And far from solving the McCarrick issue, his laicization avoids the main question: How did McCarrick rise to his position while “everyone knew” of his sordid reputation? Why was he able to maneuver around the restrictions put on him by Benedict XVI? Why did Francis make him an informal adviser in his anxious desire to reshape the American episcopate? And how is it that his associates (co-conspirators?) continue to rise in the Church? Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who lived and worked with McCarrick for years (and claims to have noticed nothing unusual), was recently appointed cardinal camerlengo, who will govern the Vatican during the next interregnum.
Francis’s preferred bishops have also been promoting their own line on the abuse crisis at the summit. In their eyes, the problem is not rampant immorality, a network of moral blackmail, and moral conspiracy but what they call “clericalism.” The term is used in two senses. The first, the one that makes it plausible to some as a problem, is the idea that bishops and priests protect each other. That’s true. But what Francis’s men mean by clericalism is the idea of a Church where a hierarchical priesthood plays a role in safeguarding the Church’s traditional doctrine. They believe that this conception of the priesthood, as having real moral responsibility for handing on the faith as they received it, makes priests irresponsible. It is in this way that they transmute the failure of bishops to exercise authority to remove abusive priests into a problem of “excessive authority.” And thus sexual immorality is blamed, not just on moral and doctrinal conservatives, but on moral and doctrinal conservatism itself.
Then there is the matter of the book, which replicates the same error. Martel’s methodology for determining whether certain churchmen are gay is to stereotype them. Churchmen whom he deems to oppose homosexuality too much are deemed homosexual themselves. This logic does not apply, however, to Pope Francis, who has occasionally urged gay men to leave the priesthood or not enter it at all. Francis is held up as a hero to Martel. But the influence of Francis’s inner circle is evident in the choice of targets.
Martel meets with the German conservative cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and insinuates that the cardinal’s “perfumed voice” gives him away as a homosexual. Pope Benedict XVI is deemed a homosexual because he likes opera. The traditionalist cardinal Raymond Leo Burke is deemed homosexual or even transsexual because he prefers the Church’s most elaborate vestments. Just as the Vatican summit limits its scope to avoid addressing the culture of abuse in seminaries, so Martel avoids discussing the documented abuse at the seminary of the so-called “vice pope,” Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga.
Martel’s preferred story is one of moral hypocrisy. That may be a real moral problem for some churchmen. But because this is Martel’s bias, he is incapable of looking at the crisis through the lens of moral indifference, moral lassitude, and moral cronyism, which are the major factors in the crisis of sexual abuse and predation in the Church.
That Martel was helped in this sordid endeavor of cover-up and baseless accusation by the pope’s closest advisers should be a source of immense scandal to those in the Church and outside of it. He likes opera. He must be gay. He likes vestments. Must be gay. He has a pleasant voice. Gay. This is the kind of moral enlightenment that Pope Francis’s allies have brought to the Church? The only stereotype that Martel doesn’t use is the one about men who engage in constant salacious sexual gossip and speculation, as it would indict all his sources.
The book is trash. The supposed justice meted to McCarrick amounts to a cover-up. The pope’s summit is trash and a coverup. These men do not fear the justice of God or men. All their training in theology, and their great insight about man’s depravity, is the schoolyard taunt “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.” To hell with them all.