Father Spadaro’s latest conspiracy theory

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 03, 2018

When Philip Pullella translated a Twitter post by Father Antonio Spadaro, the veteran Reuters correspondent found it necessary to add an editorial comment: “Don’t shoot the translator! (me)” It’s easy to understand Pullella’s caution, because if you thought these were the journalist’s own words, you might conclude that he had gone… Well, let’s look at the text. This, again, is Father Spadaro’s comment:

It is no longer possible for journalists to keep quiet about the fact that there is a campaign of disinformation against Pope Francis which links American and Russian interests. You don’t have to read only Antonio Spadaro to understand that.

An international conspiracy, uniting the US and Russia in a bid to undermine the Pope: have you seen that theory advanced anywhere else but in the writings of Father Spadaro? Perhaps you have, if you spend your time searching through the online fever swamps. The Jesuit editor, who has become the most vociferous critic of anyone who dares question papal policies, is also apparently a fan of conspiracy theorists, as he demonstrated last year with an eccentric attack on American religious conservatives.

Still it’s alarming to see this sort of wild accusation. Remember, Father Spadaro has the Pope’s ear.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: rfr46 - Oct. 05, 2018 11:16 PM ET USA

    The wheels are coming off in the Vatican. This is an unstable and dangerous state of affairs.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 03, 2018 4:53 PM ET USA

    The paranoid delusions of one papal confidante, A. Spadaro, reveal once again what happens to an Italian Jesuit who channels the paranoia of Rachel Maddow and the american Left. There is no need for Trump and the Russians to collude to promulgate disinformation about this papacy; it only requires our current pontiff (and his advisors) to open his mouth. We may be approaching the point in this papacy that CS Lewis describes in the closing pages of That Hideous Strength: Babel, babel, everywhere.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 03, 2018 3:28 PM ET USA

    It doesn't seem possible to make ANY sense out of it. But it does matter as long as Fr. Antonio has the Pope’s ear.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 03, 2018 11:58 AM ET USA

    I can imagine that Fr. Spadaro’s assertions that criticism = conspiracy are very reassuring to Pope Francis. Even he must occasionally entertain the worry that his critics are correct, and it’s nice to have someone close by who’ll tell you the critics must be wrong because they’re just mean conspirators.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Oct. 03, 2018 10:36 AM ET USA

    Good thing for the Pope that he isn't including the Chinese in the conspiracy theory!