The Kinghts of Malta and The 'New Christian Right'
Vatican Assassins by Eric Jon Phelps is considered by readers to be an astounding masterpiece of information. "Unbelievable," as he says.
On page 637, it says, Cardinal O'Connor had been building the "new right" using Knights of Malta and Dames. The leaders have been Paul Weyrich, Lewis Lehrman, Phyllis Schafly, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Allen Keyes.
The author also says the president will call for "martial Law." The reader of the book said that she remembers President Bush saying shortly after he was inaugurated that it would be ok if it were a dictatorship as long as he's the dictator. ? It really leads me to believe he may the dictator?
From National Catholic Reporter
The following is a slightly edited excerpt from People of God: The Struggle for World Catholicism [Viking], by Penny Lernoux.
By PENNY LERNOUX-
One of Catholicism's oldest lay orders, the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, better known as the Knights of Malta, or SMOM, is unique in several ways. Although it has no territory outside its headquarters in a Roman palazzo, it enjoys the status of a sovereign state, maintaining relations with 49 countries and issuing its own passports and stamps. Its 13,000 members include some of the world's most powerful figures, among them heads of state.
While it pledges allegiance to the pope, neither he nor the order's grand master in Rome has real control over SMOM's various national associations, some of whose members have been involved in fascist plots and CIA covert wars. And while dedicated to charitable work, such as funding leprosariums and contributing medical supplies to the Third World, it also serves as an old-boys' club for the European aristocracy and the political right in the United States and Latin America.
SMOM was founded in the 11th century to provide medical aid and military protection for-pilgrims to the holy city of Jerusalem. The order's knights participated in several important crusades, and gifts it received soon gave it control over extensive estates throughout Europe. The wealth of the knights' grand priories greatly increased in the 14th century when they absorbed the estates belonging to the Knights Templar, whom they helped to destroy, and for a time they maintained control of the island of Rhodes.
Forced from Rhodes by Sultan Muhammad II in the 15th century, they eventually settled on the island of Malta, which gave the order its name. The Knights remained a major military presence in the Mediterranean until 1789, when Napoleon occupied Malta. After a brief sojourn in Russia, the order in 1834 established headquarters in Rome under papal protection.
By the end of the century, it had become a charitable organization of the aristocracy devoted to the care of the sick and the wounded. It maintained its exclusivity by refusing to accept members from Europe and Latin America who were not of the nobility or heads of state. In recent years the ruling has been relaxed for Latin America, but even as late as the 1940s the order refused to admit Eva Peron as a dame because of her proletarian background.
An exception was made for the United States because of its rising political, economic and military power, and in 1927 a branch of SMOM was established on the East Coast. Most of the founding members were tycoons of industry and finance who would strongly oppose Roosevelt's New Deal [one, John J. Raskob, the chairman of the board of General Motors, even became involved in a plot to seize the White House].
They were soon joined by such titans as John Farrell, president of U.S. Steel; Joseph P. Grace, of W.R. Grace & Co.; Joseph Kennedy, a Boston entrepreneur and father of a future president of the United States; and George MacDonald of Pennsylvania, who made a fortune in oil and utilities. http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/ncrmay890910.html
Among U.S. knights are the late William Casey [former CIA director under Reagan], former Treasury Secretary Bill Simon and the late J. Peter Grace, a Reaganite businessman.
Grace helped found AmeriCares, an international charity known for its close links to right-wing militaries in Central America and for providing medical aid to Nicaraguan contras in Honduras. One of AmeriCares' largest funders has been the Christian Broadcasting Network run by Pat Robertson. http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/ncrfeb96.html
Flynn, who succeeds J. Peter Grace as president of the Knights of Malta, retired in 1994 as chief executive officer of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Co. and continues as its board chairman.
To many American Catholics, the Knights of Malta are considered an elitist club, taken with its tradition. Officially called the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, the order dates to 1070, making it the oldest religious order of chivalry in Christendom. A sovereign entity, subject of international law, the order began as a hospice infirmary for pilgrims in Jerusalem. Forced from the Holy Land by Muslims, the knights moved to Cyprus in 1291. Nineteen years later, they acquired the Aegean Island of Rhodes, occupied it for 200 years and became an international naval power during the Crusades.
No wonder, said Flynn, that "the public perception often seems to be that the Knights of Malta are too caught up with ritual and paraphernalia." http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/ncraug96.html
Each year, the Vatican grants hundreds of knighthoods and other awards for service to the church or humanity or to Roman Catholic leaders. Most awards are given to people known in their communities and recommended by a local bishop.
In 1947, Pope Pius XII conferred the Pius IX knighthood on Peron, presumably as leader of a Catholic country. But an anti-clerical campaign Peron launched led to his excommunication eight years later.
Mussolini was granted a higher award, the Order of the Golden Spur, as a reward for signing treaties in 1929 that ended the long standoff between the Vatican and Italy. The pope had been a virtual prisoner inside the Vatican walls after Garibaldi's troops entered Rome in 1870 to unify Italy. http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/apaug94.html
Henry Hyde, hard-core Roman Catholic, is the single most adamant champion of the anti-abortion AND ANTI-BIRTH CONTROL crowd. Now, Hyde joins with pro-welfare left wing religious groups. Mr. Hyde is a servant of Roman Catholicism..
The Catholic Church and Social Justice Issues
The Reagan Administration is clearly being manipulated by the [Roman] Catholic Church, apparently with the president's blessing. In an April 1982 speech before the National Catholic Education Association, Reagan made the incredible statement,
"I am grateful for your help in shaping American policy to reflect God's will.... , And I will look forward to further guidance from His Holiness Pope John Paul II during an audience I will have with him in June."
"The New Christian Right attempted to exert influence in the 1980 and 1982 elections through efforts ranging from voter registration drives to independent publicity campaigns on behalf of candidates. Subsequent scholarly interest in the New Christian Right in elections has focused on the Moral Majority, the Religious Roundtable, or the National Christian Action coalition, even though the are lobbying organizations whose principle focus is not direct electoral activity. Few have considered how Christian Political Action committees (PACs) attempt to influence federal elections, although these are the organizations most qualified legally to be active in political campaigns on behalf of the New Christian Right"
page 255 ................. THE POLITICAL POWER OF THE NCR
.................... TACTICAL SIMILARITIES AND SHARED EXPERIENCE
Little is new about the strategic decisions PACs make or the technology at their disposal. Christian PACs have learned the tricks of the trade quickly, largely because of the mentors in the secular right.
"To a remarkable extent, the Christian activist have found skilled allies in one and only one place, among one and only one group of organizations - - the groups loosely known as the New Right" (Marshner, 1980:iii).
Two principle consultants are Paul Weyrich, National Director of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, and Howard Phillips, founder of the Conservative Caucus (Keller, 1980: 2,629).
Weyrich prompted Robert Billings to start a group in Washington to represent conservative Christians, a suggestion which led to the National Christian Action Coalition. Phillips in turn hired Edward McAteer as his field director before McAteer left to found Roundtable.
Together these four men cemented ties to most of the key evangelical preachers now in the New Christian Right (Cleninen, 1980: B7).
Richard Viguerie, direct mail expert of the New Right, credits Weyrich and Phillips with persuading ministers Jerry Falwell, Jim Robison, and Pat Robertson to get involved in convervative politics (Viguerie, 1980: 56). http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/mobchris.html
Speakers came to the platform accompanied by recorded music [like 'Stars and Stripes Forever']. And as the music faded on one occasion, televangelist and media mogul Pat Robertson was in full view, calling out, "This, ladies and gentlemen, is the day we have been longing for - Seeing the Christian Coalition rise to where God intends it to be as one of the most powerful political forces there has ever been in the history of America." Applause.
[Roman] Catholics Michael Novak and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus were brought in, in the words of one critical observer, "to give an academic sheen" to the politics of stridency. Indeed, Novak and Neuhaus, in this setting, came off as well-received moderates and as kindly highbrows for lowbrows.
They were welcomed, too, because they represented a [Roman] Catholic and evangelical alliance-for-progress, an alliance not much bigger than the immediate circle of those who last March signed the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together - The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.