Much of Kiko's agenda depends on his ability to validate himself to his own. Thus the importance of papal photo-ops and the manipulation of every Vatican gesture - no matter how small - into a self-authenticating headline. And here the news organization Zenit.org has proven itself a dutiful servant.
Let's take a headline we have discussed before and look at it more thoroughly: Pope Francis Backs Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy. In this headline, Zenit shows not just a dangerous lack of journalistic integrity, but shows itself to be the Ministry of Neo-Propaganda. Here's why.
1. There is NO such animal as a "Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy". There is only the Roman Rite as governed by the liturgical books with the three small exceptions noted in Article 13 of the 2008 Statute. This is not just a journalistic oversight, it is a clever manipulation of facts and words to give credence to the NCW where there is none.
2. As noted in a previous post, the letter to which the Zenit story refers did not come from Pope Francis but an underling at the Office of General Affairs for the Secretary of State. But Zenit's headline gives a completely different impression: we are led to believe that the letter was in the pope's own hand.
3. The actual letter was a reminder/warning to Kiko to stay within the limits of the Statute, or "his charter", as the pope termed it, if he didn't want to have trouble. But Zenit, knowing that most people would not read the actual letter, set up the story for Kiko to use to validate himself and, literally, "his liturgy".
Now let's take a look at another Zenit story of which the Kiko's have made much: the appointment of Kiko to the position of consultor to the council for the laity. Zenit begins: Neocatechumenal Way Initiator Named Consultor for Pontifical Council for the Laity: Pope Francis Confirms Kiko Argüello for 5-Year Term.
The words are rather big sounding to begin with: Consultor, Pontifical, Council. Once again, the Zenit Ministry of Propaganda masterfully manipulates the facts to position them favorably for Kiko. Notice the subheading: Pope Francis Confirms Kiko Arguello... We are led to think that the pope personally called Kiko and laid hands on him. Here are the facts:
- The use of the adjective "Pontifical" does not mean that the pope himself has anything directly to do with whatever entity the adjective is modifying. "Pontifical" simply denotes an entity of any sort which operates under the pope's auspices and exists to assist him.
- In the case of "Pontifical Councils", they are made up of a cardinal president, a secretary, an under-secretary, members, and then consultors. The consultors are just that: consultors. They offer advice to the members who are the decision makers.
- The pope does not pick or "name" the members or the consultors. He generally only names the cardinal president, who then with the two secretaries, chooses the members and consultors, and often through the assistance and recommendation of other clergy. The pope ultimately confirms the selection as a formality.
- The cardinal president for the Pontifical Council of the Laity is Cardinal Stanislaw Ryłko, a Neo sympathizer from way back, so we shouldn't be surprised that he found a way to insert Kiko.
In fact, "insert" may be what actually happened. An Australian blog, which tracks these types of appointments noted that Kiko was not on the original list:
"However, there is one small item of good news: the Spanish lay man, Kiko Argüello, co-founder of the so-called Neo-Catechumenal Way has not been re-appointed to the PCL. This is further evidence that the star of the Neo-Cats is waning in Rome."
Apparently Rylko and Kiko (they have worked side deals before) did a work around and got Kiko on to the list. But given the Zenit headline, you would think that the pope begged Kiko to be his personal consultant.
And beyond Zenit's lap dog headline is Zenit's lap dog story...a story featuring only Kiko's selection to a second string position to the council. Along with Kiko there were 13 other lay people appointed to the same position. But there is no Zenit story about any of them, only Kiko, even though some of the other consultors represent lay organizations older and more influential than Kiko's. Here's the list of the other 13 lay consultors (in addition to several from the clergy) that Zenit found no interest in:
1. Alejandra Keen von Wuthenau
The Marian Fraternity of Reconciliation (MFR)
2. Laurent Landete
Moderator of the Emmanuel Community
3. Domenico Muolo
Newspaper Journalist of the Future (Italy)
4. Marguerite A. Peeters
Director, Institute for Intercultural Dialogue Dynamics, Professor, Urbaniana University (faculty of theology)
5. Prof. Silvia Recchi
Professor of Canon Law in UCAC Yaounde, Italy
6. Fra Hans Stapel, O.F.M.
Co-founder and president of Fazenda da Esperança – Farms of Hope
7. Maite Bilbao Uribe
Director General of the Teresian Association
8. Prof. Helen M. Alvaré
Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University
9. Moysés Louro de Azevedo Filho
Shalom Catholic Community
10. Prof Giorgio Feliciani
Faculty of LAW, Milan - Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
11. Salvatore Martinez
The first lay person to the presidency of the National Renewal in the Holy Spirit.
12. Prof. Andrea Riccardi
Founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio and Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rome III in Rome, Italy.
13. Maria Emmaus Voce
Did you notice that EIGHT major communities (with the same status as the Neocatechumenal Way) were represented on this list of consultors? You didn't? Okay, let's list them:
- The Marian Fraternity of Reconciliation
- The Emmanuel Community
- Fazenda da Esperança
- The Teresian Association
- Shalom Catholic Community
- National Renewal in the Holy Spirit
- The Community of Sant'Egidio
And now let's look at the lay people (in addition to several from the clergy) who make up the Members, the actual decision makers:
1. Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight - Knights of Columbus
2. Saïd A. Azer (Egypt)
3. Marcello Bedeschi
4. Tanios Chahwan
President of the National Council for the Laity in Lebanon
5. Pilar Escudero de Jensen
Schoenstatt Marian Movement
6. Yago de la Cierva
(Spain), lecturer in Crisis Management and Communication at the Faculty of Social Institutional Communications of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome
7. Jocelyne Khoueiry
Founding member and President of the lay movement “La Femme du 31 Mai-Libanaise
8. Christiana von Habsburg-Lothringen
Her Royal Imperial Highness Archduchess Christiana von Habsburg-Lothringen, Austria, Member of the Pontifical Council for Newborns in Rome at Matej Bel University
9. Fabrice Hadjadj
Director of the Institut Européen d'Études Anthropologiques Philanthropos in Fribourg (Switzerland)
10. Ms Katarina Hulmanova (Slovakia)
Coordinator of the Catholic Organisations Forum of the Slovak Bishops’ Conference
11. Irene Egle Laumenskaite
Lecturer at the Centre for Religious Studies and Research at the University of Vilnius (Lithuania)
12. Rosa Lai Yuk-fai
President of the Hong Kong Central Council of Catholic Laity
13. Manfred Lütz
German doctor, Catholic theologian and writer .
14. Franco MIANO
National president of Catholic Action in Italy
15. Prof. Josep Miró i Ardèvol
16. Michelle Moran
President, ICCRS – International Charismatic Renewal Services
17. Prof. Norbert Müller
Johannes Gutenberg University, Institute of Sport Science
18. Geneviève Amélie Mathilde Sanze
representative for Africa in the International Secretariat of Economy of Communion
19. Guilherme Vaz
Director: IL&FS Education & Technology Services Limited (IL&FSETS) is a company constituted in December 1997 as a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) to operate in the education domain.
20. Prof. Karol Źyczkowski
Professor of physics at Atomic Physics Department, Institute of Physics, of the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland and also at Center for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
Here are the lay organizations represented by the Members:
- Knights of Columbus
- Catholic Action
- National Council for the Laity in Lebanon
- Schoenstatt Marian Movement
- La Femme due 31 Mai-Libanaise
- Catholic Action in Italy
- International Charismatic Renewal Services
But no story from Zenit, an "international" news organization, about any of them. So if you are wondering about how our chancery was so easily purchased and sold into servitude to this man, just consider how he has so easily turned one of the largest Catholic news agencies into a fawning, servile personal ministry of propaganda. And DON'T get your news from Zenit.