COVID conspiracy leaves Cardinal clambering

Cardinal Robert Sarah is implicated in a petition signed by  Catholic conservatives claiming the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an “overhyped pretext to deprive the faithful of Mass and impose a new world order”.

Sarah (pictured), is head of the Vatican’s liturgy office and is supposedly the highest-ranking signatory.

However, he claims he never signed the petition.

Sarah’s claim is contradicted by the archbishop who spearheaded the petition, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Vigano says Sarah was fully on board and he has the recorded phone conversations to prove it.

The virus petition was signed mostly by Italian clergy, academics and journalists.

It is the latest initiative conservatives have used to frame COVID-19 lockdowns as an assault on religious liberty, a threat to the global economy and a conspiracy to separate families.

The petition calls the pandemic a “pretext” by unnamed actors to manipulate and control people through panic and deprive them of their fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of worship.

The petition also says contact-tracing devices, required vaccinations and “criminalised” visits between grandparents and grandchildren are “a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.”

Vigano is the former Holy See diplomat who achieved notoriety with his 2018 j’accuse of a high-level Vatican cover-up of sex abuse.

He has since reacted negatively to everything from the Vatican’s China policy to Pope Francis’s outreach to Muslims and the Amazon synod.

Other prominent signatories include three other conservative cardinals who have been critical of Francis’ papacy.

One is the ousted prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller and another is the retired archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen.

The petition was issued last Thursday, the same day the Italian government and the bishops conference reached an agreement to resume Masses from 18 May so long as strict protocols are followed.


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