Regarding the article published by the Daily Beast last Sunday, I wrote the lines below to the author.
Barbie,If you don’t mind, I feel compelled to make a couple of comments and give you some background you might or might not find helpful.To be fair, the headline, while it will grab people’s attention, might not entirely accurate could be construed of sinning of sensationalism.The video in question (or the other videos and their ideology in general) does not speak or even insinuates of a “deal with the devil” regarding the Pope’s death. It might be difficult to prove there is such “deal”.What the video shows is a group of Catholic priests narrating supposed “revelations” by the devil, extracted “by the power of Joao Cla” (not God or Jesus Christ).The disturbing part for any Catholic is that, rather than being horrified by those “revelations”, the entire audience revels on its content.This is because the devil’s supposed words, confirm the world-view held by the Heralds of the Gospel for many decades, namely:1. The holiness, primacy and extraordinary vocation of role of Plinio Correa de Oliveira and Joao Cla Dias, both founders and mentors of the movement.2. The imminent arrival of an apocalyptic event that will basically destroy the whole world with the exception of Brazil and some sections of South America. Apparently this will be achieved my a meteorite.3. In minute 45:50 of the video, one of the priests, Fr. Dartagnan Alves de Oliveira, EP, recalls that right after the election of Francis to the papacy, their leader, sitting in the room, Joao Cla Dias, said: “this bastard (desgracado) is selling his soul to hell… to the devil.” Joao Cla simply lift his eyebrows and nods. No denial. This is not the devil speaking. This is a testimony of a prior statement by their leader.4. Ridiculous statements about Jews, the devil having bases in Greenland and the moon, Plinio somehow being involved with climate change and trolling the internet, and so on, are not only heard, but heard admiringly by supposed intelligent adults.5. Either in this or on another video, the “devil” reveals that Joao Cla will be Pope, consacrated Bishop by Cardinal Rodé (who in turn will be elected Pope after the death of Francis and will flee to Brazil).6. Why all this madness? Bear in mind that since both their leader’s stroke some 10 years back, and the election of Francis to the papacy, it has been increasingly difficult to hold together the group with the ever-present belief of an immediate Divine Chastisement that will “topple the cart” and put them on top. This group belief in this Chastisement they call “the Bagarre”, dates from the mid ’60s, back in the days of the TFP, and stems from peculiar interpretation of the Fátima message and other private revelations. Lacking other validation, they concoct these “diabolical revelations” as a way to firm the base. I was told (although I have not yet video evidence to support this) that lately, instead of satanic revelations, female members of the order have been receiving messages from saints in heaven, including Plinio and others, who do similar validation.7. All of this could be laughable and good material for the comic section of any self-respecting publication if it where not for a few issues:* The Heralds of the Gospel is an Association with Vatican (“Pontifical”) approval since 2001.* All the weird beliefs and practices are secret and open to the initiated. Needless to say they are not transparent or clear to the public (and even less to Church authority) about them.* This duplicity generates a culture of lies and “the end justifies the means” that goes to extremes. You and me and the whole world are basically enemies and will be damned (personally I have earned the nickname of “The Accursed One”).* They recruit increasingly younger candidates. I heard testimonies of ex-members and mothers of current members that tell stories of this 11 or 12 year-old girls or boys being recruited to “study” in a Herald house. If the deem that the kid in question has “a vocation”, a campaign to remove them from family influence and (for lack of a more scientific word) wash their brains, is done and is generally successful.* They are very successful, through their public image and by keeping the other secret, to raise lots of money. They spend lavishly on themselves: construction projects and a life of luxury for the founder.* With the exception of one case that is currently being litigated in Paraguay, involving a Herald lay person (not a priest) named Hector Mattos that was accused of sexual abuse, I have not heard of other deviations in that area. But, in my view, the abuse done to consciences is equally or more devastating that sexual abuse.I am all for freedom of speech and religion, but don’t do it under the umbrella of the Catholic Church, and don’t get kids under false pretenses.Thank you for helping bring awareness. If one or two families are more cautious because of the articles you publish, I already consider we have a victory. If these revelations move the Vatican (the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life under the leadership of Cardinal Braz would be the right department) intervenes seriously, names a new Superior, and eradicates these beliefs, all the better.As a Catholic, I cannot see this type of abuse going unreported. We turned a blind eye long enough for abuse, of various types, within the Church.I hope you found some of the additional videos I sent interesting. It would do wonders to make the story believable, if you could upload the videos to some platform that could resist they abuse of DMCA (that’s how normally they shut me down). If they were dubbed into English… all the better!Thank you again!