Catholic Family News

Anatomy of a Vatican II Huckster: Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Feb. 2018 Print Edition of Catholic Family News (subscribe HERE). We reprint it here in light of a report that Cardinal Maradiaga had to be evacuated from a plane in his native Honduras earlier this week due to political protests at the airport and even a potential “danger of lynching.” As the following article demonstrates, the Honduran cardinal and close collaborator of Pope Francis is quite a scandalous character.


Plucked from Obscurity to Attack Catholic Moral Teaching

As the coordinator of Pope Francis’ novel “Council of Cardinals,” the Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is, as John Allen observes, “arguably the second most powerful man in Catholicism.” Indeed, he is commonly referred to as “Vice-Pope.” Like the other prelates Francis has rescued from well-deserved obscurity and elevated to alarming positions of prominence (e.g. Cardinals Kasper, Danneels and Cupich, along with a raft of new red hats carefully picked for their progressivism), Rodríguez Maradiaga is ready, willing and able to assist Francis in attempting to implement his hubristic “vision” of the Church as reinvented by him. To quote Francis’ progressive manifesto Evangelii Gaudium:

“I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends up by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures…. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us, ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mark 6:37).” (n. 49)

Yes, we have a Pope who dares to presume that before his arrival from Buenos Aires the Church founded by God Incarnate as the sole ark of salvation had left people to starve spiritually because of its “web of obsessions and procedures.” The farthest thing from Francis’s mind, apparently, is that the only people left starving spiritually in the Church today are those whose bishops and priests have ruthlessly robbed them of the elements of Tradition precisely in order to serve that “web of obsessions and procedures” they call “the renewal of Vatican II.” That is, obsessions over the nonsense of “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue,” and bureaucratic procedures such as the disastrous “reform of the liturgy,” the operations of the newly created bishops’ conferences and presbyteral councils, and an endless lava flow of social justice blather that has all but buried the simple truths of the Faith surrounding death, judgment, Heaven and Hell.

Cardinal Maradiaga (commonly referred to by his second surname despite the Latin American convention) is the perfect man to spearhead what could be called the Bergoglian Phase in the obsessive pursuit of worthless and destructive novelty that characterizes the current unparalleled crisis in the Church. This phase, incredibly enough, includes the astounding papally approved admission of public adulterers in “second marriages” to Holy Communion while they “discern” whether they should cease their adulterous sexual relations.  As Father Brian Harrison has observed, this means these public adulterers will be allowed to partake of the Blessed Sacrament while they “discern” they should not be allowed to partake of the Sacrament due to their public adultery.  George Orwell’s Oceania has nothing over the propaganda apparatus of the ongoing post-conciliar revolution in the Church, now in its most acute stage yet.

Before Francis unexpectedly elevated him to the summit of ecclesial power, “Mad Dog” Maradiaga had lost all influence in Rome on account of his involvement in the Caritas Internationalis scandal. Having been made head of the organization by John Paul II in order to remedy its ties to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that were promoting abortion and contraception, Maradiaga bungled the task by arguing against regulations that would have precluded such involvement and by coming to the defense of the former head of Caritas, the lay woman Lesley-Anne Knight, who was barred from seeking a second term by John Paul II’s Vatican.

It seems Maradiaga’s heart was not in the task of ensuring that Caritas complied with Church teaching on marriage and procreation.  After all, he studied moral theology under Bernard Häring, the infamous dissenter from Humanae Vitae and promoter of the Modernist heresy of the evolution of dogma as well as situation ethics respecting the negative precepts of the natural law rooted in the Sixth Commandment—the very thing Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (AL) has introduced into the Church with catastrophic effect. It is hardly a coincidence that Häring’s subversion has been praised by none other than Francis in connection with his project of attempting to relativize application of the Sixth Commandment in keeping with his expressed disdain for “black and white” morality—a project that now includes a semi-secret commission to “study” Humanae Vitae.

In that regard, consider one of Francis’s innumerable progressive appointees, a “moral theologian” he has installed as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, whose entire membership he sacked and whose constitution he rewrote, along with excluding its former requirement of a pro-life oath. This “moral theologian,” one Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, citing AL as his sole authority, recently declared during a lecture at the Gregorian in Rome, that “an artificial method for the regulation of births could be recognized as an act of responsibility that is carried out, not in order to radically reject the gift of a child, but because in those situations responsibility calls the couple and the family to other forms of welcome and hospitality.” So, according to Francis’s man Chiodi, the intrinsic evil of contraception is not only permissible but obligatory in certain “situations”—meaning situation ethics as advanced by the errors of AL. It does not take a prophet to see where the “study” of Humanae Vitae by Francis’s commission will lead.

Maradiaga’s Manifesto: A Litany of Tired Revolutionary Slogans

Upon the news that Maradiaga had been made head of the Council of Cardinals, one Vatican official (quoted by John Allen) exclaimed: “Dear God, Oscar is back!” Dear God, indeed. For Maradiaga has made it clear that his task is to carry out the Bergoglian program, which one wag rightly described four years ago as “the next decade of disaster.” He did so in a speech [delivered Oct. 25, 2013 at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference] that manages to collage practically every empty slogan and progressive cliché of the post-conciliar epoch. Entitled “The Importance of the New Evangelization” [full text available here], Maradiaga presents the classic neo-Modernist theme that the Church finally rediscovered her true nature at Vatican II and will regain the right path under the inspired leadership of Bergoglio, bearer of the gnosis of renewal. Herewith some pertinent quotations with my comments:

“The Second Vatican Council …  meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism [!], which was condemned in the First Vatican Council [!].”

There we have it! A frank admission by the “Vice-Pope” that the adepts of Vatican II, now led by Pope Bergoglio, view the Council as an embrace of the very thing the Magisterium has infallibly condemned, not only at Vatican I but in Saint Pius X’s monumental anti-Modernist encyclical Pascendi, wherein we read that the Modernists are “the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within…” (n. 3).  Recall in this connection Pope Benedict XVI’s explosive revelation regarding the Third Secret: “As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church.”

“The Vatican II Council officially acknowledged that things had changed, and captured the need for such a change…”

Things had changed? Which things? You know, things. What “change” does Maradiaga have in view, given that “things” have changed since Vatican II? Precisely what we see happening now, and what Sister Lucia, clearly in light of the Third Secret, warned the late Cardinal Caffarra was coming: “Father, a time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family. And those who will work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation.”

“But, even today, the greatest challenge is to examine the mission of the Church to conform it to the mission of Jesus….”

“There is no possible reform of the Church without a return to Jesus….”

“With the New Evangelization we restart (start anew) from the beginning: we once more become the Church as proclaimer, servant, and Samaritan…”

“To undertake this journey, one has to go back to the life of Jesus… This original priesthood of Jesus is the one that has to be continued in history.”

All typical Modernist cant, quite similar to Luther’s attacks on the Church: The Church has lost her way and must go back to Jesus, as if the Church that Christ founded with the infallible promise that He would be with her all days “even to the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20) could somehow forget her very nature. In truth, it is hubristic reformers like Maradiaga and his superior who have forgotten what the Church is and are so deluded as to think (just as Luther did) that they can remake her according to a merely human “vision” of what the Church should be.

“Returning to the Church as ‘communion’… [T]his goal certainly cannot be attained through a hierarchic mindset, understanding the Ministerial Order as a superior presbyterium, privileged and exclusive….”

“Return to a Church of the poor… the mandate of the Lord to evangelize the poor should lead us to give actual preference to the poorest and the neediest sector, and to the ones that have been segregated for any reason…. [T]his conciliar option made a good many Christians reconsider the curse of their own lives; it made many religious congregations review their rules and their ways of life; it brought about in much of the episcopate a spirit of reform, freedom, and prophecy…”

“Primacy of the last.… [W]e must fight for establishing relations of equality and to eliminate their greatest obstacles: money and power. We have to establish as a priority that those majorities who suffer poverty and exclusion (the last) will be the first…. The original Christianity faces the reign of money and power as means of domination and introduces a passion into history: that the last stop being the last…”

The Scandal in Honduras

This posturing about the poor, the evil of money and power, and the plague of privileged clergy, coming from a well-fed, luxuriously housed, jet-setting prelate, who dabbles incompetently at the saxophone at various parties, is simply too much to bear.

Perhaps it is poetic justice that Maradiaga has become embroiled in a major financial scandal involving a massive flow of money into his account from the Catholic University of Honduras, a modest institution located in one the world’s poorest nations.

As reported by L’Espresso, Maradiaga has been siphoning off some €35,000 (or $41,000) a month from the university of as “salary” under the title of Grand Chancellor of the University, as well as a December “bonus” of around €54,000 ($64,000). This is evidenced in large part by a Spanish-language exposé, complete with accounting statements. There is also, as Edward Pentin reports, the matter of $1.3 million in government funds transferred to the Archdiocese for Church-related projects but which, as Pentin notes, “is alleged to have found its way into the hands of Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda of Tegucigalpa, a close friend of the cardinal, [for which] no accounting exists detailing how the money was spent.”

Pineda, in turn, is accused of “financially support[ing] a male companion using archdiocesan funds” and having “an apartment built on the campus of the University of Honduras to house this companion.” One of Pineda’s “intimate friends,” called “Mike,” “is said to be a police chaplain and has celebrated the sacraments for a number of years, despite not being ordained, nor even a Catholic. ‘The cardinal knows everything,’” says Pentin’s source.

The stink emanating from the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa was so intense that Francis was compelled to send Argentine Bishop Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto on an apostolic visitation to Honduras. Bishop Casaretto, Pentin writes, “was shocked by the extent of the corruption he discovered, including accounts of sexual abuse perpetrated against priests and seminarians.” His damning report to Francis is supported by the testimony of fifty witnesses. L’Espresso further reports, “When he finished reading the inquiry drafted by the apostolic envoy [Bishop Casaretto] he himself had sent to Honduras last May, Pope Francis’ hands went up to his skullcap. He had just found out that his friend and main councilor—powerful cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a staunch supporter of a poor and pauperist Church and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals after he appointed him in 2013—had received over the years from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa around 41,600 US dollars a month, with an additional 64,200 dollars bonus in December.”

Maradiaga denies everything and claims the allegations are part of a sinister plot to block Francis’s “reforms.” He claims the vast sums involved were not paid to him but rather to the archdiocese for the support of seminarians and other legitimate purposes. But the Spanish-language exposé referenced above shows that hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid directly to Maradiaga personally. Phil Lawler, not known for rash judgment of Vatican officials, expresses the appropriate incredulity:

“A Catholic university in Honduras has been sending $40,000 or more monthly to Cardinal Maradiaga, who chairs the Council of Cardinals. Hmmm.

Don’t worry; the archdiocese explains; the funds were not intended for the cardinal’s personal use; they were for the general needs of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa. Oh, all right then.

But wait a minute. How does a Catholic university, in an impoverished country, have $40,000 a month to spare? We’ve all heard of Catholic schools that are subsidized by the local diocese. But have you ever heard of a Catholic diocese subsidized by a local school?

Does not compute.

There may be an innocent explanation for the funds pouring into Cardinal Maradiaga’s accounts. This isn’t it.”

Exactly so.

Francis is said to be “very sad.” Evidently not sad enough to accept Maradiaga’s resignation at the mandatory retirement age of 75, which he tendered this past December 29 [2017]. Quite the contrary, while the corrupt Bishop Pineda was ordered to go on retreat with the Jesuits in Madrid, his close friend Maradiaga is being allowed to escape the scandal unscathed, even though he could not have been unaware of it. Quite the contrary, Francis has since declared his unqualified support for his “Vice-Pope.” Maradiaga was happy to announce that Francis told him: “I’m sorry for all the evil they have done against you, but do not you [sic] worry.” The evil they have done to him? And who are “they”? The fifty witnesses to endemic financial and moral corruption in Maradiaga’s archdiocese?

Another Vatican Cover-up in Progress

Now a massive cover-up appears to be in progress. As Pentin notes, Francis has “decided to take the matter into his own hands rather than have a commission or a more extensive apostolic visitation deal with it further, but so far the only action that has been taken has been to send Bishop Pineda to stay with Jesuits in Madrid on a short retreat.” Meaning that this is probably the last we will hear from Rome about corruption in the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa. Only the secular press will be able to expose the truth.

As I have written elsewhere, Maradiaga’s Bergoglian manifesto encapsulates “the rank hypocrisy of the entire Bergoglian hoax” of an imaginary “Church of the Poor” via a
“return to Jesus” under Francis. Indeed:

“Where can rank-and-file members of ‘the people of God’ draw down €35,000 per month? How does conformity to ‘the mission of Jesus’ square with riches and luxury for Maradiaga and his friends in Honduras?  What, if not a ‘superior presbyterium, privileged and exclusive,’ does Maradiaga represent? What sort of ‘Church of the poor’ enables prelates like Maradiaga (not to mention Francis and his men in the Vatican) to live in luxury while the poor about whom they constantly demagogue continue to suffer under the thumbs of the socialist gangsters of Latin America, for whom Francis and company have nothing but affection? How does one ‘go back to the life of Jesus’ by living well on donations of the faithful?  What sort of ‘open Church in constant dialogue’ conceals massive ecclesial scandals like that in Honduras, with the Pope sitting on the evidence for the better part of a year while doing nothing to discipline the prelates responsible, including his friend and confidant, ‘Vice-Pope’ Maradiaga?  How is the Bergoglian cadre ‘establishing relations of equality’ and eliminating ‘their greatest obstacles: money and power’ by amassing precisely money and power?”

This, then, is Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga: an ecclesial limousine liberal in grand Vatican II style, who derides the state of the Church before the Council and boasts of how he and his fellow progressives, led by a Latin American ideologue on the Chair of Peter, will set the Church right again for sake of “the poor” as he and his collaborators labor to subvert fundamental teachings of the Church on marriage and procreation to the incalculable detriment of the very souls he is divinely charged to protect from error—all the while living large at the expense of the faithful.


From such corruption in the Church, however, God will infallibly draw a greater good.   Here we need only recall the words of Our Lady of Good Success:

“In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Most Holy Son will destine for that restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions in which everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This will be, then, the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”[1]

Such is the essence of the promise of Our Lady of Fatima respecting the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart when the Consecration of Russia is, at long last, carried out by a good and holy Pope, one who will restore the Church to the path of Tradition rather than inflicting his personal “vision” on the Mystical Body of Christ.

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[1] Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D., Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for Our Times (Los Angeles: Tradition In Action, Inc., Third Ed. 2006), p. 55; see also

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Christopher Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara earned his Baccalaureate and Juris Doctor degrees from Fordham University. He is President and Chief Counsel of the American Catholic Lawyers Association. His articles have appeared in Catholic Family News, The Latin Mass, The Remnant, and other publications. He has authored several books, including Liberty, The God that Failed, The Secret Still Hidden, False Friends of Fatima and translated into English Antonio Socci's book, Il Quarto Segreto di Fatima (The Fourth Secret of Fatima).

Christopher Ferrara

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Christopher A. Ferrara earned his Baccalaureate and Juris Doctor degrees from Fordham University. He is President and Chief Counsel of the American Catholic Lawyers Association. His articles have appeared in Catholic Family News, The Latin Mass, The Remnant, and other publications. He has authored several books, including Liberty, The God that Failed, The Secret Still Hidden, False Friends of Fatima and translated into English Antonio Socci's book, Il Quarto Segreto di Fatima (The Fourth Secret of Fatima).