[An Argentine reader has sent in this post made on an Argentine blog that focuses on exposing the crimes of Antipope Bergoglio (and there are MANY such blogs – how could NO ONE in the world of journalism have bothered to check out the Argentine internet for these five years?? It’s not as if Spanish speakers are exactly rare in the U.S.). Even in rough translation, I found this blogger’s thesis of “Institutional Cannibalism” to be extremely prescient and contributive. Apparently by now, this term “Institutional Cannibalism” is widely used in Argentina to describe Antipope Bergoglio and what he did to the Church in Argentina, and is now doing to the global institutional Church. Thanks again to our Argentine sources. Keep the content coming! And be assured of all of our prayers. -AB]
This was written in 2013 by an Argentinian blogger about Bergoglio and is often referenced by the author in future posts relating to the anti-pope and his controversies. It’s beautiful description of one of the core dynamics at work in his anti-papacy. Translated below by a volunteer, with minor edits for clarity.
Notes On Institutional Cannibalism
(I) Institutional cannibalism refers to an individual feeding off of the bad reputation of an institution they belong to, [publicly] accepting the pejorative versions, the prejudices and the slanders, [then publicly] opposing them and consequently “saving face” in a self-serving way. When exercised by someone holding the highest and most visible role in the institution, it can reach the rank of betrayal. Frequently this “saving face” is usually defended as a way to preserve the salvageable aspects the denigrated institution, which is rescued, in theory, by the triumph of the cannibal: “this organization cannot be so bad if it supports a President this good “.
(II) It is distinguished from a healthy self-criticism by the perspective of those who practice it, which is usually exogenous and close to the politically correct or current thinking. The criticism of the institutional cannibal, explicit or tacit, is no different in essence from that of the enemy. [Or it is silent] with respect to the enemy’s critiques. In any case, the “cannibal” doesn’t point out the enemy’s mistakes, no does he exalt the principles that bother the enemy of the institution.
(III) The institutional cannibal gives the impression of being alienated from the institution. It is as if he had arrived by chance, and then distanced himself. The criticisms he makes could be made by a newcomer, or a parvenu. When he represents the institution, he does it as an actor, as if he exerts a role imposed upon him, which he strips with joy at the end of the show, exhausted by the performance. The institution, its bases and its history are under his entire judgment and examination, he does not assume this as an axiom but as a problem. [Not far from my mind is] Napoleon, when he uttered, “from Clovis to the Convention, I take charge of everything.”
(IV) The paradox is that this alienation usually coexists with an attitude of empowerment never before seen. The cannibal regards it as his own, and at the same time rejects it. He is a master, not a representative. As such owner, it is considered in perfect right to devour and redo it. He is an heir with perpetual inventory benefit.
(V) The institutional cannibal is not the counterpart of the triumphalist, but rather its opposite. While the triumphalist pretends to own the fame of the institution, exalting it and himself in an idolatrous fusion that makes him lose his soul, his principles and the purpose of the institution itself (which will be justified, of course, as merely desiring to bring greater glory), the institutional cannibal, with the same attitude and intention, with the same anthropic and Pelagian impetus, privatizes triumphalism, exalting only himself. He will ask forgiveness for the crimes and errors of the institution, rarely his own.
(VI) *The institutional cannibal aims to replace the prestige of centuries with his fame, the rich earth of History with the weeds/sickness of public approbation.* With the old books, the centuries old furniture, the venerable clothes, he raises a bonfire that shines with a brilliance never before seen. The next morning you will find ashes. Like a reverse Cronos, he will be devoured by his son.
*El caníbal institucional pretende sustituir con su fama el prestigio de siglos. Con las malezas de la aprobación popular, el humus de la Historia.
The message is that the institutional cannibal seeks to upend both history and the rich earth of tradition, from which the insitution grew and produced fruit, and replace them with a cult of personality based on popular approval.
In Argentina, I have sometimes heard the word “maleza” colloquially used as “curse.”