Holy Mexican Martyrs by Ermes Dovico

The copy and paste signature: Cardinal Tucho's "latest scam"

The signatures of the Pope and the Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith to the answers regarding the admission of gays and trans people to the sacraments are not authentic, but poorly scanned from another sheet of paper. With the new management at the Dicastery, one oversight leads to another.

Ecclesia 16_11_2023 Italiano

Readers will remember Don Dario Edoardo Viganò’s ignoble conduct in the spring of 2018, when he only partially published the famous letter that Benedict XVI had written on the occasion of the eleven-volume in the series on the theology by Pope Francis. As chance would have it, the missing paragraph was precisely the one in which the Pope Emeritus had excused himself from any collaboration, stating, in his own style, that he did not have enough time to read those publications.

In fact, the omitted paragraph, concerned the entire second page of the letter, while the last two lines of the first - a new paragraph that Ratzinger began with "however, I don't feel I can comment on it" - appeared deliberately blurred and illegible. The resulting scandal, and totally justified, led to Viganò submitting his resignation and Pope Francis finding him a place, by creating the ad hoc office of councillor for the Dicastery of Communication.

But, that was only a minor tampering compared to this one engineered by someone from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Croatian website Vjera i djela, in an article by Snježana Majdansžić-Gladić, reveals a disturbing detail, which readers can easily verify for themselves. The signature of the Pope and that of Cardinal Fernández himself are not authentic on the document of responses to some questions by Msgr. José Negri of last November 3. «Just download the PDF to your computer and click on the signature at the bottom, and you will see that it is a poorly scanned, a simple cut and pasted image added to the text written in Word, and not a scanned document that the Pope actually signed», explains Majdansžić-Gladić. So, it appears, seeing is believing. Moreover, whether it is indeed a copy and paste of a scan can also be verified by enlarging the signature: it is easily noticeable that the image pasted is notably blurry.

A sensational "oversight" by Fernández, who, apparently, not only writes in full autonomy whatever he wants, but now also inaugurates the do-it-yourself approach to the Pope's signatures. Why he did or whoever did on his behalf, is not clear, and, continues the Croatian journalist, «it is not yet known whether the Pope's signature was inserted on something else that he approved that day, or whether the Response was completely falsified, perhaps without the Pope's knowledge».

Not that there is any doubt that the Pope substantially agrees with what Fernández wrote, but it is, at the very least, a matter of correctness, with undeniable legal implications. Is forging a signature on a public document also a crime in the Vatican? That document, among other things, also loses its official value, due to the fact that, as we have already written, the content is more than questionable.

Is Fernández, an apprentice forger? That, not satisfied with tampering with the texts cited in the documents he wrote, adulterating the meaning and cutting out the paragraphs (see here and here), he has now also started forging signatures? Be as it may, he still remains an apprentice, because the various manipulations are not so subtle as to go unnoticed.

Is it too much, therefore, to demand an official clarification on the issue? There are several questions that await an adequate and public answer: from which other document of 31 October 2023 was the signature of the Pope and Fernández scanned? Is this another version of the responses to Msgr. Negri or a completely different document? For what reason was this operation done? Who ordered it and who knew about it?

Given the ease of falsification in the circles of the Dicastery starting from 1 July, why not declassify the Note of 21 December 2018, which the Prefect recalled at the opening of the aforementioned document as proof of the continuity of this pronouncement with what the CDF would have stated in past? And why not also publish the original copy of the questions from the bishop of Santo Amaro, as happened for the dubia of the five cardinals?

But the points to clarify do not end here. Since "Tucho" (nickname used by Fernández’s friends) was placed at the head of the DDF, the documents transcribed and translated into different languages never appear on the Dicastery's website, as was standard practice in the past, but only the PDF versions of previous Word files. For what reason? Are they cutting staff?

Majdansžić-Gladić also points out that «from 1 July 2023 the documents of the Dicastery no longer carry the official coat of arms, furthermore there is no header, nor order number, nor other usual official references, rather they are regular texts that do not differ from any other private letter, except for the final signature of the Pope and the Prefect". And ever since the beginning of Fernández's management, as we have already had the opportunity to point out, other characteristics have also disappeared.


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