St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 to 202 A.D.) depicted in stained glass in St. Irenaeus Church in Lyons, France (link). He has been declared the Patron Saint of Church unity

    Letter #78, 2022, Tuesday, June 28: World War III

    Today is the feast day of St. Irenaeus of Lyons.

    Five months ago, on January 21, Pope Francis declared him the 37th Doctor of the Church, and gave him the special title of “Doctor of Unity” (“Doctor Unitatis“). So St. Irenaeus is the patron saint of all those who work and pray for Christian unity.

    St. Irenaeus was born in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, around the year 140 A.D.

    As a young man, he heard the preaching of St. Polycarp, who had himself heard the preaching of St. John the Apostle, who had known Jesus during the three years before the crucifixion and resurrection.

    Irenaeus became a priest and served in the Church of Lyons during the late 170s. After going to Rome to provide Pope St. Eleutherius with a letter about the Montanist heresy, he became Lyons’ second bishop, following the martyrdom of the previous bishop, St. Pothinus.

    As bishop, Irenaeus opposed various heresies, some of which insisted the material world was evil, and not part of God’s plan. Advocates of these movements tended to claim superior “spirituality” or “enlightenment” for their supposed secret knowledge (gnosis), hence their name: “Gnostics.” Irenaeus denounced them as deniers of the reality of Christ’s human incarnation.

    His greatest book is Against Heresies and it is still studied today. In his Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, he focuses on Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

    Irenaeus died around 202, perhaps due to martyred, though this is not definitively known.

    St. Irenaeus is the Patron Saint of our Urbi et OrbiUnitas” initiative, which, despite numerous obstacles, still seeks to “build bridges” between Christians of the western and eastern traditions, between Catholics and Orthodox, so that the Church might — as St. John Paul II hoped — “breathe with her two lungs.” (And during a dozen recent meetings in Italy, Vatican City, Lebanon, and Greece, the importance of continuing this effort despite various obstacles was brought home to me, and to all of us at Urbi et Orbi Communications, with great force.)


    Pope Francis: “World War III has been declared”

    On May 19, Pope Francis hosted a meeting of editors of Jesuit magazines in Rome, and during the lengthy conversation he told the editors that he believed “World War III has been declared,” evidently referring to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, but also, it seems clear, setting that invasion in a larger context. (See this June 14 summary article by Gerald O’Connell in America magazine, link).    

    “The world is at war,” Francis said. “For me, today, World War III has been declared. This is something that should give us pause for thought. What is happening to humanity that we have had three world wars in a century?”

    While Francis denounced “the brutality and ferocity” of the Russian troops and praised the heroism and courage of the Ukrainians. he also said that “we do not see the whole drama behind the war, which was perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented.”

    Pope Francis added: “I am simply against reducing complexity to the distinction between good guys and bad guys without reasoning about roots and interests, which are complex.”

    And then Pope Francis added words which have been widely criticized: “We have to move away from the normal pattern of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’: Little Red Riding Hood was good and the wolf was the bad guy,” Francis said. “Here there are no metaphysical good guys and bad guys, in an abstract sense. Something global is emerging, with elements that are very much intertwined.”

    He continued: “The danger is that we… do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war…”

    Francis also recalled that, some years ago, he had said, “we are living the third world war piece by piece.”

    But now, he told the Jesuit editors, “the world is at war!”

    I repeat the key point that Francis was at pains to make: “The danger is that we… do not see the whole drama that is unfolding behind this war.”


    These words of Pope Francis express an interpretation of the conflict in Ukraine as a central, and very brutal, part of a conflict that is larger, indeed, “worldwide,” or “global” — a conflict that involves much more than Ukraine itself.

    This seems to be a reasonable interpretation of what Francis told the Jesuit editors on May 19 — that the war in Ukraine is about much more than Ukraine.

    A few days after the Pope’s remarks were made public, an author on The Vineyard of the Saker website — which has followed events in eastern Europe, and conflicts between the West and Russia, for more than a decade — published an article with the not very elegant title “World War 3 for dummies.”

    At the very outset, the article begins by saying that “some knowledgeable people, apparently including the Pope” are “beginning to suspect that there may be more going on in the world than just the war in Ukraine.”

    The author then adds: “They say that World War 3 has already started and things will get worse from now on.”

    So, because Pope Francis suggested with great seriousness that he believed we need to see the wider context for the Ukraine war, and because this author begins by noting that suggestion of Pope Francis, it seemed that the article might be of some usefulness in at least sketching what the possible meaning of this “wider (global) context” might be.

    The article proceeds at some length to try to sketch the outlines of what is “going on” in the rest of the world, outside of Ukraine — yet still related to the conflict in Ukraine — which constitutes the drama of the emerging “World War III” that Pope Francis, among others, has repeatedly warned of.

    I do not agree with everything that the author writes (some of which seems overly simplistic), but the author does at least raise a series of issues which are not often raised in the mainstream media accounts about the conflict which is now unfolding.

    For this reason, I send out the article, as a resource — like the piece by Anton Lieven that I sent earlier today — that may perhaps be of help in allowing us to be more aware of the global context of the terrible struggle currently raging in Ukraine.

    World War 3 for dummies (link)

    June 18, 2022

    By Gaius Baltar for the Saker Blog

    [Note: The author’s name appears to be a pseudonym; “Gaius Baltar” was a fictional character on the television series Battlestar Galactica, link)

    Some knowledgeable people, apparently including the Pope, are beginning to suspect that there may be more going on in the world than just the war in the Ukraine.

    They say that World War 3 has already started and things will get worse from now on.

    This can be difficult to determine while we are participating in the unfolding events and do not have the benefit of the historical perspective. It is doubtful that people back in 1939 realized that they were looking at the start of a major worldwide conflict, although some may have suspected it.

    The current global situation is in many ways like a giant jigsaw puzzle where the general public only sees a tiny part of the complete picture.

    Most don’t even realize that there may be more pieces and don’t even ask these simple questions: Why is all this happening and why is it happening now?

    Things are more complicated than most people realize. What they see is the evil wizard Vladimir Saruman Putin [Note: The name “Saruman” refers to a evil wizard who betrays Gandalf and the good Hobbits in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings] invading innocent Ukraine with his orc army – for absolutely no reason.

    This is a simplistic view, to say the least because nothing happens without a reason.

    Let’s put things in perspective and see what is really going on – and why the world is going crazy before our eyes.

    Let’s see what World War 3 is all about.

    The pressure cooker

    The West (which we can define here as the US and the EU and a few more) has been maintaining pressure on the entire world for decades.

    This does not only apply to countries outside the West, but also to Western countries which strayed from the diktats of the West’s rulers.

    This pressure has been discussed widely and attributed to all kinds of motives, including neocolonialism, forced financial hegemony, and so forth.

    What is interesting, particularly during the last 20 years, is which countries have been pressured and what they do not have in common.

    Among the pressured countries we find Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Thailand, and Iran to mention a few.

    There have also been recent additions, including India and Hungary.

    In order to understand why they have been pressured, we need to find out what they have in common.

    That’s not easy since they are extremely different in most ways.

    There are democracies and non-democracies, conservative and communist governments, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist countries, and so on. Still, many of them are very clearly allied.

    One must ask why conservative and religious countries such as Russia or Iran would ally themselves with Godless communists in Cuba and Venezuela.

    What all these countries have in common is their desire to run their own affairs; to be independent countries.

    This is unforgivable in the eyes of the West and must be tackled by any means necessary, including economic sanctions, color revolutions, and outright military aggression.

    The West and its NATO military arm had surrounded Russia with hostile countries and military bases, armed and manipulated Ukraine to be used as a hammer against it, and employed sanctions and threats.

    The same thing was and is happening in Asia where China is being surrounded by all means available.

    The same applies to all the Independents mentioned above to some extent.

    In the past 10 years or so the pressure has increased massively on the Independents and it reached almost a fever pitch in the year before the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

    During the year before the Ukraine war, the US sent its diplomats around the world to tune up the pressure.

    They were like a traveling circus or a rock band on a tour, but instead of entertainment, they delivered threats: buy this from us and do what we tell you or there will be consequences.

    The urgency was absolute and palpable, but then came the Ukraine war and the pressure went up to 11.

    During the first month of the war, the entire West’s diplomatic corps was fully engaged in threats against the ‘rest of the world’ to engineer the isolation of Russia.

    This didn’t work, which resulted in panic in political and diplomatic circles in the US and Europe.

    All this pressure through the years, and all the fear and panic when it didn’t work, are clearly related to the events in the Ukraine.

    They are a part of the same ‘syndrome’ and have the same cause.

    The debt dimension

    There have been many explanations for what is going on and the most common is the fight between two possible futures; a multipolar world where there are several power centers in the world, and a unipolar world where the West governs the world.

    This is correct as far as it goes, but there is another reason which explains why this is happening now and all the urgency and panic in the West.

    Recently the New Zealand tech guru Kim Dotcom tweeted a thread about the debt situation in the US.

    According to him all debt and unfunded liabilities of the US exceed the total value of the entire country, including the land.

    This situation is not unique to the US.

    Most countries in the West have debt that can only be paid back by selling the entire country and everything it contains.

    On top of that, most non-western countries are buried in dollar-denominated debt and are practically owned by the same financiers who own the West.

    During the last few decades, the economy of the US and Europe has been falsified on a level that is difficult to believe.

    We in the West have been living far beyond our means and our currencies have been massively overvalued.

    We have been able to do this through two mechanisms:

  1. The first one is the reserve status of the dollar and the semi-reserve status of the euro which have enabled the West to export digital money and receive goods in return. This has created enormous financial power for the West and enabled it to function as a parasite on the world economy. We have been getting a lot of goods for free, to put it mildly.
  2. The second falsification mechanism is the increase in debt to a level where we have essentially pawned everything we own, including our houses and lands, to keep up our living standards. We own nothing now when the debt has been subtracted. The debt has long since become unserviceable – far beyond our ability to pay interests on – which explains why the interest rates in the West are in the neighborhood of zero. Any increase would make the debt unserviceable and we would all go formally bankrupt in a day.

    On top of all this, the falsification has created artificially strong currencies in the West which has boosted their purchasing power for goods priced in non-western currencies.

    These mechanisms have also enabled the West to run bloated and dysfunctional service economies where inefficiencies are beyond belief.

    We have giant groups of people in our economies that not only create no value but destroy value systematically.

    What maintains the West’s standard of living now is a small minority of productive people, constant debt increase, and parasitism of the rest of the world.

    The people who own all this debt actually own everything we think we own.

    We in the West own nothing at this point – we only think we do.

    But who are our real owners?

    We know more or less who they are because they meet every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos along with the western political elites who they also happen to own.

    It is clear that our owners have been getting increasingly worried, and their worries have been increasing in sync with the increased pressure applied by the West on the rest of the world, particularly the Independents.

    During the last Davos meeting, the mood was bleak and panicked at the same time, much like the panic among the western political elites when the isolation of Russia failed.

    What is about to happen

    The panic of our owners and their politicians is understandable because we have come to the end of the line.

    We can no longer keep up our living standards by debt increase and parasitism.

    The debt is reaching beyond what we own as collateral and our currencies are about to become worthless.

    We will no longer be able to get free stuff from the rest of the world, or pay back our debt – let alone pay interest on it.

    The entire West is about to go bankrupt and our standard of living is about to go down by a massive percentage.

    This is what has our owners panicked and they see only two scenarios:

  1. In the first scenario most countries in the West, and everything and everyone within them, declare bankruptcy and erase the debt by diktat – which sovereign states are able to do. This will also erase the wealth and political power of our owners.
  2. In the second scenario, our owners take over the collateral during the bankruptcy. The collateral is us and everything we own.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which scenario was chosen.

    The plan for the second scenario is ready and being implemented as we speak. It is called ‘The Great Reset’ and was constructed by the people behind the World Economic Forum.

    This plan is not a secret and can be examined to a certain degree on the WEF website.

    The Great Reset is a mechanism for the seizing of all debt collateral which includes your assets, the assets of your city or municipality, the assets of your state, and most corporate assets not already held by our owners.

    This asset seizure mechanism has several components, but the most important are the following four:

  1. Abolishment of sovereignty: A sovereign (independent) country is a dangerous country because it can choose to default on its debt. The decrease in sovereignty has been a priority for our owners and various schemes have been attempted such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The most successful scheme is undoubtedly the European Union itself.
  2. The down-tuning of the economy: The western economy (and indeed the global economy) must be tuned down by a very significant percentage. This down-tuning is necessary because the western economy is massively falsified now and must be taken down to its real level – which may be as low as half of what it is now – or more. The slow takedown has also the purpose of avoiding a sudden crash that would cause massive social unrest which would be a threat to our owners. A controlled takedown is therefore preferable to an uncontrolled crash. This controlled takedown is already happening and has been going on for quite some time. Many examples can be mentioned of this takedown, including the EU and US energy policy which is designed to sabotage the western economy, and the obvious attempts at demand destruction during and after the epidemic, including the fairly bizarre logistical problems which suddenly came out of nowhere.
  3. Asset harvesting (you will own nothing and be ‘happy’): All assets that can be considered to be collateral to our private and collective/public debt will be taken over. This is a clearly stated aim of the Great Reset but it is less clear how this would be carried out. Total control of western governments (and indeed all governments) would seem to be necessary for this. That precondition is closer than one might think because most western governments seem to be beholden to Davos at this point. The process will be sold as necessary social restructuring because of an economic crisis and global warming and will result in a massive decrease in living standards for regular people, although not the elites.
  4. Oppression: A great many people will not like this and an uprising is a likely response, even if the takedown is done gradually. To prevent this from happening, a social control mechanism is being implemented which will erase personal freedom, the freedom of speech, and privacy. It will also create absolute dependence of the individual on the state. This must be done before the economic takedown can be completed or there will be a revolution. This mechanism is already being implemented enthusiastically in the West as anybody with eyes and ears can see.

    Russia, China, and other Independents

    How do Russia and China, and the war in Ukraine, factor into all of this?

    Why all the pressure from the West throughout the years and why all this panic now?

    Part of the reason for the pressure on the Independents, particularly Russia and China, is simply that they have resisted western hegemony.

    That is enough for getting on the West’s naughty list.

    But why the increased pressure in recent years?

    The reason is that Russia and China cannot be subjugated through bankruptcy and their assets harvested.

    They do not have much debt in western currencies which means that the people who own the West through debt do not currently own Russia and China (like they own the West and the indebted ‘third world’) and cannot acquire them through debt.

    The only way to acquire them is through regime change.

    Their governments must be weakened by any means, including economic sanctions and military means if necessary — thus the use of Ukraine as a battering ram for Russia and Taiwan for China.

    Subjugating Russia and China is an existential issue for our Davos owners because when they take the western economy down, everything else must go down too.

If the western economy is taken down and a large economic block doesn’t participate in the downfall, it will be a disaster for the West.

    The new block will gain massive economic power, and possibly unipolar hegemony of sorts, while the West descends into a feudal Dark Age and irrelevance.

    Therefore the entire world must go down for the Great Reset to work.

    Russia and China must be subjugated by any means, as well as India and other stubborn nations.

    This is what has fueled the situation we now find ourselves in and will fuel the continuation of World War 3.

    The western owner-elites are going to war to keep their wealth and power.

    Everyone who resists must be subjugated so they can follow the West into the planned Great Reset Dark Age.

    The reason for the current panic among western elites is that the Ukraine project isn’t going as planned.

    Instead of Russia being bled on the battlefield, it is Ukraine and the West that bleed.

    Instead of the Russian economy crashing resulting in Putin’s replacement by a Davos-compatible leader, it is the West’s economy that is crashing.

    Instead of Russia being isolated, it is the West that is being increasingly isolated.

    Noting is working, and to top it all off, Europe has given the Russians the means and motive to destroy the European economy by partly shutting down its industry.

    Without Russian resources, there is no European industry, and without industry, there are no taxes for paying for unemployment benefits, pensions, all the refugees, and pretty much everything else which holds European societies together.

    The Russians now have the ability to engineer an uncontrolled crash in Europe which is not what Davos planned.

    An uncontrolled crash might see Davos’s heads roll, literally, and that is causing fear and panic in elite circles.

    The only solution for them is to move on with World War 3 and hope for the best.

    What to do

    The Great Reset of the world economy is the direct cause of World War 3 – assuming that is what is going on.

    What can be done about this?

    From inside the West, little can be done.

    The only way is to somehow remove Davos from the equation, but that is most likely not going to happen for two reasons: The first one is that the Davos great resetters are too entwined in the western economy and politics.

    Davos is like an octopus with its arms and suckers inside every country’s elite circles, media, and government.

    They are too entrenched to be easily removed.

    The second reason is that the western population is too brainwashed and ignorant.

    The level of their brainwashing is such that a large part of them actually want to become poor – although they use the word ‘green’ for ‘poor’ because it sounds better.

    There are, however, some indications that there may be divisions within western elites.

    Some of them, particularly within the US, may be resisting the primarily Europe-designed Great Reset – but whether this opposition is real or effective remains to be seen.

    However, outside the West, there are certain measures that can be taken and must be taken.

    Some of those measures are drastic and some of them are being done as we speak.

    Among the measures are the following:

  1. The Independents, led by Russia, China, and India, must create a block to isolate themselves from the radioactive West. This isolation must not only be economic, but also political and social. Their economic systems must be divorced from the West and made autonomous. Their cultures and history must be defended against western influences and revisionism. This process appears to be underway.
  2. The Independents must immediately ban all western sponsored institutions and NGOs in their countries, regardless of whether they are sponsored by western states or individuals. Furthermore, they must ban all media receiving western sponsorship and strip every school and university of western sponsorship and influence.
  3. They must leave all international institutions up to and possibly including the United Nations because all international bodies are controlled by the West. They must then replace them with new institutions within their block.
  4. They must, at some point, declare the dollar and the euro currencies non grata. That means that they should declare default on all debts denominated in these currencies, but not other debts. This will most likely come at a later stage but is inevitable.

    This will create a situation where the West will descend into darkness without pulling others down with it – if we manage to escape the nuclear fire.

    [End post from Gaius Baltar]

    Comments on this article may be read at this link.

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