Portugal’s Fires 2017: What the Pope Blesses, the Lord Curses

* On 31 July 1969 Pope Paul VI visited Uganda at the invitation of President Milton Obote, who was knighted by the pope at a special ceremony at which he blessed the people of Uganda.  Obote was deposed in January 1971 and went into exile as a result of a coup by Idi Amin.  For the next eight years the Ugandans suffered under the tyranny of President Amin.  On 10 September 1975 Amin had an audience with the pope.  Forces from neighbouring Tanzania defeated the armies of Amin on 12 April 1979.

* On 10 October 1970 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia had an audience with the pope.  In 1972-73 his country was hit by severe drought and famine.  In August 1974 he was deposed in a coup and the army took over.  He died in captivity on 27 August 1975.

* When Pope Paul VI visited Australia in December 1970, he pronounced this blessing:  “May God bless the great Australian nation.  May he grant it peace and prosperity.”  His followers were delighted and expected great benefit to the nation, but this is what actually happened: on 27 April 1973 Prime Minister Whitlam had an audience with the pope, and a few months later opened diplomatic relations with the Vatican, for the first time in Australia's history – and without any mandate from the people.  In the period that followed, the country was hit by frequent strikes, business recession, a record rate of inflation and serious unemployment.  On 25 December 1974 the city of Darwin was devastated by a monstrous cyclone.

* On 14 November 1972 Argentina’s Peron had an audience with the pope before returning to Argentina as the new president.  On 2 July 1974 Peron died of a heart attack, one year after taking office.

* On 4 June 1975 U.S. President Ford had an audience with the pope.  On 4 November 1976 Ford was defeated at the elections.

* U.S. President Jimmy Carter not only highly eulogised Pope John Paul II when he visited the USA in October 1979, but invited him to the White House and to address the U.S. Congress.  He visited the Vatican on 23 June 1980 – and was soundly defeated just a few months later in the elections of December 1980.

* Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines on 23 February 1980, as usual kissing the soil and blessing the islands.  Thereafter the islands were devastated by typhoons, with much loss of life and millions of dollars’ damage.

* On 2 June 1980 Pope John Paul II visited France and was given a state reception by President Valery Giscard D’Estaing, who also had a private audience with him.  Hardly a year later in May 1981 he was defeated at the elections.

* On 1 July 1980 the pope began a visit to Brazil.  In 1982 Brazil officials admitted a foreign debt of $90 000 million.  By 1983 starvation and famine gripped parts of Brazil because of a five-year drought and an economic crisis hit the nation.

* In June 1982 the pope visited Argentina and blessed General Galtieri and senior members of the armed services at an open air mass.  Just four days later his forces at Port Stanley surrendered to the British, and Galtieri was deposed.  He later received 12 years in jail for his part in the war.

* Britain accepted the “favour” of a papal visit – the first ever.  Timed for May 1982, the country was plunged into war with 95% Romanist Argentina only weeks before.

* In May 1984, the pope visited and blessed the Solomon Islands, and visitors from neighbouring Fiji and Vanuatu.  In January 1985 Cyclone Eric, followed 3 days later by Nigel, extensively damaged homes and plantations in Fiji and Vanuatu.  In March 1986 Cyclone Namu devastated the Solomon Islands, leaving half the nation homeless.

* On 13 August 1985 the pope visited Bamenda in Cameroon and held an outdoor mass nearby.  One year later, a huge discharge of poisonous gases suddenly escaping from the volcanic Lake Nyos killed 2000 in villages on the outskirts of Bamenda.

* In 1987, America simply reeled under an avalanche of papal blessing, with the gigantic Wall Street crash occurring only weeks after the pope’s departure.

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