The prospect of one “world government” after the COVID-19 pandemic is dividing Catholic conservatives and progressives.

– Pope Francis critics organise “appeal” against “tyranny” of COVID-19 global health “dictatorship”

“The facts have shown that, under the pretext of the Covid-19 epidemic, the inalienable rights of citizens have in many cases been violated and their fundamental freedoms… disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted”, a group of three cardinals, eight bishops, and various other priests, journalists, medics, lawyers and assorted professionals denounced in a May 7 “appeal for the Church and the world”.

The cardinals who joined the appeal – orchestrated by notorious Pope Francis critic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò – were conservatives Gerhard Müller, Joseph Zen and Janis Pujats.

When the text was launched yesterday, organisers claimed Cardinal Robert Sarah had signed, but the Prefect for the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship later took to Twitter to deny he had done so in what was a major embarrassment for appeal promoters including conservative media outlets LifeSite News and the National Catholic Register.

Even conservative EWTN-owned Catholic News Agency was forced to admit, in its own words, that “Sarah’s denial raises questions about the legitimacy of other reported signatories to the letter”.

In their “appeal”, however, the conservatives affirmed that “we have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of restriction on freedoms, of controlling people and of tracking their movements”.

“The imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a World Government beyond all control [capitals and emphasis original]”, the “appeal” signatories claimed.

Railing against the “risk of imposing subtle forms of dictatorship” in the context of COVID-19 – and against the prospect of an “odious technological tyranny” being established under the cover of the pandemic – the conservatives urged citizens and politicians to ensure that “the fight against Covid-19” not become “the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests” in the “plan” to assert “control over people” during the outbreak, and beyond.

– Boff: coronavirus reveals “urgency of a plural centre of world government”

The conservatives’ warning against a COVID-19 “world government” is diametrically opposed to the thought of well-known liberation and eco-theologian and philosopher Leonardo Boff.

Boff is close to Pope Francis and has even contributed material for the pontiff’s encyclical Laudato si’ on care for the Common Home, despite having been silenced twice and forced out of the priesthood by the Vatican.

The theologian wrote precisely as the conservatives were preparing their “appeal” against the ‘New World Order’ of “the urgency of a plural centre of world government so as to guarantee for the whole community of life (not only humans but all living beings) sufficient enough to live decently”.

“We need a global social contract, because we continue to be hostages to the obsolete sovereignty of each country. Global problems require a global solution, agreed upon between all countries”, Boff insisted.

The liberation theologian even raised the possibility that COVID-19 will give way to “planetary ecosocialism”.

That was as a way, he said, of achieving what capitalism, “due to its competitive and exclusive essence, is incapable of managing: a world social contract, egalitarian and inclusive, respectful of nature, in which the ‘we’ (the community and societal) and not the ‘self’ (individualism) would be the structuring axis of societies and the world community”.

Read Boff’s latest argument for world government after coronavirus, on Novena:

Liberation theologian Boff, on COVID-19: “To return to ‘business as usual’ could mean our self-destruction”

Next on Novena:

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.