03:25 GMT07 August 2020
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    American billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundation sought to use Pope Francis' visit to the US in 2015 to mobilize thousands of US Catholics and to push for concrete policy reforms in the country as well as to "shift US national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign" in the United States.

    American magnate George Soros tried to "capitaliz[e] on the momentum of the Pope's visit" in 2015 to mobilize US Catholics to "build toward a set of concrete policy reforms to be advanced in 2016," documents released by DCLeaks.com indicate.

    The document entitled "Review of 2015 US Opportunities Fund" (February 9, 2016) indicates that in April 2015 Soros' Open Society Foundation (OSF) provided $650,000 to PICO and Faith in Public Life (FPL) organizations to "build on the momentum of the Pope's September 2015 visit to the United States."

    "The initiative's grantees sought to use this opportunity to mobilize their tens of thousands of members in local chapters in 11 states to build toward a set of concrete policy reforms to be advanced in 2016," the document reads.

    In addition, grantees planned to improve coordination within local chapters to "push for a range of state and local policy changes related to economic and racial justice" and engage "individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages… to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope."

    Furthermore, the Soros-funded initiative sought to develop an advanced media campaign using reputable mainstream media sources such as USA Today, Newsweek, CNN, NBC, NPR, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.

    Assessing on the result of the campaign, the document underscores that "the boost to PICO and FPL's internal capacity to engage in organizing and messaging, as well as their capacity to effectively partner and coordinate, was even greater than anticipated."

    "The impact of this work and the relationships it has fostered can be seen in the broad range of religious leaders hitting pointedly back at presidential candidates for their use of fearmongering," it highlights.

    OSF's May 2015 white paper "Open Society US Program Board Meeting," specified that PICO and FLP should jump at the opportunity to "shift [US] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign."

    "By harnessing the papal visit to lift up the Pope's searing critique of what he calls ‘an economy of exclusion and inequality' and his dismissal of ‘trickle down' theories, PICO and FPL will work to build a bridge to a larger conversation about bread-and-butter economic concerns and shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign," it read.

    Commenting on the leak John-Henry Westen of LiteSiteNews.com pointed out that the group planned to work through Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of the Pope's senior advisors, and send a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer 2015 to allow the Pope to "hear directly from low-income Catholics in America."

    Weekly Catholic newspaper National Catholic Register notes that Cardinal Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, coordinates the council of Pope Francis' advisers.

    "Deeply influential, the Open Society Foundations are involved in many domestic and overseas activities," the media outlet stresses in reference to DCLeaks.com disclosure.

    The documents published by DCLeaks.com shed light on George Soros' international activities across the world including such key regions as Europe, Eurasia, the US, Africa and Latin America.


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