Daily Archives: February 11, 2013
If you are sensitive about the Pope, stop reading now. If you continue, consider that I will, most certainly, not publish your comment.
The surprise decision of the Holy Father to step down is only a few hours old, but I am sure you have already read all the sugary stuff your liver can muster.
You are, I hope, not a reader of this blog because you want to read the sugary stuff. If you are, you will be disappointed; but frankly, you haven’t been paying much attention, either.
I have waited before starting to write this post, and have not “stopped” a blog post – and a very bitter one – written two days ago, and scheduled for this evening. I haven’t, because I do not think that simple facts of life change because of our emotional reactions to historical – and today was truly historical – events.
Again: if you are the sensitive type, stop now. If you continue, it’s your problem. Chiaro?
I am fully persuaded Pope Benedict was (allow me the past here) a deeply kind man, intentioned to do good, and sincerely loving the Church. The fact that he was not “telegenic” and “media effective” as his predecessor made it more endearing to me. He did not “kiss the earth”, did not indulge as often in populist gestures, did not spend half of his time traveling like a mad gipsy, or a candidate to the American Presidency. Even in his being less communicative, and more difficult to “sell”, he was more authentic to my eyes than his predecessor. He did not have a beautiful smile, and yet he dared to smile. He knew he wasn’t the darling of the masses, and wasn’t really bothered. He was also, as a Pope, generally more intellectually aware, and less prone to trust the wrong people blindly.
Still, he was a Pope with a deep, irreparable construction mistake: he was a product of the Second Vatican Council.
Like all his predecessors from John XXIII on, he never reigned, he merely presided. Like all of them, he made the bidding of the local Church hierarchies, not really caring of how badly they represented the ideas that he, as the Vicar of Christ, had the duty to defend. Like all of them, he was that kind of person no one in his entourage really fears or really respects. He was the equivalent of those weak teachers we all remember from school: good and well-intentioned chaps, for sure; but in the end, just unable to do their job properly.
He seemed to see his role as the man who is saddened when things go wrong, rather than the man who is responsible to care that things go right. He saw a string of his German colleagues abandon themselves to the most ludicrous heresies (yours truly has reported at times; many other times his liver did not allow him to touch the subject); he saw his Archbishops, like Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, defend “civil partnerships” without punishment. Oh wait, he did not make Nichols Cardinal! This must have been his idea of punishment.
He made people like this one bishops, and for one who comes to such dubious honors there are many who make less an ass of themselves, but aren’t really better. He made another, even more unspeakable tool of Satan like this one a Cardinal. He let this man confuse Catholics without uttering a word to rebuke him (only one of the very many examples you can find on this blog), and lastly, he let this man – an extremely fresh appointment – attempt the demolition of the Catholic culture remained in Italy on occasion of his very first speech in his new position. Again, there are extremely numerous episodes, I merely mention those who are most recent or most striking.
And how could one forget the relentless work of fostering and protection of heresy in Austria tirelessly promoted by this man? How could one forget that the Pontiff allowed his own Kumpeln to get away with simony? How can one ignore that those belonging to his personal circle of friends and proteges (not only, as mentioned, this one, but even this one) were allowed to confuse Catholics at every step without being bothered in the least?
True, this Pope was less naive than his predecessor; but as for protection of his own favourites he wasn’t shy, either. Cardinal Schoenborn, once his favourite students, allowed total freedom of heresy, from laser masses to Medjugorje to the protection of heretics. Mueller, his text editor, put on the fast lane to archbishop and fox guarding the hen-house; Gaenswein, his aide, made a bishop weeks before resigning.
Is it a surprise that he was so little respected, and so little feared, that even his own butler – a sincere and truthful man, apparently, if very naive himself - thought it necessary to defend the Pope from …. himself? Can you imagine even Paul VI treated with so little esteem?
Certainly, the Holy Father did something good. Certainly, he also made some good bishops’ appointments (I like Egan a lot, talking of a recent one who concern me from near). But really, one had the impression the man doesn’t really know what he is doing, he merely does what is told and comes back to his books.
Oh, his books. This was the first Pope I know of who not only loves theology, but keeps seeing himself as a theologian after he became Pope, and judging from his work almost a full-time one. His production since ascending to the Papacy is impressive. Did he really take his job seriously, one wonders? Was he Pope mit Leib und Seele, or did he consider the papacy an unpleasant chore, taking refuge in his beloved theology as soon as he could? But whilst he wrote his books, devoting to them consistent and precious energies – particularly at his age – that should have been employed in … being Pope (doing things like paying attention to whom you appoint as bishop, for example; or taking the time to rein in your unruly Cardinals; or purging a couple of religious orders among the very worst; or other unpleasant things like that) his own clergy devastated the body of Christ in France, in Spain, in England, recently even in Italy. He was, literally, writing whilst Rome burns.
He will, though, be remembered – hopefully for him – chiefly for Summorum Pontificum; which, really, not only defined but epitomised his papacy. Afraid of his own courage, or simply afraid of being Pope, or perhaps never wanting Summorum Pontificum to be really effective in the first place – which I suspect – he started the work and forgot to implement it, a bit like those people so intent in imagining their own future company they never start one. It is now five and a half years and the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is a joke if we want to be gentle, and stable or going backwards in the last two-three years. His own bishops weren’t impressed in the least at the measure, and started to boycott it – and him – with a zeal one wish they would put in the defense of Catholic values. This they did either because they got signals the Pope wasn’t interested in the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, or because they just didn’t care what the Pope did or wanted; see the above mentioned teacher.
If your own butler doesn’t respect or fear you, how will your own archbishops?
The archbishops knew their “client”, and profited from his weakness, indecisiveness and sheer hierarchical incompetence – you can say of Pope Benedict what you want, but he wasn’t born a leader of men – for all it was worth. When – in a rare gust of courage – the Holy Father dared to appoint Monsignor Wagner as bishop (auxiliary, if memory serves) of Linz, the Austrian church revolted. Promptly, the Pope caved in. At that point, it was clear who is (not) in power.
I will, today, renounce to describe you some less savoury aspects of the Pope’s personality; aspects about which I have written, but do not think it appropriate to write today. It has to do, mostly, with the way the SSPX was treated, but again I will not write about this today.
The kindest thing that can be said of Pope Benedict is that he is a kind, gentle man of studies, who failed – yes, failed, and failed badly; look around you, with homosexuals advancing everywhere under his watch, and nothing near the hell on earth he should be making for every elected politician – when he had to really rule people, really take decisions, and run a complex organisation like the Church. He could simply not do it, and preferred to take refuge in his books and studies instead, hoping to be an halfway functioning “Vatican II” Pope and do what he could with the character and inclination God had given him. It didn’t work out.
But I really do not think this is the whole truth. The whole truth is that Benedict has failed because he is a Pope of Vatican II, and was destined to fail like all the Popes of Vatican II were destined, are destined, and always will be destined to fail.
In the simple world I live in, a papacy is not measured by the number of books one has written; or by the increase in Kirchensteuer-money; or by the crowds waiting for one at the airport (look at the “triumphal” England visit; two years later we are talking of so-called same-sex marriage, and most Catholics just don’t give a fig). The way I see it, a papacy is measured by the number of brave priests and bishops thundering against the perversions and madness of our times; by the number of Cardinals bravely promoting the faith in the face of open dissent, hostility, hatred, or loss of income; by the number of vocations, the activity in the seminaries, the assertiveness of religious orders truly devoted to Christ, and the constant defiance of secular thinking at all levels.
Nothing of this, I am afraid to say, was to be seen during Pope Benedict’s pontificate. Like his predecessors, meowing was the order of the day, whilst rapacious bishops and cardinals continued to rape the Bride of Christ every day. All this has happened under his watch, and of all this he is responsible. Then if one is in charge, he is also responsible.
And here I come to the last aspect, in which I pay to this Pope a last compliment among the not many I have paid him from this minuscule blog.
All the Popes of Vatican II are failures – bar JP I of course; probably for lack of time – but Pope Benedict has the immense merit of being the first one who has realised it and has drawn the consequences.
Obviously, he saw the great offensive Satan is launching all over the Western world. Obviously, he saw his sheer inadequacy at being a match for such an attack. Perhaps, incidents like the one with Paglia – a man of colossal incompetence and sheer stupidity and lack of faith, appointed by him, and mocked by the entire thinking Catholic planet at his very first public utterance in his new role – has persuaded him that he really wasn’t even able to make mediocre choices anymore, and from now on he would have become worse and worse in his appointments as his ability to select the right (erm, less wrong) people weakens with age.
The decision the Pope has made public today is – with Summorum Pontificum – the most important and most beautiful of his career, and I have frankly – and again, with the exception of Summorum Pontificum – never liked him as I like him today, or prayed for the health of his soul like I did today, because it takes an awful lot of guts to have the courage to admit one can’t do the job; particularly then, when one is the kind of person who was never noticed for his guts. I so wish Paul VI had done the same, and I am sure many of my readers would today think so much more of him if he had done so.
I do not think one serves the Church by serving on your plate a ton of molasses on a day like this. If you think so you have wasted your time, and you are reading the wrong blog.
We are living our Dunkirk, and we cannot go on with the Neville Chamberlains of this world, no matter how well-intentioned or how much fond of writing they are.
We need a Churchill now, and we need it fast.
Dear Lord, please, please give us a strong Pope.
Please, pity me; an Italian born in a country where Christian values were as commonly and universally spread as tap water, and who must now see the slow – Italians are remarkable common-sense, no-bull people; for how long, no one knows – decomposition of the moral fabric of the Country.
Pity me even more, because when treacherous politicians were not enough, their work is completed by unspeakably cowardly people like Archbishop Paglia, a man who does not even need to be elected but behaves as if his daily bread – and not his salvation – depended on it.
I have already written about the fact that the disgraceful Archbishop would like to have some legislation aimed at making the life of scandalous and unrepentant sodomites “easier”, something for which he would have probably – and certainly, if I had been the one to decide – been burnt at the stake not many centuries ago.
Now, we do not know whether Archbishop Paglia -or his aider and abetter, the Pope, who must take full responsibility before God for such an appointment, and for not immediately rebuking the Archbishop – was in agreement with the Primo Ministro, Monti, or whether the latter just saw an opportunity to conveniently shift on the sodomite side without too much damage. The fact is, though, that Monti expressed himself in a way similar to the Archbishop’s just a couple of days after the latter’s diabolical declarations. The gravity of the two events is, still, breathtaking.
Worse still is that similar words, though just a bit more nuanced – politicians love “nuanced” almost as much as Vatican officials – have been pronounced by the chap I was planning to vote, Pierferdinando Casini, the head of that part of the Monti-coalition which in the past had never failed to deliver. In short, there’s a taking down of trousers almost wherever you turn.
One froths with rage at thinking that the Vatican could have made of this election an unprecedented crusade for family and Christian values, and forced everyone to pay much attention to what he says and stands for. How powerful the Vatican still is, is clearly showed from the fact that – previous agreement or not – Monti and Casini did not dare to open their mouth before the Archbishop gave them the “green light” to do so. This gives you the full scale of the betrayal the – I must say this, because is the purest fact – Holy Father and his, ahem, “family protector” have to answer for.
Pity me, then, once again, for living in a country where not even high ecclesiastical authorities dare to fight for Christ; Popes are blind, deaf, and mute; and Catholic politicians behave like street whores.
I wanted to give my vote to the Centre (= Monti, Casini, Fini) coalition. Whilst risks are always there, I thought that after proper consideration of all the cards the vote for the centre would offer the highest chances to block sodomy-enhancing initiatives. Of course, it can still be that this is the case – believe me, an Italian politician can promise an awful lot he knows he has no intention to deliver – but I do not want to feel my vote has been misused, and do not think Casini can be trusted on that, much less Monti. Besides, Monti does not want to be seen as a “traditional” politician, so he has compromised himself once and for all.
Therefore, I have decided to vote – for the first time in my life, and I never thought I’d see the day – for the centre-right coalition; which, whilst not officially led by Berlusconi anymore, is still infested by him. Again: pity me. The vote has been sent today (it’s Saturday as I write), alea iacta est.
I will not delude you or myself into thinking the centre-right are the fortress the UDC (= the Casini party; himself a concubine, btw) was supposed to be, and I am actually terrified at the thought next time I look for Italian news I’ll read that they too have jumped into the bandwagon; but as I write these very sad notes they are the only grouping in which a possible mention of Berlusconi of a possible support for some kind of legislative measure in favour of sodomy – a misinterpretation of careless words, and clearly a forced one – was greeted by a salvo of complete rejections of the very idea by his own party members, and led to such angry denials that the matter died very soon.
This was, of course, several weeks ago, and we live in such times that the temptation to fish into the rather large pool of “inclusiveness” – a muddy pool in which even Archbishop Paglia was happy to immerse himself, and make both his person and the Holy Church stink with the stench of sodomy – might well be too strong for populists like Berlusconi & Co. With the only difference that – if we are lucky – Berlusconi & Co. will be too scared to anger the old men and women in Veneto, Lombardy and Sicily, who are absolutely vital to them if they are to avoid an outright majority of the Left in the Senato as it appears rather sure they will get the Camera.
This is the most chaotic election I have lived since 1994, and it is even more unpredictable because of the changed social conditions ( a much bigger mass of non-voters and undecided, making polls rather a work of art than a matter of statistical probability ). Against all expectations, the “Five Stars movements” is growing stronger, and no one really knows whether the diffused anger towards the party system – including Berlusconi, of course – will really translate into 15% of the votes, which would be an earthquake and, let me say this, truly bad for the country.
It becomes even more interesting now, because the Italian electoral law has a rather brutally enforced ban on polls in the last two weeks (that is: from the 10th), and in the last two weeks a lot can happen.
In theory, the centre-right coalition might still carry the day; in theory, many might think as I do and decide that the centre-right (particularly the UDC, the once staunchly Catholic party) is not a credible defender of marriage, family and Christian values. In practice, this election was and is not being fought along religious lines, and the fact Berlusconi did not launch the loudly trumpeted “battle on family values” says a lot about the real lay of the land.
Italians are about to betray their God and tradition not in that they are directly embracing Sodomarriage (they are not as rotten as the Britons, by far), but in that, as stupidly as Archbishop Paglia is stupid, they might/could/will give ways to form of “civil partnerships” which, besides being an abomination in themselves, will make the cry for “sodomarriage” unavoidable in just a couple of years’ time.
Pity me, then, as I write on a rainy afternoon contemplating another battle our prelates were too indecisive (yes, starting from the very top) to fight.
And pray for our clergy, whose members are not even ashamed of openly promoting, or silently abetting, abominations in the eyes of The Lord.