The Moderation Reblog
Originally posted on Mundabor's Blog:
As the disgraceful Francis throws away the mask and shows the true Jesuit behind it, it is perhaps fitting to say a couple of words about the way the highly emotional, rather short-tempered author of this blog will cope with the challenges of our time.
1. This is no place for Sedevacantists. Whilst we criticise the advanced state of decay in which the Church finds Herself, we are fully loyal to the Church.
One does not apply for a new passport – or, more fittingly put, denies the legitimacy of those issuing the passport – because one despises the bunch currently in charge. Particularly if it is Christ’s passport, and the passport to Purgatory. Every comment even vaguely reeking of Sedevacantism will be culled, because I do not want my blog to be occasion of scandal to the many good Catholics reading this effort…
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Via Rorate, the interview of the Coptic-orthodox “General Bishop” for Germany.
The words are clear enough, but note that the good man feels the need to say “Ich bin kein Hassprediger”, “I am not a preacher of hate”. He knows perfectly well that in a country like Germany, the Nazi Nannies might well jump at his throat for simply expressing a perfectly legitimate opinion, and might try to involve the prosecution organs to silence the man, as already done with the late “Kreuz.net”
The game is simple: Nazi Nanny goes to the police and says “a criminal offence has occurred”. The police must occupy itself with the matter and has, in principle, no choice to discard it. Therefore, the prosecution office will be involved. Depending on the noise made on the press, the pressure will grow on both police and prosecutors to consider a certain matter worthy of real investigations. At this point, a huge reputation damage has already ensued, and the press will, once one is branded as “hate preacher”, do the rest.
The interview warning Christians of a possible persecution already contains words clearly reminding us of the more subtle persecution already in place.
It cannot be denied that, had Pius X spoken in the same way of Francis, the scandal would have been gigantic. Probably, the mental sanity of that holy man would have been questioned, because – it would have been reasoned – only a madman can express himself in that way.
Francis is, very probably, not mad. The mad things he says with almost daily rhythm are not the fruit of a mental imbalance, merely of a spiritual one. One things he notices about him, though, is the shameless arrogance with which he not only gives scandal, but keeps hammering on the same scandalous points.
Just to mention one topic, the printed statement about proselytism being “solemn nonsense” was initially, from the usual Pollyannas, justified interpreting “proselytism” as “aggressive and obnoxious demand that other convert”. Francis rapidly put an end to such doubts – for soundly thinking people at least – with repeated assertions that confirmed that he really has no interest in converting tout court: the “no! no! no!” statement was followed by a tipsy video for a Proddie congregation, in which he called his buddy “brother bishop”; then by his receiving Proddie preachers on more than an occasion, and high-fiving with one of them for the enjoyment of the photographers. Then again he went to Caserta and shoot another heretical salvo about the Holy Ghost being fine with heresies. There are probably other episodes; with this man it is frankly difficult to keep pace.
Every time it is the same story: Francis says something heretical or outlandish, more or less blind people start saying “he can't have said that”, he repeats the same concept in all possible variations so that most people understand that he really means it, the Pollyanna deplore the continued wickedness of the media.
This has two effects: it persuades all but the very blind that Francis really thinks that way, and it desensitises the faithful to scandal and heresy.
How many times has Francis “confused” (polite word for: wilfully misled) the faithful? How many times has he given scandal with his words, his acts, his appointments? Fifty? One hundred? Is there one man on the planet who does not expect him to go on that way? How many are those who, faced with the scandal, meet it with the same outrage that would have been caused if the above mentioned Pius X had said the same things, or a small fraction of them?
Francis is banking on the position of seeming untouchability given to him by the, erm, tiara. He will go on and on until even faithful Catholics are accustomed to his heresies, and consider them an innocent trait of a oh so humble man. Everytime Francis gives scandal, the values he attacks are slightly diminished in the eyes of the faithful; then he does it again and again, and the faithful become slowly less vigilant, and less vocal; then he does it another thirty times, and everyone knows this is the new normal if not in the grey theory, certainly in the green praxis.
Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo. A drop hollows the stone not through force, but by falling often. This is exactly the strategy followed by the Unholy Father: repeat your heresies and your boorish behaviour again and again, with no apology and no shame, and they will end up being accepted and considered part of the character of the man, and of the new thinking of the Church.
The oxes will, in time, obediently follow, accept every heresy, and ruminate whatever Francis says without wasting a second thinking about its validity or orthodoxy. He has said it so many times now, how can he be wrong? He is the Pope after all! Who are you to judge?
Refuse this thinking. Let your scandal at the 100th repetition of the heresy be as big as at the first. Do not get accustomed to heresy, or scandalous behaviour. When Francis drops another heretical bomb always think how Catholics in the time of St Pius X would have reacted to it, and do the same.
Let us not get accustomed. Let us not yield to the slow corruption of the minds of this disgraceful papacy. Let us wear as a badge of honour that we do not want to conform to this new age of appeasement, heresy, banality, and vulgarity.
Gutta cavat lapidem. But the Truth is as hard as a diamond. Francis does not care for it, and tramples it with his black shoes for the sake of what to him is the only thing that counts: his own popularity, the edification of the monument to Saint Francis The Great Non-Judger.
Francis will ultimately fail, like all those before and after him. Let him enjoy his moment of glory, then, as many before him have done. The day will come when the fun ends.
The Pope goes around saying things that, had they been said by Popes of a Christian past, would have probably caused him to die at the stake, and deservedly so. Bishops and Cardinals everywhere undermine Catholic teaching at every possible and impossible occasion. Many a Mass raises valid questions whether a valid consecration has taken place. Catholicism among the masses has degenerated to a very short list of the most trite banalities; banalities in which nowadays open denial of God’s rules is automatically contained; like the “inclusiveness” that ends up accepting adultery and sexual perversion, and the “social justice” that forgets that justice is not of this world.
Has God, then, forgotten us? Has he left us alone in the midst of wolves who attack us day in and day out, and demand that we “include” them, embrace their ideology, and accept it as True Faith?
It is, at times, seriously sickening to always have to write about the latest Papal scandal; or the latest bishop or cardinal desirous to earn brownie points by him; or the latest priest thinking that Castro has been sent by God like a new prophet.
It is sickening. But it is our lot. Could be worse, frankly.
Had God forsaken humanity when the Arian heresy had swept away almost all of Christianity? What must the faithful have thought during the many decades of its seemingly irresistible ascendancy? When even the Pope was at the very least their unwilling accomplice, and at the worst their willing one?
Had God forsaken humanity when the Plague swept Europe in 1348; ravaging a Continent with a violence never seen before, carrying to an early grave countless people, and destroying entire families?
Had God forsaken Europe when the Thirty Years’ War left almost all of Europe savagely ravaged, and Germany almost destroyed, with only the introduction of the potato saving them from countless further deaths of starvation?
Shall I remind you of the First World War, which was in these days, one hundred years ago, about to engulf Europe in a conflict the like of which humanity had never seen? Followed, just as the war had ended, by a short but terrible wave of disease which made, in a matter of weeks, even more victims again?
Last but not least: has God forsaken the countless Christians all over the East and the Middle East, and whose tragedy is now under our eyes – the eyes of those who want to see, that is – as it unfolds week after horrible week?
God never forsakes us, and His promise to be with us to the end of times will obviously stay. But we have to face our lot bravely; strong in this promise, as so many generations have done before us; living and dying in faith amidst the apparence of a crumbling world; and thinking, as we do so, of all those whose suffering has in these disgraceful times a much more concrete dimension than our rather comfortable complaint about probably the worst Pope in history, bar none.
Past generations had to deal with the Arians and the plague; with war, famine and disease. Eastern Christians have to deal with ruthless Muslim persecution, most evidently in Syria and Iraq but also elsewhere, and with discrimination as daily normality in many other Countries.
We have to deal with an old deluded atheist – and if you ask me, an old filthy man, for whom to live under an homosexual’s roof and to openly protect and promote him is being just hip and progressive – as Pope, spreading heresies from the very top as he undermines Catholic teaching every day; and with his minions, rivalling each other in their eagerness to establish who is the one who toadies to him the most.
God has not forsaken us, or the persecuted Christians in Mosul and elsewhere, just as he never forsook all the Christians who had to endure terrible suffering in the past.
We must soldier on in His name whatever He allows that it should happen to us, and draw from it the energy to live a live stronger in faith and, therefore, better able to endure the trials, and better suited to stay, one day, in front of our judge.
This is not going to please many of you, but I think in these days of atrocious persecution of Christians in Muslim Countries there are a thing or two that must be said without half words.
The Arab democratic experiment – an experiment which I had initially greeted, considering the Iraqis far better than they proved to be – has failed. It has failed so appallingly, that we are now in front of an entire region utterly desirous to sink into a pit of bloody ferociousness, as clearly seen in those Countries where they managed to do so; whilst only clearly non democratic regimes – like in Egypt, or in Saudi Arabia – can still control the mob.
The question remains whether in those prevalently Muslim Middle east Countries people are Muslims because they are savages, or are savages because they are Muslims. I tend for the second, seen that the Christian minorities present in many of those Countries do not show the same, ahem, character traits. But in the end, the conclusion is the same: you can’t throw pearls before swines, or democracies before Arabs. I once thought it was possible. I saluted GWB’s attempt to change the world for the better, in deed for once rather than just with stupid rhetoric. But now I am cured.
I see, at this point, only three possible outcomes.
1. The Muslims keep massacring each other, and the worst among them keep massacring Christians like it’s Turkey Shooting Day. The West whines, and does nothing. The Pope, the President of the United States and the main Western leaders talk of peace in a tired manner, whilst the massacre goes on undisturbed.
2. The US and their allies decide to act, and start bombing the ISIS villages and installations like it’s Doomsday, making clear that anywhere near a possible ISIS target – real, potential, or simply suspected – is the wrong place to be and not conducive to a long life, and that the dear supporters of the Religion of Peace will have to extirpate the cancer from their midst with their own hands if they want the bombs to stop falling. Still: that in the end a definitive victory will not be possible without boots on the ground all those of you who have read three things about military strategy know all too well for me to bore them.
I really can’t see any other way, and question the grasp of reality of all those who think otherwise. Talking of peace with the ISIS is, if possible, even more senseless than talking of religion with Stalin. When they die, they will get the message. Not one second before.
But then we have to ask ourselves how the West – if the West is smart; which it isn’t – is to deal with the region.
My solution is not very idealistic, but very practical: bomb the bastards as needed, and then put in power a handful of your bastards. People who know what they must do to stay alive and enjoy a life of luxury and privilege.
Forget democracy, progress, civilisation. They clearly haven’t deserved it. They can’t deal with it. It is what it is.
Put there a handful of bastards able to speak the only language that counts in those parts – violence – and take care that they do not touch your own interests, starting from the safety and tranquility of the Christians. If they deliver, they will be allowed to live, and the West will close its rhetorical and democratic eye whenever necessary. If they don’t, they’ll end up as dead as Gaddafi whilst the next bastard gets his chance.
In the Middle East, Realpolitik is the only option, because every so little amount of practised idealism leads to suffering without end.
Violence, fear, and the constant threat of the Western wrath. This is what works with them. They react to it rather well (Saddam docet). Give it to them, then.
And please, don’t give me the next “give peace a chance” song whilst another Christian community is dispossessed. Diplomacy isn’t made in the kindergarten, and reality has a terrible way of reminding us what happens if we do. Obama’s support to the revolts in Egypt, Libya, even Syria is the epitome of diplomatic and humanitarian suicide for the sake of the kindergarten.
Let us get back to sound diplomacy. Our bastards everywhere, and woe to them if they touch our interests. This is what works.
Can’t you see with your eyes that this is the only way with these people? The “religion of peace” makes it impossible for them to avoid massacring each other and massacre other people, unless they are either united by a common enemy or under a man ferocious enough to keep them quiet.
Give war a chance. Give violence a chance. Give fear a chance.
In the Middle East, it is the only way.
Following the profoundly serene suggestions of our ‘umble ‘oly Father on how to life a happy life, I allow myself to give my own personal contribution. Whilst I doubt they will reach the powerful effect of our Pope’s, I am safe in the knowledge no one will be able to tell me my suggestions are even more stupid than his. And they are three more, in case you’re counting. Which, as we all know, you should not do.
And so here we are.
1. Stroke a cat.
Cats are beautiful animals. They never look for career advancement, or pray by rote. They are just at peace with the World. We can learn a lot from cats. They are so fluffy, eh? Stroke a cat every day. Pay attention, though. Not all cats like it.
2. Hug a tree
Trees are very important to us. Without them how could we breath, eh? Trees are never hurrying anywhere, either. They just (big emphasis here) are. Hugging a tree will channel in you the quiet spirit of the tree. Don’t think whilst you hug the tree. Just be.
3. Kiss a child.
Children are the very embodiment of innocence. You should like children a lot, and try to be more like them. Kiss a child every day. When the mother calls the police, switch to 4.
4. Smile to a policeman.
Policemen are important. They remind us that we are naughty at times, no? Policemen can also arrest us, and they will if the mother gets really angry. Smile a lot, then, to the policeman. There isn’t much happiness in a prison cell, no?
5. Remember to celebrate the Sunday
Sunday is, as we all know, the day of the Family. Therefore, on Sundays there is the obligation to go spend time with your family. You should eat with your family, which is why Sunday it is traditionally called a day of “meal obligation”. Sunday is for the family. Relax. Eat, drink, drink, drink, and be merry. That’s what Sunday is for. Sunday is for the family.
6. Greet the Sky
Every day, pick a moment to say “thank you” to the Sky. If it is blue, tell Her “thank you, Sky, that you are so blue today!”. If it is gray, tell Her “thank you, Sky, for gently teaching me to appreciate you when you are blue!”
Every day, try to jump towards the sky, like you did as a little child. It is so exhilarating, ah, eh, no?
7. Think happy thoughts
Every day, think happy thoughts, like: “I have the best of all possible Popes”. Dwell on his humility, his care for the poor, his social worries. Picture him as He embraces his buddy, Monsignor Ricca, or cooks kosher with his other buddy, the Rabbi. Enjoy the beautiful sense of peace and diversity. Do not dwell too long on it, though, otherwise he will become prideful, eh? Ah?
(Ain’t I the funniest guy…).
8. Do not judge
Judging will make people angry at you. Why would you make people angry? It is better if we all get along, no? And who are we to judge? Learn from Francis! For example, there is that Monsignor… erm, uh, but I digress… The only people who judge are the Neopelagians, Rosary-Counters, Old Maids, Joyless People, Rote-Prayers and assorted bad men. I am not judging, of course…!
9. Hold on to your Koran
Well, this is only for Muslims, I think? But if you aren’t, hold on to your sacred books! Yes, the Bible is fine, too! But please do not show it around too much. We aren’t “judging”. See point 8. Plus they might think you want to convert them. Proselytism is solemn nonsense! Solemn nonsense, I tell you!
10. Fight for Peace and Social Justice. And the Environment, too!
Every day, do or say something showing you care so much. Express your desire for Peaceintheworld, or Theendofpoverty, or Savingtheplanet. Feel good as you say it. Your interlocutors must feel your utter superiority. Always take the moral high ground first, and squat there like it’s 1968.
11. Show Humbleness
You may occupy an entire floor of an hotel (I know some who do), but do get on the bus every now and then, and do care to be seen by your acquaintances! Remember, we must be a bit cunning in this life, eh? Jesus also did with his Disciples, eh, no? (Wink, wink).
12. Have no excessive doctrinal security
Look, every security you have will hurt someone else, right? You can gently suggest that you have your truths, but never insist on them. The World wanted that we all believe different things, because it teaches us to celebrate diversity. How smart the World is, eh? Ah? No?
13. Hug an Invalid in public
This is very important for your personal happiness. Every day, hug an invalid whilst other are looking on. Everything goes, mind: a wheelchair-ridden man will do fine, but really, they come in all flavours.
Again: it is paramount for your happiness that you be seen. Then seeing is believing, and your friends will believe you are quite the heart of gold, eh? Ah? (wink, wink…).
So, this is it.
Not as profound as Francis’, I know. But hey, I ain’t as pious and ‘umble as he is, either.
Originally posted on Mundabor's Blog:
Francis hasn’t “time” for these things, and he is “not interested” in protocol. Francis is interested in the perception of Francis, the man. A couple of days ago he showed up at a meeting in Rome with the now famously “humble” Ford, without even a Vatican registration number. He also appears to have entered the church with – refers the “Homograph” – his folded mitre tucked under the right arm. As if he were embarrassed by it, or thought it just superfluous.
I am a very traditionally minded person – not only in religious matters – and to me authority has always had not only the right, but the duty to show itself. It is, therefore, rather natural to me that, say, the President of the Italian Republic would live in possibly the most stunning of all stunning Italian palaces; a dwelling once considered, ahem, fit for a Pope (before the Age Of The Bus, that is).
The same reasoning I apply, naturally as it seems to me, to a bishop. A successor of the Apostles and with the same formal rank as a Pope, a Bishop should live in a place – and, in certain matters, in a way – fitting his rank, and immediately conveying the importance of the position he holds.
A Bishop should, if you ask me, be immediately recognisable as a personage of absolute preeminence, and unquestionable rank. Even by heathens, atheist, and children. Let him live in a splendid palace, then, whenever the condition of the diocese affords (in the West, it generally does unless the money is squandered in stupid committees), and let us ask wealthy Catholics to give a sound contribution to a visible presence of the Bishop in the middle of his sheep.
This requires, though, a couple of distinctions and reflections:
1. There should be, in principle, only one bishop for every diocese. Diocese with multiple bishops, of whom de facto only one runs the diocese, diminish the importance of the role and confuse the faithful about what a bishop is. I do not know when this fashion of the multiple bishops began, but it seems wrong to me.
2. A bishop should be a man who accepts what comes with his role. If he'd rather be a country curate, let him be a country curate by all means, whilst another is the bishop; or let him be the bishop, and suffer in silence the loss of his little cottage. A bishop should have, if you ask me, as little right to play “one of us” than a Pope. A bishop living in a three bedroom flat, or even in a suburban house, is sending exactly the wrong message, because he is cheapening the office. People understand power and influence at an instinctive, not rational level. If the King lives in a cottage, he has no place being a King.
3. Such a bishop will have a far greater attention on him than the modern eunuchs in black. He will be located square in the middle of the community, with his persona as well as with his palace. With all eyes on him, the pressure will grow to behave like a leader of men should. Exactly as simplicity deprives of influence, Pomp has this beautiful side effect, that it reminds everyone that one person, that one and no other, is in charge.
4. The luxury of a bishop should be luxury that defies the centuries, not the result of his particular taste. A bishop building a splendid palace with an imposing stone facade has put Christ square in the middle of the community; a bishop spending vast amounts of money on his caprices (say: senseless modern art, or architectonical extravagances) is justly chastised. But again, a man of God will always have a clear perception of whether he is erecting a monument to the greatness of the Church, or to his own vanity. Similarly, the preeminence of the bishop should make clear to everyone the power of the Church, and Her demand to count, and to lead the lives of men. This palace, and this presence, must be as public as the Bishop is, as central as Christ has the right to be. The splendid palace near the Cathedral is one thing, the big villa in the leafy suburbs for the private enjoyment of the bishop quite another.
Well, these are my personal reflections on the matter. I am sick and tired of all these example of humble prelates living in humble dwellings, and of this proto-Socialist thinking according to which the humbler, the better. In most cases, the office will be damaged as his holder gets exalted for devaluing his role. It can't be right.
A bishop has a public role and the duty to carry it out in a fitting way, just like a king.
Let him be a king in his diocese, then; smack dab in the middle of the community, but knowing that the entire community watches him.
Methinks we would have not only splendid palaces but better bishops, too.
The news has been widely publicised that Archbishop Martin of Dublin has criticised those young Irish priests who, uncaring of the new Age Of Catholic Protestantism, insist with such an obnoxious and uncharitable nuisance as Catholic teaching.
The way the Archbishop criticises the young orthodox priests is very telling: they would be, we are informed, “conformist”, and “closed”.
Well I never…
Last time I looked, the first duty of a priest was to espouse conformism; to be, in fact, the very epitome of it. Or since when has anti conformism become a positive trait in a priest? Who is a good priest for Archbishop Martin? One who teaches his sheep that it is not necessary to convert anyone to Catholicism?
The same goes, of course, with the “closed” thing; a word which means nothing (the bishop himself is “closed” to pedophilia, surely?) but clearly conveys a clear message that orthodoxy itself must now be seen as narrow-minded. Which explains what “closed” means in this context: Catholic.
One seems to understand how Father Martin made a career, does one not?
Still: it is a consolation to know that in this vast lake of mud, Catholic nymphaeas in the form of orthodox priests are still growing here and there; so much so, that the Bishop must intervene, lest one day Ireland should become Catholic again.
You see: certainly, Francis is a huge problem, because before him the Popes were at least presentable. But the other and vaster problem is the very many little Francis running countless dioceses; they have been left, in essentials, unpunished and even undisturbed by those very same presentable Popes now so fondly remembered, and they were allowed to slowly infiltrate the ranks of the Cardinals. The accident of the election of one like Francis to the Papacy was therefore, given time, unavoidable given the mentality with which the former Popes have made their appointments.
No, I do not think the Cardinals – most of them anyway – really knew what they were doing. But when you have so many rotten apples in the Sistine Chapel, it is unavoidable that at some point one be given a Mozzetta. Which he will then, rather coherently with his rotten thinking, refuse to wear.
My prayers are with the young orthodox priests in Ireland, whose Catholicism so much alarms the Archbishop; and with all young and less young priests who take their vocation seriously, and believe they will have to give an account for it one day.
Frankly, I very much doubt Archbishop Martin has the same belief as them.
A clear sign of the degradation of Catholic thinking was given recently by a Father Blogger, who thought he would make the smart observation that many of those those who criticised the dissenters and the enemies of Benedict now are very ready to criticise the Pope themselves. As if, in all this, there were some contradiction, or hypocrisy.
Of course there isn’t. If Catholicism is to make sense the metre of right and wrong must be given by orthodoxy, not rank. When dissenters go against the teaching of the Church they will be criticised because of that; and the same will happen, must happen, to bishops, cardinals, and Popes. This Pope being openly and shamelessly heretical – albeit in that typical “off-the-cuff”, “who cares what Catholics think” way of his – it is only natural, coherent, and very orthodox that he be criticised himself.
The writing and faulty thinking of the blogger priest shows an alarming degree of Papolatry, in that it equates dissenting from the Pope and dissenting from the Truth; as if the Pope were the bearer, qua Pope, of an authority that can be compared with Truth. Truly alarming, but not so unusual among former Protestant converts who, at times, give one the impression they have converted not to the Truth, but to a Pope. Albeit in this case I suspect the desire not to alienate a mediocre and ill-instructed readership must play a role.
The mediocre priest blogger goes on to criticise what he perceives as personal animosity against Francis. Again, one wonders. I am rather sure not many bloggers and commenters have met Francis personally, and – unless perhaps they sit on a wheelchair, or are Protestants – their probability to do so is exceedingly small. The reason why they despise Francis can, therefore, mostly be traced back to this: that as Popes (or priests) go, Francis is utterly despicable, and it becomes very difficult to be appreciative of the very occasional bout of humour of a Pope who walks over Catholicism every day that God sends on earth. This, If you love Truth, and the Church Francis so continuously attacks. If you don’t care, well of course you can relax…
Life is a simple thing, and it works according to simple rules: if you sabotage the Truth, those who love it will not like you very much. Because they love Truth, you see.
But again, at times there are blog posts that truly show one to what level of functional illiteracy most readers have sunk: utter non-arguments are given to them as if they made sense, and they uncritically accept whatever rubbish they are dished simply because Father (holy, or not) said it.
We are, truly, surrounded by rubbish.
This is a priest in good standing, according to Pope Francis.
The FFI is still persecuted, one of its founders still kept in seclusion and slandered.
Open you eyes and behold the shameless inadequacy of this disgraceful Pope.
—- THIS IS NOT A JOKE ———————- THIS IS NOT A JOKE ———-
The man so well-known for his doctrinal surefootedness and attention for orthodoxy will, apparently, regale the world with the first live interview of a Pontiff.
What can go wrong?
I will spare you my usual considerations, that you have read many times, about the embarrassing attention seeking of this man, that has now gone past pathetic. One truly wonders where this search for novelties will end. One pities the old men of the past, who insisted in thinking thrice before opening their mouth. To Francis, having his mouth shut seems to be the only mortal sin remained. And this, from the man who said he does not like giving interviews. Oh, the hypocrisy…
What will be interesting, here, is the reaction of the Pollyanna troops. They always say:
1. that the journalists distort the words of the Pope, and
2. that the Pope might have been, perhaps, more prudent.
If after around half gazillion major blunders they discover that Francis not only says his rubbish live, but insists in doing so, on the radio, and plans it beforehand, will some of them open their big blue cartoon eyes and finally realise that Francis is always reported by the press with all those “confusing” statements because this is exactly what he wants to do?
I truly wonder.
One thing is certain: Francis does not make the work easy for the Pollyannas. His entire pontificate seems directed at persuading even the most retarded that he really means what he says, and that he will keep repeating it – on live radio if needs be – until everyone got the message.
I will now go and pray for this Pope.
And for the next one.
In past times, journalists used to harshly criticise what other journalists had written, or their general outlook on life.
It generally ended at that.
If, say, Il Giornale criticised Paese Sera, none of its reader ran to the newsagent asking for a copy of the culprit newspaper, just to make sure they had been correctly informed and Paese Sera was really the Proto-Communist crap it was purported to be. You believed those you esteemed implicitly. The criticism was, therefore, a criticism that did not bring business to those who were criticised.
Not so today.
Today we have blogging journalists, and amateur bloggers, linking without any qualm to people whose opinions they disapprove of, heavily dislike, or even loathe. This brings business exactly to those who ideally should not have any; or at least should not have any from the right people.
It seems to me that blogdom and the advent of “linked” news has also caused another phenomenon: a controversy industry aimed not – or not only – at the excitement of their own supporters, but in a growing manner to the angering of their own adversaries; who will then angrily react and link to the culprit, moving vast numbers of people to bring money in the very pockets of their own adversaries. It is as if one would make a small contribution to the Labour Party everytime he thinks they are a bunch of senseless Commies. The worst of this is that the critics keep coming (look at the comment sections), so that it is clear there is no long-term price to pay for the short-term provocation advantage. The click is free to the one who clicks, but it brings an utility to those who are clicked. An utility so big, that entire businesses are run on that only. The more you provoque, the more money it brings, and in the long term. Not even Paese Sera could afford such luxury, and certainly not so easily.
The well-known blog multinational of all faiths and none seems to me a perfect, and at the same time an extreme example, of this. They do not have a print version, and the company as well as their bloggers profit from every click, it being utterly irrelevant whether it comes from people enthusiastic of their work or angry at their very existence. They will, therefore, be encouraged – encouraged in a very obvious and immediate way: ka-ching! – to be overtly controversial, so that their own adversaries may make their tills sing.
I do not think this is a behaviour that should be encouraged. Certainly not, when the person you – or I – deem spreading the wrong idea gets money whenever we want to make really sure that we disagree with him. It may be a smart move from their side to try, it certainly isn’t from ours to let them succeed.
Which is why I have, in the past, advisedly not linked to wrong blogs; particularly – but not only – those of the big Ka-Ching machine of all faiths and none.
I invite the other bloggers reading this to consider doing the same, and to be rather vague in their references: the reader must know enough to know that the criticised position comes from the wrong corner, without being exposed to the rather instinctive reflex to just click the link. Ideally, he should not even be interested about the particular blog or newspaper that occasioned the criticism: the argument made, and its refutation, could well be information enough; then we fight a battle of ideas and want to train each other to right thinking, rather than indulge in, say, heresy or dissent or cafeteria catholic voyeurism.
I know, the one or other will not like this, and will find that something gets lost in the way of information.
But it is, in the end, better than nourishing your adversary.
In past times, I never felt the need to give money to the Pravda, either.