Daily Archives: March 24, 2011
Yes, you can and no, I am not joking.
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Annunciation. This feast, when it falls on a Friday of Lent, has, so to speak, “way of right” over the friday obligation to abstain from meat.
The idea is that the joy for the Annunciation is, on this day, more worthy of being honoured than the sorrow for Our Lord’s suffering.
You may want to astonish the one or other colleague and surprise them with a small lecture in sound Catholicism.. 😉
Rumours become more numerous that the upcoming “Instruction” will not be as bad as previously feared.
I do not like to be cynical, but in my eyes one has the duty to look at reality with open eyes.
That things are not working as they should, I think everyone will agree. One should ask himself, then, what would allow things to work and whether the upcoming instructions will cause a movement in that direction.
Let us see the main positive points that are emerging.
1) There will be a clear reference to the fact that Summorum Pontificum is here to stay.
This seems, prima facie, positive. The only problem is that we knew that already. Words are, therefore, going to add themselves to other words. Not much here, methinks.
2) There will be a renewed encouragement to the bishops to give application to the motu proprio.
Fair enough, but: what’s the effect of this? It’s not that the bishops needed to be informed of the fact, and it is not that they gave a damn anyway. The question then is: what does this change?
3) There will a renewed explanation that the faithful have a right to the Tridentine whenever a “group of faithful” requests it.
This is almost a mockery as how many people make a group of faithful is – astonishingly, almost four years after Summorum Pontificum – still not said. Therefore, the bishops are going to ignore the Holy Father’s word in the future exactly as they have done in the past, positively encouraged from the fact that the Holy Father shows no inclination whatsoever to give some normative content to his now often-heard and little-enforced encouragements.
4) Seminarians should be trained not only in Latin, but in the Tridentine specifically.
This is also involuntarily funmy. Seminarians should have been trained in Latin all the time. They don’t, because those leading the seminaries don’t give a damn.
If they have not given a damn these last 45 years, what lets the Holy Father thinks that they are going to stop now?
Thie entire affair reminds me of the unruly school class with a weak teacher who continues to say: “Children, children! Behave!” and when the children do not behave, thinks that what is needed is to say: “Children, children! Behave!” once again…
From what has transpired up to now, this is what this instruction will be: in the best of cases a reiteration of weak encouragements, something the bishops will use as a check list of the things they are going to continue to ignore; in the worst of cases, a subtle but clear indication that as long as this Pope lives there’s going to be no fight for the Tridentine and when the next Pope is elected, the dices are going to be thrown again….
In both cases, you can imagine whether anything is going to change in the way the Tridentine is boycotted.
I have already written about Father Corapi. I truly like the man. I think he is one of the finest preachers around. In my “The Quotable Catholic” section he is rather well represented, though probably much less than he deserves.
Father Corapi has now been put on administrative leave. At this point (and this is what makes it rather difficult to write about it) we don’t know much about the exact circumstances. What we know, though, from Father Corapi himself is that a former employee has written a letter to several bishops accusing him of misconduct on a vast series of accounts (drugs and women seem to be prominent, though) and that as a result he has been suspended pending investigation.
Just for the record, please note that:
1) No misconduct on minor is involved in any way and 2) no criminal offences are involved in any way (which sound strange to me, considering that drug use from the former drug addict Corapi would seem to be part of the accusations).
I would like to point out, here, a very important concept that, it seems to me, is too often lost when such events are discussed. A man is a good Catholic preacher when he succeeds in properly communicating the Catholic Truth and thus helps others on their way to God. Whether he is a saint or a sinner (better said: in what degree he is a sinner, as we all are) is something which will impact his own soul at the moment of death, but certainly does not impact the Truth he goes around preaching, nor the good he spreads around by doing it.
I don’t need to believe that a person is a saint to feel encouraged to do as he says. If he is able to encourage and motivate me, this is enough. If he is also a saint, good for him, but this doesn’t make the truths he says any more true.
Corapi is – as a preacher – a fine pearl of Catholicism. Besides his life being a beautiful witness of Catholic courage (a fact that, as I have said, is not in the first line here), his way of explaining the Catholic teaching is what makes him so rare and such an effective help to Catholic evangelisation.
We must always separate the Truths a preacher talks about, from the degree in which he is able to adhere to them. First of all no one will ever be able to completely adhere to them, and secondly the truths would become not one iota less true even if the preacher should, say, turn out to be a homosexual child rapist who earned a second income in a brothel whilst selling crack to fund his alcoholism.
If your excellent history teacher at school turned out to be an alcoholic, this didn’t make him any less good at teaching history, nor history any less true because he drank.
Having said that, we don’t know and pending an investigation, I think that even Father Corapi wouldn’t be angry at us for saying “I like you a lot but as I don’t know you personally, I can’t start screaming your innocence right now”.
Others have made a comparison with Maciel, but as I like Corapi a lot I prefer to make a comparison with Padre Pio, more or less horribly slandered (and certainly seriously damaged in his reputation) not for days or months, but for years. A famous episode concerned his being accused of profiting of his role as confessor to get sexual favours from a certain woman; it turned out that the accusation had been motivated by the jealousy of another lady, who subsequently confessed her grievous sin.
Frankly, I do see some parallels here, but again: I wasn’t there.
Corapi might be more Padre Pio or more Maciel (come on, we know the first hypothesis is by far the more probable and he is innocent until proven guilty anyway). Still, my admiration for Corapi (whose sincere inspiration I do not doubt for an instant, however little or however big his faults and private sins may be) as a fine preacher is undiminished whatever the outcome of this affair.
I didn’t want to write about Father Corapi as I don’t like to use this blog to speculate about things I don’t know, but I have read things whose general tone (and possibly general spirit) I didn’t like and thought it fitting to express my admiration for the man’s sincerity and ability once again.
Here is wishing him all the best; he is in my prayers and, I do hope, in yours.
I hope to see him roaring from the pulpit again very soon.