Daily Archives: August 18, 2011

Back to Basics: Works of Mercy

Every now and then, some archbishop forgets bishopese and start talking like a bishop.

This time, Archbishop Carlson of St. Louis reminds us of the importance of praying for the dead.

Archbishop Carlson is politically incorrect for several reasons:

1) he reminds us of a typical Catholic teaching, the communion of saints. One wonders how many young Catholics – yes, even those in Madrid – would, when asked, be able to answer correctly as to what it is;

2) he reminds us of the importance of prayer;

3) he reminds us of the value that we as Catholics put on works of mercy;

4) he reminds us that our relatives and beloved in Purgatory need our prayers.

This clearly goes against a certain liberal, tambourine-armed mentality according to which canonisation by acclamation follows death and we shouldn’t do things so much differently than our brothers in Christ, the Proddies, lest they are offended and/or “hurt”.

Slowly but surely, a certain orthodoxy seems to timidly reappear in the way bishops present themselves and present Catholicism to their sheep. A long way to go for sure, but one registers such interventions with a certain satisfaction and optimism.

I am trying to remember how often I have heard such news in my past years in Italy. I can’t remember a single episode. OK, the Internet was not really there, but the only things one could hear were the usual sugary talks about The Young, peace ‘ n love, and The Young (I am forgetting something. Oh yes.. The Young).

Some twenty years later, I think we can say that at least the sprouts of a new orthodoxy are clearly visible.

Twenty years ago, who would have even mentioned the works of mercy….


BBC Ignores Pope’s Following, Focuses On Protests

This is no news for the BBC..... (click to enlarge)

It is now 22:10 here in the UK, many hours after the Pope’s arrival in Madrid.

Unfortunately for the BBC, the huge crowd do not really make for good headlines, so the fact is simply ignored.

Instead, the BBC feeds the TV-licensing paying masses with yesterday’s bollocks about the protests.

Interestingly, space is given to the alleged gas attack from a “papist”, whilst the violent demonstrations of the commies and perverts are clearly ignored.

This will certainly change, to an extent, in the next hours. But that at the end of the day the BBC still hasn’t reacted to this huge popular success really tells the tale.


Prayer Request

I read this on Mark Shea’s blog and thought I – and my readers – could well join in the prayers.

On a different note, I allow myself to notice the different outlook and attitude of the parents and relatives who know that their beloved child/nephew will soon be undoubtedly in Paradise – being baptised, and below 7 years of age – with the unbearable nothingness staring at atheists parents/relatives in the same situation.

“Soon she will return to her heavenly home”, says the grandfather of his niece; and whilst the most emotional amongst us can’t stop the one or the other tear, well, it is a very different tear from the one of the atheist.


Pope Is Popular

Go on the American Papist site to see some photos of today’s visit of the Holy Father in Madrid.

I wonder whether the media will give the popular participation the same space they have given to the protests for the alleged costs of the visit.

I have my doubts whether these visits and mass excitements have a real effect on a country’s Catholic feelings and inspiration. Still, the masses should give something to think to some people:

1) the liberal journalists, who should accept the fact that their ceaseless shooting on the Church doesn’t do much to destroy her reputation.

2) the bishops, who should finally grasp the concept that with time and effort – not today, of course, and not tomorrow – there’ s a potential here that can, and should, be mobilised. If one is interested in defending Christian values, that is.

We’ll see how all this develops. But one can’t avoiding noticing the masses with a certain satisfaction.


About Michael Voris, and Being Liked

Abandon all hope of niceness, you who enter here! Michael Voris

Michael Voris will soon be in London again; and again, he will polarise and cause controversy with his, well, rather outspoken communication style.

This is not after many people’s taste, particularly in England. There are certainly many who consider him too outspoken, too explicit, too harsh in his criticism – directed at clergy as well as non-Catholics – and, basically, not nice. Therefore, they don’t like him.

The key to understanding Voris – and, I think, many of the more outspoken bloggers out there – is that not being English, they don’t give a damn about being liked. In times of scandalous corruption within and without the Church, you can’t say things in a halfway effective way and be liked. You’ll have to choose whether to be liked – and largely ineffective – or making an impact and being disliked by very many and called many names – “uncharitable” being my favourite, closely followed by “homophobic” -.

Voris gets it. He seems blessedly immune from this (very British, but rather Anglo-Saxon, too) idea that one must be “nice” in order to be taken seriously or, more importantly for some, being invited to afternoon tea, which is then called being “relevant”. His message is simple, straight, brutal. It gets actually – and fortunately – more brutal as the months go by, with the language getting more explicit (note how the word “gay” has been in the last months largely replaced by the vastly more correct “homos”).

In my eyes, Voris has laid bare the root of the diseases that has almost killed the Church in the last fifty or so years: niceness, and desire to be accepted. If you want to be nice you’ll have to accommodate to the whims and desires of the world, and you’ll end up bowing to its ideology whilst you pretend to want to reform it. I have pointed out to this very recently, speaking about the bishop who feels obliged to say that opposition to so-called same-sex marriage is “his opinion”.
His opinion, my aunt. truly, what has the world come to.

It might well be that in former times, when the Church had a stronger grip on society, one could – perhaps! – afford the luxury of being a bit softer, and still being listened to. But we can’t compare. In a society where most people consider abortion a given – and, make no mistake, most bishops too, may God have mercy on their souls, as well as on mine whilst he’s there – you’ll not make many inroads by gently whispering your – if you may say so, in your opinion, and present company excepted – polite disagreement with it. You must call abortion for what it is: genocide, and you must call those who stay silent accessory to a genocide.

The same argument goes for the rest of Christian life: I had written very recently that it is high time to start stigmatising divorced people again. I expected a load of insults of the British sort: “you can’t say this, because I am divorced”; “harsh”, “uncharitable” or the like.
Nothing happened. I blame the summer.

Yes, this attitude means having to spread adrenaline around instead of saccharine, but the saccharine is what almost killed the Church and so the adrenaline seems rather welcome.

How Voris reaches the heart of the problem is demonstrated by the vast number of personal attacks you can read against him on the Internet: from the alleged toupet to “the way he rotates his pen”, his detractors show a great attention for irrelevant details.

All this doesn’t mean to say that I always approve of what he says. I remember some questionable “vortex” videos about homosexuality, forms of government, or Father Corapi that in my eyes would have profited from a bit more of reflection and rephrasing. But no one can be always right, or approved by everyone.

Still, I think it is fair to say that Voris’ first sin in the eyes of most of his detractors consists in his basic policies of not giving a damn for being liked, and not giving a damn for being nice.

Oh for bishops and priests like him! Oh for bishops and priests speaking with half his directness!

It there had been more Vorises around in the past decades, particularly but not only among the clergy, we wouldn’t need this debate about Voris now.

He is around, because they weren’t.


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