Assisi III: The SSPX’s take.
If I were in the mood for a joke, I could say that I love posting links to SSPX articles as they let me appear – semel in anno – a moderate expressing himself in very gentle tones.
The reason, though, why I publish this blog post with the link to the SSPX intervention about the impending Assisi III gathering is that, setting aside for a moment the rather harsh tones – at the cost of disappointing you I will say that expression like “immense scandal” seem over the top to me – I was unable to find any fundamental flaw in the arguments of Father Régis de Cacqueray, District Superior of France and therefore not your obscure Sunday ranting enthusiast.
If we set aside for a moment the incendiary tones used – which I do not want to condemn, being myself not new to the experience; and perhaps, perhaps feeling in me as I write a lack of that fire that must be burning into the heart of this brave Catholic – I am unable to disagree with the concept that
the scandal of Assisi 2011 will be substantially the same but less spectacular than Assisi 1986.
In fact, by examining the invitation made by the Holy Father and the constant, omnipresent appeal to peace – the leitmotiv of the 1986 as well as of the 2011 gathering – one cannot in my eyes escape the conclusion that, as things look today – nay: as they have been announced and planned – the similarities with 1986 will be far more pronounced than the differences. The very fact that this gathering happens to remember the old one is enough of a tell-tale.
This, without considering what the media will do of it all. To say it again with the words of the author:
Before the image of a Pope uniting the representatives of all the false religions, the reaction of the majority of men will be to relativise truth and religion still more. What individual, little acquainted with the Catholic religion, will not be tempted to be reassured about the fate of non-Catholics when he sees the Pope inviting them to pray for freedom of conscience? What non-Christian will see in the Catholic religion the one true religion to the exclusion of all others when he learns that the head of the Catholic Church has convoked a pantheon of religions? How will he interpret the Pope’s exhortation not to yield to relativism if not by thinking that it is a matter, not of holding to the truth, but of being sincere?
“Ah, but this time it will be different”, I hear you say. In some measure, yes. But I had to stop and read the following words thrice:
Of course, unlike the first meeting at Assisi, it appears that the prayer will be in silence, albeit very present. However, to what god will they pray in silence, these representatives of all the false religions? They will they pray to their false gods, since the Pope invites them explicitly to live more deeply “their religious faith”? To whom will the Muslims turn then, if not to the God of Mohammed? To whom will the animists speak, if not to their idols? How then is it conceivable that a Pope call upon the representatives of false religions, to take part as such, in a day of personal prayer?
Or think about the biggest difference of Assisi III with Assisi I, the attitude towards common prayer:
Formerly Assisi was defended by making a subtle distinction between “being together to pray” and “praying together.” Will they now be saying that there will be no common prayer, but rather a day of prayer in common? Instead of denying the concomitance of the silent prayers, shall we say that everybody prays separately according to his own religion? As if these specious distinctions were not manufactured for the needs of the cause. As if these subtleties were immediately grasped by the majority of men, who will retain only one thing: a gathering of all the religions for everyone to pray to the divinity, abstracting from any Revelation.
Harsh words, these (and I have spared you the truly inflammatory ones); but frankly, I can’t see how I could deny the substance of Father Régis’ argument.
The rest of the article is of the same high level of argumentative force, though of at least the same level of incendiary choice of words, too. When he talks about “peace”, for example, the author once again hits the nail on the head (with a sledgehammer, that is… ).
I suggest that you arm yourself with a prayer (why not try this) and a camomile and read the article in its entirety. Please forget the call of blasphemy and the apocalyptic tones, and see it from the perspective of the one who doesn’t think that the Pope has unwittingly sold himself to the freemasonry, but is trying to see what is authentically Catholic in this exercise; what kind of signals will be sent; what kind of signals will be received.
We will have to wait and see what happens, but let me say that I do not think that the one or other orthodox aside – certainly to be expected from the Holy Father, and certainly picked up by the few well-instructed Catholics and some fine blog – will really do anything to counter the impression of huge multifaith fest that the media will predictably give of this event.
So predictably, in fact, that to claim afterwards that the event has been distorted by the media would seem rather disingenuous to me.
Posted on October 4, 2011, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged Assisi 1986, Assisi 2011, Assisi III, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Assisi III: The SSPX’s take..