Monthly Archives: January 2012
If you want to go and see a stupid movie, I suggest “The Descendants”, which is to say I suggest you don’t.
The Descendants is the pathetic attempt of idiotic failures – you can be a failure in life, big time, even if you are a hollywood screenwriter, producer, or whatever; ask them…- to try to persuade themselves that their being cretins unable to do or think anything in the right way be, in some way, cool or at least vaguely claiming for your sympathy.
The protagonist is a chap telling you that Hawaii people’s lives and families are as screwed as everywhere else, and one would be tempted to remind him of the many, many families and lives who are not screwed because they have, erm, values and rules and do not consider it very cool to be a failed father and/or husband.
Not Clooney, of course. His character tells you of his drinking (and unfaithful) wife as if he was telling you the cat is getting old, and of his teenager daughter with her drugs and her “older man” as if there was no connection between the sluttishness of the two generations of women in his household, and as if drugs were introduced into a family by the stork.
This world is absolutely value-free and, most importantly, it is completely religion-free. Again, there’s not the slightest hint in the entire movie that an absolutely screwed up family like the one depicted might be in some way connected with the total atheism reigning within it. This atheism is so pronounced, so absolutely shouted that religion does not have the minimum space in the entire “work”, not even to criticise it. It is as if religion – every religion, not only the Christian one – had never existed, and no one knew what it is.
Which is strange, because the movie is entirely centred on the fact that this family is, undoubtedly, screwed, and screwed exactly in the way Christian families – or families with Christian values – consider things will go if no solid values and no faith in God are cultivated. Wifey drinks and sleeps around, daughter makes pretty much the same but she takes drugs too, the other little daughter shows strange signs of disturbed behaviour, but one knows there’s hope…..
In the middle of this domestic disaster is this cuckolded idiot, wondering out loud what will happen of his family members without ever giving any sign of understanding that the sins of the fathers are visited upon their children; that grown spoiled brats are the result of spineless parents, whoring wifes produce whoring daughters, and all of that is produced by the absence of family values and sense of decency.
In the end, though, the woman really dies, and never did I care less to write a spoiler. But she dies, so to speak, slowly and not without giving all the members of the family ample room for reflection. At thi spoint I thought – in my naive optimism – that the movie would then turn in the right direction and after describing the moral meltdown born out of complete laissez-faire morality would show the way to get out of the mess this very absence of morality has created.
I was wrong. In one of the last scenes – the last one by which I was awake, at least – the cremated rests of the deceased, self-centred drinking slut – because this is what she would be considered in every halfway decent Christian society, before Niceness took hold – are thoughtfully dispersed in the sea by the three surviving family members, equipped with hawaiian garland because… no one knows exactly. Not one word of hope, not one word of even soppy and stupid new age sentimentalism. Mom kicked the bucket, let’s kick her ashes out of the bucket; but let’s do it in a way which lets us feel vaguely cool and sensitive and oh so, so wannabe profound.
In the end, what remains of this movie is the message that these people have absolutely no clue, but this is absolutely fine so, because they seem to be in very good company and because they suspect, like seventeen years old, that there be something cool in being screwed. Only, half of the characters aren’t seventeen anymore, anagraphically at least.
Unless you have a monthly card (Ha! Do you think I pay the full ticket price for such things?) I suggest you don’t waste your money for this. We live in a fallen world and I understand movies cannot all be works of Catholic apologetics and will to an extent reflect the world we live in.
But this here is a provocation.
Dear reader, you may find the Michael Voris video above of interest to you.
There are several interesting point there: about the first (how many Americans still believe Obama a Muslim, or not a Christian) I notice after many years it can’t be said anymore such answers are in the main influenced by ignorance (= not knowing what Obama says on the matter), but largely on reflection (= not believing what Obama says on the matter). I can’t say Obama cares a lot for that, but I think it can fairly be said the nation listened, and drew its conclusions.
The second is that I envy a country where so many still have the guts of wondering whether their President is a Christian. The German have a Kanzler(in) who grew up in a communist country, from an idiot who had already completely confused belief in God and social justice; this woman has no problem whatever with open homosexuality, but she thought the best way to power was to call herself Christian, so the country at large doesn’t even wonder whether she is one (tip: they don’t do it because if they did, they should wonder how Christian they are themselves, a topic they’d rather set aside).
The third is (and I have touched this issue rather often) the progressive deterioration of the definition of “Christian” in the Western world and even – though in clearly lesser measure than in Europe – in the United States. Voris’ quotes of Obama about Jesus being such a wonderful teacher and “mediator” (a definition, by-the-by, with which every Muslim would enthusiastically agree) and at the same time not raising questions among two-thirds of the electorate.
Still, I am very thankful to the other third. I wish such a vast number existed in Europe. At least as far as Northern Europe is concerned, I can’t say this is the case.
We live in a world where a President of the United States (who is clearly far less intelligent than his supporters believe, but not a moron) expresses his “Christianity” is a view compatible with both Islam and the secular society, and two third of the population allow him to get away with it. And where, I must say with great sadness, many leaders of the Western world are not even requested to prove their Christian identity, or do anything at all to upheld Christian values.
Christianity by hearsay.
Among us Catholics, I blame Vatican II.
This is not mine, but comes from a homily recently listened to.
The reflection is very simple: was everyone in Sodom a sodomite? The rational answer is “no”. Still, we know from the Genesis that even after a rather tiring negotiation, Abraham (Abram, I think, at that point) could not bring the number of righteous people there down to the number necessary to save the city, though as a good Easterner he had negotiated down from 50 to (if memory serves) 10.
Therefore, not even 10 just people were present in Sodom, which implies the number of the unjust was certainly bigger than the number of the Sodomites.
Fast forward to modern times, and the Genesis picture is in front of our eyes. How many are the homosexual? Very probably not much more than half a percent among the adult population in average, and certainly not more than a good two-digit percentage even in places like Soho. How could, then, Sodom be destroyed? The answer is: because of the “niceness” reigning even where sexual perversion hadn’t entered; because, speaking of today, of the too many who look the other way and do not want to miss the civil partnership ceremony of the neighbour, or even congratulate him on his achievement; because of all those for whom a perfectly wrongly understood Tolerance is a new god, to whom everything, even Christianity, must bow; because of all those who just don’t care, and can’t be bothered to ask whether they could; because of all those who would not at least promise to themselves they will, at the right time, try to influence the (literally) poor sods in the right way.
The thought is rather scary if we think how many have nowadays, particularly in modern Sodoms like London, embraced the New Religion of Tolerance. It really lets one think that the day the situation gets out of control and not even a tiny number of people who still think with their own brains can be found, the next heaven-sent genocide cannot be very far away; genocide which, by-the-by, would be in itself a rather eloquent answer to the New Religion.
We are, hopefully, far away from that situation, as even in a place like London conservative Catholicism and conservative Christianity still resonate with a non indifferent minority of the population. How long will this last, is rather the question. Unless Christians (and notably Catholic) hierarchies wake up in this country, Christianity as it has been understood and practised in these last two thousand years might one day become a strange collection of old rituals no one really understands anymore, like those squares and street names everyone knows, but whose name’s origin is understood just by few. One has the impression this is already happening in vast strata of the soi-disant Christian population, as it is shown by examples like the “priestess” giving (fake) communion to the dog with most of the present finding the gesture “natural”, and only one person complaining afterwards.
Niceness is the new enemy and it is literally everywhere, corrupting every idea of moral justice into an indistinct, tofu-like, sugary minestrone whose ingredients are still written on the can, but have long disappeared from the content.
We must stay vigilant and not allow ourselves to slip by degrees into this mentality of celebrating everything. It will only attract countless disgraces in the best of cases, and a huge amount of brimstone in the worst.
The girl has just been informed that she is pregnant. She is, of course, scared, as I can’t imagine many young unwedded girls rejoicing at the news. In past times, the fear would have – in many cases, if certainly not all – made place for a clear consciousness of the sacredness of human life and, perhaps, a sincere maternal desire to see this life born. Homicide was forbidden, and human life considered, well, human life. Therefore, not many young mother would choose – though some certainly did – to become the assassins of their own child. Basic Christianity, of course; part of that system of values which helps one to avoid the worst and hope in Heaven.
Fast forward to the begin of the XXI century, when one can consider the pregnancy of a young woman a “punishment” and still become President of the United States. In our age, the pressure works in the contrary direction; she does not help to keep the most basic principles of natural law but rather to pervert them, and Christianity with them.
This is where one of the most astonishing traits of modern societies come in: pressure to murder. The young girl in question will be, more often than not, be advised by her own mother – let alone by her own girlfriends – to get rid of the problem. The basic principles which one century ago would have helped a young woman, difficult as her position was, to do what is right have now been perverted to such an extent that these mothers or girlfriends would not hesitate in claiming vaguely “Christian” principles to support their suggestion: what is such a life worth, would one ask; would it not be better that this child would be born in five or ten years time, would another one say as if lives were interchangeable; does she have the right to give birth to a child condemned to a life of deprivation, would a third one reason without asking herself what the child in question, if asked, would answer.
In countries like the UK, this kind of pressure can be really strong. A lethal mixture of forgetfulness for basic Christian principles, neglect of common humanity and staggering abuse of fake goodism (I have listed some examples above; the Nazis reasoned in the same way about euthanasia) have brought us to the point that people can suggest abortion to their own daughters and best friends without feeling more than a passing discomfort, soon cauterised with the above mentioned excuses.
The pressure increases with the push to legislation in favour of euthanasia, as it stands to reason that once it is allowed to contemplate putting old people in the (of course, environmentally friendly) bin, it must be even more so allowed to do the same with the unborn. In the end, if one can put to sleep old Aunt Agatha (Yes, I love P.G. Wodehouse!) in order that she does not “suffer”, how more legitimate will it be to put to sleep an unborn child, whom no one has ever called “aunt”, let alone with her own name?
And talking of “allowing”, isn’t the biggest element of pressure the fact itself that abortion in itself is not – within huge boundaries – a criminal offence anymore? How can we expect that when the legislator says “you can do it”, there will be many people saying to themselves “I can’t do it”? The very fact that abortion is not a criminal offence must be a great inducement to abortion to all those who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, particularly if young and unwed. I do not know how many girls can honestly say “even if it was allowed, I would never have an abortion”. Many certainly can, but many others…
What I do know is that if for abortion there were 20 years of jail and the stigma of having murdered one’s own child, many more young women would be helped to make the right choice. Pressure again, but of the right kind.
Do not believe the tales of the abortionists trying sell you the legend of untold mass murders, occurring in dark garages with the help of knitting needles, or coat hangers. Utter bollocks, as first of all premarital sex was by far less spread than today, and secondly the use of such practices would have led to a huge number of deaths among young women and among countless mothers, a mass involuntary suicide of which there is no historical record.
I seriously wonder how many women died in the UK of the knitting needle in, say, 1952, and how many die of perfectly legal abortions in 2012.
We live in a country where the legislator creates pressure to the homicide of the unborn, and this diabolical legislation in turn corrupts entire sectors of the country; then wise people have always known that the laws of one generation are the morality of the next one.
Still: in a country where the dominant ecclesial community is barely recognisable from the Muppet Show, can we be so surprised?
Newt Gingrich convincingly won in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I do not think this was primarily due to interventions like the one posted by me a few days ago, but rather to brilliant answers like the one I post above.
Which leads me nicely to my argument: whilst Santorum is – for all of us Catholics I think – by far the best candidate, I think Gingrich is the one with the best cards to defeat Obama. As always in politics, the choice is – in the end – not between our ideal candidate and the enemy, but between the enemy and the candidate who can defeat him.
I am fully conscious that this is the mentality which has brought Romney so far, and I am not ashamed in saying that if there was no better candidate to defeat Obama, my personal support – though not my sympathy – would go to him. But I do think that there is a candidate who can – easily, I think, unless he makes something very stupid – defeat Obama by presenting a radically – if not completely – different world view than the one of the inadequate git brought to the White House on a huge wave of political correctness, coupled with a toothless and flip-flopping opponent.
Santorum is, if you ask me, by far the best. Not only because of his extremely coherent Catholic stance, but because of his extremely clear ideas in matters of foreign politics. He may not have the same tea-party credentials of Gingrich, but he wouldn’t be a squanderer unable to count like the present occupier of the White House.
My problem with Santorum is that I think it is highly improbable that he may ever defeat Obama. Why? Because of his very same extremely coherent Catholic stance, and extremely clear ideas in matters of foreign politics.
I can’t imagine Santorum suddenly converting to his right-wing stance the mainstream of the American voters. I try not to confuse my own preferences with whom I think is electable. I like Santorum’s stance on Iran like few others, but it would be foolish for me to say this is a platform on which you can be elected President. Kudos to him for being so honest, but frankly I can’t see this candidate winning a presidential race. Not in 2012 at any rate.
The results in South Carolina are, I think, an important – though not definitive – confirmation of this, with Gingrich taking away the clear majority of the conservative wing and Santorum performing extremely well all things considered, but still widely behind Gingrich.
Importantly, Gingrich seems to have been the most voted among those who consider both economy or ability to defeat Obama the main motivators of their vote: this is a candidate able to unite pragmatists who would have voted Romney in the absence of better alternatives, and hard-liners who would prefer to lose with a real Republican than running the risk of winning with a fake one.
If you add the votes, Gingrich and Santorum together got around double as much as Romney’s votes. Granted, South Carolina is more conservative than the average, but I’d dare to say the anti-Romney fraction only needs to coalesce around Gingrich and Romney will become, in time, history.
What I hope will happen now is that Santorum stays in the race for as long as money and organisation allow, and then graciously retires and supports Gingrich’s candidature, suggesting his delegates vote for him at the convention. This way the way would be paved for a strong Gingrich campaign against Romney, but at the same time stressing the robust socially very conservative component behind him.
Santorum achieved a half-miracle through his own personal qualities and the fact that his ideas resonate particularly well among a certain part of the electorate. But I still can’t imagine him becoming the candidate able to defeat Romney, much less Obama. Too Catholic, too conservative, too much of a hawk in foreign politics matters, I don’t think he can make it, not in 2012.
What I do think is that scorned women do not have the grip on the electorate they used to have. Thank God for that.
On the day Perry makes way for him and Santorum is declared (more or less) the winner in Iowa, Gingrich’s ex-wife does (really not) surprise us with alleged “revelations” about what her former husband said to her around, let me think, twelve to thirteen years and a conversion ago. Interesting.
Nothing new of course as generally this kind of things finds its way to the media without waiting for a presidential race; but one remains with the impression that the private side of Gingrich is the one chosen by his opponent to put an end to the public one.
This is one of the rare days when I am glad I grew up in Europe, and particularly in a country where private mistakes are left to the confessional and, when they find their way to the media, are not considered the metre by which the work of a politician is judged. You may say that it has his risks (as seen recently), but I still think it reflects a more mature political culture.
I’m not sure in modern times Godfrey of Bouillon, or Richard the Lionheart, would be elected to run a crusade, as their private life probably gave rise to many questions. Rather, some inept chap with irreproachable private life would be chosen, and bye-bye Jerusalem. If you don’t like these two examples, pick whichever else you like, from the drinker Churchill to the gambler Cavour.
Alas, I doubt many will be of my opinion, which is why if the public reacts badly to this interview in the run up to the primary in South Carolina it is now not unlikely the American people will have to decide, come November, between a godless affirmative action idiot and a flip-flopping RINO Mormon.
The private life of a politician is a matter for the confessional. Don’t let a good candidate go to waste because he would have never make it as a Protestant pastor. Most people don’t, and I’m not sure Protestant pastors have such a good record, either.
In the matter of the Preambolo it has now transpired the first answer delivered by the SSPX to the Vatican has been considered not to the point (that is: too long-winded), and the SSPX has been requested to present a second answer, more concise and more focused on the Preambolo itself.
This second version is being examined as we speak, though of course no immediate reaction is to be expected.
What seems interesting to me from the source (the highly reputable Italian daily newspaper “La Stampa”) is that the SSPX answer is not a simple refusal of the Vatican offer, but a partial acceptance, with the clarification of what the SSPX is not ready to accept and the request of further clarifications from the Vatican as to what they mean by certain expressions.
The crux of the disagreement seems to me in the way the SSPX and (perhaps) the Vatican understand the ordinary (which means, erm, cough: the fallible) Magisterium.
For the Vatican, it would seem that
the Catholic is called to ensure a “religious submission of will and intellect” to the teachings that the Pope and the college of bishops “offer when they exercise their authentic Magisterium,” even if they are not proclaimed in a dogmatic way, as is the case with most of the documents of the magisterium.
For the SSPX, what is not in accordance with the Tradition is just plain wrong, and therefore there can be no question of religious submission to error. As a consequence,
the Lefebvrians do not intend to give their assent to the texts of the Council regarding collegiality, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and religious freedom, because they believe these to be inconsistent with tradition
As it is acutely pointed out – oh, the difference between Italian “vaticanisti” and the bunch of politically correct ignorant idiots employed by the BBC and elsewhere! –
the concept of tradition – “Traditio” – and its value, represents the crux of the debate that has characterized the talks between the Society and the Holy See. The Lefebvrians criticize some of the Council’s provisions, considering them to be at odds with the tradition of the Church.
In simple words, I will put it in this way: if your drunk father orders you to bring him more brandy, are you obliged to comply because he is your father and you are supposed to obey him? Substitute “drunkenness” with “Vatican II novelties” and you are, I think, not very far from the nucleus of this disagreement. The Vatican seems to think you still obey to papa because you owe him obedience, the SSPX says the very love and obedience you owe to your father requires that you refuse to comply. The comparison with drunkenness might seem strong, but after fifty years of Vatican II devastation I am inclined to call it gentle.
We shall see. Don’t hold your breath. Actually an Hail Mary or three is a better idea.
After the tragedy in Tuscany, you could have bet your pint that some alternative priest would have profited to put himself at the centre of the attention and at the same time show how little respect he has for the Mass.
The feat has been perfectly achieved in the Isola del Giglio (along whose coast the Costa Concordia ran aground). In order to make of the thing an exercise which would put the attention away from Christ to direct it on the usual “gandhism” of these occasions and, of course, on himself, the celebrant of Giglio’s main church thought it fitting to put on the altar the following offerings: a life vest, a rope, a rescue helmet, a plastic tarp and some bread.
This is not even Mass as a sacred ceremony. This is a macabre vaudeville without paying the ticket.
But if we reflect attentively, isn’t this what is wanted with the Novus Ordo? Is it not so, that the desire to entertain the poor souls rather than inspire and elevate them is very high in the priority of the new rite?
What else if the meaning – even when things do not degenerate to such level of parody – of the gifts to be brought to the altar? Were the prayers offered in the Tridentine not good enough? Do we really need the cheap piece of entertainment in 3D, with some (alas, it seems to me, rather often, sanctimonious) people feeling the lead actor for a minute? What is the aim of all these antics, if not distract or positively lead away from what the Mass is about in the first place?
But you see, the priest who had the brilliant idea of being the hero of the simple for one day probably understood the Novus Ordo better than we did. He understood, namely, what the Novus Ordo was introduced for: to entertain the people in the pews and let them feel they are “actively” participating.
The rest follows automatically. If “participation” is a value, then you can have the football during the World Championship, the engine on Formula One days, and whatever other idea lets the people feel they are “sharing in the Mass”. It follows from the premise like the day follows the night. How can, then, the commingling of sacred rite and unholy show be criticised? Isn’t it all meant to let people “share in the experience”?
The Novus Ordo is what would happen if you asked a bunch of children how to change the Tridentine Mass. They’d take away the “boring” bits, make all more “entertaining”, require active participation as they did with the merry-go-round, and mix it with elements of their everyday life so it doesn’t become too much of a bore. Clap your hands, everybody! Ah, and they’do it as similar as they can to what their friends from the other school do; so you can all meet together before the football match.
If I had been one of the unfortunate souls who lost their lives in the tragedy of the Costa Concordia, I’d feel as if they had drawned me for a second time.
At Rorate Caeli, they have defined the events in a beautiful way:
No shame. No rules. No sobriety. No propriety. No sense of ridicule. No respect for God, for the living, and for the dead. Novus Ordo.
If you like the wonderful British novelists of the XIX century (Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope & Co.), or even if you are a bit interested in the past, you’ll know already that in the past, premature death was – unfortunately – a much more frequent affair than it is today.
I do not bore you with the countless examples in said literature – suffices it to say, people could predict which people could make it to a ripe age, as a sickly child or weak teenager knew his chances were rather bad -, but you might be more familiar with some of the great of the past. Beethoven died aged 52, Chopin 39, Bizet 36, Mozart 35 and the great, great, great Franz Schubert 31.
It would seem, only two centuries ago death was everywhere. Birth (for women of course, and children), disease and war were constant dangers, and the premature farewell to this valley of tears an ever-present possibility.
No rosy and healthy young wife could tell you she wouldn’t be dead in less than 12 months’ time, whether of birth or disease. People knew it, and lived with it as with something both natural, and God-given. Again, we see it in the novels of the time – in their sum, certainly a very accurate portrait of the reality of the times – and this reality must have been full of uncertainties if even in the Sixties of the XIX Century – when the medical advancements had been plentiful – Trollope could put in his character’s thought the doubt that perfectly healthy people could live for long; with which he expressed what must have been generally felt as the ever-present possibility that even young and healthy people might be carried away in a short period of time.
Why do I say this to you? Because the Trollope book I am reading – boy, the chap was good! I am astonished he should be so comparatively underappreciated nowadays – reminded me of a trailer of a movie I never saw, in which Nicole Kidman performs a mother struggling to cope with the death of her own child and – it appeared from the trailer – becoming blasphemous in the process.
It stroke – and strikes – me as shocking what absence of historical perspective must be necessary to not even write, but even think such screenplays. Nowadays, life is a man-given right, and his end an unforgivable offence. This world is the centre of everything, and therefore the end of the life on this world as a little child not the promotion to an infinitely better one, but something to be grieved to the point of hating the One to Whom this life is due in the first place. The same belief in God is negated when one doubts the goodness of the God he still says to believe in. You can’t really believe in a cruel Christian God unless you are seriously, seriously disturbed. If you believe in the Christian God, you know He loves you. If you doubt this, you doubt His very existence, and make a cruel joke of Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection. If you blaspheme Him because of what you are supposed to know comes from Him, you make a fool of yourself.
We are extremely spoiled in this day and age. Thankfully, we enjoy unprecedented health and a life expectancy that would have been a dream only two generations ago. Sadly, this has gone together with a
. I do not blame the medical advancement of course, not do I think that better life conditions made people less religious – it being very obvious that some of the places with most comfortable life conditions are among the most religious -. What I think is that the shifting of the attention to the life below led to the loss of the very meaning of both the life below, and the one above.
I blame the mentality which infected the country from – say; at least as much as one can say such things – the Sixties, a mentality which encouraged people to think that their human condition here below – not their eternal destiny up above – is in the end what really counts.
Seriously, a society which makes of child death a reason to justify blasphemy – and I do not know whether this was the content of the film, of whether it ended with a more Christian message; but you could notice the trailer strongly leveraged on these feelings – is a society which must still learn to understand the first things about life and death. I compare the movie with the reaction of the presidential candidate Santorum to the death of his child, and see the difference between a Christian and a secular world; though I do not doubt for a moment the Santorums will carry their loss with them to their grave.
How spoiled we are. How misled by bad shepherds feeding us theological double-entendres meant to appease us whatever out thinking, and to dance around truth without ever touching it (how about this: “all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.” You can immediately see the two ways in which it can be read. Ah, what masters of flattery the Conciliar Fathers were…..). Secularism polluted the entire Western world and instead of fighting it, the Church was polluted Herself.
We live longer and longer, but in our attitude to death we become more and more like little children who understand nothing and ask their parents in the hope of answers they will, if they are lucky enough to get them, not understand.
One of the most salient traits of modern society is the fact that people claim – and are given – credibility just because they happen to be famous.
A beautiful example of this is Sinead O’Connor. I can’t imagine any other age in which an unstable lesbian with rather hysteric ideas, a penchant for suicide and in general rather fit for a specialised establishment for mental illnesses can ordain herself – or be ordained by some other clown – a “priestess” and be taken seriously. In every other age, people would say to her “yes, dear” and care that there are no knives lying about.
Not with this lady (boy?), though. We are here in front of a person who married four times – showing an admirable ability to stick to her own decisions – threw in some lesbianism just for the fun of it, and made other rather extraordinary things like tearing a photo of the Pope, “the real enemy” (of unrepentant lesbians, yes!), and rant about child abuse as if it was something the Church specialise in. Which is very funny, because in order to see a prime example of sexual perversion she needs to do no more than look at the mirror.
Is it a surprise that such egomaniacal people should twitter around that they need sex, or that they feel suicidal and need a doctor and ask tweeters to find her – a rich woman with access to the best of the best – one; or marry the same person they divorce a couple of weeks later? Come on, who would take such people seriously in real life? The lady (boy?) should go back to kindergarten and seriously start working on becoming a halfway responsible adult instead of the whining, passive-aggressive, manipulative lesbian bitch she is.
Don’t bet your pint.
“Oh, but she, oh, has, oh, bi-po-lar, oh, di-sor-der”, I hear (the usual) people say. Bipolar disorder, my foot. If you know you’re unstable, don’t behave unstably in public. If you can’t avoid behaving unstably in public, you are ripe for the above mentioned specialised structures.
But no: this pervert, never grown prepubescent cretin will continue to make pathetic headlines with every anti-Catholic rant whilst the usual idiots will continue not only to justify whatever she does, but to continue to see in such example of self-centred immaturity or outright stupidity and perversion some kind of guiding light for their own agenda.
That’s a bad’un; and mind my words, if she doesn’t change she will come to a very bad end.
A beautiful blog post on Rorate Caeli about the way Capitalism and Catholicism are compatible (or not).
The matter is, of course, one of definitions. If by Capitalism we mean, with dictionary.com
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
then it is clear that not only is this system not in any way in contrast to Catholicism, but by encouraging the production and distribution of wealth and free time like no other system in the hystory of humanity (you would not, and I mean not, find any other system allowing so many to become so successful by so humble origins; not a system creating such a huge means to support the less fortunate) it is certainly conducive to improvement in the spiritual and material conditions of Christianity. Today, most people can access, say, the summa theologica online and have the time and means to enjoy it in comfort. Try that in North Corea, or in any rural society that is not the fruit of the naive imagination of hopeless dreamers.
The problem lies, as so often, in the distorted perception some have of the present world, and in the non-existent historic perspective of too many.
On the one hand, the indefatigable supporters of the theory of the Great Conspiracy of some very fat and very rich – invariably cigar-smoking – “fat pigs” lets some people – often unemployed, frustrated and, in general, losers – choose them as the scapegoat of everything that runs below their own perfect standard, and of the culprits for all the differences with the perfect world they would most certainly create if they only were allowed to run it.
On the other hand, it would be foolish to deny that Capitalism has gone, like a savagely growing teenager, through a phase of hormonal tempest and disordinate growth, a phase during which it was probably not unfair to say that with all the wealth and possibilities created by capitalism, it was possibly reducing more people to brutes than was helping to raise to a better life, and the rather vivid descriptions of the Dickenses, Zolas and Conan Doyles of this world move one to think whether the old pre-capitalistic society was not in the end a better way of life – though with, in absolute terms, less certainly and possibly less to eat, as proved by the huge number of people attracted by the slums of the great cities and the rather savage work in the mines – than the security, paid at great price, of the employment in a mine or a mill, let alone a life of expedients and utter misery.
What many, I think, struggle to understand is that Capitalism is smart. It is self-healing like skin, durable and supple like leather. When growth became inhordinate and, at times, inhuman, Capitalism corrected itself and transformed into a system able to distribute wealth and free time with such liberality as to … assure its survival and thriving. When Communism threatened it, Capitalism made possible and financed the greatest arms race humankind had ever seen, and got rid of the problem (thanks, Gipper!) in a couple of decades. When smog and dirt were disfiguring the landscape, destroying life in the rivers and changing the faces of the most beautiful cities, Capitalism created ways to “clean itself” and make life better for everyone, poor or rich, young or old. “You can’t trust air you can’t see”, was the sad joke in Los Angeles in the Fifties. When Capitalism creates too much statalism, entitlement mentality and exploding public debt capitalism creates… the Tea Party, and the self-healing mechanism starts another round of self-reform.
Those who, today, rant again Capitalism generally do so from their own laptop, at home, or perhaps from the nearby cafe with wifi connection. They are “poor” – when they are – at a level inconceivably high for every generation before them, bar none. Many of them not only do not know poverty; they do not know work, passing judgement over a system which maintained them every day since their birth. Think “Occupy”.
You could of course say that Capitalism led to the loss of the spiritual backbone of the West, but I would disagree. If we look at Europe, some of its richest corner are among the most Catholic (Bavaria in Germany; Triveneto in Italy), and the most powerful country of the planet is still the most Christian among the major ones. The problems of Catholicism – and of Christianity – do not come from the wealth (everyone of us know, and history puts in front of us inifinte example, of people very rich, and very pious) but from the betrayal of Christianity from the side of the clergy, the Catholic clergy as well as many Protestant ministers. When, though, the Christian ministers do not abdicate to their role Christianity is robust and expanding, and the importance religion is having in the current presidential run once again show how Capitalism and Christianity – or more specifically, Cathlicism – are not only compatible, but mutually beneficial.
It beggars belief that a “crisis” that left the Western world, perhaps, 2% back from the top is lived as some biblical catastrophe, or taken as a sign – as some some particularly stupid person did; an archbishop of Westminster come to mind – of the “end of capitalism”.
Fools. Capitalism will bury them and all their blabbering as it has buried poverty, communism, pollution and so many other threats and evils.
Please visit Rorate Caeli and enjoy the many beautiful quotes from past Popes, putting them – of course – in their own historical perspective. Even JP II, generally so prone to under-the-beltline populism when the talk is about such themes, gets it entirely right.
One never ceases to be amazed at what is found in one’s comment box (and I do not divulge my email; than then things would become funny indeed) when one opens a blog. Every reader who has a blog can probably relate.
I wonder at times what motivates people. I do not go around visiting atheist blogs and trying to post there, nor yet trying to get some publicity for my blog; nor do I search for sodomite blogs and invite them to repent; least of all I try to, hear this, promote my blog among them. Believe it or not, some people truly do this. Astonishing.
Then there are the interminable ranters dreaming of global judeo-masonic persecutions, and you can smell the vodka from the other side of the ocean (they tend to be Americans, I have noticed; vodka is cheaper there than in Blighty).
Then there are the ranters tout court, basically complaining against the entire planet and that the sun goes up in the East, and taking everything human or divine down in their stride. I pity them, and think they must be tragically lonely. I understand why, though.
Then there are the nutcases, from the chap who has created a religious order only existing in …… his own blog to those speaking for more or less cretinous two-heads interest groups (something like “Occupy” but vastly more insignificant; which is, in itself, an achievement). “You are insignificant too”, you might say, and you would be right. But exactly because I am I do not try to alert the world to the absolute necessity of becoming aware of my existence. I am interested in those Catholic who might be interested in reading what I write, not in making of this blog an ego exercise.
I receive messages with “read my blog” lines, and relative links. Yeah, right…
Perhaps the nature of this blog – notwithstanding its minuscule readership – attracts the nutcases through the shameless showing of conservative Catholic symbols and people (the photos of the Popes; Pius XII everywhere, etc). Perhaps when one is drunk and in the mood for a rant the easiest thing to do is to google a raft of conservative Catholic terms and if I am unlucky, google will do the rest (Google is inexplicably good to me; just digit “Mundabor” and you’ll get my main page and six under-pages to give you more choice; again, fully unjustified in comparison to my minuscule readership).
But the simple fact is: this blog is not here for reasoned debate, nor is it an exercise in religious pluralism (ha!) or in democracy. Least of all is it a platform for unrepentant sodomites and wannabe alternative prophets. This blog is, purely and simply, an instrument of shameless Catholic propaganda at the best of what yours truly can do, and for you to read if you find it instructive or ignore if you don’t.
If you want “nuanced”, go to Vincent “Quisling” Nichols. If you want “debate”, go to some Catholic forum. If you want atheism, go to hell (or repent). If you want political correctness, you couldn’t be more wrong than here. Think Mussolini, and you’ll have a good idea of how I manage my blog. Alas, I wasn’t born “pluralist”, and if I had had an interest in wasting my day moderating what other people write I’d have created a forum, and ceased having a life as a result.
I sometimes think – and I don’t think it often – I am too gentle if every cretin can litter my message box and think I will waste your time and mine posting his supposedly brilliant lucubrations (whiff of vodka, again); which, in turn, would force me to reply to the madness, as the posting of anti-Catholic or even questionable material without adequate rebuttal is inconceivable; which, in turn, means my blog would be driven – time being what it is – from what they write rather than from what I want to write.
I am embarrassed at times, because not all of the mad night-philosophers are evil; some are, in my eyes, purely deluded time wasters thinking the world must pay attention to them.
Not here, please. Be warned that I do not even read your rants to the end, and who cares if you have been writing 25 minutes before finally detaching yourself from the keyboard and going to bed. At the first signs of stupidity, or anti-Catholic propaganda, or sodomite whining, or delusion of grandeur – have I told you of the one to whom God had appeared? Didn’t read what He had allegedly told him… – and such like you are thrashed.
You had spent 35 minutes writing? Though.
I must admit I have sometimes my problems with NuEnglish.
What is a “healing experience”? You can’t heal from grief, I was always told and this has always been my experience, though you can come to term with it to an extent. To “affirm a memory” (what?) is also something defying my grasp of the language, though one understands a vague sense of “affirming the value of every human life” must be what is meant.
There is, therefore, something that separates me and many like me from this use of fashionable expressions which, to my ears, sound so much “new age” expression. Oh, I feeel so healed….
Where there is no difference, is in the understanding of what poor Mr Santorum and his wife must have gone through when a child of them died two hours after birth. I can’t even start to understand what it must mean for the parents to have their child born alive, fear for his life – or fear his impending death – for 120 interminable minutes, and then be told that he has died.
Without using strange words like “affirming one’s memory”, it seems to me the decision of the Santorum was the right one, nay, an excellent one: take the baby home, show the new-born to his little brothers and sisters, and have a funeral there.
I can’t imagine a better way to say to a sadly departed child – certainly looking at them from heaven, as here baptism of desire is a given; though I’d love to know if they managed to have him baptised with water – that he is one of the family. At the same time, I can’t imagine a better way to say to their other children that the newly born is one of the family. This is what you do when you think that the newborn is an immortal soul instead of something to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way as soon as practicable.
I can obviously imagine that for some people such a behaviour might seem weird, or ridiculous, or worse. But this is exactly the point, why this is the case. This can only be the case if to one life isn’t sacred, there is no immortal soul, and there is no infinite dignity and beauty in a birth even if, alas, followed by mourning. Those who ridicule Santorum say, therefore, much more about themselves than what they want to imply about him.
I am sitting at home, trying to digest the Iowa results.
What has happened is, to put it bluntly, huge. Those non-Americans among us who have followed Santorum since last summer knew (erm, thought to know) that his was a pure flag candidature, very useful to give more relevance to pro-life issues but without any chance at all to make it to the nomination in real life.
I would be very naive if I would tell you that I have changed my mind now. If the past is any guidance, Santorum will be drowned in the next couple of weeks by the Romney war machine – no doubt, covertly attacking him as they did with Gingrich; it is very interesting how the PACs can be used to outsource nastiness; I think Gingrich will learn the lesson too … – and by the growing awareness that he is, however you try to twist and turn it, not a mainstream candidate. More likely than not, he will be the Huckabee of Iowa 2012. Still huge of course, but not a nomination.
Still, what happened in Iowa shows in my eyes the great force of social conservatism in America, a force we in Europe can only dream about. All those Evangelicals endorsing, of all men, an extremely orthodox Catholic show the ability to coagulate around a man – not this time, most certainly; but probably in future – able to openly defend pro-life and social conservative values and to lead his agenda to Republican nomination and eventual electoral victory.
Perhaps yesterday’s caucus, and the events that will follow until Santorum abandons, will be remembered in the years to come as the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s “time for choosing” speech(es): as the phase in which he puts himself in front of a national audience as a valid candidate to incarnate serious, solid conservative values for an entire country, not for a minority of hardliners.
I still can’t imagine this will be Santorum’s nomination year. It’s not that I wouldn’t dream of it or that I enjoy defeatism, merely that I do not want my excitement to eclipse common sense. It’s still a very long shot, though the shot has just become a damn good sight shorter. What seems more probable to me is that Santorum has put himself in an excellent position to be a serious candidate in four or eight – or twelve – years’ time, when the pro-life and anti-perversion issued will have had some years to better penetrate the collective consciousness of the American electorate, and a couple of million pot-smokers and Sixty-Eighters will have gone to meet – or not, as the case may be – their Maker.
Yesterday, Santorum and his troop of fighters have made that moment a good sight nearer to us.
To you in the United States or Europe this name might not be terribly familiar, but here in Blighty Tesco is, very simply, everywhere. I never really understood why as I prefer Waitrose for quality and Sainsbury’s for value, but it takes all sorts…
Either way, Tesco is here probably better known than the Queen. For this reason, it was no small
provocation fact when such a company decided to unite its name to the Great Cause Of Sodomy.
A masterstroke, someone of dubious sexual orientation and/or of zero moral values must have thought: in one fell swoop we make ourselves oh so beautiful, polish our image with “the young” (who are supposed, of course, to be perverts and supporters of perversion) and get a huge boost in popularity at, in the end, very little cost compared with, say, a huge nationwide TV ad campaign.
It turns out the initiative wasn’t a masterstroke, the country was rather angry and let Tesco know what they thought of them, and an ocean of points was in danger of going down the drain whilst their owner simply walked elsewhere.
The entire exercise reminded one of the embarrassing Marks & Spencer initiative, with some – certainly below thirty – cretins promoting slogans like “Plan A, because there is no Plan B” and causing the loss of, I am sure, many clients beside yours truly.
Still, whilst Marks and Spencer deflated the environ-mental craze rather quietly and trying not to lose face, Tesco clearly couldn’t afford such a luxury in front of popular opposition, which must have been brutal and such as to demand a decided backpedaling. But how to ddo it? In these cases you are in front of a quandary: you must throw the fags out of the window without appearing to having sponsored them just because you were looking for some cheap publicity.
The result is, it appears, Tesco’s announcement of the last days: “we’ll be pro-sodomy until the next Pervert Pride event, after which we are going to sever our ties with organised sodomy”. Brilliantly stupid.
This is so embarrassing, it reminds one of “The Office”, and the flies on the walls of Tesco headquarters must have cringed, too. The Tesco PR, erm, cheesy poofs are basically saying to us their “values” have – pun not intended – a “best before” date.
Sorry boys – or however you “feel” – it just doesn’t work that way. Such a behaviour exposes your hypocrisy even more; it takes every doubt out of the most naive that you were just being the serfs of the public opinion, and the servants of Mammon.
This wasn’t little. And it certainly did not help.
A post of stunning beauty appeared on the always excellent blog of John Smeaton. Those among us happy enough to have been waited for, and considered a blessing can, I believe, barely conceive the suffering of those in the situation reported in the post. Please do click and read for yourselves.
The post is even more beautiful because of the eventual reconciliation with the mother, but once again I doubt words can express feelings touching us at such a deep level as the ones concerning a mother and his child.
Abortion is a great evil. That it be so quietly accepted in great parts of the Western world says a lot about us as a society.
“Gay Wedding at St Bartholomew’s EC1” by the Revd Dr Peter Mullen.The Bishop of London is in a high huff
Because Dr Dudley has married a puff;
And not just one puff – he’s married another:
Two priests, two puffs and either to other.
“It isn’t a wedding, for that’s not allowed;
They’ve just come together and promised and vowed
To shack up and snug up, to have and to hold:
Ooh aren’t we radical! Ooh aren’t we bold!”
Now here’s a most queer and most wonderful thing:
He’s given his hand, he’s offered his ring;
And each to the other forever will bend,
After their troll in the coach up West End.
Not a flash wedding, no pics in Hello!
Just a honeymoon cottage, convenient so.
Of such Dr Dudley a goldmine has found,
From shaven-head puftas the nuptial pink pound.
The new Church of England embraces diversity,
A fresh modulation on ancient perversity:
“I’m C of E and PC so don’t think it odd of me
To offer a licence and blessing for sodomy.”
Yes, I know the chap is not in good standing with the so-called C of E (which might be a good thing) and he has been forced to resign for adultery (which is, undoubtedly, not a good thing).
I found this little work refreshing anyway.
From the blog of E F Pastor Emeritus
Twenty-six pastoral workers–including 18 priests, four sisters, and four laity–were killed in 2011, according to the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Seven were killed in Colombia, five in Mexico, three in India, two in Burundi, and one each in Brazil, Paraguay, Nicaragua, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Tunisia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Spain.Twenty-six pastoral workers–including 18 priests, four sisters, and four laity–were killed in 2011, according to the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Seven were killed in Colombia, five in Mexico, three in India, two in Burundi, and one each in Brazil, Paraguay, Nicaragua, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Tunisia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Spain.
Perhaps I was not paying attention, but I didn’t notice anything along these lines reported on the BBC.
But just let a real or – more probably – supposed case of “homophobia” come up, and you can hear them barking and bitching around like there’s no tomorrow…..
Just to start the year with a piece of exciting news, here is another example of a bishop too concerned with not displeasing anyone to care for his own job.
Bishop Bonny of Antwerp is on record with the following piece of genius. The first part is reported only to give a context, what interests me is the second one:
I fully understand it. The Church can not avoid the debate about the criteria for ordination. Personally, I strongly believe in the value of the unmarried priesthood and a full availability for Christ and the Church community. But I also think that the ordination of a number of married men or deacons to the priesthood can be an enrichment for the Church. In the eastern Catholic Churches married priests are more the rule than the exception. That fact is therefore not unfamiliar for the Catholic Church. The ordination of women to priests is theologically far more difficult. In the west that concern is present in broad layers of society, but worldwide the support is extremely small. But I do think that there needs to be more discussion about the place and role of the woman in the Church. Women must be allowed to take on responsible duties in the Church, on all levels.
This way of thinking is covertly heretical and/or overtly cowardly in several elements. Let us see them:
The ordination of women to priests is theologically far more difficult
The ordination of women priests is not difficult in any way. It’s impossible. Im-pos-si-ble. A bishop must know this, because my grandmothers did. Bishop Bonny most certainly does. He is merely being a coward, because he can’t find in himself the very modicum of strenght necessary to be a halfway decent bishop.
I can’t imagine Padre Pio listening to such crap and not slapping him in the face, but then I reflect in padre Pio’s time bishops didn’t go around saying such things, and even illiterate peasants would be aware of the enormity of such words.
In the west that concern is present in broad layers of society, but worldwide the support is extremely small.
This is so wrong it’s embarrassing. Firstly, I do not know how female priesthood is seen among homosexual belgian priests (possibly the pool from which the bishops takes his idea of “support”), but among Catholics the “support” for such jokes is minuscule, and actually only coming from people who aren’t Catholics anymore, though they might be baptised in some cases. Secondly, the Church is not about support, but Truth. Thirdly, a bishop happily talking of theological matters as if they could be seen according to the “support” they have is an open scandal.
It gets worse…
Women must be allowed to take on responsible duties in the Church, on all levels.
Here, the typical doublespeak of our modern chicken bishops is apparent. “All levels” means, well, all levels; which must include, if words have a meaning, priests, bishops, cardinals and Popes. Therefore, the chappy first doesn’t have the gut of saying that about male priesthood there’s nothing to discuss, and one second later expresses himself in a way which – if words have a meaning – expresses support for the heretical agenda; without saying explicitly so of course, then a coward is always afraid of both sides of a controversy.
These are the sheperds of Catholic souls in the West: disgraceful cowards helping lies and spreading doublespeak wherever they turn. I am sure, no one will ever question their being in full communion with the Church, much less call them schismatics.
Bishop Bonny is an appointment of Pope Benedict XVI.
The new Hungarian Constitution has entered into force on the 1 January.
I have written about the matter here
I can vividly see the green faces of the BBC troops in commenting this. The matter must also be rather embarrassing for the Prime Pansy, Mr Chameleon, who says the country must go back to Christian values whilst actively promoting institutionalised sodomy. No doubt, he must think it very Christian.
I also wonder whether this Constitution (being Christian) is after the liking of Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, or whether he would have preferred a more “nuanced” position, for example making clear that civil partnerships are not in contradiction with Catholic teaching, as everyone knows there is, (erm, cough…..) no sexual intercourse involved.
May the Almighty bless the Hungarian people, and crush the wolves in sheep’s clothes.
Beautifully politically incorrect post from Left-Footer about people “welcoming” other people to Mass. I can say that I have never been “blessed” with such a treatment, but I find it so post-Vatican II I do not struggle in believing such a circus must go on in many churches.
In my cynicism, I have in front of me a HD picture of the typical busybody-ing, old-ish Sixty-Eighter aunt (I am talking of a stereotypical aunt here; present readership excepted) smiling at me with the broadest of “look at me me me “- expressions, and presenting me with her old-ish “I can’t believe how good I am” stretched hand.
Of course, such behaviour grates one because it is – among many other things – abuse of the Mass, which is meant to be a meeting with Christ rather than a social occasion in which more or less intelligent people try to show us how good they are, or to make themselves important in some strange way.
Once again, I must impart on you some traditional Italian wisdom, and point out that in past times such habits were not only non-existent, but unthinkable. It is the decaying of religious practice and its degradation to a mere social occasion that makes such behaviour thinkable in the first place. As it is today, religious practice becomes a “we” exercise, with Him nothing more than the pretext.
Unfortunately, the very presence of such people – prevalently old ladies, one is tempted to think out of personal experience; though this must not be the case – poses questions as to what lies behind such practices.
Does the parish priest know of the greeting troops? Does he approve of it? Why? Once again, we must ask ourselves: were countless generations of past Christians wrong, or not nice enough? Or are we, very simply, missing something?
Sadly, the laity seems to be parroting modern priests (again, no trace of this in traditional Catholic societies), who can’t wait to greet you when you get out of church in case you should feel lonely after so much time alone with Christ, or in case you should be confused as to who is the real protagonist.
The present generation often misses the point, because they often miss Christianity. Their religion is, as so often nowadays, “niceness” and an obsessive quest for attracting attention and approval.
I can’t wait for the old lady near the priest, saying an emphatic “thanks!” to me because I am in line for communion.
If you wonder why the Pope is not obeyed and nothing happens to those who disobey to him, look no further than here, where the always excellent Rorate Caeli has some rather bad news for you.
It so happens that the “liturgy” of the Neocatechumenal Way is now – as it appears very probable – going to be approved by the Holy Father. This, after the Holy Father himself had ordered them to drop some of their most shocking peculiarities, his instructions being, as so often, largely ignored without any serious consequence.
The brutal truth of the matter is the Pope isn’t obeyed because he doesn’t show much interest in his will being respected, and even tends to reward disobedience after a while. It is as if he had decided that to talk is enough, the acting being something that can be safely postponed and left to his successors.
I am afraid age doesn’t seem to be helping the Holy Father in this respect, and the signals have been multiplying for some time that the advance in years is paid with a marked decrease of his ability, or will, to operate for the hermeneutic of continuity for which his pontificate will be very probably remembered.
Look, if you dare, at the videos posted on the Rorate page (I do not dare doing it myself; have looked at the first minute of the first and my adrenaline level went through the roof) and tell me what this is to do with any continuity, or with Catholicism come to that. On the contrary, it is clear to me the Pontiff is actively sabotaging his own work, as seen not only by this last probable initiative, but also by the continued impunity of all those bishops actively sabotaging Summorum Pontificum, by the utter inability to have a robust ruler caress the gloved fingers of the Nichols and Schoenborns of the world, and by the rather populist drive most recently shown with the Assisi III initiative. If memory serves, Assisi III was also announced at the very beginning of the year; a period I will now dread for the duration of this pontificate.
I have just published my blog post of comment to the latest utterances of Cardinal Ranjith regarding the Vetus Ordo. I have the horrible feeling that, if asked, he would use similar words – and, no doubt, throw V II into the bargain – to defend the mock liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way. The fact is, the only clear direction seem to be not to have any, and rather try to appease everyone by sending some praise here and some approvals there.
One is clearly reminded of British Leyland in the Seventies.
Thankfully, British Leyland didn’t have the Holy Ghost on its side, which is why it went belly up in comparatively few years.
Then we wonder why the SSPX has not accepted the preambolo dottrinale. Imagine full reconciliation and something like that happening, without the SSPX feeling free to make fire from as many cannons as they think fit.
Today is the 1 January. This day happens to be:
a) The Solemnity of Mary, and
b) The World Day of Peace
Whilst there are other days called “days of peace” (one in September, I think; possibly others; can’t be bothered to check) I do not doubt that this day will be used in many more or less trendy churches to spread the usual thick layer of molasses over the already diabetes-endangered pewsitters. I would say that days like this one are a very good gauge to guess where your parish is going: if the diabetes-inducing “peaaaace” call has substituted or put Mary in the second place, you may want to think about attending elsewhere. If the peace issue got a mention en passant (for example during the bidding prayers) and the religious feast was at the centre of the homily you could be in a much worse parish. If Mary was the only issue of the day and the mass sugar-free, you are most probably in the right place.
I was attending in a church of the second type (very orthodox homily, by the way) and could not help wondering whether an appeal for “just wars” by the bidding prayers would make the same impression. Just war being a war that is considered inevitable to avoid a much bigger evil, a prayer that “just wars” may be the only wars to be fought is, in fact, every bit as Catholic or peace-loving as a prayer for “peace”; but for some reason I have the impression that it would not be received with the same sense of self-satisfied goodness from the pewsitters, nor would it make the priest as popular.
We don’t like war, one would say. We don’t like death, either; but we still recite the Hail Mary every day; the same goes for hell and the Fatima prayer, & Co.
Once again: to pray that there may be only just wars is in no way less Catholic, or less pacific, than to pray that there may be no wars at all. If anything, it reminds one of the reality of this fallen world, with its unavoidable load of injustices, violence, oppression, and aggression. On the contrary, a generalised stance “against war”, whilst possibly formulated with the best of intentions, is easily misconstrued in a pacifist way; which is not only anti-Catholic, but stupid in the first place.
It seems, alas, that the modern churchgoer is like a very old, infirm man only able to take to himself the lightest and most digestible fare; but stray from the path of the obvious and banal – and be it even by remaining absolutely orthodox, and even absolutely peace loving – and you’re in trouble.
Mala tempora currunt
I can only assume, then, the Wicked Witch of the West successively took control of pretty much everything in the affairs of the Church; probably whilst the Conciliar Fathers were having their tea and cake, or their afternoon nap.
Now don’t take me wrong: I can only cheer the good Cardinal for breaking a lance for the Tridentine Mass, a sport certainly not well spread among his colleagues. What I find always more than strange is this continuous desire – one would almost say, the felt obligation – to put Vatican II as the basis of everything good and sensible and consider everything that went awry afterwards as being to do with utterly external circumstances like the above mentioned female.
The simple truth of the matter is, the Conciliar Fathers might have wanted to keep Latin as the backbone of the liturgy at the very beginning of the Council – or, say, as long as they knew Pope John XXIII wanted things to stay that way -, but they most certainly threw Latin out of the window in the course of the following years, and did so themselves in the clearest of manners, the bishops presiding over the massacre of Latin being very largely the same people who had taken part in the Council.
This of the Council being betrayed is, if you ask me, one of those legends always created to defend the indefensible (we all know the stories; for example, the imagined “good communism” or “good socialism” as opposed to the brutal reality). What happened after the council was every bit the unavoidable result of what happened during the council, and executed by the very same people.
Therefore, I welcome Cardinal Ranjith’s intervention. I only wished he would stop trying to defend the indefensible and would either say things as they are – we’ll get there in time, I am sure – or cover with a charitable silence the thorny matter of the responsibility for the catastrophe of the last fifty years. We suffer the fruit of Vatican II every day to this day and the way out is not letting us believe in some utterly implausible “good Vatican II” ( or good communism, or good socialism), but to recognise that if the fruits have been so bad the tree cannot have been good at all, particularly considering the people tending the tree and distributing its fruits have been the same all along.
Let us start the year with a clearly “insensitive”, “homophobic” Monthy Python video.
I can see our Prime Minister and his Prime Girlfriend taking this seriously, and praising it as an example of the new times….
Hat tip to Linen on the Hedgerow