Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

Cherchez La Femme? Bishop Zavala Shows What Lies Behind Heterodoxy

Allow me to say first of all that I am not criticising here Bishop Zavala’s private failures. We all have ours, we all are sinners and we all would not want a huge megaphone attached to our confessional.

What I would like to point out is that it seems to me that there are ten Zavalas for one Corapi, that is: that heterodox and controversial positions are rather likely to be the indicator of something that doesn’t work in the private vocation and in the private life of the religious involved.

If we think of the scale of the problems in Belgium, or of the problem caused by homosexual priests in general – most of them, no doubt, very “open” in many a matter of doctrine – it seems to me that their number eclipses those of the conservative  religious who gravely fail their duty – or give public scandal – like Corapi or Maciel.

Once again, it is not for us to substitute ourselves to bishop’s Zavala’s confessor for his private shortcomings; but in my eyes it is very fitting for us to reflect that once again, progressive controversial religious are people who have a big problem with some aspects of their vocation.

I can easily imagine homosexual priests expressing themselves in “liberal” ways if not necessarily in the matter of homosexuality – where they might be more easily outed – in some other matter like, say, “peace”, “social justice” and the like. When the rules of the shop begin to prove a constraint on their inclinations, they begin to become hostile to the shop. Out goes loyalty, in comes self-gratification and easy feeling of being “just” and “popular”, possibly to compensate for private remorse or just out of sheer self-gratification. The same goes for progressive priests-with-girlfriend, or atheists, or not believing in the Real Presence, & Co.

Bishop Zavala was, at least, not a sodomite. He was weak, but he was not perverted. He was weak, also, in not having resisted to an episcopal appointment certainly posterior to the beginning of his long-term affair, thus exposing the Church to a far bigger scandal. He was weaker still in allowing himself to become involved in an activity which must necessarily expose him to a great risk of being found out some day. One wonders what can have motivated him, if not a great desire for popularity, again probably as compensation for a sense of inadequacy. The motivating factor of all heterodox do-gooders, really.

I am a cynical man. Whenever a religious takes positions going more or less overtly against traditional Church teaching, I can’t help wondering how comfortable he feels in his habit, or whether he is trying to compensate for some problem or conflict. In my simple world, the priest at peace with himself is, I think, as naturally loyal as water is wet.

Next time you hear of a pacifist, or socialist, or global warmer, or suspiciously progressive priest, think of what can be behind.


Santorum’s Hour

The Hero of the day: Rick Santorum

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.



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