Daily Archives: May 15, 2012
On the usual Rorate Caeli, the translation of a rather saucy leak from the Vatican corridors: the Pope had the text of the SSPX’ reply to the Preambolo Dottrinale beforehand, and did not raise any objections.
This has been largely anticipated, and in fact it would have been rather inconceivable, and against the most elementary rules of prudence, that Bishop Fellay would give his official answer without having received unofficial confirmation that the Pontiff had given his green light. In the end, and if we are honest with ourselves, we know perfectly well a theologian Pontiff does not need the CDF – composed in part of individuals like Schoenborn – to know whether the answer his acceptable. Still, the fact itself the matter was leaked makes it rather intriguing.
Why then, will you ask, the three weeks of waiting to examine the document, and then the big meeting, and the big decision everyone knows has already been taken?
If you ask me, this is nothing to do with the Pope wanting to know what the CDF thinks on the matter, but about the Pope forcing the CDF to toe the line on the reconciliation. The CDF is expected to say what they think beforehand, but they also clearly know what they are expected to say. If they criticise the SSPX’s answer, they will be silenced by the Pontiff and exposed as irretrievable tambourine-men. If they approve, they’ll have to shut up afterwards.
All in all, it could be this procedure isn’t all bad after all…
This is the video released by the CNS following the interview, on which I had already commented.
First of all, please note the video has the same original sin of the interview: cut and put together with a certain intent, adorned with suggestive music and historical footage and, in general, more similar to a bad documentary rather than an interview.
Still, it clearly emerges Bishop Fellay is perfectly orthodox in his theology, albeit not without the solid practical spirit every Southern European Catholic carries with himself.
The part about the Vatican II, whose problems should be “rather” in the application has been cut – clear indication Fellay’s words have been not correctly transmitted – but Fellay stresses an important concept: V II is in itself far more conservative than its adorers would want us to believe (religious freedom: 1:36 to 2:02) albeit rather diplomatic in his criticism of it. As to V II in itself, Fellay has very strong words (try 0:42 to 0:50), conveniently ignored in the interview.
In general, though, one can’t say he is – at least from what we have been shown – very belligerent. Which is fine, as there is a time for everything under the heaven, and it was probably not the right time to say the Church is ill a planta pedis usque ad verticem capitis. Although, thinking of it, it might have said something similar, which was subsequently cut because it did not agree with the general tone the interview was supposed to have.
On a more personal note, from the interview emerges a man with very good, and very piercing eyes; with a marked sense of humour; and a with a fundamental serenity, and love for the Church, appearing from his every word.
In the next weeks and month, Bishop Fellay will be slandered and misinterpreted from both sides – right and left of him – in the most various ways. Please consider what he says before what other people say that he has said.
It is well-known Tolkien didn’t do any pacifist crap. If you read “The Lord of The Rings” (or even “The Hobbit”; or all the rest, comes to that) you see a warrior’s attitude everywhere. Not, mind, in the way of the pacifist “fighting in a non-violent manner” for some wrong cause of his; but as very real, sometimes very physical and deadly confrontation.
The movie cannot even hope to render the richness and complexity of Tolkien’s world, and the greatness of his mind. But in its beautiful photography and in some moments of intense lyricism it manages at time to transmit something of Tolkien’s message.
The video above is a good example. At this point of the narration the situation seems desperate, and the King himself has no real hopes. It is clear the impression is shared by most. But crucially, whilst he very much doubts about the victory, not for a moment does he doubt that he will fight and die as a King.
In the simple words of Gamling, the entire world of Tolkien is admirably contained: “Your men, my lord, will follow you to whatever end”. Tolkien writes of a world where the individual does not demand to know what is right of wrong, or to question the duty he is called to fulfil, or to put his “conscience” in front of everything. Wisdom and honour belong to the one who obeys, not the one who questions.
Still, notice the situation is desperate, and seemingly hopeless. King Theoden could have said to Gamling it would be better to be “nuanced” about their judgement of Sauron. He could have said Sauron’s final victory is “inevitable”, and therefore it is better to “adjust” to the new situation.
Crucially, he doesn’t. He doesn’t, because he has now become a new man; or better said, because he has rediscovered the man he used to be.
The last words of the clip, at which this short excerpt wisely ends, are the words in the minds of so many Catholics these days: how did it come to this. How could we so weak and stupid and naive as to believe the orcs would not come marching towards us in huge numbers, encouraged by our weakness and cowardice.
The (conservative) Catholic world is now, in a way, in the same situation in which Theoden found himself: staring in disbelief at the follies of the past, in the imminence of a deadly battle. Thankfully, our chances of victory are infinitely better than Theoden’s, and the Grima Wormtongues (the film doesn’t really render Tolkien’s absolutely crushing criticism of Grima’s slimy talk, “peace” rhetoric and convenient defeatism so typical of the breed) have been, thankfully, exposed in time.
How did it come to this? Because of the far too many Schoenborns and Nichols and Martinis who have been allowed by far too many Pontiffs to poison the body of the Church, that’s why.
This is another parallelism between the movie and real life: Theoden is weak and in a state of stupefied weakness for a long time; but when he is freed from the spell, he reacts in the right way and throws all the weight of his authority in the fight. I would love to say the Church is at the same point, only the facts would contradict me in a tragic way.
We can say, though, the Theoden of the Church is slowly awakening and is beginning, in a confused way, to understand his soldiers will follow him to whatever end, if he only dares to declare outright war.
We are not there yet. Not with this Theoden, for sure. With the next Theoden, perhaps.
I truly hope he will not wait until he is kettled in the Hornburg.
Reblog of the day
Has a priest ever told you anything about the rosary? If he has, you can count yourself among a tiny and fortunate minority of the faithful. More likely, your priest has rather preferred to entertain you about so-called anthropogenic global warming, social justice, the necessity of not kicking the cat, and such like. Let us correct this unfortunate situation with some short remarks.
There are some regional variations of the rosary and every faithful can adjust some parts as he likes. In short, a typical rosary would be recited this way:
1) Sign of the Cross. Creed of the Apostles; Pater Noster; three Hail Marys; Glory Be; Fatima prayer.
2) Five decades each composed of the following: Pater noster; ten Hail Marys; Glory Be; Fatima Prayer. At the beginning of each decade you can introduce a short pause to reflect on the mystery and/or to ask Our Lord or the…
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