Mary Ever-Virgin: Meet Pope Paul VII
A long string of disastrous episcopal appointments to please the local hierarchies (though I slowly doubt they displeased him in the first place).
The appointment of clearly heterodox clergy even in key positions, like Westminster.
The absolute inaction – apart from a couple of words some time ago; but words are no action – against the heresy in Austria.
The “Assisi” kermesse, only marginally better than the past exercises, and accompanied by almost all of the un-Catholic “ecumenical” stench of the past editions. This did not even please the crowds. Lesson learned, I hope. Don’t bet your pint.
The clear desire to ingratiate himself to the German crowds – see the rather astonishing declaration of some weeks ago concerning the “suffering” of the divorced and remarried; poor lambs… – by accurately avoiding to say it straight about divorce.
The ridiculous farce with the SSPX; a farce either started to try to divide them, or precipitated by lying collaborators, or caused by sudden fear to displease the German “sponsors”. This last farce very probably involved eating his own words. Very smart.
The leakage scandal, not so terrible in itself but showing a man who doesn’t even know his most intimate collaborators and companions.
Much worse, the letter leaked showing a duplicitous style of governing the church, with people like Burke first kept in the dark about taken decisions, informed only after the fait accompli, and after the humiliation given a little sweet, like one does with little children in order to keep them quiet. Too clever by half is the right description.
The clear flavour of favoritism, with those near and dear to him free to do how they please (Schoenborn, a “personal friend”; Mueller, another “personal friend”) without any fear of punishment, whilst the SSPX is left out in the cold with a dangling bait only an idiot can think they will swallow. Once again, too clever by half.
Lastly, the double whammy of the appointments of Roche and Mueller.
In the balance of seven years of Pontificate, it is clear Summorum Pontificum was nothing more than another sweet given to the noisy Traditionalist children: a measure whose execution – let alone enforcement – was obviously never wanted, and motivated exclusively by the desire of the Pontiff to appear the ally of more conservative elements. This is why the bishops boycotted it with such gusto: they knew this was exactly fine.
Whilst, though, Summorum Pontificum is largely lettera morta, the appointment of bad – or very bad, or clearly heretical – personnel continues unabated, and with some notable exception (Burke, say; isolated and not even informed of momentous decisions) the happy V II crowds continue to call the shots, with heretics happily promoted in the key positions.
I can understand you if you thought Pope Benedict could be a Pope if not of traditionalist restauration – this he never said – at least of steady and gradual march toward sanity. Forget it. He now even has his own Bugnini, today’s appointment being surely destined to weigh on his memory as heavily as Bugnini’s work weighs on Pope Paulus VI of unhappy memory.
Pope Benedict is no better than Pope Paul VI, and Paul VII would have been a much more apposite name for him. He is probably worse, as Pope Montini might – just might – have had as an excuse the violent – if not unexpected – eruption of an open revolt he was not prepared to quench, whilst Pope Benedict is clearly helping a bunch of grey-haired sixty-eighters oily, slimy, socialist, heretical money and power-grabbers to perpetuate a situation that must – and will – die with them.
Pope Benedict has tried to disguise himself as a Pope friendly to conservative Catholics, and threw them a couple of sweets they were all too eager to accept as gold coins. In order to keep this fiction going, he might even agree to some form of reconciliation with the SSPX, possibly with some small print allowing him to neutralise them; certainly, the SSPX should never accept any agreement requiring them to trust him.
One can safely say the game ended today. It will be very painful for many of us to have to admit it, but I’ll still prefer to look at reality rather than insist in this dream of the conservative pope that just doesn’t manage to act conservative because…. of the wolves he chose.
This is Paul VII, and no mistake.