Monthly Archives: February 2013
I like those Fifty-style pictures with a punchy caption below. You see them on sale in several places in London, and probably elsewhere (though I never saw them in Italy or Germany; my bad, I am sure).
I like the old-school, conservative aura they have. Unfortunately, the caption of those sold in shops is often vulgar or irreverent; this spoils the pleasant conservative effect of the image, which probably is in these cases the desired effect.
This one, though, is very fine.
I have it from The Hermeneutic of Continuity and I think it very fitting for the coming days and weeks.
You may want to email the image to your friends, either to share a laugh or perhaps to make a point with them in a humorous but rather forceful manner.
I chanced to read this old blog post concerning the Heresy in Austria again.
In this post, I made three hypotheses about what would happen after the very clear papal words.
I leave it to you to decide which of the hypotheses proved right.
Oh Lord, please give us a strong Pope.
From the wonder of the Catholic blogosphere, Rorate Caeli, we are now informed of some details of the latest exchange between the Vatican and the Society.
The first piece of information is that the letter was sent on the 8 January. This is more than one month before the surprise announcement of the Holy Father’s abdication. Clearly, at that time no one had any idea of what was about to happen. Already this makes the document almost as useful as a broken fork.
The second is that the letter seems to have offered the immediate erection of a Personal Prelature in case of SSPX’s agreement.
We also knew already that the letter contained a big “… or else” in case the SSPX rejects the proposal.
What, I think, we can infer from all this is that the CDF addressed all members of the SSPX saying ” if the Society as such does not accept our proposal, those of you who defect individually can have their own Personal Prelature on the spot, on the very 22 February”. This is not explicitly said, but the offer of a Personal Prelature together with an address to every individual priest makes it clear enough to these eyes what the Vatican intention is.
Truly, they don’t get it.
Why on earth SSPX priests should now decide to leave en masse is beyond me. It is as if the Vatican believed they were all sleeping and now, magically awakening in 2013, would discover with terror that they might be excommunicated, and find the thought unbearable.
Certainly, the one of other will always leave every now and then; it is in the logic of human nature. But it is the idea that suddenly a big number of SSPX would say “let’s do what Archbishop Mueller says, he is so good to us and so orthodox!…” that I find hilarious.
The men at the Vatican do not get a simple concept: every member of the SSPX is there for a reason, the fruit of very careful deliberation. They aren’t children ready to change their mind because uncle Müller offers them a candy.
The second piece of information is a bit more intriguing.
The reasons why Father Barthe goes to the point of imagining the creation of an Ordinariate on the very 22 February are not clear to me, but it does not seem probable a unilateral offer of the Holy Father (I mean here, without asking for any concession) is in the cards, or would even be wise.
We must reflect that every last-minute concession of the Pope would be seen as a further sign of weakness, as if he had waited for the last days in order to dodge the massive flak that would have followed an earlier announcement. In addition, we must consider the problems caused by the reconciliation would transfer to his successor in its entirety, again making him look like someone ready and willing to throw a hot potato in his successor’ hands; with the possible result that his successor, not entirely pleased at he proceedings, decides to revoke every concession made. Moreover, the SSPX is so organised that every proposal of reconciliation must be approved by the majority of their own members. It isn’t going to happen in six days, and the matter would therefore only have a sense if it is a unilateral recognition without any condition. Not very realistic, I would say.
There will be, therefore, no reconciliation on the 22nd and whilst I would be overjoyed at the news I do not think this kind of reverie leads to anything.
The SSPX is in a strong position, and can wait the conclave with confidence that the next Pope will be smart enough to understand the SSPX is not only the past but, emphatically, the future of the Church.
We shall see.
Oh Lord, please give us a strong Pope.
In an age in which every conceivable Catholic outlet seems to see it as obligatory to agree with the Holy Father in everything, it is very refreshing to read that no less than a Cardinal says clearly that this was a weak papacy (ok, he says “not strong”; I am sure you get the drift…).
The Cardinal rightly praises Pope Benedict’s work in other fields, and mentions the strong work accomplished (even before becoming Pope, I add) to remedy to the pedophile priests scandal and help to prevent that they happen again. But there is no denying the Pope is elected to lead the Church, not to be a fine theologian, and the deficiencies in that respect are so clear you only need to read the news for some minutes to understand the scale of the problems, and the absence of a strong reaction to them.
Kudos to the Cardinal, then. I’d have preferred if he had added a blow for the Conciliar church, which is the first cause of the attitude and election of Popes of the good-uncle, no-fight sort like Benedict. But hey, in life you can’t have everything.
Cardinal Gomez will sit in the conclave, and it is obvious he will plead for a strong Pope.
Let us pray his voice will be heard.
If you needed an additional confirmation that the SSPX has realised Pope Benedict’s resignation equates to a big card reshuffle, you can click on this link.
Besides the obvious fact that Pope Benedict will, in all probability, not make any parting gift to the Society – it is not logical that he should do so; he has been planning his departure for some months, and if he had wanted to act he would have done it before lest he gives the impression he acts at the last minute to avoid the criticism to his decision – what is interesting in this interview is Fellay’s suggested roadmap for a reconciliation.
The good bishop is very clear in saying that whilst he does not expect from the next Pope that he proceeds to an open, outright condemnation of Vatican II, the new Pope can accomplish a lot smartly and quietly, proceeding to a series of adjustments apt to eliminate a good part of the problems. To quote (emphasis mine):
As far as Vatican II is concerned, just like for the Mass, we believe that it is necessary to clarify and correct a certain number of points that are either erroneous or lead to error. That being said, we do not expect Rome to condemn Vatican II any time soon. She can recall the Truth and discretely correct the errors, while preserving her authority.
The message is very clear. It would be more than enough if the Vatican were willing to work toward the repair of the edifice without any admission that, so to speak, the architect was on drugs and the building company straight out of Greece. Quiet and discreet action – starting with immediate action on the very worst – can accomplish a lot.
Note that in this interview there is no trace whatsoever of an alleged fear of the Society that some terrible punishment may be inflicted on them by the next Pope. There isn’t, because there is no terrible punishment the Vatican can even try to inflict on them without – besides not reaching their scope – inflicting a much bigger damage on themselves.The Vatican can, simply, not credibly strike at orthodox Catholicism, and spotless obedience.
No, the only way the Vatican can try to neutralise the Society is by trying to blandish, seduce and divide them, dangling the carrot of “reconciliation” in front of their eyes whilst waiting for the division and strife this would cause; a game, this, already tried in a massive and open way both in 1988 and in 2012; on both occasions clearly engineered by the current Pontiff; and parlously failed twice.
The SSPX awaits the outcome of the Conclave from a position of unprecedented strenght and prestige. The progressive – if too slow – rapprochement of the Vatican to the positions held before V II in so many matters is a vindication of Archbishop Lefebvre’s brave fight. As the ideology of Vatican II continues to slowly wither, Traditionalism will grow in prestige and authority; if you say Traditionalism properly intended (that is: not mere liturgical preference, but defence of the entire patrimony of Tradition), you say first and foremost SSPX.
I always liked Father Julian Large, and his extremely brave homilies were a great factor in my process of rapprochement to the sacramental life after decades as a lapsed Catholic. I particularly remember one beautiful homily, when he said incendiary (read: catholic) things about sodomy and invited any pew sitter not in agreement with them to denounce him to the police, adding it would be a privilege to be jailed for Christ.
I had never heard the like before. The style of the Oratorians in general (and of Father Large in particular) was so different from the “don’t kick the cat”-homilies of my childhood and early adolescence that I felt greatly motivated to deepen my neglected Catholicism and discover the treasures hidden, alas, under several strata of Vatican II mud.
This is the kind of man we want as a Pope.
Nowadays Father Large is the Provost of the Oratory, and his position might counsel him to be a tad more moderate in his utterances. Still, the man hasn’t lost his rather blunt writing style, as you can see from the phrase below, taken from the Oratory Website:
Only slightly less annoying than the predictable speculation on ‘Vatican power struggles’ are the pious platitudes that tend to emerge around the time of a Conclave: “Oh Father, we can relax. It’s the Holy Spirit who will choose the new Pope.” No. It is actually the cardinals who will elect the Pope, and the College of Cardinals is a fallible group of fallible men.
The refreshingly blunt character of the man is showed by the fact that he is positively annoyed by the pious platitudes concerning the Pope’s election. I was very glad to read his words, because I also experience a more than slight increase in my adrenaline level when I hear the one or other faithful talking as if the Church were a wireless toy car with the Holy Ghost firmly in charge of the remote control. To think so shows not only a worrying degree of naivety, but it even sounds to my ears remotely blasphemous, as it implies that the long list of utterly inadequate, positively corrupt or utterly disgraceful Popes of the past were carefully hand-picked by the Holy Ghost. Besides, it encourages inaction and passivity, another specialty of the V II church; and in fact, it’s impossible not to notice that those who talk about the Holy Ghost making all the work tend to be the least willing to put up a fight for Christ themselves.
“Why worry? The Holy Ghost is in charge!” Seriously, this is the stuff out of which persecutions of Christians are made.
The Church is run by men, and these men have all the qualities (good and bad) of the kind. They will choose more or less wisely according to their ability to discern wisely what the Church needs; but they might get it wrong, and even massively wrong, which is why a conclave is always such an important event. We must pray for the election of a good, strong Pope.
Father Large says the next Pope should be “Catholic, holy, wise and strong”. Personally I would, in my fear for the election of the wrong man, gladly settle for the first, third and fourth of these qualities, leaving the rest to the cares of the new Pope’s confessor. After John Paul II’s experience, I am very scared of another Pope chosen because of his holiness, without looking too hard to whether he has the character to lead a vast apparatus, and to be a King rather than a monk.
Oh Lord, please, please give us a strong Pope.
On Cardinal Mahony’s Blog this post appeared.
At a first reading it would appear an exercise in humility. Sadly, I failed to be moved. I think I know why.
Read it again, and understand that this is nothing to do with humility.
There is no single word of admission of guilt. The “humiliation” is, besides being something he can’t avoid, presented as coming to him like a test: like a cancer, say, or having a life-changing accident, or such like.
If I speed on the motorway and get caught, I haven’t been “called to lose my driving licence”. I have chosen to drive too fast and have paid the consequences. If I talk of my “vocation to bus riding” and do not mention that I am the cause of my own problems, I can’t see where the humility is.
The writing style and entire attitude remind me of those Protestant ministers caught with the secretary in their bed; only when they apologise they at least do so openly. Cardinal Mahony doesn’t.
We learn instead that on Ash Wednesday he has discovered a new vocation (one which clearly he did not have before) , because people now insult him and, it is clear to everyone, further trouble lies ahead. The Cardinal writes he is called to be “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but he doesn’t say that he richly deserves it. Many saints were “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but they were saintly men and women. I am missing something here….
The entire exercise sounds so passive-aggressive to me I wonder whether it has been written by a woman. “I am treated so badly you wouldn’t believe it, but I am such a good Christian that I will embrace it. Yes, I will, I will! Look at me, what a spotless lamb I am!”.
Dulcis in fundo, he closes with another passive-aggressive blow to his enemies:
Strangely, the more I allow all of this to unfold without protest and objection, the greater the inner peace I feel.
It is clear he could move oh so many objections and his protests would be oh so justified; but having now discovered a new vocation, he will deliver himself to his slaughterers. The “inner peace” he “strangely” feels shows us his great, serene strenght in the face of adversity.
The gullible will be moved, no doubt. The others will wait for real and sincere apologies, and the end of this passive-aggressive attitude.
Cardinal Mahony was made bishop by Paul VI, and Cardinal by John Paul II.
An interesting article in the online version of Crisis magazine points out to a rather self-evident, if not explicitly admitted, fact: the power and influence the Church still holds in very many Western Countries.
The relentless energy with which the Church is misrepresented or outright slandered from the media (“Daily Telegraph”, or should I say “Daily Homograph”, obviously not excluded) is a thinly
veiled admission the Church is still a thorn in the side of the heathens (I do not count the Protestants here; they are largely extinct and few of the survivors who believe in God will show her the hostility of, say, the aiders and abettors of child abusers at the BBC). They are, therefore, doing their best to present the Church as a shop which must either radically change or die (a bit like, well, erm… the BBC).
As so often when the dark forces of secularism open their mouth, nothing can be further from the truth.
Firstly, it isn’t that the Church can really “change”, and the worst a Pope can do is to water down and sabotage the teaching; but as to changing, this is just not going to happen because no Pope would be allowed to.
You can see, if you want, the Church of Christ as a huge block of granite. A bad Pope may attack the block of granite with a screwdriver; have it painted all over if he thinks an aggiornamento is needed; wrap a pink ribbon around it to make it more “relevant”, and write over it all kind of shallow slogans to impress the masses. Still, at the end of all his efforts the block of granite, ridiculous as the bad Pope might make it look, would still have lost nothing of his substance, and we can hope that even if fewer people would feel awed by the block of granite, a vast number would still be fully aware of what lies behind the ribbon and the pink paint.
If these libtards knew how little a Pope can do for them, they would be rather scared.
Secondly, the article repeats a concept on which I insist with stubborn regularity: the Church is like a huge aircraft carrier with still – even after 50 years of very bad maintenance – an immense power of devastation. Particularly so in a democracy, because – as I have tried to explain in the past – democracies are in fact organised according to the wishes of organised minorities, and the Church can rapidly become the mother of all pressure groups in almost all European countries, let alone the United States. The Church is a giant on the world social scene, who has remained rather silent in the last fifty years because the Popes thought impolite (or uncharitable; or uncomfortable) to raise their voice. They have, therefore, limited themselves to some words of counsel – beautiful words, generally – happily ignored by politicians as soon as it became clear – as it always does – that they can do no real harm.
There is no way the liberals will get a Pope even vaguely similar to what they want. Even if they were to get one tenth of what they want, they would criticise him incessantly because of the lack of the other nine tenths. “The Pope is Catholic” is a concept that must be brought to them slowly, and with great prudence.
Oh, how I would like a Pope stronger and readier to fight them than in their worst nightmare! The supreme irony would be if Cardinal Turkson were elected, with a “Black Pope” far more difficult to attack.
Or they might invent a “Nazi Past” for (in this scenario) Pope Turkson. “Impossible”, you will say; “they can’t invent such a story without any real basis, surely?”.
Of course they can! All seen already!
The liberals will be certainly disappointed by the new Pope, because it is impossible that the they aren’t if the Pope is to be Catholic.
But the question remains whether the new Pope will really start to see the Church as an aircraft carrier ready for action, or whether the aeroplanes’ wings will continue to gather dust.
I gladly follow the invitation of the always excellent Rorate Caeli to divulge this brilliant article concerning the devastating effects of the infiltration of gravely disturbed clergymen within the structures of the Church.
I am doubly pleased because Father Oko has no false scruples in avoiding words generally considered politically incorrect, and uses them liberally and assertively. This is one after yours truly’s liking, for sure.
I am also pleased because the article rightly points out to the progresses and action of the actual Pontiff in fighting against this plague: as I am not skimpy with criticism of the Holy Father’s policies when I think it is dutiful to point out to them, I am the more pleased to be able to point out to an area where action has followed words.
Below is the text in its entirety.
Make some tea and enjoy.
[Translated by Małgorzata Wójcik – adapted, where necessary, by Rorate Caeli]
I will not beat around the bush: I was shocked at reading the latest intervention of the Holy Father concerning what was wrong with Vatican II. His analysis boils down to the concept that whilst Vatican II was wholesome in itself, it was… the Press who disfigured it, and the planet promptly followed.
By reading this, after the first reaction of shock a second one came, and I was reminded of the wonderful scene in Blues Brothers where John Belushi explains to the angry woman he had left alone at the altar why he was not able to show up. In an astonishing piece of comedy, he tries everything from not having fuel to the dry cleaners, to his mother’s funeral, to flooding, earthquake, and the unforgettable locusts…
And seriously, this latest excuse for Vatican II would be as funny as John Belushi’s ones, if the immense importance of Church matters would not make of this a really tragic exercise in escape from reality and flight from responsibility.
The Holy Father’s excuse is, of course, not more credible than John Belushi’s ones, and he owes it to his position that his rather naive attempt at justifying the huge cracks in the edifice of Vatican II with external interventions does not cause the explosion of laughter caused by John Belushi’s locusts.
I have seldom seen a Western man with a public position so entrenched in denial as the Holy Father in this intervention. The attitude he shows reminds one of old Politburo members in the years of rapid decomposition of Communism, or of the ability to correctly analyse reality of the North Korean government.
Try to imagine any other leader of a big organisation – like Coca-Cola, or Boeing, or Fiat – saying to his stakeholders “things have gone badly in the last fifty years because the press has misrepresented what we do” and, so to speak, count the minutes until he is kicked out.
What is happening within the Vatican truly gives you the full scale of the self-delusion and – as I have pointed out often in the past – sheer incompetence that has been reigning undisturbed within the Vatican this past fifty years; and one must truly stun, and looks heavenwards in gratitude, at the greatness of the Church and the wonderful protection accorded to her by the Holy Ghost, if the tragic behaviour of the last decades at all levels (starting from the Popes, and trickling down; then we must never forget the fish always stinks from the head) has not caused Her complete destruction, which by any other organisation would most certainly have been the case.
I have sometimes thought in the past that the Conciliar Popes should have taken the name Pollyanna I (Pope Roncalli) to Pollyanna V (Pope Ratzinger), such is the sheer naïveté showed by all of them concerning the direction things were taking. But one can say that at least Pope John XXIII died before having the possibility of seeing the consequences of what he had put in motion; that Paul VI was at least painfully aware that the cause of the problems was within the Church, not outside of Her; that Pope John Paul I did not have the time to tackle the problems (and if you read “Iota Unum” you’ll realise he might have been a very energetic Pope and a man of action if he had lived); and that even John Paul II never tried to place the blame on the press, the lack of money to grab a taxi, or the locusts…
Pope Benedict’s intervention was clearly meant to leave some kind of explanation or justification for fifty disastrous post Vatican II years, and in this indirectly defend his pontificate; but frankly, he has made things worse, and has shown once again such an inability to face reality that one wonders whether the allegedly so high intelligence of this Pontiff (a man apparently able to have a great strategic plan for the next fifty years, but unable to select the right collaborators – down to his very butler – today, or to grasp simple concepts like the one that he is supposed to be in charge and no one else) was not rather overvalued the whole time.
What stands in front of us is a good, well-intentioned, but rather deluded old man in a state of complete denial concerning several decades of Church history – and, by reflection, his own papacy -; unable to even see the huge elephant in his own room, and eager to the last to say “it wasn’t our fault”. I have already written and repeat today that I am absolutely persuaded of his good intentions and love for the Church. But it is very clear to me he wasn’t right for the Papacy, and his being tarnished with Vatican II, of which he was one of the last surviving protagonists, prevents him from seeing clearly the devastation to which he has contributed.
I have more than a suspicion that the following generations will see Pope Benedict as a Paul VI plus Summorum Pontificum. After his last utterances, I am unable to see how he will be able to escape this destiny.
Important as Summorum Pontificum was, I think it is fair to say this papacy was another waste of time for the Church, whilst the Western world burns.
Please Lord, give Pope Benedict a serene and prayerful time in his courageous retirement, and give us – unworthy as we are – a Pope willing to see the devastations of Vatican II, correct them with energy, and start the fight we need to see now if we want to avoid Christianity wiped out of Europe, and perhaps North America, in the next generation.
I have been recently in a pub I had not visited for a while, and was reminded of a rather shocking experience lived in this pub some time ago.
I was, then, having my dinner in the pub, as business had kept me in London later than usual. This pub is in the heart of touristic London and is always well frequented, but rarely packed.
At the table near me sits a family of obvious British tourists (cameras, guides, the lot). Both parents (incredibile dictu) and two children, a boy and a girl; the boy perhaps seven, the girl five or six.
I eat my steak and ale pie reading a magazine (this was before the explosion of tablets and wi-fi hotspots everywhere), when I notice something strange is happening. Mother and father are intently discussing some matters of theirs, and the children start to play some very strange games. At one point, the boy has the girl sitting on her knees on the floor, her head on his crotch, and is saying rather loud “suck! suck! suck!” whilst he holds her head rather forcefully in his hands, moving her head up and down in the way that mimics a sexual act of which I think he knew (and she did not) the full significance. The parents could not possibly have overlooked (or overheard) the scene, but continued to talk with each other as if something absolutely normal, not worthy of their intervention, was taking place.
My brain started to – as far as it can – work fast, with many questions chasing each other: what is happening here; do they really mean *that* (yes, they do); why the parents do not react; should I react; have I ever seen such a situation before (no, I haven’t); what experience do I have of children’s behaviour (zero); what can I remember of our games at my age (well, *not that*); have I forgotten, or am I in front of something very creepy here (no clue, but rather the second?). Am I just out of touch with the fantasy world of children, and applying adult malice to children’s games? But I can not remember such “games” at my age, and I am absolutely sure in my time *that* was not in the cards; not even imagined, let alone enacted!
In a public place! In front of their parents busily discussing with each other, but most certainly fully aware of what was happening!
Shall I intervene, I kept thinking; Is something happening here that demands my intervention, or the presence of two apparently normal parents must be enough to calm my fears me in this respect? In all this, a question kept creeping: what do I know? What experience do I have with children that would allow me to say whether this is “normal” or not? But still, why should it be “normal”? Was it in my time? Not that I can remember! But what do I remember? And can I (always a rather innocent boy, who had certainty only at almost eight years of age about “how children are made”) see myself as truly “representative” of the kind? If I shut up, will I will be called to answer by Almighty God for having seen and done nothing? But look, the parents are there, it all happens in their presence, and they are perfectly calm and unconcerned! What do I know? What do I know?
The scene was, in my eyes, straight out of Kafka, but then again if it’s happening it could be that I am a victim of my admiration for Kafka! What shall I do?
I decided in the end to throw a line in the sand: if the girl or the boy had only hinted at opening the zip, I’d have cried “stop that now!” even at the cost of a serious row. As long, though, as the thing did not become even worse I would do nothing, leave the responsibility to the parents and, in case, let the sins of the parents visit the sons, then no one ever gave me the charge to educate perfectly unknown children from the strenght of my perfect ignorance of what is normal behaviour in children of that age.
At some point (but after some interminable minute of “suck!suck!” Soundtrack) the matter settled, the children got tired o their “play” and after a while the entire family went away.
I am a man who tends to take his decisions once and not look back or being tormented by hindsight. The circumstances still make it very possible the parents knew best, and would have (rightly, if they knew what they did) resented any ingerence from a perfect stranger with no experience of dealing with children whatever.
But I still could not avoid thinking how long would it be (three months? Nine?) before the boy came to the idea of really unzipping his pants, forcing the sister on him in the same rather forceful (if clearly assented to) way he was using in the pub.
I can’t imagine any other cause for this behaviour than the boy’s exposure to porn, which again speaks books about the parents. Or perhaps I’m an idiot with no idea and no usable recollection of children’s behaviour.
When I lived in Italy I did not know the expression “Catholic guilt”. I would also have been at a loss to describe or define it, as if I had heard such an expression it would have made on me the same impression as “wet water” or “hot fire”. If the concept had been explained to me from some Protestant, and if I had been required to give a Catholic name to it, I would have rather called it “human condition”; but again, I would have felt like the one asked to give a specific name to the fact that water is wet.
It was when I moved to England that this “Catholic guilt”- thinking imposed itself to my attention. In this wondrously unthinking country, journalists and mixed wannabe intellectuals spoke of “Catholic guilt” as of something medieval, unconscionable and more than vaguely retarded. I do not recall, though, many of these sources as being openly atheist and therefore coherently rejecting the very fundaments of Christianity. Rather, I have a distinct recollection of criticism from a pretended vaguely Christian point of view, in which Christianity 1.0 is analysed and recognised to be vastly inferior to Christianity 2.0, newly released and now completely bug-free.
It stroke me even then – and I was by far not as aware or instructed as I am now – that to even think of Christianity without the guilt is an exercise in absurdity, like wanting water that does not have the quality of being wet. Take the guilt away, and Christianity simply dissolves in thin air: Adam and Eve are reduced to a curious legend, the entire Old Testament to a fantasy tale, Christ’s work a complete waste of time, His death the work of a lunatic, the Mass an exercise in madness.
Mind: attentive and sincere Protestants certainly have the same concept of guilt we have. Still, one never hears of “Protestant Guilt”, only of the Catholic variant. What I think happened is that so many Protestants have abused their sola fide tenet to the point of declaring themselves spotless lambs, that the entire wetness was taken away from mainstream Protestant water, making of it something useless and absurd at the same time.
The same chill I experienced when I was asked whether I was “saved”; and thinking of it, there is system in the madness. Once I have persuaded myself that I am, well, guiltless in the end (because I believe! I believe!! Praise the Lord!!) nothing stands in the way of my self-canonisation whilst still living, and I am at this point ready to sabotage every other tenet of Christianity in what Austin Powers would call “a guilt-free environment”.
If you have no “Guilt”, you can ultimately have no Christianity. Which is why “guilt-free” Protestantism is so rapidly imploding, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth is probably assuming dimensions unknown to our Christian experience, Protestant or not. Those who criticise the mentality of “Catholic guilt” pay us, in fact, a compliment, and encourage us to hope for our salvation. Concerning the salvation chances of people who have obliterated guilt from their Christianity I would be rather more cautious.
Catholic Guilt makes people uncomfortable, but it saves souls.
One never ceases to be amazed at how incompetent journalists are, and how ready to invent “trends” and “epochal changes” existing only in their desperate need to have an article ready by the deadline.
This time, the German FAZ has the honour of a special mention. From the fact that one Pope has resigned they deduct that Pope Benedict’s gesture has now changed the Papacy forever. They see a time-Papacy now, and they reason that if one Pope resigns, then a loud cry will rise for his successors to do the same whenever they are criticised; as if we were talking here of a Bundespraesident (they tend to resign a lot lately, I am told).
What these people do not understand is that a Pope is a bit different from any other Head of State or Government; that he is expected to resign only in the presence of very valid and grave reasons, so much so that the practice was always extremely rare. They also do not know (because of sheer ignorance of history, and things Catholic) that the resignation of a Pope is contemplated far more often than it is effectively put in place.
Pius XII signed a letter of resignation, to be made public if the Germans had taken him prisoner; the same Pope thought of resigning when it became clear to him his illness was getting in the way of his office, and probably renounced to the idea when it became clear he did not have many years anyway. John Paul II was rumoured to have signed a similar letter, to be taken out of the drawer if his illness had become too incapacitating for him to understand it is the time to resign; and Pope Benedict himself had never made a mystery of the fact that with him the JP II’s situation would have not been allowed to occur.
What happened on the 11 February is therefore, if out of the ordinary in the usual course of things, not really extraordinary. Rather, it is like Chelsea taking two goals in three or four minutes. Very rare indeed, but it’s all in a football game.
The elementary logic of all this is more than a journalist can muster; epochal changes must be evoked, the Papacy must receive a new face, history must now have taken a new and unexpected turn. What shallowness, and what absence of proper historical perspective.
As if there was anything on the hearth that a FAZ journalist has seen, and the Church hasn’t.
Clearly, Archbishop Mueller wasn’t informed of the Holy Father’s plans.
He managed to anger both the Archbishop of Lima and the SSPX (he loves that) in just a few days.
The first with a letter with which he inelegantly walks over the Archbishop of Lima in the matter of the non-Catholic, non-Pontifical University of Lima (non-Catholic; where Mueller went every year; get that?).
The second is with the confirmation that some days ago an ultimatum was sent to the SSPX: either you accept to eat the yogurt within the 22 February, or we will try to do what we have tried to do these last 25 years: split you.
Isn’t it ironic that whilst Mueller was bullying left and right, the Holy Father was, Latin-German dictionary in hand, perfecting the message that would make Archbishop Mueller the lamest duck to walk along the Vatican corridors in a long time?
The Archbishop was really taken by surprise: would you send such letters if you knew just hours afterwards people would read them and laugh? Why would Cipriani be worried, when he can simply sit and wait for the man to pack his bags? And how credible must Vatican promises appear to SSPX priests – allegedly so easy to win over, or so does the Archbishop thinks – when the one who makes the promises doesn’t even know he’ll be an “unemployed man walking” in just a few hours’ time? How could anyone not see that now the cards will be reshuffled, and there is no saying whatever what kind of Pope will get out of the Conclave?
Archbishop Mueller’s inning at the CDF will almost certainly prove very short.
But one can’t say it wasn’t, in a rather tragic way, amusing.
The sudden resignation of Pope Benedict has a positive side effect that I thought I would not leave uncommented: the freezing of the beatification of Vatican II via Paul VI and John Paul I. This very questionable plan would clearly have been tantamount to a desperate last attempt to reinvigorate Vatican II. Pope Benedict, who was unwise enough to give the plan the green light, was wise enough not to carry it out before stepping down.
The beatification of the two former Popes – and with them, de facto and certainly in the intentions of the Vatican, of an entire generation of disgraceful Catholicism, as Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are already beatified – – is now officially on ice, hopefully forever.
Pope Benedict’s successor will, though, find two highly “charged” beatifications baked almost to perfection, and his decision whether to serve the unsavoury dish to the Church or to let the matter die quietly will be a useful indication of what his plan for his pontificate are.
For the moment, I am glad this madness will not take place.
There is a great talk about the fact whether the Pope will influence the election of his successor, though his brother says this will not be the case.
I frankly think it does not even need to be the case, as it would be inelegant in the first place, and ineffective in the end, if the Pope would try to steer things in the direction he wishes.
We must reflect, though, that a Pope actually steers things in the direction of his own successor every day, in the sense that his choice of Cardinals will be directed by the thought of what these Cardinals will do when they are called to their most important task.
Pope Benedict has already appointed more than half of the Cardinals who will participate to the conclave, and therefore had not three weeks, but eight years’ time to steer things in the direction he wished. His appointments of Archbishops to the most important positions also show what his wishes and intentions are.
It seems to me, therefore, that Pope Benedict already has indicated – albeit in a wisely delicate way – who his own candidate of choice is: Cardinal Angelo Scola, a man almost uniformly ignored by the British press on Monday but whose name is appearing now, as the professional geniuses of the local press start to have the Italian newspapers translated and to talk with people who have a clue.
Pope Ratti (Pius XI) and Pope Montini (Paul VI) where Patriarchs of Milan. Pope Roncalli (John XXIII) and Pope Luciani (John Paul I) were Patriarchs of Venice.
Cardinal Angelo Scola was the Patriarch of Venice, and is now (by appointment of Pope Benedict) the Patriarch of Milan. Facts speak louder than words and this facts are, if you ask me, loud enough.
In my eyes, it is clear that Pope Benedict is saying “you decide this race, but please note I have put Cardinal Scola in the pole position”. Our man is also known to be one who is good at making friends and avoiding enemies, and from what IO read of him he isn’t the shy one who would – apart from the obligatory non sum dignus modesty – shun the responsibility. I personally think – from what I have read of him in the past – that he would not be the ideal choice, but the Cardinals could do much, much worse than picking him.
Still, in Italy they say he who enters the Conclave as Pope often gets out of it as Cardinal. I am sure he knows the saying too, which is why I expect the Cardinal to keep a very low profile in the next weeks. I do not doubt, though, he is willing and ready.
And so the SSPX should be, one is informed, scared of the new Pope crushing them, and should have accepted the poisoned bread offered to them by a, erm, rather scheming Pope.
Should they? Really? I am not persuaded at all. Let us see why.
Broadly speaking, the new Pope can only be one of three:
1) a modernist like Schoenborn.
2) a so-so, V-II nuChurch Pope like, well, all of them since Pope Roncalli.
3) A traditionalist Pope.
If 1) happens, you’ll see an explosion of sedevacantism, and as a result of the prestige and position of the SSPX who, whilst not being sedevacantists, are in clear opposition to the antics of nuChurch. Whatever this new Pope may order to them, the Society will certainly apply the blessed “first rule of the Italian army”: gli ordini sbagliati non si eseguono, “wrong orders are not carried out”.
I can, in fact, not imagine anything more promising for the growth of the Society than an utterly disgraceful Pope. Please reflect the likes of the FSSP would all be silenced in no time, and told they are lucky if they can keep the Tridentine Mass, and the Society would soon remain, to all intents and purposes, the only traditionalist shop in town.
The SSPX would then be seen as the last and only bastion of orthodoxy, and rightly so. They have the people, they have the money, they have the faith and the determination. Depend on that, they won’t take stupid orders by any stupid Schoenborn, Pope or no Pope. Amen.
2) So-so Popes can bark – with great effort – but they can’t bite. Therefore, your typical V II Pope would engage in endless “dialogue” without ever coming to any conclusion, which is why they engage in “dialogue” in the first place (besides trying to split the Society). There would be a gesture here and its contrary there, a Bux here and a Mueller there (well, not really; the man will hopefully be gone for good soon); but in the end, nothing would happen.
“You must accept V II”, the Vatican would say. “You must wake up and repent”, the SSPX would answer. Not the stuff of agreements, and it is probably good so as long as this situation persists.
3) If we are blessed by a traditionalist Pope (an event we as Catholics have by far not deserved), then the problem would solve itself by itself. We’d soon have the SSPX in full communion and – in time – Fellay as Cardinal ( I have joked about that in another post, but in this constellation I can’t see any other outcome). Case 3) is not a problem, but the end of all problems, and is therefore not worth discussing much.
What can, then, an hypothetical new and angry Pope do against the Society? A fat nothing, is the answer. The Society exists because the Papacy is in crisis. They will not do the Pope’s bidding when the papacy is even more in crisis than it has been in the times of Paul VI.
On the contrary, it seems to me that the decision of the Pope to go away is in fact a vindication of the SSPX policy. He will soon be gone, and the SSPX is still there. With Benedict, Mueller will soon go (not immediately, probably; the successor will allow him a face-saving time before he picks his own man). If there had been a (bad) agreement, how long had it lasted? Months? If the new pope is bad, than the SSPX was even more right in not wanting lazy compromises, and insisting on guarantees of freedom of criticism beside operational autonomy.
If you are smart, you talk with the Vatican but you don’t trust your own existence to their mercy. Bishop Fellay is very smart, and every agreement would have to be approved by the majority of the SSPX priests, so expect no surprises from there.
So: Pope Benedict will soon be gone. Archbishop Mueller will follow him soon after. The SSPX is still there, as solid as a rock, growing like a mushroom colony, and not scared of anything but lazy compromises.
I wonder who won?
We learn from the always excellent Rorate Caeli that of the 117 Cardinals who will participate to the Conclave only eleven have celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass after the introduction of the Novus Ordo. This is a one figure percentage, a bit like saying the “Traditional Mass Party” is less represented within the Church than the Monti coalition is in Italy.
Of course, it can be that many of them are, so to speak, secret admirers and did not want to stand out with something so unashamedly Catholic as a Traditional Mass (we live in such times…). Others may be too old to want to start the re-learning (though one would say a Cardinal who is now 79 was only 71 in 2005, and certainly celebrated the traditional Mass for several years before the Great Neo-Modernist Mess). In both cases, we are probably not talking of warriors for Christ.
Still, you never know and every Italian knows (or should know) the more or less legendary anecdotes about Sixtus V, er papa tosto (“the tough Pope” in the Roman dialect), a man who kept a very low profile and (says the legend) led the other Cardinals to believe his health was very bad, and he himself a harmless old man, to be elected as a “transition Pope”. One of the many stories about him goes that when he accepted the election he stood up strong, threw away his stick, and started singing the Te Deum with thundering voice.
Like you, I keep thinking all the time what the Cardinals will do. Like you, I am scared stiff a truly bad man could be the choice. Like you, I draw some comfort from the fact that hopefully a good majority of the Cardinals believe in God, and might do the right thing or at least avoiding doing the very wrong one.
But seriously, only eleven have celebrated again the Traditional Mass. I think one is justified in being afraid, but I will try to think of some possible Sixtus V hiding among the Cardinals’ ranks; one who has never celebrated the Traditional Mass to make himself acceptable to the Neomodernist majority, and is now silently biding his time.
O Lord, please, please give us a good, strong Pope.
It is ironic, but at the same time indicative of the ways of the Lord (whose sense of humour must be absolutely divine) that the Western countries where Christianity is more keenly felt are the ex communist one. Poland, Hungary, and Russia seem to be at the head of the movement.
The latest noises from Russia are a further confirmation of this, with the local government indicating a ban on adoption of Russian children to France and England is on its way because of the so-called same-sex marriage legislation in the planning.
Now, the Russian officials are clearly wrong in that such an abomination as the adoption of a poor child from a couple of perverts can be obtained, at least in England, even before the other abomination of a mock marriage. Such a ban should, therefore, be enforced immediately.
Still, one can forgive Russian officials for being unaware of all the kinds of monstrous perversity not only allowed, but “celebrated” in this once great country.
Kudos to the Russian government. I hope they implement the measure fast, and say very loudly why.
A lesson in Christianity can’t be wrong, and might sway the one or the other even among an utter godless generation.
The Pope has, so to speak, just about finished to resign, and already you read on the Press the most unbelievably uninformed articles and commentaries. My favourite up to now is the one of the perverts calling themselves “Catholics” who see in Pope Benedict’s resignation a hope for a Pope who will “embrace” their lifestyle. They dream (or blather about to make themselves important; fags & co. are always primadonnas) of a Pope starting a III Vatican Council to tell them they are spot on on pretty much everything, and the Church has been so naughty from Jesus down.
I am certainly very scared of the possibility of a mickey mouse Cardinal like Schoenborn becoming Pope (don’t bet your pint), but these people really don’t know what they are thinking. They don’t know what they’re writing, either (“ecumenicalism”. I kid you not), but they manage to be angered at the Church’s insistence on “purity”.
The pope should, therefore, embrace filth. Keep dreaming.
So these people can’t write and can’t think, but I am sure they know a lot of things we can’t even imagine, so they must think they are fine on the “knowledge” issue.
Sorry, no link. They’d feel important at counting your clicks.
Well, then, dreaming for dreaming, let us see what I would want my dream Pope to do….
He would declare the V II experiment officially failed; announce a re-writing of all V II documents, which (the old ones) are with immediate effect not to be used for pastoral purposes anymore; announce a gradual demolition of all V II innovations, from the Novus Ordo (obviously) to the bishops’ conferences, from the altar girls to the parish councils (or how on earth are called), from communion in the hand and/or standing to the V II-induced revisions of the rules of religious orders. Then I would very much like for him to proceed to a purge of Stalinian proportions among the Cardinal first, followed by the archbishops and bishops, all given the strictest warnings that thy are responsible for the behaviour of their priests, and slacking will be punished without fail or delay.
All the clergy (priests, bishops, cardinals, deacons; not Hans Kueng, though, because he will be already defrocked) would obviously have to take the Oath of Allegiance, which for the Cardinals and most important Archbishops would be recorded and put on the Vatican channel o YouTube, so that the faithful can think “look, let me see how my Bishop gives the Oath”. Obviously, Cardinal Archbishop Fellay would proudly have his own oath online too. The priests and other bishops would of course have it put on the parish/diocesan website, because it should not be said my dream Pope isn’t very modern and, well, aggiornato.
What next? Well, stupid names should be rethought. For example, “Holy Inquisition” would be a brilliant name for the most important department, now led from Cardinal Fellay (first case: Father Mueller, the former Archbishop); “confession” sounds so much better than “reconciliation”, and “last rites” is actually far more appropriate than the way they call it now, and distribute around like M&Ms (how is that? Has to do with anointing…).
I am sure one can think of many other useful measures, but my ideal Pope would have a slogan he applies to all of them: WDPPD? This means “What did Pope Pacelli do?”. Did he want altar rails? Altar rails it is! Was he in favour of Capital punishment? Bring it on! Did he want three hours of fasting before communion? Three hours for us, please!
A capital chap, my ideal Pope.
Not sure the above mentioned fags would like him much, though.
If you are sensitive about the Pope, stop reading now. If you continue, consider that I will, most certainly, not publish your comment.
The surprise decision of the Holy Father to step down is only a few hours old, but I am sure you have already read all the sugary stuff your liver can muster.
You are, I hope, not a reader of this blog because you want to read the sugary stuff. If you are, you will be disappointed; but frankly, you haven’t been paying much attention, either.
I have waited before starting to write this post, and have not “stopped” a blog post – and a very bitter one – written two days ago, and scheduled for this evening. I haven’t, because I do not think that simple facts of life change because of our emotional reactions to historical – and today was truly historical – events.
Again: if you are the sensitive type, stop now. If you continue, it’s your problem. Chiaro?
I am fully persuaded Pope Benedict was (allow me the past here) a deeply kind man, intentioned to do good, and sincerely loving the Church. The fact that he was not “telegenic” and “media effective” as his predecessor made it more endearing to me. He did not “kiss the earth”, did not indulge as often in populist gestures, did not spend half of his time traveling like a mad gipsy, or a candidate to the American Presidency. Even in his being less communicative, and more difficult to “sell”, he was more authentic to my eyes than his predecessor. He did not have a beautiful smile, and yet he dared to smile. He knew he wasn’t the darling of the masses, and wasn’t really bothered. He was also, as a Pope, generally more intellectually aware, and less prone to trust the wrong people blindly.
Still, he was a Pope with a deep, irreparable construction mistake: he was a product of the Second Vatican Council.
Like all his predecessors from John XXIII on, he never reigned, he merely presided. Like all of them, he made the bidding of the local Church hierarchies, not really caring of how badly they represented the ideas that he, as the Vicar of Christ, had the duty to defend. Like all of them, he was that kind of person no one in his entourage really fears or really respects. He was the equivalent of those weak teachers we all remember from school: good and well-intentioned chaps, for sure; but in the end, just unable to do their job properly.
He seemed to see his role as the man who is saddened when things go wrong, rather than the man who is responsible to care that things go right. He saw a string of his German colleagues abandon themselves to the most ludicrous heresies (yours truly has reported at times; many other times his liver did not allow him to touch the subject); he saw his Archbishops, like Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, defend “civil partnerships” without punishment. Oh wait, he did not make Nichols Cardinal! This must have been his idea of punishment.
He made people like this one bishops, and for one who comes to such dubious honors there are many who make less an ass of themselves, but aren’t really better. He made another, even more unspeakable tool of Satan like this one a Cardinal. He let this man confuse Catholics without uttering a word to rebuke him (only one of the very many examples you can find on this blog), and lastly, he let this man – an extremely fresh appointment – attempt the demolition of the Catholic culture remained in Italy on occasion of his very first speech in his new position. Again, there are extremely numerous episodes, I merely mention those who are most recent or most striking.
And how could one forget the relentless work of fostering and protection of heresy in Austria tirelessly promoted by this man? How could one forget that the Pontiff allowed his own Kumpeln to get away with simony? How can one ignore that those belonging to his personal circle of friends and proteges (not only, as mentioned, this one, but even this one) were allowed to confuse Catholics at every step without being bothered in the least?
True, this Pope was less naive than his predecessor; but as for protection of his own favourites he wasn’t shy, either. Cardinal Schoenborn, once his favourite students, allowed total freedom of heresy, from laser masses to Medjugorje to the protection of heretics. Mueller, his text editor, put on the fast lane to archbishop and fox guarding the hen-house; Gaenswein, his aide, made a bishop weeks before resigning.
Is it a surprise that he was so little respected, and so little feared, that even his own butler – a sincere and truthful man, apparently, if very naive himself – thought it necessary to defend the Pope from …. himself? Can you imagine even Paul VI treated with so little esteem?
Certainly, the Holy Father did something good. Certainly, he also made some good bishops’ appointments (I like Egan a lot, talking of a recent one who concern me from near). But really, one had the impression the man doesn’t really know what he is doing, he merely does what is told and comes back to his books.
Oh, his books. This was the first Pope I know of who not only loves theology, but keeps seeing himself as a theologian after he became Pope, and judging from his work almost a full-time one. His production since ascending to the Papacy is impressive. Did he really take his job seriously, one wonders? Was he Pope mit Leib und Seele, or did he consider the papacy an unpleasant chore, taking refuge in his beloved theology as soon as he could? But whilst he wrote his books, devoting to them consistent and precious energies – particularly at his age – that should have been employed in … being Pope (doing things like paying attention to whom you appoint as bishop, for example; or taking the time to rein in your unruly Cardinals; or purging a couple of religious orders among the very worst; or other unpleasant things like that) his own clergy devastated the body of Christ in France, in Spain, in England, recently even in Italy. He was, literally, writing whilst Rome burns.
He will, though, be remembered – hopefully for him – chiefly for Summorum Pontificum; which, really, not only defined but epitomised his papacy. Afraid of his own courage, or simply afraid of being Pope, or perhaps never wanting Summorum Pontificum to be really effective in the first place – which I suspect – he started the work and forgot to implement it, a bit like those people so intent in imagining their own future company they never start one. It is now five and a half years and the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is a joke if we want to be gentle, and stable or going backwards in the last two-three years. His own bishops weren’t impressed in the least at the measure, and started to boycott it – and him – with a zeal one wish they would put in the defense of Catholic values. This they did either because they got signals the Pope wasn’t interested in the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, or because they just didn’t care what the Pope did or wanted; see the above mentioned teacher.
If your own butler doesn’t respect or fear you, how will your own archbishops?
The archbishops knew their “client”, and profited from his weakness, indecisiveness and sheer hierarchical incompetence – you can say of Pope Benedict what you want, but he wasn’t born a leader of men – for all it was worth. When – in a rare gust of courage – the Holy Father dared to appoint Monsignor Wagner as bishop (auxiliary, if memory serves) of Linz, the Austrian church revolted. Promptly, the Pope caved in. At that point, it was clear who is (not) in power.
I will, today, renounce to describe you some less savoury aspects of the Pope’s personality; aspects about which I have written, but do not think it appropriate to write today. It has to do, mostly, with the way the SSPX was treated, but again I will not write about this today.
The kindest thing that can be said of Pope Benedict is that he is a kind, gentle man of studies, who failed – yes, failed, and failed badly; look around you, with homosexuals advancing everywhere under his watch, and nothing near the hell on earth he should be making for every elected politician – when he had to really rule people, really take decisions, and run a complex organisation like the Church. He could simply not do it, and preferred to take refuge in his books and studies instead, hoping to be an halfway functioning “Vatican II” Pope and do what he could with the character and inclination God had given him. It didn’t work out.
But I really do not think this is the whole truth. The whole truth is that Benedict has failed because he is a Pope of Vatican II, and was destined to fail like all the Popes of Vatican II were destined, are destined, and always will be destined to fail.
In the simple world I live in, a papacy is not measured by the number of books one has written; or by the increase in Kirchensteuer-money; or by the crowds waiting for one at the airport (look at the “triumphal” England visit; two years later we are talking of so-called same-sex marriage, and most Catholics just don’t give a fig). The way I see it, a papacy is measured by the number of brave priests and bishops thundering against the perversions and madness of our times; by the number of Cardinals bravely promoting the faith in the face of open dissent, hostility, hatred, or loss of income; by the number of vocations, the activity in the seminaries, the assertiveness of religious orders truly devoted to Christ, and the constant defiance of secular thinking at all levels.
Nothing of this, I am afraid to say, was to be seen during Pope Benedict’s pontificate. Like his predecessors, meowing was the order of the day, whilst rapacious bishops and cardinals continued to rape the Bride of Christ every day. All this has happened under his watch, and of all this he is responsible. Then if one is in charge, he is also responsible.
And here I come to the last aspect, in which I pay to this Pope a last compliment among the not many I have paid him from this minuscule blog.
All the Popes of Vatican II are failures – bar JP I of course; probably for lack of time – but Pope Benedict has the immense merit of being the first one who has realised it and has drawn the consequences.
Obviously, he saw the great offensive Satan is launching all over the Western world. Obviously, he saw his sheer inadequacy at being a match for such an attack. Perhaps, incidents like the one with Paglia – a man of colossal incompetence and sheer stupidity and lack of faith, appointed by him, and mocked by the entire thinking Catholic planet at his very first public utterance in his new role – has persuaded him that he really wasn’t even able to make mediocre choices anymore, and from now on he would have become worse and worse in his appointments as his ability to select the right (erm, less wrong) people weakens with age.
The decision the Pope has made public today is – with Summorum Pontificum – the most important and most beautiful of his career, and I have frankly – and again, with the exception of Summorum Pontificum – never liked him as I like him today, or prayed for the health of his soul like I did today, because it takes an awful lot of guts to have the courage to admit one can’t do the job; particularly then, when one is the kind of person who was never noticed for his guts. I so wish Paul VI had done the same, and I am sure many of my readers would today think so much more of him if he had done so.
I do not think one serves the Church by serving on your plate a ton of molasses on a day like this. If you think so you have wasted your time, and you are reading the wrong blog.
We are living our Dunkirk, and we cannot go on with the Neville Chamberlains of this world, no matter how well-intentioned or how much fond of writing they are.
We need a Churchill now, and we need it fast.
Dear Lord, please, please give us a strong Pope.
Please, pity me; an Italian born in a country where Christian values were as commonly and universally spread as tap water, and who must now see the slow – Italians are remarkable common-sense, no-bull people; for how long, no one knows – decomposition of the moral fabric of the Country.
Pity me even more, because when treacherous politicians were not enough, their work is completed by unspeakably cowardly people like Archbishop Paglia, a man who does not even need to be elected but behaves as if his daily bread – and not his salvation – depended on it.
I have already written about the fact that the disgraceful Archbishop would like to have some legislation aimed at making the life of scandalous and unrepentant sodomites “easier”, something for which he would have probably – and certainly, if I had been the one to decide – been burnt at the stake not many centuries ago.
Now, we do not know whether Archbishop Paglia -or his aider and abetter, the Pope, who must take full responsibility before God for such an appointment, and for not immediately rebuking the Archbishop – was in agreement with the Primo Ministro, Monti, or whether the latter just saw an opportunity to conveniently shift on the sodomite side without too much damage. The fact is, though, that Monti expressed himself in a way similar to the Archbishop’s just a couple of days after the latter’s diabolical declarations. The gravity of the two events is, still, breathtaking.
Worse still is that similar words, though just a bit more nuanced – politicians love “nuanced” almost as much as Vatican officials – have been pronounced by the chap I was planning to vote, Pierferdinando Casini, the head of that part of the Monti-coalition which in the past had never failed to deliver. In short, there’s a taking down of trousers almost wherever you turn.
One froths with rage at thinking that the Vatican could have made of this election an unprecedented crusade for family and Christian values, and forced everyone to pay much attention to what he says and stands for. How powerful the Vatican still is, is clearly showed from the fact that – previous agreement or not – Monti and Casini did not dare to open their mouth before the Archbishop gave them the “green light” to do so. This gives you the full scale of the betrayal the – I must say this, because is the purest fact – Holy Father and his, ahem, “family protector” have to answer for.
Pity me, then, once again, for living in a country where not even high ecclesiastical authorities dare to fight for Christ; Popes are blind, deaf, and mute; and Catholic politicians behave like street whores.
I wanted to give my vote to the Centre (= Monti, Casini, Fini) coalition. Whilst risks are always there, I thought that after proper consideration of all the cards the vote for the centre would offer the highest chances to block sodomy-enhancing initiatives. Of course, it can still be that this is the case – believe me, an Italian politician can promise an awful lot he knows he has no intention to deliver – but I do not want to feel my vote has been misused, and do not think Casini can be trusted on that, much less Monti. Besides, Monti does not want to be seen as a “traditional” politician, so he has compromised himself once and for all.
Therefore, I have decided to vote – for the first time in my life, and I never thought I’d see the day – for the centre-right coalition; which, whilst not officially led by Berlusconi anymore, is still infested by him. Again: pity me. The vote has been sent today (it’s Saturday as I write), alea iacta est.
I will not delude you or myself into thinking the centre-right are the fortress the UDC (= the Casini party; himself a concubine, btw) was supposed to be, and I am actually terrified at the thought next time I look for Italian news I’ll read that they too have jumped into the bandwagon; but as I write these very sad notes they are the only grouping in which a possible mention of Berlusconi of a possible support for some kind of legislative measure in favour of sodomy – a misinterpretation of careless words, and clearly a forced one – was greeted by a salvo of complete rejections of the very idea by his own party members, and led to such angry denials that the matter died very soon.
This was, of course, several weeks ago, and we live in such times that the temptation to fish into the rather large pool of “inclusiveness” – a muddy pool in which even Archbishop Paglia was happy to immerse himself, and make both his person and the Holy Church stink with the stench of sodomy – might well be too strong for populists like Berlusconi & Co. With the only difference that – if we are lucky – Berlusconi & Co. will be too scared to anger the old men and women in Veneto, Lombardy and Sicily, who are absolutely vital to them if they are to avoid an outright majority of the Left in the Senato as it appears rather sure they will get the Camera.
This is the most chaotic election I have lived since 1994, and it is even more unpredictable because of the changed social conditions ( a much bigger mass of non-voters and undecided, making polls rather a work of art than a matter of statistical probability ). Against all expectations, the “Five Stars movements” is growing stronger, and no one really knows whether the diffused anger towards the party system – including Berlusconi, of course – will really translate into 15% of the votes, which would be an earthquake and, let me say this, truly bad for the country.
It becomes even more interesting now, because the Italian electoral law has a rather brutally enforced ban on polls in the last two weeks (that is: from the 10th), and in the last two weeks a lot can happen.
In theory, the centre-right coalition might still carry the day; in theory, many might think as I do and decide that the centre-right (particularly the UDC, the once staunchly Catholic party) is not a credible defender of marriage, family and Christian values. In practice, this election was and is not being fought along religious lines, and the fact Berlusconi did not launch the loudly trumpeted “battle on family values” says a lot about the real lay of the land.
Italians are about to betray their God and tradition not in that they are directly embracing Sodomarriage (they are not as rotten as the Britons, by far), but in that, as stupidly as Archbishop Paglia is stupid, they might/could/will give ways to form of “civil partnerships” which, besides being an abomination in themselves, will make the cry for “sodomarriage” unavoidable in just a couple of years’ time.
Pity me, then, as I write on a rainy afternoon contemplating another battle our prelates were too indecisive (yes, starting from the very top) to fight.
And pray for our clergy, whose members are not even ashamed of openly promoting, or silently abetting, abominations in the eyes of The Lord.
I have already written in the past about what an important weapon -in many ways, a decisive one – language is. Today I feel compelled to make some additional observations.
Most people are, as we all know, shallow and easy to manipulate. Nothing has changed in this respect from the time Alessandro Manzoni spoke of popolo bue, thus highlighting how dim witted and easily steered the masses are. Lenin, who by all his shortcomings was a very smart guy, knew that too. Organised perverts are acutely aware of it, and at least in this we should learn from them.
Modern social battles, almost always pacific, are fought largely with words. Short and punchy slogans are repeated obsessively, until the steers (the masses) start going that way. Words like “gay”, “homophobia”, “inclusiveness” or “LGBT” have been used in this way with great success. When their use became mainstream, people at large simply forgot (respectively) that homosexuality is a disgusting sexual perversion and an abomination in the eyes of The Lord, the repulsion towards perversion is a healthy instinct and the sign of a healthy conscience, moral distinction must always be made in life and sexual perversion comes in a variety of form, all of them revolting.
The newest slogan is “marriage equality”. “Equality” sounds awfully good, you see. Uncritical, or unthinking minds will not enquire whether the case is one in which equality is justified; rather, in their shallowness they will tend to think the one who says “equality” has already won the battle, as how can anyone be against “equality”?
How do we react to this, you may ask. My answer is that we must learn to use the weapon called “language” to our advantage rather than leaving the initiative to our enemies.
For countless generations, shame and ridicule were attached to sexual perversion, and rightly so. Insults and mockery linked to wrong behaviour are an extremely powerful instrument of social control. When perverted behaviour is the target of mockery and devastating remarks, the taboo going with them will be perpetuated and, besides limiting the damage to souls, will make it utterly impossible for the perverts to put themselves at the centre of the public debate.
All this starts to change when the language changes. When a sodomite is not called (I use only one of the many words) a faggot anymore, at some point he will be called… “gay”. When this happens, the stigma has gone, the taboo is dead, and from then on the slippery slope of political correctness will take its course undisturbed.
At this point, the faggot will start wailing like a mutt in a summer night, sure that every mockery directed at him will be stigmatised by all the “nice” people who have long lost the concept of what an abomination faggotry is. The devastating effect of ridicule (so well-known in fact, that during wars no cartoon character escapes the “draft”) has also been voluntarily abandoned, and this will make it very easy for the pervert to pose as victim, and to accuse sound thinking people of discrimination. At this point his game is easy, because most people will have forgotten the extent of the abomination (if it can’t be mocked, it can’t be so bad) and will find themselves at a loss to explain why what their guts tell them about perversion is also the right attitude towards it. The more so, when disgraceful people like Cardinal Woelki, Cardinal Schoenborn and, most recently, Archbishop Paglia pop in, confusing the faithful even more because they are very confused themselves.
When we gave away the mockery and the stigma attached to it, we started to lose. When we recover the consciousness that we have not only the right, but the duty to contribute to the stigmatisation of perversion, we will start to win again, because the shallow unthinking masses now uncritically accepting the rather suave adjective “gay” will be terrified of being even remotely associated with perversion properly called.
You might have noticed no one says “some of my best friends are kiddie-fiddlers”, either.
The ongoing controversy about whether openly homosexual boys should be allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America is indicative of the confusion reigning in the mind of many people nowadays. I see a lack of elementary reasoning that is simply revealing of the utter failure of modern school systems.
You can read comprehensive articles with a short google research. My comments to what I read around are as follows:
1. Sponsors will withdraw money unless the policy changes.
Come on, this is stupid. If there’s one reason why the Boy Scouts exist, is to let boys grow with a moral spine. The idea that morals should be subordinated to sponsorship is exactly the kind of thinking a Boy Scout should never have.
In addition, the argument is self-contradictory. If it is considered discriminatory that there is a national ban on faggotry, it is only a matter of time before it will be considered discriminatory that some local groups do not allow homosexuals, with the resulting withdrawal of sponsorship. Once again, those making the argument of “sponsorships” simply do not think straight.
There has apparently been a decline in membership in the last ten years or so, which according to some implies a crisis. Now, it depends. Membership is not really an indication of real success, particularly if membership is obtained by losing one’s core values. On the contrary, every process of self-finding will cause such a phenomenon, as the organisation purges itself from elements who should not be there in the first place. A world where even the Boy Scouts constantly measure their “success” in quantitative terms is a very sad one, and I can well imagine this mentality might also be a cause of the decline in membership.
III The Rabbi
A strange Rabbi complains the Boy Scouts would, if the ban persists, continue to privilege one religious view above all others. You don’t say? Last time I looked, the Boy Scouts were clearly inspired by Christian values. The US may well be a very strange Country in many ways, but the idea that Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist value should be included in what would probably be the stupidest experiment on earth is rather new to me. Another sign of the times.
IV The Method
The methods used by the leadership of the organisation remind one of the way David Cameron treats his own party. The grassroots are informed of what the leaders have decided, and they are asked to implement the policy. This is the more shortsighted, as the grassroots in this case are largely constituted by religious organisations having – as they, ahem, often do – a certain way of understanding life.
In conclusion, the impression is generated that a bunch of people either professionally employed by the organisation, or with a vested interest in its membership number and cash flow, have decided that Mammon is going to be the new source of inspiration for the Boy Scouts of America, and were dim-witted enough to say it rather clearly.
If you ask me, this matter should tell the basis organisation of the Boy Scouts of America that they are being led by the wrong people, and the defenestration of all proponents of faggotry at the top of the organisation should be carried out as a matter of course.
As so often, I have difficulties in talking about the latest antics of a Cardinal without showing a lot of, say, Italian temperament. It isn’t good for my lever, either, so I tend to pass on more than some of the horrible news I hear coming from that corner.
This time, though, I must go back on the latest comments of Cardinal Meisner, because the way some Catholic news outlets tried to defend the indefensible exposes the utter confusion reigning in these disgraceful times.
It has been said, then, that never has the Cardinal said that the use of the “morning after pill” is justified; not on any circumstance. The poor Cardinal was merely badly advised, in that he was told the morning after pill can be used to prevent a pregnancy; which turned out to be, would you believe it, wrong.
Let us reflect on a couple of issues:
1. Apparently there are Cardinals going around the world who pretend not to know the difference between contraception and abortion. They seem to believe contraception is something that can happen after intercourse, as in: I had sex yesterday, let me contracept today! The idea that the intercourse has taken place several hours before the use of the pill and sperm has a limited life, after which it’s either pregnancy or nothing, never touched him. He seems to think many hours after the fact there’s still a spermatozoon slowly travelling toward the egg (on a British train, I imagine), but in case of rape the Cardinal can put himself between the traveller and his destination and say: “stop, you wicked rapist’s spermatozoon: you’ll only reach your egg and do your wicked work over my dead red hat! Don’t you even think of doing this! Bad, bad spermatozoon, don’t you know the girl was raped? “. It would be fun, if words would not fail at explaining how tragically incompetent all this is.
2. The Cardinal is a typical V II product. He will do whatever he can, absolutely everything, to bend himself forward for the aborting and contracepting masses. So when he receives a report saying “dear Cardinal, it’s still no abortion until we call it so” he does not react saying “stop smoking whatever it is you are killing your brain cells with”, but on the contrary even wants to believe it. If he received a medical report saying pregnancy begins only ten weeks after intercourse he would, methinks, believe that too. The simple truth is that in his desire to appease the dissenting, but Kirchensteuer-paying Catholic public the Cardinal has simply decided to forget the most elementary common sense; or else he is on cocaine, which I wouldn’t struggle to believe if he has received a medical report saying cocaine is good against arthritis.
3. Dulcis in fundo, a point already touched by me in the other post but which (the point, not my post) does not seem to have been much noticed by the press: a Cardinal publicly stating that he favours contraception in certain cases. Unless I am gravely deficient in my Catholic instruction on the matter, this is a huge blunder.
As far as I know, the Church does not condone contraception, full stop. Not in this case, not in the other, not in that third one. Never. It might have tolerated the use of condoms in brothels, as it tolerated the existence of brothels; but she certainly never said there are cases in which condoms should be used more than she said there are cases where the use of the services of a brothel is justified, courtesy of the Cardinal after he received the newest medical report.
The Cardinal allows himself to disagree: confused as his ideas about conception and contraception are, it is clear he had to realise if what he wanted to achieve was not outright abortion, it was most certainly – absurd as the thinking is – contraception. Let us examine the consequences among our oh so well-instructed Catholics in just a few years’ time….
“Care for a quick rape tonight, darling? I really am in the mood….”. “If you really must, dear. Remember in that case you can contracept, though…”.
Other variations are possible:
“Father, I really think I should start taking the pill now; I am going out with that nice guy who is always so correct and polite, but you never know when he may start to rape me”.
If it sounds so ridiculous, it is because the Cardinal’s thinking is. He should have thought: “Achtung! This here is clearly contraception at the very least! What does the Church says about contraception, again? Remind me, secretary, because my seminary was rather liberal…”.
He didn’t, and he made an ass of himself in front of the Catholic world.
Outside of Germany, at least, as I start to think the little stunt might have procured him the one or other friend over there.
The Hell Reblog
I chanced upon two very different “visions” of hell in two days, and thought I would give them to you without comment.
It goes without saying that to me one is completely right, and the other tragically wrong.
But do not listen to me.
A) Father Barron on Hell
Who do you think is right?
Please listen and read twice. You’ll notice a lot of details coming to light in both cases…
Whilst unmitigated appeasers like Archbishop Paglia are concerned with perverts not being discriminated against, elsewhere (say: Oregon, USA) honest business owners risk being fined for not wanting to pander to the wishes of those perverts who want to “make an example” of them.
And so it happens that a baker in Oregon who has Crosses on the wall and bible verses on his website is targeted by a “couple” of militant lesbian bitches, who suddenly want to have a cake from him and are, wait for this, oh so upset the man tells them they’ll have to get their so-called “wedding” cake elsewhere.
The lesbian bitches state the man told them they are an “abomination in the eyes of The Lord”, which they undoubtedly are, whilst the man states he simply politely refused to comply with the request because of his religious convictions.
Now, it is stated the bitches had not visited the shop for many years, so the urge to suddenly get their stuff – and a “wedding cake” of all things – from a man with crosses on his shop ‘s wall sounds strange at the least.
Rather, I’d say the lesbian bitches are just being lesbian bitches.
I cannot avoid pointing out that we are in this situation because of the work of all the appeasers, cowards, heretics and outright sell-outs who miss no occasion to tell us how sensitive, pastoral, & Co. we must be. Today Archbishop Paglia has the dubious honour of the headlines, but really it is an endless procession.
This self-sabotaging must stop at once. We need clear words and staunch Catholicism, and who cares about how many are offended. Christianity was never meant to be easy.