Monthly Archives: March 2013
In another demonstration of the liturgical confusion in which the “new simplicity” has plunged the Church, the often hilarious Father Lombardi has tried to justify the bishop of Rome’s liturgical abuse on Thursday by saying that if the community is small, you can do whatever you please provided you want to be “inclusive”. The rule does not apply, though, to big masses. Big masses are, as we all know, not inclusive; therefore, we can leave it by the rules.
I do not know whether this is more “spirit of Vatican II” or more stupid, though the two are largely synonymous. Respect of the rules is either something that is required, or it isn’t. If it is, the Bishop of Rome should be the first to give the example. If it isn’t, the same Bishop should explain to us why he needs rules in the first place.
Then there is the question of the small settings. Not many Catholic churches are as big as Santa Maria Maggiore. Most masses take place in small churches and small communities. With Father Lombardi’s reasoning, almost every priest outside of big cities (and in England many of them even within big cities) should feel authorised to “experiment” as he pleases to make things more “inclusive”.
If you ask me, at the bottom of the matter there is a simple problem: we have a Pope who thinks he is above the rules of his Church. Mind, I am not saying that he thinks he can change (certain) rules. Of course he can, but he is doing something different: he is saying that he has the right not to care for them, because he has the right not to respect them.
As a Pope, Francis should be the first one to give an example of obedience to Church rules. Servus servorum Dei does not mean that he is the personal servant of those who are the Lord’s servants in the most humble social positions. It means that he is the first and most preeminent among the servants of God.
As the first of the servants of God, he is the one most immediately bound to the observance of the rules of the Church. Therefore, the scandal is gravest when the Pope himself gives scandal.
Father Lombardi can exert himself as much as he likes with his absurds attempts at explanation. The brutal truth is that we have a Pope in the business of liturgical abuse, who doesn’t care of which rules he disobeys but goes on showing in front of the cameras how humble he is.
The Church was packed.
The celebration was extremely reverent.
The music was breathtaking – and inspiring – as always.
I haven’t spotted any woman among the viri selecti; who were, I assure you, all belonging to the Christian faith.
The photos are here.
I have noticed that all around the Blogosphere the concerns voiced by yours truly have been also felt and expressed: if the Pope thinks he can break the rules, what prevents others from doing the same…
On reflection, it might well be that the breaking of the rules is not an unintended consequence of Pope Francis’ desire to be “pastoral” and “reach out” to the Muslims & Co., but actually the very aim he wants to achieve.
A Pope at ease with the Pinocchio Mass can’t have much interest for the observance of liturgical rules. On the other hand, being the Pope he might want to refrain from a devastating “reform of the repair”, officially undoing what his predecessor has done. Therefore, he might be thinking of simply allowing the periphery to do what it’s not fitting that the centre does, positively encouraging his own priests and bishops to break liturgical rules to make the mass more “spontaneous”, “simple”, “near to the poor” and all that jazz. The result would be a worldwide wave of liturgical abuses.
I say this because this Pope doesn’t look like a simpleton, the kind of man so much in love with “liturgical simplicity” (or with his own simplicity; one of the two) that he would act in the way he thinks best at the moment without reflecting about the consequences of what he is doing. It seems to me if this Pope does something, there is a program behind it, and a series of consequences which have been foreseen and willingly accepted, or are meant to be promoted outright.
If you think that no Pope would be as subversive as that, please reflect how probable you would have thought, one month ago, that a Pope would ever wash the feet of Muslims during the Maundy Thursday Mass.
Fasten your sealtbelt. Pray. Never believe the excited girlie screams of the sycophants at every “innovation” of the Pontiff.
Popes come and go.
The Church will bury all of them.
We must live in very strange times indeed if every hour can bring further, disquieting news from the very top of the Church.
At Rorate Caeli there is a blog post and video (which is copyrighted, so I will not re-post it here) shedding further light on what has happened yesterday besides what I have already reported about.
Please note the following:
1. the official announcement of the fact that the Pontiff washed the feet of people of
different nationalities and faiths, including at least two Muslims and two women,
I have never read in the Gospel Jesus washed the feet of heathens, but again Jesus would obviously not be taken as an example of “inclusiveness” and “dialogue” by Pope Francis (Jesus came bringing a sword, Pope Francis came bringing peace) so He doesn't count. Perhaps Pope Francis has a different Bible than I, though. I am told in Argentina they do strange things anyway.
2. the horrible, horrible, horrible liturgy.
I have heard some sugary crap in my time, but what you hear in the video passeth my limited understanding of ugliness. It's like torture in the kindergarten. I cannot believe there are people – children, or adults – who can believe this utter crap has some semblance of spirituality and be in their right mind.
Called me a Conservative Catholic if you so wish, but to me if your liturgical views are gravely flawed your theology will be gravely flawed too. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. There's no escaping this simple truth.
Only two weeks into this papacy, and we wonder when it will end.
I am afraid we are only at the beginning.
And so the Pope did it and, as he regularly did during his time as an Archbishop (he seems obsessed with continuing to do everything as he did before becoming Pope; another sign of humility, or pride as the case may be) has washed the feet of at least one woman during his Maundy Thursday Mass.
Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but last time I looked the rules mandated (not suggested) the use of chosen men, viri selecti.
When I was (blessedly) scourged with Latin, there was no way Vir could be translated as “human”, and if I had done it the dreaded blue pencil of my severe teacher would not have been far away. But it was a very long time ago, or we must have been both wrong; or perhaps, who knows, Latin is becoming more “inclusive”…
Now, only two things may be happening here:
1. I do not remember, or we were wrong all the time. Vir means “person”, and viri selecti means “chosen people”.
2. The then Cardinal Archbishop and now Pope doesn’t have any problem in going against the rules both when he was Cardinal Archbishop and now that he is Pope.
“But Mundabor”, you may say, “this is not de fide, merely an instruction of the Missal! Of course the Pope can change the instructions; he is the Pope!”
Yes, and no.
Firstly, he can certainly change the instructions, but then he should first change them and then act in accordance to the thus changed rules. To just do what he pleases with the Roman Missal can only encourage many others to do the same. We are, here, confronted with a Pope sending a clear signal that rules can be disobeyed: certainly by the Pope every time his “humility” suggests to him that he may do so, and most certainly by the many liberal priests who will feel authorised – nay, encouraged – to follow his example.
Secondly, whilst I am not a liturgist – and am ready to stand corrected by intelligent arguments – I rather think that those like this Catholic blogger are getting the meaning of the washing of the feet in a deeper way than the usual (at least in the last decades) “it’s only a sign of humility” interpretation. I have no knowledge of women being chosen in past centuries among the “viri (cough) selecti” by Popes or other clergy. Please also note that, as explained here, Pope Benedict preferred to wash the feet of priests as opposed to laymen.
Be it as it may, it can’t be denied the instructions of the Roman Missal say “men”. Whilst I am not a mother tongue, I think it can be comfortably asserted that in English, “men” does not mean “women” by any stretch of the imagination. (It can mean “mankind” in some limited context, but you would use it differently: “we have brought Man to the Moon”, etc. This is clearly not the case here).
I am curious to read the reaction of liturgists to this. Again, the Pope may well change the rules, but he is doing something different: he is saying that he can make the rules as he goes along, and it is not so important that rules are respected.
I do not doubt, though, that today we will be overflowed by a tidal wave of sugary comments by NuChurch bloggers about the courageous and inclusive choice of the new Pontiff.
Benedict was, whilst largely ineffective, a Pope of intellectual depth whose acts and speeches spoke to intelligent people.
Make no mistake: in a sharp contrast with Benedict’s, this pontificate will please the stupid the world over.
Looking at the challenges facing Christianity all over the West one cannot but wonder what has gone wrong. Only sixty years ago Christianity had Western Europe and all of the American continent firmly in its hands; as we write the Year of The Lord 2013 sodomy is about to be given the name of “marriage” even in the United States.
No doubt, these years will be remembered in the centuries to come as a catastrophe comparable to Arianism, or a violent attack to Christian customs similar in its scale – though for now less current – than the French Revolution. The Church will not die, of course, but Christianity could well be pushed underground in vast part of the West, where the sacrifices of its members, and perhaps the blood of its martyrs, will fertilise the soil again. The question will arise: how could this happen?
If you ask me, it happened first through a massive failure of the Clergy (both the real and the pretended one) to properly defend and transmit Catholic values. When those properly instructed died, the new generation was so horribly formed they started to waiver – the Protestant first and more brutally; the Catholics later and more gradually – and their own children grew up thinking everything is fine, provided no one gets hurt.
It is often said the challenges were there already: welfare, consumerism, and the like, and the decline was therefore unavoidable. I don't buy it.
In all ages, we have seen saintly people among the rich. On a collective scale, there is no reason to believe being prosperous is a danger to being fervent Christians. Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg are the most Christian region of Germany, and the richest. The rigid Calvinists of the then United Provinces – actually with a lot of Catholics among them – did very fine indeed. The United States were until not long ago the most Christian country in the West. The excuse of welfare just doesn't wash.
Certainly, every age has its own challenges, but strong Christian values have always been a formidable barrier against them. This age has not invented contraception, or abortion. Sexual perversion wasn't born in the Sixties. Poverty and luxury have always been occasions of sin: but properly instructed Christians could still see abortion is the butchering of an unborn creature of God, and dealt with it accordingly.
When the clergy began to abandon Christ, the foundation for the present desolation was laid down. How can you expect the sheep to avoid the ravines, when the pastors are blinded by their desire to please them, or to avoid the hard part of their job. The rod and the staff were abandoned, and the shepherds started to picnic and have a good time, blabbering nonsense about the newly acquired wisdom of the modern-day sheep.
Desire to please, desire to be liked, perhaps desire to do things they would otherwise not be so easily allowed to do: this was the driving force behind the betrayal.
It would be unfair to blame the sheep for the immense arrogance and stupidity (or worse) of the shepherds. We all know things went really south when the old generation died, and was replaced by the horribly instructed and even more horribly thinking baby boomers. The new, cowardly shepherds certainly did not change many of those already formed; but they utterly ruined those they formed themselves.
Are the latter without fault, then? No, they certainly aren't. They could have seen and have not seen, they could have heard and have not heard; but how more difficult was it for them to recognise the Truth, when their own shepherds sabotaged it every day.
Now, we are in a vicious circle: whilst a minority of Protestants and Catholics still can fight for Christian values, the grassroots are largely rotten, and they perpetuate (the Protestants) or provide an alibi (the Catholics) for the cowardice of the clergy.
The punishment for both is coming swiftly, on this life and thereafter. What is the coming wave of heathenish thinking – if we want to call it “thinking” – but the punishment God allows to fall on both the sheep and the clergy? A punishment already in full swing, with the families of the baby-boomers ravaged by divorces, abortions, and single-parent households. A punishment, though, in my eyes still mild compared to the judgment that will fall on all those – Catholic or not – who had souls entrusted to their cares and have preferred an easy quest for popularity, taking refuge in “social issues” (the number one excuse of the enemies of God, starting from Judas) as a convenient excuse to forget God's laws whilst still appearing oh so caring.
Two generations of disgraceful clergy have brought us on the verge of Christianity being officially wiped out from the moral code of entire Nations; nay, from most and perhaps all of the West. The retribution will come swiftly, as these societies already nurture in themselves the cancer that will destroy them, until slowly but surely the Truth of Christ will triumph once again, as always happened in the past; long after our time, I am afraid.
Was Athanasius sad he had to live in disgraceful times? You bet he was. Did this weaken his determination to fight? Of course it didn't. Did the madness of his time sharpen his resolve and steeled his determination? I am sure it did.
I think it was Leo XIII who said that Catholics are born for combat.
We have our combat at hand.
Bring it on.
Cardinal Mahony's blog has been the source of amusement for some time now and you would have great difficulties in finding another clergyman (Cardinal, or not) in which a staggering hypocrisy is so well matched with sanctimonious passive-aggressiveness.
To mention just two of the latest episodes, the man wrote that (clearly) the Holy Ghost physically drove his hand at the time of electing the Pope, though he leaves us in doubt as to whether he wrote, so guided, his own name on the ballot. We can, though, assume Mahony meant that it was Bergoglio's name.
The Cardinal's confidence in the Holy Ghost seems, though, rapidly vanishing now – next time, the Holy Ghost will have to slap the Cardinal directly in the face – because he has recurred to his faithful keyboard again to let us know that Pope Francis must now proceed to important appointments very fast, lest the old power structure consolidate themselves.
Funny that, thought yours humble correspondent. This is one who clearly indicates the Holy Ghost drives his own hand when he writes the name of Bergoglio, but then allows the man so elected to be deserted of any help?
Has the Cardinal reflected on what this means? It means, of course, that the Holy Ghost either has changed his mind about Pope Francis – thus making an open intervention of the Holy Ghost Cardinal necessary – or is actually… on the side of the Curia!
You see, this is the danger of going around writing inane, self-celebratory waffle like the Cardinal: Verba volant, scripta manent.
You should read the Cardinal's blog more often. Capital entertainment.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has signed the strongest bill limiting abortion after the tragedy of Roe vs Wade. The new bill bans abortion once the baby's heart is “detectable”, which is at around 6 weeks.
Make no mistake, this measure does not ban abortion in the least; it is well possible to be sure of pregnancy within this time, and of course abortifacients like the “morning after pill” are not touched by the law.
Still, this is clearly a most courageous step towards the return to sanity. I do not doubt this Law will be challenged and will end up in front of the ugly fat lesbian and the other people already mentioned in a very recent post; but however the outcome of the legal challenge, it is clear the pressure on Roe vs Wade is mounting.
This legislative measure is also, if you ask me, a good way to put a probable decision of the US Supreme Court in favour of sodomy in perspective. Would a single judge of the Supreme Court have thought in 1973 that in 2013 Roe vs Wade would be more controversial than ever? I doubt it. Much more probably, they thought their decision would end the debate once and for all. Big mistake.
The same will, very probably, happen if the Supreme Court tries to shovel abominations down the throat of the Christians: it is going to start a decade-long fight that, in time, will lead to the recovery of traditional Christian values, exactly in the same way as abortion is now challenged in a way certainly not hoped by many in the years following Roe vs Wade.
The lot of our generation is to see Christianity massively challenged. The day we die, let it not be said of us we have not been able to raise to this challenge.
God bless the voters, the lawmakers and the Governor of North Dakota.
This just in case some of my readers was wondering what kind of world it is, where huge marches are announced and then, no one knows why, never take place.
The US truly are in a bad shape if such an event if systematically ignored (and even if only for hours; at some point the event will have to be acknowledged) by all major media outlets.
Reblog of the day
Yesterday’s debate in the commons was below pathetic and at the same time indicative of the state this once great nation has reduced itself to.
Maria Miller, the minister for families who is trying to destroy them, is on record saying that “we support marriage” because “this is one of the most important institutions we have in this country”, and therefore “the Government should not stop people from getting married”.
The hypocrisy and disingenuousness of this is mind-boggling. The overweight lady simply forgets that whilst marriages obviously existed before Christianity, our understanding of marriage is deeply rooted in Christian thinking. I know that in places like Sodom people might have lived together and even called it “marriage” (they might, or might not; the Angel Maria Miller deserves hasn’t left many traces for us to investigate), but this is exactly not the point. The point is that a Christian society (in…
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To a Continental European like me, the working of the judiciary system in the United States is beyond stupid.
A homosexual judge living in “partnership” with his fellow pervert is allowed to walk over the majority of the voters of a 38 million state and decide that something concerning … him must be against the Constitution because… he is a pervert; after which a process start ending in front of a bunch of people – at least one of whom also officially a pervert – deciding whether what the people have decided is fine, or whether some fat lesbian should not decide it's better to do it her own way.
These judges – including the lesbian – are, following a system which to my knowledge has no parallel in Continental Europe, elected for life. Once a combination of a President without scruples and a Senate ready to back him is given, you can end up with a pervert in the Supreme Court for the next several decades, and can only hope she kicks the bucket fast.
It would still be less absurd if there was a tradition – as in Italy, say – of respect for the will of the democratic elected lawmakers, with the Constitutional Court very attentive not to fall into, so to speak, social engineering by the back door; but this is clearly not the case in the United States, where such elementary rights like the right to be born are trampled under the pretence the Constitution, erm, ahem, well (cough) says so.
It is, therefore, certainly the case that in the United States the biggest social changes of the last decades (abortion, and sodomy) have been introduced or are in the way of being introduced by judicial activism, with the asinine mob soon following the diktat of the judges because hey, the law says so. As I never tire to say, the laws of one generation are the morality of the following one, because unthinking minds – the vast majority, if we are honest – tend to consider moral what is legal. The perverts know this, and will try to have their way not through the democratic, but through the judicial route.
At some point, the reaction organises itself and the pendulum starts to swing the other side; but this only happens when the stupid generation who has first tolerated the judicially mandated societal changes dies, and a new generation is born that is not ready to accept the status quo, with abortion clearly a point in case. Probably the Supreme Court judges – and many others – thought Roe vs Wade had changed the landscape forever. Forty years later, we know this is absolutely not the case and the game is changing again, with ever the former Miss Roe now on the side of… Mr Wade.
If the Supreme Court of the United States comes out with another piece of subversive and perverted piece of social engineering, we can be sure that the battle to overturn it will go on for decades; but this time we will be comforted by the knowledge that whilst God's laws are immutable, one or two generations can be enough to put abominations once considered irreversible to a very severe test.
There is no way, I am afraid, our generation can hope to die in a world freed from the celebration of sexual perversion and the brutal uprooting of Christian culture from vast strata of the population; but this must not be on the least an occasion of dismay or despair. If they help us to gain Heaven, the few decades of battle against the arrogance of the perverts and the stupidity of the asinine mob will have been, the day we die, a small price to pay.
Our stupid, stupid generation is very probably destined to see a breakdown of Christian values without precedent in the history of the West, providing a very rich harvest for Satan and his minions; but such an age will also allow those who steadfastly refuse to conform to the lies of the age to accumulate merits, and perhaps to develop a love for a truth, that might not for many of us – and very probably for me – have been possible if we had lived under different circumstances.
When I think of our situation I am often reminded of the time of the Arian heresy, sweeping not only a great part of society, but even of those who called themselves orthodox Christians. The faithful soldiers of Christ of that age must have felt very isolated, and must have been continuously insulted and called impious, their lack of “inclusiveness” and “hate” for those oh so tolerant, open-minded Arians for everyone to see.
Do you think they cared? No, they didn't. They had their eyes fixed on Truth, not on the wrong opinions of their countrymen, or of the majority of the clergy, or of Pope Liberius himself. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is wrong, and right is right even if no one is right.
Let the fat lesbian do her worse, and a bunch of perverts and their stupid, stupid cheerleaders rejoice as much as they want.
They will get their reward.
But we, we will continue steadfastly, and try to our last day to merit, as far as we can, ours.
Magdi Cristiano Allam has now announced he considers his conversion to Catholicism “finished”
If you browse the Italian press you will see Allam – a popular, if controversial journalist; convert from his cradle Islam, and its sworn enemy – has a long litany of grievances: the impering buonismo, or “good-ism”, the stance of too many among the clergy towards illegal immigration, the shock of what he calls the “two Popes”, and the orgy of “papolatry” after Pope Francis' election. His main grievance and “last straw” is, though, the soft stance taken by Pope Francis towards Muslims. Allam even goes as far as to say that Francis has offered a legitimation to the god of the Muslims, and to the Koran and the worship in mosques as authentic expressions of worship of God.
One does not even know where to start.
The stance of some of the clergy concerning immigration can be as wrong as Allam pleases, but it doesn't change a iota in Church doctrine. The doctrine of the Church comes from God, not from the one or other priest or bishop. Certainly, buonismo has afflicted the Church since the dawn of Vatican II, but Allam can surely not say he wasn't aware of it. Like the Fatherland, the Church will have a lot of problems, and plenty of wrong people in key positions; but even more than the Fatherland, the Church is loved for what it is, not for the people who act on its behalf.
This remark applies very fittingly to the most grave reproach moved to Pope Francis: giving a passport to Islam. Granted, Pope Francis' recent words have all the sugary ambiguity of Vatican II, and can – as it is typical for VII waffle – be interpreted by pretty much everyone as he likes. Still, there is a huge difference between saying that Pope Francis doesn't have the gut to talk straight about Islam and saying that he considers allah worshiping a legitimate form of God worship.
The question is, really, not even this one; the real key to all Catholic understanding is that what a Pope says concerning any matter concerned with the foundations of Catholic doctrine can never cause any deviation from it. A Pope cannot change infallible doctrine more than he can the course of the planets, or God himself. As a result, for a Catholic what the Pope says can be useful in gauging how orthodox this Pope is (and the Pope could be a heretic, as already happened in the past), but is perfectly irrelevant to his belonging to the Catholic Church.
Do you want it put more bluntly? Even if the Pope were to officiate a mixed ritual with a Hindu priest, a Rabbi and a Muezzin, this wouldn't change a iota in what the Truth is, what the Church stands for and my proud belonging to it; though of course it would have consequences on my assessment of the Pope and, in extreme cases, of his legitimacy in the office.
But you see, Allam doesn't say even that. He does not denounce the Pope as illegitimate, but the Church as wrong! He has, like many Protestant fake converts, made his own Bespoke church, and his allegiance to the Catholic Church only lasted as long as he considered the Church compatible with his own made-to-measure set of beliefs.
This is the more disappointing because Allam is an intelligent man, and Pope Benedict had in 2008 clearly accepted to officiate his conversion mass – a favour he refused to Tony Blair – exactly because he though Allam more committed and sincere than Blair.
We must not blame Benedict for Allam's voltafaccia. Allam is clearly the only one to blame; but this should be a cautionary tale for everyone – and I think here particularly of Anglicans – who think they can tailor Catholicism to the preferences and set of beliefs they already have, and discard their conversion once the new shop does not pay enough reverence to their own personal preferences.
What the Pope says has no bearing on Truth. Truth remains exactly the same whatever the Pope says. If the Pope defends the Truth well, he is a good Pope; if he does it badly or very badly, he is a bad or very bad Pope; if he spreads heretical thinking, he is an heretical Pope; and if he tries to spread his heretical thinking ex cathedra, then he – if he hasn't been killed by the Holy Ghost before doing it – loses his legitimacy and isn't Pope anymore.
But in all of this, a Catholic is true to the Church till death; lest, like Magdi Allam, he gravely endangers his soul in the pursue of his own prideful, home-made religion.
Allam has not said to what he wants to “convert” (unless to his own religion, of course) and I am not interested into the details of whether he is in formal apostasy. He has publicly distanced himself from the Church that embraced him just a few years ago, and has insulted Her as institution. I think this is bad enough.
Besides being an open supporter of so-called gay marriages, Biden is, as we all know, an open supporter of abortion, thinking his “personal” opposition should not encroach on the right of others to stage a Holocaust.
On Sunday, Cardinal Dolan found nothing better to do than allowing him to receive communion. I can't avoid thinking he felt encouraged by the fact Pope Francis apparently allowed Biden and Pelosi to receive only a few days ago.
When Cardinal Dolan caves in to public pressure and to the enemy of the Church, the media generally call it “an attempt to create a new dialogue”. I call it cowardice.
The Cardinal's behaviour is more evident if we consider his predecessor apparently always refused to allow the likes of Biden to receive communion.
I wonder if this is just Dolan being Dolan, or if there is something of bigger dimensions going on.
Certainly we will not hear a word from Pope Francis about this. Not just days after he himself allowed Biden and Pelosi to receive.
Mala tempora currunt.
The “joy” Reblog.
One of the most striking practical differences between the Church of the past and the post-Vatican II one is an alarming fixation with “joy”. I cannot remember one homily from Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols and obligatorily read from the pulpit which did not insist on the concept. I also heard it mentioned from several NuChurch priests that the best way for Catholic to spread the Faith is to “give witness” with their “joy”.
This is, obviously if not explicitly, as opposed to vocally defend the Faith.
The image such inane waffling conjures (at least to my eyes) is of a bunch of not very intelligent looking men and women going around with a permanent grin on their face and in the meantime putting up with whatever error or abomination they see around them. This is in practice what happens on a daily basis, at least in what concerns the putting…
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It would appear that in the Netherlands orphanages are not an option.
We know this because the Dutch head of Government has justified giving a child in adoption to a so-called “couple” of perverts with the remark that there weren't other candidates.
One wonders what has happened to common sense, though one could attempt the answer that in the Netherlands common sense was smoked up in weed a long time ago.
For countless generations, orphanages were the places where children without parents – or whose parents were alive but not in a position to raise them – could grow up in a protected environment and be raised with Christian values. Christian charity has taken care that the money for such establishments was available, and Christian feelings would not have allowed the children to be raised without a proper Christian education. I cannot imagine even Calvinists would, in the past, have reasoned any differently.
Not anymore, it appears. Firstly, the supposed “right” of a child to have “parents” prevails over basic common sense. Add to this the immense stupidity of considering two perverts a “couple” and you have all the ingredients for what is happening now.
One would hope this episode would now spark a great controversy, but this is truly not to be expected. For decades now, the Netherlands have been one of the most Godless countries on the planet, and there is no sign of this changing any time soon. In almost three years of intensive news reading on Catholic issue I also do not remember, off the cuff, a single time when a senior member of the Dutch Catholic clergy has taken a strong stance against evils considered normal in his own country. The Netherlands have reached such a degree of degeneration that only a very insistent, very vocal battle for Christian values would, after a number of years, put Christian issues in the public debate.
As the traditional Protestant countries experience the collapse of Christianity following the advanced state of decomposition of their Ecclesial communities, it should be the Church's role to pick up up the fight and build on the ruins of the Protestant suicidal madness.
Not happening, I am afraid.
I think I know how the average local Mass looks like.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture”.
This is not a joke, but what has happened in a university in Florida. Apart from the fact that the “assignment” reminds one of kindergarten exercises (without the blasphemy) one truly wonders what goes in the twisted minds of certain people.
I will not spare you the very easy, but very true remark that the genius who thought this did not consider using, say, a Mohammed Cartoon as stomping material. I am sure he knows why. A shame, really, because if one wants to “discuss the importance of symbols in culture” I can barely imagine a more fitting starting point.
Still, the problem here is much vaster than stupidity. This episode shows not only a total lack of Christian feeling, but also the complete absence of every regard for Christianity as a religion. In a Christian country like the United States, this is an obvious indication of a degree of Anti-Christian militancy speaking volumes about the degree of “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” of the blaspheming classes.
The University has apologised, after the fact. The question remains what kind of University it is that employs geniuses like the one who thought this. Personally, I also wonder what kind of kindergarten is this, where people cannot start a discussion about “the importance of symbols in culture” without stomping like little children.
If this is the level of higher education in the United States, decline and fall cannot be very far away.
Holy Week Reblog
1) Log in your Facebook account
2) Find the Starbucks account (extremely easy).
3) Send a very short message: like “forget me as a client as long as you continue to encourage sexual perversion and to attack Christianity”. No gentle words. The brutal truth.
How long will it take? One minute? Ninety seconds?
Hardly ninety seconds, really…
P.s. Thanks RM, text corrected; hopefully right this time…
Among the poisonous comments I receive (you don’t see them, but I do; and they grow with the growth of this blog) there are those of people who are acidic not only with me, but with other bloggers as well. These comments invariably come from people accusing me of not being “charitable”, showing those who love to always have “charity” in their mouth are, as a whole, a rather nasty bunch.
One of those nasty messages recently accused me of not attacking (yes, he accused me of not attacking) a well-known blog, noticeable inter alia for its rather entrepreneurial approach. The relevant blogger would be, I was told, guilty of actually making money out of his own blogging activity. I think two words here are in order.
The little effort you are reading now does not bring any money. But this is not because I am against it. I am, in fact, not against money at all. The simple fact is that firstly the money it would bring would ne negligible; secondly that it would be very difficult – perhaps impossible – to do this whilst preserving anonymity; and thirdly, that I have no intention of making the time investment to learn all the technical details of owning and running my own blog for the very meager income it would bring me. The beauty of WordPress, Blogger and the like is that one can start writing without having to do with any of that stuff, but at the same time – and fairly enough – without getting any of the very limited revenue one’s blog could have generated. On the rare occasions when you see WordPress advertisements on my blog, it has nothing to do with me and I do not see a penny from it. Again, fair enough, and I thank God for the existence of free blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
Still, a big blog can certainly be a source of revenue, and this is the point where the Liberation Theologians are divided from the Catholics. Money isn’t dirty; there is no harm at all in earning money in an honest way; actually, being entrepreneurial is good, because it furthers the common good as it helps one’s wallet; it is not for us to question how much money a blogger makes more than how much money an accountant makes; if the blog is very well made, it might even give us the possibility of promoting further Catholic causes (the coffee from the monks, say, or the advertisement from the Catholic university). If, then, the blogger in question becomes a millionaire because of it (not likely), we should see in this a further triumph of Catholicism instead of envying the blog owner.
Why, then, such animosity against people who earn money from a blog? I can see only three reasons:
1. Because they are failures. They aren’t faring well, so no one else is allowed to. If anyone does do well, then he must be wrong, and they think they have the right to be envious, and nasty.
2. Because they are closet socialists, or communists. Money is bad, so you shouldn’t really have anything to do with it. If you do, then as little as possible, and only because we live in an evil world. If you stand out from the crowd with an excellent blog that is also excellently run, then you are targeted as a representative of that most dreadful disease: capitalism.
3. Because 1. and 2. are present at the same time. I think this is the most frequent case.
This could be, obviously, furthered by the wind of “Franciscanism” that has been blowing for a couple of weeks, bringing to us unpleasant whiffs of stinking Liberation Theology and stale pauperism of the Seventies, though I must say the enthusiasms of the “let us all be poor so I do not feel inferior” crowd will have an unpleasant awakening very soon. Still, we must fight against this mentality with all our might.
This, again, from one who invests an awful lot of time and effort without having ever seen a penny from it; confident, as he is, that Padre Pio looks, and perhaps even likes what he sees; and that on that fateful day the Blessed Virgin might well, in Her maternal goodness, add an intercession for him, a wretched sinner, and for those he loves most. Still, make no mistake: if in addition to the hoped heavenly reward I were able to get an earthly one, I would do it. I would do it like a shot. Therefore, never ever consider this blog “better” or “purer” than the ones with the advertisements, because in that case you have rather the wrong concept of what is good, or pure.
“Ah, but you see, Mundabor; some of these bloggers are… priests!”.
Some priests have a vow of poverty, generally when they are also members of a religious congregation. Most priests, to my knowledge, haven’t. Always as far as I know, priest also can, say, inherit a fortune, and the fortune remains theirs. Granted, it is expected from a priest that he keeps a standard of living that refrains from extravagances and inappropriate luxury, but this must be seen in the context of the relevant situation. Popes live in luxury all right, and most bishops and cardinals fare rather well compared to the vast majority of us. This has always been so, and the wisdom of the Church has never found anything to object; unless, of course, the luxury becomes ostentatious, or otherwise inappropriate.
If I trust a priest, ipso facto I trust that his relationship with money is a healthy one. Still, I do not see why I should suspect that he is greedy more than I should suspect that he is, say, a glutton. You read people’s blogs and you form an idea of who they are and how they think. Then you think them decent people (sinner as we all are) or you don’t. It’s as simple as that.
I invite everyone of my readers to salute every Catholic blog showing a sense of healthy entrepreneurial spirit and to consider making their purchases (of books, or coffee, or whatever else) through them. When they click this page, I invite them not to consider me in any way, shape or form “better” because I don’t. My blog is very tiny for monetary considerations, and I would consider anonymity a higher good than even a regular income stream if this blog were big enough for it, which it isn’t.
I am, probably, also not entrepreneurial enough. But this is, most certainly, not a good trait in itself, and I frankly admire those who make an effort even if it brings them a tiny monetary reward.
If you have looked at the Video of Pope Francis visiting the Pontiff Emeritus yesterday, you could probably not avoid noticing how frail Benedict looked. If one thinks that only at the beginning of February he was still fully in charge, one begins to have a very clear picture of why his decision to abdicate was a wise one.
I never bought the story of the “Cross from which the Pope is not supposed to step down”. If the duty of a Pope had traditionally been to be frail and ineffective, the Popes would have been traditionally chosen among the oldest and sickest, in the hope their frailty goes on for as long as possible; after which, the next sick old man would have been picked up.
We all know this was never the case, and when it happened that old men were chosen for the office it was because a ” transition Pope” (that is: one of whom the Cardinals thought he would not occupy the position for very long) was considered preferable to a long impasse or a very public quarrel.
Please also consider the most famous Popes were men full of energy. Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Urban II, or Pius IX (to mention just a few) were Popes who would have never thought it would be better for them to be old, frail, and ultimately factually irrelevant. Popes were meant to reign, not to be put in a shop window (or a “Popemobile”) for all the world to see Catholicism is de facto without its guide.
Pope Pius XII was a Pope I continue to go back to, because it seems to me in most cases if you want to know how a Pope did it right you only have to look at what this great Pope did. Pope Pacelli was a man of such strong energy and iron will, that in one of the most difficult periods in the history of the Church he united in himself the functions of Pope and Secretary of State. Nothing less than full control was enough for him. This, my friends, is a Pope who sees his role rather differently than being looked at behind the bullet proof glass of a vehicle. In fact, Pope Pius XII thought of resigning when it became clear to him he could not reign properly anymore; and we are talking of a time where the Church had things so much under control – though challenges are always there – that the Western societies of the Fifties seem to belong to a different age than the present ones.
What does this tell us? It tells us that a Pope is supposed to function as a Pope, rather than as a televised ad for Catholicism. The “shop window Pope” is very well for the Curia, who can easily manipulate him; or for the local hierarchies, who can do as they please; but it's not good at all for the Church, who needs to be led by Peter, not by a bunch of Cardinals no one ever made Pope and avoiding, at least on this earth, every accountability.
It is not surprising that weak or ill Popes cause the Curia to become inefficient, or corrupt. What is surprising is that the same people who lament the Curia's inefficiency (or corruption) are perfectly fine with years and years of impotent Popes, unable to reign or, alas, even to think properly. They don't see that weak Popes, like weak Kings or Emperors, unavoidably lead to the supremacy of the shrewdest manipulators, to a total lack of accountability, and to an environment of savage intrigue, whereas strong Popes will, for good or for bad, steer the Barque where they want to, and be clearly seen as responsible for what they do.
If we are honest with ourselves, Benedict wouldn't have gone down in history with the nickname “the iron Pope” if he had been in best health every day of his Papacy. Still, the exercise of power always needs a certain amount of energy, of inner fire, of will to demand and command that builds on a certain amount of strength. This strenght is needed to cope with the adrenalines, the difficult decisions, the opposition, the punishments if must be, that the exercise of power invariably demands. Seeing Benedict in yesterday's video, it is abundantly clear this fire isn't there any longer.
An intelligent man, and a man who loves the Church, Benedict must have seen it. He had also seen from very near the quasi-Sede Vacante situation created in the last five, or more, years of his predecessor's reign. He has, I am certain, correctly assessed such a situation as damaging for the Church; and he has decided to draw the consequences from his own situation for the good of the Church, irrespective of the criticism he knew would be levelled at him.
Pope Benedict wasn't an Iron Pope, but he understood the need for the Church to be guided by a Pope, not by an unelected small group of shrewd manipulators. He was intelligent enough to see the issue, and unselfish enough to take a step he knew would be criticised. It pains me, it truly pains me to see a man able to take such a selfless decision, and being criticised for it.
If you ask me, this, what Pope Benedict showed us, was the true courage and the true humility; not the iron cross, the black shoes, and the absence of Mozzetta.
May the Almighty grant Benedict serene days of prayer on earth, and reward this gentle man for this beautiful act of courage.
We all know that pro-abortion radicals have no problem with male politicians speaking in support of abortion, or male lobbyists fighting for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, or male doctors performing abortions. But the minute a man speaks out for life, it’s “HEY! If you don’t have a uterus, ZIP IT!!!”
No, Madame Anger, I will not zip it. Unless you are trying to tell me my fly is down, in which case, thank you. I will zip it slowly and carefully.
Guys, I don’t know about you, but I for one am tired of being told that because I can never carry a child, I can’t stick up for one. It’s time to stop bowing to prejudice. It’s time to start being men.
In conclusion, to those who burn with rage when we men have the nerve to stand up for life, I offer this humble apology: please forgive us for being born male. What were we thinking?
This very funny lines come from the author of an article appeared on a pro-life site, and worthy of being read in its entirety. I think it stands out for the refreshing openness so far away from the usual political correctness surrounding these arguments.
Having a uterus does not give her owner any property right over any human being, least of all an unborn child.
Palm Sunday Reblog
My last post was in defence of Michael Voris complaining about those religious who seem to have forgotten (probably because they have) what Christianity is about.
If you want an excellent example of such behaviour, look no further than to the Numero Uno of English Catholicism, our well-known disgraziato Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols.
Nichols is already notorious for the zeal with which he undermines Catholic doctrine and Catholic principles. His clear support for so-called same-sex couples speaks volumes about the heretic Pope Benedict has made the mistake of putting at the top of the English Hierarchy (and the even bigger mistake of not removing when it became clear that the man doesn’t care a straw for Catholic orthodoxy), and his continued refusal to put an end to the scandalous homo masses in Soho should leave even the most naive supporter of Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols in no doubt as to…
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One of tragic problems of modern Christianity is that the religion of niceness pollutes their very thinking and speaking.
Once upon a time, he who murdered a person was a murdered. It’s really not complicated. There were no questions about “judging”, the need to show “sensitivity”, the desire not to hurt one’s “feelings”, and the lot.
It is high time that we go back to a simple logic by which political correctness cannot deform, or remake, reality anymore: a woman who chooses to abort is the murderer of her baby. Why? Because she murdered him.
This thinking seems to make inroads among pro-life activists in the Socialist Republic of California, who are becoming rather explicit in the matter.
A pro-life group in the San Fernando Valley is now producing a “provocative” documentary with a rather explicit intent, explicitly targeting an abortion clinic which might kill up to fifty babies a day. They won’t mince words. As they put it:
“It’s time the pro-life movement starts calling abortion what it is — murder. And it’s time the men and women who participate in the murder of unborn children are brought to the knowledge of their sin against God. They are murderers.”
No fake sensitivity here. Tell it as it is. False charity doesn’t help anyone.
Some more explanations:
“Our primary goal” […] “is to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone associated with the abortion industry, from the women having abortions to the people working inside the clinics. We don’t want anyone to perish in their sin. But we must stop showing deference to the feelings of women who are murdering their children. Yes, we must speak the truth in love, but it must be the whole truth.”
At times, truth is harsh; and when it is, a lot of “sensitive” people will not hesitate in attacking those who speak the truth accusing them – mind, without any sensitivity – of not being “charitable”, and “hurting” the “feelings” of women who are simply murdering a baby, and bla, bla, and bla.
This must stop. It must be the whole truth.
The documentary is aptly called “Babies Are Murdered Here”. That’s a promising title, for sure.
Oh ye who do not live in or near Rome, please arm yourself with Google map and look at the travel directions between Castel Gandolfo and Rome.
On a Saturday morning – that is: without the atrocious Roman traffic, which is also a security risk – you can choose a straight Appian route: Appia Antica, Appia Pignatelli, then Appia Nuova; 28 km (call it 18 miles) and 40 minutes later, and Bob’s your uncle. It’s even a rather scenic route.
Cars seem, though, too much luxury for a Pope accustomed to travel by bus.
Therefore, it must be the helicopter.
Now, I do not have anything against a Pope using the helicopter. Nothing at all. But you see, I do not talk about “Franciscan simplicity”, either. Nor have I ever invited anyone to avoid traveling to Rome, whose tourism industry feeds so many, in order to give the money to the poor instead.
So let me ask this straight question: the Mozzetta was not enough simplicity, and tourism to Rome is money better spent for the poor, but there was the need of a helicopter to bridge the 28km to Castel Gandolfo? On a Saturday? What about giving the money to the poor instead?
“Ah, but there are security concerns”.
Are there? Why, then, drive the security guards mad?
“Ah, but the travel and security is all paid by the Italian Government”.
Not last time I looked, it wasn’t. The Italian government puts security and machinery at disposal, but all is paid by the Stato della Citta’ del Vaticano. Even if it weren’t, the money is spent anyway. When well-to-do Argentinians travel to Rome, it does not cost anything to the Vatican, either.
You see, this thing with the “Franciscan simplicity” is a very dangerous weapon to use. People will, namely, remember it, and “new simplicity” can’t simply consist in calling your newsagent in Argentina.
I would personally suggest that either the helicopter use for gite fuoriporta (Castel Gandolfo is a popular destination for one-day excursions) is toned down and the money given to the poor, or the Franciscan tones are toned down instead and we get to see the Mozzetta, the golden cross, the red shoes and all the rest without all the talk of “simplicity”.
The two simply cannot co-exist.
In short, it is utterly wrong to say the Pope has ever ventilated support for “civil partnerships” (among homosexuals) of whatever description, end of story.
The statement had been (repeatedly) made by Sergio Rubin, an Argentinian journalist waxing lyrical about Pope Francis after his election. It was rubbish, period.
My more attentive readers will remember Kimmy Akin had tried to offer a justification for his alleged behaviour if it had happened in the first place, and I had written a blog post explaining that such a justification could not have been offered anyway.
We can, as Italians say, put a stone over this matter, too.
A rather robust and on the whole not at all disappointing speech from Pope Francis yesterday in front of the diplomatic corps. The text is everywhere.
Whilst we Catholic bloggers are obviously not grading Popes’ speeches, this is the beginning of a Pontificate which might well become rather disquieting. It is, therefore, natural that his public utterances are now watched with particular – actually, anxious – attention.
My take on the speech follows. If you want to read it, fine. If you think Popes’ speeches must not be commented on, click away now. Your comment will be thrashed.
So there we are.
1. No ad libitum additions. This being a speech in front of diplomatic corps, adding them might have been a bit too much spontaneity. Or it might be that the Pontiff prefers to reflect well in advance on all he wants to say. This is probably the wisest course of conduct, as spontaneous language may lack the clarity of a prepared speech.
2. No trace of Liberation Theology. The mention of poverty seems to me perfectly in line with Catholic teaching; the Pope also makes reference to spiritual poverty; he even brilliantly links it to the “tyranny of relativism”. A Pope is, as he is Pope, obviously concerned with poverty. In fact, I don’t think many Popes weren’t: Pope Leo X perhaps, and a handful of others like him. As long as this does not become a criticism of Capitalism qua capitalism, or a programmatic stance to remake the planet and human nature with it, I think every Catholic should be pleased; nay, relieved.
3. “There is no true peace without truth!” A beautiful, beautiful statement, and possibly the main message this speech wanted to send out. Everything is based on Truth, and whoever betrays the Truth in the assumed interest of peace is, in fact, betraying both and achieving none.
4. “Pontiff means bridge builder”. Well, yes and no. Pontiff comes from the Latin Pontifex, the highest religious office among the Romans. The spiritual origin of this word are lost in the night of time – like many Roman religious customs and names: the Romans clung to their religious traditions so stubbornly that names were kept even after their meaning was lost -. At University, we were taught whilst the exact origin of the name is unknown, the most likely explanation is that in the very beginning what we today called “technology”, or “technical knowledge”, had a sacred meaning, as in those societal structures they were linked with higher wisdom. Pons facere might therefore well have referred to the “technology of bridge building”, a wisdom considered sacred and therefore in the hand of the Roman clergy, with their head aptly called the “bridge builder”, the Pontifex. Whilst Pope Peter is obviously free to take this word as an inspiration of what he wants to do, it does not seem correct to say or imply past generations have seen the role of the Pontiff as the one of “bridge builder” in the sense of “facilitator of dialogue”, unless of course we talk here of pure evangelisation work. The “bridges” of past Popes were meant to transmit Truth from one shore to the other. Which leads us nicely to the next point,
5. “Dialogue”. It is not entirely clear to me how the bridge building and the dialogue can be squared with wanting to base everything on Truth. If everything is based on Truth, “dialogue” also is. But then it’s not “dialogue” in the V II sense anymore, but pure, unadulterated, unapologetic evangelisation work. Did the Pontiff mean “dialogue” in this sense? I hope so, and his former extolling that peace must be based on Truth seems to enforce the point. Can the “dialogue” be understood in the (spirit of) V II sense of “I am OK where I am, you are OK where you are”? Methinks, he who wants it will be able to read the reference in this way, too. Still, we must be clear before V II “dialogue” was basically seen as evangelisation work: you talk to everyone because everyone needs the Truth.
6. St. Francis. Last time I looked, St. Francis’ “dialogue” with Islam took the form of Crusade and call to conversion. That’s the thing with the Truth, you see.
7. “Dialogue with Islam”. Dialogue with the Islamic world, surely? That is, with Muslims? What I know of Islam excludes that there may ever be any form of “dialogue” with Islam as religion. Like Catholicism, Islam is based on a set of beliefs that does not admit any negotiation and is, therefore, not a possible subject of any “dialogue”. Richard Lionheart certainly “dialogued” with Saladin, but it was not a dialogue between Christianity and Islam, which is intrinsically impossible. Christianity wants the death of Islam, Islam wants the death of Christianity. It’s as simple as that. Christ didn’t say “I am the way, the Dialogue and the Life”. From the Truth of Christ it necessarily follows that Islam has, qua Islam, no right of existence.
Assuming it was here meant “dialogue with Muslims of good will”, and assuming it is the same dialogue Richard had with Saladin (a practical approach to practical problems, not a negotiation on Truth or an acceptance of Lie) I think the dialogue certainly has its own place. If I want to have a Cathedral built in Kuwait City, I will need to dialogue. If I want to explore Sunday festivities for Christians living in Muslim countries, I will have to dialogue. But again, this “dialogue” can only ever be in the service of evangelisation with peaceful means. Still, this was a speech in front of diplomats, so peace and dialogues were naturally to be stressed.
I am, as already stated, relieved. But I also am a mistrustful guy, and the last fifty years have taught me to mistrust V II Popes, none of whom can be defined as “orthodox” by any pre-V II, that is, correct, standard of the word. Therefore, I will wait to see how seriously this Pope takes the concept of Truth, and how much in his mind “dialogue” is, as it necessarily must be, the servant of Truth.
The touchstone of this will be in the new Pope’s approach to “ecumenism”. If his ecumenism will be of the “Assisi meeting” style, we will know Truth is sacrificed to “dialogue”. If he, on the other hand, will always be attentive to stress that everything, even the modern religion of “peace”, must be based on Truth, then I’d say this Pontificate might well surprise us.
It is important that we keep Francis in our prayers.