Daily Archives: March 1, 2013
The Italian elections have come and gone and, thankfully for us Christians, the worst has been, for now at least, avoided.
You might remember I had decided to hold my nose and vote for the Berlusconi-led Centre-right coalition after both Casini (the leader of the supposedly Catholic UDC party) and Monti had spoken of a possible endorsement of something similar to incivil partnerships.
It turned out the UDC was thoroughly massacred, and Monti severely punished. The barely believable recovery of the Centre-right coalition, admittedly led by a spectacularly pugnacious Berlusconi, is exemplified by the fact that only 124,000 votes over a population of 56 million separated them from the relative majority and the 340 (or 54%) MPs linked with it. As it stands, the majority bonus went to the centre-left coalition, but without a majority in the Senate (not even together with Monti; which was the original “Plan B” ) and therefore looking like they had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The explosive new element (punctually not foreseen by yours truly, who thought voters would be reasonable in the end) is the motley crew of young people without a clue, unable to count and with great difficulties to think straight, but animated by great honesty and desire to improve the country of the so-called “five stars movement”.
They are led by a very successful comedian, Giuseppe “Beppe” Grillo (this is his real name, though “grillo” means “cricket” and well matches his comedic persona ). Grillo has been active in politics for the last 25 years (for you Americans, think an older Colbert without the pretend Catholicism and with a more dangerous sting) and is a very intelligent guy, whose honesty is only equaled by his own staggering political incompetence.
This man has become the catalyst of all those wanting to give a brutal message to the traditional parties, and who have inflated his core electorate based on tree-huggers, chronic revolutionaries and assorted dreamers. How honest the “grillini” are can be seen from the fact they will not touch one penny of the EUR 100,000,000 (yes, that’s one hundred million) due to them as reimbursement of electoral expenses.
So, where are we now? The short answer is that no one knows; the longer one is that the centre-left will try to work with the new “five stars movement” on some core issues – like a new electoral law as the present one is universally disliked – before going to the polls again.
What this means for Catholics is at the moment very difficult to say. Unless I have missed something, no one is talking of incivil partnership as a priority now; but the situation is dangerous because between leftists and five star movement a majority could very probably be obtained in both chambers, and the latter party leans decidedly towards the “secular/do what you please/we don’t care about Christian values” side. Still, it might well not happen, and it cannot be excluded both parties would have a number of dissidents if it did, whilst a ferocious opposition from the right might – or might not – ensue.
What happens from here will depend on whether we get a new electoral law, and which one. If we do, the sure death of the present, utterly brutal “majority bonus” in the lower chamber (in the Senate there are 15 different bonuses, which make things more nuanced) will mean a distribution of MPs more reflective of the real sentiment in the country, but I am not sure this sentiment is in his majority opposed to incivil partnerships. If we don’t, there will be another election with the “majority bonus” roulette, and it might well be a close race between the five stars – still in ascent, untested by government responsibilities, and according to many taking the majority of their votes from potentially leftist voters – and the centre-right coalition which, with more time at their disposal, would be a formidable opponent.
The worst has been – for now – avoided. Fake Catholic parties have been massacred, with the conservative vote now firmly in the hands of the centre-right coalition; but there isn’t much consolation to be drawn from this, and sadly the fact centre-right renounced to start the crusade for traditional marriage speaks volumes about the lay of the land.
We will soon have a new Pope; who, if he were to be both Italian and tough, will not fail to influence a part of the electorate. Particularly the second is a big “if”, and we are faced with an uncertainty which, if you ask me, does not bode well.
Pray for this once so Catholic country, where 50 years of neglect of proper instruction and proper Catholicism are leading to the slow but constant deterioration of what used to be a strong and proud Catholic heritage.
Beautiful initiative of the Society, who have on the site of their communication agency the Novena for the election of the Sovereign Pontiff.
Unfortunately I could not post this yesterday as per original plan; but though late, I hope this is not too late.
The collect (a part of the Novena) is as follows:
O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honoured by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Beautiful and very fitting.
The entire exercise takes just a couple of minutes.
The site has the texts also in Latin.
You really must pity Richard Dawkins. He is one of those heroes ready to ferociously attack the pious, but a shrinking violet towards those potentially violent.
We have now discovered that whilst said Dawkins considers the God of the Torah a very bad “fictional” character, he “doesn’t know so much” about the god of the Muslims, so he’d rather keep schtum, thank you very much.
Now, firstly it is astonishing how a man with so much time at his disposal like Dawkins never thought he might employ some of it to examine the, erm, second biggest religion on earth. Secondly, it cannot have escaped him that Islam is a parody of the Bible, it is based on it, and it claims to be its authentic expression. Thirdly, it might have come to his attention that as far as violence is concerned, Islam isn’t really built on retiring wallflowers.
At the very least, our hero could have said: “I do not know much of the god of the Muslims, but it must be clear it is a fictional character too, and he has pretty much the same traits as the fictional character of the Christians”.
Alas, nothing of the sort. It is as if he would say “can we stay on Christianity, please. I like my atheist propaganda comfortable, and safe”.
Ah, these fearless paladins of truth against the prejudices of countless ages….
It is very recent news that Amazon, together with other worldwide operating companies like Google, have issued a public endorsement of so-called same sex marriage in the vigil of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the Defence of Marriage Act.
At the same time, we are informed from Father Z’s blog that his affiliate program with Amazon was terminated without warning or explanation.
I might be a tad paranoid here, but apart from the obvious disgust at Amazon’s unspeakable behaviour I cannot avoid wondering whether the two above mentioned events might not be related, that is: Amazon is targeting those opposed to their homosexualist agenda and quietly eliminating them from their affiliate program to please their own internal Gaystapo.
Again, I might be too suspicious here, and in a normal world one would suppose Amazon is interested in selling books and related products first; but we don’t live in a normal world, and there is no saying whether the Gaystapo at Amazon might not manage to pursue their perverted agenda at the expense of their shareholders.
Perhaps the one or other of the readers, ideally who have shares of the company, might plant a question on the site and enquire whether Christian sites are being specifically targeted.
As for myself, I will seriously consider switching to a different system (say, Sony) when the time comes, and plan to use my Kindle exclusively for free books.
Which, I thinks, serves the faggots right.
We have had sede vacante just for a few hours, and today strange rumours have reached the Italian press. Apparently, a group of Cardinals is forming who are ready to insist that the next Pope commits himself to die in office in order for them to give him their votes.
It is difficult to see how such a promise could be made in good conscience. If the Pope knows he is going to be put in a coma and might remain in that state for five or fifteen years, should there be no abdication? If the Pope knows he has dementia, should he leave the Church without his natural leaders perhaps for a decade or more? Whom would such a mentality help, if not the Curia and the local bishops’ conferences, free to enjoy a very large autonomy for many years at a time?
Besides, if confirmed this remark seems a very thinly veiled criticism of the former (heavens, how strange it is to write it…) Pontiff, and an attempt to prescribe to a Pope how to be Pope.
I have written already and repeat today that I do not think this is a fair assessment of Pope (emeritus) Benedict’s decision; but again this is more than criticism, this is ordering around…
How very Vatican II.
Personally, if I were to talk to any Cardinal entertaining such ideas I would suggest that he and his colleagues elect a very strong Pope. A strong Pope would be the best guarantee of having someone at the top who knows how to reign, and has the guts to abdicate if he think the step appropriate; but seriously, a prescribed behaviour – particularly in so important a matter – seems to me more than a tad out of line.