Daily Archives: April 13, 2013

The Papal Star Chamber, Or: Eight Little Popes

The Pontiff has announced a new Super-Duper “Star Chamber”, composed of eight members, to help him remake the Curia.

One is Cardinal Marx of Munich, sadly an appointment of Pope Benedict. What kind of chap he is, you can read here.

Then there is Cardinal Maradiaga. I do not know him, but a friend of this blog comments on him here. You will need a strong stomach. At least I’m glad the Cardinal is no homo…

Cardinal O’Malley is too well-known. I have never written a post dedicated to him. It’s the liver, you see. 

Cardinal Pell is largely fine, though I have read horrible things about him too. He was probably chosen because in the “quota” of Oceania, of which I think he is the only Cardinal.

I do not know any of the others.

The eight will counsel the Pope about how to reform the Curia. First meeting in October, but probably documents will start being exchanged before that date. 

If this were Pope Pius XII, I’d say he is merely creating a group of competent helpers.

But as this is not Pope Pius XII, I’d say he is trying to create the precedent that whenever the Pope impinges in the extraordinary administration, he shows “collegiality”.

I do not doubt, though, in the end they’ll decide what he decides. My impression is that this Pope is collegial in theory, and autocratic in practice.



One Month Later

The new Vatican flag was not everyone’s cup of tea.



And so one month has gone, and this Papacy is assuming, slowly but certainly, a clearer contour.

Insisted populism; an exaggerated attention to “the poor” that tends to obscure the Afterlife, and a show of “poverty” within the Church redolent of medieval pauperism, but with the helicopter trips; the search for popular gestures (the embrace of the poor chap in the wheelchair; cameras clearly there); a desire for novelty and simplicity that does not even stop in front of liturgical abuses, and certainly encourages them; a very questionable intention to put a person (Francis) rather than an office (the Papacy) at the forefront; very possibly, the intention to undermine – or shall we say, rethink; which is the same – the role of the Papacy. A strong and self-willed character, needing exterior expressions of “humility” to hide the fact that he knows what he wants, and will take care to execute his program. Importantly, a Pope with a questionable past: not in his alleged collaboration with the military dictatorship – which isn’t proven, and is probably bollocks – but in atrocious liturgical abuses before his election – which is proven, and for everyone to see who has eyes – or, most recently, in his alleged attempt to steer Argentina towards “civil partnerships” so that sodomitical so-called marriage may be avoided.

At the same time, a man who seems to sincerely believe in God, and appears devout to the Blessed Virgin; who will have his Pontificate consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima; who seems, at least in general and in theory, to be very outspoken in his style of communication; at times outspoken in a pleasantly shocking way, though never so outspoken that he would attack the Pelosi or Biden of the world, or that he said one single word against Sodomarriage when almost every week another Parliament capitulates in front of abomination (two only since he became Pope).

This Pope reminds one of John Paul II on steroids, and if you think this is a compliment you are reading the wrong blog. We see – accentuated – many of the elements of that Papacy: personality cult, kumbaya liturgical preferences, Vatican II doublespeak (Truth must be said whole; which clearly does not apply to Jews, or Muslims), and obsessive media attention (cameras when he embraces the man in the wheelchair; cameras during his “private” Mass with very public liturgical abuses; every gesture amplified and used for propaganda purposes, like the phone call to the newsagent).

One month later, we cannot know whether this man will plunge the Papacy in the gravest crisis in the history of the Church. He seems to be a sincere believer, but then again John XXII most certainly was, but he almost plunged the Church into Sedevacantism. Pope Francis also seems devout to the Blessed Virgin, but the strong Marian faith never prevented JP II from kissing the Koran (an act possibly excused by his not being compos mentis) or allowing the blasphemous abominations of two Assisi gatherings (acts without any possible excuse), or implying a modification or “evolution” of Church Teaching concerning the Capital Punishment and the Doctrine of War, or again letting it appear that he has apologised for the Crusades.

Therefore, knowing that he might well have good intentions – and we want to sincerely believe this – is in itself not very reassuring, then his faith seems to be steeped in an embarrassing liturgical – and very probably, theological, if the allegations about Sodomarriage are true – ignorance, coupled with a self-willed attitude which lets liturgical abuses appear to him like mere signs of novelty.

The Blessed Virgin will, it is to be hoped, help him to avoid the worst mistakes, and I shudder at thinking what could become of this unfortunate papal choice if the Holy Father did not have this encouraging trait. What is fairly certain is that we have been plunged back in the Seventies: the old hippies will be pleased, but the Church of Christ will most surely suffer.

We will remember Benedict’s years as a gust of fresh wind in the staleness of the post- V II years; or I should better say fresh air, then “wind” is too much to describe his half-hearted, at all times indecisive style.

In fact, it is fair – though unpleasant – to say that the first responsible for the present situation and the at least partial demise of the “reform of the reform” is the Pontiff Emeritus himself, as is most evidently proven by his appointment of around 60 of the 115 Cardinals who elected Francis. It is, methinks, a fitting punishment that Pope Benedict lives to see the demolition – he is an intelligent man; he understands what is happening all right – of his work.

The “hermeneutic of vulgarity” is upon us, and tons of televised molasses are going to descend from the Vatican hill whilst perversion advances all over the West undisturbed. Undisturbed? I am afraid so, as open confrontation in fact does not seem to match the narrative; the promotion of the “product” Church (or rather, Pope) being rather the priority.

Quick, find me a bus and a wheelchair.


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