The Popes, The Fool And The Stubborn

The Holy Father was desperately trying to read the writing of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Father was desperately trying to read the handwriting of the Holy Ghost.

We offer this mass for him [Benedict XVI], so that the Lord be with him, confort him, and give him great consolation. … The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit. Think of Pope John: he looked like a good parish priest, and he was obedient to the Holy Spirit, and he did that. But, after 50 years, have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of the growth of the Church that the Council was? No. We celebrate this anniversary, we make a monument, but do not bother. We do not want to change. And there is more: there are calls [voci, also ‘voices’] wanting to move back. This is called being stubborn, this is called wanting to tame the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming fools and slow of heart.


Daily mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae – homily

April 16, 2013

This is part of a short homily, not translated in its entirety, and therefore the context is not entirely clear.

It’s already everywhere, so I will spend two words of comment.

“Have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the council”?

There are two unwarranted assumptions here:

1) that the Holy Spirit told “us” anything at the Council (possibly, “shut up”. Or “for shame”. Or “I will make sure your arrogance is punished”. Or “There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth”. I am not sure, though. Probably he just didn’t say anything…), and

2) that we must also do “everything” the Holy Spirit told us. Now let me check the list: we have the butter, salt, milk, can you see if we also need the flour?

Up to here, it’s madness of the Seventies at its worst, and it shows once again why we have every reason to be scared this Pope will make a lot of damage.

But truly, apart from the reference to the “Holy Ghost” giving one the homework there isn’t much here. One can’t say it is addressed at the SSPX, or at the Traditionalists, at all. Actually, one can exactly in the same way think it is addressed to the LCWR, who would “go back” to the “revolutionary” nu-church of the Seventies and refuse the “continuity” with the pre-conciliar Church.

The LCWR had a big smackdown yesterday, this might well have been in the Pope’s mind.

This Pope generally hasn’t a problem in telling what he thinks, again yesterday’s slap in the LCWR’s face was eloquent enough. When he wants to criticise the SSPX, I am sure he will do them the courtesy of doing it openly. He will also get from them, absolutely free of charge, a good lesson in Catholic doctrine and liturgy, so I am not surprised he is silent about them at least for now.

I invite my three readers to worry more about the very real liturgical abuses of this Pope than of every possible interpretation of his words in a partial translation of a short homily.

Still, this is one who thinks the Holy Ghost left him a “to do” list after the Council. Unless he means the list was titled “dismantle absolutely everything and don’t even think of doing it again”, he can certainly use our prayers.



Posted on April 16, 2013, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. radjalemagnifique

    Here is the whole text in Italian. Though not every one speaks Italian, it could be useful for those who understand a little to have it reproduced here.

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    Home > Chiesa > notizia del 2013-04-16 11:15:30

    Il Papa: Concilio, opera dello Spirito Santo, ma c’è chi vuole andare indietro. Messa dedicata a Benedetto XVI

    Lo Spirito Santo spinge le persone e la Chiesa stessa ad andare avanti ma noi opponiamo resistenza e non vogliamo cambiare: è quanto ha affermato il Papa stamani durante la Messa presieduta nella Cappellina di Casa Santa Marta, alla presenza di alcuni dipendenti del Governatorato. Hanno concelebrato il cardinale Giuseppe Bertello, presidente del Governatorato, e il patriarca latino di Gerusalemme Fouad Twal. Ce ne parla Sergio Centofanti:

    Oggi è il compleanno di Benedetto XVI, compie 86 anni, e Papa Francesco lo ricorda all’inizio della Messa:

    “Offriamo la Messa per lui, perché il Signore sia con lui, lo conforti e gli dia molta consolazione”.

    Nell’omelia commenta la prima lettura del giorno: ci parla del martirio di Santo Stefano che prima di essere lapidato annuncia la Risurrezione di Cristo, ammonendo i presenti con parole forti: “Testardi! Voi opponete sempre resistenza allo Spirito Santo”. Stefano ricorda quanti hanno perseguitato i profeti e dopo averli uccisi gli hanno costruito “una bella tomba” e solo dopo li hanno venerati. Anche Gesù – osserva il Papa – rimprovera i discepoli di Emmaus: “Stolti e lenti di cuore a credere in tutto ciò che hanno detto i profeti!”. “Sempre, anche tra noi” – rileva il Pontefice – “c’è quella resistenza allo Spirito Santo”:

    “Per dirlo chiaramente: lo Spirito Santo ci dà fastidio. Perché ci muove, ci fa camminare, spinge la Chiesa ad andare avanti. E noi siamo come Pietro nella Trasfigurazione: ‘Ah, che bello stare così, tutti insieme!’ … ma che non ci dia fastidio. Vogliamo che lo Spirito Santo si assopisca … vogliamo addomesticare lo Spirito Santo. E quello non va. Perché Lui è Dio e Lui è quel vento che va e viene e tu non sai da dove. E’ la forza di Dio, è quello che ci dà la consolazione e la forza per andare avanti. Ma: andare avanti! E questo da fastidio. La comodità è più bella”.

    Oggi – ha proseguito il Papa – sembra che “siamo tutti contenti” per la presenza dello Spirito Santo, ma “non è vero. Questa tentazione ancora è di oggi. Un solo esempio: pensiamo al Concilio”:

    “Il Concilio è stato un’opera bella dello Spirito Santo. Pensate a Papa Giovanni: sembrava un parroco buono e lui è stato obbediente allo Spirito Santo e ha fatto quello. Ma dopo 50 anni, abbiamo fatto tutto quello che ci ha detto lo Spirito Santo nel Concilio? In quella continuità della crescita della Chiesa che è stato il Concilio? No. Festeggiamo questo anniversario, facciamo un monumento, ma che non dia fastidio. Non vogliamo cambiare. Di più: ci sono voci che vogliono andare indietro. Questo si chiama essere testardi, questo si chiama voler addomesticare lo Spirito Santo, questo si chiama diventare stolti e lenti di cuore”.

    Succede lo stesso – aggiunge il Papa – “anche nella nostra vita personale”: infatti, “lo Spirito ci spinge a prendere una strada più evangelica”, ma noi resistiamo. Questa l’esortazione finale: “non opporre resistenza allo Spirito Santo. E’ lo Spirito che ci fa liberi, con quella libertà di Gesù, con quella libertà dei figli di Dio!”:

    “Non opporre resistenza allo Spirito Santo: è questa la grazia che io vorrei che tutti noi chiedessimo al Signore: la docilità allo Spirito Santo, a quello Spirito che viene da noi e ci fa andare avanti nella strada della santità, quella santità tanto bella della Chiesa. La grazia della docilità allo Spirito Santo. Così sia”.


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    Testo proveniente dalla pagina,_opera_dello_spirito_santo,_ma_cè_chi_vuole_andar/it1-683211
    del sito Radio Vaticana

    “Ci sono voci” (che vogliono andare indietro), my dictionaries say : 1) there are voices ; 2) there are rumours [that we may return etc.]

    By the way : I remember the Holy Father Benedict XVI speaking of the Holy Spirit during Concile, and that was curiously just before the last Concile, He said (I cite from heart having not the time to search for the authentic text), that was on Radio Vatican) : “The Holy Spirit is present there in a Conclave. But He doesn’t exercice any authority/force upon the cardinals assembled in Conclave. He just gives them indications, but the cardinals assembled have their own freedom of decision. They can decide not to follow the indications of the Holy Spirit, but just follow their own wishes.” (Please look for the right translation on Radio Vatican.)

    So : it seems to me that Pope Francis has not been interested in what our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had said about Concils.

    Radja le Magnifique

    • “Ci sono voci” means in normal parlance “there are those who think”. I think most translations rend the meaning rather well.

      I also do not see a fundamental difference int he two Popes: both are wrong in that they think the disaster of Vatican II, a true work of Satan, was inspired by the Holy Ghost (crisis of vocations, one hundred thousand priests left the habit, most religious orders on their knees, mass attendance plummeted, and aggressive secularisation of the West: really, they have no excuses), and both of them think they must go forward intelligently in that direction. If you ask me, Pope Francis, who is clearly stuck in the Seventies, merely loves to use a more “imaginative” language than the more measured, but still flawed, Benedict.


  2. Mundabor,
    proudly counting myself among your “three” readers, I agree insofar as the liturgical abuse and the open defiance of Church law (and the “civil unions” and the silence that speaks volumes on life issues, and so on for hours) as exhibited by the Pope are much worse than some off-the-cuff sermon he preaches in a weekday Mass. Having said that, the sermon is still quite telling. It is one of the many bricks in the rather consistent wall of straightforward neo-modernism and progressivism the Pope has started to build. Given the framework of what we already know about him, the message is utterly clear and not in any special need of complex interpretation.

    Having read the Italian original of the report Rorate is translating (link over there), I can say that there is, of course, some context to be added, but nothing that changes the basic meaning of the words spoken by Pope Francis. He is talking about resistance against the Holy Spirit in a homily on the martyrdom of Stephen as recounted in the first reading of the Novus Ordo lectionary. He also gives a reason why there is resistance against the Holy Spirit, and let me quote the original:

    “Per dirlo chiaramente: lo Spirito Santo ci dà fastidio. Perché ci muove, ci fa camminare, spinge la Chiesa ad andare avanti.”

    Andare avanti – going forward. That is what, according to Francis, the Holy Spirit wants of us. In plain English: Progress has become the goal of the Holy Spirit. But progress in which direction? Where are we to go? The Pope explains this using the example of Vatican II. He expresses the standard progressive theory of the Council rather succinctly, clearly and intelligently (as we have come to expect of him – he is, after all, a quite intelligent man). The Council was a wonderful event in the history of the Church in which the Holy Spirit called for serious changes. But there were some who resisted the Holy Spirit, who did not want to change. They wanted to domesticate him. They were stuck in the past, and now they want to return to the time before the Council.

    There really is no plausible way of reading this as an indictment of the postconciliar heresies. It is just a hymn of praise for the one and only Council that is still relevant for the modern Church and a harsh attack against any and all who do not wish to toe the line that the one and only Council was completely inspired by the Holy Spirit and is as such utterly infallible.

    Those reactionaries are even called fools (stolti).

    Thank you, Holy Father, for saying what you think of the Tradition of the Church you are called to defend! Not that we did not already know this from your rush to break down what is left of said Tradition on matters more important than some weekday sermon.

    Oh Lord, let me be a fool for Christ!

    • Catocon,

      I have the Italian from the Radio Vaticana site (also an excerpt), and still can’t see why you are so sure. The idea that the Holy Ghost moves the Church to go forward does not mean at all that this change must be a doctrinal one – actually, it could never be – and as a result, the reading of those who want to go back is, if you ask me, perfectly applicable to the “Spirit of V II” crowd of the past.

      It would also be rather singular that the Pope would promote a kind of “permanent revolution” in the same homily in which he remembers Pope Benedict, a Pope who can certainly not be seen as sharing these ideas (though he obviously isn;t entirely orthodox, either).

      Also, he was speaking to an audience of employees of the Curia. The implications of his homily might also be read from this background (= we are going to make changes; it’s going to hurt; but hey, it’s the Holy Ghost who commands us to do it…).

      That he will continue the waffle with V II and the Holy Ghost, I do not doubt. That he will take the “undone homework” as a pretext for theological devastation, I don’t think is realistic.


  3. Mundabor,
    the problem with your reading of the text is, we do in fact know this man rather well. Of course, one can read this sermon in the way you seem to do. One can also read Vatican II in “continuity” with Tradition if one wishes. But was that the intention of those who wrote the texts? Well, we can see that from what they did and supported after the Council. In the same way we see what Bergoglio did before he became Pope and what he is doing since he took the name of Francis. He is systematically demolishing what is left of the Primate of Peter. He is utterly silent on the most urgent moral issues, unlike even John Paul II. His theology is straight out of the books of Walter Kasper, compared to whom Müller is a paragon of orthodoxy. I could continue to add to the list for weeks if necessary.

    I prefer to read the words of Pope Francis first and foremost in utter continuity with everything else he has done and still does, because that is the way to understanding the intention of his words.

    But even if we exclude every reference to Pope Francis and to his deeds before and after his election, and read the text word for word, sentence by sentence, just searching for the obvious literal meaning of it, we still get to a few clear conclusions about what its author thinks:
    1. Vatican II was a wonderful and truly great event that was in its entirety inspired by the Holy Spirit and is therefore in its entirety infallible doctrine of the Church.
    2. There is no mention of any need to understand this council in accordance with Tradition. On the contrary, the council has not been implemented as the Holy Spirit wishes, because there are some fools who resist progress.
    3. The spirit of Vatican II is clearly identified with the Holy Spirit. What was done in the spirit of Vatican II is seen as a work of the Holy Spirit and is therefore – with logical necessity – a work of God, because the Holy Spirit is God.
    4. Resistance to the council and its spirit is resistance to the Holy Spirit, resistance to God.

    This is, even in its literal meaning, without any knowledge of Pope Francis, a rather radical progressivist interpretation of the Council. With Pope Francis, we have the works to match the words, which makes the intention even clearer. There is a reason this Pope is Küng’s hero. In the end, the Church will prevail, but the end may well be many centuries away.

    • I understand where you come from, Catocon, but I am sure he considers he is now Pope and will, to an extent, get in gear.

      if you consider the treatment of the LCWR, we can clearly see this is one of the issues where he could have signalled some opening, perhaps not a dramatic one to start, but a changing perspective. I think we can clearly say there wasn’t any.

      Yes, he might use the “resistance to the Holy Spirit” argument, but always starting from what he thinks is the homework left by the Holy Spirit.

      Kueng will be disappointed, I think. The nuns already got the message, he will get it in time. He just needs the time to say he’s wrong.


  4. Mundabor,
    if there is one thing, Archbishop Müller has always been solid on, it is upholding the current discipline and structures of the modern Church against both traditionalists and radical modernists. If you do not accept the line of the postconciliar magisterium, you’ve got problems with Müller. The LCWR are getting a taste of what this means. Pope Francis has apparently endorsed the line of his predecessor, probably for the same reason. Francis honestly believes in God and in all the teachings of the postconciliar Church. If he came to see the value and truth of Traditional Catholicism, he would be the best Pope the Church has had since the death of Pius XII. Francis is strong, intelligent and not easily fooled. But he is blind regarding the Council and everything that followed from it. (The question then becomes whether he is truly blind or just chooses not to see.)

    Of course Küng will be disappointed, because Francis actually believes in God and he also believes in the reality of sin and the devil. He often talks about the devil with a clarity unheard of since Vatican II. But he really seems to think the Council was a wonderful thing inspired by the Holy Spirit for the salvation of souls. He is truly convinced that the Church of the last fifty years is exactly on the right course, just not forceful enough. More needs to be done, but more in the same direction.

    Although my comments about Francis are very negative and at times even harsh, I am actually rather impressed with the man. He appears to have everything a good Pope needs – strength, faith, devotion to Mary, clarity of speech, willingness to act and so on. He also knows how to play to the media by creating situations that are difficult to spin against the Church. All these would be great assets if he were committed to restoring Catholic Tradition. The problem is, however, that he is committed to destroying it, even if he does so while believing to be defending the Church from reactionary attackers.

    • If he decided he wants to be a good Pope, he would be a great Pope.. 😉

      I think the real question here is whether he understands the old ways of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires must die if he wants to be a good Pope. We will never get rid of the post-conciliar rubbish – a huge minus – but we might get an effective, strong soldier for Christ.

      Or not, as the case may be. Have you noticed he talks a lot about the devil when no one is offended, and hasn’t said a word about sodomarriage legislation now being approved by Parliaments all over the world?


  5. The comments about the devil might be something of a novelty as recent popes go,
    but plenty of Protestant ministers will say as much or more about the snares of the devil. Why do we hear nothing that might remind Catholics–and shake up both the self-professed Protestants and Protestant-minded–of the fact that Christ founded ONE Church and ONE true religion, the others being false and ruinous to the soul? Why do we still only get a few tiny scraps thrown in our direction from the Pope’s table now and then while the enemies of the Catholic Church are flattered and feasted?

    • Very well said.
      In fact, we live in a world where every trace of the Pope being Catholic is taken as a success, and aproof he is working effectively. “he has said “devil”! He has said “devil” again!”, we rejoice, whilst another country passes homosexual “marriage” legislation…


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