Daily Archives: May 30, 2013
One of the two men who savagely butchered Lee Rigby in Woolwich (yours truly has reported) made a first appearance in court today. In an astonishing show of the level of stupidity now reigning among us, even the newspapers call him “suspect”. There is, in fact, the suspicion that the two men who remained near the man they had just butchered, inviting passers-by to take videos of their feat, might be involved in the fact; but we don’t know, of course. We merely suspect it.
This utter failing of common sense and sane judgment instantly reminded me of another phenomenon familiar to all Catholics: the near-inevitability of salvation. I wonder how many would dare to say today that a sane person shooting himself in the head without one of those very rare, extenuating circumstances to do so (say: the general who knows he will be tortured and executed after his imminent capture) has shot himself to hell with an extremely high degree of probability. Perhaps, they reason, in the time between the pulling of the trigger and the bullet entering his head, whilst the bullet was in full charge towards its aim, the man repented of his act, saying to himself “oh shoot, I shouldn’t have done this! Forgive me, Blessed Virgin!”.
Several examples can be made that are not dissimilar from this one, and you have certainly heard yours. No sane person can make a bomb of himself, and therefore if he does he must not be considered evil, merely confused. Infidels of all kind “love God”, so they must be fine, must they not? Even atheists who “do good” are, we are given to understand, very well placed.
So, who remains? Those who do good are saved because they do good; those who do evil are saved because they don’t know what they do; in the middle there’s no one (Hitler perhaps; or George W Bush) because hey, everyone loves his dog.
Which leads us nicely to the starting point: blindness. The same blindness making us even unable to call day light butchers boasting of their inhuman cruelty “suspects” of what they have done.
If the two claim they’re innocent, this trial will become very strange indeed.
Be assured the trial of the one who, knowing what he does, shoots himself isn’t.
Whilst it is very sad to have to comment again and again on the Pope’s words, I think it is worth doing, because the careless words of the Holy Father have become such a common occurrence that without any reaction we will drown in a tidal wave of novel thinking without even noticing.
in the times of the young Roman republic, marriages were made with the two family clans meeting very publicly in two groups standing in front of each other, and the pater familias (the head of the clan) of the bridegroom’s family again very publicly physically seizing the girl from her side and bringing her to his family’s side. The lack of reaction of the bride’s side was meant to show to the community the seizing happened with their consent. This “taking with the hand”, in Latin manu capere, became in time known as mancipio, that is, the taking of a person under the authority and dominion of another person.
Conversely, to be freed from another’s authority or dominion (to “take away from the hand”, ex manu capere) became in time known as emancipatio.
Therefore, a man (or woman) says to his day that he is emancipated, or has emancipated himself, to signify that he is not subject anymore to some authority of the past.
Exactly this is the meaning of the Pope’s words, who gave Monsignor Marini a true Judas’ kiss by saying that he decided to keep him – notwithstanding the suggestions of some – in order for the old to coexist with the new; though he, Francis, is, rather, emancipated in his liturgical vision.
It astonishes me that so many commenters would see and report the Pope’s words as good news. On the contrary, the Pontiff’s very choice of this word – emancipation – shows an ill-concealed contempt for the Mass of the Ages, seen as the dominion and authority of an old way of thinking from which he, the Pope, has freed himself.
The words of appreciation for Monsignor Marini, and the vague references to the old being also, in some way, worthy of existence are of little consolation, when the Pontiff in the same breath so bluntly shows his liturgical colours. I have difficulties in imagining even Paul VI of disastrous memory express himself in such a way, though undoubtedly the thinking was pretty much the same. Much less can I imagine Pope Benedict expressing himself thus during his reign.
You might say that this was a spontaneous, careless remark, to which we should not attach undue importance. I reply that it is exactly this kind of spontaneous talk that best reveals how a man thinks. Let us say it once again: the Pontiff considers the Traditional Mass the expression of an old liturgical thinking, from whose dominion and authority he has freed himself. The Pinocchio Masses, the puppets moving around, the crucifixes where Christ seems to be on holiday: this is his way of understanding the liturgy.
Nor there is any indication that having Marini near him will do much good. The Trinity Sunday Mass just celebrated is, if you allow the neologism, as Un-Marinian as they come, bar the Pinocchio & Co. Make no mistake, as Pope Francis “feels” himself into his new role his Masses will become worse, not better.
So there we are, with a Pope proclaiming his “emancipation” from, erm, pretty much the entire liturgical history of the Church whilst, ever the Jesuit, paying some lip service to it. He might not attack the TLM openly, because he does not seem sufficiently interested in such a fight and because an open confrontation on such heavy matters would expose his limitations in liturgical matters at the very least, leaving aside that modern Jesuits aren’t the born warriors anyway; but the hostility is clearly there in the thinking, if not yet openly in the acting.
Whence the end of such a liturgical – and not only liturgical – misery may come is beyond what I can rationally think. Expect Pope Francis’ appointments of bishops and cardinals to have pretty much the same quality as his liturgy, with the results we can easily imagine.
The only way out I can see is the Holy Ghost coming to our help and either radically changing this Pope’s ways, or providing for a big surprise when the time or the next conclave comes. It is true that the Cardinals, and not the Holy Ghost, elect the Pope, but it is also true that when the appointed time comes the Holy Ghost can move them in secret ways to pave the way for one reversing the current situation of fast degradation of Catholic patrimony, including but not limited to liturgical matters. Pope Bergoglio certainly won’t improve the average quality of a college of cardinals already able to elect him, so there you are…
I will not hold my breath waiting for improvements. My impression is that the Church is being punished, and there is no saying when this will end. A noted theologian – who then became Pope – wisely remarked that when the Bride behaved particularly badly, the Bridegroom disciplined Her with some dire affliction. The Great Schism in 1054, the heresies of the XVI Century, perhaps also the temporary obliteration of the Catholic Church from a very secularised France in the wake of the French Revolution can be seen as examples of this.
We are being punished. The utter madness of the “springtime of the Church” triggered the present decay; both in an earthly, practical, causal way and in a more general way, as Divine Punishment as just consequence of the arrogance of clergy – and countless followers – thinking they could reinvent Catholicism and make it sexy, easy, popular, and outright comfortable.
We are being punished, and deservedly so. Not for the first time in the history of the Church, or the last.
When one live in times of “emancipated” Popes, the only way is to cling the more firmly to the received Truth, and renew one’s efforts of prayer.
In your charity, pray for the Pontiff, too.
Reblog of the day
Dear reader, if you are a non-Catholic you have probably heard a lot of nonsense about indulgences and if you are a cradle Catholic you might not have heard anything at all. I will try here to give you some compact information about what Indulgences are and why they are so important in the life of a Catholic. If you want more detailed information you’ll find it here.
To understand the indulgences you must realise that sins demand – even after they have been forgiven – a temporal punishment. When the sin was forgiven the soul was cleansed, but the necessity for the punishment remained. You can make a parallel with everyday life by thinking that if by parking on the street you damage your neighbour’s car, you or your insurance will be expected to pay for the damage even after your neighbour has wholeheartedly accepted your excuses.
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If you click at Father Z’s blog, you will find a wonderful sermon from the Archbishop of Ferrara, Luigi Negri.
It is as blunt as an Italian Archbishop can ever be; the remark with the ecclesiastical tribunal is very telling.
We do not know whether the “Franciscan simplicity” will impact the Traditional Mass, but this is one Archbishop on the right side.
As an aside, you could do worse than considering Ferrara in your next Italian holiday. One of the most beautiful places on earth (think Siena without the hills), Ferrara with his huge historic centre (it was probably the biggest city in Europe at the beginning of the XVI Century) will leave you speechless and breathless.
A city blessed with so much beauty is now also blessed with a staunch and very blunt defender of the Traditional Mass.