Behind The Empty Chair


Fascinating hypotheses are now making the round of the Internet concerning why the Pope failed to show up at the concert giving all of (I am informed) 180 seconds’ notice.

The most intriguing I have read is the one where the smart Pope and a couple of his fedelissimi planned the … unplanned absence in order to discuss some terribly smart move whilst all the Curia men that count (and were supposed not to take part) were away listening to Ludwig.

Unfortunately, this clever explanation neglects to consider Francis is – whatever he may say himself in moments of particularly grave attacks of humble-itis – the Pope. Being the Pope, he is literally the last person on earth who has any need of this kind of manoeuvring: he can fire everyone every time he likes, can surround himself with the above mentioned fedelissimi with merely a dozen of phone calls, and can in general afford not to care a straw for the great old men of the Curia, whom he could even send to a monastery for an extended holiday en bloc if he thought they are in dire need of it.

It is, in fact, an always new source of surprise to me to what extent many people – in good faith, no doubt; and moved by a sincere love for the Church – will go to try to find explanations for what is increasingly more evident. When the Imam Dolan denies Christ, no one comments that perhaps this is a tremendously clever move to convert the Mohammedans on the sly; and when he invites Obama to a guffawing photo-op, no one says the “wolves” are plotting to let him do what he does not want to do, or that he is putting in place some wonderfully cunning plan we are too thick to even understand.

Not so for the Pontiff. What the Holy Father does must be both right and smart, and it is for us to amuse ourselves trying to discover in which wonderful way this might have happened.

Please also consider that in this occasion, as in many others, the Pope has failed to do anything to deny what is attributed to him. A Pope who can’t resist having his utterances on the media with more than worrying frequency never found the time to say two words, obviously off-the-cuff, to explain that those who die in their atheism go to hell; or that he never said it is wrong to count – nay, pray! – the Rosary.

He also did not say – at the time of writing – the one with the Renaissance Prince is not his. Nor can it be said this is an aloof, very sovereign Pope, who would never consider it appropriate to even give such denials. The Holy Father has set the “aloofness” bar basically on the ground. As one talking all the time about whatever happens to cross his mind, does he really have no time to say a word that would tranquillise good Catholics the world over? A Renaissance Prince type would, very probably, consider it beneath himself to even deny; but not the all-approachable, all-humble, black-shoed, bus-travelling, self-cooking bishop of Rome, surely?

In the meantime, I read around (I wish I remembered where) that the suite where the Pope is modestly residing is going to be renovated at the favelas-friendly price of, if memory serves, one million Euro. I have not seen the bill, mind, and the information might be wrong, or wrongly remembered. It will, in any way, be some bill. I cannot avoid thinking that to stay in the Papal apartments would have reduced the bill to nearly zero, as I cannot imagine Pope Benedict left the place in an inhabitable state, or what is good enough for Pope Benedict isn’t good enough for bishop Bergoglio.

Apparently, he moved to the Hotel in order to preserve his own sanity. Gosh, that’s an expensive modesty therapy. I doubt it will catch on in the Favelas anytime soon.

Yours truly, being a simple mind, will be therefore forgiven for thinking in a very simple way: that in this case the empty chair means his occupier simply thought it no big deal to leave it empty; that one who does not give the impression of being exactly a genius probably isn’t; that one who has the time to chat about everything under the sun but does not spend two words to reassure good Catholics about rosaries, or the simplest truths of the Faith, simply does not want to.

Call me simple. I am proud I am. If an animal walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I am so simple that to me it is a duck until you prove me it isn’t. Certainly I do not choose to see in him an eagle cleverly disguised, just because for some strange reason I think I have to.

Honestly, after the massive amount of news with which we have been confronted in the last three and a half months,it is slowly time to face the reality of a clearly inadequate Pope; a Pope completely out of his depth concerning both liturgy and theology, and made the more dangerous by his humble persuasion that he knows better than his predecessors.




Posted on June 25, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. vermontcrank1

    Pope Francis is the shiv slipped into the ribs of the Brick By Brick Bund (This is good; pain is salvific they’d claim) and he is the stake being driven into the heart of Conservative Catholicism and their response to Pope Francis’ weirdness is similar to the response they had to Ronald Wilson Reagan (Hey, six letters in each name? Hmmm) whenever that liar acted against his campaign promises – Let Reagan be Reagan – as though Reagan’s Cabinet controlled him and made him do what he did not want to do.

    Popes have universal jurisdiction and universal authority and can command a universal Pulpit whenever they desire and he can sack the lot of the Society of Sodomites infesting Rome so the conservatives are on existential quicksand when they try and shift blame and offer absurd reasons for his repeated claims of humility; he does what he wants to do and he does not do what he does not want to do. Period.

    And the same went for he who abdicated and he who preceded he who abdicated and he who preceded he who preceded he who abdicated.


    Dear Mundabor. Please keep us informed about his plans to renovate his humble apartment. It will make for some real laughs to read the rationalising in defense of it by the Brick By Brick Bund and the Conservative Collective.

    • If you arrive to the point of making comparison between Reagan and Francis because they both have six letters in their name I start to understand why you call yourself “crank”.

      For the record, if one like Reagan were to be elected Pope you’d see far more action and far less waffling.

      It is not easy to get information about the humble abode of the Pontiff, but I will try. I am particularly curious to know whether he still cooks for himself, but then complains he does not have the time for the protocol.


  2. filledelansevata12

    Have you thought that maybe Pope Francis is renovating his apartment to look like a favela?

    • Ah, that would be a brilliant idea!

      Very near to the poor. Grunge. Franciscan on steroids.

      With all that money one could buy a lot of corrugated iron, though…


  3. You don’t have much faith in the Holy Spirit, Mundabor

  4. vermontcrank1

    Dear Mundabor. My reference to Reagan and the six letters was just a wry aside; that is, it was a joke.

    As to Ronnie and his record, the less said the better; he was a joke, but then again, the job of a conservative is to consolidate the gains made by liberals.

  5. Excellent as always. When it comes to the present Pontiff I’m afraid what we are witnessing in too many of his actions is hubris not humility. We are being tested by all of this and it is painful to watch but becoming a Pollyanna is not an option for a Catholic and will never substitute for right action, that is “Ora et Labora”.

  6. To the point as always, Mundabor.

    Your response above had me re-read the linked post from the time of the conclave, where you state “I am very scared of another Pope chosen because of his holiness, without looking too hard to whether he has the character to lead a vast apparatus, and to be a King rather than a monk”.

    My concern 3 months in is that we have neither: not a king, not a monk, not an administrator (he tells us), not a liturgist, not a theologian, not a restorationist, not a disciplinarian, not a diplomat, not an orator, not a canon lawyer, not a catechist, not an aesthete; neither soldier nor scholar nor contemplative mystic. Which begs the question as to who exactly we been delivered. And why.

    To the comment above that those with such concerns do not have much faith in the Holy Ghost, let me say that I have absolute faith in His workings – I just don’t believe that we are not presently in a time of terrible and well-deserved chastisement. Think just briefly of the hundreds of millions of children of the apostate VII generation who will – in the absence of a miraculous and rapid end to all of this – surely die outside of the Faith, and ask yourself if Francis, or any other than a small handful of his Bishops, is up to the task.

    The answer is beyond clear.


    • Very well said.

      As to the Holy Ghost, the nonsense someone spread would be blasphemous if it wasn’t, more probably, the result of ignorance and slow perception.


  7. “Is the Pope Catholic?” is no longer a joke. Last I heard, pride was a sin.

  8. Mundabor,

    Do you get Church Militant TV on the web? Michael Voris had a minute & a half breaking news segment at about 8:30 Roman time. Supposedly, Pope Francis called some sort of emergency meeting and an awful lot of Cardinals were NOT welcome. Rumor is he is getting ready to “sweep the Vatican” clean. Have you heard anything along these lines?

    Here is the link:

    I have a free account.

    Let me know what you think.

    • Hello Brenda,
      the link leads to a sort of “adv”.
      Can you tell me the title of the video in question?
      I have the free account too…


  9. The CM video is at this link:

    From what I heard, it’s mostly based on rumors–which are based on the fact that many cardinals were excluded from this emergency meeting, and we don’t know why.

    Don’t know if or when we’ll get to find out more. Cleaning house would probably be a good idea, but I’ve no idea which cardinals were excluded. If he does sweep a bunch of cardinals out of the Curia, may God help him to sweep out the right ones.

  10. vermontcrank1

    I don’t know how many Cardinals are in the Curia but I fear Pope Francis has replacements for the Cardinals already identified who will do his will; and his will, as he has made known repeatedly, is to make the Church poorer and his will is indifference to a Sacred and Solemn Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and a commitment to religious indifferentism.

    As Pope, he will increase the Catholic Church’s intensity of our inertia into indifferentism and he will increase the rapidity of the razing of the bastions.

    The Brick By Brick Bund and the Conservative Catholic Collective will try to paint this coming Curial Reform as a positive act but if you think this Pope is going to make positive reforms then you have not been paying attention to what he has been doing; the replacements for the Cardinals will be chosen to do his will – and his will is to conecretise the revolutionary gains initiated at V2.

  11. Hat dies auf sycomorus rebloggt und kommentierte:
    Sede Vacante?

  12. Mundabor, I was looking to find how much the Papal suite renovations cost (never did find it), and found a link with some pics of Santa Martha Hotel. This does not seem humble to me at all but maybe it is for Papal standards. Is this where he’s living?

    • No idea, Linda.

      I do not doubt that in themselves, the rooms in the new papal suite must be far less luxurious than the papal apartment.

      But this is not my point.

      If being “humble” causes a considerable expense that would have not been incurred by living in the Papal Apartments, then I wonder what has become of the words we use.


  13. I see what you mean. Putting “choice” up front with an option to be considered “humble”…. When I heard he was living in a hotel, I thought “Holiday Inn”. Wonder how much the Papal hotel costs? At $100/day, that would be $36,500/year, and the his hotel is obviously not that cheap, when he could have used the Papal Apartments at minimal cost.

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