Rio: Meet The Francis Lama

Only one went to Rio. All fine, then....

If you had any doubt the sober demeanour of Pope Benedict has left place to a personality cult in JP II-style, this World Fornication Day should not leave you any doubt.

The Bishop of Rome – now not the Holy Father anymore, but the Cool Uncle – is the superstar of an event in which emotion is sought for the sake of the emotion.

“Frenzied crowds” meet him in Brazil, and I wonder how many of them are simply moved by the desire to say “I was there”. The cars of the Papal motorcade moving in the middle of a crowd not kept in place by fences remind one of the Tour de France, with the ecstatic but hysteric crowds mad for their heroes, but not the faintest aim of spiritual advancement.

This is not, my dear readers, the product of a desire for spirituality. Spirituality does not lend itself well to this kind of exercise. For this reason, great Popes like Pius XII or great saints like Padre Pio have always avoided putting themselves on the front stage. Oceanic crowds are more suited to Mussolini.

In theory, one might have thought that the strategy is a promising one during JP II's pontificate, with a Pope clearly with superstar status attracting enormous crowds. But even then the shallowness of this following had to be evident to everyone with some critical thinking, and the progressive dechristianisation of the West after almost 27 years of “John Paul Superstar” should have persuaded most. It certainly persuaded Pope Benedict, a man far away from such excesses, and too intelligent to even consider them.

The clock has now been set back to the Eighties and Nineties: the new Francis Lama offers an even easier, even shallower, even easier to digest entertainment.

Like the Dalai Lama, Bishop Francis will dish cheap platitudes, rich in sugar and strictly vitamin-free. I wonder if he will mention hell or even purgatory once; I very much doubt he will even deal strongly with at least a couple of unpleasant issues, as John Paul II at least regudid.

Bishop Francis has neither John Paul's saintliness, nor Ratzinger's brain, least of all Pacelli's grit. He does not even dare to be unashamedly Pope, though you can be sure he is nobody's Fool. His marshmallow papacy will please the juvenile crowds and the shallow of spirit, and will deeply sadden all those who see Christianity sink all over the West whilst the Numero Uno cannot even admit a mistake, and accept the resignation of a scandalous sodomite. The New Humbleness is the Kool-aid for the masses thirsting for “celebrities” and easy feel-good kicks.

Bishop Francis will give them both, in spades, happily marching forwards with the cult of the Dalai Francis; perhaps thinking, like Wojtyla, that in this way he will help the work of evangelisation, and perhaps with less humble motives. But the more he goes on with his marshmallow pontificate, the more he will alienate those yearning for real nourishment. He reminds me more and more of Sandro Pertini, former Italian President; the idol of the stupid the country over, but always despised by the minority able to see beyond the smokescreen.

The Magical Humbleness Tour goes on.

Monsignor Ricca, for now, stays.




Posted on July 23, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. radjalemagnifique

    Géniale, la chute de votre article!! Félicitations pour la trouvaille : “The Magical Humbleness Tour goes on.”

    I will later put some other comment on this blog, but it will take me time, I’m thinking of it since yesterday, but I’m too slow to write in an acceptable English.

    Radja le Magnifique

    • Your English is very good, Radja.
      I mean, it’s very good for a human.
      For a tomcat, it’s absolutely astonishing… 😉


    • radjalemagnifique

      Oh, there’s no problem in expressing a humble meoh. Things go trickier when it comes to philosophical or theological matters.


  2. One thing that comes to my mind: I understand the criticisms of JPII. However, I find it interesting that Father Amorth (the well known exorcist in Rome) has said that when JPII shows up at an exorcism, the bad guys go running (so to speak).

    Fr. Amorth seems pretty level headed, and evil does not run from just anyone. So I am wondering if that suggests that maybe, while JPII was not perfect and clearly did not pull the Church back to the authenticity that it lost, that maybe he was still a very holy man in the end. Any thoughts?

  3. I was a pilgrim–of sorts–in 1999 in Santiago de Compostela during a field trip when I was finishing my Spanish degree in Spain, and I walked into the cathedral for Mass. It was insanely packed–mainly with tourists, busy chatting (throughout the Mass) or talking on their cell phones. When it came time for Communion, I made sure I was in the right line, but when there were yet several people in front of me, the priests suddenly stopped giving out Communion and headed back to the sanctuary. As I wondered why suddenly nearly everyone in the building was whipping out a camera, a huge incensor started swinging on a pulley system from one end of the cathedral to the other. That was “the show” that most of the folks in there had come for. If anyone else was outraged at not being able to receive Christ, there was no sign. It was all about the “botafumeiro,” replicas of which were sold at dozens of booths out in the plaza.
    I was disappointed and angry. Maybe I’m stretching things to see a similarity between our new “bishop of Rome” and a huge, swinging incensor (especially since I doubt he even uses incensors, though I could be wrong), but seeing the smiles and hearing variations on “Okay, we’ve done the botafumeiro thing. What’s next on our list of sensations for the day?” it’s hard not to think that many people equate faith with excitement (or just pleasing emotional experiences that happen to include token references to the “one God” we supposedly worship together). It’s depressingly empty.

    • I’d say the comparison is very apposite.

      Have you seen “The Way”, the movie about the camino de Santiago with Martin Sheen? The botafumeiro is there, too…


  4. By chance I have come upon your blog with great delight–unfortunately, I cannot get the above photo out of my brain! Trying not to vomit and at the same time eerily intrigued it is like watching a taboo and intimate car crash. There really are no words to describe…perhaps the barque has become a very small raft.

    • I see the barque as a huge ship, with no maintenance made in the last decades, largely drunken sailors, horribly unqualified captain and officers, and passengers not really knowing why they are there in the first place.

      Still, that one is the only Barque.


  5. “Marshmallow Pontificate”! A handy phrase to be sure! I can’t wait to try it out on my family.

  6. I haven’t seen “The Way,” but our library has a copy, so after we return from Oregon, I’ll be sure to check it out. 🙂

  7. “looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
    If you place a man in position for adulation what do you expect to get – wake up for the sake of our Lord his body and his mission!

  8. The Way was a good movie, but troubled me in the oversimplification of so many things. Being new to the faith, I wasn’t sure about everything in it, but it was a pretty good film on many levels. For the Catholicism, I would leave it to anyone on this thread to tell me about its success or failure.

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