Daily Archives: October 17, 2013
My views and yours about the unspeakably cowardly massacre of Via Rasella – not what you think, but the killing of three dozen unarmed Germany military in the heart of Rome, at a time when Rome was citta' aperta and military men carried no weapons to keep the Eternal City an island of peace in the midst of war; an agreement which the Axis was respecting with German exactness – and the following, not only perfectly normal but highly advisable rappresaglia according to the usually applied criteria – advisable, I mean, to avoid Rome descending in a pit of violence in Baghdad style – will possibly differ. Still, this blog is about Catholicism, not history or WW II, and I suggest to those with an enquiring mind to read the acts of the farce trial moved against Kappler & Co. after the war ended: a crystal-clear example of Siegerjustiz, and an unmitigated shame.
This, as far as the main episode – the retaliation at the Fosse Ardeatine that has divided the Italians since – is concerned.
You might, though, not necessarily know that the notorious reputation of Mr Priebke is not due exclusively to his involvement in the rappresaglia at the Fosse Ardeatine, but to his ways and character before, during and after that operation.
A violent, sadistic and extremely cruel man, Priebke was in charge of interrogations of suspected partisans or partisans' helpers. The offices in the via Tasso in Rome were the theatre of ferocious cruelty, a cruelty shocking even for the not entirely gentle standards of the SS.
Kappler tried to get rid of Priebke, a person he clearly loathed as much as everyone else; but the latter's direct link to Hitler – who knew him personally, admired him and made of him a protégé – made Priebke both untouchable and a trusted “plant” of the Führer in Rome. As a consequence, Priebke was free to torture away for as long as he was in Rome.
I am no friend of Priebke. I think he was a bastard. A cruel, evil bastard.
But I also think he was an immortal soul. I am reliably informed he died at peace with the Lord. My personal antipathy for him is nothing to do with the fact that the information we have allows us to hope – note this word well: hope – that he managed to save his immortal soul and will one day – after a purification process that I can only imagine long and painful – be allowed to enjoy the Beatific Vision.
These are the facts. They have nothing to do with our opinion of him. His priest said he repented of his sins and died at peace with The Lord, and that's that.
But no. The same people who would not think twice of allowing funerals of premeditated suicides, or of sodomites unrepentant and defiant of God's law to the very end, consider a Requiem mass for a repentant Priebke too much to ask. The same people who always go around saying “who am I to judge?” are the same who have, in fact, decided to damn this man, and that even a mass in private – note this word well: private – form is more than a Christian should allow Herr Priebke to have.
Most notably, the very same “who am I to judge?” Pope – who doesn't like to call himself such -; the man ceaselessly talking about the need to stay near to the oppressed and downtrodden; the man clearly thinking even atheists have a place in heaven provided they follow their conscience; and the man always saying that the shepherd must smell of his sheep; this very man did not find a word to say to put an end to the Requiem Mass embargo decreed by Priebke's bishop; who is, by the by, his vicar for the Diocese of Rome, a very short hop with the Ford away.
Francis can play with beach balls and football shirts all right; he can play “inclusive” when it is convenient, thinking nothing of liturgical abuse when it makes him popular; he can suavely talks of forgiveness for pretty much every unrepented sin of people from whom he wants to be liked; but when the time comes to be merciful in a very elementary way – a man who died, as we are assured from a priest, repentant of his sins – he is, as widely expected, nowhere to be found.
And so there we are. A deeply unpopular man, the Beelzebub of the Left, dies a Catholic, staying nearer the sacraments that can be said of the majority of the Italians, and of the vast majority of the mob hating him in his coffin. Who will be on the side of his immortal soul? Who will defy the rage of the mob, and do what is normal and Christian to do? Who will be on the side of the poorest of them all, the soul naked in front of her Judge? His Bishop, perhaps? The Pope, you think?
The ones who will do what is decent to do; the ones showing real Christian spirit irrespective of how unpopular this will make them are, once again, the bad, bad boys of the Society of Saint Pius X.
Once again, the SSPX shows the entire Catholic planet how to do it. Once again, the V II church shows her “pastoral attitude” and her “inclusiveness” only when it is popular and convenient, and her readiness to cave in to the wish of the mob when it isn't.
By the by, what if Priebke had been an atheist who “follows his conscience” whilst torturing? Does not Francis himself say in this case his conscience will be what decides of right and wrong? Has the man such a short memory? Or is he deaf from the uncomfortable, unpopular ear?
May the Lord have mercy for the soul of Mister Priebke, a bastard in life to whom I sincerely, sincerely wish God's mercy and all the eternal bliss I dare to hope, one day, for myself and for all of you. May the Lord also have mercy of those priests and bishops, and of that Pope, who encourage unrepentant sinners to die in their sin, but refuse a private Requiem mass to a sinner who dies repenting. And may the Lord give all of us the same shot at repentance he allowed, in his mercy, to him. And no, you don't have the right to question the man's sincerity, only God has. The priest has said he repented for his sin, that's enough for us. This is why the SSPX decided to do the right thing: right is right even when it is unpopular, wrong is wrong even when everyone applauds you for it.
Clearly, “who am I to judge” did not apply this time. It would have displeased the atheist and leftist crowd Francis loves so much. Better leave a man who dies at peace with the Lord without a funeral instead. There will be enough masses for people who haven't darkened the door of a church for seventy years. Because hey, they followed their… conscience.
The comment function is shut off. In your charity, you may consider saying three Eternal Rest for the soul of Mr Priebke instead, who – assuming his salvation, for which we have reason to hope – certainly is now in need of them.
God bless the SSPX, an island of true Catholicism in a sea of cowardice.
God bless them all.
I am slightly confused.
I am supposed to read Francis through Benedict. At the same time, I am told if I do not “tread lightly and with a smile” I might “lose everything”.
I can't imagine Benedict ever telling me I might “lose everything” unless I tread “lightly and with a smile”. I am not talking of the two different characters here, but of motives.
The very reason for Summorum Pontificum is that the Traditional Mass has never been abrogated, and must be seen as a Catholic patrimony not to be taken away from the faithful; not as an arbitrary concession that can be removed because my smile doesn't meet Francis' approval (say: because I smile like a flight assistant…).
This reasoning, if it were proved by fact, would mean I must read Francis not through Benedict, but rather through Stalin. It denies the entire “reading Francis through Benedict” exercise.
Francis can't be read through both Benedict and Stalin, depending on the convenience of the day. It's the one or the other. If it's Benedict, I have nothing to fear; if it's Stalin, it's clearly not Benedict.