Daily Archives: November 5, 2013
From the starry sky to the working of viruses, this world shows an astonishing degree of coherent complication. This complication is present absolutely, and I mean absolutely everywhere around us, to the extent that the most sophisticated technology still couldn't reproduce the miracles happening in a small plant, or in a blade of grass.
Even today, in the century that has decided it is fine for a man to “marry” another man, no technology can recreate the miracle of natural hair, and when someone wants to have a transplant he must take his own hair from somewhere else and have it planted on his head. His own hair, mind; not some hair made by DuPont.
Similarly, no technology has allowed to create anything similar to one of the most astonishing among the countless miracles of nature: the human skin. No sophisticated military technology will be able to give you a new synthetic skin if your natural one is gravely harmed. The astonishing ability of the skin to self-heal is something every child can observe and, in fact, admire.
The sun, the others stars and the immensity of the universe, the hair, the skin. You can add whatever you want to it, the list would be practically infinite. Everywhere around us, the smallest and most banal things have a degree of sophistication unknown to the most advanced R & D departments of this world, and the biggest go beyond what we can even normally imagine.
It we were able to really see it, this world of wonder clearly present in the vastness and harmony of the skies, and still very visible in the commonly observed animal and vegetal kingdom around us, would show itself to us even in the realm of the very little, of the very small particles with an extremely high degree of sophistication. Your white and red globules perform wonders every day, though you don't see them. No effort of technology would be able to replace your eye. Apple itself would never be in a position, no matter how much money they threw into it, to give you something as seemingly insignificant as a new pancreas. In fact, Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer, which goes to show the little human cells in his body were still stronger than all the money medical research – and a tycoon fighting for his very life – can throw at them; therefore, the tycoon will have to die of them at 56 even if he has “CEO, Apple Inc.” written on his business card.
Everything in creation shows an amount of sophistication unknown to human achievement. Still, whilst human achievement is the result of the continuous effort of countless generations, all this – the Milky Way and the plants, the eye and the pancreas – should have been created by… coincidence, and at the same time – which is even more absurd and even more stupid – something should have been created from nothing.
Let me think. If an atheist comes back home and find it devastated, he does not think that the devastation was born out of a strange, rare, but still thinkable sudden and coincidental rearrangement of cells. He knows perfectly well that the door is broken because a force was applied to it; that the safe has been taken away because intelligent beings carried it out; and that there was a planned intention to break in his home in a certain way and at a certain hour, spend so and so much time looking for certain particularly desired loot, and go away before the police arrives.
It you were to tell the atheist “perhaps your safe has rearranged itself in a perfectly casual way disappearing in the ether, and the sudden rearrangement has caused all the mess in your house” he would not consider your theory for a split second. He would rather answer: “are you drunk? Safes do not casually rearrange themselves into the ether! There are laws of physics governing this! Safes do not appear and disappear in a home unless someone bring them in, and takes them out!”.
Well, exactly. There are laws of physics, and of logic. Both are universally observed. They say that nothing comes out of nothing, that there is an agent force behind every action, and that if something isn't it cannot also be, and vice versa. Safes do not magically appear out of nothing. Universes do exactly the same. They are also wonderfully coherent, these universes and the laws that regulate them, and of ubiquitous application. Not casual at all, then.
It is surprising to me that people you would otherwise call intelligent do not get such simple things. It's as if they had decided to suddenly become completely stupid. And the greatest stupidity is that they are unable to apply to God the same logic they themselves continuously apply to the reality they see around them, and would never question or tolerate to see questioned in every other circumstance. Alas, people don't study logic anymore. Nowadays, even the basic notion that nothing comes out of nothing is more than they can grasp. But hey, we have retina screens on our toys, so we must be living in an age of intelligence and progress.
Of course, at the root of the problem is not sheer stupidity, but pride; the pride that will be, unless they repent and see the light, the atheists' fall. Pride seems to have an easier game with somewhat intelligent people, but I have seen it work on stupid people to great effect, too.
Still, there can be no excuse for refusing to see a reality as big and evident as the Universe, and the foolishness of this must be in direct proportion to the consequences attached to it.
Which is why atheists are, however smart at making retina screens, in the end the dumbest of them all.
One would gladly ask the feminist and effeminate troops now rumouring for a female Cardinal what they make of St. Catherine of Siena, who reached a position of great influence with Pope Gregory XI; an influence so great, in fact, that she is largely credited with the latter's decision to bring the Papacy back to Rome.
Why wasn't she a Cardinal, the effeminate crowds will ask? Sexual discrimination? Bad breath? Allergy to the famed Roman cats? Questions, questions…
Still: there can be no doubt Popes can and have been greatly influenced by women, probably in both the good and the wrong direction. They just thought inconceivable to appoint them Cardinal.
The present Pontiff also has a female adviser in the very official position of… adviser of the Pope. Yes, the one with the sluttish photo on Facebook (sorry, no such photos here). Can't remember what she is supposed to advise on; but boy, I remember the sensual vulgarity of the photo. Be it as it may, it appears Francis can be “advised” by her – no double entendre here – as much as he wants without any need to appoint her or anyone else a Cardinal.
But no. The progressive crowd has been excited by Francis' senseless search for novelties.
Francis will now have to deal, volens nolens, with the monsters he has created.
Well done. This calls for an interview.
Is it forbidden for a Pope to wear a tutu and start dancing in St. Peter's square? Strictly speaking, it isn't. In fact, I do not doubt if Francis were to do something as stupid as that there would be no scarcity of enthusiastic bloggers and journalists saluting the begin of a “new style” of Papacy, heralding the truest of the true “new evangelisations”.
Still, the reality on the ground is that such an act is practically unthinkable, and that not everything that is theoretically possible is in the realm of the realistically feasible, much less of the advisable.
A Pope dancing in tutu on St. Peter's square would, of course, be far less subversive than the same Pope appointing a woman as a Cardinal. The first act of stupidity would be easily archived as definitive proof Papolatry is rubbish, but the second would have a far more devastating effect on the way the Church not only works, but understands herself.
Now, is it realistically thinkable that Francis ever wears a tutu and dances in St. Peter Square? Not really. He hasn't the age anymore, for once. But I am reliably informed that he appears to like the Tango – an obscene dance created to be performed by prostitutes – so the scenario isn't so far fetched as you would think. By the by, if you thought you would never see the day when a Pope expresses his sympathy for the Tango you clearly haven't been paying attention in the last 50 or so years.
The “female Cardinal”, then. An extremely ignorant journalist was yesterday theorising not only such an appointment, but even stating this would open the way for, one day, a female Pope, and one wonders whether these people are paid, or whether they are already going to school. Still, there and elsewhere the issue was raised. Is it unthinkable? No, not in theory. The Pope waives the requirement that a Cardinal be ordained, and that's that. A Cardinal is, strictly speaking, an adviser, and the Pope can decide what kind of advising job this is. Still: is it in the realm of the sensible? No, of course not. It is, in fact, absurd because of the huge expectations it would awake and implications it would have, besides the impossibility of practical execution at every meaningful level of modern activity of a Cardinal. It is, practically, absurd. But so is a Pope who loves the Tango, or dances in a tutu on St. Pwter's square, or – arguably, more gravely still – washes the feet of women and infidels on Maundy Thursday in a blatant liturgical abuse.
Father Lombardi knows that. He knows there's little that is not expressly forbidden and this Pontiff could not, one day, do if it promotes his own cult of humbleness. Not liturgical abuses, not heretical statements, and not the appointment of female Cardinals. Francis can't even describe the Trinity to an atheist without sounding eerily confused, so you know where you are.
Father Lombardi says, then, that the rumours of a female Cardinal in the February consistory is utter rubbish; but crucially, he does not say the concept is rubbish in itself. Why is that? Because he knows his boss is such of a maverick that there is no saying what stupid things he could do next or, perhaps, in a couple of years.
An unreal circus performance will now start: by saying that there will be no appointment of female Cardinals in February, Lombardi has started the tsunami of requests and demands and expectations that there will be such appointments in the future. Francis, the Tango-lover, will be confronted with a growing expectation that such appointments do, in fact, happen, though he will hopefully be spared from the arguably less scandalous demand that he dances the Tango with the one or other more or less sluttish female adviser of his. The circus might go on for years, will reach its highs at every consistory, and will create a climate in which the barely thinkable becomes not only feasible, but demanded. The next Pope will inherit a huge pressure in that sense and, if he is one in the mould of Maradiaga, will probably not hesitate for long before he acts; perhaps starting with some old harridan above eighty in order to make the thing less devastating on a practical level.
This is where the Aggiornamento has led us. A world in which everything that is not expressly forbidden is suddenly thinkable, or even practiced, and the speaker of the Pope can't even say to journalists “stop playing with the idea of female Cardinals and go back to play in the park”. He very well knows why.
You just can't trust a Tango-loving Pope.