Daily Archives: November 27, 2013
Evangelii Gaudium: The Smorgasbord Theory
The Germans have a beautiful saying; they call it Die LKW-Theorie.
The theory in question says that if you want to avoid close scrutiny for your project, you can submit to the deciders an entire truckload of documents at the last minute, pointing out that the decision is now expected very fast or else the client will walk away. The deciders have therefore the double whammy of time and sheer quantity of material put in front of them, with all the bad news conveniently buried in the middle of the paper avalanche. Only the strongest will resist the trick, but many are those who will cave in, faced with the pressure of angry salesmen threatening to lay at their feet with the powers that be the charge of every misconduct from, and including, Adam. Every time this happens, men are divided from boys; then you discover that just a few men, and a great many boys, walk around in your typical office on any given day.
The theory is there because the time has honoured its application, making of it a staple of German – and, I am sure, not only German – office life. In short, it works.
I had to smile and think of the “LKW-Theory” when I realised the sheer mass of the papal exhortation, exceeding the 50,000 words including the notes. This is more than four times the 12,000 words interview to Civilta’ Cattolica. It would appear that after the scandal caused by the 12,000 words interview a new strategy is employed, based on the drowning of the prospective reader under such a tidal wave of information that he will not be encouraged to read anyway. And who would, on reflection, want to be “encouraged” for hours on end? It would make despondency look appealing.
This is, I think, part of the motivation for an effort reaching Soviet Politburo proportions. Most people will just not touch the document, or shall I say the small book. I can’t imagine this effect was not intended.
Still, from what I could read up to now another theory might be applied. Yours truly would like to name it, following the German habit, the Smorgasbord Theory.
According to this theory, you need to offer a buffet in which absolutely everything and the contrary of everything is present, so that everyone will be able to pick and choose the food he likes most and everyone will be happy in the end. The smoked herring lover will find Francis’ take on the herring absolutely fascinating, whilst the the chocolate mousse fan will declare that Francis is a dessert champion and the apple pie lover will praise the perfect balance of the ingredients, with the pastry just after his liking.
In this never ending exhortation – evidently written in its groundwork by a pen far smarter and more lucid than Francis, as you can see comparing the writing style with Francis’ inordinate and shallow ramblings – there is pretty much everything most V II Catholic hearts – not mine, not mine! – can desire. Vatican II rhetoric is pretty much everywhere, and once again one has the impression these people think that before 1961 we were in the Stone Age. There are the strongest words against abortion ever heard from the non-obsessing, non narrow-minded Francis, drowned somewhere in the mare magnum of the work. Apparently, Pius XI is mentioned in a note (wow! What a blessing! The Holy Ghost truly is making overtime! Give me the tambourine!). The rhetoric of “joy” is everywhere, which should work well with the tipsy readers. Francis the writer contradicts (not corrects) Francis the interviewee with beautiful regularity (say: on “proselytism”), showing that the skilled anonymous ghost writer knows a bit more of Catholicism than Francis; but still remaining within solid V II, peace ‘n joy, inclusive ecumenical stuff. At least one blunder (actually: heresy) is huge: the idea that the covenant with the Jews is still valid and when God tore the veil in the Temple he was merely suggesting to the Jews that it might be wise to build a new version, with electric motors and extensive use of carbon fiber. This, I suspect, is another V II fad that evidently had to be part of the Smorgasbord to please… Francis’ buddy, the pro-homo Rabbi.
For the rest, one would have to dig deep in the paper mountain. Let me tell you that I refuse to do it and reject the idea Francis can use the LKW-theory with me, or take me by sheer exhaustion. The best and worst parts will come out in the press anyway, and I will comment on them as and when I see fit. But I refuse – as I already did with the 12,000 words interview – the logic of “how can you criticise Marxism if you have not read “Das Kapital” “. I do not doubt in the word mountain there will be tons of V II waffle, some well worded phrases, and some horrible statements.
Still, one thing can be said already. For one who doesn’t even want to read the homilies prepared for him, Francis asks us an awful lot of reading.
France: (very probably) Hell For Two
In a “shocking” story that is, we are assured, provoking “much emotion” in France – emotions rule our times: thinking is sooo overrated – a couple of vecchi malvissuti (“old people who have lived badly”: Manzoni was a giant…) has decided to send themselves directly in the hands of the devil with a carefully planned, coldly executed suicide. One of them – the wife, I gather – has even left an angry letter because hey, she should be free to take her life in the manner most agreeable to her, and who are we to judge…
If you think God will have pity on these idiots, you are sailing on very dangerous waters and are in danger of considering hell a place from which we will be kept out no matter how big our effort to get there. From there to Father Barron the step is but a little one.
We cannot know how God decides in the individual situation, but in His mercy he thought it fit to let us know what his criteria are. As God cannot deceive us, we know with absolute certainty that He will stick to them. This means, in clear words, that either the respective guardian angel managed to achieve a perfect contrition for his charge at the very latest moment – an hypothesis going far beyond any reasonable assumption, but that we examine in acknowledgment that He is the one who decides – or the two must, if God is God (and God is God) perforce be in hell, having shouted their arrival rather loudly. Make your own mind about the odds, and shiver.
Double suicide. Carefully prepared. With two letters left. I would not want to be the Catholic priest who, in such a situation, gives scandal and confuses the faithful by allowing – provided any such is asked – a Catholic funeral for the two, and dies one day without repenting for his folly.
Still, let us be clear here: the folly is becoming mainstream. Millions of Frenchies will now see as “unjust” that a man cannot terminate himself as if he were a hamster tired of the wheel, and will abandon the Christian front like it's 1940. They will demand “compassion” and ask that what God has given human folly may throw away, feeling terribly good in the process. Methinks, the attitude will be shared not only by atheists – which is coherent with being an atheist: if there is no God, even a Holocaust is a matter of choice and a man not intrinsically different from a hamster; merely more complicated – but even by people who believe themselves at least vaguely Christian, and seem to think God must have been utterly wrong in those old dark and judgmental times, times not yet enlightened by the compassion of societally accepted suicide and mass abortion.
The liberal press will go at this like the devil's whores they are. Perhaps even beyond France. Other like them – Cameron, Clegg and Miller come to mind – might profit to obtain other cheap points for themselves. We have seen it happening in Ireland already.
Everyone who supports even indirectly any form of euthanasia is clearly sinning gravely, and putting his salvation in grave danger. Yes, even if it is our son, or sister, or cousin. We must never tire to say so and pay the price – there is always a price to pay for siding with Christ: this is how the system works – and pray for those, particularly if loved ones, who mock or insult us.
One day, we will have our reward. Those who want to decide about life (abortion) and death (so-called euthanasia) and willfully die in their stupidity will, alas, get theirs.
One hundred years ago, such an event would have filled an entire community with unspeakable dread at the sight of the impious monstrosity committed. Nowadays, it's a competition for the one who has most understanding.
We live in times when fornication is considered clean, and ozone a pollutant; when the suicide, the most abominable criminal of them all, is looked at with sympathy, and the religion that condemns him condemned in turn; when countless people seriously think they are too good to accept Christ's moral standard.
The modern religion, aided and abetted in the highest places, can be reassumed in five terrible words:
Who am I to judge?