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.


Posted on November 27, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Ohhhh, I like the torn curtain reference. I have been using John 14:6 to counter the obsession with Romans 11 that I hear from end times Protestants who want to coddle those who say that Christ is false.

    I imagine Jorge in years past sitting at Skorka’s feet, saying, “please illuminate everything about Catholicism for me, my Rabbi/teacher/master”.

  2. Super brief story: last Passover (oops, I mean Easter), I saw on Protestant tv a personable rabbi leading a hallful of Christians through a Passover ceremony. It was interesting, until the point where he told them to always say “Yeshua” and never “Christ”, because “Jews don’t like that name, it reminds us of the term ‘Christ-killer’ “. They all nodded obediently.

    There’s a lot of that going on these days.

  3. Wonderful! I sincerely am eager to read your counter to Jorge’s heresy.

    As far as I see it, the words and actions of Jesus supersede any *interpretation* of what Paul said. Romans 11 is somewhat ambiguous anyway, sometimes a ‘few’ and sometimes ‘all’ – sometimes conversion is a requisite but other lines get interpreted as not required.

    (Yes, speaking of requisites: Francis also used the tired old religion-of-peace nonsense about the Islamist head-choppers.)

    • Paul, like all the rest, must be read in a way that makes sense. To let him say what he can never have meant – because going against the very basics of Christianity – is to say that either Paul is a fraud, or the Church.

      The young Jorge Bergoglio has not been disciplined enough with the ruler when he was young, and dreamed of tango dancers during religion classes. He truly lacks the basics.


  4. Not planning on reading it. I am still working on the encyclicals prior to Vatican II so that I have a valid basis for comparison – oops – I mean understanding. Maybe after I get through my remdials to make up for the past wasted years. May God grant me the time to make up for what I have missed.

  5. felicitasperpetua

    Suggested background music for those reading Evangelii Gaudium: The happy happy, joy joy song.

    • “I don’t think you are happy enough… yet.”
      This IS perfect. Thanks!

    • I think you might have hit on something in Ren and Stimpy that Mundabor hadn’t heard of. Maybe.

      Reruns of the show might be banned from tv these days, though, seeing as how yesterday’s news even had a story about how a woman was banned by Facebook for criticizing obese peoples’ health prospects. That tells a lot about the kind of employees that corporations hire for their Politically Correct Compliance bureaus.

  6. “Evangelii Gaudium” may turn out to be one of the world’s great sources of unconscious comedy. It should be read with the sort of amused detachment with which we read Grossmith’s “The Diary of a Nobody”.

  7. “The Novus Ordo was only a first step. The Party had many more changes up its sleeve. The revolution was to be “on-going,” the faithful were to have no respite from shocks and scandals. Soon we had Communion in the hand, a gratuitous profanation borrowed from the Dutch dissenters and railroaded into the Church elsewhere by admiring episcopal conferences in face of papal protest and popular disgust. Then came the Lay Ministers, male and female, handing out Holy Communion, while the priest looks on from his chair ─ unemployed, redundant. It is a galloping process of “desacralization.” Nothing is now to be held sacred or inviolable. All that was sacred in our religion from time immemorial is being dragged down to a common and profane level, to adapt it to the abject spirit of this age.”

    “So much for what is going on with official approval, within the widening limits of the law. I have said nothing about the spate of outrages and sacrileges which have sprung up in the wake… ” – 1982 article by Fr. Wrighton

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