Daily Archives: December 13, 2013
Once again, the Bishop of Rome has given worldwide scandal. I do not know whether it should be considered positive that soon no one will pay attention to the inordinate rambling of this unspeakable man, or whether people are slowly getting accustomed to an heretical Pope, which can’t be good.
In his relentless work of destruction of everything that is Catholic the Bishop of Rome, shamelessly reigning, attacks the most elementary basis of traditional Catholicism: the fear of the Lord.
I was once told the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, or wisdom. This means that if one does not have the fear of the Lord, he is a fool. Makes sense, I always thought. You can’t believe in the God of the Christians and not be in fear of what this God can do to you if you refuse to acknowledge Him or despise His commandments, or gravely contravene them. Yep, pretty basic stuff.
Obviously, If I believed in the Good Fairy In The Sky, or in the Great Pink Elephant Playing The Trombone, I would be more relaxed. The Fairy would certainly give me a lot of sweets and toys to play with after I die, and the Great Pink Elephant Playing The Trombone must be a gloriously friendly chap, from whom you can take trombone lessons for free, and you’re welcome. But I happen to believe in the God of the Christians, and this is a different God, one who immediately after death will decide whether I have merited terrible torments for all eternity in Hell or will, after the usual period of painful purification, be admitted to be happy with Him forever in Paradise. It makes sense that I should be rather scared, because this is not a driving license examination. There will be no second chance if I get it wrong. I mean, it would be extremely scary even for the driving license, imagine when eternity is at stake.
In short: If I get it seriously wrong, I will be screwed forever. If this does not inspire fear of the Lord, I do not know what will, but I know what kind of person one is that is not fittingly scared.
For twenty centuries, Christians all over the planet have considered this a fundamental tenet of Christian thinking. If the frequent warning of Jesus Himself were not enough, an extremely rich and coherent tradition has always reinforced the concept. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, and he who ignores this reality is a fool.
Of course, I also have recourse to the theological virtue of Hope, by which I can reasonably trust that the Holy Ghost will give me sufficient graces to merit, one day, heaven. But Christianity properly intended has always understood this as a two-way street. I can hope because I both believe and do. My works born of faith are the foundation of my hope. I dare to trust on unmerited grace, but I must still move my ass and follow God’s commandments to the best of my ability.
As I see it – but I am not a theologian – it’s the same as prayer. Even when God wants to give me something, he may still want me to pray that I may have it. I can’t just sit there and wait for things to fall in my lap. I must both pray and act in order to align what I want with what God hopefully wants for me. Therefore, if I want, say, a job I will have to not only pray, but also move my posterior in the appropriate manner so that, in God’s good time, things may happen.
In the same way, I am invited to hope, because my works born of faith allow me to see that this trust is not mere fantasy, but is built on solid and reasonable ground. If I were to think that I can relax and do without the works (because hey, I have the faith providing me with the necessary grace) I would be a Lutheran. If, on the other hand, I were to think that I can merit salvation exclusively through my works – that is: without the need of God’s unmerited grace and necessary assistance – I would be a Pelagian.
The way Christianity has always worked is that one prays God for the gift of hope, and trusts in His graces, graces that we cannot even merit on our own; but at the same time one acts his part, and is wisely scared that he may behave in a way that does not merit him Heaven, because he well knows that if he starts to presume that he will be saved trouble can’t be far away. We can’t merit God’s grace, but it is expected from us that we move our backside anyway. One can have a sound optimism that God will not throw him with the reprobates, but one knows the fear of God’s wrath is a prime element of the behaviour that allows one to be soundly optimistic in the first place.
The child knows his father can punish him swiftly and in an exemplary manner. He may be a beautifully obedient child. Still, this knowledge will be with him always, and there is no denying it does play a role in helping the child to be dutiful. Let the dutiful child believe that the father would never punish him, and you are heading for trouble.
Unsurprisingly, this was seen as the beginning of knowledge, or wisdom. Then if you don’t get this, you truly are an idiot.
Which leads us nicely to Bishop Francis, who is reported with the following pearl of, well, not wisdom:
Do not be afraid of the final judgment of God, when the good will be separated from the bad, because Jesus will always be at our side, because we can rely on the intercession and the benevolence of the saints and because God ” did not send his Son to condemn , but to save ” and “”he who believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned,” and in this sense “the judgment has already begun”.
This is so incoherent, contradictory, and flying in the face of Christianity one does not even know where to begin. Already the first words, “do not be afraid of the final judgment of God” must have been very popular when the joint made the round in some Argentinian seminary, but are nothing to do with Christianity. If there’s something Christians always had and were taught since they were little children is the fear of the final judgment of God.
It would appear “someone” does go to Hell, but it is difficult to see who: atheists who follow their conscience are famously OK; Jews are – says Pope Diana – still part of the Covenant so they can deny Christ and eat kosher at their heart’s content, under Francis’ expert supervision; Muslims are a religion of peace and believe in the same God – says Francis, not I – so they should be fine, too. As for the Christians, they must do nothing else than “rely on the intercession and the benevolence of the Saints”. Hey, “he who believes in him is not condemned”.
Further references are made to wholesale salvation through faith alone: one must only “embrace Jesus” and “all fear and doubt vanishes and leaves a deep joy and expectation”. This sounds like the talk of a drunken Presbyterian, certainly not of a Pope. A Pope should tell you that you either are in mortal sin or you aren’t, and whether you “luv Jesus” is neither here nor there. Many will be surprised on that day. I think Francis has good chances of being the most surprised of them all.
Fornicator? Adulterer? Sodomite? Who is Francis to judge? You are saved by faith Alone! Works of Faith? Obedience? No, no, no!He who believes is not condemned! Why would God throw you in hell? Such a waste!
But then it becomes even funnier, because now Francis tells us that “whoever does not believe in Him is already condemned”. Heck, this must include, then, his Jewish buddy, most of the members of the so-called “religion of peace”, and that nice chap Eugenio with whom he so loves to have a chat every now and then! What about following one’s conscience now? Yesterday’s snow?
And in general, what kind of person is this? Have you ever seen a public personage so relying on his own popularity that he would contradict himself in the most blatant of ways and not be concerned in the least? One day atheists are saved, another day they are already condemned. One day you are a criminal akin to a murderer if you gossip, another provided you love Christ you must be afraid of nothing. One day you can’t love Jesus without loving the Church, another day if you love Jesus you are fine regardless. Francis gives the impression of an old man rambling just for the excitement of the microphones around him, totally unconcerned or even unaware of all the rubbish he is unloading.
I say it again: evil or stupid. It seems to me whichever of the two he is, he is to a high degree.
The US Bishops have launched a multi-faceted initiative aimed at strengthening Catholic identity in the Country.
One can only look at such initiatives with favour, also because none of them appear to be of the unCatholic/populistic/controversial sort (like for example encouraging illegal immigration). Still, one cannot avoiding noticing that even when it would be easy to demand a certain behaviour (= meatless Friday) the US Bishops stop short of doing it and prefer to remain by the “encouragement”.
Meatless Friday is a traditional Catholic penance; it is nothing earth-shattering, or extravagant; it has been already reintroduced in other Countries, like the United Kingdom.
Past generations well knew that these little but constant reminders not only of Christ's sacrifice for us, but of our Catholic identity and culture do help, in time, to properly shape a man. Past generations, who did not have fridges or freezers, were asked to conform themselves to such small rules. It is not clear to me why it should be too much to ask that modern US-Americans do the same rather than merely encourage them to do so.
If the clergy of one country thinks even such small obligations are too much to ask, how can they I do not say demand, but even make their faithfuls aware of grave problems like politicians aiding and abetting abortion, sodomy, one day euthanasia? If one refuses to obey in the small things, how will he obey in the bigger ones?
I hope the US bishops will soon see the logic of this reasoning, and start the long work of reshaping Catholic identity by demanding that their faithful live by rules – starting from the small ones – that have served past generations so well.
Bring back the meatless Friday. Remind people every week of what they are, and what they stand for.
The Friday Abstinence reblog
For all of us living in the UK< today is a rather historical day, as for the first time in ages the obligation to make penance on Friday by abstaining from meat is reintroduced.
The importance of this goes, if you ask me, beyond the mere fact, and extends to the clear signal (eve here in the UK) to recover traditional Catholic practice. The recovery of the practice will, in time, give a great contribution to the recovery of the values.
We have seen it happening the other way round decades ago, when the immense patrimony of Catholic devotions and usages was suddenly discarded as old, not in keeping with the time and, in a world, unpleasant for a Church desperately – and disgracefully – seeking for popularity.
Today, here in the UK – and, no doubt, in many other Countries in the years to come – a public…
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Good and shocking news reach us today from India. The good news is that, certainly going against the trend of at least the stupid, corrupted, utterly amoral West the Indian Supreme Court has de facto reinstated sodomy laws in the country by banning the law that abolished them.
The shocking news is that, of all people, the Indian Cardinal Gracias should complain about it.
We really live in an upside down world. A Cardinal should very well know that a sin is an action (or thought or omission, but here we are interested in the action, and it is the act of sodomy that is a criminal offence, not being an inverted) that offends God, and therefore the Church should approve every action from foreign legislative or judiciary bodies that introduces or upholds punishment for the most atrocious offences, as they align at least in tendency the civil society – even of prevalently non-Christian countries – to Christian values.
I will never tire to repeat that the laws of one generation shape the morality of the following one, and it is in fact no surprise that only one generation went from considering the sin of the Sodomites worthy of criminal punishment to considering it a criminally neutral behaviour, and in another generation or less the same behaviour once considered worthy of jail time is now considered – or on the brink of being considered – even worthy of legal protection.
This did not happen by chance, of course, but in part thanks to the silence or utter complicity of the clergy, among whom Cardinal Gracias is an egregious example.
One must, in fact, wonder where the Cardinal has left his sense of shame, provided he ever had one. We are talking here of such abominations – akin to the raping of children, or to incest – that up to one and a half generation ago the very fact was only mentioned in the most indirect and least shocking of ways, and only when absolutely necessary. Not so for the good (or rather, bad) Cardinal, who should be asked why he does not intervene in public to defend, say, the decriminalisation of incest among consenting adults.
I note in his very stupid defence of perversion, the Cardinal states that he has “full respect for homosexuals”. He clearly considering sodomy an obvious and inevitable corollary of being a pervert, as the law in question does not punish being homosexual, but merely the act of sodomy. Interesting. The Cardinal should read a catechism when he has time. Or perhaps he should ask that sex with children be decriminalised, as the impulse to sexual acts in child rapists is at least as strong as the one to sodomy by sodomites; this, apart from the fact that not infrequently the child rapist is also homosexual.
Note, though, that Cardinal Gracias is another member of the “gang of eight”, and it appears Francis has carefully handpicked them so that the upside-down-ing of the Church may go on undisturbed. It can also be that nowadays every such “gangbanger” feels he could be the next one in charge, and feels the need to promote his, ahem, “Francis II” credentials. I am being malicious, you say? As Giulio Andreotti used to reply: those who think ill of others commit a sin, but are often right…
As we write the Year of Our Lord 2013, Church prelates all over the world publicly and enthusiastically embrace the values of the secular and perverted society, whilst it is left to the judiciary of foreign countries to uphold the most elementary morality. It truly beggars belief that only 55 years could reduce the Bride of Christ to such a state.
Poor Holy Mother Church, in the hands of people like Bergoglio, Marx, Maradiaga, Gracias and yes, Ricca…