Daily Archives: January 24, 2014
Below is the text from Mr. Werling’s Facebook page, with the explanation of why he has closed the blog.
It’s probably best to put the rumors to rest. No, the Jews aren’t to blame for my sudden departure from the internet, nor the Masons, liberals or the government.
The reason is, is that I had an epiphany, a sudden realization that all of this and more, including my personal construction of “traditional Catholicism”, had turned me into an incredibly ugly person. How many people have I insulted and made to feel like shit? Is that the faith? If that’s your faith, you can keep it; I’m done with it. It was all nothing more than a façade, a double life that even had me fooled, and it was all fed by my narcissism and delusions of grandeur. It was those closest to me who suffered the most, and it had to end.I’ve always believed myself to be a better person than I am… no, I’ve never been happy with who I am, and that’s a sad and pathetic thing. Before all this, I was an ex-seminarian who wrote fantasy stories and poetry, and I played Dungeons and Dragons, listened to rock music, and enjoyed long car rides with my wife, blaring that same rock music as loud as possible. I was happy then, but that was the kind of person I came to judge and condemn with the most severity once I became the internet asshole all of you know. So you know what? I quit the internet to write poetry and fantasy, and I’m going to find a D&D game too! If you think I’m going to hell, then say a prayer for me. If you snicker and judge me, then, oh well; not that long ago I was just like you, sad and pathetic.Of course, a good deal of loony bigots and conspiracy theory kooks will conclude that this has been penned by some Satan worshipping Jew-Freemason. For you reasonable folks, take that for what it is… creepy cultish and destructive behavior.So, if you want to believe in something, stop looking for it on the internet. True faith isn’t an internet opinion composed by an internet asshole. Lighten up. Listen to music. God won’t hate us if we stop being jerks. As my daughter told me recently, if it just causes you stress, then what is it? Shouldn’t it comfort you?In conclusion, a quote from one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now, which seems to sums up internet people quite well: “There are two of you, don’t you see? One that kills… and one that loves.”
As someone who has endorsed his blog (a blog of far higher quality than mine in many respects) I would like to say some words. I would like, so to speak, to write to Mr Werling what I would say to him if we were friends (I do not have the honour; and a honour it would be) and we were discussing his blog closure in front of a good pint of ale. If Mr Werling thinks that I not his friend and therefore not entitled to offer my humble opinion, so be it; take, then, these reflections as relating merely to my own blog, and and explanation of my motivation for blogging.
If, therefore, I were to sit with him in front of a friendly ale, I would say the following:
1. It is his blog. The sweat of his brow. If he wants to close it, destroy it, polverise it, and condemn it to the damnatio memoriae, so be it.
2. Not everyone is born for blogging. Not everyone reacts in the same way to the stress and controversy blogging causes. If one thinks that his blogging activity leads him further away from salvation, it makes sense that he should stop blogging. He is, without doubt, the best judge of that. I for myself can say to my readers that to run a blog does cause some stress, in my case particularly because it exposes me daily to a motherload of Modernist rubbish that at times I think I would be so happy to just ignore, and pray my rosary.
Having said that, and with all due respect, I also allow myself to make some slightly more critical considerations.
Ars Orandi was a pearl of Catholic wisdom and beauty. We may all be, as Mr Werling says, @ssholes, but then again the @ssholes are those in most need of beautiful words from, say, Dom Gueranger, and of beautiful and inspiring pictures and inspiration from liturgical texts. Once Mr Werling took the decision to stop blogging, perhaps it would have been advisable to keep the blog online. If then Mr Werling thinks his own blog posts are conducive to @ssholery, then it might have been advisable to cancel those only, leaving the beautiful devotional material and the beautiful pictures online. And let us reflect on this: one who visit his blog to read the liturgical and devotional pieces is, perhaps, not so irredeemable an @sshole after all.
I have always thought – and will always think – that ceteris paribus, between the old lady who looks so saintly in her utter desire to ignore everything evil going on around her, and the emotional fighter who gets angry and perhaps insulting, because he cares for more than his own peace of mind, the second is the one Jesus looks on with the more approving smile.
Unicuique suum, of course, and not everyone is made in the same way. Still, I do think that in the heat of the battle one has the right and at the same time cannot avoid to be, at times, overheated. It comes with the territory of being a human and a wretched sinner. What shall one do then, renounce to the fight because he is an unworthy fighter? Padre Pio got very angry at times. On occasion, he slapped people in the face. He has been known to shout in church. But he was padre Pio. I would suggest to Mr Werling that he cuts some slacks to the @ssholes, starting from himself if he really wants to put himself in that category (which, let it be clear, I don’t).
My impression is that this is a bad case of Anglo-Saxon mentality. If I criticise sinners, I have no right to be one. If I call for higher standards in prelates, I must have extremely high standards myself. If my life is full of the misery of sin, I should not tell other what I do not like, much less write a blog about it.
I wish Mr Werling were Italian. If he were, he would know our sinful nature is a given, and no one expects from us that we, say, do not listen to rock music because we write a blog. If Mr Werling had been Italian, he would have resumed long ago his rock music listening, and his car rides with his wife; and then perhaps – just perhaps – this would have given him the serenity and energy to continue his beautiful, beautiful work. At a slower pace, certainly. Probably with less stress. But continuing to give a great help to many, the writer of these words obviously included.
There is no either/or between being a blogger and a sinner. We are all sinners, and some of us are also bloggers. We aren’t special, we merely write better or have clearer ideas. At the same time, we have no obligation to be saintly – or else, hypocrites and @ssholes – simply because we can say what other feel, and those others resonate with what we write. It never ceases to amaze me how the Southerners live so serenely with their fallen nature, and the Anglos are always obsessing with the feeling if they criticise others they can only be Puritans or, well, @ssholes.
One day we will die. All our trespassesses will be all very clear to our mind. But I dare to think that our trespasses caused by our sincere love for Christ and his Church will, on that day, be looked upon with some leniency. Its’ easy to be beautiful when one refuses to fight the ugliness. If you fight against a shite cannon, there will be shite all over you. If one is interested in feeling the good guy, then I suggest one should be one of those oh so nice Anglicans whom no one would call @ssholes, but who will be judged on that fateful day, if Catholicism makes sense at all, with a different measure than the one who lost his temper because of his righteous anger.
I look at myself in the mirror, and I see one who never shunned a fight, but is not a specialist in being the kindle and gentle “more tea, vicar?”-Anglican chap. You know the type. Very serene people. No shite in sight. I wouldn’t be able to even have afternoon tea with one of those without starting to argue – pleasantly at times, unpleasantly at other times -. If this makes me an @sshole in Mr Werling’s eyes, so be it, and my esteem for him will be undiminished. But no, I prefer to die an @sshole in Mr Werling’s estimation (and countless others’, no doubt!) but be in the position to, one day, put my excesses and @ssholery to the feet of the Blessed Virgin and to say: “this, my Mother, is the horrible-looking crown of roses this wretched sinner could give you. I know it doesn’t look good. But it comes from my heart, and it is the best I found in myself the skill and virtue to do”.
And no one must read me in the first place, anyway; which applies to every other blogger, too. Therefore, if someone becomes a complete idiot because he reads me, it is his responsibility, not mine, to recognise that my blog does not make of him a better person, and does not help him on his way to salvation. No doctor ever ordered a patient to read “two blog posts of Mundabor’s (or Mr Werling’s) @assholery, daily, after the meals”.
Yes, discussions heat the spirit. Yes, you end up at times thinking things you shouldn’t, and losing your composure. Padre Pio shouted that the window panes trembled, and he one of the greatest saints. Those who never shout are, I would say, those who don’t care. Sinners, though, we all are. Mr Werling, myself much more of course, even Padre Pio who lost his countenance rather easily for the things he loved; and lost his temper greatly, because he loved greatly. Again, you never have to explain these things to an Italian; but alas, I write this blog in English.
My suggestion to Mr Werling, then, at the end of the above mentioned pint (or two), would be to keep the blog without his own posts, for the edification and help of those who take advantage from it; to, by all means, listen to all the rock music he likes, and spend wonderful hours with his wife and family without worrying about the blog; but to consider, perhaps, in a more tranquil hour, whether what he has done up to now was really so bad, and so worthy of destruction; and whether he would not find in his heart, perhaps at some point in future, to put the archive online for the benefit of us @ssholes and, perhaps, one day, start blogging again.
I have received a message from a reader; she laudably realises her Catholicism has been polluted by V II rubbish, and asks me for suggestions to create a good and sound Catholic foundation.
I would personally tackle the matter in two phases: the foundation itself and those texts particularly devoted to the distortions and trouble of the V II theology reaching its implosion in these decades under our very eyes. This would give a very solid knowledge of where we are as opposed to where we should be. Of course, from there the journey can go pretty much everywhere, as by God’s grace we now have an immensely vast choice of traditional books on the Internet.
Firstly, though, a recommendation:the one to buy good Catholic apps if one has a smartphone or a tablet. I go as far as to say that the Catholic apps available are, in fact, reason enough to buy one of those devices if one hasn’t done so already. Similarly, the purchase of a tablet and the download of a Kindle app will allow one to save the money for the Kindle device if one does not read for many hours on end.
For the first phase, I suggest the following:
1. Throw away your JP II catechism. No, I really mean throw it away. Whilst generally orthodox, it has questionable phrasing and suggestive, covertly accommodating theology on several issues (see baptism and salvation). The Abbé de Nantes found it heretical in twelve points.
Let me repeat it: throw it away. You can thank me later. For the sake of clarity, the compendium appeared in 2005 (Ratzinger’s) is fine, and the Abbé de Nantes himself recognised none of the twelve heretical points of the “Schoenborn” catechism were therein contained.
2. Catholic apps (like Ipieta, a must!) or electronic books or, in case, print allow one to easily access the following:
A. Penny Catechism.
This is the ideal text to start from scratch in redoing one’s thinking. You can buy it on the Internet for a pittance, probably on apps too. He who masters the Penny Catechism is way in front of 90% of V II priests, and can already teach Francis the basics. Already the Penny Catechism shames our inglorious Bishop of Rome page by page. You compare it and Francis’ uninterrupted, obscene waffle and understand they are on two different planets already.
B. Baltimore Catechisms
There are three of them in growing order of difficulty, plus a fourth which is the third with commentary. The first three are on Ipieta, which also has a number of other old catechisms and even the Compendium. The purchase of Ipieta is, again, invaluable. A wealth of Catholic wisdom of all sorts always with you! Don’t delay, buy today! I doubt I will read in a lifetime the hundreds of text therein contained. Seriously, Ipieta is not a weapon, but an entire arsenal of Catholicism.
If one has already digested the Penny Catechism, I suggest to go directly to Baltimore III. There is no real need for a commentary (which a I found very good, though) as the Baltimore Catechisms are of exemplary clarity but still accessible for everyone.
When one has these two well assimilated, he is already equipped to properly interpret every antic of Francis and see the magnitude of this man’s – and of many V II priests’ – confusion.
C. Other catechisms.
Again, IPieta has a nice choice. The catechism of St. Pius the X is wonderful but as far as I know there are no official English translations. I found the Italian text online, and it’s as good as you expect. But in general I would say there’s no need to have many catechisms: pick a sound one, and absorb its content well.
At this point, I would proceed with some texts aiming at a specific comparison between “old” and “new”: the 2000 years of tradition and the 50 years (and counting) of drunken madness.
I mention here only some fundamental works, which will be reading enough:
1. Iota unum
The printed edition is expensive but I found it well worth the expense. SSPX Asia have a free electronic version on their site. You may check if it is available as electronic book. My copy is invaluable, and to me one of those “desert island books”.
2. “The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church””
This is not a catechism, but a SSPX publication, available on kindle. In general, absolutely everything one can read from the SSPX is wonderful and above suspicion, albeit I do allow myself – like many others among their supporters – to attend the V II mass. There were long discussions about this, so please refrain from starting a new one. Back to the matter at hand, this book is an excellent comparison between timeless truth and convenient accommodation or outright lie. Obligatory reading, if you ask me, for the aspiring Traditionalist.
3. One Hundred Years of Modernism
This is another SSPX book, also available on Kindle. It explains – giving a sound philosophical introduction – how the cancer of Modernism found its way in the organism of the Church. Not easy subject matter – it will help a lot if you have studied philosophy at school or university – but explained with exemplary clarity. If you are not trained in philosophy, this will require some work, but the reward will be rich.
4. Life of Christ
This is in my eyes the most glorious of Fulton Sheen’s books. A joy to read and re-read. Archbishop Sheen packs his book with so many sound and easy to understand explanations of Catholic teaching that this book can be considered a kind of subsidiary catechism in itself. I have the paper version, I think it is also on Kindle now. This book is also a formidable weapon to address the remarks of sceptics and infidels.
5. “Life Everlasting” & any Garrigou-Lagrange Book.
Well, any of them at a more advanced level. I have read four: “Reality”, “Predestination”, “Providence” and “Life Everlasting”.
The first three are more complicated, and the first two of them require either a philosophical foundation or the willingness to plow through it page by page. The fourth is a very good integration to a Catechism in matters of salvation and damnation, and it is written in a much more accessible way than the other three books.
The list could go on, but I think the sources mentioned provide already a more than solid ground, and if properly absorbed would put one well in the front row of the Army of Christ, at least as far as weaponry is concerned.
Two things to conclude:
1. Buy Ipieta.
2. Always pay attention to catechesis texts, even if before Vatican II. I once bought on Kindle a book from a chap called Karl Adam without knowing who he was, merely browsing Kindle for pre-V II theologians. Utter rubbish, I tell you. Again, I could immediately see it was rubbish because once you have the fundamentals down well, you will be able to smell the smoke from pretty far away.
So, that was that then, and again for a first plunge in sound Catholicism it is more than enough. It must be clear that infinite other choices are thinkable, this is just one possible path among very many.
The most beautiful effect of being grounded solidly in Truth (wretched sinners as we all are, of course) is that no antics of this or that stupid bishop, drunken Cardinal or diva Pope will ever confuse you again.
I have stated in the past, and repeat here, that Truth is as hard, and as beautiful, as a diamond. Once you have mastered the use of the diamond (and you need not be an expert theologian for that; nowadays most of them seem to lose their faith anyway; just be prayerful and sincerely desirous to know the a Truth and submit to it, and to live it as well as you can) you will be able to cut through every Modernist or Zeno-Modernist rubbish in no time.
And buy IPieta.
The White House has recently announced on 27 March Obama will meet the Bishop of Rome to “explore inequalities”. Already this statement allows you to know beforehand what is going to happen: a rhetorical contrapunct in which the two melodies (the secular populism and baby-killing rage of Obama, and the secular populism with a thin varnish of Catholicism and “who am I to judge” rage of the Bishop) will intertwine to create a complex Socialist sound meant to please the envious, the losers, the lazy, the illegals and the reprobates of all kind the world over.
There is, of course, the small difficulty that Obama is exactly the contrary of what a Catholic should stand for; but if you reflect that Francis is almost exactly the contrary of what a Pope should be you realise this small difficulty will be easily overcome. In the “run with the hare and hunt with the hound” style that has become a mark of his inglorious pontificate, Francis will let the world know he has decided to “focus” on some “burning” issues he “shares” with the President, whilst the real issues – the one of the most inhumane, Nazi abortionist anti-Catholic pro-faggotry bastard even to darken the doors of the White House to mention only one – will be conveniently toned down to the point of inaudibility.
Perhaps we will be informed – at some point, when the hype is gone – that Francis has expressed some “concern” about the HHS mandate; we might be told that Francis has “mentioned” abortion with Obama; we could be reminded that the Pope is – or so he says – Catholic. But make no mistake: none of this will introduce any cacophony to the sugary sounding contrapunct mentioned above.
This feast of global rhetoric is what will make the real headlines, helping both men to become more popular among their common chosen audience – those who don't give a Barack for God in general, and Catholicism in particular -. At the same time, the little and softly whispered sounds of obligatory disagreement between the two will be generously fed to the Catholic press and blogdom, with the inevitable wave of Pollyanna-style articles and blog post along the lines of “Is Pope Francis Just Another Socialist Nutcase? Eleven Things To Know And Share”. The army of Pollyannas among the readers, ready to believe everything that helps them to continue their cosy, comfortable dream of the orthodox Papacy, will as always swallow it whole, and will as always come back asking for more.
A bit more difficulties might, though, those bloggers and journalist encounter who have made of systematic – and very laudable – attacks to Obama a mainstay of their publishing activity. They will have to make an extra effort to persuade their audience that the North-American Marx and the South-American Che Guevara are really that different. Kind of embarrassing,
You might then say that this is, in the end, nothing very new: Popes have met US Presidents before, and Pope Benedict has also met the very same Barry Boy in the past. The reasons of diplomacy, and all that. I reply to this that this meeting promises to be nothing of the sort, and the respectful but very clear mention of the differences will make place for a huge “equality fest”, by which differences will be brutally downplayed and the two men will help each other in establishing their own position as the popular icons of the first half of this century.
I might be wrong, of course, and suddenly Francis might discover a strong antagonism to abortion, the undermining of Christian values, and the forced redistribution attitude. Forgive me for being skeptical about that, having noticed that Francis talks about abortion the strict indispensable and as much in a whisper as he can, has done nothing – besides making stupid and offensive jokes – about the homo infiltrations in the Vatican, is a public protector of sodomites in his own entourage, is a great buddy of the one who wants to persecute Catholics for their faith, and loves playing Che.
I can already imagine the photos of the two, and the huge mediatic circus the press will make of the “hope and change” President and the “who am I to judge” Pope.
“United Against Poverty And Homophobia”.
I can already imagine it, and it truly makes me sick.
It says here Cardinal Maradiaga will participate to an event that will take place in Honduras and seems to be, for what I understand, a kind of US pendant to a “mother” pilgrimage in Medjugorje. Last year the “seer” Dragicevic was also there, but this here he is busy making money elsewhere, so no seer for the unfaithful.
We will have to wait whether this really happens before commenting. At least I will do so.
But the very fact that the news does not seem absurd tells a lot about Maradiaga and the direction of the V II Church.