Daily Archives: March 17, 2014
Every time one of you criticises the Pope, or a cardinal, or a Bishop, or some other wrongdoer who has forgotten the very basics of Catholicism, there is always the risk of someone coming out with platitudes like “wouldn’t it be better if we dedicated our time to improving our own life, instead of constantly criticising the Pope etc?”
The answer to this is:
“Well then: stop criticising me for criticising the Pope! Wouldn’t it be better if you dedicated your time to improving your life, instead of criticising me?”
Now he can shut up (which he will do if he is halfway smart; which he generally isn’t, because only dumb people speak in platitudes) or he will go on, hoping to get out of the difficult situation:
“I am just saying that…”
Rinse, and repeat.
Pansies have a strange way to avoid having to take a stance whilst looking good themselves. Take the deflection and stick it in their mouth. Make sure they chew it well. They won’t forget it easily.
It works in other ways too, by the way. When your opponent has no argument, he will generally say to you one of these two: “intolerant” or “uncharitable”.
1. It’s impossible to accuse anyone of being uncharitable (in the PC sense) without exposing oneself to the accusation of being uncharitable. There’s just no way out.
“You are being uncharitable!”
“How is it charitable to accuse me of being uncharitable?”
“But… but… but… you are!”
“You see? You are uncharitable”
“But this is because you are so… so… wrong!”
“So it is just to be uncharitable with someone if he is wrong?”
“I am merely correcting your mistake!”
“I was doing just the same with another’s mistake”
Rinse and repeat. He has nowhere to go. The more he goes on, the more those around you will start to smile.
Even dumb people recognise superiority.
2. It’s impossible to accuse anyone of being “intolerant” without exposing oneself to the accusation of being intolerant.
“You are intolerant!”
“Are you intolerant?”
“No, of course I am not!”
“Tolerate me, then…”
“But you are, you are… intolerant! I am very tolerant, but not with the intolerant!”
“This is the very definition of intolerance”.
“But you admit you are intolerant!”
“I have not admitted anything. You have. I am telling you to practice what you preach. BTW, you are being intolerant again.”
Rinse and repeat. Have no mercy. When the fox is at the bottom of the hole, the good terrier goes for the kill at close quarter.
It’s a pity you don’t know me in person. I have rather often discussions like this one, because those who don’t know me think they can get away with platitudes and common places, and have an easy meal.
The present are always quite amused.
“Zero tolerance for less than catholic behavior”
These words run at the top of the top post pretty much at the very top of “Catholic (wrong) Answers”. Small “c” in the original.
In case any of my readers would not know what kind of shop this is, you can read more here.
The explanation for this Giuliani-style attitude runs as follows:
Insulting Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Orthodoxy or any other faith is a behavior in conflict with the Magisterium. The Magisterium has not given anyone license to speak for Catholicism in any manner other than charitably and respectfully. Therefore, any form of speech that is not in keeping with the form of speech used by the Magisterium cannot be tolerated as morally upright, even if one is defending truth. How others speak about Catholics does not mitigate our moral responsibility.
Let us see some concrete examples of wrong behaviour, then:
“… there is hope that very many from the abominable sect of Mahomet will be converted to the Catholic faith.”Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, 1434:
Is calling Islam the “abominable sect of Mahomet” “uncharitable” or “not respectful?”
If not, I will make a couple of blog post on the matter immediately. At Catholic (wrong) Answers, they will be happy indeed. Very charitable.
If yes, I am sorry, Your Holiness. You are banned. We have a zero tolerance policy for “less than catholic” behaviour here. You are a bad, bad Pope! Where's your moral responsibility?
“He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.
He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms – which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning (1). Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower’s by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly.”- St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 16, Art. 4.
“Doctrine of the greatest falsity”. May I say this, Miss?
“Brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching”. Charitable?
“[Mohammed] perverts […] the Old and the New Testaments”. How does this square with the Magisterium, Miss? I thought St Thomas was good at it?
Oops. Sorry, Miss… My bad. Apologies. Please allow me to make amends…
Shame on you, Thomas boy! Dumb Ox, you! Any form of speech that is not in keeping with the form of speech used by the Magisterium cannot be tolerated as morally upright, even if one is defending truth. Didn't you know it? (Is it good so, Miss?).
There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist.
St John of Damascus.
I say! Watch your mouth! “Superstition”? “Forerunner of the Antichrist?” Haven't you read Evangelii Gaudium, man? The Magisterium has not given anyone license to speak for Catholicism in any manner other than charitably and respectfully!
Well, I could go on.
You get the gist.
St. Thomas Aquinas, St John of Damascus, Pope Eugene IV and countless others are (cough…) not allowed to post on “c”atholic answers, the place where Catholicism goes to die.
Zero tolerance, and all that.
Beware of sanctimonious, pansy “c”atholics.
They are the bitchiest of them all. But only with Catholics, with the capital “c”.
A very good video from Fr Reto Nay here
I couldn’t let the embedded version work, so you will have to click the link. But you will be rewarded with an HD video of excellent Catholicism.
You got to love how this man always speaks in a very slow, controlled, measured way; and delivers the most brutal salvos in favour of Truth.
The difference between Father Reto Nay and most priests of our times is that he is not in the least interested in being liked or accepted by the crowds. To him, Truth and logic come first. All the rest comes pretty much nowhere.
He is, of course, persecuted by his own bishop. And there are worse bishops than Bishop Huonder.
What times we live in.
If you walk through the Rione Parione in the centre of Rome, you can see the house said to have belonged to Vannozza Cattanei. Vannozza Cattanei, a stunner of her time, was from a noble family, but not quite the lady; rather, one would say, a curvaceous young girl (in the beautiful Roman parlance: a palloccona) of the people with more means and more looks, and probably more class, than most. Being the owner of several inns she was, as we would say today, also economically independent.
As every man with a brain in Italy would tell you this was, well, Cardinal’s stuff. The first Cardinal who got to taste the fruity palloccona from the North was, it is widely believed, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere. A tough guy, this one, and quite the Renaissance Prince. Vannozza must, though, not have been entirely satisfied with the fiery Cardinal, because we know that before being thirty she was the, well, official mistress of another Cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia. Rodrigo, another one who liked a pretty young thing, kept the woman as his quite public mistress for more than a decade, and the entire planet knew he had several children from her. When the career of the Cardinal started to make of him a papabile, it was suggested to him that he avoids public scandal, at least in the sense of going in and out in broad daylight as if he were the lord of the manor. Which he duly did, though continuing to lovingly follow and protect the life of his children, lavishing on them honours and privileges.
Why I tell you this? Because in this case two Cardinals – who, by the way, did not like each other one bit – shared, at different times, the same woman. Even more interestingly, both of them became Popes: Rodrigo with the name Alexander VI, and Giuliano with the name Julius II.
Speaking of Alexander VI, he is notable for another and later, how shall we say it, alcove accomplishment: the massive relaunching of the fortunes of an ancient family, the one of the Farnese. Why did he do that? Well, because another palloccona, Giulia Farnese, known as “Giulia la bella” (Julia the beautiful) and clearly another stunner, became one of his mistresses. We are here around 1493, more than 20 years after the start of Rodrigo’s liaison with Vannozza. The man is older, and probably mellower. The young woman is 19, and undoubtedly in her prime. A smart, eager young thing can move such a man to do rather much. The young Giulia Farnese, who well knew how short the shelf life of a papal mistress is, persuaded him to make her brother, Alessandro, a Cardinal. The “bella” was married at this point, but the Pope certainly did not mind that a bit. The gossip started again, and the very sarcastic nickname “sposa di Cristo” (“bride of Christ”) remained attached to the beautiful Giulia.
Doesn’t matter, though. The family reached its peak of power and influence in the following years. The young chap who had a married slut as a sister, Alessandro Farnese, found himself a Cardinal at 25, which is a rather good career by any standard. It is not known whether he complained much about his lot; though the ironic nickname “brother-in-law”, given to him with reference to Pope Alexander, might have grated him a bit.
He did well for himself, though, at least on this earth. Not only he was the one who started the works on the Palazzo Farnese (one of the most stunning architectonic achievements of all times; one of those things it is difficult to behold without crying of emotion), but he also managed to… become Pope, with the name of Paul III.
Alessandro Farnese, later to become Paul III, also picked a long-term mistress, and he also had several bastards from her. All of them covered with honours and privileges. The perks of a very beautiful, and rather sluttish sister, I suppose.
Why, then, do I tell you all this?
Because these are just very few of an interminable string of less than edifying episodes every better educated Italian knows. As the complex tapestry of Italian artistic beauty is intimately linked to the less artistic, but certainly very convincing, exploits of young girls in very powerful alcoves, every better educated Italian has a rather well grounded knowledge – and the simple folks have a popular, “common wisdom” knowledge – of the, how shall I say, earthly nature of many among the Successors of Peter. It is, in fact, impossible to be a lover of the arts in Italy without being continually confronted with this simple reality. Nor do you have to think that the Renaissance is the only period. It is merely the artistically most spectacular one.
The office has always been sacred. The men holding it, very often, not so much.
It is, therefore, for us Italians, always the source of a certain amusement when we see foreigners – and particularly half-Puritan Anglo-Saxons – dealing with the Popes as if they were delicate crystal vases, who could break under the strain of a mild, or less mild, criticism; carrying the papacy with them, of causing loss of faith in Anglo-Saxon
This vision of the Papacy is, certainly, a Puritanical one. Popes were never Puritans. Not even in our own days. The great poet Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, a writer of sonnets in Roman dialect of stunning beauty, was a high-ranking functionary in the Papal administration, and a personal acquaintance of the Pope, whose sonnets he read for him without any qualms. And I am sorry you cannot appreciate the genius of this great poet; but no listener, and no Pope, could overhear the coarse working-class expressions, the cuss words, the amusing eroticism, and the outright “can’t breathe anymore”-fun the still extremely refined verses of the man could – and still can – give. I have only ever read three authors literally taking my breath away, and leaving me frantically trying to breath out of sheer exhilaration: P.G. Wodehouse, Ludovico Ariosto, and Giuseppe Gioachino Belli.
I wonder if the Anglo-Saxon “you can’t criticise the Pope”-troops think he is a rare animal in a crystal cage. Whether they think Popes never read Ariosto – or Boccaccio, come to that -; whether they walk on a carpet of sanctity just one inch below Automatic Permanent Infallibility, and can’t ever be criticised; oh no, they can’t. “If a Pope can be criticised, what will be of my faith? My faith rests on the Pope, you see. If he falls, everything must crumble!”.
The up to very recently most Catholic country on the planet, Italy, was also the one which knew best all the weakness of the men who had the office of Pope. Some of them, certainly, were very saintly men; many of them, certainly, not; many others, no doubt, were outright bastards.
Every Italian knows this if he knows arts, or history. Actually, he knows at some level even if he doesn’t.
I don’t think we Southern Europeans should, or will, be said by Puritanism-plagued Anglo-Saxons how to deal with our Popes.
As far as I’m concerned, Francis can read all the Belli he wants. No problem with that. But when he begins to make a clown of himself, well: Italians will notice, and they will not be very shy in saying it.
The headline “Questo Papa non ci piace” (“we do not like this Pope”) came from Italy, and from very pious Catholics to boot. On a national newspaper. In the middle of Francis-mania.
If you have followed me up to this line, perhaps now you can better understand why.
As for myself, I may write in English, but I will not be Anglicised.
This is not a “tea and scones” blog.
For some reason Rodrigo Borgia, better known as Pope Alexander VI, seems to have reached the status of “worst Pope ever” among Catholics and Anti-Catholics alike.
Whilst the man represented many of the shortcomings of his age, and not even nowadays’ spinmeisters would dare to call him a saintly man, it is remarkable how the man allows Popes like Liberius, or Benedict IX, or John XXII to go unnoticed among the masses. Actually, in most cases if people don’t shoot at Alexander they will shoot at, say, Julius II or Leo X. All Renaissance Popes, you see. It catches the imagination. Sex, War, and Sacred Music. Still, all orthodox ones.
There is, if you ask me, a frequent mistake here, present in a rather extreme way: the confusion of the moral qualities of a man with the way he exercised his office.
No one seems…
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“Il Mio Papa” (“My Pope”) has hit the newsstands on the 5th of March. The second number is already available by your favourite newsagent, and this being a creature of Mondadori, the biggest publisher in Italy (yes, Berlusconi-owned if you need to know) you can be sure they will wait a while before pulling the plug, even if the venture were not to work as hoped.
It will be great fun. I am sure at the “Eye of the Tiber” they are preparing themselves already.
I am eagerly waiting for the internet presence to go live, but the already announced http://www.miopapa.it is not live yet.
From what I have known by googling around on Italian websites, the magazine has the following features:
1. Lots of photos. Big ones. They have to fill 68 pages every week, you know. Ok, half will probably be advs for condoms and the like, but it’s still a lot of photos. The perfect barber shop magazine. Though I’d prefer a car magazine anyway. My bad, I know. You don;t want to compare with the entire photo sequence of hawk-attacks-papal- dove, surely?
2. Extremely profound content, in synchrony with the elevated degree of education of the target audience. There are two pages explaining how to make the sign of the cross. We are informed Lent has started. Wow. It might be good for converting Muslim immigrants, if Francis himself would not encourage them to “hold on to their Koran”…
3. Like the Cardinal of the movie “La Grande Bellezza”, “il mio papa” also deals with important theological questions like: what does the Pope eat at dinner? I am eagerly awaiting for typical Argentinian recipes; unless of course this should not be the object of a book written with his buddy, the pro-homo Rabbi Skorka. “About Salt and Pepper”, or “Cooking Kosher with Francis” might be two good title suggestions.
Summa summarum, it seems to me this magazine will be bought and read by that kind of people who don’t like a magazine with “too much to read”, and rather “prefer the pictures”; who don’t even know how to make the sign of the Cross, but at the same time know that Francis is such a good Pope that it is worth reading a magazine dedicated only to him; who have to be informed of what Lent entails, but can’t live without knowing the humble Pope eats verdure cotte and minestrina in brodo.
The worst is: there are a lot of these people around. “Francis? Great Pope? – “Care to say why?” – “Erm, ah, well, because… the bus… and the dove… so humble… one love… who am I to judge… you know what I mean…”
Still: I promise you, I will stoop so low as to visit the website, once active, and report to my readers.
I merely doubt I will make of it half as good a job as the “Eye of the Tiber”.