Daily Archives: April 23, 2014
Four Days To Go: Infallibility And Mortality
Thanks to the stupidity of our not-so-beloved V II clergy, Catholics the world over are going to be put to a hard test in four days' time.
I have already written on the matter, and have since not found any evidence to the contrary that the infallibility of the canonisations concerns merely the fact that the canonised person is in Heaven. In other words, neither the heroic virtues nor being, say, a halfway acceptable Pope are infallible requirements for the purpose.
Which makes a lot of sense. If Joan of Arc is canonised, must the English become supporters of France? Does the canonisation make of Celestine V a good Pope? And where exactly would the heroic virtue to be seen in St. Dismas for pretty much the entire duration of his life, and his chosen, ahem, profession, bar those hours on the Golgotha? Did Christ ask him to pass a decade-long trial, and prove a life of heroic virtue? No, he made Dismas santo subito instead.
Or let us look at the other side and let us say canonisations are not, and have never been, infallible. What are they then: pious suggestions? Strong hints that someone might be in heaven? “Oh dear Padre Pio, unless the Pope was wrong, please intercede for me!” Hhmmm, doesn't sound like much to me…
“Oh, but you must pick one about whom you are persuaded! Then it will be all fine!” some of you might say. But come on, if it comes to that then it is our personal opinion that really counts, and the entire concept of canonisations crumbles. Say: I do not need any Pope to be practically persuaded that Pius XII is in heaven. Padre Pio had a mystical vision of him in heaven, and Padre Pio's conviction is good enough for me every day of the week. But there is no need for canonisation for that. Barring the obvious concept that in the end only God decides, people didn't need to wait for St Francis' canonisation in order to have an extremely strong degree of confidence that he was in heaven, either.
No. If you ask me, Canonisations can only reasonably mean, if we want to give them the sense most Catholics have always given to them, that in this matter God will not allow mistakes. Because if He did, then there would never be any additional security given by the canonisation, and we would all go back to the “servant of God” scenario: the dearly departed was a very saintly man because of abundant and widely proved examples, and it is therefore very probable that he is in heaven. Unless we are mistaken. Which we could be. Always. Even if he is canonised. Does this make sense? Is this reasonable? Are we of such little faith that we start to doubt God's work whenever things happen we do not like?
Or look at it from the other side: if JP II is not in heaven, why would God allow a canonisation that is, has always been and will always be considered by most Catholics a most solemn, infallible assurance of beatific vision, and company with God? Would God not protect this pious belief, or prevent it from taking such solid roots in the Christian thinking? How can it be that the belief in the infallibility of canonisation – though not, properly speaking, dogmatically declared – could spread in such a way and be so strong after 2000 years? Why would, for example, God have allowed that the canonisation be extended beyond, so to speak, historically safe, “certified” martyrs?
It does not make sense to me. It is like stating that God has allowed the Church to believe what is wrong for 2,000 years. At this point, everything that has not been dogmatically and infallibly declared could be questioned, too, because hey: if it's not officially infallible, then it's everyone's guess.
I rather think this: that if either John or John Paul are not in heaven, the Holy Ghost has inspired Francis not to proceed with the canonisations, but Francis has, with typical stubborn rebellion, decided it was all merely a chimaera of his fantasy, a bad mood of an impressionable old man. And then in the next very few days he will have to die, or will be put in the impossibility of proceeding to the canonisations; because God allows Francis to fool men; but He Himself, He will not be fooled.
Rejoice, therefore. If these disgraceful – because of the message they send, and the V II propaganda they are meant to encourage – canonisations are a lie, the lie will not come to pass, and we might get rid of a disastrous Pope to boot. If they come to pass, they aren't a lie, and we will do what we as Catholics do: believe, obey, and be glad for other people's blessings.
Which does not mean you have to approve this or that Pontificate.
No one ever asked you to approve of highway robbery because of St. Dismas, either.
These people are truly ready for the madhouse.
They would need medical attention, but I am sure they refuse Western medicine anyway.
It’s truly scary.
These people vote. I mean, unless they are incapacitated they at least have the right to.
Scary. No, really.
Many thanks to reader Jewel, who alerted me to the existence of such articles.
Now that you have been brave, recover and relax with Ali-G’s take on tree-huggers and the two first-class gayboys teaching him non-violent resistance …
The Turning Of The Tide
I remember very well my sadness at the rapid disappearance – and most people said: inevitable extinction – of the traditional mechanical wristwatch in favour of the new quartz one. It seemed to me an entire world was dying, and an entire planet was embracing a soulless technology and killing the beauty, the magic and, yes, the poetry of craftsmanship. Small firms – then – like Blancpain and Chronoswiss decided this was too stupid, and the surrender to the power of quartz by no means unavoidable. They started producing watches for people who love beauty, and do not live by the second. This was the turning of the tide. A few years later, the mechanical wristwatch was already established as the timepiece at the wrist of the discerning – if, back then, pretty solvent – man of taste. Today, mass production of perfectly affordable, excellent mechanical wristwatches is all but…
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The Way To More Vocations
There are interesting reflections around concerning what to do to have more vocations. Certainly, we must pray. Certainly, we can support the idea of vocations among the young in our environment. But if you ask me, the best way to more vocations is to have better priests.
I still remember very well my formative years, and looking back it is clear to me the office of priest was not considered by anyone as in the least desirable, not even by mistake. The reason for this is that most of the priests we had around us – and in the Italy of those times you had many priests around you, both in your place of residence and at school – had a common and distinctive trait: they looked, sounded, and even smelled, ashamed to be priests.
There was a kind of hierarchy of un-priestliness. There were those who were silently but obviously embarrassed, those who were more ostentatiously “modern” and those who were outright dissenters – the priest who whispered at school that the devil does not exist, in an heroic effort of blasphemy meant to let us understand how very courageous he was, I will never forget -. But all of them seemed to have the same slogan, a kind of “unglorious” one: the least Catholic, the better.
If the priest is ashamed himself of being a priest, who will want to become like him? If the priest is the very epitome of the uncool, pathetic loser, who will want to follow in his steps? And this is, in fact, what they pretty much all were: pathetic losers, ashamed to be priests; lives to be pitied, and an example not to be followed. The priest of those times was a cautionary tale.
This phenomenon created another one: the attempt to gain credibility not by being a true priest, but – in a suicidal, and not very manly move – by being something else: the “modern priest”, the “good friend”, the “nice chap”, the “favourite uncle”. The automatic self-divesting of any form of authority made of them, for all the world to see, unquestioned beta males deprived of true manliness, because manliness is always linked with assertiveness, self-assuredness, and a quiet but still very public show of testosterone.
Every man, but particularly adolescents, smell authority and manliness like the hound smells the fox. Not everyone has the natural assertiveness to be a natural leader, to be one to whom others look up to; but absolutely no one has the desire to be, for all the world to see, the last wolf in the pack. Such a one is not very manly at all, and could actually have problems of graver nature. Which is, I think, the origin and motive of many “vocations” in those years.
And so we have, I think, a faithful picture of perhaps 80% of the Western priesthood up to this day: no manliness, no authority, no “coolness” around them. Boys look at them, and pity them. As they well should, and as I do myself. They are embarrassed to be priests, and try to be as little of a priest as they can. As a consequence, they are embarrassing to be around.
Away goes sin; hell follows soon thereafter; “joy” is everywhere. Some time ago, I listened to a homily of a Cardinal. He sounded like a girl making a motivational talk for old aunts in a holiday resort. By all the authority given by the office, the red robe, and the choreography, he still smelled of girly loser. Who would want to be such a tool? Mind, this here was a Cardinal, helped by the trappings of the office. The girly parish priest truly has no chance with the boys.
A priest must be assertive, manly, unashamedly Catholic, outspoken, and with no hint of sissidom in him. He must be a shepherd, not a dry nurse. The shepherd has a rod, and he uses it. The shepherd leads his flock towards green pastures, he does not ask the sheep “where they want to go today”. The priest must be a natural leader, because a priest has to be a leader if he is to be successful. The priest has to be uncomfortable, harsh when needed, and quietly manly when he is gentle.
These are the priests who produce priests. These are the men who will cause boys to say “I want to become one like him”. These are men whose very demeanour will say to those around them that they are willing to die for their cause; which is as manly as it gets, and will be smelled by the boys around them like the above mentioned hounds smell the above mentioned fox. Not many will follow in his steps. But the admiration will – with God's grace – cause some of them to fo it. You must impress dozen to get one vocation to blossom, because this vocation will be nurtured from the respect or outright admiration surrounding the priest.
Boys will be boys, and their vocation must go with their nature, not against them. They must feel encouraged to use their own faith to channel the natural assertiveness, even aggressiveness, of the male of the species towards the higher goal of saving souls, of being shepherds of souls. This is one of the 1,374 reasons why women are not fit to be priest. Women are nurturers, not shepherds. God save us from a manly woman. There are two sexes for a reason, and this is the same reason why only those of one sex can be priests.
If you ask me, it's as simple as that. In the Seventies the priests were at their most stupid (the “worker priest”, the “social priest”; the Jorge Bergoglio types) and the vocations were at their lowest. As the worst excesses went away, the vocations slowly increased. Strong religious orders continue to create strong vocations to this day – so much so, that the Jorge Bergoglio types must crush them to deflect from their own bitchy incompetence – and the situation slowly, but gradually, improves. In the meantime, the Jorge Bergoglio types cause their seminaries to close. May their ruins be visible from afar, and be a monument to human stupidity.
But we need more of these good priests. The Brompton Oratory is always packed. You listen to them, and you know how a true vocation sounds, and how a real man speaks.
The boys listen, and learn.
Vocations are aplenty. No closures to be feared there.