Daily Archives: June 19, 2014
Today is the feast of Corpus Domini. A feast, like Trinity Sunday of which I have written only a few days ago, meant to increase in the faithful the “awareness” of a Catholic dogma, in this case: Transubstantiation.
It can, therefore, not be ignored that such feasts and topics receive, in the modern V II world, only a very tiny fraction of the attention lavished on all kind of social and political issues. This happens in parallel with the progressive de-Christianisation of the Church; a de-Christianisation fully embodied by a Pope clearly considering the sight of a crucifix too much for a Jew to bear, but which has been progressing – via Assisi Gatherings, Koran-kissing and a lot more besides – since the start of the Great March Backwards.
If we were to ask, today, 100 Catholics to explain the reason for the feast of the Corpus Domini, I wonder how many would be able to give a halfway acceptable answer even among practicing Catholics, let alone the non practicing ones. Such is the power of the Spirit in the church of V II, that even fundamental dogmas are ignored or forgotten, but everyone can say “who am I to judge?” and knows very well where the statement comes from.
Such is the state of the Church at the outset of the XXI Century.
The other twenty Centuries look at us, and cry.
I am unable to understand the fuss.
I remember when Popes went to Castel Gandolfo for weeks at a time and no one said a word, or found it strange.
The Unholy Father has, most probably, simply decided he should rest, like everyone else.
One should send them some books in order that he may profit from this time. A good, pre V II Catechism, a lot of Garrigou-Lagrange, some Aquinas, things like that.
When he goes back from the holidays, we might have a Pope who opens his mouth without scandalising each and every halfway instructed Catholic.
I strongly expect Francis not to go to Castel Gandolfo. These splendid residences are something for Renaissance Princes. Two rooms in Fiuggi, or Abano Terme, or Montecatini should do the trick, and plenty of comfort anyway.
One thing I know.
It will be a blissful July.
I must have grown up in strange times. In my time, alms to the poor and charitable donations were works of mercy to which the faithful were gently encouraged. In particular, the idea that specific, perfectly legitimate activities were targeted as something whose cost can be saved and “given to the poor instead” were the preserve of populists, but not of ordinary clergy (with some rare exception, like the infamous sale of the Papal Tiara “to give the proceeds to the poor”; but Paul VI did populism all right…).
In those days, every Italian family was visited by a priest two or three times a year, and even agnostics like my father never had any problem in giving generously, then Italy is a place where the role of the Church in helping the poor and keeping together the fabric of the country is (erm, was)…
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Oh ye who do not live in or near Rome, please arm yourself with Google map and look at the travel directions between Castel Gandolfo and Rome.
On a Saturday morning – that is: without the atrocious Roman traffic, which is also a security risk – you can choose a straight Appian route: Appia Antica, Appia Pignatelli, then Appia Nuova; 28 km (call it 18 miles) and 40 minutes later, and Bob’s your uncle. It’s even a rather scenic route.
Cars seem, though, too much luxury for a Pope accustomed to travel by bus.
Therefore, it must be the helicopter.
Now, I do not have anything against a Pope using the helicopter. Nothing at all. But you see, I do not talk about “Franciscan simplicity”, either. Nor have I ever invited anyone to avoid traveling…
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