Daily Archives: June 22, 2014
I tend not to intervene in other bloggers’ controversies, or at least I do so only when it is necessary to make a general point.
In this case, I will limit myself to the general points, and avoid names, facts, and circumstances. Please keep them away from your comments, too.
My two cents on the matter of controversy are as follows:
1. Every soul has infinite value. Every soul is, in fact, more important than the entire universe. But this does not mean that I have to like everyone. Some people I won’t like, either because I am human or because they are not very likeable. What I will know, is that to God the soul of every bastard (dead or alike) is more important than the whole universe. But a bastard is, after all this, still a bastard. I generally put it this way: when a pig dies he does not become a lamb, he merely becomes pork. It is important that we keep the facts in mind if we are to judge the world around us in a way that allows us to make good choices and work in a sensible way towards our salvation. Therefore, it behooves each and everyone of us to decide who are the lambs, and the pigs. We can’t make the pigs to lambs just because we love luv fantasies. But yes, we must always have in mind the infinite value every soul has for God, and strive to wish for everyone the same graces and blessing we wish for ourselves. I wish salvation even to Stalin, the ueber-bastard, but do not even think of not calling him “bastard” for that.
2. Righteous anger is good. Very good, even. This blog is fully in favour of righteous anger. If something makes you angry because you see the Church you love wounded, strike very hard, my lad (or: my gal). We are not the Church Pussyfooting. We are the Church Militant.
I seldom have any problem in seeing whether the person who has just used the flamethrower on the net has done so out of personal vanity or out of sincere love for the Church. I trust most of my readers can make the same judgment, because otherwise they would not be reading this blog.
3. beware of the “charitable” troops. In my experience, those who make appeals to charity are, very often (but not always; again, in time one learns to assess the person) only looking for their own satisfaction: the petty pleasure of playing nanny, and kindergarten teacher, and installing themselves on the moral high ground.
The attitude is self-defeating. To accuse another blogger of being “uncharitable” (or “intolerant”) fails to pass the very text of charitable behaviour (or of tolerance) that it pretends to impose. Besides, it is also my experience that those easily calling for “chariteee” in others seldom practice what they preach. The sane attitude here lies, if you ask me, in considering that good Catholic hearts comes in many versions, and some of these are more easily inflamed than others. Good for them, I add. Therefore, if one is not a good Catholic heart, the issue is the latter, not the anger; but if one has a good Catholic heart, God bless his anger, and may He reward him richly for it.
Having said that, I think a blogger, of all people, can be asked to reflect a moment or three before he writes, because he writes with a view to influencing others. If he were to see that what he has written was too coloured with anger, he should amend or cancel without further ado. If the episodes happen often, he should consider the way he blogs, because his credibility could be seriously affected. Personally, I never cancelled one angry blog post, nor did I ever ask others to cancel a message I have posted by them. I think twice before I write. After that, it is quod scripsi, scripsi. It is better not to write until one can do it in a reasonably angry way (as I have done on more than one occasion) than to write and send the message “never mind what I blog…”.
4. “Charity” is misunderstood. To slap a person you love because he has just blasphemed is charitable, and may the slap impress itself in his soul far longer than on his cheek. Conversely, to allow him to remain in error or to go on with his behaviour is uncharitable, though perfectly accepted in nicety-obsessed England. An angry blog is more likely to be authentically charitable to his own reader than the nanny’s one. By the by, “charitable” bloggers always remind me of Pride and Prejudice’s Mary Bennet; who, poor girl, is not very smart, but has a great need to take the moral high ground, because her sisters are beautiful. Yes, I know, an “uncharitable” remark. But one fitting the fictional reality of the novel.
So, that’s that.
I thought it had to be said. “Uncharitable” as it may seem to Mary Bennet.
Another day, another embarrassment coming from the Unholy Father.
The intention was, apparently, good: to send a strong message of disapproval to organised criminality in Southern Italy, and to make clear in this day and age you can’t be a member of the ‘ndrangheta and try to disguise as a good Catholic (it might have different in the past; but I do not want to digress).
The problem is that we have a Pope that does not know what an excommunication is. Which goes together with the very many other concepts of which he has no idea whatsoever, starting from the very idea of sin (I have written about this very recently) and continuing with his understanding of Salvation, Evangelisation, and a lot of other things.
This time, and not for the first time, Francis just said what came to his mind; probably because it sounded well, and he could already see the headlines. A child of six in first grade pays more attention before he opens his mouth. But again, a child of six has to pay attention to what he says in class lest the teacher punishes him, Francis hasn’t.
The impression is once again reinforced that to Francis, Francis comes first, second and third, and possibly also sixth and seventh. He could have condemned mafia-like activities in the strongest terms without the need for any “novelty”, or unusual word; but no, Francis must always be in the limelight. Whatever he talks about, it is always about him, it is always his person and attitude that are supposed to be taking centre stage; hence the continuous search for the “effect phrase”, the headline-producing statement making clear how different he is from his predecessors.
Francis simply can’t open his mouth without promoting Francis. I have no doubt in my mind millions of non-instructed Catholics will read the headline and think: “How good Francis is: no predecessor of his ever excommunicated the Mafiosi!”. Vatican officials have, of course, run to the rescue of sanity once again; but this is going to stay and, like the notorious “who am I to judge” catchphrase (strangely, not applied to mafiosi; who could well “seek the Lord and have good will” as much as every sodomite) is going to become a defining moment of Francis’ papacy, “the Pope who dared to condemn the mafia like no other Pope ever did” for the media, and “the Pope who excommunicated the mafiosi” for the uninstructed, hearsay Catholics out there, which is simply almost all of them.
Poppycock, of course; but what do facts count?
It may seem a detail, and some of you will think that this Mundabor is always picking at Francis’ faults. But the fact is that the faults are simply huge, and the fact that he has so many and exhibits them so often does not mean that we have to consider a first-grader Pope madly in love with himself as something normal.
Plus, there is another disquieting element: today it was the Mafiosi: an easy target, and a universally despised one. But tomorrow it could be something far graver, and causing a far bigger damage: in two words, us.
A Pope so careless that he can proceed to this kind of non-existent “collective excommunication” of baptised Catholics just because he likes the sounds of his words can easily use the same word to condemn Traditionalism, or Catholic orthodoxy, accused of not having charity and, basically, killing everyone (you have noticed already how easily Francis uses the word). It is simply so, that for this man the audience he has in front of himself and the echo his words will have in the media, not sound catholic knowledge – of which he is fully deprived, and perfectly happy with it – dictate what he is going to say. The day he thinks it will please the audience to excommunicate sound Catholics who don’t want to stink of manure, he will simply do it.
We are here far beyond Amerio’s circiterism. We are here full in the Kindergarten. We have regressed to six-year old children in first grade saying to each other “you are excommunicated”. Communication has become purely emotion-driven, and has no connection to facts whatsoever. This is pontifical fantasy land. The (secular) world is delighted.
How can a Pope who hasn’t the faintest idea of what he is talking about have any credibility at all? How can a Pope so obsessed with the echo of his own words, and so in love with his own popularity that he does not pay the least attention to what he says, command any respect as a man of intellect? I can detect no intellect at all here; unless it be calculated manipulation and deception; which, to be clear, would indicate quite the evil mind.
No, this is not yours truly harping on Francis’ little, innocent idiosyncrasies. Not having any idea of what one is talking about does not denote any idiosyncrasy; it denotes incompetence, imbecility, evil intent, or a mixture of them.
There. I have said it.
He can excommunicate me and all of you now.
Can’t wait for July.