Daily Archives: November 19, 2014
If I Were To Found My Own Church….
… I would feel, actually, a blasphemer. This, for the simple reason that I am not God, and God already found His own Church on Christ. So no, I could never even think of something like that.
I know it's obvious. But Cardinal O'Malley did not say it, so I will have to.
Of course one could, in a joking manner, make the absurd argument. “Hey”, he might say, “these are not my rules. They are God's rules. If you don't like them, complain by him!”. Or: “hey, these are not my rules. If it depended on me, I would make chocolate a remedy against cholesterine!” Statements like this only declare, in a joking manner, that we know nothing, and are prone to sin. They are fine in the proper context.
The problem with Cardinal O'Malley, though, is that he created the wrong context, and he gave entirely the wrong perception. Firstly, by choosing to say “I would love to have women priests” he touched a taboo, making a comparison that he knew would be easily misunderstood, and which smacks of political correctness on the cheap. Secondly, he did not add the necessary caveat, adding to his words an expression like “but I would be the biggest idiot on earth only if I thought to do so, because God has already founded His own Church, which is the only one”, or “but only a cretin can think that he knows better than God, and what whatever God states cannot be improved upon, and we accept it instead of discussing it; otherwise we aren't Catholics, but heretics and idiots”.
Instead, the Cardinal chose a different, very arrogant approach. The message he sends is more like “I feel with you rabid feminists, and humanly speaking I cannot avoid thinking that you are right. Embarrassingly enough, Jesus differs. But Jesus cannot be wrong so hey, we'll have to live with this embarrassment; one we can't humanly understand or justify in any other way than by stating that it comes from Him so there must be something right in it”.
Come on, Your Grace. You can't fool us on this one.
I could now, for the edification of the Cardinal, write not one but several blog posts explaining why it is the greatest blessing that women cannot be priests. But as I am pretty sure he knows all already much better than I do – being more than a couple of springs more seasoned than I am – I will let it be for today; safe in the knowledge that the man wanted to pander to the world, hiding behind the finger of “for some reason, Jesus chose that way, so let's bear this burden with Christian resignation”.
This is not one who defends Christ. Rather, he is one who says he does not understand Christ's apparent misogyny, but he deals with it in obedience.
Not much of a Cardinal, this one.
Benedict’s Double Shock
The “Eponymous Flower” blog has not one, but two pieces of news concerning the confusion in the Church and the Pontiff Emeritus.
The first one is the chilling acknowledgment that forty years ago, the positions of then Professor Ratzinger concerning communion for divorced and remarried were very similar to what is, today, promoted by Cardinal Kasper.
“Chilling” is the only way I find to describe the cancer that, in those years, was invading the body of the Church. It is to be noted that in 1972 Ratzinger had long been considered Not a “progressive” theologian anymore, but rather a conservative one – as conservative NO theologians went, of course -. It truly makes one shiver.
The second one is that the same person, now Pontiff Emeritus, distances himself from his theories of four decades ago, and takes squarely position in the… Catholic camp.
The Pontiff Emeritus does this with the usual grace. Not for him, he seems to say, the role of the open critic of the Pope. He will, instead, limit himself to reinstate the truth; an act more to be praised, because it does not happen every day that a theologian revises old and long forgotten material to let – implicitly, but very clearly – the world know he was wrong, and now he must speak in reparation of the offence he himself has caused.
Still, the fact itself and the probably not-so-casual moment for Benedict's self-correction can only have one meaning: a massive warning shot to Francis.
It is, at this point, perfectly useless to pretend not to know on which side Bergoglio is, or what he would do of Catholic doctrine in this and many other issues if he had the possibility to act like an ecclesiastical Chavez. Even the feminists, the dissenters and the utterly retarded know by now that Francis wants to change the way the Church operates, and people from all corners are coming out to tell him “watch out, old man!”.
The Pontiff Emeritus' intervention – the second in just a few weeks, you will remember – also shows what alarm Francis' antics have caused all over the Catholic world. If a gentle soul like Benedict decides himself for an intervention – two, actually – that clearly show to the new Pope the lines being drawn in the sand (and unavoidably translating into a lesson, and a humiliation, given to the arrogant Argentinian), then it is clear that Benedict could not reconcile his conscience with remaining in silence any longer. He had to speak, and he has done it twice. The second one, most notably, as he indicts himself – his old self – as he defends Tradition.
This intervention will, if the world media pick the news, become a formidable blow to Francis' already wobbling reputation among Catholics. But even if the secular media decided to ignore this, many good Catholics who follow the things of the Church would still consider this a rather transparent development, and for many of them this would be an eye-opener.
The former Pontiff is warning the faithful about the present one. May there be thirty clarifications about Benedict's text in the next days, this is exactly what has happened.
As I have written already, the magic is gone. Criticism is now not only common, but daily, even among the highest ranks. There is no week without at least one very high profile defence of Catholicism against – I know it, you know it, everyone knows it – Francis. It is now even getting mainstream, and I can see it explode in Francis' face without much difficulty.
The Pontiff Emeritus has now – for all who have eyes to see; all others may continue to believe in fairies – joined the fray; in his own very gentle way, I agree; but still, in a way that cannot be misunderstood. He is neither the first, nor the last of those who are clearly signalling to Francis that he will not be allowed to mess up with Catholicism. He, nota bene, who was doing pretty much the same forty years ago, and has now the humility to change his position.
Has the old pothead got the message? Loud and clear.
Will he be sane enough to take heed? We can only hope.
Pray that this Pope does not make it to the 2015 Synod, and a good Catholic presides over it instead.
Sedevacantism Now And In Future
I am asked how I reconcile my refusal of Sedevacantism with my often-repeated statement that I would recognise the See vacant if the SSPX said so. The matter seems pretty obvious to me; but hey, let's have a blog post, as it can be a useful reading to refresh a thing or two.
I do not have a crystal ball. Sedevacantism as it is peddled nowadays seems utterly absurd to me for the reasons explained in many blog posts. Still, it is obvious – and this issue has been also dealt with frequently on this blog – that Sedevacantism per se was never an absurdity, but actually a very real possibility at various times in the history of the Church.
If, for example, John XXII had dared to proclaim a wrong dogma, I cannot imagine any other solution than the See being declared vacant by at least a number of Cardinals (plus theologians, prestigious religious, & Co.) It is also obvious that theologians like St Roberto Bellarmino dealt with the issue because they considered it a possibility, not merely a pastime for rainy winter afternoons.
Unfortunately – and this has, also, been stated often on this blog – we are now in one of those times in which Sedevacantism starts to appear on the horizon as a possibility. Why is that? Because Francis is such a pothead that there is literally no limit to where his arrogance, ignorance and breathtaking faithlessness could lead him.
Can, therefore, Sedevacantism become a reality? Of course it can. This was, in theory, always the case. But this time, the possibility is far less remote than in usual times.
How can we, then, recognise when such a point has come? You, who know better than me, will certainly be able to decide for yourself. But I, who am terrified of dying and being reproached of having wanted to decide who is and is not the Vicar of Christ, will defer the matter to the superior authority of those to whom I would, when in doubt, always entrust my salvation in preference to an idiot like Francis; those I consider the purest sanctuary of Catholic orthodoxy and to whom I can, therefore, entrust a decision, and die in the fear of the Lord but able to say, on that fateful day, “confronted with unprecedented scandal, I chose the side of your most faithful allies”.
Do I need to be a theologian to make such a decision? No. What I need is to realise that now, as in other times in the past, when we seek orthodoxy we must look to Athanasius rather than Liberius; without saying that Liberius is not the Pope, as long as Athanasius thinks Liberius is; but following Athanasius rather than Liberius if the modern Athanasius (the SSPX) were to declare the See vacant, and Liberius an imposter.
The above should be sufficient to make the rather banal point. But as I am by the argument, I will say two words more.
There are many shades of gray between the white of an orthodox Pope and the black of a vacant See. A Pope can position himself at very many points in the Saint-to-Idiot scale without the See being vacant. Pope John XXII was certainly a heretic, albeit a material one. Honorius was officially condemned. Liberius was weak, at the very least, to the point of being an accomplice of the gravest heresy, and vastly below the required standard. But even a materially heretical Pope does not a vacant See make, which is why Bishop Fellay calls Francis a Modernist, but still sees in him the Pope.
The See is not vacant. More prosaically, a total ass is in charge. There is no saying what kind of stupid things this ass may not do. Therefore, Sedevacantism is a possibility. We, who care for our salvation, do not assume that we can decide for ourselves whether there is a Pope; rather, we defer to the best Catholic authority we can pick around to orientate ourselves; then we may not be the finest theologians, but we know enough to choose between Athanasius and Liberius, and know that a bad Pope can be extremely bad and even heretic, and still be the Pope.
That's it, really. It's not complicated. It should not have needed an extra blog post, but I thought it could be a useful reminder anyway.