Speaking Of The Dead

Hhmm... what shall I say about Salvador Allende?

Hhmm… what shall I say about Salvador Allende?


They say one should always speak well of the dead. Strangely, you never see the rule applied to Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, or Hitler.

Personally, I follow the rest of the planet and interpret the precept as a guideline asking us to be charitable in our assessment of the human – and generally rather private – weaknesses of the quisque de populo. But there is no doubt in my mind that the rule does not apply to public heresy or public scandal when the person in question was a clearly public figure, because in that case the scandal he gave in life will continue to work its evil after the man’s death.

I have heard it said in my native Country that when a pig is slaughtered he does not become a lamb, he becomes pork. Death in itself is no cause of any improvement. A heretic who dies is but a dead heretic. If he was dangerous in life, he will continue to be dangerous in death. He might even become more dangerous, because once he has kicked the bucket his writings and ideas might acquire a vague aura of prestige, making of him a sort of brave precursor, a sorely missed member of a supposedly glorious avantgarde of oh so beautiful, progressive minds. Rahner, Tyrrell, Martini, and pretty soon Küng are all points in case. But this also applies to non-religious, like public militant atheists, terrorists, and the like. The small list at the top is a point in case.

And yes, of course we pray for the dead. I have said my “eternal rests” even for Bin Laden, and do not regret doing so. But this does not change the quality of the man one bit, nor does it make any difference in the danger he still represents.

The ugly truth is that a bastard who dies is a dead bastard, and many are those considered bastards to such an extent as to merit hell. There’s no escaping the cold logic of the fact. The bastard may now be six feet under, but his ideas will continue to float around like extremely stubborn germs. There is, therefore, no reason whatsoever to not keep calling the dead bastard in the appropriate way, at least until the dangerous germs he left behind are dead and “buried” in exactly the same way.

Furthermore, it is particularly in the case of these public bastards that the public must be alerted to their very probable final destination, and warned about the equally probable consequences of following them. There is no world in which the death of a heretic makes following him less heretical. Rebellion has such a nature, that it does not stop with the death of the rebel. Therefore, the rebel must be exposed as such and publicly vilified not only in life, but also in death. If anyone thinks he does not deserve such a harsh treatment, he may want to consider not rebelling in the first place.

Truth is no respecter of enemies. Shame in life and after death must be the lot of those who willingly choose to defy Truth.

Let your gentle words apply to the poor devil, with his human miseries and his sinful weaknesses.

The public friends of the devil, and their open scandal, have no right to such dangerous regards.







Posted on January 29, 2015, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Across the pond here in America, we just “lost” one of our dear heretics last week, “catholyc” priest Richard McBrien, darling of every “spirit of Vatican II” dissident who infected millions from his perch at Notre Dame University and through his books which were at one time required reading in seminaries. A priest wrote that we should not speak ill of the dead, but I think like you. Several days ago on my blog I wrote about his miserable attempts to undermine the Church and Faith. He never publicly renounced his heresies and so he died a heretic and deserves the approbation he gets. I prayed for him, confidant that my prayers can be applied to a worthy soul if God so chooses, if not for him.

    • I have read the blog post.
      I thought I would offer my two cents.
      I haven’t mentioned McBrien because I wanted the issue to be general.
      McBrien is, if you ask me, pork.

  2. I’ve read that that tradition of only speaking good of the dead comes from the ancient Romans, who were superstitious pagans and feared that speaking ill of the dead might attract the vengeful ghost of the deceased. “Nil nisi bonum” might put the emphasis on the “nil”, if it comes to that: Don’t talk of the dead at all, but if you have to, make sure you only say good things. The dead just bring trouble – have as little to do with them as possible.

  3. “Homeless people in Rome will soon be able to head to the Vatican for a free shave and haircut…The move, arranged by Pope Francis’s almoner, follows a plan unveiled last year to install toilets and showers for the homeless in a renovated area in the vicinity of St Peter’s Square.”

    “Papal pal Bishop Ricca – a professional banker – commented, ‘Smelling pretty “down there” is de rigueur in some subcultures. And that’s just dandy like candy. But looking unkempt as if you just spent the past month praying in a cave like some sort of crippled monk in the Holy Land is just unacceptable! Personally, I’ll be mingling amongst our follicly oppressed lambs and scout for those particular souls requiring some one-on-one Mercy Sessions.'”

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