Daily Archives: February 12, 2015
I have written about this already, but as the Kirchensteuer is now in the headlines it is fitting to say a couple of words more.
Do not pay the Kirchensteuer! The Kirchensteuer is not used to make your Country more Catholic, but less. It is not used so that courageous priests may have ways to go on with their work, but so that too well-fed priest may continue to side with the world. It is used, as we see very often in interviews of Bishops and Cardinals, to undermine Catholicism. If you still do not see that it is the Kirchensteuer that made of Germany the enemy number one of Catholicism in the last fifty years, I question your intelligence.
But most of all, the Kirchesteuer is simoniacal. It is simply unthinkable for every Catholic who isn’t a German that a priest might, under any circumstance whatsoever, refuse confession, or a Christian burial, or anything else, to a Catholic because he has not paid to him and his exactly so and so much.
The Church has always lived because the charity of the Christians allowed her to be sustained, or because the Government has felt the need – as every Government must – to help her in her work. The idea of exacting such and such payment as a tribute due in order to remain part of the organisation is disgustingly Protestant, but at least the Protestants cannot even pretend to be the Church of Christ.
What goes on in Germany is the utter absurdity of a Church in search of paying clients for her services, and demanding an exact price – rather than what the good heart of the faithful is ready to give – for the provision of them. This is utterly insane, and it is an indictment to the entire German people that they still do not get the situation in which they have put themselves in.
The Kirchesteuer was originally born as a Protestant mechanism, born in order to organise tithing in the usually efficient German way. There was also a matter of expropriations, but such happened everywhere, and never were they used to justify simony. Germans warmed to it, because it is very German to think “I do not mind paying, if I know my neighbour isn’t allowed to cheat on his payment”. What this does is to destroy the very concept of charity. Furthermore, it creates a church too fat to be brave, and too afraid to lose her paying clients.
I have had Germans making an incredible face at being told that outside of the German space the Kirchesteuer could never exist. Sheesh. They thought you pay for your Sacrament like you pay for the cinema, or to the taxman.
Sheer unbelievable. No concept of Sacrament. No idea of charity. Pure simony, and smart aleck reasoning.
It worked well when the income tax was low, and the Kirchensteuer was little more than a pittance. The poor paid very little and were mainly concerned that their neighbour miner or shipyard worker also paid, and the rich had thousand legal ways to reduce their tax burden and with it the Kirchensteuer.
But what happened next, is that the German state expanded its activity like a cancer, multiplying the real tax burden of the poor, let alone the average citizen., as the real “poor” disappeared. The income of the churches grew in the same disproportionate measure (because a percentage of the total tax revenues), creating the situation we have today. What was born from a Protestant and German mentality to have a rather poor Church (including the Prods, who are largely Lutherans) has now become a monster sucking enormous resources against the simoniacal blackmail of “no sacraments” (some of them, at least).
It is beyond me how a decent Catholic could ever accept such a situation. It is not that without paying the Kirchensteuer he is forbidden to giving money to whatever organisation he wants! butit will not be to Cardinal Marx! It will not be to Cardinal Kasper! It will not be to Cardinal Woelki! Give your money for Christ’s work instead! SSPX! Kirche in Not! FSSP! The soup kitchen of your own parish, if it’s a good parish! But for Heaven’s sake, not to the Ministry of Sabotage!
Some people might then say – but truly: only in Germany – that you shouldn’t de-register, because this equates to apostasy. How bloody freaking German! If Athanasius had been told “by appointing bishops you are putting yourself formally and officially in schism”, do you think he would have been impressed? Who is, outside of Germany, so stupid that he makes his Catholicism depend not on his baptism and communion with the Church, but with the payment of a tribute? How can a good Catholic ever be less Catholic because he wants to be Catholic exactly as the other Catholics all over the planet? Padre Pio never paid the Kirchensteuer!
Mind: a Catholic knows that it is his duty to sustain the effort of the Church. But this is a matter of charity, not taxes! The very idea that the sacramental life be in sony way, shape or form linked to the simoniacal concept of “payment for service” is so blatantly un-Christian that can only work about those worshippers of Authority known as the Germans.
And if one were the type who doesn’t care, it would still be half understandable: “I don’t pay much, I don’t have discussions with my parents, and I look good in the village”. But if you care, how can you sleep at night knowing that your money finances prostituted priests and their pimps, the bishops and Cardinals?
“But Mundabor! The Church finances and runs many other institutions: hospitals, hospices, structures of all kind!”
Wonderful! Find the good ones, and donate your money directly to them, to be spent for their own purposes! Very probably, all tax deductible, it only needs for the institution to be registered as a recognised charity! You don’t have any limits! Donate all your income if you want to! But don’t give your money to that bunch of prostitutes, running a pro-homo brothel because you’re afraid to sign a paper!
Boy, at times I think that if the Germans were told “from now on, by law, you can only criticise the government if you sign a paper stating that you are dumb” there would be millions of them taking the declaration seriously, and not criticising the Government! “Hey, it’s the law! I would have to say that I am dumb! Can’t do that, you know; I am not dumb, you see!”
Time to wake up, folks.Aufwachen!
Choose fidelity to Catholicism, not Cardinal Marx.
The question has arisen as to why Benedict was insulted and vilified with a violence unknown concerning his predecessor. It is an interesting question, because those who follow Catholicism cannot see between the two anything near the difference the world sees. My attempt at explanation is as follows:
The masses do not reason, they emote. They are put in front of images, and take these images to be reality like a very small child would do. If you make them feel good they will like you, otherwise they will ostracise you. What you say or believe does not really interest anyone outside of the practicing Catholics. The theological vicinity of JP II and Benedict was, therefore, never an issue.
Severe, rigid, and very German, the still kind and gentle Ratzinger could never hope to win the symphaty of the mob.
No kissing of the soil for him. No captivating smile. A decades-long past of enforcer (of JP II, of course; but this requires too much thinking). Attention to liturgY. Red shoes. Far too intelligent for the masses to warm to him. A complicated talking and writing style. No frequent travelling circus. The man would not have had a chance even if he had been far more “progressive” than JP II.
Compare Benedict to JP II. Persecuted past. Captivating smile. Modern liturgy, mega masses, full airports. Shot on St Peter’s Square. Relentlessly travelling. Earth-kissing. From the Nineties on, part of the furniture in the households of half the planet. A reassuring old uncle in white, the kind of uncle no one listens to but everyone wants to have in the family anyway. Catholics kept leaving the Church, but the uncle in white was reassuring for everyone. JP II would have had the same success if he had been more conservative, because people didn’t care a straw for what he said; they felt better with themselves at seeing the usual old uncle in white, and that was that.
Professors are rarely popular. Showmen always are. JP II understood showmanship, B XVI refused to play the game in the first place. How orthodox they were, or what difference there were between them, not 1% of the population could have told you. But that JP II had a warm, welcoming, embracing smile the rigid, timid Benedict never had was known to everyone. In the age of mass stupidity, a smile is an awful lot.
The shoes, the chasuble, the liturgy, do not play – if you ask me – any real role in this. The world at large has no idea of what Summorum Pontificum is. They want to see if you kiss the earth, or produce yourself in some other new exercise of the sort. They want you to be part of a reassuring routine. In time, they will accept you if they see you on TV often. But you must have a good, telegenic smile, a smile they will like to see. They must feel better when they look at you. You must be their all-year Groundhog, whose “weather forecast” no one believes but it’s nice to have around anyway.
JP II was a very good groundhog; B XVI, not so much. Of all the rest (liturgy, appointments, social issues, doctrinal stance) the world at large had and has pretty much no idea, beside knowing that the Pope is Catholic (better times, those) and the Church will not change her teaching.
Of all those who told me how much they liked JP II, almost none knew the first three things about Catholicism. The same with those who later told me how much they do not like Benedict. The stance of the two Popes on many issues was largely the same. The criticism they did receive from the world for it was largely the same. But this is not what made the difference.
What made the difference is that one was a popular groundhog, and the other wasn’t; both because of the absence of the required smile and showmanship and because, thankfully, he never even wanted to be one.
The just passed anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin to Saint Bernadette offers the occasion for some sad but, perhaps, necessary reflections.
Bernadette was a profoundly humble, sweet, saintly, pure girl. God’s Grace and her collaboration with it, no doubt. But Bernadette also grew up in an environment in which such virtues were, if certainly not universally practised, at least universally indicated as a model. A girl in those years grew with a clear guidance of right and wrong, and in a world in which religion was far more than an afterthought. She had, they all had, in the Blessed Virgin a real role model.
Fast forward to today, a world in which girls of fourteen know everything about the men coming and going from the bed of their favourite female singers and actors, and consider this kind of cock sampling the natural way of things; many, no doubts, at that age can’t wait to begin their own sampling themselves, and identify it with being adult, mature, cool, or at least normal; something which, you know, goes with the age, like acne. Their role model is likely to be not the Blessed Virgin, but rather Miley Cyrus, or something of the sort. Very rare will be the girl whose role model still is the Blessed Virgin.
Why is that? Stupid as a girl of fourteen may be, why is she allowed to be so stupid? Because their parents have no guts, no clue, and no morals themselves; nor have most of their priests, if any are around; not to talk about bishops or the Pope, of course.
These are the girls whose mothers have done their fair share of cock sampling themselves, and have grown up in a world in which purity was an embarrassment. They probably had, at fourteen, more rigid standards than their daughters have today. But with standards it is so, that once they are down the slippery slope they will continue to slip. The mothers of today are growing daughters whom they themselves would have considered, at their age, promising first-class sluts. Most don’t care, and those who do must be afraid of the prompt rebuttal of their nowadays rather “enlightened” daughters, who will rapidly remind them of their own behaviour at a younger age. Few will be the mothers who can answer to that without blushing or who have undergone a real change of heart, and will therefore have the authority and the spiritual strenght to promote, and enforce, proper behaviour. In most cases, it will be “oh, well…” The sins of the fathers, and all that…
And what about the real fathers? Will they provide some guidance? Not many of them, methinks.
Papa will be separated or divorced in, say, often 20% to 40% of the cases; he might be living with another woman, whom his daughters see often and call familiarly with the family nickname; he will, often, work long hours; he will, more often, not be concerned, or even interested. There are fathers in Germany who hand the pill to their 16 years old, virgin daughters. A lot of them, I am told. An entire continent seems about to go to hell with the high sped train.
In the age of Miley Cyrus, Saint Bernadette does not have many followers among the fourteen years old. The girls themselves, the media, the school, the general environment, their own very parents generally do not care beyond, perhaps, the desire to avoid the embarrassment of an abortion. The Church is obviously absent and God forbid, the Pope talks insistently about purity rather than social “inequality”, or the “environment”. Not very popular, you see. Better not, then.
It gives you some clue as to what, unless something changes radically in our priests and in our society, the next generation of fourteen years old will be like.
We are informed that a diocese in the Netherlands is about to close more than 75% of its churches (no, it’s not a typo) in the short span of three years.
I am not sad at the news. My impression is that Catholicism is, in countries like Belgium and The Netherlands, so deservedly comatose that it is better for such shocking events to happen than to pretend everything is fine, perhaps because the money is still there.
France is almost at the same point. Germany will follow a decade or two later. As for Italy or Spain, all bets are off.
The Netherlands are in no way vast, and the infrastructure is wonderful. Every Catholic of good will and with a driving licence will be able to find a decent Mass still. The others will remain with strange arrangements, including using Protestant structures for their prayer meeting, or whatever it is they’ll do. Imagine the orthodoxy of that, but again I wonder if it is not every bit as bad now.
I am truly sorry for those orthodox aged Catholics who will remain without a church and without the ability to be transported to one. Somehow, I think their number must be extremely limited.
The very fake Catholicism in the Netherlands is experiencing a very authentic near death. What will survive is, very probably, the true Catholicism of those who care. A tiny minority, for sure; but hopefully a sound basis to start again.
A question, though, spontaneously arises: why was the suppression of the diocese itself not announced? What kind of diocese is that, that consists of… nineteen churches? How many administrative people does such a diocese employs?
Methinks, the bishop and his administrative apparatus are surplus to requirements. He has been in charge since 2008, which is a long time if you have serious intentions. The current bish might not carry all the responsibility, of course; but one truly wonders…
The Netherlands are the Country of the officially defeated, but not forgotten, Dutch Schism. The local Catholics are successfully rebelling themselves out of existence. With the Muslims now a significant presence in the Country and the Proddies generally less Christian than my cat, interesting times might be in store for them. The Dutch are very tough warriors, though, or at least they were before the age of marijuana. They will probably manage to crush any Islamic attempt at takeover; whether they will manage to have the same success concerning their soul is more than questionable.
The Springtime announced by V II is there.
One merely wonders why it is so bloody cold.