Daily Archives: February 18, 2015
Click here to follow “The Remnant”‘s answer to Michael Voris’ controversial intervention that has already caused the reaction of Louie Verrecchio and John Vennari (yours truly has reported on both cases).
I see a huge difference not only in attitude, but in competence between the two sides. I do not think many of you will say Voris is the one who ends up looking better at the end of this.
I suggest to all my readers to seriously consider cancelling whatever subscription to CMTV they might have, and to stop all donations.
One thing is a neo-Conservative sender who decides that it is better to stay silent about the Pope’s antics; but the decision to attack the best of the Traditionalist world without the slightest provocation, and throw such a massive amount of mud on the allegedly “schismatic” SSPX, does not make of him and his people worth of any support.
I notice here that the apologies to Mr Vennari, Verrecchio, Ferrara, Matt and whoever I may be forgotten made at the time of the accusation of being “spiritual pornographers” are still awaited.
We all know conversion may happen to anyone. It can be the result of a slow and gradual process, as in the case of the commenter of this blog who stopped to examine the simple perfection of a flower, and decided it could not have been the result of “coincidence”. Or it can be the result of a traumatic or painful event in one's life, which leads one to at least accept that there is a God: the death of Mussolini's brother, or of Putin's mother, come to mind.
When the conversion is, so to speak,fully successful, it changes one's entire outlook. In the already mentioned novel “The Betrothed”, the character known as the Innominato already has nagging doubts, and a sense of uneasiness with his evil and godless life that gnaws at him with irregular, but increasing force. The big crisis – and the providential conversion – of the Innominato is, however, precipitated by the contact with the purity, and the pure faith, of Lucia, the simple heroine of the novel and the woman he has accepted to have ravaged, and ruined.
A strong event, in instalments or not, will be normally required for one to see the light. A strong event will, I presume, also be required to lose it. not that this justifies it, but at least it gives one one key to understand what went on. I once watched on TV a man candidly admit he lost his faith following the death of his child daughter. Terribly wrong, of course; but you get my drift…
I do not think a man of strong faith ever slipped out of the faith inadvertently, one bit at a time. If your faith is strong, it is as strong and as luminous as the Sun. You simply don't forget the existence of the sun. It's just there. The evidence of things not seen. This is the faith; a grace given – thankfully – even to wretched sinners like your humble correspondent.
Why do I tell you old this?
Because whenever I see a prelate going head on against the Magisterium, it is very difficult for me to believe that he might just have slowly, imperceptibly changed, a millimetre at a time, until he became the contrary of what he once was.
No. I believe that when a prelate gives such a spectacle of itself he either never had the faith – the most probable case, if you ask me – or, far more rarely, some cataclysmic event led him to culpably lose it, with the sudden, massive assault of Satan being more than he can muster. The man thought he was guarded, but he wasn't. He felt safe in his conviction, but they weren't very strong. Perhaps he had not amply considered that only God's Grace allows him to remain on the right side anyway.
I simply do not believe in falling into heresy just through slow attrition. Too strong must the defence of sound faith be for that; and if it isn't, then it probably never was.
Why I say this? Because it seems to me that we are confronted with a generation of heretical prelates so numerous in number, and so aggressive in thinking, that I cannot believe all these people were, so to speak, emotionally earthquaked by some horrible circumstance in their life. No. What seems very probable to me is that the Church has been breeding a brood of vipers for decades now; people who never had a sound faith or a sound vocation, saw their role as the one of provider of people's emotional – as opposed to spiritual – needs, and were content to masquerade their unfaithfulness to Christ behind a lip service to the Church as they transformed more and more into social workers. In Francis they see one of them in power, and push to make him transform the Church in the direction they always wanted to have it: away from Christ, but near to “the people”; that is, the world.
Have we ever had signs of strong faith in, say, Jorge Bergoglio? Can we recognise in his life a phase of strong Catholic convictions, then mysteriously disappeared? I can't. Rather, what I see is the coherent picture of a man who never gave a straw, but played his cards well.
We know that he smoked pot; that he loved and still loves tango; that he stole a crucifix from a corpse in its coffin and even as Pope has the effrontery to brag about it; and, last but not least, that he consorts with perverts. He admits some of these things – including the pot, but don't forget the stealing from the dead – en passant as if they were minor incidents; or even great feats, fully to be expected in the life of your average Pope. Is this the stuff of priests?
Francis truly makes the impression of one whose biggest credit to orthodoxy is not to have married the line of the most fanatical proto communists within his orders; which firstly is no merit at all, and secondly would have put him in Rome's blacklist post haste; something a prudent man like him would not do anyway. Was he even known for the passionate defence of Catholicism? Did his sermons ever inflate his sheep? Do we have any sign of assertive, faithful apostolate? I can't find any.
I wouldn't be surprised if the same could be said of the Kasper and Marx, Voelki and Nichols, Murphy O'Connor, Dolan and Mahony of the world. I wouldn't be surprised if they all had all this in common: that they never even had a strong faith to lose, and perhaps some of them nevervhad any faith at all.
A Cardinal (and much more a Pope) advocating communion for adulterers cannot simply have forgotten the basics. He cannot have just “slipped” into the very contrary of what he believed. These things don't just “happen”. Shall we believe that an army of bishops and cardinals just “happened” to side with the world?
I don't buy it. I think in very many cases there was no conversion, no problem with lying, no identification with the Church, no fear of the Lord, or even no faith at all to begin with.
This, I think, is the most logical explanation for the Marxes and Kaspers, or for the Bergoglios of our time.
Right doesn't just slip into wrong.
I have known a couple of priests whose vocations were highly questionable. I mean by that that not only I have seen several priests of whom you wondered “what ever led him to enter the seminary”; but that two at least of these priests disclosed their extremely poor (as in: labourer family living in huts without water or a bathroom in the Southern Italian countryside) circumstances, circumstances throwing a light on their extremely embarrassed priesthood.
This one – of the priest who chooses the path because of the security it offers – must have been a phenomenon observable in all times past. So much so, in fact, that in the immortal I Promessi Sposi one of the main characters, Don Abbondio, is exactly one of them. The fact that this character became extremely popular and a proverbial way to describe a priest with a vocation of convenience – even before Vatican II, of course – says a lot about the frequency with which the phenomenon occurred, even before V II. The big wave of priests leaving the habit in the first ten-fifteen years of the Great Madness (many of them, arguably, ordianed before, say, 1963) also indicates that, however strong the Church, there is no safe way to look into people’s hearts. If you have never met any (or some) of this priests, you can call yourself fortunate indeed.
Some might now say that the vows of celibacy are deterrent enough to those who do not think God is calling them to the priesthood. I respond to that that reality shows the contrary is the case. The phenomenon of the priest with a Bonnie on the side was, in the past, so widely spread that family names like “Del Prete” or similar are very common in Italy; names which clearly indicate the popular perception that Franco, or Marco were “of the priest”. In the XVI century, 90% of the priests were estimated to have a fixed mistress.
We are not in the XVI Century anymore, and for many centuries now some of the occasions of sin have been eliminated (the helper of the priest must be old, say). Still, the easiness with which even bishops live a double life for many years, unchallenged, tells you a thing or two about how easy it must be, for the willing priest, to have a mistress on the side. The more so, as in our day and age no one is even requiring that a priest dresses like one when he is out and about. Heck, for many decades now many priests have even found ways to live a life addicted to sodomy; nor are they a recent phenomenon, as Pius V’s document linked on the side shows.
To this you must add that men are born with different degrees of libido, and with varied desires to have a family and children. It is very credible that – as Manzoni states; and notice Don Abbondio is a weak, but certainly chaste priest – a man can simply adapt to the circumstances and come to terms with the disadvantages of his chosen condition in consideration of the substantial advantages he gets.
The question could then be asked: yes, there will be bad, or even non-existent vocations; but is it possible for an Atheist to desire to become a priest in the first place? To this I answer: on which Planet do you live? Do you think that a homosexual asking admission in the seminary has even a shred of faith? How many of them there are? Atheism makes one deprived of scruples. To him, religion is a tale. If the organisation based on the tale gives him the opportunity to reach objectives very important to him, do you think there will be scarcity of people ready to live a life of half lies? Mind, I have heard at least two priests openly deny the existence of hell – one of them a Jesuit, in church; the other a parish priest, in class; the latter the one, by the way, of extremely humble origins – so thesevteo at least did not even feel the need to lie. And again: people are born with different degrees of shamelessness and hypocrisy. Atheists are not an exception.
Summa summarum: the priest or religious with no vocation is a reality alive and kicking in the Church, and has been present in every age. It is wrong to assume they must necessarily not only have felt a sincere vocation, but even have had faith in God when they made their decision. To read in men’s hearts is so difficult, particularly if they are good liars, that entire religious orders can be created on that lie, growing to powerful organisations of men, themselves, of strong faith.
This is a fact we cannot escape, and unavoidable in part even when the Church is at its strongest. This is also something we must have in mind whenever we hear people like Kasper, Marx, or Bergoglio openly defy the Magisterium. The widespread heresy within the Church cannot be explained with loss of a once strong vocation. Too many are the examples. Too powerful the men. There was a general crisis of vocation quality that, if you ask me, is perfectly exemplified by Bergoglio & Co.
They might have lost the faith. They might have never had it. Their entire life might have been a game of deception, induced by any or all of the following: poverty, ambition, low libido, intention not to abide by the vow of chastity, or ever atheism.
Beware of the wolves. Do not assume they are lambs until they eat you.
And, if I may suggest, read “The Betrothed”; which, notwithstanding the inevitable loss of beauty in the translation, must be a very informative, entertaining, and edifying reading anyway.
The Lent Reblog
Read on Rorate Caeli about this beautiful Lenten indulgence.
I point out that:1) the “usual conditions” apply: communion, confession. It is generally believed (unless I am mistaken) that a leeway of a reasonable number of days for the confession is acceptable. Therefore, you might go to Mass tomorrow and to confession on Saturday or, if you can’t make it, the following one. During Lent you will notice the possibility of confession might be increased in many churches. 2) I am sceptical about this “easy plenary indulgence” thing, which I suspect is rather a fruit of modern times. I always remember what St Philip Neri had to say on the matter, because I really can’t see myself doing anything wrong if I do. I will reblog the relevant post. I suggest everyone who can gives it a try. Even if we do not get th eplenary indulgence, the day we…
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TMAHIC* has condemned the murder of the poor 21 Coptic Christians. In this day and age this is, actually, news. Two things grate me of TMAHICH’s intervention:
1) Francis has condemned their murder by we do not know whom, in order to defend an unidentified religion. As condemnations go, this is a pretty easy one. As always, Francis refuses to see anything bad in Islam qua Islam. Hold on to your Korans!
2) Francis goes on to say that this episode should move us to “encourage each other in the ecumenical goal”. The first question here is: why? I do not know whether the poor martyrs were Catholic Copts (there are lots of them in Egypt) or not, but it is not to be seen how their martyrdom should speak in favour of ecumenism. The second question is why this man must use even a simple thing like the condemnation of such a barbarous massacre to push an agenda that he can, if he so wishes, push in many other ways.
My impression of this is that Francis’ approach is the one of the brain washer. He will not allow any occasion to go to waste to push his agenda, and whether this pushing is apposite or not makes no difference whatsoever.
Then there are these strange expressions we hear rather often, like today’s “cries out to be heard”. Cries out to heaven, you might think? Or cries out in the Christian community? Is this a heavenly, or an earthly perspective? Isn’t it natural for a Christian to call to heaven in such circumstances? To simply look up to heaven? When I read the phrase, I instantly missed that part. It is more than strange that Francis almost always keeps the ball very flat, and very far away from supernatural things; unless it is, of course, to condemn Catholics, in which cases there will be plenty of reference to their un-heavenly behaviour (many examples of that if you search this blog).
I do not know whether this intervention was drafted by another pen. If it was, the stupidity of the expressions therein contained makes clear Francis tampered with it.
And note this: the man who says that the massacre of these martyrs “cries out” is the one who stays silent about the religion that caused the massacre in the first place. Not much of a “crying out”, I would say.
Whenever this man says something safe, you can be sure it has been written by others. Whenever he touches the text, be assured he will make of it a breakfast’s pig.
I dread the next papacy.
But I still can’t wait for this one to end.
* The Most Astonishing Hypocrite In Church History