Daily Archives: March 3, 2017
Antonio Socci wrote it first, and the English-speaking press echoed it everywhere: it appears a number of Cardinals (a dozen, at least) have contracted a bad case of “buyer’s remorse”. They hope to persuade the Evil Clown to step down and go Obama himself somewhere very far, where he cannot cause any more damage. Not, mind, because they have suddenly discovered orthodoxy. Rather, because even they cannot ignore the huge amount of devastation the stellar incompetence of this man is causing at all levels of Church life.
Well, dear girls, this is what happens when you make Pope a South-American dictator with all the marks of his breed: arrogant, ignorant, fairly stupid, absolutely incompetent, but fully persuaded of his own greatness.
The fact that Socci wrote this, and many outlets were ready to echo the news, seems to show the rumour is considered credible. However, it does not need a genius to understand that a number of the less corrupted Cardinals have been thinking “what have we done” for a long while now, nor is the lower number floated around (a mere dozen according to the London The Times, whilst the original article of Socci in Italian has the far more robust “gran parte”, “a great part”. This indicates a majority within the original Bergoglio voter block, and also shows The Times might have their own sources) the indication of a major earthquake happening. Truth does not depend on numbers, but I doubt Francis will be much impressed by a dozen of kitten meowing. He might, however, be far more impressed by thirty, or forty, or fifty Cardinals, because they could hurt him badly.
If they were men, that is, instead of kitten.
Men act. Kitten whisper some meowing in the ear of journalists, because they know they will never have the guts to do anything else. I hope to be proven wrong. I believe I will be proven right.
Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the proof of the Cardinals’ worry for their own salvation and the good of the Church can only be a very public denunciation of both Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis’ silence about the Dubia. The best indication of how weak and emasculated these people are is exactly the fact that they have all the possibilities to completely destroy Francis’ papacy, and choose to meow with some journalist instead.
More than five months have passed since Francis received the original letter with the Dubia. The silence of the Cardinals is deafening. Whispering bitchy things in the ears of journalists is no substitute for doing one’s job. The time to act is now.
I notice here en passant that at least eight of these twelve (very probably more, assuming either that the Four Cardinals have not voted for Bergoglio or that Socci is right and they are way more than a dozen) have not dared to come out publicly in defence of the Dubia. No John Wayne among these, for sure.
We will see if, by some half-miracle, the Cardinals find the guts to do what absolutely needs to be done. I remain skeptical, and think that things will get much worse (perhaps, for decades) before they get better. For the time being, I would be happy enough if not forty, but four Cardinals found the guts to speak out plainly; but I very much doubt that, too. If they ever speak, my pint is on some more meowing that does not give Francis more than an itch.
I can picture a dozen of Cardinals very vividly, all dressed in red, hidden like little boys behind one of the huge columns in St Peter as Francis passes by, and whispering to each other that at least one of them should come out and confront the Pope; each one of them explaining to the others in hushed tones why it is not prudent that it should be him; letting Francis go by unchallenged as they whisper; and finally deciding, all together, to go bitch with a journalist instead.
I have this picture vividly in front of my eyes, and I do not know whether to laugh or cry.
The Church will survive this bunch of cowards.
Whether their soul survives this test is a different matter altogether.
And it came to pass yours truly went to the Ash Wednesday mass, and listened to the homily. At times, yours truly wishes he could not listen to the homily because he is scared of what he is going to hear. But this time, he was fairly relaxed.
Therefore, I was surprised when the priest chose to put a strange “spin” on the meaning of the ashes. In short, he said that the ashes represent the remains of the sins and bad habits we burn during lent, which will fertilise our Christian life just as the ashes fertilise the soil.
I found the context questionable. Whilst the image of the burned remains of the sinful habits which lead to a more fertile Christian life is certainly orthodox and even beautiful, it seems to me that the main message of Ash Wednesday has been – perhaps unwittingly so, perhaps willingly so – diluted.
When the priest marks my forehead he is giving me a traditional, very simple, very brutal message: My body is dust waiting to happen. This message is, I always thought, exactly the message of Ash Wednesday. One can have twenty other similes for the ashes, and one can certainly use them with great profit during the year. But in my simple mind, the simile used by the priest is just not what Ash Wednesday is about.
You might say that I am fussing here, and I possibly am. But in the climate of demolition we are experiencing I cannot avoid seeing subtle attempts at sabotage in everything that deviates from what my grandmas would have legitimately expected to hear. Not can I imagine that in the time of my grandmas the priest would have avoided mentioning the real issue (the Four Last things) rather than wandering about in the realm of Catholic imagery.
Mind: not one word was changed in the liturgy, there were no abuses of sort. The words with which the priest put the ashes on the forehead of the faithful were exactly the same you would expect to hear. The real message of Ash Wednesday was clear enough. But… this was only thanks to the liturgy, not the priest. The priest actually gave the impression he wanted to make of the message something else. More likely, the priest was unwilling to repeat in the homily the brutal message to spread which Ash Wednesday exists, and decided to give the faithful a softly-softly “alternative reading” of it. Not in order to deny the point, but in order not to have to dwell on it.
As you can expect, the Four Last Things were never mentioned, but the word “joy” was uttered several times. This seems to be the word V II churches consider as obligatory as “Amen”, and the true essence of Catholicism.
How I long for the times when the priests spoke of death, judgment, heaven and hell instead of always shoving alternative readings of familiar concepts and the omnipresent “joy” down our throats.
Give me that old time religion. It’s good enough for me.
Meat causes a lot of cow farting. Atrocious for the environment, you know.
Will broccoli save us? Or zucchini perhaps? Should we not eliminate the skinny-faggy-twenty-latte? That’s a lot of farting, too!
As I ponder this, I reflect on how very, very bad we Westerners are. Particularly Whites. Even more particularly those White and Male. Most of all, of course, those White, Male, and Straight.
I belong to the last group. Can’t say to you how ashamed I am.
I will ponder on this as I walk to the organic vegetable shop.
Or make a huge pastrami sandwich instead.
In these momentuous months, I will try to give some clarity – at least according to my limited lights – as to what is the situation in front of us.
A bad Pope can be very bad, a material heretic or a formal heretic.
If he is a very bad Pope, the faithful will have a clear duty to say so in order to avoid the faithful being confused.
If he is a material heretic, the faithful will have to point out that a pope spreads heresies if not in an “officially official” manner, certainly in a factual, “off-the-cuff” one. It is not for the faithful to declare a Pope deposed, or not in charge. The faithful will refuse obedience to the heresies of the Pope. This is all.
If the Pope is a formal heretic, the faithful will have to point out that the Pope is a formal heretic, and hope and pray that (and invite the bishops and cardinals to) the said bishops and Cardinals take steps to this effect. It is still not for the faithful to declare a Pope deposed.
If the Cardinals and Bishops do not act, we are in the same situation already lived in the time of Pope Honorius: officially heretical Pope, who has supported his heresy with a letter meant to solve a controversy and therefore to be used in a public setting and, by extension, to be respected by the entire Church, sits on the throne of Peter. Bishops do not dare to dethrone him. Truth does not change. Pope remains Pope. Divine Providence will deal with this situation at some point, which cannot be seen in the moment (in the case of Honorius, the account was settled only after Honorius’ death; a development uncertain during the life of the heretical Pope).
We are now somewhere between the second and third scenario. Pope Francis has been a material heretic for a long while. Reasonable people can argue whether Amoris Laetitia does or does not constitute – according to how to interpret the willed level of deception and provocation – formal heresy. Francis’ letter to the bishop of Buenos Aires – clearly meant, like Honorius’ one, to be circulated, as the bishop was writing in the name of the Argentinian ones and was not expressing a private doubt – reinforces in my eyes the argument of the formal heresy.
Some Cardinals are now clearly thinking the same, and they are seemingly testing the obduracy of Francis in proclaiming his heresy even as they offer him a way out, as happened in the case of John XXII. They might, or might not, take further steps.
Note here: the SSPX has not declared the Pope deposed, though through Bishop Fellay they have declared him a (material) heretic. The SSPX undoubtedly keep seeing in him the Pope.
My suggestion to all my readers is that they should not lose any sleep thinking whether they should declare a Pope deposed. It reminds me of the people “declaring” Trump “not elected”. The facts look at you square in the face, and nowhere in the 2000 years long history of the Church it is said that it is for the single faithful to make such decisions.
Truth will triumph in the end. This can be in three months, in three years, or in 300 years. You should rather worry yourself with the rather earlier moment in which you and everyone of us will see this Truth in front of ourselves, and will be judged accordingly.
Pope Francis and his possible heretical successors can only try to confuse me for as long as I live, and my death will be the instantaneous end of every confusion. I have no intention of allowing him (or his successors) even one second of doubt. My duty is to soldier on at Christ’s side, according to my lights, in prayer, and without thinking I can decide who is Pope. My religion gives me a sure guidance as to how to deal, in everyday matters, with a heretical Pope. It is not for me to decide to what extent the successor of a heretical Pope is a legitimate Pope (heretical Pope Honorius was declared a heretic by bishops who had remained silent in front of his very heresy). The only thing I can do is to cry out loud for what appears to be the standard solution: bishops – does not matter how many – call an imperfect council which officially declares the Pope a heretic, and therefore declares him already deposed by God by way of his own heresy, and proceeds to elect a new one: and let truth and falsehood fight as hard and as long as Divine Providence allows, and for centuries if it needs be. We will soldier on at the side of Christ and will be happy to die in His shadow, in the midst of crumbling worlds.
But none of these declarations, councils, & Co. has to happen. You need none of this to collaborate with Grace to save your soul. You need none of this to try to work with Grace in the saving of the souls near you. You go on proclaiming the Truth of Christ and hope that this will be counted for you the day you die.
You are a simple soul that will be judged according to your decisions as everyday Catholic, not according to your decision as Popemaker.