Daily Archives: May 24, 2017
Pope Francis heaped insults on Donald Trump when… he thought he would lose.
Sadly for him, Donald Trump won. Bergoglio, who is just as good at bullying the weak as he is incapable of opposing the strong, had to readjust to reality and decide whether he wanted to part of the “resistance” (outing himself as a damn Sixty-Eighter for the last of Cathokic Trump voters, who are an awful lot) or limit himself to the useful trite common place that do not frontally attack anyone of the really powerful and popular.
Trump, on the other hand, keeps being his usual self. Trump would screw someone multiple times whilst smiling telling the world what a wonderful person the screwed one is. He has done it with Romney, he is doing it with Francis. Today we had another example: Trump beaming, Francis grumpy. It was clear who of the two has bent the other to doing what he has to do.
The Wall with come. Francis will look and whine, but the Wall will still come. Trump will sport a radiant smile as he swears how much he likes the Francis, and forces everyone to acknowledge him as the POTUS and just live with it. It will be mighty fine to watch. Today, Francis has contributed to make America great again by being too cowardly to risk an open confrontation with Trump.
But again, this is what the man always does. A bit of pressure, and he will cave in. No pressure, and he will eat you alive.
A last word about the gifts. Trump to Francis: Martin Luther King. Francis to Trump: (as always) his own crappy writings. Francis is so full of himself he thinks he is the best thing anyone could read.
What a humble Pope we have.
Not without surprise, I sometimes read the one or other Rad Trad blog (not excluding mine, I must very immodestly say; then my critics seem to read me more than I read them, and I notice their criticism only by way of a limited number of blog referrals, which in turn do not indicate a huge readership) called “insignificant”. As if, in the great battle between Right and Wrong, this had any importance.
Let us say you bravely defend Catholic Truth among friends and relatives, and no one heeds you. Is your effort insignificant? Certainly not! It is very significant, in fact, to the Angels looking on you from heaven. It is very significant for your own salvation. And, last but not least, it is significant because it is right.
But let us say, now, that you have a blog, and this blog reaches thirty people, who read you three times a week and draw some benefit from it. Thirty people who actually think that you make a difference in their spiritual life, or in their view of Catholicism, or in helping them not to drown in a sea of confusion; and, therefore, come back to your blog again and again. Is this insignificant? Certainly not! You are, in fact, already exercising a bigger influence than most teachers, bar the very best, have on their pupils! And all this, in most cases, gratis et amore Dei. No, it is certainly not insignificant. It is, in fact, a notable achievement.
However, it must be clear to all of us that, in the great scheme of things, we are all insignificant, in that none of us will ever, alone, change the course of history or be a leader of nations. This is true both for our insignificant blogs, and for those still insignificant Catholic publications who call us insignificant, and I doubt if they ever properly strengthen the faith of anyone, rather than leading them towards indifference or perdition.
But then again I wonder: how insignificant is insignificant, if it is mentioned among countless blog to one’s own readership as an example of lack of significance? Does not this deny, in itself, the premise? Still, they are right in the essence: in the great scheme of things, insignificant we all are, together with our detractors.
How should, therefore, each faithful Catholic (mother and father, friend and colleague) see ourselves? We should see ourselves, I think, as warrior ants.
Each one of us, taken individually, is certainly insignificant in the great scheme of things (albeit what he does is most significant for his own salvation, which in itself is infinitely important). However, warrior ants are a frightful force when they march together. Does the individual warrior ant care about how much “significant” she is? I have never asked one, but most probably not. The warrior ant cares, in her own way, about what she can do exactly as insignificant, expendable warrior ant, and that is the beginning and the end of it.
When we die we will not be asked whether we have “changed the world”. We will not be asked how “significant” we were. We will not be asked how many readers our blog used to have. We will be asked whether we have kept defending Truth when no one listened to us; when we were mocked and insulted; when we were, in fact, being – exactly – insignificant to the world. And by the way: be afraid of when the world calls you “relevant”: you might just have become like it.
I have started this blog hoping to reach sixty or seventy people every day: two to three school classes. My thinking was that this kind of readership would allow me to help my fellow Catholics in a comparable way as, say, a deeply Catholic high school history or philosophy teacher who has the ability to, as they say, “touch the life” of a comparable number of people every day with his own solid faith. Every blogger who is inclined to write and perseveres in his aim can, I think, reach this goal (and compensate for a non-existent Catholic philosophy or history teacher) obviously for no pay. Call it insignificant as much as you want, but I think it already counts a lot, both in this world and in the next.
This little effort – insignificant, of course, in the great scheme of things – reaches around 1500 unique users every day, and it is sailing towards five millions page views. You can call it, if you wish, a very fat and very angry warrior ant, but a warrior ant it still is. Few good history or philosophy teachers reach as many lives as this warrior ant does. You can also call it fifty philosophy classes, or three healthy parishes (apart from the fact, of course, that your fat warrior ant is not a priest). But you see, I do not start writing a blog post thinking of the fifteen hundred people my blog post might reach. I start writing for this blog because I want to be one of the Blessed Virgin’s Warrior Ants. Small. Expendable. Utterly insignificant. But still there, marching together with many other warrior ants, and not caring about this world’s or his battle’s outcome. A single warrior ant can be easily squashed, but an army of them is a devastating force.
One of the reasons I write this blog is to encourage every one of my readers to be, in his little sphere of influence, Blessed Virgin’s Warrior Ants. I encourage you to be warrior ants – with the due prudence; we aren’t like those Proddie in Oxford Street crying around: “repent!” – when no one seems open to you, when everyone considers you that very strange guy. One day, with God’s grace, the one or other may well remember your words, start to connect the dots and, in time, start to finally understand.
In order to do this, the warrior ant must bite. Fluff is easily forgotten after two days, strong words will be remembered in fifty years. By God’s grace, the words your atheist relative resents today might be the words God uses to save his soul on his deathbed in, say, 2055; with Pope Francis V very unhappily reigning , and Catholic ruins everywhere.
Yes, we are – taken individually – utterly insignificant. Expendable warrior ants. Not even a small nuisance to the world.
May we die that way, all of us, and what a blessing!
I read around other blogs comments which ask what would be the use of the correction, seen that Francis will not change his mind or his policy afterwards.
This is tantamount to asking what good it was to condemn Luther's heresies, seen that Luther did not change his mind or policy afterwards.
Truth must be defended irrespective of immediate consequences. It must be defended to encourage the faithful of this generation, and to serve as a witness to faithful of all generations to come.
In the present times, countless good Catholic will feel a great consolation in knowing that they have not been left entirely alone by their clergy. In future centuries, it will be known that, when the rot within the Church was so deep that even Popes were not ashamed to support – if not openly proclaim – heresy, at least some of the Princes of the Church had the guts to stand up for Truth.
There is in the history of the Church a period that is given little attention, but in my opinion was absolutely devastating at the time: the period between Pope Honorius' heretical statement and his death first, and the condemnation of his heresies second. Honorius had given support to the heresy of Monothelitism in 635, with a letter clearly intended to be circulated and to end a controversy. Heresy was, at this point, openly defended. A materially heretical Pope was, at that time, sitting on the throne of Peter.
To my knowledge there was, at the time, not only no convocation of a council to depose the Pope, but also no open confrontation with him and refusal to accept his authority in everything pertaining to his heresy. There was, in short, not only no ecumenical council, but even no Athanasius willing to go against the flow of acquiescence to papal heresy. This went on for three years.
This situation (of a heretical Pope not officially censured) did not end in 638, when the Pope died unchallenged und en-deposed. In fact, the official condemnation of the man as heretic only came more than four decades later, in 680. However, between 638 and 680 we know of continued confrontations between the promoters of the heresy and Rome, with all Popes after Honorius firmly on the side of truth.
Still, the fact remains: a Pope intervenes in a controversy openly supporting a heretical position, and he neither deposed nor (for what I know) denounced as heretic. What a stunning challenge to the faith, what shockingly turbulent times, and without an Athanasius to challenge his Pope Liberius!
We need our Athanasius. We need witnesses for Truth among our Bishops and Cardinals. It does not matter much (though I would love it) if Francis is or is not deposed by an ecumenical council in the end. But it matters that all faithful of this and all future generations know that when the going got tough, tough bishops and cardinals got going.
Today, we cannot mention Liberius without remembering Athanasius. Athanasius stands tall as the man who exposed error not forty years later, but whilst it was happening. As the heresy reared its ugly head, the hero arose to challenge it. But we have no Athanasius for the time of Honorius. Honorius lived three years after his letter, and I have no knowledge of any Athanasius. What a shame.
We are now repeating the situation in the times of Honorius: a Pope (at least materially) promotes heretical positions and we have no more than rumblings, rumblings which must certainly have existed also in the time of Honorius because they aren't dangerous. But those willing to stand up and openly proclaim the faith against papal sponsored heresy, we do not have them.
Cardinal Burke & Co. are in front of a choice: to be the Athanasius of our time or to remain silent in a time of heresy openly proclaimed and shamelessly spread. They have failed all of us up to now. They actually give the impression that they would have liked to be like Athanasius if it could have been done without risk, but have decided to revert to the behaviour of Honorius' bishops when it became clear they do not have the support they thought they had. Paper tigers, the four of them.
Athanasius did not wonder how many would follow him. His famous contra mundum statement is the most glorious example of faith defended no matter what the consequences. Athanasius was a giant.
Do we live in times of Giants or Dwarves?
I fear I know the answer, but I would love to be proved wrong.