Category Archives: Catholicism
Rorate Caeli has an article from Prof. Roberto de Mattei about the strange situation of the “two Popes”. I invite you to visit the site and read the excellent article yourselves.
I would like to add to it my own two cents.
I do not think that Benedict confuses the papacy with the Episcopacy. The man is, if you ask me, far too smart for that. I also think that, when he abdicated, Benedict did not have in mind a Bishop Emeritus, but rather the well-known figure of the Professor Emeritus in the University system; that is, a title that indicates the persistence of the role and of the attached prestige in the relevant person, without any reference to sacraments.
Why Benedict did this is evident enough to me: a man deeply rooted in history, and extremely informed about the Italian cultural environment, Benedict wanted to eat his cake and have it, which is what he has done his entire life.
Bishop Ratzinger wanted to look progressive to “revolutionary” V II thinkers, but still appear conservative to the solid faithful when he was a theologian. As a Pope, he wanted to look like the Pope of the Latin Mass to us decent Catholics, whilst proceeding to countless progressive appointments and not only tolerating, but promoting inter faith rubbish to appease the progressive lobby.
Is it surprising that the same Pope wanted, when the time came, flee for fear of the wolves, whilst still appearing like he is doing his job?
Hence, the University-derived “emeritus” title. With it, Benedict wanted to tell us: “See? It’s not that I do not want to be Pope anymore. It’s that I simply do not have the energy to do it!”. Once again, Benedict seeks the easy way out of a conflict, whilst paying attention that he still looks good. Yes, like he did with Summorum Pontificum, which he promulgated to please us and then allowed to largely remain lettera morta to please the other side.
Ratzinger is deeply embedded in the Italian culture, and he did not want to bear the mark of the Celestino Quinto; a man who can be canonised, but is still not popular in Italy, where he is still considered (via Dante; who does not mention him explicitly, but makes sure you know whom he is talking about) the very embodiment of the cowardly Pope. This, however, does not mean that he wanted to do his job. In a word, the Benedict who abdicated was, actually, pulling another Ratzinger stunt.
I begin to think that an element of vanity crept in. Perhaps he wanted to be sure that he would be allowed to live within the confines of the Vatican, enjoying its gardens and astonishing beauty, and many of the same priivileges of before the abdication, without the hassle of actually having to have harsh confrontations with people. Perhaps the white habit was important to him, because it helped him to lie to himself and not feel like a Celestino. Perhaps he thought that the next Pope would be sound, thus allowing him to stay out of the theological fray.
Alas: as it often happens, Benedict had to discover that his plan with the cake did not really work. As his successor descended into an abyss of heresy, Benedict once again felt that he had to say something to appease sincere Catholics (eat his cake) whilst still professing great admiration for Francis (have it). Hence, the book; which, once again, he thought he could co-publish without need for any harsh confrontation.
Sadly for him, the confrontation came anyway, in the form of an extremely irate Francis and an extremely hard lobbying Gaenswein.
Trust Benedict, at this point, to do what he always did in life: cave in, and flee for fear of the wolves.
There are very simple explanations for Ratzinger’s behaviour, and they all have to do with the Celestino issue, that is: with Benedict being one, but without wanting to appear one.
This is, by the way, more and more corroborated by the facts that are emerging now. When Archbishop Vigano’ reveals that in 2011, when he was still in charge, Ratzinger candidly admitted to him that he was aware that Gaenswein kept hot issues away from him, without proceeding to instantly fire the guy, Vigano’ tells us that this man was a puppet of much stronger people than him, and unwilling to steer unpleasant confrontations, even when he was officially in charge and could have ordered whatever he wanted. Is it a surprise that this man was an object of pity and contempt even for his own butler, the one who caused “Vatileaks”?
It all seems very linear to me. Start seeing Ratzinger from the Celestino perspective, and it all becomes very logical. It becomes also more and more credible in light of the behaviour of the man whilst he was Pope, as Vigano’ has so openly exposed.
This one is a Celestino all right.
He is merely very particular that he should not appear one.
In another day of quite astonishing revelations, we were informed by Archbishop Vigano’ that in 2011 (that is: when Benedict was still Pope), Benedict candidly admitted to Vigano’ that Archbishop Gaenswein prevented him from reading an entire dossier.
The mind boggles at such weakness, incompetence, or outright corruption.
Benedict was in charge in 2011; but apparently, he was just the little coward he is now. He knew that people near to him kept very important information from him and, instead of firing Gaenswein in 3 seconds straight, he did exactly nothing. Romulus “Augustulus” appears like a giant compared to this one.
I do not see any alternative to one of these scenarios:
- Benedict was so incompetent and weak, that he could not bring himself to get rid of an obviously traitorous and scheming subordinate. This is a pathological weakness, a real inability to function as an adult man.
- Benedict lied to Vigano’, stating that he had not received the dossier because he knew that Vigano’ has contacted him to request action; and Benedict wasn’t, and isn’t, a man of action.
- Gaenswein has some terrible secret on Benedict, which allows him to remote-control an obviously quite remote-controllable man.
- Gaenswein and Benedict have some horrible secret together.
The tale of the Benedict “prisoner in the Vatican” is clearly absurd. The man can quite obviously freely communicate with Cardinals and publishing houses ad libitum. There is absolutely nothing that indicates that he be restricted in his communications. He would be able to alert the Cardinal, or whoever else, of any coercion on his person in absolutely no time. Also, a person kept “prisoner” is not allowed to co-authors entire books, which could be harmful to his jailers.
Similarly, kindly refrain from the legends about Benedict’s life being in danger, or the homo mafia wanting to kill him. With a very old, frail man living the other side of the garden, the possibilities for foul play are endless. Still, after almost seven years the man is still alive and kicking. This is quite a disaster as a murder squad.
No, the latest revelation abundantly shows what an astonishingly ineffective man Ratzinger always was, how easily controllable and manipulated he was when he was the Pope.
In my eyes, this puts his famous statements when he was elected in a quite sinister light: the man knew that he was weak, and would flee in front of the wolves; but he also was too weak to refuse the job in the first place.
What a tragedy, and what a failure.
Pray for poor Benedict. There are a lot of people in the Vatican worse than him.
But I doubt that there is another one so pathologically ineffective and weak.
Reality taught the “Vatican Bizarro World” a good lesson today.
Ignatius Press said that they will print and market the book as joint authorship Cardinal Sarah/ Pontiff Emeritus Ratzinger. Why? Because these are the facts, the reality on the ground, as evidenced by several letters of Cardinal Sarah and all the internal correspondence of the publisher.
So, why all the ruckus? To look like the idiots they are, all three of them.
Francis, who has allegedly put Benedict/Gaenswein/both under pressure to “recant”, looks like a perfect nincompoop: the clamour around the book only helped to make known to more people that Benedict actually published a book going against Francis, and approved every part of it.
Gaenswein looks like an idiot, for making claims destroyed by… reality in a matter of hours. At his age, you would expect that he knows better than to lick Francis’ boots for the sake of a smokescreen, so soon dissolved.
Benedict looks like… a Benedict. A guy that tries to talk tough, and then shuts his mouth when it is clear that his tough talk actually puts him in a difficult spot. At 94, you would think his fear to be poisoned is quite limited. Actually, at 94 one could almost “hope” to be poisoned for the faith. Very “cheap” martyrdom, if you ask me. Not pleasant, I agree. But a Pope should actually embrace the possibility.
I am still awaiting Benedict’s statement that he is nothing to do with Gaenswein’s initiative. My suspicion is that I will wait forever. This makes Benedict an accomplice of Francis and Gaenswein, both of whom he clearly put before Christ and His Church.
I would like that someone would explain this to me: how is it that when Francis does not correct anyone (say: Eugenio Scalfari) attributing outlandish stuff to him, we all consider Francis responsible for what he has not corrected, but the same metre never seems to apply to Benedict? Why must a man so obviously “there” with his head (though obviously very frail physically now) be exempted from avoiding scandal to be spread in his name? He can communicate at anytime with anyone, apparently?
In the end, reality always wins. In this case, Francis’ “spitted-flecked nutty” made three people look bad, but did not change the legal and factual reality on the ground.
Refreshing, for once, to see a publishing house publicly – if implicitly – rebuke two Popes and an Archbishop. It will teach them to take reality more seriously in future.
As for Benedict: boy, what a shame. At his age, and clearly in full possession of his faculties (read the letters to Cardinal Sarah), he offers this show of betaness.
Sad. So sad.
If Catholics had been told, 100 years ago, that, one day, a Pope would try to have his authorship of truth removed when the truth turned out to be offensive, they would have considered it the circus trick of the year.
This is now a circus we have to live with every day.
It was only yesterday when I compared Benedict to a Danton of Francis’ Robespierre: both very bad, but one recognisably worse than the other.
Today, another bomb: Benedict* substantially denies paternity of the book he has co-authored*.
This is vintage Benedict: “I want to do the right thing. But when it attracts criticism or there is a big fight brewing, you’ll see me running away like a Bavarian hare”.
This is the guy who commissioned a brutal study to investigate homosexuality in the Church and, when he had the truth dished to him, preferred to quit rather than fight the fight obviously in front of him. This is the guy who first issued Summorum Pontificum and then watched as the measure was boycotted the world over. This is the guy who gave off a whiff of Catholicism, whilst continuing to appoint atrocious bishops. This is the guy who tried to distance himself from JP II’s ecumenism, but then had to make another scandalous Assisi gathering. This is, finally, the Emeritus who is never short of some vaguely sounding conservative noise, until the game gets tough. Then he does what he always did in life: abandon the fight, for fear of the wolves.
I add another trait of Benedict that some of you might not be aware of: he is as gregarious as even a German can be. He never rocks the boat. He never does the controversial thing. He may try, at times; but when his actions cause controversy, he just surrenders. He goes with the flow. He is the very antithesis of a shepherd. This one was born sheep.
Benedict* has gravely insulted Cardinal Sarah and the intelligence of every sound Catholic. The very idea that a book (with all the legal implication of the matter) might be ready for publishing, with date announced, without him controlling every detail, from the text to the authorship to the title to the book cover, is just stupid. The publisher and the Cardinal have already exposed him as, I must say, a coward and a liar*.
It really is sad to behold.
At the age of 94, Benedict keeps doing it wrong, and he keeps being misled into appeasing everything and everyone, but Christ.
Sinner as I am, I seriously would not want to be him when he dies.
He will be remembered as a tragic, weak figure. A Paul VI on steroids, but with more erudition.
Pray for the poor guy.
He might not understand the situation he is in, but we do.
*as always: it does not matter that Gaenswein said it. If Benedict does not correct him, he owns what Gaenswein said.
I had to look to know what “non-binary” is supposed to mean, and even after looking I was not persuaded I had understood what it apparently means. What is clear is that there was one particular guy, called James Shupe, who was the first to be officially declared “non-binary”. Meaning, I think, that when he woke up in the morning he had to decide what “gender” he was that day, or that his gender is not what everybody sees it obviously is; one of the two.
It appears now that James Shupe has officially de-non-binarised himself.
So, the first guy who, very officially didn’t know, now very officially knows and, having looked with great attention between his legs, has gone back to his authorities and has demanded that he be declared – for everybody to finally realise – a man.
Mister Sherlock Shupe has come to this realisation after discovering faith, and I really hope the guy stays on the right path. But I notice that Mr Shupe is on record with the following:
“I was indoctrinated to believe that I had this thing called a gender identity and that suppressing it was causing my mental health problems,” he added. “It was all a lie.”
So, a person with obvious mental problems is allowed to quarrel with the authorities of his land to have something “declared” that he thinks “helps”with whatever (a lot) is screwed in his head. With this train of thought, he could have been persuaded that he had the right to be officially declared God, or an elephant, and have this officially declared in his passport, because it helps him in the fight against depression.
It seems that Mr Shupe now feels better:
“I am and have always been male,” he said. “That is my biological truth, the only thing capable of grounding me to reality.”
This blatant banality is, nowadays, worthy of a headline and a quote. Biological Truth might actually become a “racist expression” at some point.
I wonder if Mr Shupe would have sued anyone who, in his Mssss Shupe phase, called him….. the way he absolutely wants to be called now. He is likely aware at this point that he has been instrumental in the most colossal attempt at silencing free speech, and even free thought, ever experienced in the West; an attempt that is still going on, though it is clear it will ultimately fail as the absurdity of this gender madness hit the populace where it hurts (female athletes, say).
Now, I am trying to have sympathy for Mr Shupe. It may be that he has finally seen the light. His clear statement, that the gender ideology is evil, and the fact that he now lives with his wife, might indicate that he also rejects his own (past, I hope) homosexuality, though he does not explicitly say so. However, we are here in front of what appears to have been, for a long time, a seriously deranged individual, and it will take a long time to be assured that this is not just a phase of sanity before the next jump in the parallel universe in which many of these people have decided to live, inflicting their fantasy world on all of us.
My take is: whenever you see an individual apparently coming back to sanity, hope he stays that way, but never cease wondering how the opinion of deranged individuals were allowed to be declared as parallel truths, to be followed by everyone.
I am, alas, a bit late to this party.
Still, I would like to use this little space to praise Francis for his commendable behaviour on occasion of the incident in St Peter Square on 31 December.
An ethnically Chinese woman is seen grabbing the man, in one of those inappropriate, but spontaneous gestures of affection that simple people show to the ones they really care for. The likes of Padre Pio have experienced much, much worse, but they bore it with great patience and love for Christ’s sheep. Actually, it is reported that Padre Pio was the object of such an affection that he often had great difficulties in extricating himself from the mob, with the peasants trying to grab whatever could be grabbed. This is what simple faithful do. They touch. They grab. They yank. If someone does not like it (which I understand) perhaps he should greet people from the Pope mobile.
Francis was in this situation on the 31st. And I must say, his kind reaction surprised me.
As the woman grabs him and literally yanks him toward herself (good energy, ma’am! You know how fat the man is?), we see Francis smilingly, lovingly encouraging her to lose her grip. I must say I found it very edifying. As the woman – which is so typical of simple faithful – hesitates to let the object of her Catholic affection go, we see Francis gently, calmly, and totally, totally non-judgmentally, exhorting her to allow him to continue his walk. His demeanour is so calm, so kind, so Pope-like and, in a word, so noble, that I am, myself, surprised to see Francis behaving so well for once.
I must confess, in such a situation I would have expected Francis to react angrily, and perhaps even physically, to the woman’s behaviour. I would have expected him to physically force the woman away from him just as as he forcefully opened the little hands of the boy, joint in prayer, years ago. In the end, we all know he hates Catholics, and he goes through them just because his PR machine says he has to, and because he loves the camera like Hillary loves Huma Abedin.
But this time, I must say the man has surprised me.
Gentle, calm, loving, outright benign, noble Francis manages to surprise us for once. See for yourselves!
Can’t imagine why he had to apologise.
We have seen in the UK, in the recent years, a clearly identifiable pattern: the extreme left takes control of the main opposition party and pushes it toward maximalist positions. The re-shaped party excites and energises the minority of extremists. However, put to the test of the ballot box, the party gets a historic pummeling.
I seem to see the same pattern in the US. The extreme left activists, angered by Trump’s victory, attempt to take over the Democratic party. Whilst this is not as evident or official as in the UK, they are influential enough that more senior members of the party, terrified by the leftist mob and obviously uncaring for the Country’s institutions, give in to their demand and stage the long-wanted, if extremely stupid, impeachment theatre to satisfy their childish fantasies of revenge after their clear defeat in 2016.
I make an easy prediction here, and state that the impeachment is the US is the equivalent of the Labour plans of re-nationalisation of part of the communication and utility industry. In the same way as Labour chose to energise an extremist fringe, but lost the support of the mainstream Labour voters and scared away the undecided, the Democrats have chosen to give their extremist children a toy for Christmas, but this will very likely alienate to them a good part of the the mainstream Democrat voters, of the independent and, in general, of those who still have remnants of reason in them. The likes of Schiff and Pelosi don’t care, because they are elected in safe constituencies where such games help them to be reelected. Still, many others will pay the price of their submission to their evil masters. As to the Presidential race, good luck with that, also considering the amusingly abysmal quality of the candidates, themselves largely the fruit of the childish leftist drive of the party grassroots.
The US society is, by and large, more conservative than the UK one. It is also far more patriotic and attached to its Democratic institutions. It seems to me that the Democrats have invited disaster. Time will tell; but, if you ask me, this impeachment is Christmas come early.
Electoral victory is not something that can be left to children. It is the fruit of a mixture of – hopefully – personal integrity and patriotism and – always – a wise calibration on controversial issues. The Democrats are failing big on both counts.
They are fools if they think the American people will not notice.
It was glorious. It was like a replay of that night in June 2016, or of the sleepless night I spent watching Trump triumph.
At 10 PM, the Exit Polls emitted a clear verdict: a Tory victory closely resembling a landslide. But exit polls can be insidious, and I told my old heart to just wait and see how the night goes.
The night did not disappoint, and the blows came fast and hard for the Communist Party of Britain, aka Labour. It went on all night, with the other Public Enemy, Mssss Jo Swinson, managing to not be elected in her own constituency: a defeat and humiliation of historic proportion. She had bragged about her chances of becoming Prime Minister. Snowflake Generation has no contact with reality.
During the night, I had a long time to reflect.
The young and not very smart leader of the Lib Dems has not a little in common with the Evil Clown, the holy farter, the prophet of Pachamama. The arrogance of thinking that they know best, think best and are best is common to both of them. The low degree of intelligence and an uncanny inability to understand how much they embarrass themselves when they open their mouth is another one. Francis is, to his great luck, not exposed to such polling. But Swinson is, and her party had to witness, during the weeks of the campaign, how the more the public knew their new leader, the less they liked her: dragging down the entire party, who had made a heavy image and propaganda investment on her (predictably, “first female here”, “first female” there).
They also both share the unbelievable arrogance of insulting their own constituents: Francis with his pretence of teaching a new religion, Swinson with the chuzpah of openly proclaiming that she, as a Prime Minister (I would not be surprised she believed she could really do it. As I write this, the LibDems are at 11 MPs out of 650, and she is not one of them!), would just have ignored and nullified the will of the people. Democracy a la carte.
Shut up, children. Jo Swinson knows best.
Still, I see the greater resemblance with Francis in the other, even greater loser of the night: comrade Jeremy Corbyn.
Resentful, acidic, promoter of a politics of blank envy, raw hatred and shameless handout politics, Corbyn is the third in a trio that sees Maduro and Francis as the other two proponents of Unlimited Envy as a viable political message. They have lost Morales recently, and I am sure both suffered greatly for it. Corbyn’s rhetoric was just as openly, unashamedly stupid as Francis’, both in his communist ideals (these people wanted to nationalise parts of the communication industry, besides launching a raft of anti-capitalism initiatives really hard to believe) and in his shameless appeal to the Muslim vote. It is, I dare say, clear at this point that Corbyn allowed anti-Semitism in his own party to go unchallenged – and fuelled it himself, notwithstanding the many formal protestations – on purpose, in order to excite and mobilise the “militant” Muslim vote. A huge “wink-wink” exercise was going on, by which Corbyn pretended to distance himself form anti-semitism and support of Hamas, whilst quietly asking his Muslim, and especially Arab Muslim voters to pay attention and draw the conclusions.
It failed gloriously. Both Swinson and Corbyn now see their political career in tatters. Swinson might never recover and, bar exceptional efforts at networking and rich protectors, will likely end up as a third-rate journalist, or cashier at Tesco’s, before long. Corbyn is a far more rooted, navigated politician, and he will resume, from his safe seat in rich Islington, the role he had for many years: leftists firebrand and outright emmerdeur. He has been refining the role for decades now, he’ll do that in his sleep. If we are lucky, he will also destroy the entire party in the process, because he seems intentioned to try to have Corbynism survive Corbyn, with a bloody civil war inside Labour not improbable at all.
Bergoglio, Corbyn, Swinson.
Three faces of the same stupidity. Three example of suicidal arrogance.
But most of all, three abject losers.
I honestly thing this article got it wrong. Offset, if it is really carried out, does not reduce your emissions, but it does offset them. If (and this is a big “if”) I plant enough trees that they compensate for the CO2 I produce, then I have not reduced, but I have offset.
Still, I have two problems with the concept of offsetting through the oh so beautiful planting of trees. The first concerns the working of plants in itself, and the second the consequences of offsetting on a planetary scale.
Firstly: how would it work, exactly? I am not an expert, but I remember from school time that plants emit CO2 in the night. Not sure about the entire percentages, but it looks like every plant, by and large, offsets in some measure (probably not a small one) its own oxygen emissions during the day with CO2 emissions during the night. Plus, a lot of the difference likely goes in the plant itself, which at some point will die or burn, offsetting a lot of C02 from actually decomposing. When you net the effect of both nocturnal CO2 production and the CO2 trapped in the plant (which will be released in the atmosphere, one way or the other, again one day) I fail to see the great advantage here.
Still, let us imagine that I am wrong in this, and – summa summarum – the planting of trees does produce a great net benefit in the production of oxygen, or the decreasing of carbon dioxide.
In this case, one of two must be true:
- The planting does work, and work in such an efficient manner that this can be the remedy for the alleged problem of growing CO2 emissions. Why, then, is this not the emergency, instead of changing our way of life? Why are not all environmental organisations of this planet pushing for the planting of trees in China (an extremely cheap measure seeing the labour cost over there) instead of curbing the lifestyle of us Westerners?
- The planting does not work for whatever reason. Why, then, do enviroNazis allow the very concept of offset to be advertised and sold, no doubt at a healthy, capitalistic profit? If global warming is a global problem, that offsetting can never address, then it is only a feel-good excuse, no doubt profiting those who actually claim “emergency” in some way or other.
Of course, this is all bollocks anyway. The Lord in His wisdom could never have made a planet that suffers from more of His children being born and living an innocent, sinless life. Similarly, it is stupid to think that an omnipotent God is fooled by cars’ and aeroplanes’ emissions of a perfectly natural and non toxic element, unless we all follow Greta Thunberg, who clearly is smarter than Him.
And this, my friend, is at the root of the issue.
A stupid world, that has forgotten God, thinks that it can understand the way Creation works; and when people forget God, they start doing a lot of stupid things.
The Advent is on us again and, like every year, countless people flock to the mulled wine stands, still enjoying the Christmas atmosphere though many of them certainly either do not believe in Christ, or don’t care.
In the last years, the tradition of Christmas Market has seen another popular usage rapidly establishing itself: the attempted massacre. Last year, five were killed in Strasbourg, and in Berlin in 2016 twelve were the victims of a joyful encounter of different people and different cultures. Modern Christmas Markets have anti-terror barriers, to remind everyone that the attack on Christianity has already begun, and this is only the start.
You would think the voters would learn. Well, some do. But it’s a darn slow process.
I doubt it will ever end, at least in the decades to come. The Christmas Market is destined to be a symbol of the way we, the Christians, are being attacked in our own Countries.
I would like to say “be vigilant”, and certainly it is good to be watchful. But the best think to do when visiting a Christmas market is likely an Act of Contrition, as sincere as you can muster.
There aren’t many ways to avoid the impact of an exploding Joyous Encounter Bomb after all.