Decidedly, Benedict is not like wine.
The gentlest thing that one can say of him, is that he is undergoing the same trajectory as Joe Biden. However, in the case of Joe Biden it is evident that the man struggles to remain on planet earth for more than a short period of time. In the case of Benedict, who even remembers Bishop Williamson and Wikileaks, the jury is seriously out.
Some of the things he says are outrageous. This is not the first time he does that and, if you scour this blog, you will find several other posts with me commenting on Benedict going (almost) full Francis fanboy. Today is no exception: to portrait Biden as “good Catholic”, “personally against abortion” and without a clear position on “gender policy” is either demented or very, very evil, so let’s hope he is demented.
I have given, at the time, all the good will to Benedict that could reasonably be given to him. I have written many times that I thought that he did what he, in good conscience, thought best for the Church, thinking (in his naivete) that a stronger and decidedly Catholic Pope would take his place.
With the years, I have started to grow some doubts. A Pope who resigns because he does not feel strong enough to be a good Catholic Pope does not repeatedly praise a horrible, decidedly un-Catholic Pope. At the very least, an ashamed and dignified silence would have been in order. But no, the man has given now several interviews in which he tries to persuade the Pollyanna Crowds that Francis really is what the Church needs now. Again, it’s either dementia or it is inexcusable.
This is, also, an interview to the Corriere della Sera, not one of those chats with the also very old (97 in April) Eugenio Scalfari. There is no way the Corriere pulls a stunt and simply distorts Benedict’s words like they are the CNN. It is also unthinkable that the man knows that he is misrepresented, and never says a peep. Stop defending him because he is old, or because you love to think this guy is still in charge.
Benedict is either gone, or he is part of the problem. May the Lord have mercy on him when he (pretty soon, judging from the pictures) will stay in front of Him.
Honestly, I would not want to swap my chances with his.
Georg Ratzinger, the so-to-speak Brother Emeritus, might be implicated in matters of physical and/or sexual violence against the (in Germany very famous) Regensburger Domspatzen, a bit the equivalent in the German popular imagination of the boys' choir of King's College in Cambridge.
One might think that the man was forced to resign, or decided to resign, against the promise that the scandal would not be made public; or else, when faced with open blackmail.
I don't buy it. Let me explain why.
Firstly, the Emeritus is smart enough to know that scandals like this do not remain uncovered forever. The truth will out. If this was the case he must have known that the shame would have been posthumous at best, and for both of them.
Secondly, the theory is extremely insulting to the Emeritus, depicted as such a puppy that he would resign for personal reasons (avoiding a scandal for his family and, by association, himself) rather than doing what every Pope with some fear of the Lord would have done (keep working as the Pope; heck, no one has ever said a Pope answers for his brother. Reagan's father was a not-too-functional alcoholic, either). There can be nothing noble in dereliction of duty, nor can it ever be said that the immense evil and damage to the Church of a Pope resigning whilst yielding to blackmail can ever be compensated by one or two very old men, and be one of them the Pope, not be besmirched. (Note to those allergic to History: Popes have been besmirched for many centuries; often with very valid reasons to do so).
Thirdly, two men in their Eighties will be more worried about their own final destination than about some discomfort here on earth for, predictably, not very long.
No, I am not a fan of the man, but I seriously struggle to believe that he would be able of such unspeakable, selfish cowardice. And such a stupid cowardice, too.
Therefore, my working option will remain, as always, the one nearest to the reality we can observe and furthest from conspiracy theories of all sorts: a man terrified of the parable he had seen in JP II, aware of the homo Mafia but not strong enough to deal with it, and deciding to resign in order to allow a new and stronger man to tackle the issues at hand. A man, I add, whom he though would be a “heretic light” like Scola, not an atheist madman like Bergoglio. Albeit I am pretty sure Ratzinger still prefers a Bergoglio as Pope to a Fellay.
The man is bad, I know.
But heavens: so bad? I cannot believe it.
This is one of those days in which every right-thinking Catholic is confronted with the sickness not only of the Western societies, but of the Church of Christ Herself. I wouldn’t call it a case of open heresy, seeing the oily and slimy way these post V II Church officials always have of expressing themselves, but rather another particularly tragic instance of how said Church officials bend themselves forward to try to appease the civil society out there, all the while trying not to appear as openly heretical.
The Head of the Pontifical Council for the Family has said the church is not against giving “unmarried couples” some form of protection. The first hypocrisy is in the formulation “unmarried couples”, which may, or may not, include sodomites. You must know in many countries, like Italy, heterosexual cohabiting people have no right to any payment (for the children, for example), because such payments presuppose (and rightly so) a proper family rather than concubinage. Therefore, the discussion is always “mixed” as when people talk of “recognising” they mostly talk of co-habiting heterosexual couples.
The Archbishop now happily mixes the cards, by putting heterosexual couples and homosexual wannabe couples on the same plane when he says some forms of “cohabitation” (which ones, Archbishop? Professional sharers? People who have sex? People who practice sodomy? People who cohabit with their dog?) “do not constitute a family” and “their number is growing” (of course it is, Archbishop, if you keep being such a tool! You’ll soon have “cohabitations” with incest, or bestiality, or multiples wives if you and yours continue to sleep!).
Therefore, says our Archbishop, there should be measures to “make their lives easier”, which prompts three questions: why? Why? Why?
When has the Church been preoccupied that sodomites have it easier to live a sodomite lifestyle? When has the Church been worried that heterosexual couples living more uxorio may not feel gently invited to marry? Since when is the Church worried with making the life of sinners easier in their sin, rather than holier without them?
This is, again, a purest exercise in Vatican II cowardice and hypocrisy.
Then there is the other whining about countries where “homosexuality is illegal”. I do not know of many countries in which it is illegal to simply be a pervert, but I think the Cardinal, who should know these things, was talking of sodomy laws.
Sodomy laws are then, we are given to understand, very bad. Awful governments like those in the Papal States had such laws, and awful people like Padre Pio never asked for their abolition. It is sad to see great Saints and Popes of the past do not comply with the Archbishop’s rather strange moral standards, but being the times so astonishingly stupid I doubt many will notice.
Archbishop Paglia is one of those men who make more damage than an army of shrieking homosexualists, because with his cowardice and desire of appeasement he confuses sincere Catholics and makes a strong impression he doesn’t believe in the values he is allegedly defending.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that Sodomarriage is either an abomination, or it isn’t. If it is, no help whatsoever can be demanded so that these people can have an “easier life” with these abominations. If it isn’t, then Christianity was wrong from the start, the Church has been conning us these to thousand years and Archbishop Paglia should start a new career as circus clown .
We live in times when even the corridors of the Vatican at full of people who spend their days wondering how they can sabotage Christian values but maintain an appearance of orthodoxy. They do it not only with he pet causes of the last decades (war, death penalty, the attitude towards social issues), but even pandering to the desire of he people in matter of sexual perversion.
This time the Archbishop was even asked a second time what he meant. Vatican II prelates are such nincompoops they make entire speeches and at the end they must be asked what they meant by it. The Holy Father merrily promotes them where they can do maximum damage, confuse the faithful, and make of themselves and the Church a laughing stock.
May God have mercy of this bunch of appeasing amateurs.
Even here there is need for a new evangelization, which is why I propose you intensely live the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, 50 years from the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our conscience. So read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christians, of being Church to enjoy the great “we” that Jesus has formed around him, to evangelize the world: the “we” of the Church, never closed, but always open and projected towards the proclamation of the Gospel.Benedict XVIJuly 15, 2012
This Michael Voris video is, I must say, rather harsh even for his standards. Which is not bad, actually, as the present situation justifies in my eyes a good dose of harshness, and then some.
The basis of Voris’ message is that the bishops can’t pass the buck and blame the modern times, or the media, or the situation they have found for the lack of orthodoxy we see all too often in Catholic parishes. It is exactly the duty of the bishop to react to modern times (times have never been “old”, in fact, and every age has always had its own challenges and difficulties), to pay attention that his priests behave orthodoxy, to take care that Catholic teaching is correctly – and actively – represented in the media however possible, and in general to take care of the souls of his diocese.
It is true that, as Voris points out, things are not so extreme as they used to be and one must admit that there is no Liberation Theology around, neither has Pope Benedict to confront a bishops’ rebellion remotely comparable to the Dutch Schism, or to the Winnipeg Statement. Still, there is a lot of nonsensical waffling around, convenient espousing of fashionable ideologies and, most importantly, almost complete blindness towards heterodox priests, heretical theologians and politicians who are Catholics in name only.Voris makes two concrete examples regarding “homo masses”, but the same complaint can be made regarding, to name just two, abortion or contraception.We will not have any meaningful resurgence of Catholic thinking in the West, until the Bishops start to do their job properly collectively and not only with the courageous initiative of a small number of brave men not fearing unpopularity.
The only integration of Voris’ thought that I would like to make is that if it is undoubtedly true that the bishops are responsible for what happens in their own dioceses, it is equally honest to admit that the Popes are responsible for the quality of the bishops. It is not that those appointed were noted for their own courage and/or orthodoxy and then magically became cowardly and/or heretical after the fact. Rather, the bad quality of many of today’s bishop can be directly attributed of the bad quality of the appointments. This simple fact must – unpleasant as it is – be brought at the very centre of the debate if we want to avoid the situation in which Popes ask their bishop to behave well, whilst appointing people predisposed to behave badly. In this respect, it is i my eyes cleat that an awful lot must be accomplished still, and that Pope Benedict’s papacy can be – again, in this respect – archived as a missed opportunity.
I’d have to ask a theologian whether it is ok to call very bad bishops – as I seem to understand the word from the video – “bums”; but frankly, I wouldn’t say that they haven’t deserved to some clear words anyway.
Below are some of the comments in the comment box of the National Catholic Reporter. Let us see what kind of deluded humanity we find there.
There is the one who has decided that 2000 years of Tradition are just wrong, whereas he himself is, of course, right:
The whole system of leadership appointment needs change and should come from the bottom up not the top down.
Then there is the one who doesn’t need the Church, because the Church doesn’t serve him and doesn’t accommodate his needs:
I answer to God not to any priest, bishop, or pope. I find less need everyday for a non-responsive, self-serving hierarchy.
Interesting is also the one who thinks that God himself has been conned these last 2000 years. Thankfully, we now have him to tell us what God always wanted:
The “Way” that Jesus showed us and invited us to follow had no hierarchs, not even the Temple priests
Amuse yourself with the one who says himself a Catholic, whilst also saying that being Catholic is bad (hey, his ex-Lutheran wife, but rather still Lutheran wife, “taught” him so). One wonders who has converted whom:
I was raised as a Catholic (Big C) and married a Lutheran, who converted to the big C. She has taught me that the word ‘catholic’ should never have the big C. The day we accept that we are catholic, and not Roman Catholic, we will all be better off.
Or do you prefer the obsessed trendy with nightmares of Trent restoration:
Benedict is doing a more disgusting job than John Paul II in trying to drag Catholics back to Trent.
What about the Pentecostal “the Holy Spirit directs us” chap, who at the same time is obviously not directed by the Holy Spirit to write in proper English (emphases mine):
Since Vatican Council II—the People of God have implemented what the Council was directing them to do. It was JP II (the Grate) and Benedict the Panzar Pope, who were/are trying to drag people back to where THEY were comfortable—a Church of subserviant people—who are “little people, simple (read stupid) who need their bishops to point out the way for them (this is a synopsis of Benedict’s thoughts)
Finally, there’s the anarchist revolutionary, believing in Revelation through the Internet. Unfortunately he misses the signs of the times, big time. He also seems to believe that higher education is a modern invention:
When all is said and done, I think point #4 in your critique is the bedrock of the revolution that is now happening in the modern church. The current so-called leaders are still living in the ages where only members of the clergy could read and only members of the hierarchy could make spiritual decisions. Now, in the modern age, vast numbers of people are thinking for themselves because of the effects of institutions of higher learning and the availability of research and documentation.
This is just the result of a couple of minutes of browsing, and all the comments are taken from merely two blog posts.
You’d never say this come from the site of a magazine calling itself “Catholic”.
Rather astonishing remarks from the Holy Father during his address to the participants at the Conference for the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. Let us read the piece in the translation of Rorate Caeli (emphases mine):
The Liturgy of the Church goes beyond this same “conciliar reform” (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 1), whose purpose, in fact, was not mainly that of changing the rites and the texts, but rather that of renewing the mentality and placing, at the center of Christian life and of pastoral [activity], the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Unfortunately, perhaps, even by us, Pastors and experts, the Liturgy was treated more as an object to be reformed than as a subject, capable of renewing Christian life,
This is astonishing. Totally en passant, Pope Benedict informs us that V II was not about reforming the liturgy, but about an extremely and conveniently vague “renewal of the mentality”, and (incredibly) about placing the Eucharist at the centre of Christian Life.
It is as if the Holy Father would, with just a few chosen words, demolish the entire edifice of Vatican II by just saying that its value is not in what it was done, but rather to be sought in an extremely undefinable “renewal” which, when you take away the renewal effectively put in place (that is: the rape of the Liturgy, and the departure from staunch defence of Catholic values), means everything and nothing.
The second point is, in his well-meant attempt to hide the shame of Vatican II – rather offensive of the pre-conciliar Church. This idea that the extremely strong and pious church of the decades up to the Fifties, marked by a respect for the Eucharist rather forgotten in our times (a Church in which the mere idea of receiving communion standing on the hands would have been considered preposterous, and in which the idea that the Mass must be an interactive circus rather the re-enactment of Christ’s sacrifice would have been considered utterly Protestant), would have not put the Eucharist in a central place is just outlandish. Frankly, I think that the Holy Father should back pedal on this, and apologise.
In his attempt to defend the indefensible (that is: to try to make sense of V II), the Holy Father goes on saying that unfortunately the Liturgy was treated more as an object of reform, than as a subject. This means, if we want to give meaning to a rather rhetorical expression, that the Liturgy has not been treated as the centre itself of the Church’s life, but as material for experiments. Which is absolutely true, but contradicts squarely what the Holy Father has said above, that the scope of V II was to put the Eucharist at the centre of pastoral life.
The liturgy is at the centre of Church’s life and the Eucharist is at the centre of the Liturgy. You can’t say that V II was made to put the eucharist at the centre of Church life and in the same breath admit that the liturgy of which the Eucharist is the absolute focal point has been neglected and mishandled. The abuse of the Liturgy is abuse of the Eucharist, and this claim of the supposed (and up to now rather unknown) aims of the Second Vatican Council is nothing more than a pious attempt to try to hide its total and utter failure by extolling some supposed and vague good intentions.
The Holy Father has understood that V II is bankrupt. Unfortunately, though, he falls short of openly saying what every sensible Catholic has long realised. Instead, he tries to redefine the Council so as to let the wasteland it left appear like nothing more than a somewhat careless byproduct of some vague, but pure, ideal.
Once again, the Holy father’s approach to the Council reminds me of Gorbachev’s approach to communism: to try to save what has openly and irremediably failed by redefining it and attempting to persuade us that it was not about its original intent, but about something different. But you know what? It wasn’t. Communism was aimed at destroying Capitalism (and religion) and substitute them with a completely new world and humanity, and Vatican II’s “renewal zeal” was simply aimed at destroying the traditional Catholic understanding of morals and liturgy and substitute it with an age of alignment between religious and secular values.
V II was there with the main aim to – not to put too fine a point on it – brown-nose to “modern times” and Protestant thinking. This, the Conciliar Fathers have done with great zeal, both during and after the Council, in the most shameless of ways.
I appreciate the fact that the Holy Father has with his statement dealt another blow to the already abundantly disgraced edifice of V II. But I do think that it is time to come clean and openly tell the truth about what has happened and why, instead of recurring to verbal gymnastics about what V II was apparently about.
The entire mentality of V II needs to be demolished and those years remembered as years of infamy and crisis the likes of which the Church has possibly never experienced during the course of Her entire existence, not even during the darkest phases of the past.
Fr Tim Finigan reports that Channel Four (the still taxpayer-fed English broadcaster with the remit of being “alternative” and “diverse”, which in the UK rather often means “deviant”) has announced that Peter Tatchell – the well-known homosexual paladin of all causes able to give him publicity and a stage – is going to produce a so-called “documentary” about the Holy Father’s career. Unsurprisingly, said “documentary” will be broadcast on occasion of the Holy Father’s visit next September.
There are several outrageous issues here. The first is that Channel Four receives money from the taxpayer and it seems utterly disgraceful that public money be used to further the causes of a tiny minority of (deviant) fanatics. The second is that no serious journalist could ever claim that such a documentary from such a (deviant) man could have any appearance of impartiality, or at least some vague trace of halfway balanced reporting. The third is that the choice of the most widely despised “homosexualist” in the Realm to produce the “documentary” clearly shows the intention of Channel Four to stir controversies and reach a wide audience not through the quality of its reporting but through the clamour such controversies create. This isn’t journalism, this is purest activist poison.
Peter Tatchell is the kind of person who wants to censor song lyrics he finds “homophobic” whilst talking about “freedom” all the time. His life is a continuous search for a stage and there is no “alternative” cause he would not espouse if it gave him a bit of limelight (Aborigines, Vietnam War, Green Party, Pinochet, Mugabe, Irak war…. the list is very long). He fought for years to lower the age of consent to 14 years and was behind an even more radical proposal to decriminalize every sexual act provided the age difference between the “partners” (read: homosexual boys or worse, children) is below three years. I am not making this up. This gives you a clear idea of the moral authority of the man. I can easily imagine that the one or other paedophile priest is a true fan of him.
Once again, Catholics are asked to remember that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church. All that Tatchell and his likes are going to obtain is to expose their fanaticism and awaken more sympathies for the Holy Father. Ask Dan Brown how much he has damaged Opus Dei and you’ll have all the reassurances you need.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.