The soon to be staged World Youth Day (an exercise of dubious morality in itself) will be another good example of the way Catholics the world over dumb themselves into the childish belief things are fine, because a lot of people gather together.
The V II Church has lost not only every desire for, but the notion itself of confrontation. When a message is propagated, it is a message “for something”, but never against someone. This would be considered Un-churchy, or perhaps simply not effeminate enough.
The crowds gathering in Brazil will hear the usual waffle: youth, the future, joy, peace, hope, joy, happiness, social justice, joy, “getting out of oneself”, celebration, joy and, most probably, more joy.
What will remain unsaid is the immense sterility of fuzzy feelings that do not translate in concrete action, nor will we hear a word about the toothlessness of churchmen unable to do anything else than “celebrate” and waffle about “joy” as if they were motivational speakers, or mental therapists. Nonsense about social justice and aiding and abetting of illegal immigration will, no doubt, play a very important role.
Brazil and Ireland, two Countries with strong Catholic roots, are about to introduce abortion legislation. As the Church is still powerful in these two Countries, already the fact such measures are discussed is ample demonstration of the tragic – wanted? – lack of effectiveness of their respective Church.
If in both these Countries the Church had kept a sound, healthy desire for confrontation with the world, such measures would not be even discussed, because to propose them would mean the political demise of everyone foolish enough to do so. If the Church had the old sound thinking (that a politician goes against the Church at his own peril), only fringe groups not interested in mainstream voters – and despised by them – would dare to defy her.
A Church able and willing to fight in a Catholic country is a Church that even dictators must reckon with, and no moderate politician worth his salt will openly defy. The defiance of a supposedly “Catholic” politician to Catholic rules already shows the Church in that country has been decaying for several years, preferring cowardly retreat to open confrontation.
Even in a Country with a sizeable Catholic minority, an assertive Church would inspire pure terror in every “moderate” politician: Britain with its 4.5 million Catholics and 1 million weekly churchgoers would spell death for every politician the bishops would decide to take in their sights until his political annihilation; and when the latter takes place it would be sufficient reason for everyone else to keep schtum. Imagine Cameron savagely attacked as a persecutor of Christian day in and day out from the more than thirty bishops in Britain: in less than two years he would be more embarrassing for the party than if he was a child rapist. To be seen as dead man walking means, for a politician, to be dead already. Everyone would do everything he can to avoid it. You make an example of one, you teach proper manners to countless others. Punirne uno per educarne cento.
Does any of this happen in Brazil, in Germany, in Austria, in Ireland? Does any politician put his career on the line, who dares to defy Catholic values? The answer to this very rhetorical question is the reason why Catholicism is on the defensive all over the West (including South America).
At the WYD, instead of proper confrontation brace yourself for more inane waffle, to which the Bishop of Rome will give his, as usual, inane contribution.
Peace here, social justice there, bla bla, joy, luv, bla bla, dialogue, bla, “spirit”, “celebration, bla, youth, bla, bla, & bla.
Weeks later, Brazil will have its abortion legislation in place.
The car below is the Mercedes donated by Mercedes to Pope Pius XI. Custom built for His Holiness.
Far from considering the gift a horror for Renaissance Princes, Pope Pius XI received the car personally.
After the historic Concordate with Italy in 1929, Graham Paige, a now-forgotten US car producer, donated this splendid example to, again, Pope Pius XI. The gift was, I suppose, gracefully and gratefully accepted. The car was also clearly not sold to give the money to the poor.
Not yet anything concerning Pope Pius XII.
If you have links to photos of the Pope in a Vatican car (not the guest car he used in Germany, say) please post in the comment section.
Pope John XXIII used a magnificent, breathtakingly beautiful Mercedes 300 Landaulet. The cost of even the standard version was prohibitive, this Landaulet’s must have been stratospheric.
Pope Paul VI also wasn’t particularly shy (or perhaps there was no poverty back then; one of the two). The leading car is the Mercedes 300 Landaulet we already know, but all the other cars are Mercedes sedans. Not very favela-friendly, then…
Later, Paul VI switched to another Renaissance-like creation, and another custom built Mercedes Landaulet; this time, of the Model 600.
This car is just a show-stopper. I have seen in the flesh the standard version of it. A miracle of elegance, class and beauty. A fitting car for a Pope. Below is a photo of this wonderful vehicle in action
In the following years, Landaulet seemed to fall a bit from grace (for security reasons, I suppose), but the Vatican was equipped, thanks to Mercedes, with some rather impressive vehicles besides the usual and not very kingly white Papamobiles.
The one below is a Mercedes S500, with armour and glass rooftop. A platform allowed the Pope to comfortably but halfway securely greet the masses. The car has been in used until the present days. It is not known that its use ever caused widespread protests amongst the present poor. We are here in the Eighties.
A more expensive, rather impressive custom built example for more relaxed occasions is the one below: this is another Landaulet, though of a less spectacular sort than the Mercedes 300 and 600. The Mercedes S is the following version to the one above. We are here already in the Nineties.
The last couple of decades have seen the use of some of the present vehicles, but with – due to the omnipresent security concerns – the massive use of those familiar white 4×4 meant to let the Pope resemble a fish in the acquarium. I never liked those vehicles, and they won’t be allowed to be pictured here.
Fast forward to 2013.
This is the bishop of Rome’s latest vehicle.
This is a five years old (note the front: this isn’t the latest model) Ford Focus. In order to stress the splendour of the Church, it is a hatchback. We are not told if it has air-con.
Bishop Francis would be appalled at knowing that Pope Pius IX, one of the most notorious “Renaissance Princes” of the XIX century, had his own train car.
Allow me to conclude this little gallery with my personal suggestion for an appropriate vehicle for the Bishop of Rome, one that would allow him to stress the importance of poverty, to put the accent on the preservation of the environment, and to resonate with the poor of the Argentinian pampas…
I allow myself to suggest the name for this revolutionary change of mobility perspective:
“Today…we have fallen into the hypocritical attitude of the priest and of the servant of the altar that Jesus speaks about in the parable of the Good Samaritan: We look upon the brother half dead by the roadside, perhaps we think ‘poor guy’, and we continue on our way, it’s none of our business; and we feel fine with this. We feel at peace with this, we feel fine!”
Bishop Francis, Lampedusa, 2013
“God always wants this: mercy, and not [people] going around condemning everyone.”
Bishop Francis, Castel Gandolfo, 2013.
The bishop who shoots in the crowd (and it’s a very large crowd) saying how hypocritical we all are, is the same bishop who then says we must not “go around condemning everyone”.
The bishop is in love with soundbites, but I am more and more persuaded that his biggest love story is with himself and his own “humbleness”.
For the moment, he is so humble that he humbly gives another two slaps to his predecessors, refusing to reside for the summer in the beautiful summer palace at Castel Gandolfo and being driven there for the day in a Ford Focus. Ah, these Renaissance Princes with their custom-made Mercedes, how un-humble they were.
He is so obsessed with appearing humble that he has not greeted the people in Castel Gandolfo from the window in the upper floor, but from the main gate. So almost no one could see him, but I am sure he felt good with himself.
In the meantime, sodomy advances all over the West.
The bishop is mainly concerned with not condemning.
I have thought long and hard about this, and now a decision is made. In this blog, Francis will exclusively referred to as the bishop of Rome, unless and until he starts to consistently refer to himself as the Pope.
I am sick and tired of this continued parade of fake humility, that reveals a self-centredness worthy of Obama, and an obsession with the way he is perceived that completely neglects the kingly role he is called to fulfil.
Enough. Enough. Enough.
Bishop Francis of Rome it is, then. “Pope Francis” will only be used as tag, so that it is easier to find the blog posts. In titles and text, it will be exclusively “bishop of Rome” or bishop Francis. If you think this is irreverent, then reflect how reverent the bishop is himself.
Some of us still love the Papacy, and this is getting tired.