The usual Rorate Caeli has the integral text of Cardinal Policarpo's prayer for the consecration of Pope Francis' Pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.
There is so much sugar it would spoil every coffee. If I read it again, I'll have to get a medical check for diabetes, so I suggest you inflict the exercise on yourself only once.
The Blessed Virgin thought it fitting to show to the three children of Fatima (operative word here is children) a horrifying vision of hell, which became famous worldwide and helps faithful to keep away from hell to this day and, no doubt, for many days to come. If you read Cardinal Policarpo, there's so much luuuv you think you are in a hippy commune, but no warning about the horrible punishment of hell, and the concrete danger it represent for everyone of us and all those we love.
I dare to doubt the Blessed Virgin will be much pleased with a Cardinal only able to pick on the good parts of the apparition to make of it another exercise in popularity quest, which is the very negation of the true charity the Blessed Virgin had for the children when she showed them the vision of hell.
But here we are: what the Blessed Virgin thought children can not only stomach, but make their own and draw great spiritual profit from, the Cardinal thinks unfitting for adult Catholics, in a message that he certinly knew would get worldwide resonance.
Not only does the Cardinal avoid every explicit threat or even mention of hell; but if you read the last sentence, he produces himself in the usual exercise in V II doublespeak, with a phrase that – particularly in the sugary context – allows all those who so desire to read it in the sense that Mary does lead all to salvation, so we will be all fine.
If you want a good example of what nuChurch is, you need to do no more than to read the Cardinal's message.
Once, of course.
One shivers at the thought of the terrible chastisements awaiting him. Reading Ordinatio Sacerdotalis aloud perhaps? Being told “tut, tut” by the Holy Father himself? Receiving an actual reprimand? No, the mind recoils from the last one. It would certainly cause an intervention from the United Nations, and President Obama (Now called “AA+” from his most intimate friends) would call for an armed intervention before discovering that Cardinal Policarpo is, actually, not homosexual.
In the meantime, the heresy in Austria goes on undisturbed and the “call to disobedience” is still online, under the paternal eye of Cardinal Schoenborn.
No Roman Holidays for him, I’m afraid.
If you needed some evidence of the power of the new media, look no further than at the excellent Rorate Caeli blog. Here, what is clearly a retractation from him (he calls it “clarification”; let us put a charitable blanket of silence on that…) was posted.
Allow me to say beforehand that I will not insult your intelligence by pretending to believe – and asking you to believe – that no external pressure was at work on this, and Rorate Caeli themselves have no doubt whatsoever on the matter. If you ask me, this has “Rome” written all over it and my congratulations are for them, not for the Cardinal.
The most salient words of Policarpo’s message are in my eyes the following (emphases always mine):
The reactions to this interview have forced me to look into this theme with greater care, and I have ascertained that, mostly for not having taken into appropriate consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on the matter, I gave rise to those reactions
So, he has forgotten to read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or was not attentive in class. Which, OS having been released only seventeen years ago, goes under “latest declarations of the Magisterium”. Still, it is nice and deserving of credit that he acknowledges that the problem has been caused by him.
The most recent Magisterium of the Popes interprets this uninterrupted tradition, that has its origin in Christ and in the Apostolic body, not only as a practical way to proceed, which may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit, but as an expression of the ministry of the Church itself, which we must receive in faith.
The Cardinal is wrong again here, but one understands that he is just trying to give some half-baked excuse for his scandal. The truth is that the Church has never said that male priesthood is a practical way to proceed. Never, ever. The Cardinal is confusing male priesthood with male celibacy, for sure. Much less has the Church ever said that male priesthood “may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit”. Already the idea that there be a “rhythm” of the Holy Spirit “rhythmically” changing Truth is openly heretical and again, the Cardinal is confusing Catholicism with, say, Episcopalianism. The idea that there could be an “uninterrupted tradition” in such vital doctrinal matters that could be changed by the “rhythm of the Holy Spirit” is purest “so-called bishopess Schori”-thinking.
Male priesthood is constant and universal tradition of the Church. This is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, period. This would be every bit as infallible if Ordinatio Sacerdotalis had never been written. Someone who had expressed himself in, say, the Thirties as Cardinal Policarpo expresses himself today would have found himself in deep trouble, very fast.
Let us read again the relevant bit of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, also cited by the Cardinal:
‘Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.’
How is it possible to understand from here anything else than the simple, plain fact that the “rhythm of the holy spirit” bollocks has never been justifiable, that it has always gone against Church teaching and that it even goes against “the Church’s divine constitution” is beyond me. If a teacher teaches to his pupils in 1994 that 2+2=4, this is not the teacher’s “latest declaration”. This is fact. It has always been this way, not starting from 1994!
The Cardinal continues with the following words:
“We are thus called to accept the Magisterium of the Holy Father, in the humility of our faith, and to continue to deepen the relationship of the ministerial priesthood with the priestly quality of all the people of God, and to discover the feminine way of building the Church, in the decisive role of the mission of our women sisters.
I hate to be fussy, but the good Cardinal obviously still doesn’t get it. It is not the teaching of JP II that says that male priesthood is the only way. It is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, because it is what “has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church”. There can’t be a clearer indication of this being Ordinary and universal Magisterium than these words. Cardinal Policarpo, and all those with the same strange “rhythmical” fantasies, must once and for all stop pretending that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has brought any change. It hasn’t. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has merely stated what always was.
In the end, though, and making some allowance for the embarrassment of a poor man trying to justify the unjustifiable – like the pupil caught sleeping in class and asked to give an explanation of what he is doing – Cardinal Policarpo makes very clear that where the Magisterium is, there is he. This is a welcome, erm, “clarification”, because a different message had been spread through his words.
The news about the extraordinary interview given from the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Policarpo, has already gone around the internet for a couple of days. The news was, I must admit, too incredible to dedicate to it a blog post until further news from a reliable source are available.
Now Rorate Caeli publishes an ample excerpt of his interview. I allow myself to mention here some of the more enlightening parts.
It was not by fortune that Jesus chose men to be apostles and gave women another kind of attention… [sic]
“Another kind of attention”. This is, I have to say, more than vaguely creepy. It sounds as if the Cardinal had given the interview after a good meal, with good wine and a glass of port, or three. Very unfortunate choice of words, for sure.
Once I was here in the Diocese and, when we had a discussion, there was a young women who asked the question: why can’t women be priests? And I decided to risk it. I said: you are right, but, in order that others study this matter, it is necessary to know if there are candidates…[sic]
Besides the extreme lack of intelligence of the argumentation – “would you want to do it?” is certainly not a logical argument; I mean, in Kindergarten perhaps, followed by “nananananananaaa”, but not between adults; and yes, the deluded candidates for such “jobs” are not missing, for sure – the Cardinal dares to answer to the feminists: “you are right”.
This is a man whose tongue is not properly under control, or not well-connected with his brains.
All kept their heads down.
Good Lord. That’s the argument! The women kept their heads down! Even if he had just said that ….. they were right! What a formidable debater we have here. A true Prince of the Church.
Once, in the context of an international meeting on the new evangelization, in Vienna, this question was posed, and I said that there is not, at this moment, any Pope who has the power to do that.
This calls for a tranquilliser. Let us repeat this verbatim: “There is not, at the moment, any Pope who…..”. Is the good Cardinal looking for a suitable one? Has he already advertised to fill the vacancy? “Pope sought. Power to ordain women is an absolute requirement. Send your CV to Card. Policarpo, Lisbon.” Or should there, in fact, be one, but he has missed the train and couldn’t make it to the ordination of priestesses? Or is the good Cardinal waiting for a new Pope from Mars, who will be able to do it? Questions, questions……
You gotta love that Port wine, though.
It goes on.
This would create tensions, and it will happen only when God wants it to happen and, if it is in His plans, it will happen
Ah, now we know it! Male priesthood is not a matter of infallible (in-fal-li-ble; I-N-F-A-L-L-I-B-L-E) Ordinary and universal Magisterium. It is something that God might simply change! God changes His mind pretty regularly, didn’t you know? Just as the Twelve Commandment became Ten and the Sixteen Apostles (at least two of them, very probably, women; we don’t know for certain) were reduced to Twelve we might, one day, have women priests! Simples! Be patient though, will you?
Yes, you know what I’m thinking….
It goes on.
The Holy Father John Paul II, at one point, seemed to settle the matter. I believe that the matter is not settled like this; theologically, there is no fundamental obstacle; there is this tradition, let us say it this way… [sic] it was never different. (Emphases mine)
(Your humble correspondent stops here, because he feels unable to keep composure and write about the matter in a way acceptable for polite ears).
(Well, Wimbledon is good to calm yourself down. Now, where was I….)
Note the words. Pope John Paul “seemed to settle the matter”, but then he apparently forgot to. Or Cardinal Policarpo was just not there. Or he just can’t read. Apparently, then, according to our hero “there is no theological obstacle”. It’s not a theological matter, you know. It’s just that, hey, it just happened to never be otherwise. As they say, “shit happens”! But you never know, one day the Vatican might find a letter from Heaven saying to do it differently! It has happened already, don’t ya know? It’s called the “Ordinary, Universal and Disposable Magisterium”. Yes, a bit like Kleenex. We love that thing here in Lisbon! We use it all the time! No, not the Kleenex…
At this point, I do not even think that Port wine can do this. Not the one I know, at least, unless Portuguese Cardinals have access to some very, very strong stuff.
It goes on….
The problem is on another level, in a strong tradition, which comes from Jesus, and in the ease with which the reformed churches went that way. This did not make the solution of the problem any easier, if this problem has a solution.
So, you know what the Cardinal thinks it has happened? Jesus has created a problem! Instead of doing Cardinal Policarpo the favour of having a couple of token women as every serious, “equality sensitive” multinational would do, he just goes on stubbornly appointing an all-male, chauvinistic team; one where women can’t even find a place as reserves to be inserted in the last fifteen minutes, when you’re winning 3-0 and are playing 11 against 10. Oh well, it is what it is, we’ll have to live with the problem now…. And look, Jesus, we look even worse now, because the Protestant teams ( I’ll call them “churches”, of course; “reformed churches”. I know it sounds heretical, but hey, we can’t say “there’s only one Church”, right?) have inserted women in their teams with such… ease! Good Satan, this is embarrassing! What do we say to the customers now! This is going to give us a serious marketing problem! We need to change the product, Jesus; we truly do!
And now, dear readers, is the time for some serious, sad reflection.
The hypothesis that the Cardinal might have drunk too much, and might have lost control during the interview, is in my eyes not entirely unfounded. If you read the interview, he loses his thread several times, once at the very beginning; he sounds confused and creepy; he seems not to reflect on the huge heresies he goes on spitting. In short, he looks like one surprised at a very bad time, and who didn’t have the presence of spirit to call it a headache and leave the thing for another day. It happens more often than you think, Ken Livingstone is just the last example.
This would be the charitable explanation. Let me stress this: the charitable one; the one which considers human frailties; the one which tries to discount the open heresy and to find an explanation for his inexplicable words, a halfway understandable excuse for his inexcusable blabber.
On the other hand – and sad as it is to have to say so – Rorate Caeli informs us that this is the same man who has overseen the Portuguese church in a time of legalisation of abortion on demand and of same sex marriages without opposing more than some obligatory meowing; the one who has presided over a collapse of church attendance but is still the owner of the very telling privilege of presiding over the only capital in Europe still without a Tridentine Mass.
A coincidence is a coincidence, but….. you know the rest…
Once again, this shows that the Liturgy is so closely intertwined with the theology, that you can’t separate the two. Where you have bad liturgy, this will create bad theology. Where you have stubborn opposition to Catholic liturgical orthodoxy, you will have the ideal ground for the spreading of heresy.
The Liturgy is the Church. When you use violence to the Liturgy, you use violence to the Church. The rest follows automatically.
I truly hope that in the next days the Cardinal will offer to the press a strong refutation of his words. But as this has not yet been the case, I can’t imagine that there is a realistic chance for this and that we must face the reality of an openly heretical Cardinal. Nothing new under the sun of course, but sad nevertheless.
Therefore, unless this man was “tired and emotional” at the moment of giving the interview, the only possible conclusion is that the Patriarch of Lisbon is openly heretical, and has the gut to clearly and openly defy the Pope’s and the Church’s authority in matters clearly pertaining to the Ordinary and universal Magisterium.
When such a challenge to the Church’s teaching authority is moved, and from such an elevated position, it is the duty of the Pope to correct, admonish and if necessary punish the person responsible.
If the Pope lets this provocation pass without correction, his authority and prestige will be irrevocably damaged and after the Patriarch of Lisbon, other heretical senior churchmen will come out of the wood and start expressing their more or less veiled approval for heretical theories. This must be stopped now, as it has already gone far enough.
The days of the Popes who limit themselves to administer some nice words of guidance and counselling should have ended long ago. As Romano Amerio beautifully pointed out, the role of the Pope has traditionally been one of both direction and prescription. If the Holy Father only focuses on the first aspect and neglects the second, heresy, anarchy and schism will be the result. It will be Pope Paul VI all over again!
The Cardinal needs our prayer. But just as surely, he needs to be kicked out, sharpish. There can be no excuse, no reason of opportunity, no fear of schism that can justify the permanence of such openly heretical cardinal at his place. Souls are at stake. Those who have the duty to act will have to anwer for these souls.
The place where to address your righteous indignation are as follows:
Congregation for the Clergy: email@example.com
Congregation for Bishops: Palazzo della Congregazioni, Piazza Pio XII, 10, 00193 Roma, Italy (email address not found)
Holy Father: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please try to be much more moderate than I was here. There’s a time for the sword and a time for the floret. You’ll be addressing Princes of the Church or even – at least officially – the Holy Father himself. I’ll do it as soon as I can.
Frankly, at the moment I can’t.