In the last days, objections have been made to the fact that many of those who write about Catholic matters do so anonymously. As always, there is no scarcity of people who indulge in easy accusations of what they don’t like, and can’t control. Let us examine what this is all about and the many valid reasons for anonymity on the internet.
1) Anonymity is freedom. Unless one lives on Planet Pollyanna, there is no denying (not even by its detractors) that the protection afforded by anonymity allows information to be exchanged and discussed that otherwise would have never reached a wider public. This makes our societies (and more specifically the religious discussion) more free. This is important, as freedom of expression is an extremely important pillar of every democratic society.
2) Anonymity encourages criticisms of what doesn’t work within the Church. As Catholics, we have the duty to react to scandals and abuses we see around us, but we don’t have the duty to seek martyrdom (I mean here in a broader sense, as persecution or discrimination because of our convictions) if we don’t have to. Anonymity on the internet makes therefore not only democratic societies more free, but provides a better system of control for the abuses within the Church. If a Bishop tells you that he feels scrutinised by the anonymous internet bloggers, it’s because he is. This is good for Catholicism, and potentially vital for the salvation of the relevant Bishop’s soul.
3) The accusations of it being “coward” to hide behind anonymity are the most cowardly acts themselves. Repressive political systems are those who try to repress anonymity the hardest. The people asking bloggers to reveal their identity are not much different than, say, Saddam Hussein calling his opponents cowards because they stay hidden. There’s a reason why people hide behind anonymity and only stupid people, or people in utter bad faith, pretend not to understand them.
4) If you look attentively, you noticed that anonymity is one of the most powerful engines of progress. Whistleblowing sites could never exist without the protection afforded by anonymity, and they are a most powerful engine of correct behaviour and have now possibly become the most implacable weapon against criminal behaviour within corporations and public bodies. Why anonymity would be acceptable for them but unacceptable for misbehaviour within the Church (which, notabene, can include child abuse and the like) is beyond me.
5) The accusation of it being very easy to slander people from behind anonymity does not really stand scrutiny. It being very easy to slander from behind a wall of anonymity, the relevant information is heavily discounted. People have always written anonymously on walls, but this has never made what they wrote believed just because it was written. On the contrary, an accusation made from an anonymous person will need to be substantiated to even begin to carry any real credibility. This is exactly what happens on the Internet. Criticism of clergy is accompanied with facts and evidence, or it is easily discarded. This is another of the beauties of the Internet. If, say, a Bishop gives scandal by participating to the “ordination” of a “bishopess” or some Protestant ecclesial community, the information will be there with the facts: day, people present, photos, videos, the whole enchilada. It is obvious to the meanest intelligence what counts here is the fact, the provenance being fully irrelevant in the economy of the scandal.
6) It is undeniable, though, that insisted, repeated slander may – even if unsubstantiated – have some effect in the long-term on the person affected. Voltaire used to say something on the lines of “keep on slandering: something will stick”. There you are, you will say, but the best protection against such slander is, once again, anonymity! Every non addetto ai lavori (as journalist, or priest) who willingly renounces to his own anonymity when he writes on the internet is allowing his ego to play him the most dangerous of tricks. Be assured that there will be a price to pay, as recently seen in the case of a “commenterer” known to many of us.
7) It has always been known to people with some salt in their brains – a minority, I sometimes think – that a wise man picks up his own fights. It is utterly illogical (nay: it is outright stupid) to think that what we write will not have an impact on our future – allowing for countless forms of covert discrimination, never to be proved and impossible to trace or fight against – for decades to come. It is the very freedom of our societies which makes this unavoidable.
This may not be a problem for a journalist (who makes of it his profession, and for whom his own name is a brand and professional tool), but can be a huge problem for everyone else. A wise man will prudently decide himself if and when and under which conditions to face a conflict because of his religious convictions, but a moron will gladly expose himself to every kind of retaliation of which he might even never become aware (lost work opportunities, or business opportunities, or both).
8 ) Even anti-discrimination legislation wisely chooses the same way as Internet bloggers. Information about health, age, religion cannot be asked by a potential employer. There is a reason why, and it is that such information opens huge doors to discrimination. How stupid would it be to legislate against such form of discrimination, whilst demanding that bloggers voluntarily expose themselves to it, irrevocably, for all time to come. Make no mistake, religion is – and always will be – the biggest cause of hatred and conflict. It’s just the way it is and he who doesn’t see it is in serious need of waking up.
9) Stupid commenters were never considered less stupid because they are not anonymous. Intelligent commenters were never considered less intelligent because they are. I – and everyone else – will pick my sites and blogs according to the validity of their content, not according to the degree of anonymity of their writers. Just to make an example, “Splintered Sunrise” is an excellent blog. Is anyone concerned that it is anonymous? Not I.
10) We have recently had another example of how beautiful anonymity is. I do not know whether priests are allowed to blog anonymously (albeit, by definition if they really wanted they’d be able to do it anyway), but had Fr. Mildew written an anonymous blog, he’d have been much more relaxed against the bullying of Mgr. Basil Loftus. His blog is now closed. QED.
This is of course not meant to be a justification of my being strictly anonymous, for which there is no need. Rather a caveat to all those who still haven’t understood the potentially devastating influence of a sustained, prolonged Internet presence with their own names, particularly when the subject matter is not neutral (like photography, dogs, or gardening) but serious, highly emotional issues like politics and, most importantly, religion.
Wake up to the reality of the Internet. The immense freedom it harbours also hides dangers for your own professional future; dangers the more devastating because subtle and able to damage you whilst keeping you fully unaware of what is happening. And if you think that this problem only concerns people with extreme views or roaming the internet with illegal purposes ask everyone who works for reference checking firms, and think again.
Pope Pius XII, 1943.
Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.
Pope Francis, 2013.
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
As you might have read already, an online petition is asking the White House to designate the Catholic Church as a “hate group” for the Church’s views on marriage (and , actually, on sexual perversion in general, though this isn’t said).
The petition has very few signature and is obviously being criticised already, but make no mistake: this is what the future has in store for us.
I can’t say the Church hierarchy hasn’t deserved this: decades of wishy-washy thinking and weasel words on oh how the Church oh loves homosexuals has to lead to church persecution one day.
If the Church had condemned homosexuality as a lurid perversion, and sodomy as an abomination comparable to child rape in the last five decades as she did in the past almost 2000 years, we wouldn’t be in this position now. We are, because the desire not to be seen as… “haters” has prevented the Church from speaking loudly and effectually on this point. The unavoidable result is that the Church will be forced to either say forcibly where it stands (forcibly means: without weasel words, and making clear they are ready to fight this Kulturkampf) or be put with her shoulders to the wall in all those countries where political correctness becomes more important than freedom of speech, let alone religious freedom.
The following is the English Translation (courtesy of Father Z) of Horrendum Illud Scelus, with which Pope St. Pius V deals with the abomination among the ranks of the Church. You find the link on the right hand side column of this blog.
Pius, Bishop (St. Pope Pius V)
Servant of the Servants of God
For perpetual memory of the matter.
A ghastly crime, by which the joined (papal) states were polluted enflamed by God’s fearful judgment, flares up our bitter sorrow, and gravely moves our soul so that we lend now our attentions to repress it as much as possible.
1. It was properly denoted by the Lateran Council, that whatsoever Cleric will have been discovered to suffer from that incontinence which is against nature, on account of which the wrath of God falls upon the sons of disobedience (cf. Vulg. Eph. 5,6), is to be ejected from the ranks of the clergy and be reduced to do penance in a monastery.
2. But lest the contagion of such a scourge, from the hope of impunity which is the greatest lure of sinning, more confidently grows in power, We determine that clerics guilty of this execrable crime are to be quite gravely punished, so that whoever does not abhor the ruination of the soul, the avenging secular sword of civil laws will certainly deter.
3. And thus because We have made a decree in this matter at the beginning of Our Pontificate, now in a fuller and stronger way intending it to be followed strictly, every and all priests, whoever they are, and other secular clerics, and regular clerics of any grade and dignity, busy at such a detestable monstrosity, We deprive of every clerical privilege, every office, dignity, and ecclesiastical benefice by authority of the present legal instrument. So it is enacted that once they are degraded by the Ecclesiastical Judge, they be handed over immediately to the secular arm, which will exact upon them the same (death) penalty, which is ascertained to have been constituted by legitimate sanctions against laymen who have slid down into this ruin. Nothing to the contrary withstanding, etc.
Given at Rome at St. Peter’s, 30 August in the Year of the Lord’s Incarnation 1568 during the third year of Our Pontificate.
Notice the death penalty is awaiting those caught, as the saintly Pope perfectly well knew. Therefore, he wanted sodomite priests to be put to death. What would the Jesuits (formerly) organising the “homo masses” in Soho think about this, I wonder…
The mentality of not wanting to say things as they are out loud, but merely (if at all) issuing some softly worded statements of disapproval has brought us to this situation. When you refuse to call a pervert a pervert, it is only a matter of time before the pervert calls you a “hater” and wants to silence, jail or destroy you.
We are being warned. Will we take the hint?
Each one of us is, at some level, aware of the uniqueness of being “the real thing”. You can buy whatever cola you want at the supermarket, but however its advantages it will never be “the real thing”. Similarly, all those products or brands which are perceived as to be “the original” have a very special place. Monsieur Lacoste certainly did not invent the polo shirt, but he reinvented its use, and made of it a brand now followed and imitated worldwide. The same can be said for many other products and brands, of which Apple is perhaps the most spectacular seen in recent times (but there are others; for us Italians, Della Valle’s “Tod’s” is another brilliant example). There is an element of truthfulness in the “original”, that cannot be denied. A shoes which tries to imitate another brand of shoe is, obviously, still a shoe, but it will ruthlessly branded “a fake” nevertheless. It is fake in that, whilst still a shoe, it fails to adhere to truthfulness, and people love truthfulness. The very adjective “authentic” is often used in the sense of “truthful, devoid of lies” rather than “original”.
All over the planet, people pay a premium for the original, because the original is “the real thing”, because it is – at some level – truthful. What comes later is merely a by-product, a me-too imitation, an attempt to ride a wave of success. Nowadays it seems pretty much everything must have an “i” as prefix, and even my freeview box is called “i-Can”; but all this, of course, only reminds us of the original.
People all over the world know this. They even feel this. They certainly pay for this.
Isn’t it strange, then, that such a tremendous force of attraction be struggling there, where it should be strongest? That it should be I do not say waning, but dozing along even if it concerns what is most important, what makes it absolutely vital to be right, and to choose “the right thing”? How can it be that it is so clear human nature longs for truthfulness, and the Catholic Church, the most granitic, self-evident example of Originality and Authenticity ever created, struggles to even persuade people they must show up on a Sunday?
The answer to this is, if you ask me, that no organisation is promoted in such an incompetent way as the Catholic Church.
Instead of promoting and propagating the Truth of the Catholic faith – and people need truth; they yearn for it; look at how well the Evangelicals fare – they do everything possible to water it down. Instead of stressing the unique nature of the Church, they drown in a sea of senseless ecumenism. Instead of asking that the world embrace Christ, they try to make Christ follow the world (Jesus the Ecumenical Chap; Jesus the Global Warmist; Jesus the Socialist; Jesus the Animal Rights Activist, and all the other “Jesuses” happily invented in the last decades, of whom blessedly I only miss Jesus the Vegetarian). People don’t show up on a Sunday, because most priests and bishops are too cowardly to tell them they must.
What is, without question, the most powerful “brand” on Earth – so powerful that no one can escape being fascinated and awed by it at some level; not even hardened atheists – is made ineffective by the most tragically ineffective body of deciders of the planet. It is a great testimony of the indefectibility of the Church that after five decades of systematic sabotage and ruthless work of destruction from within, the Church still stands strong – though not as strong as it should – and able to put a fight – not so deadly as it should – when she chooses.
The level of incompetence, cowardice, stupidity or sheer heresy we experience on a daily basis would have killed the Coca-Colas and Apples of the world many times over. It is, as I speak, killing the Anglicans and Presbyterians, whilst the Methodists are, at least in the UK, already a purely geriatric exercise.
The gates of hell will not prevail, and The Real Thing will never stop to attract and fascinate.
But for Heavens’ sake, dear Bishops, get a move on.
This is the communique released today. Emphases mine.
On September 14, 2011, at the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a meeting was held between His Eminence, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of this Congregation and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, His Excellency, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, S.J., Secretary of this Congregation, and Monsignor Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, and Fathers Niklaus Pfluger et Alain-Marc Nély, General Assistants of the Fraternity
Following the petition addressed on December 15, 2008, by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Father had taken the decision of lifting the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and to open at the same time doctrinal conversations with the Fraternity, aiming to overcome the difficulties and the problems of a doctrinal nature, and to achieve a healing of the existing fracture.
Obedient to the will of the Holy Father, a mixed study commission, composed of experts of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and of experts of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, assembled eight times for meetings that took place in Rome between the month of October 2009 and the month of April 2011. These conversations, whose objective was that of presenting and examining the major doctrinal difficulties on controversial themes, achieved their goal, which was that of clarifying the respective positions and their motivations.
Given the concerns and requests presented by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X regarding the integrity of the Catholic faith considering the hermeneutic of rupture of the Second Vatican Council in respect of Tradition – hermeneutic mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005 -, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith takes as a fundamental basis for a full reconciliation with the Apostolic See the acceptance of the Doctrinal Preamble which was delivered in the course of the meeting of September 14, 2011. This preamble enunciates some of the doctrinal principles and criteria of interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary for ensuring fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and to the sentire cum Ecclesia, while leaving open to legitimate discussion the study and theological explanation of particular expressions and formulations present in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium that followed it.
In the course of the same meeting, some elements were proposed regarding a canonical solution for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, which would follow the eventual and hoped-for reconciliation.
Early days (or hours) and I have pressing engagements now (Champions League, mainly 😉 ).
It seems to me that the acceptance of the preamble is the only thing required, and that this preamble – whose content is for the moment not published – does not demand that the SSPX accepts any interpretation of the V II document deemed in contrast with Catholic orthodoxy. Actually, the SSPX seems even authorised to question the entire way the Magisterium has been (erroneously, of course) presented in the following decades (the “Spirit of V II” and all the annexed bollocks).
Without having read the preamble – which might be a cold shower, though I’d say this is rather improbable – I’d say that this is huge; but this is, in fact, even bigger 😉
Again: early days, and we’ll have to see how the situation develops. But come on, I can’t imagine the SPPX having being informed and having given informal approval to the document beforehand.
This is huge, huger, hugest!! However it may end up, the text already signals a great understanding for the SSPX position, and the fact that they are in line with the “hermeneutic of continuity”, whilst the trendies are not.
Better days ahead. Now we only have to pray.
God bless Pope Benedict.
I had read several times about Fr Pavone and if you use the search function of this blog, you might find an entry or two about him. I liked his pro-life commitment and the way he engages to do that which too many clergymen do not want to do.
It would now appear that his Bishop has suspended him and has ordered him to come back to Amarillo, alleging that Fr Pavone has disobeyed him by not allowing the accounts of his 10-million-bucks-a-year charity to be audited.
One would say that this is (then) Father Corapi all over again (poor chap, by the way; what has happened to him? I see dark clouds there, but I digress…), but in this case the circumstances appear rather different because Fr Pavone obeys to the bishop (coming back to Amarillo as ordered) even when he is not obliged to (as he has already appealed, and the appeal allows him to wait for the decision; I am not an expert in canon law but I’d say that we have seen this in the case of bishop Nourrichard).
The matter here is rather disconcerting for a different reason: the bishop says that Fr Pavone doesn’t want to have his books audited; Fr Pavone says that the books are audited but the bishops doesn’t want to acknowledge that they are. As the matter of auditing of financial statements is heavily regulated all over the West and not much of a grey zone seems possible, I am sure that we will rather soon know who is talking without thinking here. If Fr Pavone picked his cousin to audit the financial statements because he happens to be an accountancy student, the books are not audited and I think he’s in trouble; if he had the accounts regularly audited I think the Bishop will have some explaining to do.
The other matter rather reminiscent of the Corapi affair is the bishop’s accusation about “persistent questions remained unanswered” regarding how the money is used (hence the great need for auditing, of course). Once again, either the books have been properly audited, or they haven’t. If they have, it should have been for the auditors to express concerns, if such areas of concerns had been established. If they haven’t, the problem is there irrespective of Pavone having being wasteful or not.
It is sad to see that once again, a famous priest makes headlines for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, if a scandal is really on the making (and be that one of careless administration) the Latin saying oportet ut scandala eveniant has once again deserved its excellent reputation.
As in Corapi’s case, Fr Pavone should be presumed innocent until found guilty.
I truly hope we won’t see him soon photographed in a motorcycle jacket, though.
Father Barron is going to lead his viewers on a long journey of discovery of Catholicism, 10 episodes of 60 minutes each.
The series will be called Catholicism (these days, a provocative title in itself) and one can be sure that it will make some waves.
If properly made, the potential for this series is huge. Millions of people might, in time, start to see a chunk of it only because of curiosity and be captured by the assault Barron plans on his mind and on his senses (exploring the arts, the thinking, the logic, the complex theology and the beauty of Catholicism).
If made badly this could be, of course, an equally dangerous boomerang, particularly if the series will be heavily tinged with nu-Catholic, Vatican-II tones.
I truly, truly hope that the temptation will be resisted to make a “popular” product and to say the things that do not offend the viewer. in my eyes, what Catholicism needs is to finally start saying again what the viewer do not want to hear, and to attack the anti-Catholic prejudice head on rather than keep whining and apologising for the homosexual priest scandal whilst the tambourines play in the background and we are explained how environmentally friendly Catholicism is.
We shall see.
At least this is a chance.
Everyone knows that some things are loved unconditionally. Ask anyone who loves his fatherland why he does it in the face of all the bad decisions, bad wars, scandals, and assorted miseries of his country’s history and he will tell you – as if it were the most natural thing on Earth, and rather wondering how you can be so obtuse as to even ask – that his love for his Fatherland is valid and justified independently of any mistake that some people might have done here and there, even if they committed those mistakes or outright atrocities in the Fatherland’s name.
But then the same people may start talking about the Church, and then you’ll discover that the undying and unquestioning loyalty they give to a purely human construct, they are not ready to give to the Church founded by Christ. If it’s about a country defined by Washington, or Cavour, or Bismarck they forgive everything; to the Church founded by Christ, they forgive nothing.
This blatant contradiction and summit of illogical thinking is so well-spread, that many people will subscribe to it not only without realising the absurdity of what they say, but even feeling good in the process; sometimes the same people, mind, who would despise those who are not ready to stand up whenever the national anthem plays.
Still, everyone of us should remember – and, on occasion, remember to his friends and/or Saturday afternoon Church critics – that there is no other organisation in our life that is so important – not only from a collective point of view but, more to the point, for one’s own individual salvation – than the Church.
Not even the Fatherland, not even – take this – the football club…
I was reminded of this simple truth by reading the world of Archbishop Chaput by his first homily as the new Archbishop of Philadelphia:
There’s no quick fix to problems that are so difficult, and none of us here today, except the Lord Himself, is a miracle worker. But the Church is not defined by her failures. And you and I are not defined by critics or by those who dislike us.
The Church is not run by miracle workers, she is run by fallible men; these fallible men make mistake, and are sometimes outright evil, within the Church as in every other organisation, including the Fatherland. But in the same way as you don’t define the Fatherland by the mistakes made by those who were entrusted with positions of power and influence, you must not define the Church by the mistake made by clergy entrusted with a power they have abused. At the same time, you must never allowed yourself to be defined by the same metre of either perfection or hypocrisy so much en vogue nowadays: it is not that is one is a believer he must be either a saint or a hypocrite. You don’t ask a patriot to be a perfect soldier, you ask him to try to be the best soldier he can; if he is afraid or short of perfect heroism, you don;t question his patriotism for that. Common sense, you will say, but it is surprising how often this simple logic doesn’t apply to one only because he believes that Christ founded the only Church and tries to live in accordance with this simple belief.
This is a very simple concept, that I dish to the Church critics every time – and it is more often than you think – someone wants to feel a paladin of justice at the expense of the Church, acting like those armchair generals brown-nosing their boss all day long but perfectly able to say how brave and uncompromising they would have been in front of Hitler threatening a holocaust of Polish and French Catholics.
Every regular reader of this blog knows that on these pages criticism in front of scandal given by Churchmen is not spared. This is, I think, right so, as the damage made by those entrusted with position of particular prestige and influence and care for the souls is particularly dangerous. But by all critics, the loyalty to the Institution that you will find on these pages is total.
Right or wrong, the only Church.
( You’ll have to copy and paste this, I am afraid. And believe me, you want to switch the audio off….).
From Gloria.tv, a video of the body of Padre Pio after its controversial exhumation in 2008. As you can see from the video, the body is in an impressive state of conservation. As far as I know, there are no ways known to man to preserve a corpse in such a way, for such a long time and a simple look at the video will persuade you that no embalming – not attempted, as well-known from the filmed inhumation and, also filmed, sealing of the tomb – could ever reach such results.
As the seals have been opened in front of the cameras, and th estate of the tomb perfectly corresponded to the state of the tomb filmed by the original inhumation, there can be no doubt that the largely incorrupt body shown in 2008 is the original, with no tricks attempted by anyone.
I am obviously far from saying that this alone is proof of the existence of God – which can be reached in a purely intellectual way without any need for Padre Pio’s body anyway -. Still, if I were an atheist these images would give me much to think about.
This morning at Mass the celebrant briefly preceded the homily with a short description of what is happening with the introduction of the new translation. As we were by the strange Mass that the Oratorians call “Sung Latin, Ordinary Form” – and which is, in fact, its first version, very similar to a Tridentine Mass, with only a few modifications for example with the introduction of the bidding prayers – it was duly pointed out that in this mass there would be only one modification: at the beginning of the bidding prayers, the answer to “The Lord be with you” would be “and with your spirit” rather than “and also with you”.
After which, Father Harrison simply invited to make a dry run, and after he said “the Lord be with you” all the congregation answered “and with your spirit”, in an atmosphere of tangible merriment.
You see? It wasn’t difficult. Some words are substituted with others. People are told which words are substituted for which. They say the new words. That’s that.
I so wish all those liberal whinos treating us all like lobotomised morons to have been present in order to witness this miraculous feat of instant learning. You will be pleased to know that, to my knowledge, no old pew sitter suffered any noticeable distress at hearing the words, and I even dare to predict that all of them will cope all right and survive the shock.
Furthermore, I also venture to suggest that most of those liberal thickos who have difficulties in learning new words are, at least, able to read. Well, this should go a long way towards solving the problem, as the simple reading of the text and the saying of what one finds written week after week should, in time, allow even the most intellectually challenged Birkenstock-wearing liberal moron to cope with the new words.
There were old words. Now there will be new ones. In a couple of months people will struggle to remember what the old expressions were. It’s really as banal as that. Please stop harassing us with the myth of the old man unable to learn a couple of words, or traumatised at having to say “and with your spirit”.
Another excellent blog post from the “man with no uncertain trumpet”, Monsignor Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington.
This time, Monsignor Pope’s attention is focused on the image of Jesus that was smuggled around in the Seventies, and that still influences the Sixty-Eighters and other pot-smokers today. In those years – and whilst I was a child, I got my share of those years – Jesus was generally portrayed as a kind of a whimp, a girly boy unable to exert or project any form of manliness, a mixture of hare “krishna” follower and Gandhi with, later, the addition of a dollop of Nelson Mandela. Victimised, but as meek as a sheep; bullied, but always answering with a smile, and unable to threat or harm, this is the Jesus we had brought to us as an example. “Peeaace” and “luuuuv” were everywhere, and not a whip in sight.
Well, one only needs to read the Gospel to get a completely different picture of Jesus; a man who never said things half, and never minced words; a man able to openly defy his opponents in public, in times when conflicts were carried out rather less nicely than today, and “being hurt” had a different meaning than today; a man whose followers went around armed with swords, certainly not for aesthetic reasons; a man able to free himself from the grasp of multitudes desirous to apprehend him, which can’t have been accomplished without a towering presence and an extremely commanding, charismatic, utterly manly attitude; a man able, alone, to throw away from the temple an undefined, but certainly not little number of moneychangers out of the sheer fury of his action, and the might of his whip. On this occasion, the contrast between the calm preparation of the whip and the explosion of irresistible physical power gives a wonderful example of the manliness of Jesus’ behaviour.
No, this was no pink-shirted, manicured, anti-wrinkle-lotioned, tubular-jeans-wearing metrosexual; this was a real man, oozing masculinity in everything he did. Try to imagine the scene of St. Matthew’s conversion and tell me whether it is compatible with anything else than the most commanding authority. Then try to imagine how Gandhi or Deepak Chopra would have tried to achieve the same result, and you’ll know the difference.
You see this everywhere in the Gospels, as the words and gestures of Jesus are always accompanied by an undercurrent of sheer authority, a commanding stance, the attitude of one who knows that he will be obeyed everytime he wants. Even scourged almost to death, Jesus talks to Pilate from a position of utter power, and leaves him in no doubt as to who is boss. Make no mistake, this is no Gandhi.
Thankfully, the gently whispering Jesus of my younger years is now slowly being substituted for an image more attuned to the Gospel image, largely – I think – because of the excellent “passion of the Christ” and James Caviezel’s very manly rendition of the Lord. It will take time, though, before the Birkenstock-sandalled, tofu-eating, Cosmo-reading and Oprah-watching Jesus is replaced by, well….. Jesus.
Please find here the text of the Vatican’s answer to the Irish Government’s populist and rather stupid aggression following the publication of the Cloyne Report.
Rather late now and I only browsed the text a bit before going to bed. It seems to me that this is unusually strong tobacco for any diplomacy, let alone the Vatican one. I might be wrong, and I need to re-read the thing with more leisure and more time.
Glad to see they still have some teeth left, though. At least the diplomatic ones.
The “call to disobedience” of the Austrian heretics seems to slowly infect their cousins in Germany.
Here it is none other than the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, archbishop Zoellitsch, to lead the charge of those not only willing, but proud to assume a position of open conflict with the Church and to tell us how good they are in the process.
Make no mistake, Archbishop Zoellitsch is merely trying to curry favour with the tepidly Catholic Germans who still pay the Kirchensteuer. These Germans, having been never properly instructed and having been afflicted by one of the most cowardly clergy of the planet, seriously believe that they have the right to question Catholic truth. No surprise, when even their shepherds do the same….
Said shepherds have no inclination – and no economic interest – in trying to properly instruct their sheep, fearing that, if they so do, the sheep will stop paying the “church tax”, or Kirchensteuer ; which is, in fact, no tax at all, but a voluntary contribution that can be stopped at any time, though with a certain amount of red tape involved.
I will examine below what the Archbishop is capable to say in order to secure his pieces of silver. But first I would like to point out that there can be no doubt whatsoever that Archbishop Zoellitsch’s intervention is motivated by the desire to appear in tune with the secularised “Church Tax” payer by putting himself in clear conflict with Rome. His scandalous words can only be seen in connection with the grave crisis of the “Kirchensteuer” system, now raging also in Germany.
In Italy, we call a person who gives away his values for economic interests (by extension, even if he is a man) with the resounding, emotionally charged and, well, not entirely polite name of puttana. Whilst one hesitates to call a bishop “puttana”, there can be no doubt that sheer prostitution is what is happening here. Bishop Zoellitsch doesn’t have any scruple in giving away his supposedly Catholic credentials – those values he has the duty to protect – in order to please those who pay for the expenses of one of the richest (and possibly: the richest) churches of the Catholic universe. And he is so fine with that, and has the economic motives of his spenders so much in his mind, and feels so secure that the wealth of the German Church gives him a say, that he doesn’t fail to let Rome know that Germany is a big contributor to the Roman coffers. In other words, the killjoys in Rome are requested to shut up and to let him satisfy the desires of the paying public.
Archbishop Zoellitsch’s main aim is to relieve the suffering of rosewater Catholics who have left – or have been left by – their partners and now live in concubinage with another partner (hopefully of the other sex, though I wonder what Zoellitsch would think if this wasn’t the case). The Archbishop’s argument is – wait for this – that it is a matter of “mercy” that these people should be allowed to receive communion, and at this point one truly wonder whether the speaker is a shepherd, or a madam.
Last time I looked, a concubine couldn’t receive communion because he or she is a concubine. What’s difficult in that? The concept of concubine is not difficult to grasp, provided one understands the concept of marriage in the first place. Marriage is a bond that cannot be broken as long as both spouses live. Therefore, if one lives with a person that is not his spouse he is living with a concubine, and to his fornication he adds the scandal of openly rebelling to the Church’s rules. Again: what’s difficult in that? What is beyond the power of understanding of an eight years old child, let alone a bishop?
Now, no one can say that Catholic societies have not been blessed with a human understanding for human frailties far away from the rigidity of Protestantism. But even in those societies, no one has ever dreamed to say that such frailties are justified, or that giving scandal be something deserving of mercy, or that human mercy may wash away mortal sin. Put in a simple way, a man who left his wife and family was always, always considered an idiot, a family wrecker, and a self-centered child and a woman who left her husband to live with another man was always considered the above-mentioned puttana. Similarly, it has always been considered a given that scandal be avoided at all costs, so that one’s weaknesses be not source of sin or confusion for others. It makes sense, and it works rather well.
This should now change, says Archbishop Zoellitsch. Public sin and scandal should have no sacramental consequence, because we are so merciful.
I truly wonder what the Archbishop is thinking, because what he says just isn’t Catholic: is he saying that one who leaves his spouse and takes a concubine doesn’t live in mortal sin? Really? Really? An Archbishop? The head of the German Bishop’s Conference? If he thinks that open scandal and public concubinage isn’t a mortal sin, how can he call himself I don’t say a Catholic, but a Christian? Heavens, even Casanova could give this man lessons in morals! If he thinks that concubinage is a mortal sin, how can he think that a person in mortal sin can validly receive Holy Communion? What does he think Holy Communion is, a piece of bread given to those the community wants to feel included?
The simple, painful truth is that the Archbishop very well knows what a mortal sin is; he is fully aware of the sacramental nature of the Holy Communion; he knows perfectly well that it is a sheer impossibility that a sacrament may be validly received by a person in mortal sin. He knows all that, but he has chosen to prostitute himself and the German church for the sake of the “Church Tax” payments.
If you have any doubt, you can read the rest of the interview (if you can read German). He takes the German president, Mr Christian Wulff, as example of the “good” Catholic who is left out of communion by those baddies in Rome because….. he has left his wife and is now the concubine of another woman. He says that he is “impatient” with the rhythm of “change”, thus implying both that he is better than the men in Rome and that there can be any “change” in doctrinal matters in the first place. He even comes to the point of praising the Green Party and here the whoredom truly reaches the summit. If he saw some money coming, Archbishop Zoellitsch would, no doubt, praise the North-Korean government as a shining example of “merciful” behaviour.
We don’t want to use the word that is appropriate to describe the Archbishop’s moral stature. We must be at all times aware of the fact that, by grossly insulting a shepherd of the Church, we insult the Church he represents. But make no mistake, Archbishop Zoellitsch is making of the German Church the brothel of German secularism, in the hope it continues to pay.
Personally I see only one way out of this situation:
a. Exemplary punishment of the Archbishop. Punish one, so that one hundred may learn.
b. The end of the Kirchensteuer and the dismantling of this rich, lazy, stupid, corrupt, and utterly heretical ministerial apparatus
c. The complete re-organisation of the Catholic Church in Germany with the principles of far less money for the priests – among the best paid on the planet -, far more attention to orthodoxy and far less attention to pleasing the public.
d. a massive and sustained work of re-education (better: of education) of the German Catholics.
This is not easy and not to achieve rapidly, but it can be achieved if in Rome it is finally acknowledged that the German Church is ill to the point of descending to utter prostitution in order to save her wealth and comfort.
I have taken the “Heresy in Austria” post away from the “sticky” position.
I wanted to leave it only a couple of days, but every time I read it I got so angry at clicking on the link and seeing that the “call to disobedience” was still there that I decided to leave it again and again.
With the time, though, the thing has started to nerve me rather mightily and whilst this will happen to me more often than to you, I start to think that many readers weren’t so astonishingly pleased, either.
I will re-post the post as “sticky” every now and then in order to give the situation regular visibility without unnerving the readers. On all other days, the two references to the heresy in Austria prepared from the start (the “stop” sign on the right hand side and the extra post on the upper bar, put in the second best position and only after the Rosary) will allow everyone to click and check if at least the link has been removed (it reads in German “Aufruf zum Ungehorsam”: as long as it’s there, nothing has happened).
In the meantime there has been nothing more than a moderate non-development with some more meowing from the Archbishop, meowing not only largely expected but indispensable to avoid the boot. Nothing more as far as I know. If there is anything new and relevant (excluding meowing) perhaps the one or other will let me know.
Thank you for your patience, which must have been tested in some case. I know mine was.
The Mexican Presbyterians have decided, after 139 years, to file for divorce from the PCUSA, the Presbyterian [so-called] Church of the USA.
It would appear that whilst the Holy Ghost spoke to the ones suggesting to them that homosexual priests – I mean here outright sodomites – are just the ticket, the same Holy Ghost spoke to the others – in good Spanish, I presume – telling them that this is a no-no.
As a consequence of this translation/communication/phone signal problems, the two organisations have resulted in an event that can be rightly defined one of the defining features of Protestantism, and a significant Protestant gift to the modern world: divorce.
I do not know whether or how the two organisations will discuss their differences, and whenever I am in front of these situations I can’t avoid being embarrassed for the boys, girls and third sex members (plus all the other abbreviated indications denoting sexual deviancy) of the Episcopalians.
In fact, if the Holy Ghost is speaking to both, then something must be wrong with the Holy Ghost and even they can safely exclude that. If nothing is wrong with the Holy Ghost, though, one can only conclude either that the entire idea was wrong these last 139 years, or that the Holy Ghost has gone away from/is kept out from the sister/spouse congregation, in which case the matter is more than creepy and the question why one should follow one congregation that can go completely to the dogs in a matter of decades rather than the one who has gone on strong for 2000 years and was founded by our Saviour instead a rather valid one.
Can’t wait for the moment when the Presbyterians will give communion to dogs.
Oh no, wait! It has happened already!