As this Pontificate enters its second year a trait of Francis’ disquieting personality appears more and more evident: his dislike for good Catholics.
As it seems, there is almost no week in which Francis misses the occasion to put devout Catholics in a bad light. He seems, in fact, utterly unable to believe in the fundamental goodness of people behaving fundamentally well, and striving to do better.
Whether he compares them more or less ironically to “holy cards”, or criticises their “securities”, or lambasts their “hypocrisy”, or mocks their counting their rosaries – rosaries they have prayed for him; quite the gentleman, this one – or calls them all sort of names, or implies (this is just the last one) you have better cards by God if you are some kind of “outcast” (meaning: sodomite, trannie, drunkard, junkie: whatever is not all right in the eyes of real good Catholics) it is clear the man prefers to have you dirty rather than clean; because if you are dirty it allows him to feel good at his vicinity to you, but if you are clean you will actually expose Francis’ own dirtiness.
Let us be frank here: a shallow, vulgar man lacking both manners and spirituality, Francis would look very bad near any one of the good Catholics he so constantly criticises; but put him in the middle of homosexual priests and favela Trannies and he will breath the dirt with relish, and will be very proud of smelling like them.
And in fact, it seems to me the old Jorge Bergoglio is now having a very long field day, shooting at those good Catholics who – seeing in him, fundamentally, a phoney, and saying it; then good Catholics tend not to shut up – have criticised him during his time on the public stage as bishop, archbishop and Cardinal. Now that he is Pope, he ceaselessly hits them with his snide remarks about people who, whilst never called by name, show an uncanny resemblance with your typical…. good Catholic: people who know the Commandments, try to follow them, live orderly lives, rest in Christian Truth, and have granitic certainties about right and wrong. Which is how it is supposed to be.
A very telling sign of this is that Francis never says that, to make an example, to have certainty of the faith is good in itself. No, to him the problem lies in having the certainties. Nor does he say that many people are good Catholics who live saintly lives, whilst others mask their sinfulness under a thick veil of hypocrisy. It is evident from a now countless series of snide remarks that Francis does not believe that people looking fundamentally sound may really be sound Catholics, and that their exemplary behaviour may not hide anything else than.. a truly exemplary attitude. No, it is clear that to Francis you are either dirty, or you are a hypocrite.
It truly goes on and on and on. It is as if those good Catholics who have always pointed out to his shortcomings as a prelate should now be made to pay for what is not only their orthodoxy but also, very clearly, their being largely middle-class, a category Francis clearly looks at as the oppressor and enemy. And here we have it, our standard Bergoglio: “you who always looked down at me”, he seems to say out loud, “you with your faith, with your commandments, with your certainties, with your intact homes, with your prayerful and ordered lives: I do not believe in your authenticity, because I could never be like you. I despise your moral standards, that are clearly not mine; I despise your thinking yourselves good Catholics, and judging me unworthy of my habit. I will therefore bash you whilst I promote and protect homosexual priests and heretical Cardinals, and fight the “holy card world” in which you live in as hard as I can. I don’t care much for the good middle class Catholic. Give me the slum priest stinking of his own sin instead”.
This will not, obviously, be his real words. It can even be that he is not entirely aware of this constant war against bourgeois respectability he is constantly waging. Perhaps his parents brought with them from Piedmont a good dose of resentment for the middle class, and he ended up absorbing some of it. I come from Italy myself. We all know the type. There used to be a lot of them in the past. Again, not saying Bergoglio’s parents were that kind of people. But one observes, and wonders. Perhaps they weren’t, perhaps they were. Perhaps Bergoglio was ruined by the seminary; perhaps a tango-dancing bouncer was not entirely suited to the seminary anyway.
Perhaps; perhaps; perhaps…
What is clear, is that I cannot remember any Pope so constantly at war with good Catholics, as this one.
The White House has recently announced on 27 March Obama will meet the Bishop of Rome to “explore inequalities”. Already this statement allows you to know beforehand what is going to happen: a rhetorical contrapunct in which the two melodies (the secular populism and baby-killing rage of Obama, and the secular populism with a thin varnish of Catholicism and “who am I to judge” rage of the Bishop) will intertwine to create a complex Socialist sound meant to please the envious, the losers, the lazy, the illegals and the reprobates of all kind the world over.
There is, of course, the small difficulty that Obama is exactly the contrary of what a Catholic should stand for; but if you reflect that Francis is almost exactly the contrary of what a Pope should be you realise this small difficulty will be easily overcome. In the “run with the hare and hunt with the hound” style that has become a mark of his inglorious pontificate, Francis will let the world know he has decided to “focus” on some “burning” issues he “shares” with the President, whilst the real issues – the one of the most inhumane, Nazi abortionist anti-Catholic pro-faggotry bastard even to darken the doors of the White House to mention only one – will be conveniently toned down to the point of inaudibility.
Perhaps we will be informed – at some point, when the hype is gone – that Francis has expressed some “concern” about the HHS mandate; we might be told that Francis has “mentioned” abortion with Obama; we could be reminded that the Pope is – or so he says – Catholic. But make no mistake: none of this will introduce any cacophony to the sugary sounding contrapunct mentioned above.
This feast of global rhetoric is what will make the real headlines, helping both men to become more popular among their common chosen audience – those who don't give a Barack for God in general, and Catholicism in particular -. At the same time, the little and softly whispered sounds of obligatory disagreement between the two will be generously fed to the Catholic press and blogdom, with the inevitable wave of Pollyanna-style articles and blog post along the lines of “Is Pope Francis Just Another Socialist Nutcase? Eleven Things To Know And Share”. The army of Pollyannas among the readers, ready to believe everything that helps them to continue their cosy, comfortable dream of the orthodox Papacy, will as always swallow it whole, and will as always come back asking for more.
A bit more difficulties might, though, those bloggers and journalist encounter who have made of systematic – and very laudable – attacks to Obama a mainstay of their publishing activity. They will have to make an extra effort to persuade their audience that the North-American Marx and the South-American Che Guevara are really that different. Kind of embarrassing,
You might then say that this is, in the end, nothing very new: Popes have met US Presidents before, and Pope Benedict has also met the very same Barry Boy in the past. The reasons of diplomacy, and all that. I reply to this that this meeting promises to be nothing of the sort, and the respectful but very clear mention of the differences will make place for a huge “equality fest”, by which differences will be brutally downplayed and the two men will help each other in establishing their own position as the popular icons of the first half of this century.
I might be wrong, of course, and suddenly Francis might discover a strong antagonism to abortion, the undermining of Christian values, and the forced redistribution attitude. Forgive me for being skeptical about that, having noticed that Francis talks about abortion the strict indispensable and as much in a whisper as he can, has done nothing – besides making stupid and offensive jokes – about the homo infiltrations in the Vatican, is a public protector of sodomites in his own entourage, is a great buddy of the one who wants to persecute Catholics for their faith, and loves playing Che.
I can already imagine the photos of the two, and the huge mediatic circus the press will make of the “hope and change” President and the “who am I to judge” Pope.
“United Against Poverty And Homophobia”.
I can already imagine it, and it truly makes me sick.
Cardinal Maradiaga is one of the members of the “Gang of Eight” and, if he is representative of the average quality of the members, it is fair to say nothing good will ever come from this strange new organ, the latest tribute to “collegiality”.
Maradiaga is a populist of the worst sort, which seems to be pretty much a speciality of South American Cardinals. The media report his exploits in the linked article and elsewhere.
There is in Maradiaga – and in those like him – an all too obvious tendency to put earth before heaven, and instrumentalise the Church to make it match with his upside down vision.
A Cardinal that thinks that “economic inequalities among world citizens” (“world citizen”: what an idiotic and oxymoronic expression, by the way) are a problem in itself is a Cardinal who has a huge problem, because he is only a socialist in a red robe, one to whom Christianity has become – an ideology.
The poor will always be with us. Some people will – unless you follow the socialist ideology, or manage to create a Communist dictatorship – always be vastly richer than others. The complex fabric of this earth is made in such a way that poverty can spiritually help the poor, and riches can not only alleviate the need of the poor, but promote the spiritual advancement not only of the rich, but of the poor themselves. Never has Christianity had a problem with the fact that some are born rich, or very rich, and many other poor, or very poor. Inheritance tax is not a Christian concept, it is a socialist one. Jesus never even advocated income tax; he advocated works of mercy, and compassion for those in need. The modern concept of “wealth redistribution” is just not in the Gospel. If anything, the existence of economic inequality is a very good way to teach us to put our hopes in the next world rather than in this one, and to invest our time in preparing for what is really important – our eternal destiny – rather than what is far less relevant in the great scheme of things – differences in material prosperity -.
Jesus taught us to perform works of mercy. He never criticised Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea for the fact that they were rich. Note that both are canonised saint, and clearly Zacchaeus remained, for all his restitutions, a very rich man. If Cardinal Maradiaga thinks that in Jesus’ times social inequalities were any littler than today he hasn’t been paying attention at school, and should stay nearer to the Gospels rather than abusing them for his socialist slogans.
Socialism has no part in Christianity. None whatsoever. Rich and poor will always be with us, and the difference in material possession between the very rich and the very poor will always be staggering. They will also have their own challenges, so that we can’t say how we would have fared spiritually if we had been born, or had later become, rich.
Still: one is born the son of the Duke of Westminster, another is born the son of an unemployed alcoholic. Do not question the wisdom of all this, unless you want to blaspheme.
The rich must help the poor. But make no mistake, they will still be rich. Whenever one comes to the conclusion – as the Cardinal clearly does: he is South American after all – that inequality is a problem, and equality therefore the aim, he has abandoned Christianity and transformed it into an earth-centred ideology – note this word: ideology – that has completely lost sight not only of the real aim of Christianity, but also of the fundamental wisdom and providential order of this world.
Has the Cardinal no eyes to see? Does he not see inequality going through the very fabric of Creation? If we observe reality with open eyes we see utter inequality not only in wealth and material possession, but also in intelligence, strength, health, ability or talent, beauty, wit, spirituality, & Co.
We are all equals in our human dignity, but boy, we are so astonishingly different in everything else! If it is unjust that one be born rich and one poor, why should it be just that one is born intelligent and strong, and another weak and stupid? Should we disfigure the beautiful girls in order to decrease “inequality” with the ugly ones, or amputate the strong man to make him more like the cripple? We don’t do it, nor do we demand that such “inequalities” be fought against. We thank God for the unmerited graces He gave us in His mercy, and have compassion for those not graced in the same way (though certainly graced in others we might not be able to see). We help alleviate poverty we see around us (a very relative concept in the West, anyway) and thank God for the financial security he may have given us, or petition Him to give it to us if we lack it. In every aspect of life, inequalities and brutal differences in the human condition help us to march toward Salvation, if we only see them properly.
In the end, life is not fair, nor it is supposed to be. The Church of “Che” distracts the faithful from the real issue – salvation – and directs them towards earthly ones: as if the world had been made the wrong way, and the omnipresent inequalities themselves were not Providence at work. The Church of “Che” does not see Providence: she sees the injustice, because to her the inequality itself is injustice. Pure earthly thinking, and a very populist one at that: aiming at the easy applause, and the popularity that comes from pandering to people’s envy; which latter is a cardinal sin, by the way.
This world is utterly and completely dominated by inequalities of all sorts. The answer to all these apparent “injustices” is not stupid populism, but Jesus Christ.
If you long for fairness and justice, don’t look at Cardinal Maradiaga.
Look towards heaven instead.
The first thing I allow myself to suggest you do is to click this link.
You will find a brilliant post from “that the bones etc.” (they always choose such long names for their blogs; I'll never get it; but hey: if they follow their conscience, who am I to judge?) concerning the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and the great love of his life: the Bishop of Rome.
I will not write any spoiler, because I think the post truly deserves to be read.
I will allow myself, though, to add some spontaneous considerations as to what moves this man to make such a clown of himself not only as an Archbishop – see “Pinocchio Mass”; though I am sure I would find his book highly entertaining in a way – but even as a, erm, well, (cough) Pope. So there they are:
1. Francis is an enemy of everything that is beautiful. I cannot even dream of a Rolex, but in it I see a wonderful piece of craftsmanship, and I can well imagine – and know for a fact – there are people buying such things for their sheer aesthetic and technical beauty. Francis does not see beauty. He does not “get” it. Francis only sees “vanity”. Thank God, he is the one who does not “judge”.
2. Francis carries his class warfare with him all the time. He does not say it, but it is rather clear he hates the rich. He does not call it that way, preferring the expression “loving the poor”, but it is clear enough. He hates the rich so much, that he prefers the very poor not to have a financial relief (the word “disgrace” referred to the auction of the Rolex can have no other meaning) rather than having them helped through a rich man satisfying his “vanity”.
Make no mistake: such a one does not love the poor. He loves bashing the rich, and the poor can get stuffed whenever helping them does not square with his ideology. Mind, we are not talking of Western-welfare-State poor here, but of the real poor. Sorry mate, no new clothes or shoes or even decent food for your children. They would have come from the sale of a Rolex, you know…
3. It can, therefore, be reasonably argued that Francis is not being hypocritical when he auctions the Harley. He is rather following his own inner Che: he (Francis) can auction a Harley, because he is (as by now even the dead know) a poor and humble man. But it is a disgrace to offer a Rolex, because that particular Rolex comes from the class enemies, the rich, and to them will it go back. How Francis solves the problem related to the one who will buy the motorbike, I am not told; then such a Harley, bought “from the Pope”, will fetch a lot of money indeed, and will most certainly not be bought by a Londoner motorbike courier as a way to earn a living.
4. I would have liked to spend a couple of words about Francis' new Almoner, but this is getting long; so it will be, perhaps, for another day.
In this matter at least I do not detect the pungent smell of pharisaism; rather, I see another example of Francis' uneducated (one would be tempted so say: vulgar), rashly judgmental, and resentful mind.
Compare him with the gentle, educated, and always deep Ratzinger, and weep.
We are being punished.
I have received some time ago from the Catholic Truth Society some of their newest booklets. Among these one has caught my attention: “Pentecostalism”.
The booklet is very interesting because it explain to a Catholic in simple words and in rather concise form what Pentecostalism is, why it has so much success and where the danger of the approach lie. In particular, the aspect of the direct relationship with God attracted my attention.
You see, for us Europeans (let alone: Italians) people saying things like “The Lord directed me to do so and so” really sound arrogant to the point of blasphemy and therefore such expressions are, in the Old Continent, unheard of. One is tempted to ask whether the Lord has sent an email, or perhaps a text message, and whether the broadband connection is rather expensive.
It turns out that such expressions derive from a sincere, if naive, desire to really have a “direct line” with God. Not one in the Catholic sense (the relationship with God developed through faithful prayer, Mass attendance, submission to the rules of Holy Mother Church and prayerful carrying of the crosses God decides to give us), but one in the literal one: do this, don’t do that. Therefore it can happen that when one questions some decisions which to one appears rush, but which to the person in question have clearly come via Divine Broadband (say: a man marries a woman he has known only for two weeks because “the Lord directed him to do it”) the reaction can be rather harsh and unable to comprehend how a third party may put in question what the Holy Ghost himself has clearly directed him to do. By reading the booklet I suddenly understood the logic behind the assassination of Marvin Gay from his preaching father: no idea whether he was a Pentecostals but hey, if the Holy Ghost has directed him to do so….
I am frankly glad never to have met a Pentecostal, because by all my admiration for religiously fervent people (even if, alas, heretics) I can’t imagine a discussion with them being anything else than a ridiculous barrage of “the Holy Ghost Himself has given me the Truth, so shut up”. I can also easily imagine what consequences such mentality may engender; the Lord has directed me to ask from you for so and so much money, might the pastor say; the Lord has directed me to file for divorce, will the bored husband (in perfect good faith, probably) soon declare, and so on.
And in fact, the entire exercise seems to be strongly based on a personal relationship with God which is – and cannot but be – highly emotionally charged. Now, emotions can play very dirty tricks to us. Particularly when we proceed to brainwashing ourselves every day; particularly when we ardently desire to be “directed” in some way; particularly when all this happens in religious matters, with their explosive emotional potential.
Emotions are like a faithful dog. If we train them every day they’ll do exactly what we want them to. Nazis, commies and all other nut cases have successfully manipulated themselves to utter stupidity by just picking highly emotional themes and fully delivering themselves to them. Che Guevara could kill in cold blood a couple of dozen prisoners at a time without any big perturbation. Dr. Goebbels understood the power of emotional self-suggestion with great lucidity, it is surprising that the devastating potential of such purely emotion-driven approach is not yet fully recognised.
Please compare this with Catholicism. A rigid, coherent system of rules valid in all situations and at all times. A complicated, but universally applicable system of criteria to resolve moral dilemmas and difficult situations (think of the doctrine of war; or of the “double effect”). A link to the Lord which doesn’t need (though it may have) an “emotional relationship” at all, but on the contrary asks for worship and submission even from those not graced with mystical experiences or with a strong feeling of God’s presence. A closely knit system of moral rules to which even the Pope is bound and which are therefore guaranteed not to be abused under the pretence of an “inspiration from the Holy Ghost”. The resulting impossibility of the absurd consequences of such “direct line” mentality (husband says that the Holy Ghost has directed him to move to California; wife thinks that the Holy Ghost has directed her to keep her husband in Arizona; I wouldn’t want to be in that kitchen….).
The desire of a direct line with Heaven, of an intimate contact with God is an understandable one and I do not doubt that many of these Christians are sincerely devout.
But between desiring something and being let free to believe that our conviction is the fruit of Divine inspiration the step is very short, and very dangerous. It is the deification of whatever we feel strongly enough about, a life spent listening to gut feelings rather than solid common sense; the constant danger of having solid moral rules polluted by individual preferences and the constant abuse of the Holy Ghost, forcibly hijacked as the inspiring force behind – say – both the marriage and the divorce.
Thank God for Holy Mother Church, asking us to submit to rules which not only make a lot of sense, but are immutable and not at the mercy of the whim of religious leaders or, unavoidably, of our own fantasies of broadband connection with Heaven.
This is a very interesting Michael Voris video about the way Catholic shepherds lead their sheep when there are important decisions to be made.
As in the United States it is now election time (and a particularly important election this one is, whose repercussions could be felt for decades to come) it is very important that the message is given very clearly that in a democracy to be a Catholic is to vote as a Catholic should.
This would seem utterly redundant if we lived in a sane world, mindful of Christian values; but we live in a mad world where socialism and anti-Christian values are allowed to be smuggled as Christianity; therefore, there is a word or two to be said.
A society which allows abortion is a society which legalises genocide. The public opinion of every Western Country thought exactly the same until not many decades ago and abortions were only performed in Nazi Germany or in Communist countries. Only when Christian values started to be confused with “social” issues – and the clergy started to compromise with the growing anti-Christian values in order not to become unpopular – we witnessed abortion creeping within Western legislation as an exceptional remedy and – once the Trojan Horse that abortion is justified in certain cases had entered the walls – rapidly became de facto abortion on demand pretty much everywhere.
Similarly, a society which accept homosexuality as a lifestyle is a society that rebels to God and decides that new golden calves (nowadays called “diversity”, or with other very stupid names) should take the place of the old religion; all the while continuing to abuse of Christ by masking the worst abominations and exterminations behind a veil of Christ seen as “social man”; an expression which means pretty much nothing and can be used to justify pretty much everything.
You’d think that Catholic Bishops in the US would take the sword and finally start to tell Catholics to wake up, smell the coffee and vote with the first priorities of Catholicism in mind. You’d be wrong. Whilst there are a number of excellent bishops doing their job admirably (Chaput and Bruskewitz to mention just two), many others continue with the old inane, vague rhetoric of the “do not kick the cat and be friendly to everyone”-type.
Let us examine this nonsense:
“Go to the polls on election day and, through your choices at the ballot, act on your vision of a better society”
This pearl of wisdom comes from the bishop of Massachusetts, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. I think that Michael Voris is far too generous in saying that the message is inane. It is worse than that. It confuses Catholics and is totally heterodox.
Cardinal O’Malley thinks and speaks like a secularist liberal of the first water. There are no absolute truths he feels he must defend. There is no binding guidance, directly derived from the Catholic teaching, that he feels he must impart to the faithful. Not even the most obvious Christian values, like the defence of life, are strongly called to the attention of the voters.
We have, instead, a typical example of moral relativism exalted and taken as a worthy guide of the individual’s choice. “Act on your vision of a better society”, says the Cardinal. Good Lord, Che Guevara did it too, when executing prisoners by the dozen! Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot all did exactly the same! The statement is entirely a-Christian in its absence of Christian values, and entirely Anti-Christian in its clear implication that whatever “vision of a better society” one has, it’s fine.
Cardinal O’Malley is confused. He should be told the difference between Catholic values and man-made systems of values. He should be reminded why he is a Cardinal. He should be asked why he became a cleric in the first place. Every Stalin or Pol-Pot could have subscribed to the statement above, without any problem.
This is not what a Catholic needs to hear, let alone what a Catholic shepherd has the duty to say. Catholics need to be reminded of their values, and encouraged to give them the proper rank. They must be constantly reminded of their duties toward their faith and of the fact that there will always be a price to pay for them. They must be constantly warned from the danger of moral relativism, of easy pick and choose mentality, of being seduced by the Law of Man. This message must be sent clear and loud. Vague defences of human life interspersed with phrases like the one above will have only one consequence: that the misinformed or utterly deluded Catholics will continue to think that they can pick and choose with the consent of their shepherd. I will not insult the intelligence of the Cardinal by saying that this result is not foreseen and positively intended.
Messages like the Cardinal’s one positively encourage Catholics to go the wrong way and feel justified in doing it. A Catholic abortionist (an oxymoron I know, but he will probably not want to see it that way) will feel encouraged to think that he can vote for a clown like Nancy Pelosi and say that he is fully in line with the exhortations of the Cardinal! I wonder who would deny the validity of his assumption……
I so much hope that this is the last major election in the US by which Catholic shepherds are allowed to confuse the faithful and lure them in the false sense that they are right to have ideals and convictions, no matter what they are. They are right if their convictions are the right ones, and if they’re Catholics they can’t choose which convictions to have.
The Church is in a very sad state if even Cardinals do not live these simple fundamentals of the faith and haven’t the guts to act accordingly.