In occasion of the now widely publicised conversions celebrated today in Westminster Cathedral, I allow myself to give my little piece of advice to those thinking of conversion.
This little advice is given in charity (the real one. Fake charity is for whinos, and Anglicans…). Charity requires that one tells the truth out of love. Calls of “who are you to judge” don’t have any effect with true Catholics. Catholics deal with Truth, not false compassion. Anglicans need to be told the Truth without any fear that they might be “hurt”. They’re heretics, of course they will! It’s not a walk in the park, it’s two systems of values clashing, and they can’t be both right.
Charity requires the Truth, and the Truth said whole. Those who aren’t ready to undergo a painful process to reach the Truth can avoid wasting time reading this. If only one reads and understands, the time will not have been spent in vain.
Please, have a chamomile tea first 😉
1) There is only One Church, and it is not the Anglican one.
2) Christians are divided into: a) Catholics; b) Schismatics; c) Heretics.
3) Anglicans of whatever orientations belong to c) above: Heretics. Every one of them, however they may call themselves.
4) Anglican so-called orders are invalid. Anglican clergy are, for Catholics, laymen. This is Catholic teaching. No amount of self-delusion will ever change an iota in this.
5) There is nothing like a “something-Catholic”. You can’t be Anglo-Catholic more than you can be Methodist-Catholic. You are Catholic, or Schismatic, or Heretic. Are you Anglican? You’re Heretic.
7) The decision to convert is the decision to leave the Lie and embrace the Truth. Ego investments, personal preferences, how nice the Vicar is & Co. have no role to play in this. This side, or that side.
8 ) Every “converted” former Anglican who still claims to believe Anglican heresy (from the validity of the ordination of Anglican clergy; to Anglo-Catholics being “Catholics”; to whatever else) is a fake convert, sacrilegious and heretical. Better to remain a heretic from outside until one is ready for a real conversion, than to try to be a heretic from within the Church. Heretics are, by definition, outside of the Church anyway. Cheating one’s way to a club card leads to nothing and, possibly, to perdition.
9) Truth cannot be embraced in half. You either embrace Truth, or you cling to the lie. Tertium non datur.
10) Anglican doublethink doesn’t work the other side of the Tiber. “Two and two is four, but also five and we respect those who think it is six and will dialogue in chariteeee with those who think it is seven and a half” works only before the (notoriously lethargic) Vatican steamroller starts to move, but it leads to tears and excommunications when it invariably does. Those who think that they can export their doublethink and “tolerance” past the Tiber are in for a very late, but very rude awakening.
11) Catholicism works differently. To say “I’m hurt” will not make you right. To say “you’re uncharitable” will not make you less wrong. To say “you must adjust your doctrine to accommodate my feelings” doesn’t exist at all. You’ll have to eat the same fare as Padre Pio and St. Philip Neri, St. Francis and St. Dominic. No Anglican preservatives, and no choice of toppings. What a blessing.
12) The decision to embrace the Truth is difficult. It requires the acknowledgment that one (and one’s old soi-disant “church”) was wrong all the time. That one’s ancestors were wrong all the time. That one’s former organisation had no Catholic being or legitimation whatsoever. Nothing less is required. If you can’t say this to yourself with a sense of elation and Truth finally found, you are still a Heretic.
13) Truth will make you free. The decision to discard the lie and embrace the Truth in its totality is the healthiest and most productive single decision in one’s man existence. So healthy and so beautiful, because so difficult. If it wasn’t difficult, there would be no beauty and no merit in it.
14) Truth is like a diamond: extremely beautiful, but extremely hard. Are you ready for the beauty (and the hardness) of the diamond? Or do you want to continue to believe that the synthetic version is a diamond too? Choose the true diamond. Accept no substitutes. You’ll discover that its beauty is beyond your hope.
15) True Catholics will stand in awe in front of real, serious converts. You are in our prayers and we know that many of you will become extremely orthodox, wonderful Catholics. But true Catholics will attack without mercy those who attempt to import the heresy within the Barque of Peter. This is an unprecedented experiment, but will not be a door open to “Catholicism a’ la carte”. Again: forget the old Anglican ways, this is not going to work that way.
16) Pray Blessed Cardinal Newman that he may guide you. He knows all your troubles, went through the same pains as yours, sees all the obstacles in front of you. It took him years of reflection and prayer before deciding himself to the step. But once he took it, what a wonderful march he started! So take your time and be assured of our prayers and of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, your Guardian Angel and the Blessed Virgin. Take your time and prepare yourself carefully for the impact and the beauty of the Truth. It is better to carefully invest some years of sound investment leading to a copious yield, than to waste everything in a fake conversion leading nearer to Hell.
17) Best wishes and good luck to you.
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.
Catholic Answers decidedly goes from weakness to weakness. As I have already written in the past – but repetita iuvant – they are a mixture of a forum where people attempt to make Catholic doctrine as they go along, and an “ask an Apologist” question where at times a theologian attempts to make Catholic doctrine as he/she goes along; things like “good suicides to go heaven” and the like.
Today, out of sheer boredom, I clicked the page once again, to see what’s going on. I use “predestination” as search item and find a couple of threads that make your blood curl, with the usual sensitive posters (they are generally women; further proof God is rightly spoken of in the masculine) clumsily trying to avoid hard truths and tapping in the dark about what they “feel”, or “imagine” rather than doing what sensible people would do, that is: read a couple of sensible books first, and in case find a very good (means: not a wishy-washy V II one) priest later.
Still, this is a difficult issue: predestination is probably the most inextricable mystery of Christianity, up there with the Trinity, and a degree of confusion is normal, though once again a good book or a good theologian is vastly better than trying to concoct a solution among blog commenters.
Then I went on the “ask an apologist” section, where in the past I generally – but not always – found sound “Catholic answers”. The first (and only) post I read was this one.
In short, a woman has a perverted sister who “married” (not!) and her husband – one is glad there are true men around still – says to her wife the perverted woman is not to set foot in the house again. Not when he himself is there – obviously – and not when he is not there too – also obviously; then it’s a matter of principle, not of presence -.
The wife writes to “dear Abby”, and what do you think the “apologist” answers? Something along the lines of “he has no right to give you orders, you are his accomplice with your submissive behaviour, I suggest you speak to a marriage counsellor; with your husband if you can but alone if you must”.
What is this, a Catholic Forum or Cosmopolitan’s letters to the editor? To suggest that a third person be put between man and wife? After the head of the family (read my lips: head-of-the-family) has taken a perfectly reasonable decision about the scandalous reprobate he does not want to have in the house he (read my lips again: he) has the duty to lead? Really? What do these people think a marriage is, a democracy? There are Christian rules about how a marriage works; Christians have applied them for 2000 years with great success; it appears for “women’s liberation theologians” isn’t good enough.
For heaven’s sake, it’s not like the husband is alcoholic, or violent, or a lazy good-for-nothing married in a moment of Samaritan excesses (some women have that; though I think low self-esteem plays a far bigger role). This is a perfectly sensible, reasonable man confronted with the smoke of Satan wanting to enter his home, and he takes a perfectly reasonable decision about how he, the person responsible for the spiritual welfare of the family, is to deal with that.
Or do you think the feminist “apologist” would remind the wife that the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the husband? A wife with the blessing of a man who knows he will have to answer to Jesus about the way he led his wife, and takes responsibility for it, has been graced with a good husband indeed! But that third parties would come to the extent of suggesting another person is put in the middle is really beyond belief.
Tra moglie e marito non mettere il dito (“do not put your finger between a husband and a wife”), says the wise Italian. The Catholic Answers apologist puts an entire counsellor. What a feminist nutcase.
This so-called “apologist” needs a very good rapping before she is kicked out, and I truly hope she is never allowed to instruct Catholic women preparing for marriage. She should also be informed that even today, even today such an outlandish “answer” (all, but a Catholic one) would be considered the answer of a feminist bitch by every sensible woman living in traditional Catholic countries, where – I can assure you from endless, and continued experience – this “let’s put a third person in our controversy” mentality is just not there, and would be considered the result of an acute bitchiness attack and controlling mania.
I do not need to mention here – because every woman with some brains knows it; apparently not the case by some female “apologists” – that women perfectly well know how to deal with disagreements within the family; and have far more effective (as in: smartly feminine) ways to influence their men, insofar as it can be done, or the intelligence to let it be, when it’s clear it cannot.
I am truly stunned. Where I come from, the answer to disagreements is never “put a counsellor in the middle”, but along the lines of “he is the man you wanted to marry: now let it work” or “try to change his mind if you can, with sweetness and prayer and patience; and accept his decision if you can’t, because this the way it goes”. Apparently, it’s now the counsellors who run Catholic families. Pathetic, and so stupid.
I really must say it, but if this flippin’ American mentality has infiltrated the minds to the point where such rubbish is even suggested in a Catholic Forum, by a so-called apologist, you in the old U S of A are in a very, very bad shape indeed.
Catholic Answers might well be the most clicked Catholic site on the planet. The damage they make with their blasted “American Feminist” mentality can hardly be overestimated. These people do not even know what makes a real woman, but they spread their rubbish on the Internet on how to run – or to break – a marriage.
I was always surprised when I left Italy and these colleague in Germany told me “Italian women are so feminine!”. Why, of course they are, thought I. They’re women, aren’t they…
I began to understand, later, what was meant by it, and it seems to me the problem is not limited to Germany.
Fight against feminism and bitchiness, even when it is in disguise of “Catholicism”. If you want to see real women in their environment, try to spend some months in a traditional Catholic country and see how those among them who have been properly raised – still the vast majority, even today! – live, embrace and enjoy their womanhood.
They live far happier lives, too.
Tomorrow 22nd February is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Whilst St. Peter’s feast day is the 29th June, the feast of the 22nd February is more directly aimed at celebrating the Petrine Office. This feast is, therefore, as Catholic as they come.
This feast day might be an occasion to explain to some non-Catholic in your circle of acquaintances why you are Catholic. When requested, I proceed more or less in this way:
1) And I say to thee: that Thou are Peter…. Jesus doesn’t say to Simon that he is a nice chap; or that he is very perceptive; or that he himself is surprised that among the apostles Simon was the only one to give the right answer to his question “Who do people say that I am?”. No, he changes his name and calls him a rock.
2) and upon this rock I will build my Church…. Jesus doesn’t say “I will build my first church”, nor does he say “I will build my provisional church”. Jesus picks a rock, and builds upon him One (1, Una, Eine, Une) Church.
3) and the gates of Hell shall not previal against it….. It, that is: the very same Church built on Peter, the “rock”. That one, and no other. Jesus doesn’t say “the Gates of hell shall, in around fifteen centuries, prevail against the Church I built on you”, nor does he say “the Gates of Hell shall prevail against the Church built on you but hey, let us be happy with a generic term of “church” so it can work even when yours goes astray”. He is very specific: he builds one Church upon one man and gives his promise of indefectibility to this – and no other – organisation.
4) And I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven….. This is also dumb-proof: keys are a very obvious symbol of power and authority and it is clear here that Jesus is speaking with extreme solemnity. He doesn’t say to Peter: “Peter, you keep the key for the moment” or “look mate, gotta go; keep the keys until I find you or yours unworthy, will ya?”. No, this is a solemn promise evidently made for all times, as his just pronounced promise about indefectibility must make clear to the dumbest intellect.
5) ….and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. For those who should at this point still not have gotten what is going on, Jesus becomes even more explicit: Peter has the keys, and the keys mean authority upon the faithful now and forever; an authority given in the most emphatic terms possible.
The meaning of these phrases; the clear solemnity Jesus gives to his words; the crescendo of emphatic declarations of such a broad and clear scope do not leave room for any possible doubt and as a result, Protestants have nowhere to hide. Whoever reads Jesus’ words with a minimum of intellectual honesty cannot avoid to recognise that the Only Church of Peter’s time (and of the following fifteen centuries) is the Only Church of today and that as a result whatever grievance against the men who run the Church does not change a iota concerning the position of authority of the Church. As to the complaint that some Popes were oh-so-bad (not much worse than many a tv-preacher I’d say, but laissons tomber….), Peter wasn’t immaculate either, but his shortcomings didn’t prevent Jesus from promoting him to rock of His Church.
To believe anything different from the fact that the Only Church founded by Jesus is.. the Only Church means to believe one or more of the following:
1) that Jesus made a mistake in founding His Church on Peter;
2) that Jesus was mistakenly persuaded that Peter’s successors would be good chaps, but had his toy ruined by the baddies who succeeded Peter;
3) that Jesus couldn’t count;
4) that Jesus’ words had a sell-by date, or
5) that Jesus made his promise of indefectibility without taking it seriously.
Or perhaps one could decide to read and understand the only possible meaning of such emphatically worded statements, as Jesus repeatedly made.
There is only One Church, folks. It’s the only one founded by Jesus. Simple, really.
“One of the most horrifying and widespread diseases in the Church today is the lethargy of the guardians of the Faith of the Church. I am not thinking here of those bishops who are members of the “fifth column,” who wish to destroy the Church from within, or to transform it into something completely different. I am thinking of the far more numerous bishops who have no such intentions, but who make no use whatever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God. The words of St. John Bosco apply to them: “The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.”
Dietrich von Hildebrand
I have it from Rorate Caeli that the Archdiocese of San Francisco now has a TLM “at the request of Bishop Cordileone”.
I was a bit confused at the start as I thought the reason why Summorum Pontificum exists is to allow a priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without any need for any initiative from the bishop.
I can, therefore, only read the announcement as meaning that, as there was in the entire diocese partout no priest able and/or willing to celebrate the TLM, the good Archbishop had to become active himself and take care that one TLM is celebrated on every day of obligation within the Diocese.
The archdiocese of San Francisco is certainly big and its priests, no doubt, numerous. That the bishop has to “request” the celebration of one TLM says a thing or two about the state of affairs in the diocese. Bishop Cordileone has just started and will hopefully manage to inject some orthodoxy in the diocese, but heavens, he has been left with a lot of work to do.
This goes to show that the appointment of sound bishops is absolutely vital in the proper care of soul. Get it wrong, and a couple of decades will suffice to demolish the healthiest diocese. Get it right, and the advantages will also be seen in a handful of years.
Who appoints the bishops, you already know. The average quality has probably improved in the last years, but it can't be said it gave reason to be impressed. Cordileone's predecessor was also appointed by the same one who appointed Cordileone; and was, without doubt, a failure.
I fear much for the appointments under the current tenure. I am afraid we will see even less Cordileones than his was the case under Pope Benedict.
You can think for yourself the long-term effects on the TLM.
God bless bishop Cordileone, and let us hope lion hearts like him (this is, funnily enough, his name's meaning in Italian) become more and more frequent in the future. But really, it takes a lot of optimism.
Shocking, shocking reading at Father Z's. When Father is late for the start of the Mass (apparently because he has commitments elsewhere, requiring driving) a sister starts the wannabe “Mass” herself, up to and including the Readings. At some point “Father” arrives, and he picks up from the point where madwoman has arrived.
This defies imagination: just because the priest is late, a religious sister thinks she can play priest. This reminds me of children who play Mass, though I am sure when they do the “priest” is played by a boy.
Even more absurd – and I wonder why such abuses would not deserve immediate defrocking – is that Father doesn't have any problem with that. You can almost hear him say “thank you for stepping in, Sister”.
Apparently, this happens regularly. Seriously, if Archbishop Zollitsch reads this he might think of making of this a regular feature of Mass in Germany, but on second thoughts not even Zollitsch would be as stupid as that.
Now why do I tell you all this? Because with the Traditional Mass such a madness would be inconceivable. Of course such a parody isn't a Mass, not even with the rather low standards of quality of the Novus Ordo. But if we are honest with ourselves we must see that the shameless devastation and banalisation of the Mass perpetrated by V II is what makes such a madness thinkable in the first place.
Note that the faithful present never stand up crying: “no, sister! stop! save your soul! We can wait for father to arrive, but if you start now we'll go away!”. Only one has written to Father Z with his doubts. A couple of others are certainly not at ease. Most certainly “feel” Sister is being “nice” and “helpful”. It must be so, otherwise “Father” (as long as he is one; hopefully not for long) would have been inundated with complaints and injunctions to let this stop at once.
I will put this in my little collection called “flowers of V II”; a collection containing the strangest flowers you can imagine; radioactive, or poisoning, or outright ugly.
A poster on the above mentioned blog commented with “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”.
I agree wholeheartedly.
A Swiss theologian has intervened after the heretical meeting called by Archbishop Zollitsch and has told him what we already knew, but was good to repeat: there can be no deaconesses because a deacon has holy orders, and the Archbishop is confusing the faithful. Again, a couple of considerations are probably in order.
1. Archbishop Zollitsch and his bunch of soutaned prostitutes do want to confuse the faithful. They know perfectly well a “deaconess” in the proper meaning of the word – one able to do all that a deacon can do – is a thing of impossibility, but why should they care? Their aim is simply to appease and encourage the German dissenting Catholics – millions of them, I am afraid – by telling them “German clergy good, Vatican bad!” and in this way keep them from stopping the payment of the Kirchensteuer.
2. There will never be “deaconesses”. But if this were to prove helpful to our heroes to suck it up to the German dissenters, they might well try to introduce “helpers” they would then call “deaconesses”, very probably by way of abuse as happened with the “altar girls” in Paul VI's times, and very probably getting away with it as happened in the same occasion. In this way we would have an army of bitching Zicken insisting to tell the world “I am a Deaconess” and getting extremely angry at every hint they do not have holy orders. After a while, they'd say they think they actually have, and if they haven't it's clearly an injustice. Give it ten years, and some German pew-sitter – and the totality of those never attending – wouldn't even know there's a difference. The priest will, certainly, never mention it.
3. The “female deaconess”, though – assuming she is introduced by way of liturgical abuse – would still only be able to do things like, let me think, undressing women being prepared for baptism? Therefore, whilst our Zicke would still be able to throw some smoke in the eyes of her Protestant Freundinnen, she would be seen as both useless and ridiculous by all those who still care for Catholicism. Still, many of the lukewarm or ill-informed would end up picking up this thing with the wind, that “there are Catholic deaconesses, I have heard someone say”.
Make no mistake, if Zollitsch & Co. think this kind of confusion can be useful to them, they will push it as hard as they can. They will then say they oh so wanted to have “real” “deaconesses”, but alas, it was partout not to be done.
In the meantime, the Pope tells us looking at balance sheets before hiring bad, and company prudence is unjust.
What a fine Papacy we will have.
“If we deny that we are morally bound to love before all else the good as such and God the sovereign good, what proof have we that we are bound to love that far less compelling good, the general welfare of humanity, which is the main object of the League of Nations? What proof have we that we are bound to love our country and family more than our life; or that we are bound to go on living and avoid suicide, even in the most overwhelming afflictions? If the sovereign good has not an inalienable right to be loved above all things, then a fortiori inferior goods have no such right. If we are not morally bound by a last end, then no end or means whatever is morally binding. If the foundation for moral obligation is not in a supreme lawgiver, then every human law is deprived of its ultimate foundation”.
I am currently reading Garrigou-Lagrange’s “Providence”, and once again the difference between the iron, masculine logic of the clergy of the past and the touchy-feely, effeminate emotionalism of the clergy of today strikes me like a fist on the nose.
It is no surprise modern theologians tend to ignore the Angelic Doctor. St. Thomas Aquinas has a way to lead you from one logical step to the next that, literally, leaves no escape from Truth. Therefore, if a theologian wants to muddle the waters and abandon Truth, he will have to abandon Thomism first.
Garrigou-Lagrange, a great Thomist with a great gift for scholarly but easily understandable exposition, uses this iron logic and step-by-step, inescapable ascent to Truth in every phrase. If you liked Lego, or Meccano, as a child, you will love Garrigou-Lagrange as an adult. With him – and with every serious Thomist – you leave aside fantasies and lucubrations born of goodism, and are led to Truth step by step, with a logic that may appear somewhat arid to the heart, but is the more satisfying to the intellect.
In the stupidly emotional times with which God is punishing us, it is a double pleasure to read people accustomed, and training us, to logical thinking.
To think most people you would ask in the street would tell you without any hesitation the Middle Ages were an age of ignorance, but now we are so much more advanced…
“That [38 Euros] is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labour,” he said. “Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity. How many brothers and sisters find themselves in this situation!
“Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!
“There are many people who want to work but cannot. When a society is organised in a way that not everyone is given the chance to work, that society is not just.”
Another faux pas from the Pontiff and, alas, one which shows an amount of superficiality and shallow thinking that cannot but greatly alarm.
The start is good, with the Pope rightly lamenting the exploitation to which too many are still exposed, most notably in the Third World. One could discuss at length to which extent the decolonisation is responsible for it, but there is no denying the Holy Father expresses here a perfectly legitimate concern. The fraud on the pay is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance, and I am unable to see how shameless exploitation of a situation of great need would not amount to it.
Where the Pontiff derails in an embarrassing manner – and you see all the difference with a refined thinker like his predecessor – is in the easy populism, sweeping generalisations and general anti-Capitalist sentiment with which he builds on the premise. These slips into easy populism show a mediocrity of reasoning that would rapidly kill even the prospects of a Labour politician. Decidedly, this Pope bears all the marks of the Jesuit from South America.
The first one is the slip with the balance sheet. Every company who wants to survive looks at the balance sheet first, second and third. Those who don’t, fail. Prudence in expensive decisions – like the one whether to hire – is the Alpha and Omega in a company’s success. This prudence, this insisted looking at the balance sheet, is what makes companies and all their stakeholders – shareholders, employees, clients, & Co. – also thrive. When the Pope blames companies who “look only at the balance sheet” he is certainly not thinking at sweat shops in Sri Lanka, but rather at Capitalism as an economic phenomenon, because here he is not complaining about exploitation, but about decisions from which the life itself of a company depends.
What else should a company look at, one would want to ask the Pontiff, if not at the balance sheet? If General Electric were to say “come on, let us hire one person we don’t need for ten we do; we can’t look only at the balance sheet after all”, how long does the Pontiff think General Electric would survive? And where does he think would be the profit if this company were, in the long term, to whither and then die? Will, then, this “not looking only at the balance sheet” be very profitable to the hundreds of thousands of families deprived of one, or all income? Make no mistake, this is nothing resembling Catholicism: third is third-rate Peronism of the kind that causes hyperinflation, widespread misery and military coups.
Then there is the other pearl, the one with the unjust society that does not give work. What the Pope says is that if a society fails to ensure full employment, this society – and the economic system it uses – is unjust.
Where I hail from, this is called diritto al lavoro, meant as “right to be employed by someone”. The decade-long flag of the Italian Communist Party, this most cretinous slogan has been for decades the epitome of everything that is absurd, albeit it clearly aimed at something positively evil but not at all absurd: communism.
Now as then, the stupid readily believe such crap, as the idea that work be something they just have an entitlement to is very appealing to them. This goes, in my experience, together with another observation: that those so ready to talk about their right to have a job aren’t generally very noted for their desire to work hard, and vice versa. I wonder if there is a link?
Now, I do not want to say Vatican populism in matters of employment has started with this Pope; but it is fair to say such South-American whiffs of Anti-Capitalism are fairly new not only in the virulence of the attack, but most importantly in the incredible superficiality of the delivery. This isn’t even parish priest level; this is incompetent parish priest level, and frankly gives ground – not for the first time – that this is by far not the smart brain that was sold to us. Smart people are smart even when they go around sloganeering. This one tried to swim once where he can’t touch, and almost drowned.
This is what happens when the Cardinals pick as Pope a Jesuit from South America. Mark my words, this Papacy won’t be any fun. Except, of course, for those blessed by a strong sense of humour and able too see the Pope’s exploits sub specie aeternitatis.
Some recent posts on the usefulness of traditional confessionals rather than those strange, vaguely creepy rooms where the priest is locked in with the penitent – who could be a woman, or a young girl – are probably a fitting occasion to make some consideration about different perceptions of the Confession.
I do not doubt most among the V II priests who hear confession believe in the sacrament, and my experience of Novus Ordo confessors is actually, on the whole, reassuring (the only serious exception was… a Jesuit). Still, even the most conservatively minded priest cannot escape the pernicious effect of the environment created by the modern confessionals.
Sitting in front of each other unavoidably creates the wrong atmosphere: the accent is on a chat about our sins rather than our sincere repentance. It certainly doesn't do much for perfect contrition.
Then there is the matter with the posture: in a well-made confessional you kneel, and the priest sits. This isn't casual. It isn't two friends having a chat here, but one wretched sinner utterly ashamed of his inadequacy, and another one acting on Christ's behalf. The difference is substantial.
Then there is the separation: it is nothing less than shocking how simple devices like the grate could be abandoned. Not to see the priest on the other side (which in a big church often means not knowing who he is) helps the penitent to think that on the other side of the grate is, in a very concrete way, Christ Himself. Again, this helps to reach perfect contrition greatly. Compare with the smiling bloke and think what helps you more…
It is no surprise to me that the confessional itself has been attacked after V II, because I do not labour under the misapprehension that V II was anything good. In fact, what has happened to the confessionals and the practice of going to confession shows once more that V II was the work of the Devil, enabling and even encouraging all the abuses subsequently made in its name, and of which V II was indubitably the cause. If you want to attack the Sacraments, you must attack the ways they are executed, so that their sacredness and the grace they impart is at least diminished.
The Devil, who used V II to enter the doors of the Church, made himself comfortable inside and started to attack pretty much everything Catholic; it would have been unrealistic to expect that Confession would be spared.
As to building new confessionals (you will see beautiful pieces of craftsmanship around), I think at least in England good results can be achieved fast, and at little expense. I have often noticed that in the London area confessionals were often “built in”, with a room divided into three: the central part for the priests and the two lateral ones for the penitents, with grate and all. The “chatting rooms” you find around are very often the same room, with the grates and barriers removed. It would therefore be very cheap to reinstall the grates, with a suitable place to kneel, and have things exactly as they were, and should be.
The answer to the present mess is, if you ask me, not only to go back fast to a more traditionally oriented practice concerning confessionals and confessions; but also to grasp whence the problems came and why. Unless we understand that the evil inbuilt in VII is the cause of pretty much every problem plaguing the Church nowadays – including the darling of the secular media: the pedophile priest scandal – we are going to wander in darkness as to the appropriate remedies.
The return to sanity – in this as in every other matter – goes through the demolition of all the innovations of V II; then I would be at a loss to mention to you one single “improvement” introduced after Vatican II that was not damaging to the Church and to the spiritual lives of the faithful.
Vatican II must go, and good riddance. There can be no middle way. A tree is judged by its fruits, and it astonishes me we see poisoned fruits wherever we turn, but there are those who insist the tree in itself is good.
I have just written about the rather unprecedented (I think; the German clergy is certainly not new to provocations) initiative of the German clergy, who are more or less collectively, and under the protection of a couple of hundred “experts”, attacking the sacrament of holy orders.
The aggressive attitude and the appeal to a number of “experts” – as if Right and Wrong depended on numbers – remind one of the so-called “Dutch Schism”, also carried out with the help of gatherings, votes on motions, and the like.
Whilst the German Zeitgeist-prostitutes (I insist on this term, because it's the most fitting I can find, and think its use in connection with the German clergy should be greatly increased) are for now not at the level of open defiance of Catholic values the Dutch managed to stage (remaining unchallenged for around fifteen years and unpunished afterwards, one must add) they are certainly not very far away; and in fact, to maintain that open defiance should not be a taboo anymore is, in a sense, defiance already in act.
What consequences can, therefore, be drawn by the growing aggressiveness of the German clergy, now fully devoted to Mammon – the Kirchensteuer – in preference to God – Catholic values -? In my eyes, we can draw the following ones:
Already the fact that the exercise (defined as “four-day meeting”, but clearly the dry run of an open revolt) took place shows how much the Papal authority is suffering. No one fears the Pope, least of all the Germans who are the most powerful contributors to the Church finances. With Bergoglio, they knew they had someone they would not have to be worried about. They are now starting to demand the price of their support. The mere fact that the “meeting” took place is a humiliation for the Holy Father; a humiliation which he has richly deserved merely by allowing that such a gathering, and with such an agenda, be thinkable, let alone executed.
In addition, we must consider the “meeting” cannot and will not remain at the present, already extremely grave level of dissent. It is in the nature of such “revolutionary” movements than every cry for reform be outdone for a louder cry for harder reform. When the point is reached where taboos can be individually questioned, who is to say which taboos shall not be questioned?
The situation in Germany is slowing becoming worse than in Austria, because whilst in Austria the likes of Cardinal “how much I like fags”- Schoenborn at least pretends to want to preserve some kind of orthodoxy, in Germany the top ranks of the Clergy have put themselves, as the Germans love to say, “at the top of the movement”, openly encouraging and formerly promoting dissent within the Church.
Unless Pope Francis wakes up – and I use these words on purpose, in the hope that he is merely sleeping the sleep of the parish priest unaware of what happens around him – he will be remembered as a worse accessory of the demolition troops than Paul VI, whom Francis himself dares to call “great”. I have waited a couple of days before commenting on this, in the hope the Pope would move. Alas…
What I fear we must brace ourselves for is a Papacy marked by semi-autonomous provinces, each one lead by a clique of prostituted clergy making their own policy to please the masses, and abandoning themselves to horrible abuses in the sure knowledge the Pontiff – who is even ashamed of the title – will limit himself to this or that admonition and this or that exhortation, but in the substance will simply ... sleep.
Pope Francis is clearly losing control of the Church, and the horrible question is whether he wants it in the first place. What we see as a humiliation for the Pope, he may simply see as the fitting behaviour for… the bishop of Rome.
Even for the heretical standards of the Church in Germany, what has happened in the last days leaves one rather surprised.
The Church in Germany has invited 300 “experts” for a “conference”, described as “the first of his kind”, to “discuss possible reforms”. This is breathtaking. These people think and act as if they were the ones who call the shots and decide what happens in the Church; probably (cough) because in the past they were allowed to do so. This conference doesn't discuss of proper internal matters (say: how to reduce administration costs faced with the possible collapse of the Kirchensteuer) but, as expected, wants to be an ecumenical council in miniature, suggesting on Rome's behalf… what is wrong with God's rules.
Turns out they decide there is a lot that is wrong with God's rules. The biggest injustice perpetrated by God against Zollitsch's faithful (that is: faithful to him) sheep appears to be male ordination. Now, Zollitsch's Sturmtruppen understand priesthood in itself should be left to males, but women deacon should not be a taboo, surely? Look, they could even celebrate marriages outside of Mass! what a “liberation”, and a feminist triumph!
Now, Mister Zollitsch, being clearly Episcopalian, is not informed about the unchangeable nature of the sacrament of holy orders; but it surprises me that the others 300 did not know it either; unless of course they are also Episcopalians, which at this point appears more than probable.
Perhaps some good souls will inform this unhappy bunch that in the Catholic Church taboos are there so that people do not even discuss them. This is, in fact, what the word taboo means. As a consequence, to say that a Catholic taboo isn't a taboo anymore is the same as to say that one isn't a Catholic anymore; or, in the specific case, that it is not a taboo anymore to reflect in which way cats would be allowed to bark.
Now, let be clear on this: the German Episcopalian Bishops will never get their women deacon, unless they make a formal schism and become Episcopalians in name too, in which case they will not be deacons, either. What this conference allows them to do, is to continue to prostitute themselves to their Kirchensteuer-paying sugar daddys, asking them for continued support to the clergy's bank accounts against the German clergy's continued brown-nosing. Purest whoredom, you see, though it is fair to say every street whore is morally far less reprehensible than someone who, like Archbishop Zollitsch, tries to prostitute the sacraments to the interest of his own group.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is almost 75. One day, he will meet His Maker. Unless he repents, I would be terrified of dying with his hand of cards.
May is the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
What better occasion than to make a resolution to start to pray the Rosary every day, than the month of May!
Among the heavenly investments I have mentioned in a past blog post, the Rosary is – after Mass attendance, of course – very probably the best. Padre Pio and countless other saints insisted on the Rosary. Praying the Rosary devoutly every day is a beautiful sign of predestination. I cannot imagine a better way to enrich your prayer life – nay, your life – than to pray the Rosary.
When I die, I want my last rosary to be not older than the day before. And I can die every day. Therefore…
If you should read this blog for years and take from it the habit of praying the Rosary, the benefit taken from this blog would be spectacular even if I have written rubbish for now almost three years and in more than 2,000 posts (which I do not think, at all; but I’m not you, either…).
May is the month to start praying the Rosary every day.
If you use the search function you will find several posts your truly has written on the Rosary. It is not a coincidence that my “Catholic Vademecum” page has at the top not one, but seven posts all dealing with the Rosary.
The best spot on this blog (right upper hand side) is devoted to a link to the Rosary. I almost never click to it now as I pray the Rosary with other apps, but it is the best spot on this blog because the most important message of this blog is – apart from the commentaries on the facts of the day – to pray the Rosary.
Make of the rosary your priority. If you do not have time, take time away from this blog and pray the Rosary every day. I do write a lot, but praying the Rosary devoutly every day is infinitely more important and will do more for your salvation than countless hours spent reading my posts.
When you click here, think every time if your time would not be better employed praying the Rosary, unless you have already done so.
Don’t listen to me. Listen first to the Blessed Virgin, St. Dominic, Blessed Alan de la Roche, Padre Pio and countless others.
Again: after the Mass, I can’t see what better favour you can do to yourselves, and to those you love, than praying and encouraging them to pray the Rosary.
Let me say it in three short phrases.
Pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary.