Sensible Italians remember today the birth of the second most astonishing phenomenon ever appeared under the Sky (after Jesus and His Church, of course).
The Catholics among the sensible Italians will also know that the First Rome was the instrument chosen by God for the development and spreading of the Second Rome.
As a born Roman, Civis Romanus, I allow myself to feel particularly proud today. Not my merit, I know. But proud nevertheless.
As image for this blog post I have chosen a most impressive symbol of Roman might: the Fasces. As you can see from the image, it was made out of many small rods, all bundled together to form a thick cylinder. This cylinder was then so strong it could be used as support for a weapon, generally an axe.
The first and most cited symbolic meaning of the Fasces is brutally evident: each one as an individual is small; but when put together in close collaboration, the group will be an indestructible, lethal weapon.
Most of my readers are, of course, not born Romans.
How will they celebrate today, then?
I suggest a beautiful way how we can, simple rods as we are, unite in this Spring Sunday in a powerful Catholic Fasces:
One of the clearest influences of Protestant thinking in northern Catholics is their exaggerated attention for the Scriptures. I think it depends from the fact that even when they are cradle Catholics, they grew up in an environment where Protestant relatives and neighbours threw verses at them like grenades, and they must have thought the weapon is a fearful one indeed.
Well, it isn't.
Proddies have been throwing such grenades at each other with remarkable zeal for several centuries now, and I do not think there have been many who thought the hand-picked verses of their opponents were better than those hand-picked by themselves. The procedure is also questionable in itself, then either the quotation is rather long or very often the context is lost, and as no one – not even a bible-verse-shooting Protestant – can put every Biblical quotation in its entire context by heart, the argument loses much in efficacy. The more so, when the citation becomes so short as to be thrown around at one's convenience, like the “do not judge” curiously so well mastered by those clearly worthy of the harshest judgment.
Scriptural quotations do not work, because the Bible does not have the Truth. The Church has.
Put in a different way, first I believe what the Church says, and then I believe where I find it in the Bible. As a result, no quote from the Bible can be taken authoritatively, unless it is clear that the quote is meant and interpreted in accordance to what the Church teaches; but if this is the case, then it is much better to make the point arguing from what the Church believes, than from what the Bible says.
This endless Bible-quoting also plays in the hands of the Proddies, because it reinforces them in their erroneous opinion that the Bible, not the Church, has the Truth. As a result, they will react to every barrage of biblical verses with another barrage of biblical verses, and the discussion will end absolutely nowhere as, again, abundantly demonstrated by the astonishing proliferation of Protestant sects.
On the contrary, every Protestant should be confronted with a paradigm shift (whether he accepts it is another cup of tea, of course) and be told in no uncertain term the Scriptures can only be the reflection of a Truth existing before them and outside of them. Therefore, the reflection is only correct insofar as it correctly transmits the Truth reflected, failing which the reflection will be in nothing more authentic than the one provided by those deforming mirrors you look at if you want to have a laugh.
I hear, here and there, that Catholics should have a better knowledge of Scriptures. Maybe so; but given the abysmal ignorance of our times, the risk of getting the meaning wrong or even tragically wrong (“do not judge” is my absolute favourite), and the sheer complexity of Catholic teaching I suggest the effort should be directed towards a better knowledge of the teaching itself. If you ask me, for most people and in most circumstances the rediscovery of old Catechisms and the reading of books of Catholic apologetics or theology is far more fruitful than hours spent in reading the Scriptures without adequate instruments for their proper understanding.
Granted, it will sound less impressive than having one or two dozen citations learned by heart and ready for use; but one will know he is right.
We are now informed Savita Halappanavar’s death was caused by a rare infection and was nothing to do with any kind of “denied abortion”.
This is a strange of piece of information even to get, because if you click elsewhere, like for example at the usual BBC, the fact the whiners were wrong is merely mentioned en passant. You read the article and barely know what is all about, and what the findings might have been.
Not better is, predictably, the Huffington Post. We knew already that systemic failures were in place, and it is obvious there would be recommendations. Strangely, the evidence that the fact she was “refused” to get an abortion (I think it’s because it would have been murder in the circumstances; but these are too fine details for the HuffPo) did not play any role in her death is not, how should I say it, adequately conveyed.
I truly hope that all pro-abortion fans now do the one thing that must be done, and shut up.
Just as an aside, I want to say that where I come from, a husband saying “my wife should not have been denied an abortion” would have been looked at as a strange mixture between a freak show and a criminal not later than one generation ago, and many would do it even today. You see, there was a time where elementary concepts like the protection of an unborn baby – as opposed to murdering him at the first sign of complication in the pregnancy because hey, this might be good for the mother – were so universally understood that even BBC journalists got them.
I understand Mr Halappanavar is an Indian citizen. I trust he will now leave Ireland and go back to India. A Christian country is clearly too much for him.
From the very long – and very fitting – letter #80 of Bishop Fellay to Friends and Benefactors: (emphases mine)
We beg Heaven and the authorities of the Church, in particular the new Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, Successor of Peter, not to allow souls to perish because they no longer learn sound doctrine, the revealed deposit of the faith, without which no one can be saved, no one can please God.
What good is it to devote oneself to serving people if one hides from them what is essential, the purpose and the meaning of their life, and the seriousness of sin that turns them away from it? Works of charity done for the poor, the needy, the infirm, and the sick have always been a true concern for the Church, and we must not excuse ourselves from it, but if it becomes merely man-centered philanthropy, then the Church is no longer carrying out her mission, she is no longer leading souls to God, which can really be done only by supernatural means: faith, hope, charity and grace. And therefore by denouncing anything that is opposed to them: errors against faith and morality. Because if people sin, for want of that denunciation, they are damned for eternity. The Church’s reason for being is to save them and to help them avoid the misfortune of their eternal perdition.
“Mundabor”, the teacher would have said at school, “what does the author want to say”?
I am not at school anymore, but I think I know what I would answer: the author wants to say that there has been enough talk of simplicity, black shoes, iron crosses, and Argentinian newsagents, whilst the real issues continue to be happily ignored.
One month on, the silence of the new Pope concerning the new, exploding phenomenon of pro-homosexual legislation is deafening; but Heavens, we know everything about how he doesn’t like Papal Apartments, red shoes, mozzettas, or Roman cobblers.
The SSPX has certainly been prudent for a while, waiting to see how they can picture this Pontiff before speaking publicly.
Their decision to move to an open appeal clearly means they consider his silence as scandalous. Please read Bishop Fellay’s words again. They are clear enough.
Pope Francis has not justified the worst fears (up to now, at least), and has moved rather well on a couple of occasions (the LCWR comes to mind; actually nothing else of consequence comes to mind… one good homily here, one good idea there, things like that); but he has also lived dramatic weeks for world Christianity whilst doing basically nothing, or whilst letting us know how sensitive he is to his newsagent down in Buenos Aires.
God knows how much the French Catholics would have appreciated strong words of the Pontiff concerning the abomination of sodomy; it would have given – and would still give – the movement great strenght for the years of fight in front of them.
Instead, we haven’t heard one word. Not one.
I am sick and tired already to try to see Francis through Benedict. I see that Benedict was indecisive enough, and Francis can talk rather refreshingly if he wants, but he avoids to do it when it means grating the masses whose approval he is so sedulously seeking. Whilst the French members of parliament send the country’s soul to hell, he entertains us with the evil of gossiping.
Mozzetta or no Mozzetta, this is not good enough; this is no longer carrying on the Church’s mission, and allowing souls to perish.
It is a paradox that we had a Pope who saw the necessity of war but didn’t have the nerve to lead us into it; and we now have a Pope who probably has the strenght of character to lead us into any war he chooses, but seems not to think the unprecedented disintegration of the Christian fabric of the West is worth a war in the first place.
But hey, we know all about his cobbler.
I receive from reader “Papapiusdecimus” (whom I thank from the heart for the kind words) an extremely interesting link, published above.
This appears to be the only film ever made about the great pope St. Pius X. Googling around, the year of production appears to be 1951. De Gasperi was Prime Minister, and Pius XII was Pope. A dream team by any standard of today, and probably of any day.
The names involved in the production of this movie make clear, even before seeing it , this is a quality production.
Unfortunately, this is youtube format, and no subtitles.
It appears the movie was also dubbed in English, title “The Secret Conclave”.
Those of you who have Netflix might be able to see it, says here. Please can someone of my readers with Netflix subscription let me know if this is available.
If any reader can indicate where they might be found this would be wonderful, but of course I understand this must be nearly impossible. I will try to discover whether the film was dubbed in other languages (French perhaps? Or maybe Spanish? They were Christian countries back then… ).
I will try to have the thing downloaded on a USB key and put on my TV. I doubt very much the quality will be satisfying, but I want to say it after I have tried.
Those of you who don’t understand the language will, I am sure, at least enjoy its beautiful sound.. 😉
Please do not forget three Hail Mary for our good reader Papapiusdecimus, who – I think – deserves them entirely.
1. You have a cobbler making your shoes.
2. You send those shoes the other side of the planet for repair, and back.
Or wait, perhaps not a Franciscan, but …
Life is, decidedly, never tired of surprises. I had my last yesterday, when I discovered for some Catholics it would not be in order if the Pope allows himself some witticism, or even – God forbid! – a laugh. If anyone where to tell me such a nonsense, I’d answer “you’re a convert, right?”. It is, in fact, inconceivable that a person may have such outlandish, Presbyterian rubbish in his head without it first having been put into said head by some Presbyterian, or by other equally wrong people.
There’s nothing in Catholic culture – or doctrine – against a good laugh, much less against a refined humour. Pope Pius IX brilliantly macabre joke at the expense of the Anglicans who wanted a “blessing” from him (“May you be blessed by Him in whose honour you shall be burnt”, the formula for the blessing of the incense; but he said it in Latin, so apparently they didn’t notice) is very well known, but for one joke that goes into posterity there are hundreds that don’t. A man able to make such a joke must have been an entertaining chap indeed.
Or one should think of St Philip Neri, a man of such devastating humour that occasionally the doctor had to be called because of the breathing difficulties the hysterical laughter caused in some individuals. Without recurring to the truly extreme example of St. Philip Neri, everyone who has enjoyed Don Camillo on TV or books should know a certain playful naughtiness is as much a part of a good priest’s life as anyone else’s.
If this is not enough, the levity and joy of life of Catholic countries – as opposed to the dourness and rigidity of traditional Protestantism – should be enough to let one think that this idea that jokes be inappropriate isn’t really Catholic.
Still, if at the end of the discussion my hypothetical (and formerly Protestant) counterpart were to be still not satisfied, I’d suggest to him that he reflects on the Gospel rather than – as many of them do – learning chunks of it by rote. The Gospels are short booklets written for eminently practical purposes, giving us a very condensed account of Jesus’s work. For Jesus’ joke about the “sons of thunder” to make it in such short stories, there must have been countless gentle pieces of mockery from the side of Jesus, causing hilarity all around. Today, we can’t register even the hint in the Gospel without a smile.
Truly, it seems some Protestants never got what it means that Jesus was fully human. Can they really leave all the hilarity and the playfulness of life aside, and still see Jesus as human? What kind of humanity would that be, that is against a joke, a bon mot, a playful banter, a gentle mockery? Can they really imagine Jesus at Cana, invited to a marriage together with many others, with wine and food and merriment all around, looking all the time like Gordon Brown on a bad day? How very Un-Christian…
Yours truly is, God knows, surly his part, and with a marked tendency to take everything extremely seriously. But I assure you, not even I would have ever thought that witticism doesn’t belong to Catholicism; and if this blog doesn’t make you smile it is due to my lack of talent, not my lack of will. Besides, humour is a powerful weapon, so he who has it, let him use it ad maiorem Dei gloriam; and if he is Pope, so much the better.
My suggestion to all converts from Protestant errors is that they take much attention in spotting where a deeper Protestant layer continues to subsist below the newly acquired Catholic theology. There are many of those influences, from the obsession with the second Commandment (say, that awful writing, GOD or even G-D, or thinking that pious expressions common all over Southern Europe are blasphemies…) to the one with the Scriptures, to the Gordon Brown attitude. In time, the convert will discover he has become a bit more relaxed, and a tad happier. He will, perhaps, one day, even enjoy a good joke without feeling guilty.
“How many people work in the Vatican?” Pope Blessed John XXIII was once asked.
“Oh, about half”, was the answer.
That’s the spirit.
Many of us have seen, either live or in the evening, the images of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. It is very clear this was supposed to be something extraordinary. The solemn beauty of the ceremony certainly did not fail to impress the viewers the world over.
Why the ceremony was so beautiful and solemn, it is very easy to say: because of the importance of the person to whom the solemnity was meant to be a tribute.
This is very easy to understand. It is, actually, ingrained in human nature. No commenter had any need to explain to his viewers why the British Government decided to go through such a complicated, expensive, meticulously planned and executed exercise.
Imagine, though, if things had gone differently. The PM steps in front of the journalists and says: “Good morning everyone! Today we celebrate the life and achievements of Margaret Thatcher. Capital gal, you know, what with one thing and the other. We’ll hop in to St. Paul now, where the archbish will say another couple of words; nothing stuffy, you know… we also have a Punch and Judy show for the children, in order for them to be introduced to politics…. it’s important, to know politics…. whatever, thanks for being here and have a nice day!”.
Not good, you would have said. No reverence, no dignity, no respect. For Cameron to have pulled something like that would have meant to show utter disregard for the deceased.
It is indicative of the times we live in that everyone understands the death of an important Prime Minister must be treated with extreme reverence, but even people who go on to become Pope (and countless priests with them; and many of those who attend their masses) treat with utter lack of reverence the Sacrifice of One infinitely more important than every Margaret Thatcher, and insult Him with all sorts of antics – up to and not excluding dancing Pinocchios – with some pretext or other (like the “Holy Ghost”, say. I fear one day the Holy Ghost will get truly, truly angry).
There were no Pinocchios around yesterday; no puppets; no stupid music; no dancing entertainers; and no “children’s funeral”. Solemnity, beauty, and reverence wherever you turned, because they are the most natural tribute to rank and greatness, even merely human one.
Most people understand these truths naturally.
Too often, our clergy – Pope certainly not excluded – don’t.
A chap who is trying to obtain from British courts the right to commit suicide, and previously known as “Mr L” to protect his anonymity, has requested and obtained that his anonymity be lifted. His name is, no less, Mr Lamb.
Predictably, the liberal troops are in a state of great excitement, and the always satanical BBC reports today about Mr Lamb’s “fight” for his “right to die”. Classic FM (five million British listeners in the morning, and therefore an extremely important news outlet notwithstanding the harmless sounding name) also had glowing expressions of support for Mr Lamb in the early morning, though the 7am edition already struck a different… note.
Interestingly, Mr Lamb says he is “suffering”, but also that he often goes to sleep at 5pm because his life doesn’t make sense anyway. This sounds more like boredom than sufferance to me. I’d suggest a good book. And prayer, of course.
The issue here is, as always, a very basic one: is life something God giveth and taketh away, or something belonging to the human carrying it around and which the carrier is free to throw away like an old sweater?
To us, there can be no doubt how things stand; but I wonder how it is for atheists. You don’t need to be a believer to maintain that legalising euthanasia will put thousands under pressure (implicit more than explicit) to be put to sleep like dogs (I think the expression here is “have their life terminated”; but really, it would be exactly the same thing one does to dogs). On the other hand, if one is an atheist an hypothetical pressure shouldn’t be reason enough to limit one’s freedom, surely? After all, one can be put under pressure to smoke, but smoking isn’t forbidden because of this.
When one forgets God’s laws, and God’s very existence, Satan can’t be far away. When one forgets that no one is the owner of one’s life, Hitler’s euthanasia is just around the corner. When one thinks there is nothing more important than one’s own problems, you have Mr Lamb.
Mr Lamb is a true minion of Satan, and in his foolishness he now insists that his name be known everywhere in the country; for sheer vanity perhaps, or maybe in order to give his “cause” a better notoriety. He will, no doubt, have a big following on Twitter, and atheists all over the country will cheer his attempt to put himself in the dump.
Truly, the world has gone mad.
I wish Mr Lamb defeat in court, and repentance before it’s too late.
Some funny lines from Cardinal Kasper today. One of them runs thus:
“For most Catholics, the developments put in motion by the Council are part of the Church’s daily life. But what they are experiencing is not the great new beginning nor the springtime of the Church, which were expected at that time, but rather a Church that has a wintery look, and shows clear signs of crisis.”
You truly would believe a North Korean Official is speaking: we have now made our revolution, but look: we were expecting so much and things ain’t fine at all (North Korean version: we’re starving. Vatican version: we’re dying in the West).
Other than a North Korean Official, Cardinal Kasper goes as far as to say that there are “clear signs of crisis”, which means that he is not entirely gaga after all (don’t laugh: some of these cardinal truly give the impression they are, and this is the most charitable interpretation for their antics). So, we were expecting such great things from the Holy Ghost, how is it that the goods weren’t delivered?
In pure North Korean Style, the Cardinal seems to think the New Gospel of the Holy Ghost was just not implemented enough. We now need a “new phase”. This sounds more like the “Perestroika” talking of the dying years of the Soviet Union.
Think of cars. What the Cardinal is saying is that the Volga car they have tried to make work for the last 50 years is, admittedly, rubbish; but this it’s not because said Volga is a piece of rubbish built by drunken idiots, that could never work; it’s because the battery and the tires were lousy.
Now, Pope Francis has started his pontificate with a brand new Varta battery and will soon take care four Dunlop tires are installed. With this, what has been rubbish the last fifty years will magically work like a Mercedes. We’ll call this “Holy Ghost-Volga Mk II”.
The Cardinal is very optimistic now, and says no, it is wrong to see the Council as a disaster.
Strangely, the Cardinal can also see (with the part of his brain he switches off immediately afterwards, whenever he thinks of Vatican II) that
“everything that happened after the Council also happened because of the Council”
but in a rare example of North Korean thinking outside of North Korea, he can’t make 2+2 and draw the consequences.
We had the Council. What happened after the council was “not a disaster”, but rather shitty for sure. What happened after the Council was also because of the council. But this almost-disaster producing movement isn’t an almost-disaster. It is good. It’s the work of the Holy Ghost, even.
So: we had the Holy Ghost who told us to build a new car. We set up the production line, and came out with the Volga. We are perfectly aware the Volga is crap. We are also clear the Volga is undoubtedly what came out of the supposed Holy Ghost Factory. We were expecting a Rolls Royce or even a Mercedes, but now we have a lousy Volga. Still, we refuse to think we labored under a drunkenness and delusion all the time. Therefore, the Volga must be a good car. We just need new batteries and tires et voila, we’ll have the Mk II Volga, and this will be a Rolls Royce, or at least a Mercedes.
We must pray for Cardinal Kasper.
But I must say he was funny.
The poison pill reports in the usual whining way an Argentinian priest suspended in 2010 for his support for so-called “gay marriage” has now been defrocked.
Makes sense, as if one supports so-called gay marriages one can’t call himself a Christian, let alone a Catholic priest.
I hope the chap is thrown on the road without a penny to live on (McDonald’s is hiring: a very honest job), but frankly I doubt it. He will, very probably, continue to scrounge at the expense of the Faithful of the Church whose enemy he is.
The apostate complains saying “thirty years of service to God’s people mean nothing”. One has the impression the years of service to God’s people have been rather zero.
Please reflect it isn’t really thinkable this man would have been defrocked if he had repented. Three years is a long time. This must be a very obdurate one. At this point, one must wonder about his own so-called “orientation”, too.
The Church must get rid of these people.
The lady above (starting from 2:00) has the right attitude…
Archbishop Vincent Nichols truly is a piece of work. It makes me cringe that such an unworthy, petty man be at the brink of getting a red hat (which he will at some point, I am rather sure).
This man has been, in the controversy about so-called same-sex marriage, conspicuous for his almost total absence and – coherently with his general way of life – his cowardice with the power by not taking any undue risk with the Vatican. This makes sense, since Archbishop Nichols is a friend of sexual perversions, as abundantly proven by his open support for scandalous so-called gay masses.
The man is always all to happy to confuse the Faithful provided this keeps him in the nice circles. The head of the Society For the Protection of the Unborn Children rightly thinks he endangers the soul of his children. Just try the “Nichols Challenge” to see if I am exaggerating it.
In short, the man is a walking disgrace, and utterly unworthy of his habit.
Unfortunately, this very unworthy man is also regularly criticised by the authors of Catholic blogs. Why? Because he is a heathen.
If you think that the Archbishop would take this is as occasion for some serious reflection about whether, perhaps, he is doing the work of the Devil, think again. Rather, he thinks the blogs are the problem; or, as he himself put it, he think his critics should “hold their tongue”.
In his latest homily, also published on the internet site of the Archdiocese, he was on record with the following words of foolishness:
Pope Francis understands this in practical terms. He has already identified two kinds of behaviour that destroy love in the Church. They are complaining and gossiping. He is a practical man. He knows that we live in a society in which complaining and gossip is a standard fare. They sell newspapers and attract us to blogs because we love hear complaints and to read gossip.
Firstly, notice the unspeakable cowardice of hiding behind the finger of Pope Francis’ words in order to twist his message. The Pope has said “do not give in to the temptation of gossiping”, and the Archbishop translates “the Pope has said you must not read blogs that criticise me”.
In fact, it is very clear this utterly shameless man is aiming his broken sword at orthodox catholic bloggers regularly pointing out to what a disgrace he is. How he managed to hide behind the Pontiff to criticise his critics is indicative of what a person he is.
The Archbishop is, methinks, angry at the bloggers because by relentlessly exposing his cowardice, double tongue and complicity in sodomitical behaviour they have, up to now, prevented him from getting the red hat he so evidently covets.
If I were in his shoes, I would be more worried about another type of promotion or demotion. After all, he isn’t the youngest anymore.
We offer this mass for him [Benedict XVI], so that the Lord be with him, confort him, and give him great consolation. … The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit. Think of Pope John: he looked like a good parish priest, and he was obedient to the Holy Spirit, and he did that. But, after 50 years, have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of the growth of the Church that the Council was? No. We celebrate this anniversary, we make a monument, but do not bother. We do not want to change. And there is more: there are calls [voci, also ‘voices’] wanting to move back. This is called being stubborn, this is called wanting to tame the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming fools and slow of heart.
Daily mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae – homily
April 16, 2013
This is part of a short homily, not translated in its entirety, and therefore the context is not entirely clear.
It’s already everywhere, so I will spend two words of comment.
“Have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the council”?
There are two unwarranted assumptions here:
1) that the Holy Spirit told “us” anything at the Council (possibly, “shut up”. Or “for shame”. Or “I will make sure your arrogance is punished”. Or “There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth”. I am not sure, though. Probably he just didn’t say anything…), and
2) that we must also do “everything” the Holy Spirit told us. Now let me check the list: we have the butter, salt, milk, can you see if we also need the flour?
Up to here, it’s madness of the Seventies at its worst, and it shows once again why we have every reason to be scared this Pope will make a lot of damage.
But truly, apart from the reference to the “Holy Ghost” giving one the homework there isn’t much here. One can’t say it is addressed at the SSPX, or at the Traditionalists, at all. Actually, one can exactly in the same way think it is addressed to the LCWR, who would “go back” to the “revolutionary” nu-church of the Seventies and refuse the “continuity” with the pre-conciliar Church.
The LCWR had a big smackdown yesterday, this might well have been in the Pope’s mind.
This Pope generally hasn’t a problem in telling what he thinks, again yesterday’s slap in the LCWR’s face was eloquent enough. When he wants to criticise the SSPX, I am sure he will do them the courtesy of doing it openly. He will also get from them, absolutely free of charge, a good lesson in Catholic doctrine and liturgy, so I am not surprised he is silent about them at least for now.
I invite my three readers to worry more about the very real liturgical abuses of this Pope than of every possible interpretation of his words in a partial translation of a short homily.
Still, this is one who thinks the Holy Ghost left him a “to do” list after the Council. Unless he means the list was titled “dismantle absolutely everything and don’t even think of doing it again”, he can certainly use our prayers.
Let’s just say…we left the leg in the uterus just to dismember it. Well, we’d probably have to dismember it at several different levels because we don’t have firm control over it, so we would attack the lower part of the lower extremity first, remove, you know, possibly a foot, then the lower leg at the knee and then finally we get to the hip. And typically when the abortion procedure is started we typically know that the fetus is still alive because either we can feel it move as we’re making our initial grasps or if we’re using some ultrasound visualization when we actually see a heartbeat as we’re starting the procedure. It’s not unusual at the start of D&E procedures that a limb is acquired first…prior to anything having been done that would have caused the fetal demise.
These blood-chilling words do not describe what Gosnell did, but come from the testimony of another abortionist doctor concerning so-called “later term abortions”.
First, note the language: “just to dismember it”; “you know, possibly a foot”; “acquired” limb; “fetal demise”.
Secondly, note what the abortionist doctors is saying: we know that there is a heart beating, and we typically start to amputate the living creature one limb at a time before even starting to do anything meant to kill him.
Gosnell isn’t in anything more cruel, as far as the mentality and procedure is concerned, than any of these Dr. Mengeles. Gosnell will go to jail on the technicality that the human beings he killed were outside of the very large legal framework within which a baby can be dismembered with utter cruelty, whilst still alive, before he is finished.
But Gosnell isn’t, as the linked article points out, really any worse than Obama himself, and those in favour of “late-term abortions”.
If you really believe that late-term abortion is a victory for women, and if you really believe that laws which ban late-term abortions are a violation of reproductive rights, then you should like Dr. Gosnell. Maybe his clinic was a little too dirty, but aside from these janitorial concerns, he was a hero for freedom and choice.
One wonders how many abortion supporters are members of PETA.
Today Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI becomes 86, having been born on the 16 April 1927.
On this day, in 1844, Bernadette Soubirous was also born.
Saint Bernadette certainly does not need our prayer, but I am sure you will join me in mine for our gentle Pope Emeritus.
I have not written about the Gosnell affair yet, because time is a tyrant. Still, I have followed regularly not only the flow of atrocious details from the Catholic and the conservative press, but the other scandal of the main (read: liberal) media making the impossible to ignore the matter; a very stupid endeavour in a free society, which predictably led to back pedalling.
For those who want to read more (attention: this is atrocious stuff to be kept absolutely out of children’s reach) ” The Pulpit” has a “Gosnell Special”. If you feel like delving into the atrocious details of the matter and the scandalous treatment given (or not given) to it by the media you can do worse than start from there.
To think that in Ireland a huge mess was started for the death of a pregnant woman in a hospital, and now many feel (idiots don’t think; they feel; less work, and one can “feel good”) abortion laws should be changed because of one death that was most certainly not a murder.
Mala Tempora currunt
Those who follow this blog already know that I fully subscribe to the Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi saying. The Liturgy is, if you ask me, the key that opens all the doors necessary to the recovery of the Church after the devastation – not coincidentally: also a liturgical devastation – of the Second Vatican Council.
Consequently, I also fully subscribe to the “save the liturgy, save the world” motto. The result of this is that I must be equally persuaded that as long as the liturgy isn't saved, the world as such will not improve a bit.
From this derives, with elegant inevitability, that whatever a Pope does will ultimately not be worth much, until and unless said Pope improves the liturgical habit of the Church.
This we have seen brutally at work in the last 50 years: a string of Popes who were generally considered very pious or at least good-intentioned; world travelling like it's going out of fashion; full airports and media frenzy. At the end of all this, sodomy is being legislated for, the number of European and South American churchgoers decreases, and the very concept of what makes one a Catholic is very blurred in most.
This will, of course, continue with Pope Francis. Unless the Holy Father continues the slow work of repair of the Liturgy started by his predecessor, his Papacy will be ultimately ineffective at the very best.
We must keep this in mind when we observe Pope Francis' pontificate, and avoid the easy – and cheesy – enthusiasm of the usual cheerleaders; cheerleaders who get excited like girls waiting for the rock star when the Pope forces the Swiss Guard to disobey his captain's orders and to sit on a chair, and in his moving goodness brings him something to eat, poor starving creature…
Still, it has been traditionally believed that the ability to bear adversities patiently is a sign of predestination. We can, therefore, try to do our best to let this papacy works for us, no matter what. One day, the Liturgy will be repaired and with it, in time, the world.
At the end of the story, though, there will be no saving the world until the Liturgy is saved first. I can't imagine it will start with Pope Francis.
I have already reported of the astonishing behaviour of – probably – some Anti-Christian smartass trying to stop the activity of the Missionaries of Charity in Miami under the original pretext that… they do not have authorisation to conduct a business.
I had, one week ago, forecast that the city of Miami would be forced to backpedal soon.
Well, it has happened now, and the problems posed to the Sisters’ activity are now out of the way.
Just some short remarks here:
1. This isn’t good news in the proper sense. This is merely the avoidance of an unbelievable conspiracy against Christians, tantamount to their open persecution qua Christians. If such an absurd measure had been found to stand in court, that would have been the huge (that is: hugely bad) news.
2. The city of Miami had already had another case of “amnesia” in 2002, and were sured by the exhibition of a permit issued in 1982. One truly wonders at the inventiveness and perseverance of Miami city officials. Again, I cannot imagine this to be the result of the initiative of some overzealous chap with an obsession for good administration. This can only be will to persecute the sisters.
3. The official reason as to why this has happened has now emerged:
Gort [city official] said hospital employees and elderly women complained that hundreds of people would mill in the street outside the mission before mealtimes, then afterward as well. Some would relieve themselves in public; others were “becoming very aggressive in their panhandling,” Gort said.
I am not persuaded. This isn’t a problem of having a business or not; this is not even a problem related to whether the sister are authorised to their clearly non business related activity. Every half decent, or even half smart, decent chap aware of such problem would talk to them first and see what can be done (not much, is the answer; besides more police present and swift punishment of the culprits).
But no: slap a paper from the city to the clueless sisters with the first pretext available and hope they will be intimidated into folding.
Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit has stated something which I find utterly obvious but that in these troubles is worth shouting from the rooftops: of course a person who says himself a Catholic and goes to Mass but support sexual perversion commits a sacrilege if he attempts to receive communion.
You either side with the Sodomites, or with the exterminating angel. You can’t side with both.
Predictably, a rather well-known idiot of the Diocese, the former auxiliary bishop Gumbleton, being openly heretical, has begged to publicly disagree.
Gumbleton is a troubling – and troubled – personality in more than one ways. A rabid pacifist (pacifism is also not Catholic), the man has in the past been a querulous advocate of “gay rights” even within the Church, and thinks “conscience” is the new religion. He might not be homosexual, but he certainly doesn’t do anything to dispel the impression.
Bishop Emeritus Gumbleton now makes a rather pathetic attempt to move us to tears with the following words:
“Husband, wife, raised seven children, Catholics all their lives, they’re in their eighties now, and the mother says to me, you know I can’t go to communion anymore,” […] “They’re hurt and she’s crying because we can’t go communion and that means so much to them.”
She is crying, isn’t she? Ah well then…
Seriously, the old woman has all reasons to cry: the tragedy of a son very probably bent for damnation is the first very valid reason, and her not only helping him to go there and actively putting her soul in grave danger is another extremely fitting one.
Does this bother the old woman? Of course not! She cries because she can’t receive communion!
Bishop Gumbleton could have said to her that she were a decent Catholic she could help both her husband and her son by praying that they may learn to accept Catholic truth and live it in their life. Instead, he (the retired bishop) chooses to be accessory to the sin of both.
Interestingly, the simple fact that the old woman is allowed to validly receive communion if she only confesses and accepts Catholic teaching does not seem to be part of the equation, either for the woman or the bishop. Disobedience is a given, its consequences hurt them oh so much. Strange, nicht wahr?
Thankfully, Gumbleton isn’t representative of a US bishop; not even one of the wrong kind.
My former post about Gumbleton (linked above) ended with the following lines:
Bishop Gumbleton should be either laicized or ordered to lock himself in a monastery for the rest of his days to clear his head and to expiate his sins. He needs our prayer but he needs to be severely and publicly punished, too. The times in which Bishops could confuse the minds of the simpler Catholics with their heresies and remain unpunished should now slowly but surely come to an end.
A Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is surely in order here.
His latest utterances show nothing has changed in him, and therefore also in the validity of the suggestion.
There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. And being a whining old woman – or a stupid old bishop – isn’t going to help much.
The Pontiff has announced a new Super-Duper “Star Chamber”, composed of eight members, to help him remake the Curia.
One is Cardinal Marx of Munich, sadly an appointment of Pope Benedict. What kind of chap he is, you can read here.
Then there is Cardinal Maradiaga. I do not know him, but a friend of this blog comments on him here. You will need a strong stomach. At least I’m glad the Cardinal is no homo…
Cardinal O’Malley is too well-known. I have never written a post dedicated to him. It’s the liver, you see.
Cardinal Pell is largely fine, though I have read horrible things about him too. He was probably chosen because in the “quota” of Oceania, of which I think he is the only Cardinal.
I do not know any of the others.
The eight will counsel the Pope about how to reform the Curia. First meeting in October, but probably documents will start being exchanged before that date.
If this were Pope Pius XII, I’d say he is merely creating a group of competent helpers.
But as this is not Pope Pius XII, I’d say he is trying to create the precedent that whenever the Pope impinges in the extraordinary administration, he shows “collegiality”.
I do not doubt, though, in the end they’ll decide what he decides. My impression is that this Pope is collegial in theory, and autocratic in practice.
And so one month has gone, and this Papacy is assuming, slowly but certainly, a clearer contour.
Insisted populism; an exaggerated attention to “the poor” that tends to obscure the Afterlife, and a show of “poverty” within the Church redolent of medieval pauperism, but with the helicopter trips; the search for popular gestures (the embrace of the poor chap in the wheelchair; cameras clearly there); a desire for novelty and simplicity that does not even stop in front of liturgical abuses, and certainly encourages them; a very questionable intention to put a person (Francis) rather than an office (the Papacy) at the forefront; very possibly, the intention to undermine – or shall we say, rethink; which is the same – the role of the Papacy. A strong and self-willed character, needing exterior expressions of “humility” to hide the fact that he knows what he wants, and will take care to execute his program. Importantly, a Pope with a questionable past: not in his alleged collaboration with the military dictatorship – which isn’t proven, and is probably bollocks – but in atrocious liturgical abuses before his election – which is proven, and for everyone to see who has eyes – or, most recently, in his alleged attempt to steer Argentina towards “civil partnerships” so that sodomitical so-called marriage may be avoided.
At the same time, a man who seems to sincerely believe in God, and appears devout to the Blessed Virgin; who will have his Pontificate consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima; who seems, at least in general and in theory, to be very outspoken in his style of communication; at times outspoken in a pleasantly shocking way, though never so outspoken that he would attack the Pelosi or Biden of the world, or that he said one single word against Sodomarriage when almost every week another Parliament capitulates in front of abomination (two only since he became Pope).
This Pope reminds one of John Paul II on steroids, and if you think this is a compliment you are reading the wrong blog. We see – accentuated – many of the elements of that Papacy: personality cult, kumbaya liturgical preferences, Vatican II doublespeak (Truth must be said whole; which clearly does not apply to Jews, or Muslims), and obsessive media attention (cameras when he embraces the man in the wheelchair; cameras during his “private” Mass with very public liturgical abuses; every gesture amplified and used for propaganda purposes, like the phone call to the newsagent).
One month later, we cannot know whether this man will plunge the Papacy in the gravest crisis in the history of the Church. He seems to be a sincere believer, but then again John XXII most certainly was, but he almost plunged the Church into Sedevacantism. Pope Francis also seems devout to the Blessed Virgin, but the strong Marian faith never prevented JP II from kissing the Koran (an act possibly excused by his not being compos mentis) or allowing the blasphemous abominations of two Assisi gatherings (acts without any possible excuse), or implying a modification or “evolution” of Church Teaching concerning the Capital Punishment and the Doctrine of War, or again letting it appear that he has apologised for the Crusades.
Therefore, knowing that he might well have good intentions – and we want to sincerely believe this – is in itself not very reassuring, then his faith seems to be steeped in an embarrassing liturgical – and very probably, theological, if the allegations about Sodomarriage are true – ignorance, coupled with a self-willed attitude which lets liturgical abuses appear to him like mere signs of novelty.
The Blessed Virgin will, it is to be hoped, help him to avoid the worst mistakes, and I shudder at thinking what could become of this unfortunate papal choice if the Holy Father did not have this encouraging trait. What is fairly certain is that we have been plunged back in the Seventies: the old hippies will be pleased, but the Church of Christ will most surely suffer.
We will remember Benedict’s years as a gust of fresh wind in the staleness of the post- V II years; or I should better say fresh air, then “wind” is too much to describe his half-hearted, at all times indecisive style.
In fact, it is fair – though unpleasant – to say that the first responsible for the present situation and the at least partial demise of the “reform of the reform” is the Pontiff Emeritus himself, as is most evidently proven by his appointment of around 60 of the 115 Cardinals who elected Francis. It is, methinks, a fitting punishment that Pope Benedict lives to see the demolition – he is an intelligent man; he understands what is happening all right – of his work.
The “hermeneutic of vulgarity” is upon us, and tons of televised molasses are going to descend from the Vatican hill whilst perversion advances all over the West undisturbed. Undisturbed? I am afraid so, as open confrontation in fact does not seem to match the narrative; the promotion of the “product” Church (or rather, Pope) being rather the priority.
Quick, find me a bus and a wheelchair.
The Pope today about the correct way to interpret scripture. Emphases mine, and the entire text on the usual Rorate.
The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot be only an individual scientific effort, but must always confront itself with, be inserted within and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church. This norm is essential to specify the correct relationship between exegesis and the Magisterium of the Church. The texts inspired by God were entrusted to the Community of believers, the Church of Christ, to nourish the faith and guide the life of charity. Respect for this profound nature of Scripture conditions the very validity and effectiveness of biblical hermeneutics.
What I think this means, is that when a theologian, in his love for novelty, comes to conclusions that are not in accordance with the living tradition of the Church, he is simply piddling outside of the W.C., and must stop at once, because if he doesn’t he leads his own vanity to confuse the faithful, or worse.
Please read it again before I proceed.
Do we agree?
Allow me, then, to put to your attention a pearl of stupidity of the very man at the head of the commission to whom the Pontiff has addressed his words today. Our Yogurtmeister here is talking of the, erm (cough…) dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.
[The doctrine is] “not so much concerned with specific physiological proprieties in the natural process of birth (such as the birth canal not having been opened, the hymen not being broken, or the absence of birth pangs), but with the healing and saving influence of the grace of the Savior on human nature.”
It is only that I am a tad ill-disposed toward Mueller, or Pope Francis is sending a clear signal to him directly, present in the room and an extremely obvious example of the piddling habit I have mentioned above?
We will see. If the Pontiff sends Archbishop Mueller back to his native dairies, it is clear he means what he says. If he doesn’t, it is clear he doesn’t.
A couple of days ago, a deeply disquieting news appeared on the Internet: the Pope would participate to the “celebrations” for the 500 anniversary of the start of the Heresy of Luther in 2017. The source was attributed to the member of the heretical sect who had just visited the Holy Father.
I have waited before I start to rant on this, because this seemed to me too big even for Pope Francis. Too big even for a world that has seen abominations like the Assisi gatherings. Too big by far.
Still, it would be stupid to deny I was scared it might be true in some way: say, not in the sense that the Pope “celebrates” Luther as such, but that he participates in some form in the commemorations and says to everyone how beautiful it is that we share the joy of our Christian lives, and blabla, and blabla.. If put in practice, this would have been tantamount to something rather similar in the final effect – and more importantly, perceived to be so by everyone irrespective of nuances – to an outright celebration; though of course accompanied by the usual V II doublespeak along the lines of “we are not celebrating Luther, we are celebrating that we are Christians together with those who celebrate Luther”.
From what I gather up to now, nothing of the sort has happened. Rather, the Pope met one representative of the above mentioned heretical sect, and the latter simply expressed his “desire” that the Church may participate in a joint celebration of the most dangerous and, in the long term, most devastating heretic in the history of Christianity. We complain of stupid Catholic priests, but compared to these Lutherans mock-priests even our idiots seem rocks of realism and common sense. Note that the Vatican has already expressed the Church’s opinion on the matter less than one year ago.
If Francis is still Pope in four years’ time, we will see what he makes of the “occasion”.
Let’s hope it’s not too bad. We can, I think, confidently say it will not be a “joint celebration”. Unfortunately, I do not think there is any real possibility of an Ordinariate, either, albeit one would wonder how many in Germany would find it an attractive proposition; a country where Catholics marry Protestants and then complain they can’t receive communion with them.
For the moment, we can relax and enjoy the “Luther Insult Generator”.
The infamous so-called same-sex marriage legislation has passed the last significant hurdle in France, and now only the ancillary legislation – whose approval can sadly be seen as assured – is required before the glorification of satanical sexual abomination becomes the law of the land.
Some of the French clergy have made a valid resistance to this, though – as always in the Vatican II Church – cowardice and doublespeak were everywhere. This particular battle was, then, fought and lost.
Or… was it?
It grates me no end that there is a mentality – both among the clergy and the laity – of despondency and resignation after their democracy has approved the last abominable measure; as if democracies were unable to reform themselves, or were able to survive if they don’t. This resignation takes several forms, from the loss of interest in the issue because “it is already decided” to more sanctimonious forms of passivity like the convenient “we must pray” (which we must do anyway, and won’t scare your MP in any meaningful way) or the apocalyptic thinking in the style of “the end is near”, another convenient way of doing nothing in the meantime.
On the contrary, the only way to face situations like this is to see this battle not as ended, but as just begun. From the pressure put on your MP to the active work among friends, relatives and acquaintances, to the active decision not to give financial support to initiatives even remotely linked to approval for abomination, (and possibly, to no other initiatives than those directly linked to the defence of true Christian values) to the boycott of those companies – like Starfags, erm, Starbucks – who support such abominations. The ways are endless, if the commitment is there.
As always, there will be a price to pay. You might well be required to not vote the stupid Conservative candidate, thus helping the outright idiot from Labour or Lib-Dem to be returned. This you do so that the stupid Conservative party understands they’ll not be able to get your vote by just being “least worst”, and you will screw them no matter the cost, because in battle nothing is so important as to punish the traitors on your side of the trench.
Similarly, the ridicule or outright hostility from your acquaintances will accompany you all the days of your life, and you will soon notice there will be those who prefer to avoid your company – though others will esteem you more, and start to think – and your openness will not make you very many friends. He who sees everything will reward you for his when the time comes.
Still, it is fair to say the laity are just the troops: the officers are supposed to be the clergy.
The clergy should be those who organise and direct the battle, not just in the vigil of legislative measures, but forever after. They should be those who gather the immense energy of the angry Christian laity and direct it like an arrow straight to the heart of the democratic system. Democracies are steered by organised minorities, with most voters only being a huge dumb ox no one pays attention to.
The Clergy must stop putting up a half-hearted fight until a decision is taken, and shut up or waffle about “pastoral work” afterwards. Catholics are born for combat. Perversion must be called perversion before, during and after a legislative process aimed at glorifying it. The life of the politicians supporting such measures must be made a living hell not only during the relevant debate, but forever after. The opposition to them must go on until their utter political destruction, and their approval of abomination must tar them in front of all Christians as long as they are in politics, or repent in a credible and very public manner. Every politician must know if he chooses the wrong side he will be made an example of, irrespective of the price to pay. The best deterrent against such policies is not a short fight that ends after six months, but a guerrilla warfare aimed straight at the genitals of the culprits, and going on without cease.
There was a left-wing political movement in Italy, well-known both for being rather extreme and, at the top, largely a product of well-educated sons of the upper middle class. The name of the organisation was Lotta Continua, “uninterrupted fight”. Their motto was “nulla restera’ impunito”, “nothing will remain unpunished”, the Italian translation of the nil inultum remanebit of the Dies Irae.
Whilst I could not disagree more with the political aims of Lotta Continua, I and many others like me always liked the determination and focus of their leadership. We – and our clergy – should really learn from these people, or better said remember what we and they should have known all along.
Is this happening? Not really. After a more or less spirited opposition, our well-fed clergy revert to business as usual and focus on what they love most: popular issues.
Pope Francis is widely reported to have harshly criticised the Argentinian government when they passed perverted legislation, but I have not yet read of a single word he said to make their life difficult after the legislation passed, that is, after the real battle began. How can a politician be afraid – let alone, terrified – of going against Christian values when he knows the end of the vote is very largely the end of the problem?
We must avoid this at all cost, then when we stop to oppose we start to be accomplices, and accessories through silence.
If the trumpet is silent, it is so much more difficult for the troops to regroup and prepare the next assault.
If you have any doubt that the modern world has a clear aversion to thinking logically, you only have to look at some of the newspaper articles and blog posts commenting on the Pope's decision to live in a suite of hotel rooms rather than in the Papal Apartments in the Apostolic Palace. You will find in many of those articles the usual mixture of utter illogical non-reasoning and too-clever-by-half, “sunday strategist” mentality that goes nowadays under the name of journalism.
A legend has been accredited in the last month that the Pope would prefer not to live in the Papal Apartments in order to avoid the “isolation”, and therefore the possibility of being easily manipulated, linked to such a choice.
If this is so, it appears nothing less than astonishing that no Pope among the very many who lived in the usual quarters ever noticed what is evident to every clever journalist. In fact, it appears almost miraculous that some of the Popes of the fairly recent past (one thinks of Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII) could be known for their relentless energy and/or strict control of the Vatican machinery. Pius XII was said to have informants from the furthest seminaries and universities, helping him to keep heresy in check, and there can be no doubt about his autocratic governing style. He had ears everywhere, and took all the important decision by himself. Look, all from the Papal Apartments!
Then there is the slight discrepancy of how comes that the very journalists who so cleverly extol the advantages of living “among the people” do not think that others might benefit in the same way. How about, say, taking a quaint little hotel in the vicinity of Whitehall and use it for a rota of local officials, majority Members of Parliament and party functionaries visiting London. David Cameron could live there and sit for breakfast every morning with the one or other Tory local councillor, or provincial MP, and know from them “what people think” instead of living in the upper floor of 10, Downing Street. The same obviously apples to the damn Nazi abortionist in the White House.
Thirdly, there is the obvious issue of space and catering possibilities. I have never been in the apartments in question, but I do not doubt they are magnificent, and provided with all comforts. I also do not doubt the space and infrastructure is there to allow for the largest hospitality. No one, therefore, could doubt if contact with “the people” is what Pope Francis wants, he can do it far more efficiently from the Papal Apartments. On a fine Monday, he could invite two dozen of nuns from one of the many surrounding institutions to lunch, and hear from their very voice what they think of the world at large. On the following day, he could just take on board the group of religious tourists from, say, Spain, extend to them a surprise invitation to a cold buffet and ask them how things are doing in and around Malaga, or Toledo. Then on the Wednesday he could surprise the school class visiting the Vatican Museums (lots of those; I have visited the Vatican Museums with the school four times at least, very probably more) and ask them to step in, visit the Papal Apartments for half an hour and ask the pupils and their teachers what they think of, say, abortion and contraception whilst enjoying some sandwich and fizzy drinks. Now that would be interesting!
In conclusion, the kindest that can be said of this argument of the “isolation” of the Papal apartments is that it just doesn't make any sense. It's like saying if you want to be more in contact with your domestic personnel you should sleep in the kitchen. It is also an insult to a Pope's intelligence, as it supposes he can be easily manipulated by just having him sleep in a certain room.
Many people don't think anymore. They merely let themselves carry away from the first novel impression or fancy idea that grasps their imagination. Whether something makes sense isn't the question anymore, whether it gives us a short moment of excitement (evoking the dark episodes of the Papacies of yore, the conspiracies and lies, the splendour and the sins of the Renaissance) is far more important.
Poor Pope St. Pius X, prisoner of a clique of shrewd manipulators in the Papal Apartments.
Imagine what he would have been able to accomplish if he had lived in a hotel!
This article from the NBC is a rather good example of what is wrong with the perception (I am talking here merely of the perception: the reality might be much worse) of this papacy.
If the trend described by the article is true – and there is no reason to suppose it isn’t, at least at the level of momentary fashion and purely emotional excitement – the new Pope is found an attractive proposition by lapsed Catholics for the wrong reasons. They look at him and see a Church that is less like the Church and more like them. “Cool”, they say, “I like it”, and you can see the nods of appreciation of the sympathetic journalist.
Pope Francis does everything he can to at least let people perceive that the Church might, divesting Herself of her traditions, her pomp, her liturgical exactness, become a place where they can feel comfortable instead of encouraging them to change and feel (actually: be; let us stop talking about feelings all the time) comfortable within the Church. As a result, those who end up “feeling” nearer to the Church will do so bringing with them the expectation that the Church changes in order to keep them. It is a wrong allegiance based on the wrong premises. It’s the same as liking a school because it does not bother you with those unpleasant things like spelling.
Also note the astonishing shallowness of some of the arguments: if one has the gut to say with a straight face that he or she now feels nearer to the Church because the Pope used to travel by bus, how solid can be his (or her) newly found nearness to the Church? This is not much different from saying one is encouraged to go to Mass again “because the Pope washes women’s feet”. It’s the wrong mentality, and the impact with the Truth can be softened as much as the Pope can, but in the end it will be there and it will still be brutal. Unless, of course, this Pope does not manage the feat of converting himself to un-Catholicism so that un-Catholics may identify with him.
This Pope is arousing hopes in the wrong people (meaning here: in people with the wrong mentality) for the wrong reasons. With his shallow message of ostentatious simplicity he is deluding the shallow and being ostentatious in the other way. They are attracted to him because they see in him glimpses of what the Church is not allowed to be: the friend of all their mistakes.
The last person interviewed by the journalist, allegedly a 70 years old ill-lived man striding towards hell, points out to the fact that this is in the end just another “retro-Pope”, and points out to all the contradiction of the present situation: a Pope who will never manage to be who he cannot be, but might manage rather well to be the caricature of who he should be. The Pope can’t avoid being “retro”. He can only become ridiculous, or heretical, in trying to be less so.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
This is Matthew 11:23-24. The issue here is the lack of faith of Capernaum. Its inhabitants have stubbornly refused to recognise Christ notwithstanding the mighty works He accomplished by them. Therefore, their blasphemy will be met with the harshest punishment known to men, as their defiance of God’s Truth surpasses the harshest abominations known to men.
With the crescendo typical of the colourful Eastern societies, Jesus reinforces the concept so that no one (with a brain) has any doubt: Chorazin and Bethsaida have already been compared to Tyre and Sidon, but the worst of them all, the inhabitants of Capernaum, must be compared to the worst perverts of them all: the Sodomites.
Even a moron would easily understand that Sodom is used by our Lord as the epitome of everything that is perverted, despicable and in enmity of God. It cannot be said in a clearer and more brutal manner than this.
It truly cannot.
Still, people clearly not reaching the IQ of a moron, or firmly in the hand of Satan like Stephen Colbert (a true pity, this, because the man can be really funny) apparently insist in telling us that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality for gay marriage”.
Well no, He did. He did it in the strongest possible terms. He did it, in fact, in terms so strong that no sane person with a shred of conscience could ever deny it with a straight face.
Apparently, even the simplest facts of the Gospel do not count anymore when speaking of Jesus. This happens because the Gospel isn’t read anymore, Catholics are not properly instructed, and Jesus is known by most only by hearsay or by what satanic BBC journalists tell them about Him.
These cretins and evil people are everywhere. They go around spreading the most unbelievable legends; legend than can only be believed because the sheep are left in the most unbelievable ignorance.
In the meantime, the US bishops think everyone must be free to move and establish himself illegally wherever he pleases, and Pope Francis has warned us about the dangers of gossiping.
Look at the crucifix above. It is Lello Scorzelli’s crucifix in the papal ferula used by John Paul II and now also adopted by Pope Francis.
I find this crucifix disquieting for more than one reason. Apart from the obvious ugliness of the Christ (an anatomical ugliness that can’t be ignored: a Christ clearly undernourished almost to the point of starvation, and with arms that seem to me out of proportion to his legs), and of the theological implications some have remarked (with the arms of the Christ upwards as in the Calvinist and Jansenist tradition, rather than horizontal in an obvious gesture of openness and embrace of humanity) and which go beyond my pay grade, what I noticed first is the absence of dignity the image conveys.
Even when I was a child and looked at a crucifix in all his crudeness, the magnificence of this suffering never failed to impress me. Even as a child, you know He is on the Cross, but you also know He is God. This goes as a common element through all the crucifixes you can find pretty much everywhere in Italy (and they are everywhere: school rooms, hospitals, even court rooms). A well-made crucifix conveys an idea of majestic suffering, of virile power. Even when Jesus is represented as thin, he is never starving. This is, if you allow the expression, an Auschwitz Jesus, and a Jesus utterly crushed. Not good.
Think again of the movie “The Passion Of The Christ”, that you have probably seen again just a few weeks, or days, ago. In the movie, the very crude representation of Jesus’ suffering (a crudeness sparing the viewer absolutely nothing) is never separated from the sheer power and manliness exuding from the figure of Christ. Even beaten almost to death, barely able to look at Pilatus, or suffering atrociously on the Cross, you know our Lord is, at all times, firmly in control.
This must also have been the impression he made on those who witnessed His Passion. It is clear from the Gospel Pontius Pilate was extremely impressed from his encounter with this astonishing figure, towering over him with words of immense majesty whilst beaten to death and covered in blood. The conversion of the Roman Centurion (centurions were very smart people; here the contrast with the violent, stupid and greedy soldiers is extreme) must also have not come in a moment, but rather have been the result of a long observation of the man, and the clear perception something absolutely out of the ordinary was happening in front of his eyes. I can picture this Centurion (Longinus, many say) observing the proceedings among the profanities and the coarse sadistic laughs of the soldiers, and seeing with his prompt mind what they were unable to see. There must have been a magnificence in this suffering, a dignity in this humiliation, able to move an inquiring mind to stop and reflect before the famous words Longinus pronounced.
I see nothing of this in Scorzelli’s crucifix. I see ugliness without dignity, and humiliation without greatness. There is a reason, methinks, why the traditional representation of Christ on the cross is different than this one.
Still, this is the Christ people will get to see every time the Pope uses the ferula.
I try to picture Pope Pius XII with a ferula like this, or St. Padre Pio praying in front of a crucifix like this; and something doesn’t square.
The usual Rorate Caeli has the complete text of Leonardo Boff’s interview with Der Spiegel (a rabidly anti-Catholic German magazine known for having swallowed the legend of “Hitler’s diaries” whole).
First of all, let us consider Boff left the priesthood. He is even less qualified than the likes of Kueng (who nominally is still a priest) to talk about the new Papacy with any pretence of credibility. Still, it might be useful to examine how the mind of such apostates work.
1. To him, even Scherer is too much of a conservative. He might be satisfied with the revolutionary credentials of Lenin, but I doubt.
2. He thinks “the Pope can do anything”, showing an ignorance of Catholicism that you would be put to shame by a properly instructed boy of ten. This man was allowed to become priest and friar. It truly says it all.
3. Boff met Bergoglio once. He says they got along famously, but I have never read the same statement from the other party. He sounds like those people indulging in “name dropping” to make themselves important with the shallow and the simple. “yeah, I met Tom Cruise once. We are practically friends”.
4. Boff defends Pope Francis from accusations of having help the Argentinian generals, and mentions one of the alleged victims of the alleged “betrayal”. Not good for the “Spiegeltruppen”, for sure….
5. He also credits him with the intention of making three (or four) quarters of a Revolution, and I mean a theological one. He is in urgent need of a doctor, besides a confessor.
Note that the interviewer never challenges him with questions like “don’t you think the Pope is supposed to be Catholic” or “what do you think of the deposit of faith”; his questions are merely aimed at criticising Bergoglio more than Boff does, in order to let Boff appear, in some twisted ways, a moderate.
Der Spiegel is a publication for atheists who have sworn enmity to the Church. They and their readers are made for Leonardo Boff.