The American Thinker has an excellent article about Pope Francis' abuse and shameless distortion of what the great saint whose name he had the insolence to chose stood for.
At the same time, the article is a good occasion to remind ourselves of how mainstream V II priests and prelates have deviated from sound Catholic teaching and have adapted to the very stupid world around them.
“Hold on to your Korans”, and the shameful addresses to the Muslims for the beginning of Ramadan – encouraging them to be good Muslims – weren't born overnight. They are the bastard child of a church hierarchy sailing very close to the wind for a long time, and dabbing with heresy for too long under the pretence of some excuse or other. Remember JP II saying that the principle concerning capital punishment remains, but in the modern world it is difficult to find ways for its concrete application? What is this if not unofficial, covert heresy? Are you aware that messages to Mohammedans for the beginning of Ramadan have been sent by Popes for some time now, though in the past they used to be less FrancisChurch like? How is it reasonable to expect that fifty years of interfaith rubbish do not generate, one day, a Francis?
Saint Francis would have been horrified of a Pope like the Evil Clown. He would have considered such a one a heretic and a fifth column of our own enemies. He would, if necessary, have risked his life to convert such a Pope to Catholicism.
But you see, those were Christian times. Times of capital punishment. Times of Crusades.
Times extremely unlikely to produce an obvious enemy of the Church as Pope.
The Crusades were not only a meritorious work, but they were probably the most glorious point in the history of the Christian West. For the first time, not one but many nations rose together, all moved by their glorious Christian Faith, and set up to the re-opening of the then vital link to the umbilical cord of Christianity: the pilgrimage route to Jerusalem. A feat, this, that for economic and logistical effort had no equal in anything after the end of the Roman Empire of the West. A feat more notable because the result of a multinational effort, rather than of a well-oiled, centralised Statual machine.
Were atrocities committed during the Crusades? You bet they were! Show me a war without war crimes and I will show you that you are dreaming. By its nature, war lends itself to abuse by the more violent elements. This is why the Church has a doctrine of war. But war crimes do not make a just war less just. If it were to be so, no one would ever have any right to wage war, and the world would be the playing ground of Muslims, Nazis, Communists and other bastards.
Different, of course, is the case of the ISIS. They do not have rules of war. The concept of “total war” applies to them even more literally than to the Nazis. The ISIS are at war all the time and everywhere. They are at war with the old, the women and the children. They do not refrain from unspeakable cruelty. They are, in a word, at war with humanity.
Why do they do that? Because they are very orthodox Muslims. They are merely more zealous in doing what their religion preaches than their own correligionists. If in any other war (not only the Crusades) atrocities and war crimes constitute a pathology of warfare, in the orthodox Muslim world of the ISIS there is no pathology, only warfare. In their inhuman torturing and massacring, they are doing what they think is right and orthodox and very Muslim, and I do not doubt they are right as far as the last one is concerned.
Islam, properly followed, lead to ISIS. Christianity, properly followed, leads to just law. Therefore, to compare the ISIS to the Crusades shows not only ignorance of History but the inability – or the unwillingness – to understand Islam.
The Gay President, Obama, who does not know jack of anything, should inform himself from cultured people before giving air to his teeth in a very stupid defence of his closet cultural religion.
Every now and then, the economic press tries to impress us with some “visionary” entrepreneur who had – or is having, or might have – some brilliant idea with vast consequences for us all.
I would, therefore, like to speak to you about a true Visionary; one of those men who changed the West, and brought it to successes not hoped for just a few years before.
It takes the mind of a visionary to see the spread abuse and criminal behaviour engendered by a clearly degenerated view of chivalry, and conceive the plan to use at least part of this vast potential for violence outside of Europe, where they would do good not only to Christianity, but to themselves.
It take courage to not only dream of, but profoundly believe in an operation whose costs and logistical difficulties made of it the biggest enterprise in many Centuries. It takes a great mind to understand that such an operation is not only feasible, but feasible in a comparatively very short amount of time. It takes, too, a skilled diplomatician, and a man of great personal prestige, to create a vast, multinational “coalition of the willing” and launch them to an enterprise that appeared no more than a beautiful dream only twenty years before. It takes a very smart mind to decipher the signs of the times and decide that yes, with God’s help the West has now become the better soldier, and the richer one. And it takes, of course, a man of great faith, because only who is aflame with Christ can transmit his fire into the heart of rich and poor, across many nations.
Pope Blessed Urban II did all this, and more than this. He changed the West for good, and gave the Christian West not only a stunning success for Christ, but one that changed the self-perception of the West forever: a self-assured continent able to bring war to the land of his arch-enemy and obtain sweeping, breathtaking success.
Of all the Crusades, the First was the best, the most successful, the most gloriously, stunningly, unbelievably beautiful (not counting, of course, Peter The Hermit and his bunch of violent bastards; who are rightly considered a separate campaign by serious historians). It was not only the triumph of a Christian army. It was the triumph of a daring, shamelessly self-confident, unashamedly Christian idea. It was an entire Continent that, after centuries of humiliation, rose to its feet, and found itself towering against the enemies of Christ: a scourge to infidels, not only defeated by humiliated in just a few years, in a world in which even international meetings had to planned one year or so in advance just to sort the distances, the security, the logistics, and the funding.
What a wonderful Pope, and what a great man Urban II was. Not for him the “who am I to judge”. Not for him the sissified waffle of “dialogue” and “understanding”. Not for him the rhetoric of peace at all cost, of peace before Christ, of peace for the sake of looking good.
No. Urban took Christianity under his wing, rallied it in a way never seen before, and set it toward an objective whose importance and meaning is difficult, today, for some even to imagine, but that was the Holy Grail of Christian thinking in those blessedly Chridtian times: to be able, again, to travel to Jerusalem, and to be in physical contact with the places that changed the world forever.
Urban achieved all this, and he actually achieved far more than this. The impression he made on the collective imaginary of the West is perfectly evident in the way the very word, “Crusade”, still polarises the minds and catches the imagination, more than 900 years after those events.
Do not bother me with whining complaints about massacres, and hate, and mistakes made. Every war has its share of them, at least every war not fought by armies of Angels. I choose, like every sound thinking man, to look at the whole picture, and not throw away – to stay nearer to our days – the war effort that rid us of Hitler because of Dresden, or Montecassino.
If you want a real visionary, one of those men who truly changed the West, look at this tenacious, faithful, really visionary man.
No more than a couple of weeks ago, Francis had told us that war can be legitimate when resisting unjust aggression. He was wrong, of course – war can be perfectly legitimate exactly in case of aggression: the Crusades come to mind – but hey, even with his tunnel vision at least he could see a part of the truth.
All is forgotten now.
War is “madness”, he said visiting the Redipuglia memorial: a wonderful, monumental work built by Fascism to honour those who died in WWI. War is born of greed. War is irrational. War is the fruit of (how can you be wrong on this?) “intolerance”, and “lust for power”.
Screw you, you who died to the hundreds of thousands to defend and honour your Fatherland. Screw you, you who thought a life laid to the feet of the Fatherland is a life well spent. Screw you, you widows and orphans of fallen soldiers: you have been duped and betrayed by your own husbands, by your very fathers!
Screw you, you brave soldiers. Francis truly doesn't care a straw for your sacrifice. And he tells you so in the very monumental structure built to honour you, and to remember your sacrifice!
You can't be heroes, because in Francis' world a war can never produce a hero. You are either hapless victims, or violent bastards. He will accommodate you by the half-idiots without any problem, though. He is so merciful, you know.
Let me stop here, because my blood pressure is now beyond blogging level.
May God remember the sacrifice of those who gave their life for the Fatherland. It is sweet and honourable to die for the Fatherland. Those who do deserve to be cherished in the memory of their own people; their sacrifice honoured, and taken as example.
Dulce et decorum est pro Patria mori.
I have more than the impression than to die a Pope Francis will be extremely bitter, and utterly indecorous.
I do not know whether this is an American thing, but I read around here and there, particularly in those that I would call the “sensitive” Catholic blogs, commenters complaining that they are insulted on Facebook or Twitter for upholding Christian values.
It is, I think, as if they would seek some sort of validation. “Sniff, sob, someone called me a bigot, and someone else even a … hater! Please, please Mr Blogger and dear commenters, tell me again this is not the case!”
Now, as Catholic I understand there are two sexes, and they are wired in a very different way. The more sensitive, more delicate and more emotional feminine mind may well be more easily upset from derogatory or outright insulting remarks; but when I read that grown men have the same reaction and seek the same emotional reassurance from the “sensitive support troops” I begin to be seriously alarmed at the damages the omnipresent culture of sensitivity and permanent emotional reinforcement has done to us.
It seems to me that some men all too often forget that God made them able to fight wars, to kill and be killed. I wonder how a man whose emotional stability is compromised, and perhaps the entire day ruined, by insults from people he doesn't even know would perform under enemy fire. What I can tell you for certain is that in my culture and generation merely to whine with third parties about what someone else has said about one's moral qualities would have attracted some not entirely unjustified remarks about one's manliness. Speaking of my blogging experience, I find my load of rubbish in the comment bin, and when it passes my spam wall I simply take care in future it doesn't; and the situation is still far more peaceful than at “Homo Smoke”, where the offences and insults were a daily occurrence (don't worry, I wasn't a pansy either). In the present day, Catholic men should, if you ask me, invite controversy, because in this day and age Christianity itself is controversial; far more so than it was the case in the West even during the Cold War, or the flippin' Seventies. Yes, it will cost some friendships; yes, it will cost confrontation, even with people we love, even within our own family. So be it, more deposits on our heavenly savings account; one day, that account will be cashed in.
When I was in elementary school, my teacher used to scold whining boys telling them to stop, because one day they must be fit to go to war. The same I heard from my father several times, so it must have been a staple of conservative boys education; and a wise way of educating a young man it was.
Our generation was fortunate enough not to have to go to war, but this does not mean that it was and is not confronted with serious conflicts, be it communism or secularism.
Christian men are born for combat, and Catholic ones must be twice ready for it. As a Christian, we will be insulted, belittled and mocked rather often. Good! It means we are doing it right. We are supposed to fight the good fight and shrug away insults and mockery; and let us call ourselves lucky enough we are not tested beyond that.
Our generation was not probed in battle. For Heaven's sake, let us not be said that Facebook, Twitter or a discussion forum are a hard probe.
I am not surprised anymore at what kind of nonsense gets published nowadays, but perhaps you still are.
One of the latest examples of dreamed-of Catholicism for the weak is this article published on the Catholic Herald.
Its author seems to think Catholicism was born ca. 1960, and Martin Luther King was one of the founders. The idea that true Catholicism would not cause wars is not only too stupid for words, but it also shows an utterly appalling ignorance of the very basis of Catholicism.
If the thinking of the author of this rubbish is right, Catholicism hasn’t been “true Catholicism” for more than nineteen centuries. But truly, the article doesn’t show the will to be heretical, but rather an appallingly distorted view of Christianity.
Let us proceed in order.
Most Crusades have been offensive conflicts: the Church takes the initiative to gather armies with this or that military purpose, whilst not being under attack herself. Be it Jerusalem, or Southern France (or, ahem, Constantinople) none of the attacked were even planning – let alone executing – a major military operation against Christian Europe. This goes to show the Church is very well not only in the business of the defensive wars, but in the business of the purely aggressive wars, too. Unless, of course, the author does not want to tell us that true Catholics should not, well, take the Cross and try to bring the Holy Land in Christian hands, or at least try to make pilgrimages in the Holy Land possible, because hey, this isn’t very Catholic…
The outlandish idea that “Christianity has a very strong streak of pacifism in it” (this isn’t a joke; it’s in the article, verbatim) can also only be born of profound ignorance of both Christianity and pacifism. What the confused author might have wanted to say is that Christianity tends (unless circumstances demand otherwise; see above) to be rather pacific, but it truly never entered anyone’s mind for almost twenty centuries that Christianity might be “pacifist” in any way, shape or form. The presence of a rather detailed “doctrine of war” should eliminate any doubt from the mind of any person accustomed to think; but again, this person must be accustomed to think.
The “pacifist Jesus” is also something that would have astonished every theologian before the age of Modernism. Jesus was – as it is clearly evident in the Gospel – constantly accompanied and protected by armed men, and being God he certainly did not have any physical need for their protection, much less their armed protection. Still, armed they permanently were. During the last supper, he even asks those who do not have any to sell their garments and purchase a sword, and I can’t imagine any least “pacifist” statement than this. He is, shortly thereafter, satisfied with the two swords present; which is undoubtedly more swords than you and I have around when we dine among friends; and this, without being God.
When I hear of Jesus “the pacifist”, I cannot avoid thinking of the parable of the King’s war. In the Knox version:
Or if a king is setting out to join battle with another king, does he not first sit down and deliberate, whether with his army of ten thousand he can meet the onset of one who has twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still at a distance, he despatches envoys to ask for conditions of peace.
There cannot be a clearer mockery of pacifism than this. Jesus doesn’t say a word about the morality of the King’s intent per se. He merely points out that if the King is going to wage war, then please properly, and considering all the consequences. If this can’t be done – again: He doesn’t say the King shouldn’t wage war because war is wrong per se; the problem here is merely that the other chap is going to defeat the King with his bigger army – then it’s better to think lucidly beforehand and try to negotiate a good peace.
There is no condemnation of war whatsoever, and here war is chosen as an example after another example has just been presented (the building of the tower) and when countless other examples could have been chosen instead. Let me say it once again: to make his point – the necessity of reflecting on the consequences of taking up Christ’s cross – Jesus uses a comparison with war without attaching to His comparison any moral condemnation of it. What.more.does.one.want.
This isn’t Dalai Lama talk; this is Military Academy talk! This could have been Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, but it is Our Lord instead!
But no: in the XXI Century of widespread sloganeering and wet pacifism, suddenly a new Jesus emerges: one that doesn’t want the Crusades, but has a “strong streak of pacifism” instead. One can vividly picture this new fantasy Jesus, eating granola bars with his Disciples with a raised little finger, speaking of peace in a rather high-pitched tone. A fantasy Jesus after their liking, for sure.
It is very telling of our times that the biggest Catholic weekly in the UK serves his readers with such insipid, a-historical, unrealistic, utterly sugary fare.
I am no friend of JP II’s papacy. If you ask me, he has supervised and administered a 25 year-long decay of Christianity, undermining the Church’s strength with unspeakable episcopal appointments and not seeing (or not caring for) the decomposition of Catholic instruction all over the West; the last phenomenon, a slow but effective cancer whose effects we are experiencing now, poisoned an entire generation of Catholics who live and go to vote with only vague ideas about what they are supposed to believe and why. As a result, Catholicism has been slowly withering in the Western world, whilst the growth in Asia and Africa and the media successes of the Pontiff (full airports, and “icon status”) lulled the Vatican in the illusion everything is, more or less, fine.
Still, looking back at JP II’s pontificate, one can see an area where his work has been, at least in words, persistent and very counter-cultural: abortion. John Paul’s insisted returning on the issue did in time leave traces, and the slogan of the “culture of death” has now become mainstream. It is impossible not to notice that the slow swing in the abortion battle was made possible also through the contribution of an honest soul who, by all his shortcoming as a Pontiff, knew how to be stubborn on issues particularly near to his heart.
In my eyes, the times are ripe for the start of a second crusade: the War On Sodomy. If a Pope were courageous enough as to put the matter square in the middle of the sociopolitical debate, we would not have to wait many years before the entire planet starts to listen.
A Pope insistently pointing out to the total opposition of Sodomy and Christianity, and to the utter and total impossibility for everyone who aids and abets or even condones sodomy to call himself a Christian (not a Catholic, mind; a Christian) would certainly cause a huge uproar among the blaspheming classes, but would inevitably attract, in due course, the attention of the Catholic masses.
It takes time before the masses move; what you notice is rather a small shift in perception, due to natural causes as generations themselves shift, and to the natural tendencies of most to follow what they think most think, confusing error with wisdom whenever the error is widely spread. In order to shake the masses from their torpor you need a kind of shock treatment, a shift of paradigm able to bring the world to attention in a relatively short time.
What we need is a roaring Church rather than a meowing one; a Church ready to give battle rather than timid counsel; a Church not shy in letting their opponents understand once she has chosen an enemy, she will go on until his complete political annihilation (Obama and Andrew Cuomo immediately come to mind). This can ,very probably, be done in the smart way without even losing tax privileges, though tax privileges should never be in the way of Christianity and I do not think tax consideration should really be an issue. Never did a courageous Church lack conversions, martyrs, and the necessary means.
A roaring Pope starting a true war on Sodomy would in time not fail to shift the public perception on the matter. This war should not only be wages with words through encyclical letters, radio and TV speeches, tweets if he likes, and so on; but more importantly it should be founded on actual actions like the appointments of only the most rigidly orthodox as bishops, the purging of seminaries from every heretical tendency, a massive cleanup among dissenting nuns and friars, and an aggressive intervention in all political debates involving Christian values. In just a few years, sodomy would soon be seen again as a disgusting, abominable perversion that is just the epitome of everything that is wrong with Godlessness, instead of a strange but very fashionable quirk of people unjustly persecuted by bigots. The narrative of the progressive citizen who “loves his gays” and feels so inclusive and tolerant works because the progressive citizen isn’t told he is an idiot bent for hell, and even our prelates seem unable to miss any one occasion to say how oh so caring they are.
What we need now is a frontal attack, not inclusive waffle.
One quarter of the English Catholic clergy signs a letter, and be assured in Westminster and Downing Hill there are preoccupied faces already. If there was an all out attack be assured the meetings at Number 10 would have as only issue out to get out of the mess and try to save face. They are scared of a couple of perverts’ lobbies, knowing the Church is out for their scalp would scare them witless.
We have Cardinals inviting enemies of Christianity to prestige dinners instead, and even when there is a reaction (see sodomarriage in England), this is too little, and with people with no credibility whatever in the matter. The best example is Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, a man already compromised with so-called civil partnership and the least fit to tell us why we should upheld Christian values.
I have found here an excerpt from an excellent Moral Theology course. The work has both imprimatur and nihil obstat and comes – crucially – from times largely not polluted from false theology and “new times/new men/new rules” illusions, the safest indication of the heresy of Modernism.
If you take the time to read the entire piece – which, if you ask me, you should do as these questions pop up again and again in international relationships, in the media, and even at the pub – you will understand both the reasonableness and orthodoxy of this script, and the scandal that it would cause to the modern generation of wannabe pacifists; many of them, alas, clergymen.
I will proceed to mention some of the points more in conflict with modern “peace worshiping” thinking. Again, I suggest that the piece is read and understood in its entirety.
1. There is just war and unjust war.
2. A just war can be an offensive war, and still be just. It can even be a preventive war, and still be just.
3. Bits and pieces from the Gospel cannot be taken as justification for a pacifist agenda.
4. When the evil of toleration is worse than the evil of war, the evil of war can be chosen (1386).
5. To wage war a country doesn’t have to be entirely on the right side, but its right must be strongly prevalent. It’s not that the Crusades would have been illegitimate just because Christians might have had their faults.
6. War may be waged in defence of a weaker nation, attacked (say: Korea war, Vietnam war) (1390)
7. It is not allowed to wage war just to export Christianity. It is allowed to wage war to defend Christianity and Christians. “No war ever had a more legitimate cause than the Crusades, which were undertaken to defend the Christian religion against the unspeakable atrocities of infidels” (1391)
8. It extreme cases, though, war can be waged to put an end to unspeakable atrocities, like cannibalism or human sacrifice (1391)
9. It is lawful to wage war to bring peace and prosperity to uncivilised populations constantly at war with each other. It is not lawful, though, to attack an organised and peaceful country for the sake of colonial expansion. Note here the laudable use of the politically incorrect word “uncivilised”.
10. It is immoral to fight to obtain a stalemate. The only morally justified war is the war fought to win.
11. Sacred (or neutral, I add) buildings are legitimate military targets, if used for military operation. Points in case: German snipers on French tower bells; Iraqi rebels shooting from the roof of hospitals; Hamas fighters hiding in kindergartens.
12. Collateral damage is explicitly allowed (1406, 1410). “[..] it is lawful to bombard the fortifications, arsenals, munition works, and barracks of a town, to sink passenger liners that are carrying arms or stores to the enemy, to cut off food supplies from a town or country in order to starve out its troops, although these measures will entail the deaths of some civilians as well as of combatants“. However, every effort must be made to minimise these casualties.
13. “According to natural law, it is lawful to kill or wound the enemy in battle, or to starve him by blockade, just as it is lawful in self-defense to kill or wound an unjust aggressor”. This is interesting as a blockade will in practice almost never only affect combatants. The typical sieges of past ages come to mind; or the Napoleonic “Continental blockade”; or the possible (and never put in practice) blockade of Japan in 1945.
14. Reprisal is allowed under certain circumstances. “For example, if the enemy, contrary to agreement, uses poison gas in warfare, it is lawful to use poison gas against him”; but not if this is opposed to natural law: “if the enemy murders the civil population, this does not justify one in murdering enemy citizens who are in one’s power” 1417).
15. Si vis pacem, para bellum. “Reasonable preparedness is not only lawful, but a duty of the state to its own people”. (1426). This must be accompanied by a factual effort to preserve peace (1427).
There is only one article in the extremely clear and well formulated exposition which in my eyes requires further comment: article 1400, which examines the “modern world” and states that in the present circumstances only the need for survival can justify war, and the delegation of sovereign powers to declare war to supra national organisation (say: NATO, UNO) is a step which helps prevent war.
This is clearly said in view of the conditions of the times (1958), when “war” was -wrongly- largely perceived as “nuclear war” or “world war” at the very least, as clearly referenced in the words “enormous destruction of modern war”. It is absolutely clear that a relatively minor controversy (say: Italy’s claims on Istria) does not justify the potential risk of a nuclear holocaust, or of mass bombardments.
Fifty years later, we can safely say that “modern war” is in nothing different from “ancient war”; that, if anything, modern wars are more and more similar to the wars of past centuries; that the typical war scenario of nowadays doesn’t comprise mass bombardments, much less nuclear holocausts, but rather a series of intermittent, small-scale engagements with a diffused enemy either using guerrilla tactics, or operating in small units. Afghanistan, Iraq after the end of the main military operations, Lebanon 2006, Libya 2011 all follow this pattern, and it is now not uncommon for a Western country like the United Kingdom to be employed in one or two conflict stages at the same time, as it was at the time of the British Empire, without anyone fearing world wars or nuclear confrontations.
It is, though, a weakness of the analysis to identify “modern war” with “enormous destruction”. The equation was never true other than in the popular imagination, and in the Fifties many local conflicts were ongoing that didn’t justify the equation at all. To speak to the British readers, only during 1956 the British Army was involved in three military campaigns: in Kenya against the Mau-Mau, in Cyprus against the marxist guerrilla, and in the Suez campaign; mind, I might be forgetting something. War has always been a much more diffuse affair than the pacifist rhetoric wants you to believe.
My suggestion is to read this brilliant piece of moral theology; but at the same time, to always be extremely cautious every time you get the suggestion that “modern times” would require to…… change the rules. If humanity had changed, Christ would be past “best before” date.
Men don’t change, and God’s rules don’t change either.