“Invented from alpha to omega” is how Archbishop Gaenswein described the rumours about the Pontiff Emeritus' alleged “mystical visions” (many of them).
I have already dedicated a blog post to this, and warned from falling into the trap of those fake Catholics trying to create a new Magisterium, made “infallible” by the Holy Ghost's alleged endorsement of Pope Francis.
Well, now it's official. From the mouth of the de facto speaker of the Pontiff Emeritus himself.
This reminds me of the idiot who left a message in my combox accusing me of being so evil that I do not read the signs of the Holy Ghost, and blasphemous in stating that God is immutable (never read Aquinas, of course).
From the rumours they are ready to believe you will recognise them.
I expect abject apologies from Zenit, who first spread the rumour. I personally would also be interested in knowing the source of this revelation, because the suspicion the sodomite mafia had a finger in this is more than legitimate.
I somewhat doubt either will happen.
Reading around the readers' comment in Catholic blogs, I am surprised at the frequency with which comments appear indicating that either The End Is Near or at the least a great shaking in Church matters is about to happen, by which the Holy Ghost will reinstate sanity.
I would suggest that you don't hold your breath.
Please consider that short of stopping the Pope from proclaiming an heretical dogma, the Holy Ghost might not intervene at all in this mess, allowing things to go on in their very stinking way for a very long time. Words already count for very little, and in the last 50 years the Catholic clergy has proved very adept in promoting, or living together with, heterodoxy without openly challenging it. If, say, two “Catholics” live more uxorio and go to Church, the priest is very unlikely to say a single word to them, much less deny them communion. Contraception, fornication, dissent of all kind go along the same pattern. In fact, as far as a Neo-Modernist is concerned the entire corpus of Catholic doctrine can be disfigured to the point of making it utterly unrecognisable, without any need for an attempt to dogmatically proclaim the heresy.
Think of the Doctrine of War, or of Capital Punishment. They have been almost completely obliterated from Catholic thinking and acting, without any need to openly and formally deny the principle. It is sufficient that people are kept in ignorance; or told the “new man” doesn't need what the “old man” needed; or told the principle is the same, we now only interpret it in a slightly different way, because nowadays we are all oh so smart.
Therefore, things can, and probably will, become much worse than they are today. Already we have a Pope who renounces to intervene in the sodomy debate because he doesn't want to be “provocative”. Christianity is provocative: if one thinks the fear of “provocation” is sufficient justification to shut up on one of the sins crying to Heaven for vengeance, there is absolutely nothing to which the same principle cannot be applied. Not even the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost. Cue Imam Dolan completely ignoring in front of a Muslim audience – and thus, to all intents and purposes, denying; but without saying so openly – the Divinity of Christ.
Pope Bergoglio will, no doubt, appoint bishops and Cardinals who largely think and act like him, and we will see the effect of this in the next decades. They in turn will march “forward” on the way to easy popularity and harmless soundbites, very probably starting where Francis still stops. If the Pope has to be “one of us” it is difficult to see why the next Pope shouldn't wear a clergyman and tennis shoes, and the one after him shorts and flip-flops. Can't wait for the first tattooed Pope, too. Hey, I am reliably informed “Catholic Answers” thinks a Catholic tattoo is totally spiffy, so there you are….
How modern the clergy of the future will be! They will “celebrate” everything, and “judge” no one! They will drown in dialogue, and leave Christ aside. They will make the Mass as stupid as they can whilst still calling it Mass, but trying to let its meaning and purpose disappear from the collective consciousness as very “provocative”. They will bend over backward to appease everyone's “lifestyle” and “choices”. The applauding masses – by this time completely oblivious to Christianity – will be delighted. How very “in touch”, “relevant”, even “cool”. The springtime of the Church.
“Look”, Father Pansy will say, “the Church is full, as people of every creed celebrate our common desire to do good by barbecuing in the Church, in the presence of the Great Cool Inclusive Chap we call Joshua. Let's rejoice instead of being despondent, ye trads of little faith!”.
All this, mind, without openly denying any dogma. Dolan denies Christ and nothing happens to him because he does not explicitly say “I do not believe Christ is God”. Be assured his denial will assure him good cards in the next Conclave. So “inclusive”. Muslims will be delighted.
Make no mistake, Dolan and those like him are the future for the time being, a future that might well surpass our nightmares. Until the time, that is, when he and those like him will reap their rewards, and we will be given decent shepherds anew.
Again, don't hold your breath. I am afraid it might get much worse before it gets better.
One can safely say that Terry Jones is, well, not a genius. One is at a loss to understand how a man can decide:
1) to announce that he is going to burn a Koran
2) to announce that he will wait for signals from the Holy Ghost about what to do;
3) to announce a very broad palette of events which he would consider being the word of the Holy Ghost not to do it;
4) when no one of the events occurs, to decide not to do it anyway;
I do understand that some of our erring Proddie brothers make a great deal of what they imagine the Holy Ghost is telling to them, but from the way Terry Jones acts the Holy Ghost would seem to be rather unstable; which leads us to the unavoidable conclusion that the unstable one is, well, Terry Jones himself.
The Terry Jones saga now has a new chapter written (er….. burnt?), as the man, probably on the look for some more attention or needing some money, decided that the Holy Ghost has evidently changed his mind once again and has organised a sort of trial of the Koran (these people complain about the Holy Inquisition, I am sure…) at the end of which they, well, decided to burn it.
Let me say what I think of this specific action:
1) It is perfectly within the right of Mr. Terry Jones, or of every Mr. Joe Average, to burn a Koran. Mr. Jones lives in the Land Of The Free (USA) instead of in the Land Of The Politically Correct Cowards (United Kingdom) and he therefore has all the rights to exercise his freedom as he thinks fit.
2) The idea of staging a “trial to the Koran” is very childish. It shows once again that the man is on the look for a publicity stunt, and that his followers are certainly not picked amongst the brightest minds of that great nation.
3) The idea of burning the Koran (instead of, say, pronouncing the Koran heretical, or blasphemous, or outright idiotic and leave it at that; it’s a book, for Heaven’s sake, and it’s not even a trial!) is further proof that the man will do whatever brings him some notoriety. I am still waiting for an explanation from him about why the Holy Ghost would change His mind so often on the matter, but perhaps I’m asking too much.
In conclusion, I think that we can safely say that the man shows all the worst traits of Protestantism and is, certainly – not because of the burning of the Koran in itself, mind; but because of the ridiculous “Holy Ghost circus” and “wannabe Inquisition” habits of his – not good publicity for Christianity.
Having said that, the man most certainly has a point.
Which will be the subject of the next blog post.
I have received some time ago from the Catholic Truth Society some of their newest booklets. Among these one has caught my attention: “Pentecostalism”.
The booklet is very interesting because it explain to a Catholic in simple words and in rather concise form what Pentecostalism is, why it has so much success and where the danger of the approach lie. In particular, the aspect of the direct relationship with God attracted my attention.
You see, for us Europeans (let alone: Italians) people saying things like “The Lord directed me to do so and so” really sound arrogant to the point of blasphemy and therefore such expressions are, in the Old Continent, unheard of. One is tempted to ask whether the Lord has sent an email, or perhaps a text message, and whether the broadband connection is rather expensive.
It turns out that such expressions derive from a sincere, if naive, desire to really have a “direct line” with God. Not one in the Catholic sense (the relationship with God developed through faithful prayer, Mass attendance, submission to the rules of Holy Mother Church and prayerful carrying of the crosses God decides to give us), but one in the literal one: do this, don’t do that. Therefore it can happen that when one questions some decisions which to one appears rush, but which to the person in question have clearly come via Divine Broadband (say: a man marries a woman he has known only for two weeks because “the Lord directed him to do it”) the reaction can be rather harsh and unable to comprehend how a third party may put in question what the Holy Ghost himself has clearly directed him to do. By reading the booklet I suddenly understood the logic behind the assassination of Marvin Gay from his preaching father: no idea whether he was a Pentecostals but hey, if the Holy Ghost has directed him to do so….
I am frankly glad never to have met a Pentecostal, because by all my admiration for religiously fervent people (even if, alas, heretics) I can’t imagine a discussion with them being anything else than a ridiculous barrage of “the Holy Ghost Himself has given me the Truth, so shut up”. I can also easily imagine what consequences such mentality may engender; the Lord has directed me to ask from you for so and so much money, might the pastor say; the Lord has directed me to file for divorce, will the bored husband (in perfect good faith, probably) soon declare, and so on.
And in fact, the entire exercise seems to be strongly based on a personal relationship with God which is – and cannot but be – highly emotionally charged. Now, emotions can play very dirty tricks to us. Particularly when we proceed to brainwashing ourselves every day; particularly when we ardently desire to be “directed” in some way; particularly when all this happens in religious matters, with their explosive emotional potential.
Emotions are like a faithful dog. If we train them every day they’ll do exactly what we want them to. Nazis, commies and all other nut cases have successfully manipulated themselves to utter stupidity by just picking highly emotional themes and fully delivering themselves to them. Che Guevara could kill in cold blood a couple of dozen prisoners at a time without any big perturbation. Dr. Goebbels understood the power of emotional self-suggestion with great lucidity, it is surprising that the devastating potential of such purely emotion-driven approach is not yet fully recognised.
Please compare this with Catholicism. A rigid, coherent system of rules valid in all situations and at all times. A complicated, but universally applicable system of criteria to resolve moral dilemmas and difficult situations (think of the doctrine of war; or of the “double effect”). A link to the Lord which doesn’t need (though it may have) an “emotional relationship” at all, but on the contrary asks for worship and submission even from those not graced with mystical experiences or with a strong feeling of God’s presence. A closely knit system of moral rules to which even the Pope is bound and which are therefore guaranteed not to be abused under the pretence of an “inspiration from the Holy Ghost”. The resulting impossibility of the absurd consequences of such “direct line” mentality (husband says that the Holy Ghost has directed him to move to California; wife thinks that the Holy Ghost has directed her to keep her husband in Arizona; I wouldn’t want to be in that kitchen….).
The desire of a direct line with Heaven, of an intimate contact with God is an understandable one and I do not doubt that many of these Christians are sincerely devout.
But between desiring something and being let free to believe that our conviction is the fruit of Divine inspiration the step is very short, and very dangerous. It is the deification of whatever we feel strongly enough about, a life spent listening to gut feelings rather than solid common sense; the constant danger of having solid moral rules polluted by individual preferences and the constant abuse of the Holy Ghost, forcibly hijacked as the inspiring force behind – say – both the marriage and the divorce.
Thank God for Holy Mother Church, asking us to submit to rules which not only make a lot of sense, but are immutable and not at the mercy of the whim of religious leaders or, unavoidably, of our own fantasies of broadband connection with Heaven.