When it comes to leading us on The Way, no other voice speaks with this authority, with this legitimacy. No philosopher, theologian, politician, scientist, guru, apparition, or best-selling author possesses the singular grace of our bishops in teaching us to hear the voice of the Lord. If you will hear his voice and follow his lead, then listen to his Church, his Body on Earth. And treat the thieves and robbers as the wolves they really are!
It is truly encouraging to read in a blog from a Catholic religious such words of clear, enlightening simplicity. What a difference with the various attempt at (thinly veiled) synchretism we hear from more or less liberal catholics (small c) here and there.
The latter generally start with telling you why someone whom you would never link to Catholicism, but is utterly popular, is in “synch” with the Christian (or even Catholic) message. From Homer Simpson to that disgraceful movie, “The Descendants”, I think we have all seen examples of various kind. I only miss someone saying Madonna (the sluttish, blasphemous singer) is a beacon of spiritual advancement, but perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention.
From there, they start to make some comparison as to why this is so. The one loves the baby seal; which is, undoubtedly, a very Catholic value; whilst the other wants to “save the planet”, and did not Jesus want to do just the same? I am not surprised some people would see even in Christopher Hitchens some Catholic value. Jesus, they reason, oh loves so much these outspoken people, and hates oh so much all those who don’t blaspheme Him every day…
You see, in the end everyone loves kittens, so it’s an easy game to attach some “good” and therefore “christian” value to pretty much everyone; particularly when the person in question is very popular among the bovine masses, and therefore likely to attract to the new theologians a lot of sympathies and approval.
Strangely, whenever I point out even Hitler was extremely fond of his dog Blondie no one really listens to me…
The truth is, though, in the words cited at the beginning of this blog post, and which I would like to see mentioned more often particularly by trendy priests. There are no two ways, or two truths, or two lives and unfortunately, the only Way, Truth and Life is a bit more complicated and less fun than, say, Homer Simpson.
This repeats what I have already written about the “Osservatore Romano”. With rather more incisive words.
Interestingly, Voris also says that the blunder might not be due to teenager-like desire of being a modern/hip/cool, but that it might have been the result of a desire to weaken the Faith. Basically, either utter incompetence or utter bad faith.
One must not agree but, seen the precedents with the Beatles and Homer Simpson, the suspicion is not unjustified.
Strong stuff on the whole. Well Done, Mr. Voris!
I have already written here about the strange tendencies now seemingly dominating within the Osservatore Romano with the less than opportune observations about the Blues Brothers (not so bad), Homer Simpson being a Catholic (much worse) and similar failed attempts at being modern, humorous and “hip”. Those who have read Iota Unum already know that the Osservatore is not new to making a mess of things, but the recent trend seems to have the new quality of wanting to make a mess of things.
It would now seem – from the blog “In the Light of the Law” – that the Osservatore Romano has made another wilful and premeditated blunder in that it has published the excerpt of the book on his own, in violation of an agreement among various media outlet to launch the book on the same day all over the world and providing not only the excerpt but a number of people ready to comment about the same.
Now, the author of the blog I have linked to maintains that the mess has basically originated from the Osservatore Romano publishing the excerpt without any commentary. I disagree on this as if the wording had been better in the first place, no media storm would have resulted. Still, it is clear that if the excerpt had been published on the same day as several commentaries (hopefully, from people who know what they write) about what the themes of the book are (and with some guidance as to some aspects of catholic teaching which might be obscure to many) the possibility of misunderstanding would have been greatly reduced and the anti-Catholic press wouldn’t have had a field day.
If what reported in the blog is true, it would appear that the teenager-like cheek of the OR is worsening to a full fifteen-years-old open rebellion phase. Someone at the OR loves being a protagonist much, much more than he should. This would not be appropriate for any newspaper, but is particularly grave in the case of this one.
I have the impression that I am not the only one wishing that normal service may be resumed as soon as possible.
We live in times where collective stupidity and vulgarity is very much en vogue and there is no level of entertainment considered too stupid or embarrassing. The entire cultural climate is slowly going down, flattening itself to the minimum common denominator of the uneducated, peeping, gossiping masses. Consider our TV programmes becoming increasingly more stupid, our newspapers becoming increasing more coloured (and leaving your finger an even bigger mess than they used to) and shouted, our politicians treating us as increasingly more stupid (witness the huge amount of adv telling us not to kill ourselves on a bike, or to drink and drive) and the life of what is in the meantime a huge army of “celebrities” being inspected and given to the hungry masses in the most embarrassing detail.
One of the most notable examples of this trend toward the superficial, the vulgar and the outright stupid is the Osservatore Romano, the once serious (if not necessarily orthodox) Vatican publication now clearly intent on becoming the most ridiculed newspaper on the planet. The paper does so brilliantly, with journalists regularly making asses of themselves and causing worldwide laughter in the process.
It all started (unless I am missing something) with the Osservatore’s “absolution” of the Beatles, whereby we were informed that the Beatles (and well, particularly Lennon and by reflection the female who has become the epitome of everything that is wrong with the human race) were blasphemous drug users but hey, it’s all fine because where would music be without them…. Touching and profound, don’t you find?
Then we had the “Blues Brothers” article, where the religious content of the movie and his defence of Catholicism was put in evidence. This was, if you ask me, far less stupid* than the previous observations about Lennon & Co, but it still betrayed an utterly inappropriate need of being “hip” and to talk about things that have nothing to do with the actual job of the newspaper.
The summit (at least for now) was reached when the same newspaper, not content with the degree of ridicule already earned, went out with the rather astonishing observation that Homer Simpson be a Catholic. The reasons would be that he sleeps at his Protestant church’s sermons and a couple of other pieces of nonsense too idiotic to repeat. I distinctly remember that when I was in kindergarten discussions were far more logic and profound than this one and it truly seems that the Osservatore Romano will not stop until their reputation for moronic stunts has reached the furthest corners of the planet; which will be very soon.
In the meantime, the producers of the “Simpsons” have felt the necessity to speak. “If Catholics are as stupid as that newspaper”, they must have thought, “we’ll need to release some form of official dementi”. Please note the astonishment of the poor chap at Homer Simpson being defined as Catholic.
The impression that comes from all these stories is that at the Vatican someone is seriously confusing proper journalistic work with puberty problems. One has the distinct impression that Beavis and Butthead have now become, respectively, news writer and editor by a well-known and once reputable newspaper. The problem is that whilst Beavis and Butthead may be fun on MTV, they are not on the Osservatore Romano.
* I admit growing up in the admiration of that movie. I still think it is one of the greatest movies ever made. And I find the “Penguin” one of the most lovable creatures ever devised by the silver screen.