Several contributions have been written in the last days about the boy who was denied confirmation because in favour of so-called “gay marriage”.
What I would like to point out is, though, something different, which perhaps hasn’t been mentioned by other commenters and bloggers.
1) the Christian (sic) name of the young man is, apparently, “Lennon”. What kind of Christian name is “Lennon”? This points out to a malpractice that has started to explode some decades ago (cela va sans dire, after Vatican II) and whose consequences the clergy have refused to see: if one gives his child a heathen name, heathenism can’t be far away. Where I hail from (Italy) when I was a child there wasn’t anyone, not one, who didn’t have the name of a saint, and our Jewish classmate also had a Biblical name. The idea of calling one’s son or daughter “Moon”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Katana” or things like that would have been inconceivable, much more so in the case of the name of an openly atheist, drugs-taking, feminism-abetting, deluded cretin as in this case. When priests have allowed children to be baptised with stupid names as a matter of course without any resistance, they have paved the way for the situation we are living today. A priest would be expected to at least question the Christian spirit of parents who want to christen their son “Testarossa”, “Touring Superleggera” or whatever other madness goes through their mind, even when they are not – as in this case – explicitly atheistic in their meaning. A Christian name is supposed to be…. Christian.
2) I commend the priest for his decision, but according to how long the boy had been under instruction one wonders how things could have gone so utterly wrong as to let the boy think he can be in favour of sodomarriage and ask to be confirmed. Whilst I wasn’t there, it is not improbable – and irrespective of this cases it is certainly what happens in many other cases – that the priest either left the instruction to people not much better in their Catholicism than (uummphh…) “Lennon”, or did so in such a hushed, softly softly, weak way that the poor boy just did not get that one can’t be a Catholic and a supporter of sodomarriage at the same time. Which is a simple message, and should not be difficult to convey.
3) I have read around that the parents have told themselves “surprised” (or such like expression) at the priest’s decision. More of the same. Beside the fact that I am not surprised that people calling their son “Lennon” should tell themselves “surprised”, once again one wonders what has gone wrong. The parents should have been, methinks, ashamed for their son’s antic and should have apologised for it; alternatively, they should have said that whilst they respect their son’s decision and blabla, it is clear to them confirmation is out of the question under the circumstances. I have read nothing of the sort, but wait for developments. Obviously, questions can be asked as to the Christian instruction the boy has received; but come on, he was called “Lennon”…
In the simple world of Mundabor, people either are Christian with an acceptable degree of seriousness (which I seriously doubt in people calling their son “Lennon” in the first place) or they call themselves heathen and have the gut to accept the consequences; also because the consequences are going to come to them whether they public accept them or not.
As was, very probably, the fate of the original “Lennon”.
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.