I generally ignore what appears on the internet as a result of leaks. This time, though, it is different, because the “leak” appeared on Repubblica is not a normal leak, but a very public denunciation of the intrigues going on in the Vatican.
After reading the articles on Repubblica, my impressions are as follows:
1) The Vatican leaks like a sieve. Hundreds of documents allegedly in the hands of people who even claim to want to defend the Vatican from those who leak documents! If even a part of the “hundreds” documents are in the wrong hands, this shows what once was an extremely efficient, well-oiled diplomatic machine has now become the butt of a joke. This is bad news, but we knew already the news weren’t very good on that account.
2) Cardinal Burke complains in a pleasantly outspoken way about the approval of the neocatechumenal liturgy. He says loud and clear this “liturgy” goes against the liturgical direction followed by the Pope, even after the modifications suggested by the Vatican.
This man is my hero. Please God, he will be Pope one day and we’ll see the end of a lot of this nonsense.
3) The “governance” policies of the Vatican are questionable to say the very least. Please ponder on these words of Cardinal Burke, which I give to you in their Italian original:
“Non posso – si legge – come Cardinale e membro della Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti, non esprimere a Vostra Eminenza la meraviglia che l’invito mi ha causato. Non ricordo di aver sentito di una consultazione a riguardo dell’approvazione di una liturgia propria di questo movimento ecclesiale. Ho ricevuto, negli ultimi giorni, da varie persone, anche da uno stimato Vescovo statunitense, espressioni di preoccupazione riguardo ad una tale approvazione papale, della quale essi avevano già saputo. Tale notizia era per me una pura diceria o speculazione. Adesso ho scoperto che essi avevano ragione”
If you do not know the language of Dante, the facts are as follows:
3.1) It is the 14 January 2012 and Cardinal Burke has just received from Cardinal Bertone an invitation to take part to a ceremony on occasion of the approval (!) of the Neocatechumenal liturgy; the ceremony is scheduled for the 20 January.
3.2) He replies to Bertone that he is utterly surprised, because he had never heard that consultations had ever taken place.
3.3) He had previously received word from some people – among them a very concerned American bishop – that something of the sort might be in the making, but
3.4) He had considered this “pure hearsay and speculation”.
3.5) Only after receiving the invitation, Burke realised that the speculation was, actually, true.
This is nothing less than astonishing. As you read here, the Holy Father had signed the decree of approval on the 30 December 2011 and had not considered it necessary to inform Cardinal Burke of this; not even after the fait accompli. Nor had the Cardinal been informed by Bertone or by anyone else, which appears hardly a coincidence.
4) It gets, I am afraid, worse than this. Cardinal Burke writes his angry letter to Bertone, and lets the Pope have the letter beforehand – clearly, a polite way to say to the Holy Father “what the heck is happening here, and why am I kept in the dark?” -. Astonishingly, the Pope writes on the letter a note inviting Bertone to take account of Burke’s “very right observations”.
Of course, a Pope is free to say whatever he pleases to whomever he likes, and might even think it somewhat clever to write a couple of words of “approval” of the man he clearly chose to keep out of the loop, as one would give a sweet to a complaining child.
But frankly, if this is the way the Holy Father deals with his closest collaborators – and by reflex, the mentality going on among his troops – no one has any right to be surprised at what is happening.
If you wonder why the Pope is not obeyed and nothing happens to those who disobey to him, look no further than here, where the always excellent Rorate Caeli has some rather bad news for you.
It so happens that the “liturgy” of the Neocatechumenal Way is now – as it appears very probable – going to be approved by the Holy Father. This, after the Holy Father himself had ordered them to drop some of their most shocking peculiarities, his instructions being, as so often, largely ignored without any serious consequence.
The brutal truth of the matter is the Pope isn’t obeyed because he doesn’t show much interest in his will being respected, and even tends to reward disobedience after a while. It is as if he had decided that to talk is enough, the acting being something that can be safely postponed and left to his successors.
I am afraid age doesn’t seem to be helping the Holy Father in this respect, and the signals have been multiplying for some time that the advance in years is paid with a marked decrease of his ability, or will, to operate for the hermeneutic of continuity for which his pontificate will be very probably remembered.
Look, if you dare, at the videos posted on the Rorate page (I do not dare doing it myself; have looked at the first minute of the first and my adrenaline level went through the roof) and tell me what this is to do with any continuity, or with Catholicism come to that. On the contrary, it is clear to me the Pontiff is actively sabotaging his own work, as seen not only by this last probable initiative, but also by the continued impunity of all those bishops actively sabotaging Summorum Pontificum, by the utter inability to have a robust ruler caress the gloved fingers of the Nichols and Schoenborns of the world, and by the rather populist drive most recently shown with the Assisi III initiative. If memory serves, Assisi III was also announced at the very beginning of the year; a period I will now dread for the duration of this pontificate.
I have just published my blog post of comment to the latest utterances of Cardinal Ranjith regarding the Vetus Ordo. I have the horrible feeling that, if asked, he would use similar words – and, no doubt, throw V II into the bargain – to defend the mock liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way. The fact is, the only clear direction seem to be not to have any, and rather try to appease everyone by sending some praise here and some approvals there.
One is clearly reminded of British Leyland in the Seventies.
Thankfully, British Leyland didn’t have the Holy Ghost on its side, which is why it went belly up in comparatively few years.
Then we wonder why the SSPX has not accepted the preambolo dottrinale. Imagine full reconciliation and something like that happening, without the SSPX feeling free to make fire from as many cannons as they think fit.