I don’t know if it’s click bait or sincere doubt, but I see doubts about Catholicism going around again.
Give me a break.
Pestilence and heresy, war and famine, French Kings (!), Arians and Cathars, the Ottomans and the Soviets, and a lot of troubles beside, have come and gone. The Church is still there.
Does the unjust trial of Joan of Arc demonstrate that the Pope was not a legitimate one? Does the shameful destruction of the Knights Templar and the execution of several of his members, starting with Jacques de Molay, show that the Pope was not a legitimate Pope? If a Pope is not Pope when he proclaims heresy, why was John XXII still considered Pope, and allowed to go on with his heresy until the last day of his life, albeit “merely” as his own theologian’s opinion?
Popes Francis (or Popes John XXII, Honorius, or Liberius) happen. This time it is particularly harsh from a theological point of view, but at least we have no pestilence and famine. Every generation has his own challenges. We, a wealthy but godless generation, have the challenges God has chosen to give us and frankly, it does not take a genius to understand the perfect appropriateness of the punishment.
And what should I say of the desire of some to move over to a schismatic outfit? Do you know whom the Orthodox recognise as the head of the Church? Let me spell it for you: the P.o.p.e. And do you know whom they consider the Pope? Exactly the same as everybody else! The Orthodox are a fantasy solution to a fantasy issue.
There is only one Church, and it is the one that Christ established on Peter. The successor of Peter is, at the moment, Francis, as the entire planet, and the Church, and even the guy who is supposed to be the anti-Peter, officially recognise. This Francis is, we all agree, a rotten individual. This is a disgrace if we think what challenges we face and how useful it would be to have a decent Pope fight together with Trump; but it is merely a small bump on the road, a small blip on the radar screen, if we elevate our gaze and look at it from the point of view of the Church history and of Her role in the world.
Get yourself a virtual drone and let it fly as high as you can, until Francis becomes but a minuscule point down there, spitting his rage to a non-existent audience. What you will see from up there is a magnificent Church, stained – as she always was – but indefectible – as she always will be -, totally unfazed by that little, disgraceful speck of white down there.
This guy is a disgrace. But in the end, he can’t even scratch at the surface of the Church, much less cause any serious damage. I always think of him – and I wrote more than one blog post about it, like this one – as someone trying to scratch with a fork a huge block of granite. This is exactly what the Evil Clown has kept doing since that horrible day in March 2013.
Do not be discouraged. Do not abandon yourself to dangerous fantasies making of you, however hard you may refuse to see it, a pope maker. Pray more, and pray for a Catholic Pope, in God’s good time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just died. Everybody does one day. Francis and Soros will meet their maker, too, and that day does not even seem so far away. Whatever outrage you see happening, get consolation and courage from this thought:
And it came to pass a church which will rank among the most beautiful in Christianity was consecrated in December 2015. It is a work of stunning beauty. And it is an Orthodox Church, the Church of the protection of the Mother of God in Yasenevo, a district of Moscow.
Father Z picked up the story. The original post is here. The virtual tour will take your breath away (I suggest you, cough, switch off the audio). It is simply astonishing. I have been in Monreale, and I was blown away. This here seems to want to be a credible junior.
Note the contrast. Russia is still a Country enough corrupt that it needs seven years to buy the land and obtain a building permission for a church, or at least so says the blog post. But Russia is also the country where such a miracle can happen out of the effort of simple faithful: the very many who have donated for the work, and the many volunteers who have worked on it.
I become more and more persuaded that Putin’s Russia (as long as there is one; I truly hope the man survives the predictable mess caused by the low oil prices) is now becoming, schismatics as she is, the real bulwark of Christianity in the West. A great shame but, I think, the sad reality in this morning of the XXI Century, when the Vatican seems more preoccupied with the Islamisation of the West than with the message of Christ.
These Orthodox put us to shame. Wrong as they are, there is much more Christianity flowing in their blood than there is in our old, tired, stupid, effeminate Western Countries.
I hope this wonderful church will be, one day, Catholic.
But I find it wonderful that it is there in the first place.
Long live Putin’s Russia.
With all its faults, and with all the work there is to do, still: long live Putin’s Russia.
At the excellent Lux Occulta blog, Shane reports statistics about the resurgence of the Orthodox church in Russia.
These are strange statistics I must say, and they are Russian anyway so you should take them with three pinches of salt. Still, the growing number of Russians abandoning, or being tempted to abandon, a purely secular view of life is a reality not even Russian statistics could entirely conceal.
Shane makes an interesting parallelism, comparing the dismal state of Catholicism in Western Europe with the robust growth of Orthodoxy in Russia.
Personally, I see the difference as follows:
1) There’s nothing so bound to lead one to Christ, as an appetizer of Communism. The Russians had much more than an appetizer, and it is therefore not entirely surprising the local church would profit from this. In contrast, Western Europe allows itself the luxury of criticising Christian values without having had (yet) a full mouthful of what they will have to eat when they have abandoned them.
2) Catholicism is Europe is, in my eyes, still reasonably healthy notwithstanding the continuous work of sabotage of the clergy n the last fifty years. In fact, if one considers the above mentioned work of sabotage, one must conclude the resilience of Catholicism is no less than astonishing. It is a kind of “Catholicism without the priest” (who many do not see anymore as a “catholic” figure, rather like a pathetic old man desperately trying to be liked) which, whilst severely damaged, still maintains many of the traits of the faith of our fathers, at least in their broad outlines.
In the traditionally Catholic parts of Europe, priests have almost completely stopped to defend Catholicism and to instruct the faithful, limiting themselves to vague blabbering about peace and luv instead; But the work of their predecessors was so robust, that a strong cultural sediment still remains, and allows Catholicism to go on, if in seriously damaged conditions.
It goes without saying this cannot go on forever, and it has now become imperative the clergy start making their job again. I trust in traditionally Catholic Europe this will gradually happen in the decades to come, and we will not need to taste Communism, or too much of the Nazi Liberal ideology, before this happens.
As to the other countries, I am less confident. If you take an Italian and an English non-churchgoer, the first thing you notice is the former is so much more Catholic in his outlook, though he will probably not even be conscious of it as he can’t even conceive how un-Catholic the latter is. In the fist case, there is a fertile soil which only waits to be tilled. In the second case, a much harder work will be required.