And so the remains of Padre Pio came to Rome, and attracted the kind of crowd Francis alone could only dream of. Rorate has the photo; which, as they say, is more worth than thousand words.
Still, I feel I should say a word or two anyway.
What is more Anti-Francis, more old-style Catholicism, more – ahem – rosary-counting than a mass of faithful gathering to see the mortal remains of a Saint? Isn't this exactly that kind of activity the progressivists a la Francis should slam as “ossified”?
How desperate is the man, if he must try to save himself from total loss of face with the help of the Catholicism he hates?
I have written a couple of days ago that a big affluence was likely, though it could have been that people stay home in order not to allow Francis to shine out of the reflex of Padre Pio's light. Possibly both things are happening at the same time, but there is no denying the energy that has been mobilised is exactly the one that Francis tries to quench all the time. The faithful seem not to care whether Francis can get some golden dust out of all this glory. They might well be right.
There is no way this success can be attributed to FrancisChurch.
Actually, it might well be a reaction to it. Veiled for now, but who knows how much more vocal in future.
Francis can't hide his failure behind the love for Padre Pio. Not even at Patheos would they believe such nonsense (what they tell you is a different matter altogether).
The Emperor has no clothes, no brains, no face, and no manners. The contrast between the bankruptcy of this Unholy Year and this eruption of traditional Catholic devotion is brutal.
Thank you, Padre Pio, for exposing the man so well.
Thanks to the stupidity of our not-so-beloved V II clergy, Catholics the world over are going to be put to a hard test in four days' time.
I have already written on the matter, and have since not found any evidence to the contrary that the infallibility of the canonisations concerns merely the fact that the canonised person is in Heaven. In other words, neither the heroic virtues nor being, say, a halfway acceptable Pope are infallible requirements for the purpose.
Which makes a lot of sense. If Joan of Arc is canonised, must the English become supporters of France? Does the canonisation make of Celestine V a good Pope? And where exactly would the heroic virtue to be seen in St. Dismas for pretty much the entire duration of his life, and his chosen, ahem, profession, bar those hours on the Golgotha? Did Christ ask him to pass a decade-long trial, and prove a life of heroic virtue? No, he made Dismas santo subito instead.
Or let us look at the other side and let us say canonisations are not, and have never been, infallible. What are they then: pious suggestions? Strong hints that someone might be in heaven? “Oh dear Padre Pio, unless the Pope was wrong, please intercede for me!” Hhmmm, doesn't sound like much to me…
“Oh, but you must pick one about whom you are persuaded! Then it will be all fine!” some of you might say. But come on, if it comes to that then it is our personal opinion that really counts, and the entire concept of canonisations crumbles. Say: I do not need any Pope to be practically persuaded that Pius XII is in heaven. Padre Pio had a mystical vision of him in heaven, and Padre Pio's conviction is good enough for me every day of the week. But there is no need for canonisation for that. Barring the obvious concept that in the end only God decides, people didn't need to wait for St Francis' canonisation in order to have an extremely strong degree of confidence that he was in heaven, either.
No. If you ask me, Canonisations can only reasonably mean, if we want to give them the sense most Catholics have always given to them, that in this matter God will not allow mistakes. Because if He did, then there would never be any additional security given by the canonisation, and we would all go back to the “servant of God” scenario: the dearly departed was a very saintly man because of abundant and widely proved examples, and it is therefore very probable that he is in heaven. Unless we are mistaken. Which we could be. Always. Even if he is canonised. Does this make sense? Is this reasonable? Are we of such little faith that we start to doubt God's work whenever things happen we do not like?
Or look at it from the other side: if JP II is not in heaven, why would God allow a canonisation that is, has always been and will always be considered by most Catholics a most solemn, infallible assurance of beatific vision, and company with God? Would God not protect this pious belief, or prevent it from taking such solid roots in the Christian thinking? How can it be that the belief in the infallibility of canonisation – though not, properly speaking, dogmatically declared – could spread in such a way and be so strong after 2000 years? Why would, for example, God have allowed that the canonisation be extended beyond, so to speak, historically safe, “certified” martyrs?
It does not make sense to me. It is like stating that God has allowed the Church to believe what is wrong for 2,000 years. At this point, everything that has not been dogmatically and infallibly declared could be questioned, too, because hey: if it's not officially infallible, then it's everyone's guess.
I rather think this: that if either John or John Paul are not in heaven, the Holy Ghost has inspired Francis not to proceed with the canonisations, but Francis has, with typical stubborn rebellion, decided it was all merely a chimaera of his fantasy, a bad mood of an impressionable old man. And then in the next very few days he will have to die, or will be put in the impossibility of proceeding to the canonisations; because God allows Francis to fool men; but He Himself, He will not be fooled.
Rejoice, therefore. If these disgraceful – because of the message they send, and the V II propaganda they are meant to encourage – canonisations are a lie, the lie will not come to pass, and we might get rid of a disastrous Pope to boot. If they come to pass, they aren't a lie, and we will do what we as Catholics do: believe, obey, and be glad for other people's blessings.
Which does not mean you have to approve this or that Pontificate.
No one ever asked you to approve of highway robbery because of St. Dismas, either.
There are interesting reflections around concerning what to do to have more vocations. Certainly, we must pray. Certainly, we can support the idea of vocations among the young in our environment. But if you ask me, the best way to more vocations is to have better priests.
I still remember very well my formative years, and looking back it is clear to me the office of priest was not considered by anyone as in the least desirable, not even by mistake. The reason for this is that most of the priests we had around us – and in the Italy of those times you had many priests around you, both in your place of residence and at school – had a common and distinctive trait: they looked, sounded, and even smelled, ashamed to be priests.
There was a kind of hierarchy of un-priestliness. There were those who were silently but obviously embarrassed, those who were more ostentatiously “modern” and those who were outright dissenters – the priest who whispered at school that the devil does not exist, in an heroic effort of blasphemy meant to let us understand how very courageous he was, I will never forget -. But all of them seemed to have the same slogan, a kind of “unglorious” one: the least Catholic, the better.
If the priest is ashamed himself of being a priest, who will want to become like him? If the priest is the very epitome of the uncool, pathetic loser, who will want to follow in his steps? And this is, in fact, what they pretty much all were: pathetic losers, ashamed to be priests; lives to be pitied, and an example not to be followed. The priest of those times was a cautionary tale.
This phenomenon created another one: the attempt to gain credibility not by being a true priest, but – in a suicidal, and not very manly move – by being something else: the “modern priest”, the “good friend”, the “nice chap”, the “favourite uncle”. The automatic self-divesting of any form of authority made of them, for all the world to see, unquestioned beta males deprived of true manliness, because manliness is always linked with assertiveness, self-assuredness, and a quiet but still very public show of testosterone.
Every man, but particularly adolescents, smell authority and manliness like the hound smells the fox. Not everyone has the natural assertiveness to be a natural leader, to be one to whom others look up to; but absolutely no one has the desire to be, for all the world to see, the last wolf in the pack. Such a one is not very manly at all, and could actually have problems of graver nature. Which is, I think, the origin and motive of many “vocations” in those years.
And so we have, I think, a faithful picture of perhaps 80% of the Western priesthood up to this day: no manliness, no authority, no “coolness” around them. Boys look at them, and pity them. As they well should, and as I do myself. They are embarrassed to be priests, and try to be as little of a priest as they can. As a consequence, they are embarrassing to be around.
Away goes sin; hell follows soon thereafter; “joy” is everywhere. Some time ago, I listened to a homily of a Cardinal. He sounded like a girl making a motivational talk for old aunts in a holiday resort. By all the authority given by the office, the red robe, and the choreography, he still smelled of girly loser. Who would want to be such a tool? Mind, this here was a Cardinal, helped by the trappings of the office. The girly parish priest truly has no chance with the boys.
A priest must be assertive, manly, unashamedly Catholic, outspoken, and with no hint of sissidom in him. He must be a shepherd, not a dry nurse. The shepherd has a rod, and he uses it. The shepherd leads his flock towards green pastures, he does not ask the sheep “where they want to go today”. The priest must be a natural leader, because a priest has to be a leader if he is to be successful. The priest has to be uncomfortable, harsh when needed, and quietly manly when he is gentle.
These are the priests who produce priests. These are the men who will cause boys to say “I want to become one like him”. These are men whose very demeanour will say to those around them that they are willing to die for their cause; which is as manly as it gets, and will be smelled by the boys around them like the above mentioned hounds smell the above mentioned fox. Not many will follow in his steps. But the admiration will – with God's grace – cause some of them to fo it. You must impress dozen to get one vocation to blossom, because this vocation will be nurtured from the respect or outright admiration surrounding the priest.
Boys will be boys, and their vocation must go with their nature, not against them. They must feel encouraged to use their own faith to channel the natural assertiveness, even aggressiveness, of the male of the species towards the higher goal of saving souls, of being shepherds of souls. This is one of the 1,374 reasons why women are not fit to be priest. Women are nurturers, not shepherds. God save us from a manly woman. There are two sexes for a reason, and this is the same reason why only those of one sex can be priests.
If you ask me, it's as simple as that. In the Seventies the priests were at their most stupid (the “worker priest”, the “social priest”; the Jorge Bergoglio types) and the vocations were at their lowest. As the worst excesses went away, the vocations slowly increased. Strong religious orders continue to create strong vocations to this day – so much so, that the Jorge Bergoglio types must crush them to deflect from their own bitchy incompetence – and the situation slowly, but gradually, improves. In the meantime, the Jorge Bergoglio types cause their seminaries to close. May their ruins be visible from afar, and be a monument to human stupidity.
But we need more of these good priests. The Brompton Oratory is always packed. You listen to them, and you know how a true vocation sounds, and how a real man speaks.
The boys listen, and learn.
Vocations are aplenty. No closures to be feared there.
Traditional Catholicism has always been very logical.
If God is the source of all that is good, it unavoidably follows that people are good in proportion of God's love for them. If God loves them more, they will have more of that most evident manifestation of godliness that is goodness.
Therefore, the saintliest men and women are such certainly through their own effort; but they make the effort to such an heroic degree because they are loved most.
This utterly politically incorrect, Un-egalitarian Truth has been believed by countless generations of Catholics without any problem. Ultimately, Padre Pio is vastly better than I am, because God loves him vastly more than he loves me.
If one does not accept simple truths like this, rebellion can't be far away, because then there would be something fishy or arbitrary in the way God selects his great saints, and one would feel treated “unjustly” at not being so loved by God as Padre Pio was; though how many would really want to have his lifelong suffering and tribulations is, I dare to think, a different matter.
God loves me, then, vastly less than Padre Pio. He clearly loves me – and all of us – with a love no human mind is able to imagine; but still, with a love vastly less strong than the one he has for Padre Pio; a love that was – had to be, if we are coherent – there before Padre Pio was born in the first place.
Once upon a time, things were very linear, very simple, and utterly logical. If saintliness is a gift from God coming from His love for us, my duty as a Catholic is to try my best to be as good as I can; so that the growth in holiness, once achieved, may be in itself the proof of God's love for me. Those whom he predestined, he also called, and justified, and glorified.
God first predestines some; and then, to the predestined, he gives ways to, so to speak, learn the trade of saintliness and become proficient in it. This, because he loves them more. If, therefore, one manages to become a saintly man this is in itself, so to speak, the proof of the pudding. If he weren't loved more, he wouldn't be saintly. His efforts at being saintly have been inspired in the first place, and subsequently crowned with success, because he was loved more.
Makes sense, right?
Well, apparently, not entirely. Or not for all. Or, at least, not for some.
The Bishop of Rome – the oh-so-modestly-driving, Mozzetta-shunning, feet-of-infidels-washing, friend-of-newsagents Francis – seems to either think differently or, more probably, seem to want you to think differently.
No,” he said, “you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you.”
The idea here is not that the sinner must never feel excluded – of course he must not; what are we, darn Calvinists? – ; the message is that the sinner is, in some strange way not explained to us, preferred and loved more. Preferred, mind, not “even if a sinner”, but preferred as sinner, or better said preferred because a sinner.
One wonders. Extremely saintly people like Padre Pio – one who, even as a child, talked to angels like I talked to my grandmother – must obviously be loved so much less, and not preferred at all; because heavens, if one is so boringly good, what great desire will God have to wait for him, embrace him, and pardon him? Compare the great saint, if you please, with the drug addict, the alcoholic, the sodomite, or the child rapist. How much must God love them! Ah, if I were at least a coprophagous man (for you Greek majors: a shit-eater), I could certainly claim to be preferred to Padre Pio! (though, sadly, certainly not to all the pedophiles and sodomites out there)…
Let us leave the jocose world of the paradoxes aside, and let us examine the brutal truth of today's Catholicism. What we see – in Bishop Francis as in many others – is the unspoken desire to let people feel good, full stop. As we are all sinful, to let people feel good unavoidably becomes to let people feel good in their sinfulness. This goes, with an attitude than I can only call Jesuitical, so far as to imply that great sinners are, in some way, special: more loved, and preferred.
That this puts the very concept of morality upside down escapes Francis, because Francis isn't fine or smart enough for Beethoven, much less Aquinas. What counts for Francis is, though, not to be smart or even logical – almost no one is nowadays, so who cares – but to be popular, hip, modern, daring, and oh so refreshing.
This aim he has obviously achieved. Read his words again, put them in the luv and joy context of V II, and you will immediately realise what he has in mind is the awakening of the emotional, cosy feelings so typical of our times.
“Gosh, I must be loved so much!” , thinks the crack addict as he steers the next high…
As I write these politically incorrect words, I can almost hear the high-pitched whining of the bitches of political correctness of both sexes and none. They will certainly call me monstrous, because I lack the feeling and compassion for said drug addicts, & Co.
What they neglect to think, though, is that logic and Christian morals are nothing to do with… feelings; on the contrary, there is no religion on the planet as divinely logical as the True One. Wrong is wrong. Feelings about it are neither here nor there.
As for compassion, I declare that the emotional sissies – of both sexes, and none – do contribute to create the very problems they claim to be so compassionate about; if not with positive help and approval, at least with the implied acceptance and the complicit silence that make them accessory in the others' sin; whilst, no doubt, feeling awfully good with themselves, and undeniably saintly.
Bishop Francis belongs to this category of people and is, in fact, their undisputed torchbearer. Whenever he opens his, alas, Jesuit's mouth, you know something will be wrong somewhere, but he will sound good everywhere.
A Dolan without the gluttony. This is the … bishop of Rome we have. I am afraid a Francis with the gluttony might even be his successor.
Pray for Francis with all your heart. If not for love of him – not easy, I am sure – at least for love of Christ and His Church, of his guardian angel, and of his immortal soul.
My dear reader, the new season of madness that is coming upon us will see our faith attacked from all sides; from the media and from our friends, from the environment (at work, etc.) that will isolate us, to the worst treason of all, the one of the clergy suddenly “embracing” those things for which their grand-grandmothers would have slapped them in the face.
We must now expect many of the “how cool it is to be a conservative” camp to make a volte-face, and decide that yeah, the Church got that with homosexuality wrong these last two thousand years; hey, it happens in the best families; but look at how many people go to see the Pope as if it were the Cannon Man or the Bearded Woman! Hey, he must be doing something right! Can’t you see how much the world luuuv him?!
Be ready. Be steadfast. Never waver. What the Church has taught to your grand-grandmothers, that is the Church you belong to. Novelties must have no effect on you. No amount of drunkenness of the Vatican II clergy must ever let you think that perhaps, perhaps one who says ten thousand times what was right is now wrong might have an argument. He hasn’t. This is Goebbel’s method. Just repeat the lie long enough, and most will end up believing it is the truth.
The sirens of pacification, suggesting that you go with the flow and simply embrace all the shallowness, stupidity, and outright heresy of the times make – even when they are in good faith – the work of the devil. There is no way sloppy theology can be right, exactly as there is no way guitars at Mass can be right. There is no way it would have been right for Pius XII to be a “Renaissance Prince”, and it is right for Pope Francis to mock “Renaissance Princes”. There is no way God or Christianity have “changed” and the Holy Ghost is now, under the stewardship of Francis, changing the course after the first 2000 years of introductory experiment.
The next years are going to see a polarisation in the Catholic camp: as those who love to call themselves (vaguely) Conservative but do not care for the conservation of Catholic values “embrace” Francis’ devastation of Catholic tradition and abetting of perversion, a minority of people who really care will continue to say it as it is, in the serene knowledge that Truth is unchangeable, and those who try to tamper with it will pay a terrible, terrible price.
As to this blog, I invite you to read its headlines: tradidi quod et accepi, and Catholicism without compromise. They will continue to be the guiding lights of this effort; and if one day the Bishop of Rome dances a passionate Tango with his buddy Monsignor Ricca in the middle of St. Peter’s square, or produces himself in a dance dressed in a pink tutu, I will first ask myself what my great-grandmothers (in my case, the grandmothers would be more than sufficient) would have thought of it; and what Pope Pius X, or Pope Pius XII, or Padre Pio would have made of the event; and what they would have thought – you know perfectly well what they would have thought – I will also think, and there you have it.
Stuff “change”, stuff the new times, stuff the fashion and the bollocks of an unbelieving clergy only interested in popularity and short-term quiet. The mere idea the new times could not be lived with the instruments of the old ones is the very core of Modernism.
Thanks, but no, thanks. Give me the old religion, and may the Lord give me and us the force to bear whatever price for our faithfulness we may be called, one day, to pay.
With this video, Michael Voris reaches a new height of political incorrectness. What is more surprising, he quotes from the great, Venerable Fulton Sheen to explain his argument.
This video must be a consolation to all those among you who, when they talk about religious issues with friends or family, are called “hateful”. I personally always thank when people call me “intolerant”, but perhaps I should start thanking them when they call me “hateful”, too?
Be it as it may, of one thing I can bear testimony: those who react to every complaint about how our Christian values are going to the dogs with vague platitudes about the necessity to show how joyful we are, be understanding of every perversion, and inclusive of every scum, do not care two straws for the values they are supposed to protect.
A post – very recently published – about Padre Pio also brings this point home: this was a man unable to keep his calm – better: to refrain from explosions of anger – when either communism or homosexuality were touched.
But what a great saint he was.
Truly: if you love, you hate.
Let us imagine (it is theoretical; but not so much) that someone came to me saying that he is thinking of converting to Catholicism, but in light of the most recent developments he is now in doubt whether to continue on this road.
What I would say to him? Would I be able to give to him some words of encouragement? Would I suggest to him that he goes on along the chosen path and toward conversion to a Church led by the likes of Archbishop Mueller?
Yes of course I would. I would in the most decided of ways. Let me explain why, so that the one or other friendly Proddie thinking of taking the best decision of his (eternal) life may not be tempted into falling back into heresy and, perhaps, perdition.
Out of my sleeve, the arguments I would use are described below. I invite the readers to add other arguments in order to help our imaginary (but not so much) friend.
As the need to help this imaginary (but not so much) friend might be rather pressing and I have no time to revisit my books on the matter, si sbalio mi corigerete… I would, therefore, argument as follows:
1. The Church is the Truth. The Church (as the eternal institution, the Bride of the Lord) can simply not be separated from the Truth. You cannot think the Church as separated from being the Truth more than you could think of water as separated from being wet.
2. “Church” is a very complex word. The building where the mass takes place is called “church”, but the members of that parish are also called “church”. A family (even a nuclear family) is called “church” (ecclesia domestica). A diocese is also called “church”. The faithful in that diocese are called church, too. The different rites of Catholicism are all called “churches”. Then there is the Church who is, on earth, the visible manifestation of the Bride of Christ. But it does not stop there, as Church is intended, in its ultimate meaning, as a heavenly organisation. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus refers to this last one. To belong to the Church means to belong to the heavenly Bride of Christ, not to agree to the more or less heretical blabbering of bad priests, bad bishops and bad popes.
3. The Church representatives are (here on earth) not always right, and at times plain wrong. I have given my take about infallibility, and reading the blog post might help the one or the other. But the fact that we must always, always keep in mind is that the Truth that the Church is is not less true because God allows her representatives (as he did Judas) to wound her. This is not the protestant church down the street, whose raison d’être for the faithful ceases the moment they stop agreeing with the pastor.
4. The Church has the right to our obedience even when we are forced to disobey to her representatives. If the bishop asks me to participate to some Friday service of some Muslims, I say “no” and don’t care two straws if he says to me that I must do it to promote ecumenism, or to give testimony of my Catholicism, or for “peace and understanding”, or because he orders it. The “first rule of the Italian army” applies: wrong orders are not executed. I do this, because I owe obedience to the Bride of Christ before I do to the bishop. As always, Archbishop Lefebvre explains this much better than I ever could.
5. The Church is not questioned, she is simply obeyed. As to her representative, the way they will be obeyed (or esteemed) will depend from the way they do their job. This is the reason why even among popes – as among bishops, etc. – some are considered wonderful, some very good, some so-so, some positively mediocre, and some unmitigated disasters. Still, Padre Pio’s saying still stands, that we must love the Church even if she kills us.
In my eyes, a person of prompt intellect and ripe understanding will draw from these arguments enough energy to not only weather the present storm, but be sufficiently prepared for a life of storms, as other one or two or three generations of this madness might be the lot the Lord has allotted to us, probably to punish us for our sins, and perhaps also so that we may train our virtues.
The fundamental step is, in my eyes, the abandonment of the purely Protestant thinking based on which an institution loses credibility if we happen to think their leaders are behaving badly.
Petrus did behave badly, though he recovered in the end. He had to be publicly rebuked by Paul, even, then Paul was no retiring wallflower, and did not suffer under clericalism.
The Church will be with me forever, and I will be with her forever. I will be faithful to her until my last breath, and if the Pope begins to dance in his tutu on St. Peter Square to promote understanding among the people this will not change my allegiance to the Church. Not-one-bit. It would be better for me to die of a horrible death before reaching that point, than to live 120 years of purest unalloyed happiness after deciding that I do not need the Bride.
I hope this helps.
The UK Bishops are stupid because they can’t think with their brains.
This is the most gentle thing that can be said of them: stupid, cretins, morons.
If I wanted to say the truth, I’d say: atheists, or cowards, or heretics, or prostitutes, or rather all of these things together.
To persuade yourself of the plague represented by those who should at least aspire to be our shepherds – they don’t want that, of course; they want to be our friends, or good uncles, which is very different – you only need to look here. After which I think that – after having been severely tested by that man, the “nuanced” bloke – to shut up is, by far, a worse sin than to speak out.
I am, very frankly, sick and tired of this bunch of cretins making a mockery of Christianity day in, and day out. It makes me feel ashamed of being a Catholic – which I am not, of course -. It makes me feel that they are ashamed of Jesus, ashamed of Catholicism, ashamed of saying what they stand for.
This kind of crap reminds me of the slimy attempts of Scientology to recruit people: trying to leverage on people’s dissatisfaction with their own lives, without actually telling what they are about. More importantly, this kind of crap tells me our bishops, very simply, don’t believe in God.
Can you imagine, for a second or in a joke, Padre Pio recurring to stupid photos like that one in the link, saying absolutely nothing – but which are ideal, though, if you are afraid of Christian imagery – to encourage lapsed Catholics to go back to the fold? How can it be that every one of the thousands and thousands of blogs maintained by simple Catholics is full of images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, & Co., and our disgraceful bishops’ effort must look as if it had come out of a politically correct Procter & Gamble marketing seminar? Even in the post-Vatican II times I grew up in, no priest was ever ashamed of putting a santino – a small sacred image – in your hands when they saw you praying in church. A simple gesture, saying what they believe in. If they would give people elegantly shaped brochures with more or less elaborate crap but no Christian imagery, everyone would know that whatever they are trying to sell you is nothing to do with Christ. Exactly!
Can someone explain to me to what, or Whom, a lapsed Catholic should feel encouraged to go back to, if the message is not brought to him? Would I believe someone telling me to believe in something he doesn’t even have the gut to show me? Have you ever seen Christian evangelisation without Christ? What kind of cowardice is this? No, let me rephrase it: what kind of idiocy is this? No, let me rephrase it: what kind of atheism is this?
The Church in England is led by such tools, such unspeakable cretins, that to think them cretins – rather than willing accomplices of the secular society, and prostitutes of the secular world whose approval they so ardently desire – is really the most charitable thing that can be said about them, and I frankly feel a bit of a Pollyanna in calling them so.
The stench is becoming unbearable and – as almost always in these last fifty years – Rome sleeps; or travels; or talks.
The UK bishops are wolves in sheep’s clothes. Particularly that one, the leader of the pack, the “nuanced” one.
It seems to me that to our bishops, with possibly no exception at least in England, Christianity is nothing more than a convenient excuse to, as they say in Italy, strofinarsi alle gonne del Potere, “rub themselves to the Power’s rocks”. It seems unthinkable to me that in I do not say Christian Europe, but even the Diocese of Sodom – if such had ever existed; which it didn’t, as Sodom was destroyed and everyone in it killed for reasons I’d like some UK bishop to explain to me if he can – the local bishop could have expressed himself in favour of so-called civil partnerships, under the – I am being charitable again – drug- or alcohol-fueled impression that they be “not sexual”. In Christian times, one would have been burnt at the stake for much, much less, and deservedly so. Alas, at times I wonder whether we are living in Christian times. Our bishops certainly aren’t.
This is why I tell you that the UK bishops are stupid: because the most stupid, or blindest part of me still refuses to see that they are, en bloc, sold to the enemy, and calling themselves Christian only as an excuse for a life of privilege, ego-gratification and personal influence. To them, Christ and the Blessed Virgin are embarrassments they try not to mention, and do not even show when they ask people – which they do just because they somehow have to; at Christmas and Easter at least – to go back to Him.
I am a wretched sinner, and I can’t think without a certain sense of discomfort of what might become of me if I were to be struck dead, this very moment, unwarned and perhaps unprepared; but one thing I can tell you: I wouldn’t swap my cards with those of any English bishop you’d care to mention. Not one.
Truly, I am sick and tired.
God bless the SSPX, The FSSP, all the good blogging priests and all those good priests in England and Wales – and elsewhere; think France! – who carry on in the midst of a hierarchy sabotaging their efforts every day, and making the work of Satan. Non praevalebunt, I know; but Lord, it sends my adrenaline levels to the moon.
If it’s hard for me to bear, just think how hard it must be for the good priests.
( You’ll have to copy and paste this, I am afraid. And believe me, you want to switch the audio off….).
From Gloria.tv, a video of the body of Padre Pio after its controversial exhumation in 2008. As you can see from the video, the body is in an impressive state of conservation. As far as I know, there are no ways known to man to preserve a corpse in such a way, for such a long time and a simple look at the video will persuade you that no embalming – not attempted, as well-known from the filmed inhumation and, also filmed, sealing of the tomb – could ever reach such results.
As the seals have been opened in front of the cameras, and th estate of the tomb perfectly corresponded to the state of the tomb filmed by the original inhumation, there can be no doubt that the largely incorrupt body shown in 2008 is the original, with no tricks attempted by anyone.
I am obviously far from saying that this alone is proof of the existence of God – which can be reached in a purely intellectual way without any need for Padre Pio’s body anyway -. Still, if I were an atheist these images would give me much to think about.
I have posted before going to sleep the video of Father (I’ll still call him that way, as long as he is) Corapi. I would now like, after some hours of sleep, to write a thing or two about this.
Let me say beforehand that I continue to believe in his innocence from the allegations, for the following reasons:
1) a priest should be considered, by anyone, innocent until proved guilty. This is valid even if the priest in question is a very successful preacher with an entrepreneurial hunch. I am sorry to say that this is, googling around, not really the case. You try that happening to you and then tell me how it feels.
2) this move seems, among other things, motivated from the desire to be able to defend himself seriously against the lady accusing him. When Father Corapi is John Corapi again, the trial will be – if any takes place – a civil one, and then the lady must come up with something to substantiate her accusation, or shut up, or be massacred in court. Corapi says he has “forgiven” her, but even in the Papal States you got forgiveness before getting on the scaffold, so his forgiveness is certainly not one with any legal effect.
Let me also say again, before every discussion, that the current way the Church deals with priests accused of misconduct is a damn shame. This is the stupidity of the pedophile years all over again, in the contrary direction. It is a mistery to me how a young man can now decide to pursue his vocation, unless his vocation is to have his name and reputation destroyed at the command of the first person with some grievance against him. This is just a disgrace and I truly hope that this senseless praxis will change soon. Read here what not Corapi, but the bishop emeritus of Corpus Christ, Gracida, thinks on the matter. What is happening here is pure madness.
But after saying that, I must say that many questions remain open and paint a picture that is, to put it mildly, not entirely flattering for Father Corapi. Let us see them.
1) Priesthood. Here is not clear yet whether he will be defrocked; whether he has himself asked to go; and what his order thinks about the matter. When one leaves the priesthood himself (by far the most probable answer) I am sorry but I do not think that this can be downplayed as “a major change”. A move is a major change, or falling in love, or getting a new job. Holy Orders are not something one takes and leaves according to convenience. Last time I looked, to leave the priesthood was not a choice but a grave sin and a shame and the fact that the Church has after V II accepted to make of this a current praxis doesn’t make the matter less grave. Sacraments (and the duties that go with them; obedience, say) cannot be disregarded because a “major change” is now more convenient. If he is going to “defrock himself” as it appears this is very, very bad.
2) Publishing empire. I wonder whether the reaction would have been different if he had not had a well-oiled publishing operation. Corapi clearly always had an entrepreneurial hunch and I find this not bad at all; but if the publishing empire goes before the clerical habit then yes, I find this entirely bad. Let us also consider that, beside the obvious talent of the man, his success was in part due to his being a priest, with the authority and holy orders that go with that. He cannot think that things will stay the same with the only difference of “John Corapi” written on the DVD boxes.
3) The black sheep. In the simple world where I live, one claims his innocence or he confesses his guilt. If he is innocent, he should avoid self-commiseration and self-styling as a victim. I don’t like black sheep. I want my sheep white. I also don’t like the smell of “we are a group apart” that this seems to imply. To play renegades should be forbidden to everyone older than seventeen.
4) The half words. At times, the message is outright creepy. 1) He accepts what has “transpired”. What is this? Does this imply some imprudence, or inappropriate behaviour from him? Is he hiding something that will come out soon? 2) He “perhaps deserves” to be thrown out. Really? Really really? Why the fuss then?
5) Clearly the biggest problem here: the pride. We are all human and I am the first one to say that I truly like the though guys like Corapi. He clearly sees himself as the victim of an injustice and gets in reaction mode. All fine in itself, if you ask me; he is certainly not supposed to be slaughtered without defending himself, and I like a combative priest like the next man. But at the price of his habit? At the price of leaving the priesthood? Pride is playing him a very bad trick here. And pride it is, as by simply shutting up his reputation would have remained forever intact among his very many followers, which is much more than every priests on the planet risks, by the idiotic system currently in place, every day.
I have never thought that Father Corapi was a “living saint”, as I think that “living saints” are very rare. But I did think that he was a great man besides being a brilliant mind and a sincere Christian, and am now left wondering what tricks economic interests or, more probably, pride and desire to get even with the lady accusing him are playing to him. I will not make a cruel comparison with Padre Pio, a man who was accused of the same behaviour, and of other horrible things besides, and accepted years of humiliations – and a life of always rehashed slanders afterwards – in perfect obedience and perfect humility. I’d never be able to do it myself, and I will not say to Father Corapi that Padre Pio is the standard. But what I would ask of a priest, is that he defends himself and does whatever he can compatibly with his remaining a priest. To say that this is “not possible” is to negate one’s role as a priest in the first place. Priests are victims, not heroes.
The comparison with Padre Pio, or Fulton Sheen, might be too hard. But the comparison with the thousands and thousands of priests who get slandered, threatened, insulted and perhaps harmed or killed in many parts of the world, bearing a heavy cross that the world doesn’t even see, can certainly be drawn.
I cannot see any of them reacting in this way. I also cannot see any Father Zuhlsdorf, or Father Finigan, reacting in this way.
A line has been crossed here. A sacramental one. And this is not even a matter of weakness. If he had said “I have been week and have been with a hooker” this would have been bad, but merely a weakness, not a rebellion. If he had said “I have been overcome by stress and have started taking too many pills, so that now I don’t even know whether I am a drug addict again” this would have been bad, but one would have understood the pressure, and the snares of the devil.
But this here seems to me cold-blooded rebellion to his habit, an all-pervading desire to continue to be the hero of the masses or, much more probably, to defend his name and reputation at any cost. But this is self-defeating, as one cannot defend his reputation in ways that must perforce damage it.
Father Corapi is and remains a brilliant mind. Many of the quotes in my “quotable Catholic” section come from him. They will remain there, make no mistake. He will have my prayers, but certainly not my support in his new activity. And our prayers he truly needs, because in him a brilliant mind and a sincere heart fight against clearly present self-destructive tendencies, and an ego that wants too much. If he thinks that after this move his situation will improve he is, in my eyes, sadly mistaken and a slow journey to self-destruction, sorry as I am to say this, appears to me a more likely occurrence. Satan is clearly circling around a good soul, whispering in his hear sweet words of celebrity, intact reputation, adoring crowds, if he just…… abandons his habit. Abandon his habit! One is almost reminded of Doktor Faust. Best wishes to him, and let’s keep him in our prayers.
He wants, I think, to become another Michael Voris. Perfectly orthodox of course, but free to talk and to defend himself. But there’s a fundamental difference between Michael Voris and John Corapi.
Michael Voris never left the priesthood.
Browsing the net, I have found that this rather impressive news had already been published by the Corriere della Sera last November. The link is not accessible without logging in, therefore I will link to this for those of you blessed with a knowledge of the most useless, but most beautiful language on the planet.
The information is very clear and rather complete, and it is improbable that the Corriere della Sera would risk a blunder on such a matter. It would therefore appear that the prayer has been written by don Nicola Bux, an advisor of the CDF, and that it has already obtained the imprimatur from Cardinal Bagnasco, the head of the italian Bishop’s Conference.
It also transpires from the article ( I didn’t know it) that Rai Uno has broadcast a TV series about the life of Pius XII, obviously criticised by the professional holocaust-whinos among those of the Jewish persuasions. Being Rai Uno rather conservative, still clearly Catholic and with the best links with the Vatican, it seems clear to me that the work was meant to “prepare” the Italians to a beatification that it is now difficult not to consider probable in the next few years. In addition, it seems even more difficult to believe that all preparatory work would be made without at least a “safe” miracle, whose existence has been wildly rumoured but never confirmed.
I do hope that Pope Benedict will find the courage to proceed with the beatification of this great, great Pope, choosing – as he must in this case – to weather the storm caused by the liberal, the ignorant and some of the above-mentioned “older brothers and sisters”. A political decision, of course, by which the Holy Father will have to weight the positive and – if any 😉 – negative effects.
May I remind you on this occasion that, on the day of Pope Pacelli’s death, the great saint Padre Pio had a beatific vision of the Pope in paradise, surrounded by angels, which went on for hours. Padre Pio himself never made a mystery of such an occurrence and for the rest of his life showed the utmost certainty about the holy Pope being in Paradise. It goes without saying that the devout followers of Padre Pio – yours truly among them – will, due to the extraordinary power and duration of this vision, find it difficult not to be as persuaded about Pope Pius XII’s immediate access to Paradise as the great Saint himself was.
Let us hope and pray. It seemed clear to me, though, that it is now only a matter of “when”, not “if”.
Following a very interesting intervention of Schmenz in reply to a former post, I spent some time looking for some credible description of how a Catholic is to react to a decree of canonisation or beatification. This particularly in view of the upcoming beatification (and one day, perhaps, canonisation) of the late Pope JP II, an event which will clearly excite both an oceanic wave of enthusiasm and a smaller, but noticeable one of dismay.
I have already made clear that in my eyes the worth as a Blessed of John Paul II is to be seen in his saintly character, not in his working as a Pope. This is nothing new or wrong as a beatification or canonisation isn’t, nor could it ever be, a seal of approval of political action.
Now let us see what the Catholic Encyclopedia says on the matter of canonisation.
1) There are two types of canonisation, formal and equivalent.
Formal canonization occurs when the cultus is prescribed as an explicit and definitive decision, after due judicial process and the ceremonies usual in such cases. Equivalent canonization occurs when the pope, omitting the judicial process and the ceremonies, orders some servant of God to be venerated in the Universal Church; this happens when such a saint has been from a remote period the object of veneration, when his heroic virtues (or martyrdom) and miracles are related by reliable historians, and the fame of his miraculous intercession is uninterrupted
2) It is evident that modern canonisations are all formal ones; that they are the object of a prescription; that the decision is explicit and definitive. That they, as such, bind every Catholic. In matters of canonisation, “ours is not to reason why“. This is only logical, as the nature itself of the canonisation is to give the faithful certainty, not hope, that the canonised person is in Heaven.
3) Whether the decree of canonisation is an expression of Papal Infallibility (as, says the Catholic encyclopedia, most theologians think) or not, the result of the canonisation is evidently not less binding, and this is what interests us here. When the Church formally decrees that Titius or Caius are Saint Titius and Saint Caius, every Catholic is bound to accept this as part and parcel of his Catholic belief. Still, this mandatory belief does not stretch to the man in question having done everything right and not even to his having had heroic virtue; what every catholic is bound to believe is merely that the canonised person is in heaven.
Very different is the case of Beatification. The Catholic Encyclopedia again:
This general agreement of theologians as to papal infallibility in canonization must not be extended to beatification, not withstanding the contrary teaching of the canonical commentary known as “Glossa” […] Canonists and theologians generally deny the infallible character of decrees of beatification, whether formal or equivalent, since it is always a permission, not a command;
Clearly, here the Church is not saying “you have to believe”, but “you are allowed to believe”. You can therefore – as long as no canonisation intervenes – refuse to believe that the one or other person declared Blessed is in heaven in the same way as you can, say, not believe in the Fatima apparitions.There can be no question of infallibility, because there is no question of prescription in the first place.
In practical terms, this means that a Catholic is allowed to question the prevalent opinion that, say, John Paul II is in heaven but is not allowed to question the prescriptive decree that, say, Padre Pio is.
The truth (very well-known to Padre Pio, to Saint Therese and to countless others) is that Christ did not make Christianity easy and plainly said so. He made very clear that we, redeemed by His cross at the price of suffering, shame and death must be ready, whenever asked, to pay whatever suffering, shame and death He in His wisdom will want to allot to us. We are saved by His Cross, but on the condition of being willing to carry, whenever asked, the cross that He will pose on our shoulder. He took the Cross first, we take it from Him in the measure inscrutably chosen by Him. He loved us carrying the Cross, we love Him by carrying His cross in the measure requested from us. Our love for the Lord is not only in enjoying His gifts, but also in sharing His sufferance. We can’t take the pleasant part and just pretend that the unpleasant one will disappear or that it has never existed. If you love, you suffer with the beloved. No amount of self-delusion will take the chalice – lovingly prepared for us, so that we may lovingly share His sufferance – away from us.
Jesus said: “If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”. He didn’t say “If any man will follow me, let him express whatever wish he has and believe in it and I will invariably deliver his wildest dreams”. And what he said, he said publicly, emphatically directing his attention to the general public around him. This is clearly a public warning that even with Redemption paid for us and Salvation in our reach, it won’t be a walk in the park just because we wish it.
This was, once, common Catholic knowledge. The suffering of saintly lives was stressed and honoured. Suffering was constantly remembered in daily prayers (“…. to thee do we send our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears”); the Passion was known to every faithful, literate or not, in minute details through the Stations of the Cross; the Seven Sorrows of Mary had the clear aim of uniting ourselves with Mary’s and Christ’s suffering, and so on. In a word, the reality of suffering was not just wished away and subsequently ignored, but was embraced as a way to grow, and an extremely efficient one at that. Not much of this has remained today. Today, you go to a Mass with a liberal priest and he is even ashamed to remind his audience that yes, they’ll have to give back the spoon one day.
It is better to say the one or other charitable word to the people around us who might happen to regurgitate erroneous concepts, than to have them utterly crushed when the test, invariably, arrives.
Once upon a time, Fridays were days of abstinence, that is: days on which no meat could be eaten. The practice has now been largely restricted to the Fridays of Lent, but a conservative Catholic – as you, dear reader, hopefully are or are slowly becoming – could do no wrong in thinking of reintroducing these time-honoured practices for himself even in the absence of an obligation.
In the end, many of us want – to put it bluntly and without fake gentleness – the Church to come back to what it was before Vatican II. Then we can, a bit at a time, also try to let it be so in our own private existence. If the Catholics in the pew start to walk the walk, in time the vatican will decide that at this point it is better to talk the talk…..
You can read here the longish take of the Catholic Encyclopedia on abstinence and fasting. Abstinence is not really difficult and not really a sacrifice. I have found that for me (a single, and very forgetful since I can remember) the biggest challenge is to remember that it is Friday before I eat my lunch. “How can you forget what day it is?” You may ask. Well I can do it very well and I can’t even count the times I have been answered “tomorrow is Saturday” at work…. :(. Apart from that, it is not really difficult, mainly requiring (probably, only for singles) nothing more than a minimum of planning in your fridge administration (after Friday comes the weekend, where you might eat out rather often; therefore a Tuesday or Wednesday meat purchase should be weighted against the probability of eating it within Thursday or it might stay in your fridge for a while, which is sub-optimal to say the least). As in almost everything, if we persevere until we have acquired a habit, the habit will take care of us.
We are called to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Christ. Abstinence is a small, rather easy, but frequent way to do this. It is another little brick with which we build the edifice of our salvation. It will greatly contribute to keep us away from gluttony (ah! Gluttony!! When was last time you heard this word mentioned?! Nowadays it must be McDonald’s fault, isn’t it?), help us to better remember our Lord’s sacrifice and, as a bonus, will probably keep us in better shape.
I have frequently noticed that one of the biggest differences between Catholicism (properly understood) and Protestant ecclesial communities is that whilst the latter may tend to some sort of easy “emotionalism”, the (traditional) Catholic path gives a great importance to habits, to the small little things one does regularly. These little practices may not seem such a big deal taken individually, but when considered in their entirety they become a solid railway upon which we base our journey to salvation. From the litanies to crossing oneself when walking past a church, from praying the Rosary (very important, this!) to the devotions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; from the novenas to the use of holy water, all these seemingly not life-changing small activities contribute to the building of our spiritual edifice.
Gutta cavat lapidem. Even a small gesture, repeated faithfuly again and again, can go a long way to keep us away from serious trouble and will, on that fateful day of the redde rationem, have a great weight on the right side of the scale.
If you are not doing it already, you may want to seriously consider to reintroduce Friday abstinence in your life. Perhaps you might want to give it a try tomorrow?
If we had asked Padre Pio about the opportunity of abolishing the abstinence on Fridays, I wonder whether he would have remained calm. If we had told him that all these things are meaningless relics of the past, as in reality only our oh so emotionally charged relationship with Jesus is all that count, I think he most certainly wouldn’t have.
It might be good to give it a try for a while. It was good enough for Pius XII’s Church. Really, it can’t be bad for Benedict XVI’s one.