Who will win this battle? Clearly, a rhetorical question.
From the excellent Denzinger-Bergoglio, I attach their long list of ante litteram condemnations of Francis’ blasphemies, heresies and outright socialist bovine excreements from the very mouth of the last of the great Popes.
You notice here an extremely strident contrast not only between an intelligent and pious Catholic and a stupid and corrupted Socialist, but also the difference between coherent thought and off-the-cuff, self-contradicting anarchy.
I smile when I read article attributing to Francis the willful adherence to philosophical positions of the past. The man has no philosophical approach at all: firstly because he is too stupid for that, and secondly because he is too ignorant for that.
His populist rhetoric, his relentless enviro-madness, his attacks to the sacraments, his insults to Christ and the Blessed Virgin, his very confusion about the difference between the Trinity and the false god of the Muslims are not the result of profound philosophical study. They are the same rubbish arrogant, uneducated idiots think and profess every day. And they are spouted with the same abundance of self-contradictions your typical illiterate peasant, or your typical self-righteous prostitute, would not be able to avoid.
There’s nothing educated or in any way (even wrong way) “lofty” in what Francis says. You could have taken any semi-illiterate peasant from any field in Guatemala, and the “theology” would have been exactly the same. The man is simply too ignorant to think in philosophical terms, too stupid to think right even in simple things, and too stupid to notice it. It is a farce of a pope, running a farce of a papacy.
Mock him. Laugh at him. Bury him under a tidal wave of ridicule.
Because of you, and by God’s grace, someone might wake up from his stupor.
I have read around – I suspect, from the usual V II crowd – that repression of heresy doesn’t really work, as soon after the death of the last “repressive” Pope they were everywhere in just a few years. I found the reasoning so wrong I need to write a post of explanation, in case the argument should emerge in your own discussions with friends, on the Internet, etc.
in my eyes, that repression of Modernism works fine is abundantly proven by the fact that for more than 50 years Modernists were absolutely nowhere as far as mainstream Catholicism is concerned. Their work was limited to some isolated theologians, who were promptly censored or condemned, and – presumably- to a subterranean current of followers which, being underground and therefore silent, could not be easily spotted, much less attacked.
Still, the work of the good Popes of the past was so good, that even in such a situation they did not hesitate in keeping a very strict control over what was happening. It is said Pope Pius XII had put his own “plants” in the major Catholic universities and seminaries, exactly in order to flush out, as much as he could, even the heretics working in the shade. Seriously, how anyone could do better than this is beyond me; and whether it worked, of course it worked!
Still, heresy in the Church is like the weed in a huge field. You can do as much as you want to eradicate the weed, but it will pop up again and again, and it will never be possible to eradicate it completely. Even constant attention will not lead to the problem’s extinction; but neglect will soon cause the problem to explode.
This is exactly what happened when John XXIII was elected. Suddenly, there was no real interest in the extirpation on of weed anymore. As a result, the weed started to grow at a prodigious rate, and in just a few years took over the field. To say the policy of the former Popes didn’t work merely because the following Popes refused to care for the extirpation of the weed is to put things completely upside down.
Repression of heresy works. It works, in fact, beautifully. If after Pope Pius XII we had had Popes who care for the extirpation of weed, the field would be exactly in the same beautiful shape now as it was in the Fifties. Of course, we would still have heretics working in the dark. But this has always been the case.
Those who say the Popes of the first half of the XX Century were not effective against heresy are like those who blame the good gardener who left the garden spotless for the mess caused by his successors, and for the weed now growing everywhere, undisturbed.
Don’t blame the good gardener. Blame the bad ones.
It seems the only way left to defend Francis and let him look like a halfway normal Pope instead of a dangerous liberal Neo-modernist, populist, appeasing moderniser is to deny that he is worse than he really is, and to infer from this that he must, then, be good.
At the end of May, Francis excommunicated a mad priest. A pope defrocking and or excommunicating a mad priest is not new or strange, and it is questionable whether it is “news”. For some predictable reason – like the necessity to give Francis a varnish of “tough” orthodoxy for the benefit of the gullible – the news has been echoed, several months after the fact, by the Press after the 12,000 word disaster, prompting desperate cries of “look! He is not the Antichrist!” from the equally desperate defenders of Circus Bergoglio.
The same happens with the nuns, or with the strange idea of Francis “changing the teaching of the Church”.
Well no, Francis is not a mad nun – though Nazi Pelosi seems almost to think he is; but actually not even she does – and it will always be easily possible to find a mad nun telling us that, to her, Francis is not good enough. But this does not prove absolutely anything beside the disquieting fact the mad nun considers the reflection whether the man could be, in fact, good enough a legitimate one, worthy of a statement or a video or an interview or an assertion that he might be “teachable” after all.
Similarly, the assertion that Francis “has not changed Church teaching” means perfectly nothing. The topics about which Francis has caused the biggest stir – abortion and homosexuality – are clearly part of the universal and ordinary Magisterium. The bishop of Rome couldn't change them at all, so Francis not saying “as per midnight new rules will apply” doesn't even begin to be an argument to defend his alleged orthodoxy.
A Pope cannot change Church doctrine. What a bad Pope can do, though, is to downplay or sabotage or subvert important parts of it, and put fluffy sentimentalism and populist waffle of all sorts in its place. This has been a popular sport at the Vatican in these last 50+ years; but clearly, Francis wins the contest hands down and puts every one of his predecessors easily in the shade. In the hit parade for the worst pope since V II he has already left even the 15 years of Paul VI's pontificate easily behind himself, and he a … bishop of Rome only six months. Just imagine what he will do in ten or fifteen years.
The devastation caused by this man is now apparent, but there are still those who believe the entire planet is stupid and doesn't understand, for the thirtieth time, what Francis wanted to say. Some of them now begin to say that, perhaps, it might be a mistake to cause an earthquake a week with his oh so orthodox interventions; still, that dozens of interventions show a clear pattern of thinking and behaviour does not enter their elevated and perceptive minds. No. We just don't get the man, that's all.
You see, Francis is a sly, cunning man. A genius he is not, a Jesuit he clearly is. He knows how the church works, and how the V II crowd thinks. Therefore, he goes on with his work of destruction, comfortable in the knowledge that he will never be short of clericalist cheerleaders, whilst looking oh so good in the eyes of the enemies of Christ. The orthodox Catholics, on the other hand, he feels free to offend in that humble, non-judgmental way of his, and calls them various names, among which “obsessed”, “Restorationists”, “Disciplinarians”, and “Pelagians” come to mind, not to mention “hypocrites” and “cowards”.
Yes, Francis is against the ordination of women. Of course he is, this is Catholic dogma. Yes, he will defrock or excommunicate a priest every now and then, when there is really no alternative. But this proves exactly nothing concerning the main problem of Francis, the daily downplaying, sabotaging or subverting Catholic teaching in his quest for popularity and approval.
It's like wanting to defend Che Guevara stating that he wasn't Stalin after all.
It says little, and it proves nothing.
“I fear the Greeks, even when they bear gifts” is the literal translation of the brilliant Virgil’s verse.
In our case, the Trojan Horse we must pay attention to is the allegedly ventilated canonisation of Pope Pius XII.
Having read about Padre Pio’s hours-long vision of our beloved Pastor Angelicus in heaven the day that great Pope died, I would not be among those who cry scandal and heresy if such a decision were to be taken. Canonisations are infallible anyway, so one has to either believe the Sea is vacant or believe they are true.
I would, in fact, be overjoyed; not because of the news that Pius XII is in heaven – Padre Pio had no doubts, and this is good enough for me every day of the week – but because of the obvious repercussions within the Church. At first sight, this appears a great gift made to conservative Catholics and, clearly, to us Traditionalists.
On the other hand, I offer the following reflections:
I fear an homosexuality-condoning, liturgy-massacring, heresy-flirting, sodomite-buddying, humbleness-professing, canon-law trampling Jesuit even when he bears gifts. Actually, I fear him particularly when he bears gift.
You can call it mistrust if you want to. I call it life experience, and sound reasoning.
I also wonder whether this rumour has not been started – by the Bishop of Rome, or someone near to him – to persuade the growing phalanx of well awake Catholics to tone done the criticism a bit. If you behave, Uncle Jorge will give you a chocolate cookie. If not… He will have to get rid of Summorum Pontificum, and it will be all your fault, you naughty boys…
Thirdly, I wonder whether this might not be the novocaine the dentist gives to the patient before he starts to get to work in earnest. Imagine a total or substantial killing of Summorum Pontificum coupled with the announcement of the canonisation.
What now, skipper?
Anyway, relata refero. It might be all rubbish, or it might be the Bishop is thinking of a Beatification.
We will have to wait and see how this pans out.
In the meantime, I will continue to fear the Greeks.
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul….
“I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.
“A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?'”
Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, future Pope Pius XII, 1931.
Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I hope there will be noise. Here there will be noise, I’m quite sure. Here in Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that. But I want you to make yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out … if they don’t, they become an NGO, and the Church cannot be an NGO. May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of you create a bit of confusion afterwards. That’s my advice. Thanks for whatever you can do.
Francis, Bishop of Rome, 2013.
What the great Pope of the past feared, my dear friends, we are already living with the disgraceful Bishop of Rome of the present.
Together with the new Encyclical, the Holy Father today announced the canonisation of both John Paul II and John XXIII. In the case of the latter, the Pope waived the usual requirement for a second miracle.
My limited understanding of these things tells me that canonisations are a matter of infallibility; therefore, the day the Pope decides to canonise Annibale Bugnini, or Pope Leo X, I will shut up and believe they are both in Heaven. So much easier is to get accustomed to the idea of the two men slated for canonisation, whose personal piety and saintliness is not questioned. The matter of infallibility also has as corollary that the Holy Ghost will strike Pope Francis dead if John XXIII is not in heaven, which in my book is guarantee enough the Holy Father has read the file with a certain attention.
In fact, I consider such canonisations, in themselves, very encouraging for the likes of us, because whilst great Saints of the past come to us with an aura of granitic heroism, the limits of the earthly decisions and actions of the two new saints are very evident to everyone with some attitude to thinking, particularly concerning the Koran-kissing, Buddha-on-the-altar, Pray-with-infidels John Paul II. If, therefore, one can commit such impious acts and still manage – after suitable contrition, no doubt – to land straight to Heaven without a more or less painful and prolonged stop in Purgatory, there is some bigger hope for us not so pious, but less sacrilegious sinners to, at least, avoid hell.
What is not only bad, but of course very bad are two intended consequences of these canonisations.
1. The V II crowd will desperately try to smuggle personal saintliness for the canonisation of V II itself; which is bollocks, but just what the Argentinian doctor ordered. Can't wait for the beatification of all the VII heavyweights from Rahner to Meisner.
2. Pope Venerable Pius XII is still waiting – I mean, he is not waiting; but we are; though in a sense we aren't, either – for the beatification, for which leaked information published on this blog state the beatification mass prayer is ready, a clear sign the procedure has been concluded. It strikes one as odd – but again, also as normal – that the Pastor Angelicus is forgotten in this way. I suspect his old habit of praying (and counting! counting!! I kid you not!) rosaries sits badly with the current Pontiff; besides the fact that Pope Pius XII was, clearly, very much the “Renaissance Prince”…
What, therefore, these canonisations mean for the likes of us? They mean that we must, in our little circle of half-Catholics, agnostics and utter infidels, explain that not being canonised does not mean not to be in Heaven; that the soul in Heaven is past any care whether he is canonised or not, much less when; and that the decision to canonise a saint is also a political one (because a Pope can decide a certain canonisation is not opportune, for example, whilst another one is). From such decision we can see, for example, which direction a Pope wants to give to his reign, but not who was the saintlier man, much less the better Pope.
Let us rejoice, then, at the news of two very questionable Popes (I mean obviously: questionable qua Popes) in Heaven. I wish heaven to people I strongly dislike, I will have no difficulty whatever in exulting at he canonisation of two saintly men.
The obviously planned canonisation of Vatican II is, of course, a different matter altogether. Actually, the canonisations call for more frequent cannon work, as you can be sure the pansies will now stage a full scale program of celebration.
Thinking of which, yours truly is even tempted to think the decision to proceed to these new canonisations has been precipitated by the utter indifference with which the Catholic world has (not) greeted the anniversary of V II; an indifference calling for measures which, from a purely political point of view, reek of desperation. As if two, or twenty, canonisations could make right what is wrong.
Vatican II must die, and die will it one day.
In the meantime, let us rejoice. They made it straight, we can make it in instalments.
Pope Pius XII, 1943.
Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.
Pope Francis, 2013.
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
I had to smile when I read on Rorate that Pope Francis is asking the Pontiff Emeritus to … complete the encyclical letter on Faith. I could almost hear the Pontiff says to the Emeritus, in tears, “aiutami, Benedetto!” after comparing the existing text with his own additions…
Don’t take me seriously, of course. It is normal for encyclical letters to be either written or co-written with expert theologians (when they are expert, or rather orthodox), and even a smart Pope like Pius XI asked his very own Cardinal Pacelli to write Mit Brennender Sorge. Nothing wrong or unusual per se.
Still, I had to smile…
Also interesting is the other news the Pope is working at an encyclical letter on (you guessed it) poverty, hopefully and allegedly intended in the proper way. Beati pauperes is clearly being hinted as a possible name for this effort.
We shall see, but I don’t think I’ll need to read any period of this twice, or will emerge from the reading tremendously enriched.
No great risk of controversy, either. Expect rather grilled tofu on soya sauce. I do not doubt the, ahem, simplest Catholics will be delighted, and the tofu blogosphere will be utterly, utterly delighted.
We shall see, and read. I do not doubt which of the two encyclicals will make the better reading.
If you have looked at the Video of Pope Francis visiting the Pontiff Emeritus yesterday, you could probably not avoid noticing how frail Benedict looked. If one thinks that only at the beginning of February he was still fully in charge, one begins to have a very clear picture of why his decision to abdicate was a wise one.
I never bought the story of the “Cross from which the Pope is not supposed to step down”. If the duty of a Pope had traditionally been to be frail and ineffective, the Popes would have been traditionally chosen among the oldest and sickest, in the hope their frailty goes on for as long as possible; after which, the next sick old man would have been picked up.
We all know this was never the case, and when it happened that old men were chosen for the office it was because a ” transition Pope” (that is: one of whom the Cardinals thought he would not occupy the position for very long) was considered preferable to a long impasse or a very public quarrel.
Please also consider the most famous Popes were men full of energy. Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Urban II, or Pius IX (to mention just a few) were Popes who would have never thought it would be better for them to be old, frail, and ultimately factually irrelevant. Popes were meant to reign, not to be put in a shop window (or a “Popemobile”) for all the world to see Catholicism is de facto without its guide.
Pope Pius XII was a Pope I continue to go back to, because it seems to me in most cases if you want to know how a Pope did it right you only have to look at what this great Pope did. Pope Pacelli was a man of such strong energy and iron will, that in one of the most difficult periods in the history of the Church he united in himself the functions of Pope and Secretary of State. Nothing less than full control was enough for him. This, my friends, is a Pope who sees his role rather differently than being looked at behind the bullet proof glass of a vehicle. In fact, Pope Pius XII thought of resigning when it became clear to him he could not reign properly anymore; and we are talking of a time where the Church had things so much under control – though challenges are always there – that the Western societies of the Fifties seem to belong to a different age than the present ones.
What does this tell us? It tells us that a Pope is supposed to function as a Pope, rather than as a televised ad for Catholicism. The “shop window Pope” is very well for the Curia, who can easily manipulate him; or for the local hierarchies, who can do as they please; but it's not good at all for the Church, who needs to be led by Peter, not by a bunch of Cardinals no one ever made Pope and avoiding, at least on this earth, every accountability.
It is not surprising that weak or ill Popes cause the Curia to become inefficient, or corrupt. What is surprising is that the same people who lament the Curia's inefficiency (or corruption) are perfectly fine with years and years of impotent Popes, unable to reign or, alas, even to think properly. They don't see that weak Popes, like weak Kings or Emperors, unavoidably lead to the supremacy of the shrewdest manipulators, to a total lack of accountability, and to an environment of savage intrigue, whereas strong Popes will, for good or for bad, steer the Barque where they want to, and be clearly seen as responsible for what they do.
If we are honest with ourselves, Benedict wouldn't have gone down in history with the nickname “the iron Pope” if he had been in best health every day of his Papacy. Still, the exercise of power always needs a certain amount of energy, of inner fire, of will to demand and command that builds on a certain amount of strength. This strenght is needed to cope with the adrenalines, the difficult decisions, the opposition, the punishments if must be, that the exercise of power invariably demands. Seeing Benedict in yesterday's video, it is abundantly clear this fire isn't there any longer.
An intelligent man, and a man who loves the Church, Benedict must have seen it. He had also seen from very near the quasi-Sede Vacante situation created in the last five, or more, years of his predecessor's reign. He has, I am certain, correctly assessed such a situation as damaging for the Church; and he has decided to draw the consequences from his own situation for the good of the Church, irrespective of the criticism he knew would be levelled at him.
Pope Benedict wasn't an Iron Pope, but he understood the need for the Church to be guided by a Pope, not by an unelected small group of shrewd manipulators. He was intelligent enough to see the issue, and unselfish enough to take a step he knew would be criticised. It pains me, it truly pains me to see a man able to take such a selfless decision, and being criticised for it.
If you ask me, this, what Pope Benedict showed us, was the true courage and the true humility; not the iron cross, the black shoes, and the absence of Mozzetta.
May the Almighty grant Benedict serene days of prayer on earth, and reward this gentle man for this beautiful act of courage.
It is very embarrassing to say “we got it so wrong we should all resign and apply for a job at McDonald’s”. Particularly when the people in question lead the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum visited by people from all over the world.
Therefore – and in order to avoid having to resign – the responsible for the museum have decided to back pedal a bit at a time, in order to look less ideologised, blind and stupid when the time comes to say “erm, aah, well, actually….”.
For the moment they limit themselves to show the arguments of the thinking minds together with those of the liberals; but frankly, everyone knows the game is up.
McDonald’s awaits. Perfectly honourable profession. Much better than working at the denigration of such an excellent man, one of the key people in the XX century, and one who saved the backside of so many Jews they could fill the entire Gaza strip with them.
Time to wake up, boys and girls.
On the usual Rorate Caeli (Good Lord! Where would we all be without them!?) a very interesting excerpt from an article dealing with issues of governance (or we would say: proper administration) in the Vatican.
I note in this article the mentality present in so many commentaries concerning the Vatican: the responsibility is apportioned pretty much everywhere, but where it belongs. Which is, of course, in flagrant violation of the very principles of governance that are discussed. Put in more simple words, the expression “the buck stops here” seems to be simply unknown in the Papal chambers, and never heard of in the Vatican corridors, or among Vatican commentators.
The first example of this unfortunate thinking is the “explanation” that after V II, the Vatican machinery has become more complicated, with the numerous “committees” now dealing with pretty much everything (and being effective in pretty much nothing) and the Secretary of State reduced to be an arbiter and “team manager” rather than a decider.
These discussions all forget a very important factor: reality. If the Vatican’s human dynamics are in anything similar to every other government’s on the planet (which, make no mistake, they are), the committees are there exclusively in order to be perceived as doing something whilst doing nothing, and there is no way one can become I do not say Pope, but coach of the parish football team without understanding this very clearly.
The idea, therefore, the Pope be “prisoner” of a structure he has inherited is a typical example of bad governance: those responsible are exonerated from any responsibility, whilst the problems are considered as a given, or as caused by someone else.
This is even more evident in another rather enlightening phrase of the interviewed expert, Father Levillain, in the simple assumption that it be not possible today to do what the great Pope Pius XII once did, namely: to be at the same time Pope and Secretary of State.
This astonishing utterance completely neglects another great division in everyday life, self-evident to everyone who has worked in a halfway complex organisation: the one between the talkers and the doers. The talkers are those who create – or happily live with – the committees; the doers are those who are not afraid to take responsibility, and to let all the world know they (not a committee, that is: an alibi) are in charge, and will be answerable for what they do. Pope Pius XII, a doer as few others, was a classic example. This was a man not afraid of infallibly proclaiming a dogma, just think how much time he would have had for all the committees of the modern Curia…
Another – not very savoury – aspect of the interview is the rather questionable attempt – morally as well as practically – to apportion the guilt of the undoubtedly bad governance in the Vatican to… the dead.
Please realise John Paul II died more than seven years ago: this is a longer time than any of the two World Wars, and a time long enough to completely re-do the Vatican administration not one, but several times. Besides eluding the simple problem of…reality, the argument has a huge logical flaw: if it is not in the power of a Pope to change things, one cannot proclaim anyone guilt of the present problems. If – as it is logical – it is, then one cannot blame JP II without automatically apportion the greater blame to the one who has been in charge the last seven years. The reality is, few – and possibly: no one – men on Earth have the power of a Pope: not even a President of the United States could re-mould the entire structure of his government and state apparatus without need to get consent from every possible quarter, and not even the most ruthless Middle-Eastern dictator could do so without fear for his safety and life. The Pope is the most powerful man on earth – and I mean here from a purely secular point of view – bar none, and his responsibility when the structures don’t work should be measured accordingly or, at least, not apportioned somewhere else.
The (alas: very human) reality is that whilst some are strong leaders, some saintly men and some good theologians, very few get to achieve excellence in all three fields. Pope Pius XII was an extraordinary man – a man clearly put by the Almighty in a very delicate position at a very delicate time – in that he was great in all three fields; but his successors were certainly – at least, those who lived long enough – clearly deficient in one or more of them.
Pope Benedict runs the risk of being remembered as the Pope who revoked the excommunication for Bishop Williamson without even knowing all the controversies the latter was involved in; who managed to have his most private drawers sniffed by those he trusted most; who continued to appoint extremely bad bishops to appeased the local hierarchies; and who discovered himself totally unable to act against openly heretical Bishops and/or Cardinals, because he had some sympathy for them. By all the merits of his pontificate (Summorum Pontificum comes to mind and, bigger still, the imminent reconciliation with the SSPX, certainly the crown of this papacy) one can’t say his was an example of good governance tout court, much less of strong leadership in the style of a Pius XII.
Mind, I am not saying he is a bad Pope. He is, in fact, probably as good as a Pope who lived the Council as a “conciliar father” could be. I merely find it more than vaguely questionable when it is simply assumed whenever something goes wrong the responsibility must be looked for pretty much everywhere – even in coffins – but where it most obviously lies.
Rorate Caeli has an old-ish, but always beautiful blog post: the translation of the message sent by Pope Pius XII to the Spanish Faithful at the end of the Civil War in Spain.
Pointedly, Rorate Caeli point out that this is a reminder of who represented what in that conflict.
I reproduce the text in its entirety, and allow myself to suggest that it be accompanied by a prayer for Francisco Franco, the brave men who followed him in his stand, and all those who fought and died for Christ.
Let us also use this as a reminder that open persecution is always nearer than one thinks.
«CON INMENSO GOZO»
OF HIS HOLINESS
TO THE SPANISH FAITHFUL
(April 14, 1939)
With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings. Our Predecessor, of venerable memory, expected, with longing and trust, this Providential peace, which is undoubtedly the fruit of that copious blessing which he sent, in the very beginning of the struggle, “to all those who had devoted themselves to the difficult and dangerous task of defending and restoring the rights and the honor of God and Religion” ; and We do not doubt that this peace shall be the one that he himself foretold since then, “the sign of a future of tranquility in order, and of honor in prosperity” .
The designs of Providence, most beloved children, have once again dawned over heroic Spain. The Nation chosen by God as the main instrument of the evangelization of the New World and as an impregnable fortress of the Catholic faith has just shown to the apostles of materialistic Atheism of our century the greatest evidence that the eternal values of religion and of the spirit stand above all things.
The tenacious propaganda and the constant efforts of the enemies of Jesus Christ seemed to have desired to try in Spain a supreme experiment of the dissolving forces which they have at their disposal throughout the world; and even though it is true that the Almighty has for now not allowed them to achieve their goal, He has at least tolerated some of their terrible effects, so that the world could see how religious persecution, undermining the very bases of justice and charity, which are love for God and respect for His holy law, may drag modern society to unthinkable abysses of evil destruction and passionate discord.
Convinced of this truth, the sane Spanish people, with the two marks characteristic of their most noble spirit, which are generosity and frankness, rose up determinedly in defense of the ideals of Christian faith and civilization, deeply rooted in the Spanish soil, and, aided by God, “who does not abandon those who hope in Him” (Judith 13, 17), could resist the push from those who, deceived by what they believed to be a humanitarian ideal of the exaltation of the meek, truly fought only for Atheism.
This primordial meaning of your victory makes us dwell in the most promising hopes, that God in His mercy will deign lead Spain through the safe path of its traditional and Catholic grandeur; which will be the point that will guide all Spaniards, who love their Religion and their Fatherland, in the effort to organize the life of the Nation in perfect harmony with its most noble history of Catholic faith, piety, and civilization.
We thus exhort the Authorities and Shepherds of Catholic Spain to enlighten the mind of those who were deceived, showing them, lovingly, the roots of Materialism and Secularism from which their errors and wrongful acts came forth, and from which they could spring forth again. Propose to them the principles of individual and social justice, without which the peace and prosperity of nations, as mighty as they may be, cannot subsist, and which are those contained in the Holy Gospel and in the doctrine of the Church.
We do not doubt that it will happen thus, and the bases for Our firm hope are the most noble and Christian sentiments, of which the Chief of State and so many gentlemen, his faithful collaborators, have given unequivocal evidence with the legal protection which they have granted to the supreme religious and social interests, according to the teachings of the Apostolic See. The same hope is also founded upon the enlightened zeal and abnegation of your Bishops and Priests, tempered by pain, and also in the faith, piety, and spirit of sacrifice of which, in terrible hours, all classes of Spanish society gave heroic proof.
And now, before the remembrance of the mounting ruins of the bloodiest civil war recorded in the history of modern times, We, with pious regard, bow our head, above all, to the holy memory of the Bishops, Priests, Religious of both sexes, and faithful of all ages and conditions who, in such an elevated number, sealed with blood their faith in Jesus Christ, and their love for the Catholic Religion: «maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet», “Greater love than this no man hath” (Jn 15, 13).
We also acknowledge our debt of gratitude towards all those who sacrificed themselves even unto heroism in defense of the unalienable rights of God and of Religion, either in the battlefields, or devoted to the sublime works of Christian charity in prisons and hospitals.
We cannot hide the bitter sorrow that the remembrance of so many innocent children, who, having been ripped from their homes, were taken to faraway lands, often in danger of apostasy and perversion: we desire nothing more ardently than to see them returned to the bosom of their families, where they will once again find the warm and Christian tenderness of their own. And those others who, as prodigal sons, wish to return to the house of the father, we doubt not that they will be welcomed with goodwill and love.
It falls upon You, Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, to advise all, so that in their policy of pacification all will follow the principles taught by the Church, and proclaimed with such nobility by the Generalísimo: of justice for crime, and of lenient generosity for the mistaken. Our solicitude, also as a Father, cannot forget these deceived ones, whom a deceitful and perverse propaganda succeeded in enticing with praises and promises. Your Pastoral solicitude should be targeted at them, with patience and meekness: pray for them, seek them, lead them again to the regenerative bosom of the Church and to the warmth of the Fatherland, and lead them to the Merciful Father, Who awaits them with open arms.
Therefore, most dear children, since the rainbow of peace has returned to brighten the heavens of Spain, let us come together heartily in a fervent hymn of thanksgiving to the God of Peace and in a prayer of forgiveness and mercy for all those who perished; and, in order that this peace be fruitful and longlasting, We exhort you with all the fervor of Our heart, to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4, 2-3). Thus united and obedient to your venerable Episcopate, devote yourselves joyfully and with no delay, to the urgent work of reconstruction, which God and the Fatherland expect from you.
As a pledge of the copious graces, which the Immaculate Virgin and Saint James the Apostle, Patrons of Spain, shall obtain for you, and which the great Spanish Saints have merited for you, We bestow upon you, Our dear children of Catholic Spain, upon the Chief of State and his illustrious Government, upon the zealous Episcopate and their selfless Clergy, upon the heroic combatants, and upon all the faithful Our Apostolic Blessing.
Dear readers, you often read me complaining that the “reform of the reform” (namely: the recovery of liturgical and theological sobriety after the drunkenness of the post-Vatican II years) is far too slow, and that whilst a new orthodoxy opens its way into the heart of the Church (both in the liturgical sense and as a new assertiveness in making clear again what too often had been obfuscated, played down or, rather often, dumbed down), at the periphery, in the many dioceses where the faithful live, the reform is far too slow and most Western Catholics are still afflicted by fully inadequate but, alas, not really old shepherds.
It is true that yours truly was not born with the vocation of the diplomat, and I am the first to admit that I am, erm, somewhat right of centre in most things. Still, I must confess my scepticism whenever I read of supposed “schisms” that would loom if the Holy Father decided – as is wildly desired among devout Catholics of all tendencies – to put a heavier foot on the gas pedal.
Against this argument I have following objections:
1) It seems to me a contradiction in terms. It is difficult to say that heterodox tendencies should be tolerated in order to avoid schisms. A schism is not an evil in itself. It is an evil because it shows that there are heterodox tendencies. To say that to have a schism is worse than to live with schismatic thinking doesn’t make really sense to me. It is like saying that by abolishing jails you at least avoid the evil of criminality; but jails are merely the result of criminality, and by refusing to build jails one only achieves the free-flowing of criminal energy within the veins of society.
2) It seems to me that it vastly understates the strenght of the Church. The modernist and feminist drunkenness we are living now is, once seen within the great picture of Church history, certainly not the greatest threat to her survival. Nestorianism, Gnosticism, Lutheranism at least can be considered threats of vaster proportions. If no fear of schism has refrained the Church leaders of past times from seeking a clear path to Truth whatever the cost, I can’t see why the same shouldn’t be done now. The Church that has survived the hurricane of Lutheranism will certainly survive the storm of neo-modernism and V II-worship.
3) It seems to me that it puts the interest of the schismatics before the interest of the Catholics. It is as if one should refrain from demanding orthodoxy, for fear of the people who are not orthodox openly choosing heresy. Well they should choose truth then, or accept the consequences. It can’t be that truth accommodates lie in order for lie not to be upset at its own falseness.
4) It seems to me that it ignores the workings of human nature. Whatever the rhetoric, in real life most people tend to refrain from extreme gestures, and from revolutionary behaviour, even in more profane circumstances. Much more so for Catholics. The bond of a Catholic to the Church is much stronger than, say, the bond of a Baptist to his local church, or pastor, or the bond of a political activist to his party of choice. The bond of a Catholic is so strong in fact, that even the most deluded nutcases go to unbelievable lenghts to persuade themselves that they are still Catholics. The expression “mother church” has, for most Catholics, a very real meaning. In a world where not even the Tories defeat en masse after being served Cameronism, I truly can’t imagine Catholics defeating en masse after being served.. Catholicism.
We live in times where one can’t avoid wondering how many of our priests believe in the Real presence, or in God in the first place. The frequency with which even bishops openly embrace heterodoxy (from the one wondering whether he will perform same-sex marriages; to the one expressing himself in favour of the building of a mosque; to the one saying that female priesthood will not happen “yet”, and so on) leaves much to be feared as to how many embrace it more quietly, but still undermining Catholicism with their total refusal to defend it.
I do not think that such threats can be underestimated. It is true that the “biological solution” (that is: the undertaker) will in time very probably solve the problem and it is also true that the Church is indefectible. But in the meantime an entire generation of Catholics will have been exposed to great danger for their souls, and many more will lose the opportunity to experience and get in contact with a Truth now unknown to them. Besides, to allow the spreading of heterodox thinking will probably cause a sizeable minority to continue in their errors for generations to come.
The solution is, in my eyes, twofold:
1) generous use of the rod and staff. Heterodox bishops should be not only removed, but excommunicated pour encourager les autres. Bishops are, as a category, not what you’d call professional agitprops (particularly the crop of weak, popularity-seeking cowards we are afflicted with today), and it is therefore not reasonable to suppose that they will choose to lose rank, prestige and livelihood in great numbers. Methinks, most of them will shut up all right, and do what they’re told.
2) Total absence of compromise in the appointment of new bishops. Young, absolutely orthodox bishops with a fighting spirit will revitalise the Church in just a few years. If they refuse and there is no better alternative, they must be required to obey and take responsibility. Karol Wojtyla became bishop at 38, and it is clear that a young, brave bishop was what Pius XII wanted for communist Poland. Difficult situations require determined and energetic shepherds.
Revolt is easier said than done. Particularly among Catholics.
Unfortunately, the massive material gathered by them now requires subscription. But Pave The Way – an organisation with extensive access to the Vatican archives – has now released an additional document, revealing that the Allies themselves had asked Pope Pius XII to stay silent about the german deportations of Jewish from Hungary, to avoid the Pope denouncing, whilst doing so, the massacres perpetrated by the Russians.
Notice that whilst the Germans were deporting, the Russians were raping and the Allies were politicking, the Vatican was saving 25,000 Jews from Budapest alone through their vast net of religious institutions and brave helpers.
This documents reveals a typical Pius XII: a shrewd diplomatician forced to move in extremely difficult times; doing all he can to help the oppressed whilst at the same time paying attention not to do anything which might be of damage to the oppressed themselves – one can easily imagine what would have happened in France, in Poland, perhaps in occupied Italy if he had openly and frontally attacked the Nazi regime on the holocaust – and to his Catholic fold alike.
What once more emerges, is a Pope admirably mixing courage, intelligence, prudence and diplomacy.
What a splendid Pope we had, and how fitting that this great man be, in the mad decades that followed his death, be slandered from the anti-Catholic and anti-Christian wolves.
We already know that the beatification prayer for his beatification mass has been already approved. This makes his beatification, to all practical purposes, only a matter of when. But I do think that another cry is here appropriate: