Let me start with a preliminary consideration: I find it very good, and very Catholic, to appropriate ourselves of Protestant music for our Catholic purposes. In past centuries – far more orthodox than this one – good souls had no hesitation in using the wonderful work of, say, Bach and Buxtehude for our beautiful liturgy. This was also easier, as in those times Protestant liturgies were much more similar to the Catholic one than today. The praxis was also reciprocated (understandably, from their perspective) by the Proddies, which led to the very famous episode of Allegri’s Miserere, a composition of such supernatural beauty that the commissioners decided that it should never fall in Protestant hands.
However, the principle remains: take the beauty produced by heretics and use it ad maiorem Dei gloriam instead. I will go so far as to say that I wish this effort were made today with the same zeal, adapting the words were necessary – and always reading the words in the Catholic sense – but importing the vast patrimony of beautiful Protestant music in our own Catholic world.
This is all good, provided we do what no child of ten would do: confuse the liturgies. This would be extremely bad even if made in ignorance, but it becomes positively satanical if made with the obvious, stated intent of downplaying the One True Church and put it beside any old Proddie wannabe “church”, as if they were merely two varieties of ice cream.
What has happened in St Peter is an abomination difficult to describe with words. I do not doubt that the music was wonderful, but this is exactly not the point. The point is that the lure of the beautiful music – beautiful music which should be “annexed” by the Catholic Church, and used to extol Her glory after the necessary adjustments – was used to allow a protestant mock liturgy to happen within the very sacred wall of the most representative Church in Catholicism: complete with mock priests, mock costumes, mock blessings, and the like.
The only adjective that comes to mind is: satanical. Only Satan can be behind such a grotesque insult to the Catholic Church, perpetrated by Pope and Cardinals and publicly executed in the presence of two of the latter. A sacrilege beyond words, perpetrated with the blessing, and in the presence, of what goes today for Princes of the Church.
Mr Ferrara has said it so well that there would be no need to add more words; but as I write this blog also in order for it to speak on my behalf in my last hour, I wanted to have my inadequate considerations added to the pages of this little effort. When Francis’ offences and abominations go beyond what can be said with words, it is fitting that outrage be expressed by as many people as possible, irrespective of their ability to convey the extent of the sacrilege.
What Francis and his minions are doing goes beyond the scale of the imaginable only a few decades ago. It is astonishing to see this old man throw away the mask and openly, publicly, almost daily proclaim an alternative religion even as he insults and berates those who prefer to follow the old (and only) one. I can easily imagine the man putting a Buddha statue, Assisi-style, on the main altar of Saint Peter himself, and boast of the feat whilst his Cardinals blather about “tearing down walls”.
We have come to this point. I can’t imagine the situation will improve as long as Francis is Pope. Actually, my impression is that his attack to everything that is Catholic will get more and more aggressive, defying imagination again and again. We are living astonishing times.
Is the Pope Catholic?
In name and official function only. In reality, he is a dyed-in-the-wool enemy of the Church.
Pray that 2017 is the year that rids us of this scourge. We don’t know what will come afterwards, but at least we will have a shot at some sort of improvement.
Many thanks to reader Quiltwallah for this link.
It appears that our very own Mrs Robinson, already the object of the attentions of this blog, is now going to change is Facebook status from “pretend married fag” to “single fag”, or more probably “fish look fish” (don’t worry, pretend Bishop; these are a rather perverted bunch; you’ll find one that suits you).
The article might surpass in sugary content what I thought was not possible to “improve” upon: the divorce of Al and Tipper Gore, an orgy of mutual support that left the polar bear cubs wondering what needs there was of divorce in the first place (if memory serves, it was Larry David’s wife, a rabid environmentalist; but memory might not serve, and life’s too short for checking).
Mrs Robinson (assuming here he had, within the “couple”, the role of “Mrs”; we might, if God is merciful, never know the truth) plays the entire keyboard of the sugary common places, leaving only “in some way, we will always love each other” aside. I think. Life’s too short, again…
He plays the role of the old wise fag, who thought his “union” was sooo made in heaven but can’t really say, for obvious PR reasons, what we all know: that it was made in hell. But you understand how grand he is, and how graciously – with just an idea of mascara – he hints at the fact he has been dumped. Yeah, he seems to say: there are always faults on both sides. But haven’t you noticed how good I am nevertheless?
And so, just after Easter – which we understand has kept him very busy: what colour might Jesus’ tunic have been? Did the crown match with the red of His blood? And was Disma, perhaps, just a tad “gay”? – Mrs Robinson told us the two are now going to go their separate way, or “gay” sauna.
I understand Monsignor Ricca is still to be had, so perhaps Mrs Robinson might, well, try to seduce him.
Hell holds a place for stupid gays.
Hey, hey, hey.
Hey, hey, hey.
As two of my favourite blogs (this one and this one) have mentioned the story about Benedict allegedly saying to the old lady she can be “more useful” if she remains a Proddie, I would like to offer my two very devalued liras. Bearing in mind, of course, that I wasn’t there. I would like to examine firstly whether Benedict would say that, and secondly why we now get to read such things from the Vatican press.
1. Did Benedict really say it?
I doubt it. I doubt it because it does not seem to me in line with the man; who, by all his deficits in issues of sound Catholicism, certainly knows the fundamental difference between a Catholic and a Protestant. It’s just not very credible to my ears that Benedict would have said to her “don’t get on board the Barque of Peter. You are better off swimming alone in the cold waters of rebellion”.
Rather, I think it far more probable he would have said something on the line that it is better to wait until she is sure of what she is doing, and it would not be good to convert out of a passing emotion and go back to being a Protestant afterwards. I wasn’t there, but it seems to me this is the kind of answer everyone would give to someone wanting to convert “in a time of crisis”. He must have sensed when the crisis is away, so is the conversion. Wonderfully emotional, the gentler sex.
I would also like to know the exact source of the statement. Did the lady truly use those very words? Did she quote Benedict? In which context? How long afterwards? By whom have these alleged words of her been reported to the Vatican Press?
How many people do you know who, after the fact, would initially imply or suggest, and at some point state it as fact, that something was said to them which in fact wasn’t? I know a couple of those. Nay, more. Women, actually, all of them; all of them looking for validation either for a controversial choice, or one about which they have lingering doubts.
Furthermore: how often in your daily life are you ready to attribute some very bad words to someone, just because it is reported that someone else, now dead, would have said that he has said it? Really? If your standards are so low I prefer not to talk to you or to anyone you know, and thank you very much.
The Pontiff Emeritus is still alive. I am sure this story is bound to make many suffer. Perhaps Benedict could be persuaded to say a word?
2. Why does the Vatican publish the story as it did?
Ah, that is easy. Because they want you to read Benedict through Francis, that’s why. They want you to think Benedict isn’t really different from Francis in his theology, merely more conservative in his sartorial choices. This is very much in tune with this Papacy; which, when it doesn’t allow Benedict to be insulted, allows him to be misrepresented. Yes, Benedict has never been a model of orthodoxy like the Pre-Conciliar Popes. But it certainly cannot be denied that this papacy is a brutal rupture even compared to the former one… Heck, it is a brutal rupture even compared to Paul VI’s…
Mind, I do agree that Francis is V II on steroids, and Benedict was still V II; with a foot on the brakes perhaps, but still V II. But to put the two in the same pan is the same as stating that Elvis Presley is in the end the same as Lady Gaga, because Elvis Presley was already different from Pat Boone. Feel free to pick different singers if you like, I think you know what I mean.
If Benedict had Catholic influenza, Francis has Catholic syphilis.
Benedict is being here, if you ask me, deliberately Francis-ised in order to let the latter appear less scandalous. The only result of this is, though, that such an exercise only makes the former appear more scandalous. If you are a sound Catholic, there is. If you aren’t, and most aren’t, this will probably work as another dose of tranquilliser, and the suitably and comfortably numbed nuCatholic will go to sleep with another dose of Catholic Valium, telling himself that all is well and the world is, actually, rather peaceful.
By all Benedict’s shortcomings, and the questionable and at times horrible things he has said and done before and after becoming Pope, I allow myself not to buy this one.
Let me end with a short, sad reflection:
Pius XII managed to covert the Chief Rabbi of Rome.
Benedict obviously didn’t manage to convert a Protestant quisque de populo.
Francis justifies fears he might be about to be converted to Judaism.
My dear Proddie friend,
You read now everywhere about the scandal caused by the disgraceful Pope Woodstock, and perhaps you think the man’s antics expose the intrinsic weakness of the Church. Perhaps you even think – in your lack of proper knowledge of Catholicism – that Francis may change the tenets of what you call the Roman (meaning by that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) Church.
Dear friend, you couldn’t be more wrong. Allow me to explain to you why.
The Pope doesn’t own the Church. He isn’t her CEO, either. He is merely the custodian and the caretaker of the enormous edifice entrusted to him; an edifice he has the duty to transmit, intact and properly maintained, to the next custodian.
The caretaker of a huge palace cannot decide that a wing should now be demolished, and a new one built in its place. He cannot add, or take away, anything from the real estate entrusted to him. His job is to care that everything looks good, everything works properly, the walls remain solid, the garden is properly maintained, and so on.
Granted, the caretaker could be a lazy man. Or he could be corrupted, and steal the money meant for the maintenance. The palace will, at some point, look shabby. The light bulbs will not work, the doors will start to squeak, mildew will appear in the basement, and the gardens will be a proper mess.
In extreme cases – like, well, now – the caretaker will be a kind of socialist hothead, a Che Guevara fan not only uncaring, but outright resentful of the splendour of the palace; a splendour that he considers offensive to the poor outside, living in their small cottages. Don’t ask me why he applied for the job of caretaker, or why no one tells him the poor living in the college love the palace and its splendour, and know that the Palace embraces and makes place for all the good villagers. This letter is not about these issues.
The socialist hothead caretaker will, then, do his work as… badly as he can. The palace will look miserable when seen from the road, and its state of disrepair will be evident to the blind. The caretaker will, in the meantime, go around in the village, boasting that he has brought the palace nearer to the people and clearly implying if he could he would knock down the whole thing and build a sanitised favela instead, where everyone can do pretty much whatever he pleases provided he loves.
But the palace is still there. Immense. Towering over the petty, vainglorious caretakers. Indestructible.
The smart villagers, too, look at the palace and can see beyond the broken window panes, the missing roof tiles, and the dirt everywhere. They even see beyond the perverts going in and out of the palace as if they owned the place, merely because they are friends with the caretaker. The villagers can still very well see how wonderful the palace is, magnificent even in its dirt! In fact, the shabby grandeur of the palace confirms them in their knowledge that the elder are right and no matter how bad the caretaker, the palace will stay forever. Without moving one inch, or losing one room, or having another added. They know – because they have been properly taught by their parents, and by the wiser villagers – that every effort of the subversive caretaker will not in the end make more damage to the immense Palace than a six-year old scratching with a fork against a huge block of granite. Many in the past – say the elder in the village – were the caretakers who did their job badly, or very badly. There were a couple who even let bombs explode inside. The Palace buried them all.
This, dear Proddie friend, is the deal we Catholics have. We have an assurance of immutable truth that is utterly immune from any attempt at devastation. A now 2000 years strong system of truth: beautiful, perfectly coherent, shaped by the Holy Ghost through many saintly thinkers, always transmitted and believed without substantial change – though expanding and growing like a majestic oak tree – has been sculpted in marble; utterly, utterly beyond the reach of the most stupid, the most drunken, the most evil, or the most deluded caretaker. Nor can this system be manipulated by taking a book and saying that black means white, and Jesus is what we wish he is. The system is not based on written words, that can be twisted and turned; but on the Truth behind the written words and that originated them in the first place. This Truth can be neither twisted nor turned without all those who know the Truth immediately noticing it. Many have tried to change the Palace. No one has succeeded.
Think about the last weeks. Even by the most outlandish statements of Pope Woodstock, in writing, black on white for the all world to see, there is no scarcity of twisters and turners. Try that with 2000 years of coherent faith, assisted by the Holy Ghost, and good luck to you. The written word will always be twisted, unless there is a Truth behind that itself cannot be twisted.
A Catholic is not, as many of you Proddies think, delivered to the caprice of one man, or of an oligarchy of few men. The very opposite is the case! A Catholic is protected against the abuses of his shepherds much better, in a much more unassailable way than any of you Proddies will ever be! There is no truth more unassailable than the one promoted from the start, and of which the first principle is that it can, and will, never change.
Caretakers wil come and go. Empires will appear and become dust. These United States of yours, of which you are so proud, are to the huge Palace but a recent, temporary appearance. Make no mistake, the latter will see the former become dust too, and pass away. The Palace will still be there, with its Truths intact – though still with caretakers of varying ability and integrity – when those United States of yours are but a footnote in History.
Are the (smart) villagers angry at the caretaker? Very. They love the Palace, and to see it ravaged, very poorly maintained, dirtied and inhabited by perverts and sycophants makes them suffer. Some of them can’t sleep at night, so much they suffer.
But their anger is never fear for the destiny of the Palace. They have the promise that the gates of Hell will never prevail, and they know that the Promise is made to this particular Palace, and to this one alone. They will have to live with the antics of the caretaker – and, very probably, of his foreseeable successors – for as long as it takes. They will, alas, very probably die without seeing the garden taken care of again, the window panes repaired, the entire place cleaned and dusted, the perverts chased away in shame. So be it, then. They will love the Palace so much more.
But in the end, they know the Palace will be there as magnificent as ever, with no room added and none taken away, when the angry caretaker is a small rectangle of ground in the village cemetery, and the passers by stop and look at the stone, and say to each other “this one, he was truly bad”.
Then, they will continue their walk. Under the shade, so to speak, of the great Palace.
Dear Proddie friend, now that the antics of the caretaker are known beyond the old village, take this as an invitation to visit it, and ask to know more about the big, great Palace. You will, if you approach it without prejudice, be very impressed with the beauty, the magnificence, the logic, the coherence of the entire huge construction. You will at this point understand you cannot avoid dealing seriously with what the Palace represents, and what it is asking of you. You will, if your work is assisted by grace, understand that you want to become one of the admirers of the palace. Even if the palace has a revolutionary hothead as a caretaker. The more so, perhaps, because of it.
The Palace has always attracted people from other villages, you see. Its magnificence is such that, even with missing roof tiles and broken window panes, it still exercises a huge attraction.
Get near to the Palace, my dear Proddie friend.
Believe me: it is waiting for you.
When the news of the election of Pope Francis was announced, among the many dismayed commenters on Rorate Caeli and elsewhere there were one or two Anglicans reasoning along the lines of “I was thinking about conversion, but now that (put here your favourite peeve) I cannot see any reason for that”.
Well I cannot, either, then such a conversion would have been a very wrong one indeed. What some Protestants seem not to understand is that the conversion to Catholicism is not just like one of those change of denominations many Protestants seem not to have any problem with; rather, it is a definitive choice, and a choice dealing with absolutes that do not change with the Pope of the day.
To choose Catholicism means to believe and profess that there is only one Church, the one Christ founded on Peter and over which the gates of Hell will never prevail. It is a fundamental choice between Truth and Lie, Orthodoxy and Heresy, Right and Wrong. Whether the Pope is good or bad, liturgically savvy or challenged, a lover of beauty and tradition or a shocking philistine, or even orthodox or heretic is neither here nor there.
When a new Pope is elected, Catholics do not make a new decision whether they want to continue to be Catholic. They believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, not in one, pious, orthodox, and intelligent Pope. Popes come in the most various flavours; some of the flavours historically smelled awfully, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
When one joins the Church he gets a deal for eternity, not a time contract valid until further notice. What is required from him is a commitment for life, not an approval based on contingent circumstances.
Popes come and go. The Church will stay forever.
When I lived in Italy I did not know the expression “Catholic guilt”. I would also have been at a loss to describe or define it, as if I had heard such an expression it would have made on me the same impression as “wet water” or “hot fire”. If the concept had been explained to me from some Protestant, and if I had been required to give a Catholic name to it, I would have rather called it “human condition”; but again, I would have felt like the one asked to give a specific name to the fact that water is wet.
It was when I moved to England that this “Catholic guilt”- thinking imposed itself to my attention. In this wondrously unthinking country, journalists and mixed wannabe intellectuals spoke of “Catholic guilt” as of something medieval, unconscionable and more than vaguely retarded. I do not recall, though, many of these sources as being openly atheist and therefore coherently rejecting the very fundaments of Christianity. Rather, I have a distinct recollection of criticism from a pretended vaguely Christian point of view, in which Christianity 1.0 is analysed and recognised to be vastly inferior to Christianity 2.0, newly released and now completely bug-free.
It stroke me even then – and I was by far not as aware or instructed as I am now – that to even think of Christianity without the guilt is an exercise in absurdity, like wanting water that does not have the quality of being wet. Take the guilt away, and Christianity simply dissolves in thin air: Adam and Eve are reduced to a curious legend, the entire Old Testament to a fantasy tale, Christ’s work a complete waste of time, His death the work of a lunatic, the Mass an exercise in madness.
Mind: attentive and sincere Protestants certainly have the same concept of guilt we have. Still, one never hears of “Protestant Guilt”, only of the Catholic variant. What I think happened is that so many Protestants have abused their sola fide tenet to the point of declaring themselves spotless lambs, that the entire wetness was taken away from mainstream Protestant water, making of it something useless and absurd at the same time.
The same chill I experienced when I was asked whether I was “saved”; and thinking of it, there is system in the madness. Once I have persuaded myself that I am, well, guiltless in the end (because I believe! I believe!! Praise the Lord!!) nothing stands in the way of my self-canonisation whilst still living, and I am at this point ready to sabotage every other tenet of Christianity in what Austin Powers would call “a guilt-free environment”.
If you have no “Guilt”, you can ultimately have no Christianity. Which is why “guilt-free” Protestantism is so rapidly imploding, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth is probably assuming dimensions unknown to our Christian experience, Protestant or not. Those who criticise the mentality of “Catholic guilt” pay us, in fact, a compliment, and encourage us to hope for our salvation. Concerning the salvation chances of people who have obliterated guilt from their Christianity I would be rather more cautious.
Catholic Guilt makes people uncomfortable, but it saves souls.
If you have ever wondered how it is that in South America Protestantism advances and the new generations are more attracted to it than to the religion of their fathers, you will certainly be confused by this, a moving witness of Catholic fervour and staunch orthodoxy during the Holy Hour.
Note the reverent posture, the respectful way the faithful are dressed (with the shoes denoting, as everyone knows, the real mark of the well-dressed man), the extreme richness of the Main Altar and the total participation clearly visible in the pensive, profound expression of these pious Catholics. This is the embodiment of sacredness, a monument to everything that is most authentically Catholic.
With such force and purity of faith; with such unquenchable thirst for Truth; with such irresistible desire for Christ, how can it be that the Catholic church in South America suffers under the advance of the Protestants?
A mistery, really….