The “Remnant” has, in its online edition, a customarily beautiful article about the boomerang effect of this too-stupid-for-words papacy. The article contains a long list of blunders, mistakes, heresies and assorted antics of this pontificate.
I must not have been paying attention, because the article links to a rather spicy event: the fact that the notorious interview with Scalfaro has been published in a book. A book, mind, not edited by Repubblica‘s publishing house, but by none other than the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the official publishing house of the Holy sea.
Hmm… let me think…
Was it not so, that the assorted Pollyannas have always tried to remove the interview from existence by stating that the interview was nothing more than the confused recollection of a very old man (Scalfaro), who had abused the generous, but orthodox mind of our Humble Pope?
What will they invent, now, to explain away the reality that stares at them in the face? Will they say that Francis was “not informed” of the interview being there? Or that he was there when they were discussing the book, but had to go to the bathroom when Scalfaro came up? Perhaps he has difficulties in understanding Italian? His parents died such a long time ago!
The Pollyannas now need a good dose of John Belushi/Jake Elwood spirit: the dry cleaner, the earthquake, and the locusts….
It truly is embarrassing to see how many people, whose brain works otherwise normally, embarrass themselves and insult their intelligence with this extreme kind of denial. Even Francis is abandoning them, more and more refusing to even them with some feeble excuse, some kind of fig leave to cover his and their shame.
It’s not easy to be a Pollyanna. And most people will not believe in the locusts…
Do you remember the first Repubblica interview?
The one with the all controversy about the Pope not reading the draft, or reading but not paying attention, or reading and paying attention but perhaps having a headache?
The one of which cardinal Mueller promised – and delivered – that it would be taken down from the Vatican internet site?
The one of which all Pollyannas were saying it was all fault of the old man Scalfari, because the oh so holy Holy Father would never say such rubbish?
The wolves truly have no shame.
God, please free us from Francis.
In your own good time. But please, please free us from this scourge.
And it came to pass Bishop Gaenswein allowed the world to know the Pontiff Emeritus had written a sort of commentary of the draft of the Papal interview with Civilta’ Cattolica, the 12,000 word exercise due to the fact that Bishop Francis does not like giving interviews.
This interview was scandalous enough. But it could be that without Benedict’s notes (which might have led to adjustments in the end) it could have been even worse.
Soon thereafter, Francis writes a long letter to Scalfari, even more scandalous than the interview to Civilta’ Cattolica, and inter alia lets the first bomb about “conscience” and “salvation for atheists” explode. Shortly after the letter, he doubles with the notorious interview, which was more a carpet bombing in Dresden style.
Knowing what we know now, we can safely conclude as follows:
1) Benedict must have received a draft of the interview already checked by Francis, then elementary courtesy demands no other behaviour. You don’t ask a Pontiff Emeritus to OK a draft you have not checked for accuracy first. He is not your under-under assistant just come out of the Seminary. Francis, then, does receive drafts, and he does read them.
2) Benedict does not receive, as far as we know – but it would be strange if Gaenswein would just keep this covered – neither the draft of the original letter to Scalfari, nor the draft of the Scalfari interview. Am I bad in thinking Francis feared he would receive not four, but fourteen pages of comment? Why, otherwise, would one avail oneself of the services of a fine theologian in the first occasion, but not in the second and the third?
3) How can even the blindest Pollyannas now declare that the Pope does not receive and reads drafts of interviews? Or that he is so reckless that he gives them green light for publication without even reading them? After we know he asked the draft of the Civilta’ Cattolica interview to be read by the Pontiff Emeritus? Really?
Just three thoughts, really. But I wanted to share them. We should not forget old scandals just because we are confronted with ever new ones.
And it came to pass Francis stopped shouting heresies to all corners of the planet, and we are now supposed to believe he is trying to steer his papacy into the path of righteousness. Pat Archbold already breathes a little easier. Other will breath much easier. Other still will say they have never breathed so well.
Personally, I don’t share the enthusiasm.
Let us see the arguments adduced, and the reasons why they do not persuade me.
1. The notorious interview has been removed. Fine. But this was only because ++Müller was informed, to his dismay, that the thing was still around in the Vatican cyberspace, and as a result stated in public he would take care of it, and delivered. This is not Francis’ initiative, though if he is half smart he must be relieved the interview is not there anymore without he being the one who took the initiative to have it removed. Slick Willie wouldn’t have his photos with Monica on his Internet site, either.
Besides, Francis has not recanted one word. Not one. Vatican officials may think the interview was bad, but he has not said it was wrong. Not one word has been corrected. The draft was approved by him. Enough of excuses.
2. Francis wrote to Agostino Marchetto, saying that the hermeneutic of continuity is the right way of interpreting the Council.
Every Modernist would say the same every morning, noon and evening without batting an eyelid. Francis always cared to “save appearances”. He visited the tomb of Pius X just days into his pontificate. Modernists aren’t as stupid as juvenile revolutionaries. They will always insist they are being harmoniously following 2,000 years of Christianity, they will only point out that some things just belong to the past. Look, Francis does exactly the same, criticising the rosary-counting “Pelagians”! The letter to Marchetto means exactly nothing, unless it be that Francis isn’t as stupid as to openly support the School of Bologna.
3. He called Mario Palmaro, the man who with Alessandro Gnocchi expressed himself – as every good Catholic should – critically about Francis on the Italian newspaper Il Foglio and was fired from the V II Catholic Radio Maria as a result. Fine, but Palmaro is, I am afraid, dying – so much can sadly be inferred by his words as reported – so that there is a merciful aspect here that is nothing to do with the issues at hand.
Besides, I am sure one phone call of Francis would have had both Gnocchi and Palmaro – leaving aside health considerations – immediately reintegrated at Radio Maria. Funnily enough, this phone call does not seem to have taken place.
4. The Pope said it is “important” for him to receive criticism, using one of those typically fluffy politician’s statements that mean perfectly nothing and perfectly avoid the issue at hand. I personally think it is infinitely more important that a Pope does not put himself in the position where he must be criticised by faithful Catholics, something no good Catholic would want to do, rather than spreading heretical statements all over the planet and then saying to his critics “yeah, I’m not angry at you. I totally get what you are trying to say. Totally!”. Alas, I must say it once again, because repetita iuvant: not one word has been recanted. Not one from the first letter to Scalfari, not one from the interview with him, not one from the 12,000 words interview with “Civilta’ Cattolica”.
Facta, non verba. If Francis really want to be orthodox, he must openly and explicitly recant all his questionable or openly heretical statements. Nothing else will spare his papacy from ignominy and condemnation for all centuries to come.
Pope Honorius has been declared a heretic because of the content of one letter he wrote. You can imagine in what pit of heresy a Pope has fallen, who allows his statement to be published worldwide without a word, – without a word! – of public correction.
And please let us not hide behind the finger of the interview having been removed from the Vatican site. When the interview appeared no one expected it to land on the Vatican site; nor did anyone wait for this to happen before considering the interview authentic, historical, or trustworthy. Everyone knew then the interview was authentic, and everyone knows it now. Again: not one word has Francis recanted. Not one. Not one. Not one.
“Oh – says the Pollyanna choir – but he has let it know, from what it appears to have transpired, that he has “regretted” the publication!”.
Regret is a feeling, not a rational position, much less a theological one. The drunken driver regrets his misfortune when the police stop him, but this does not mean he condemns his drinking. The Modernist regrets his interview had unintended consequences, but this does not mean he has changed his mind. On the contrary, this is nothing more than emotional bird food for the pigeons.
This Pope has made irruption into the china bull and has made a lot of damage, and then has started sending out rumours he regrets so much china was in his way, and phones one of the owners of the shop to say that to him (Francis) criticism is important. The china is in tatters, and there is no sign he offers to make restitution for the smallest broken piece.
Ah, but the article about the devastation has been removed from the Vatican site. All is fine now. Not a bull, then.
It must have been all a misunderstanding.
Let’s keep this short: the culprit is Francis, and no other.
It’s very easy to see why.
1. Not even an old incapacitated nincompoop would shut up after the interview instead of immediately saying, very loud, “this interview does not reflect our conversation”. There is no way in hell Francis can escape his responsibility on this. He even received the draft of the interviews, for heaven’s sake. What was he doing, watching the photos of Ms Chaouqui?
2. Many have tried to depict Scalfari as the old man in his dotage. Very wrong. Firstly, it is clear to everyone who is not gaga that Scalfari isn’t. Secondly, it makes sense that Francis would demand that the interview would be made without a recorder or a stenographer. A recorder would have implied Scalfari does not trust the words of a Pope, and a stenographer would have recorded all the inordinate rambling of the man. Notice when Francis rambles we only get the doctored versions, in which charitable souls try to give some sense to the rambling nonsense. If we read the literal transcription of a 30 minutes Francis’ performance, I think the entire planet would be rolling on the floor, laughing.
3. Francis received a draft, and gave the green light to it. This has been admitted from Vatican sources, who had to invent the pathetic excuse it is not clear whether he read it after Repubblica had to say – confronted with the brazen attempt to deny reality – that he bloody well did. There can be no excuse. There is absolutely nowhere to hide. The emperor has no clothes. Period.
4. Scalfari is a journalist. He knows his trade. Whatever was agreed between the two, he will not reveal unless, perhaps, attacked personally. If Francis says “please no recorder, but do not say it was on my request”, Scalfari will make the interview with no recorder, and will not say this was on Francis’ request. Don’t insult your intelligence thinking – or worse, saying – he forgot his recorder home and is unable to take notes.
5. In part, Francis’ interview echo scandalous affirmations already made by him, and which he merely confirms (“And I repeat it here”). How many times is this man misunderstood, and since when has he become unable to read?
What has happened is that 1) Mueller has insisted that the interview be removed as far too obscene, as reported by the media, when he was informed – to his surprise – that it was still on the internet site, and b) Francis had to see it was better for him to have the thing taken down now, than for it to be left on the Vatican site as a permanent monument to his own heresy and incompetence.
He has nowhere to hide.
I have already said, and I repeat it here (see how it works?) that there is crushing evidence that Francis approved the interview, and there is no evidence Hitler ordered the Holocaust.
If you are so dumb as to think Francis did not want this interview as published, you can as well believe Hitler did not want the Holocaust as happened.
We are now happily informed that the notorious, heretical interview with Eugenio Scalfari has been taken down from the Vatican site.
Well, it certainly shows the embarrassment had gone beyond what even a Teflon Man like Francis considers acceptable, but make no mistake: this is too little and too late. Utterly pathetic, and utterly predictable, is the attempt to attribute the taking down on the side to the fact that “it turned out” the interview was not recorded. Because, you see, Francis is blind, stupid and illiterate: he can't see, he can't read a newspaper, he is too gaga to know what he says, too imbecile to realise no one is recording or taking notes, he is even too far gone to realise something has gone wrong when all his collaborators whisper in his ears, in the polite and hushed Vatican manner, “what the Ricca”.
I still miss a word of correction, much less apology. I still miss an official declaration of this Tango Pope stating all the points in which he was wrong, and what Catholic teaching is instead. The damage is now done, and nothing short of an abiura as widely publicised as the original interview will do anything to remedy to the mess Francis and Francis alone, out of his uncontrolled infatuation for Pope Francis, has caused.
Methinks, though, this is another mouthful of bird feed that Francis throws to his unbelievably un-discerning pigeons: they will now be able to say: “Look! The entire planet knows of this interview and what the Pope said, but it has now been taken down from the website! What a wonderful Pope we have! The Holy Ghost must be making overtime!” Yeah, because the homosexualists, abortionists and assorted liberals all visit the Vatican site first thing in the morning, right?
Besides, all those who have defended the interview exactly as it appeared now have some explaining to do: it isn't often that the Vatican takes down the words from a Pope from the Vatican site because the stench is too much to bear.
How is it they found the smell so attractive?
I cannot say it often enough: the SSPX is a beacon of sound Catholic thinking in the darkness of the “new humbleness”. Clearly, if you want to know what proper Catholicism is you must stay away from Francis' ramblings, as they will inoculate you with the virus of Modernism and shift you from the solid ground of Catholic reasoning to the deadly quicksands of fluffy, emotional, senseless, and in the end heretical thinking.
I suggest that you take the time – not so much of it after all – to read and interiorise this beautiful reflection on Francis' forma mentis – make no mistake: an heretical one – on the basis of his exploits with “Civilta' Cattolica” and “Repubblica”.
Once again, we see the steamroller of sound Catholic thinking rolling over Francis' marshmallow-tasting, popularity-seeking emotionalism, and flattening it altogether. Francis, a man of embarrassing ignorance and even more embarrassing arrogance, will not understand the objection; but rationally thinking Catholics with a grounded knowledge of Truth will immediately grasp that the problem with Francis is not in, say, the way he expresses himself but, far more gravely, in the way he thinks.
The simile with the blind man and the forest is delicious, and will remain with you for a long time.
Enjoy this example of Catholic sanity, and please remember to say one or three Hail Marys for Francis, who is so much in need of our prayers.
“Would you really believe Pope Francis thinks that everybody can have his own idea of good and evil and thus justify what he does?” he asked.
“Is it really possible Pope Francis has an idea that would make being Christians, or believing in God, into nonsense?”
These not very intelligent words are from an Italian journalist, and are quoted here in the last desperate attempt to mask the Pope’s senseless heresies in front of the obvious unwillingness of the Pope himself to dispel them.
Yes, I believe it. Of course I do. It’s what he said. It’s in print. Never denied. Never corrected. Never apologised for. Verba volant, scripta manent.
What is happening here is utterly Orwellian. Words, and simple reality, don’t count anymore. Simple facts are turned into their contrary simply because one wants to. We have reached a form of denial that reeks of desperation. Let us see the facts instead.
Pope Francis expressed exactly the concept the Italian journalist says we could not “really believe” a first time in a long letter he sent to Eugenio Scalfari.
Then, he repeated the concept a second time during the notorious interview with the same man.
Then, he released no official denial or correction whatever after the interview went around the world, causing a wave of scandal and discontent Francis, in his blind quest for self-promotion, had not foreseen. Francis would not say he is awfully sorry he has confused the entire planet with his inordinate, utterly ignorant ramblings. He would not say it, because he is so humble.
Now we are informed that Francis would be worried that his words might be misunderstood. Wait a moment: would not this be the perfect time to ask that the text be changed? Would not this be the moment when I do not say the Pope, but a child of eight would have been able to understand that the interview cannot be published in the form proposed to him? Does this not prove that Francis, in fact, did read the draft of the interview before giving green light to the publication, and was very aware of its destructive potential?
Furthermore, we read:
These sentences led to a certain amount of criticism for the Roman Pontiff.
The Pope’s knowledge that he could be misunderstood is why – according to Socci – Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, was “told to maintain that the text of the interview had not been revised by Pope Francis and that it was penned by Scalfari after an informal chat.”
What? Following the criticism, someone told Lombardi to say Francis had not revised the text? Did Francis, then, lie? If he did not, how is the phrase to be understood? Who told Lombardi to lie about the degree of information of the Pontiff? Why would Lombardi say something so directly questioning the character of the Pope – an interview destined to be read worldwide is given the green light without the Pope even reading the draft: the behaviour of a perfect idiot by any human standard – unless the order came from Francis himself?
It goes on, in a frenzy of self-delusion. The entire load of excrement landed on the Osservatore Romano on the following day, but now we are informed Francis was – allegedly – displeased about that, too.
Yeah, right. Why would the newspaper of the Vatican publish an interview of the Pope after all? Seriously, how stupid are we supposed to be?
It gets even stupider than this. Francis is, then, displeased about the interview. He does not order the immediate removal of it from the Osservatore‘s site, and does not publish an extensive, perfectly clear, apology about what he said and clarification about what he should have said.
No. what happens is that he might have whispered in the ear of the newspaper’s director, very much en passant during a ceremony, that what the Pope says is not supposed to go on the Vatican newspaper; a fact which would, in the mind of these people, make all fine again. I quote:
[A] Video from Vatican TV shows that when Pope Francis went to visit the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, he stopped by and had a one-minute chat with Vian.
According to Socci, “that is probably the moment when Pope Francis complained to Vian.”
So, Francis is seen talking with the man in public for… one minute, and we do not know what they said. This is enough. We can dream our dream of the orthodox Pope now.
Lies have short legs, and deluded fantasies have shorter legs still.
As for myself, I choose to believe the facts.
Pray for the Pope, that he may stop being such a disgrace; for the good of the Church, and of his own soul.
The “Francis headline of the day” is, as we are reliably informed,
The Church has to bring Christ to everyone.
Fine; but, thinking in Francis' terms… why?
Has he brought Christ to Scalfari during the interview? Has he even made the attempt? Has he not called – whatever sophism you may try to use to hide this simple truth – exactly this very same attempt to bring Christ to an atheist, who is in most need of Christ's mercy, a “solemn nonsense”?
Further: if Francis is persuaded that an atheist can be saved by merely following his conscience – no, he still has not disowned his words; seriously, he hasn't – what is the reason he can adduce to make other people accept the “Diet Christ” brought to them? No premarital sex, no contraception even in marriage, no drunkenness, no adultery, obviously no remarriage, no abortion, mass attendance, penance, prayer, conflicts, and a lot of other nos? Why should anyone accept them, if he can get away with doing what he pleases with the benediction of the humble, look-at-my-old-car Pope?
The ugly truth is that Francis has been saying, for now almost eight months, that Christ is an option. Christ is, if you ask him, merely the – in his opinion, mind you; but who is he to judge? – more scenic way, better truth, and more joyous life. The man who says the Church can't be a glorified NGO makes of Her exactly a glorified NGO. In his mind the way is extremely broad that leads to salvation, and this way does not need I do not say Christ, but not even the acceptance of a god whatsoever, like a Hindu in invincible ignorance might believe.
He insults those who pray by rote saying they don't believe in God, but when he has in front of him one who really does not believe in God and doesn't even say prayers by rote he is very fine with it. Ah, if everyone only followed his abortionist conscience, what a better place the world would be!
Therefore, if you listen to Francis the Church must bring Jesus to the people as if He were a medicinal herb, or a new kind of aspirin. Necessary for salvation? Of course not. Should I try to convert other people? No, no, no! What about proselytism? Solemn nonsense…
Francis merely markets an option which he considers, in his humbleness, the best. He had no gut then to say to an atheist that unless he repents he will go to hell; he has no guts now to tell the world Jesus is no option, least of all for those who openly refuse Him. In short, Francis promotes Jesus like the Marlboro Man promotes cigarettes. This means, for him, that the church according to Bergoglism isn't an NGO. Oh no.
Come to where the “joy” is. Come to Bergoglio Country.
Please say three Hail Marys, rigorously learnt by rote, for this confused man.
Yes, you can count them.
It seems fashionable nowadays to show so much understanding for those who have willingly decided to put themselves outside of the Church, and in opposition to Our Lord and Saviour. If one is an atheist, it seems he is considered the spearhead of modern thinking, and even Popes – though not those who call themselves such – will make extraordinary (and actually heretical) contortions to show them how very cool they are in their atheism, because hey, they follow their conscience. Oh, how much better the world would be if there were more cool atheists following their own conscience…
In all this official and unofficial pandering to the ideology of our time, there are some situations that, I think, are never called to our attention. Therefore, I will do it myself.
Here, a good mother lovingly raises her children and tolerates a husband gone bad, because of love for the family and fidelity to Our Lord and to the sacrament of matrimony. There, another mother is tested with a sodomite as a son, but she has the guts to not capitulate to the “acceptance” mantra, and prays every day that her son may find the strenght to get rid of his satanic perversion and avoid hell. Follow me a few houses down the road. Do you see that man? He is a husband left by a sluttish wife, and who resists the temptation to think he can – nay, he has the right to – throw his sacrament from the window and pursue his own “happiness”, as some of his friends and all colleagues around him do, and as everyone in his family suggests he should be doing. Walk with me for a while, if you will. Do you see that window? You cannot hear it, but behind that window pane a young woman is crying; she must see a man for whom she deeply cares go away, because she does not want to acquiesce to his demand that she becomes his public concubine, or his bed companion. Walk with me to the school, and observe that young boy in the schoolyard; yes, the one isolated and silently mocked, and considered stupid or ridiculous for insisting to defend his Catholic values in front of the general opposition of his peer. It is even rumoured he counts his rosaries. To count… rosaries?! Can you believe this guy??!! And what’s a… rosary anyway?
All these people pay a price – at times temporary, at times very heavy – for their belief in Christ and His Commandments; they are those who think that their conscience is only then worthy of being followed, when it tells them what Christ would; they are those who – sinners as we all are – would not even contemplate giving scandal in front of their entire community and in the face of God just for the short-term reward of an illusive “happiness” that is, in reality, extreme rebellion; all those people are never the object of much attention from their shepherds. When they get it, it is generally the wrong one. “Obsessive” they are called, or “narrow-minded”. Next thing you know, they’ll be called “Pelagians”.
Nowadays, when the clergy tends to praise the Catholics, it is never for their obedience to God’s laws. It is, in case, because they are so social, so inclusive, so full of this flippin’ “joy” allegedly so well spread, but such that no one would be able to say, walking along a busy sidewalks, “that, that and that must be Catholics, because they have such joy written on their face”.
The Fear of the Lord most have heard mentioned last time, very probably, in the Bible. Christ’s yoke is now rather an amusement park, so when one can’t remarry there must be some serious issue with the machinery.
“bbbbzzzzz…… Service announcement: we are so sorry you are not getting the fun we promised you. Bishop Zollitsch is looking at the wheels as we speak, and Cardinal Woelki has some ideas about how the machine can be unstuck. We hope to be able to re-start the merry-go-round very soon. Please don’t go away. We value your custom”
Still, there are a lot of people out there who fight the good fight in silence, and pay the price without any
Pope Bishop of Rome praising them. People enduring privations, solitude, mockery, or financial insecurity. People who have lost their job because they did not want to be the nurse of an abortion, or the doctor who goes to sleep knowing today he has killed a baby; people spat on the face, or provoked in the street, for not wanting babies to be murdered in the womb. Strangely enough, they are called “obsessed”. They aren’t helping at all, you see. This is soooo the wrong message.
There are still a lot of these people around. They just aren’t cool. They are no examples. The atheist who has his conscience – and therefore himself – as his god, not the believer who has his faith in God, is, nowadays, the cool kid.
How can a God-fearing man be cool? He is so narrow-minded! His “excessive doctrinal security” certainly does not make him worthy of being made an example. He is so stuffy. Unfashionable. Pre-Council. Ugh!…
Doctrinal security is, we are told in so many words, a bit like chocolate. Not bad in moderate doses. Even good, actually. But too much of it? Heavens, it upsets those who have been appointed as the cool kids! It can’t be allowed, can it now. One wants to be liked by the cool kids. One wants their approval. One will do everything one can to show them whilst one must – alas – keep some divergence of opinion, one will do as much as one can to minimise it, make it almost disappear if he can, and make it appear just another version of their same coolness if he cannot. One will, therefore, become very popular. A just reward, because one is so very humble.
Thus, the unsung heroes will remain unsung, whilst those who should praise them most try to be popular with those they have appointed as the “cool kids”.
If those who should praise them were smart, they would recognise those whom they think cool are the real morons, and those whom they think “narrow-minded”, “obsessed” and plagued with “excessive doctrinal security” are the real cool kids. But they aren’t, so they don’t.
The unsung heroes continue their battle every day, belittled by those who should encourage them most. But they aren’t discouraged.
The Blessed Virgin sees them all; the smarts and the idiots, the brave and the cowards, the faithful and the rebels.
She sees the wife with the bad husband, the mother with the perverted son, the husband with the sluttish wife, the young woman crying in her bedroom; she sees the young boy walking alone in the schoolyard, the pro-life activist provoked in the street, and the nurse or the doctor who have chosen to endure the loss of their job.
She knows who the cool kids are.
I know I am not the only one who thinks this, but I thought I would say two words about it anyway.
The Bishop of Rome said on the aeroplane bringing him home from Brazil that he really didn't like giving interviews. Many, like me, thought: “of course he doesn't: his theological approximation is such that he would be exposed as a dangerous amateur in no time, and the comparison with Benedict would be painfully cruel”.
Strangely enough, since then our man has abandoned himself to extemporaneous public messages with a passion that I can only call voluptuous. What has happened to persuade Francis to change his mind?
What might have happened is that more and more voices within the Vatican have started to warn Francis of the dangers of his reckless behaviour. The man might therefore – in this scenario – have realised he would never get his revolutionary (read: heretical) message out there within the frame of the normal Vatican communication channels.
Imagine such an amateur as he trying to write an encyclical letter: it would be so full of bovine excrements that even the Neo-Modernist Vatican nomenklatura would be up in arms in no time, explaining to him in countless rigorously written notes why what he wants to write is utter and complete nonsense. At this point he might choose to just ignore them, but this would be theological suicide as the documents would be certainly leaked, procuring him a reputation for incompetence, officially sculpted in marble, that would defy the millennia.
He chooses, then, to do exactly the contrary of what he had planned: spread the bovine excrements through the mainstream media, as informal and spontaneous expressions of his humble heart; without anyone of the Vatican allowed to know beforehand what he is going to say; without, in fact, not even anyone present during his interview with Scalfari. Free as a bird, and alone with a buddy atheist. The revolutionary possibilities are limitless.
This way he goes around the Vatican apparatus, avoids being ridiculed in Vatican papers, becomes the idol of the X-factor catholics (small c), but avoids the direct ground of serious theological confrontation. He was merely talking off-the-cuff, you see. He is a merry guy, not so interested in theological precision. Exactness is overrated, and common sense vaguely Pelagian. The entire planet is taking him very seriously; but you, you should not give too much importance to the interviews.
Whilst, therefore, the entire planet will rejoice in Francis' heresy, the desperate defenders of neocon rose water Catholicism will say that he has “not changed Church teaching” (which in essentials he can't anyway and therefore isn't of any use, or any news), blessedly glossing over the fact that whilst officially not changing the teaching, Francis unofficially completely changes its perception all over the planet. But you, you wait patiently for the next encyclical; you will see there is nothing to fear, really…
If this is true, we will see this Papacy choose a rather cautious (when needs must) approach in official documents, giving Francis the bird food he needs for his Catholic pigeons; at the same time, he will continue his work of demolition through the mass media. The Clericalist Troops will be satisfied: hey, the encyclical on the wetness of water was so good, so where's your beef?
I might be wrong of course, and I have already clearly underestimated the immense potential of confusion and destruction of this man. But it is a fact that he did not want to give interviews and now he seems unable to live without – or without the letter-writing in answer to newspaper articles, which amounts to the same -, so one wonders what might have happened that made him change his mind.
We are being punished.
It is a well-known fact that Hitler never signed any document directly related to the Holocaust. Being evil, but smart, he knew that by doing so the future generations would have no shortage of stupid supporters ready to believe he had never anything to do with it, just because it is convenient to them to think so. They will – and they actually did; and still do – fabricate in their mind the legend of the evil people staging the Holocaust behind the back of the good-natured, unknowing Führer who was, in fact, always so nice with everyone, and loved his dog so much.
The wolves, you see. It's always the wolves. When some people put into their heads that someone they like cannot have taken certain decisions they don't, they will go to extraordinary lengths to try to let reality match their delusion.
An even worse degree of delusion is happening with the current Pontiff. There is no doubt he has approved the content of the Repubblica interview. The newspaper stated it, and Father Rosica also confirmed it on the Vatican's side.
This gives everyone a degree of certainty about who is responsible for the interview that vastly, vastly exceeds the certainty every reasonable, thinking person must have that Hitler was the driving force behind the Holocaust.
Still, the last desperate defence is the complete, total, utterly drunken denial of reality. Francis has approved, but has he read the interview before he did? Basically, in order not to admit the man is a walking heresy some people are ready to concede he might be so irresponsibly stupid as to approve the text of an interview that will be read worldwide, and of which he knows no recordings or notes exist, without even reading it. God knows I am not a great admirer of the intellectual faculties of Jorge Bergoglio, but this defies every notion of common sense.
Not only this: this delirious train of thoughts must assume that Francis has not read the interview even after it was published; and not even after it was clear all the Catholic world was in shock following the publication.
Therefore, the thinking goes as follows: “We know Francis has approved the interview, but we do not know whether he has read it. We also know the interview was published and read worldwide, but we are not sure he got the newspaper. The newspaper might well have reached his desk, but we do not know whether he has opened it. Yes, he might have opened the newspaper, but we do not know whether he read the actual words. Yes, it was suggested to him he should read what all the world was reading as attributed to him, but we are not sure he was listening“.
As I pen this we write the 9 October 2013.
Francis still hasn't retracted a word.
Make no mistake, those who think Francis “has not read” have no doubts about who is behind the Holocaust.
Thinking is suspended only when the problem is called Francis.
This intervention appeared on Chiesa, and is from Pietro De Marco, a professor of Theology in Florence.
It is noted the intervention appears in toto as appendix to A Magister article on L’Espresso’s “Chiesa”. It is also noted “L’Espresso” and “Repubblica” belong to the same editorial group.
Emphases mine, in bold. Comments in red and square brackets.
A “liquid” message
by Pietro De Marco
In conscience I must break with the courtly choir, composed of all-too-familiar secular and ecclesiastical names, which for months has accompanied the public statements of pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It is the choir of those who celebrate the “new” of the pope knowing that it is not such, and are silent about the true “innovations,” when they are embarrassing. For this reason, I am constrained to point out some of the reiterated approximations into which the spontaneous and captivating eloquence of Francis has fallen.
No one is exempt, in daily and private conversation among a few, from approximations and distortions, But there is no person [unless he be very arrogant, and appallingly superficial] who has responsibility in regard to many – who teaches, for example – who will not adopt another register in public and seek to avoid improvisation.
Now, instead, we have a pope who exclaims: “Who am I to judge?” as one can emphatically say at the table or even in preaching spiritual exercises. But before the press and the world a “who am I to judge?” spoken by a pope objectively jars with the entire history and profound nature of the Petrine function, moreover giving the distasteful sensation of an uncontrolled outburst. Because of his function as a vicar with respect to Christ, not as an individual, the pope judges. Since Pope Francis demonstrates, when he wishes, the awareness of his powers as pope, this is a matter – whatever he might want to say – of a true error of communication.
We then read in the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” the phrase: “Spiritual interference in personal life is not possible,” which seems to group together under the liberal-libertarian figure of “interference” both theological-moral judgment, and the public evaluation of the Church, when necessary, and even the care of a confessor or spiritual director in indicating, preventing, sanctioning intrinsically evil conduct. Pope Bergoglio Involuntarily [ very charitable…] adopts here a commonplace typical of postmodernity, according to which the individual decision is, as such, always good or at least always endowed with value, in being personal and free as one naïvely thinks it may be, and therefore incontestable.
This relativistic slippage, no longer rare in general pastoral practice [a common heretical slippage in V II times] , is covered up, not only in Bergoglio, by references to sincerity and to the repentance of the individual, almost as if sincerity and repentance canceled the nature of sin and prohibited the Church from calling it by its name. Moreover, it is doubtful that it is merciful to be silent about and respect that which each one does because he is free and sincere in doing it: we have always known that clarifying, not hiding, the nature of sinful conduct is an eminently merciful act, because it permits the sinner to discern about himself and his state, according to the law and the love of God. That even a pope [picture a facepalm here…] should seem to confuse the primacy of conscience with a sort of unjudgeability, or even as immunity from the judgment of the Church, is a risk for the authoritativeness of the pope and for the ordinary magisterium that cannot be underestimated.
In the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” the pope returns to the “who am I to judge?” and confirms: “If a homosexual person is of good will and is seeking God, I am no one to judge him. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has made us free.”
The reiterated use of that “who am I?” confirms on the one hand, in Francis, a popular acceptation of “to judge” as a synonym of “to condemn” – which produces confusion, because judgment is not necessarily condemnation, and often it is not – and on the other accentuates the idea that none of us and not even the pope is legitimated to express judgment [ ahem.. do I hear an “amen”?] . But this is false: each of us can be judge in every organization and even in the Church, if he acquires competence, and the pope is judge because of the mandate that is proper to him. [ Amen!]. Moreover, either no one is legitimated, ever, in judgment, because only God is, or it is not clear why only in the case of homosexuality the capacity for judgment should not be found [ true: the man “judges” all the time].
If moreover, as the pope says, “religion” – a cursory way of designating the history and institutions and treasures of grace founded in Christ of which the pope is the guarantor – “has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people,” but must not interfere in freedom, there is no longer room either for the law of God or for charity. Freedom as such becomes, truly, the absolute. And certainly if “religion” is reduced to an opinion group it cannot take on the stature of judge. Who has, moreover, need of charity if his freedom absolves him prior to any judgment?
The formula of the Church “in the service of the people” returns in the words of the pope even with regard to liturgical reform, which is taken to be “a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel on the basis of the concrete historical situation.” A staggering definition that reduces the sacred signs even below the little they had fallen to in the Protestant churches. What has been the use of a century and a half of liturgical “ressourcement?” [ another facepalm]:
It will be said that one must not overanalyze words that are spoken in a conversation between Jesuit confrères. But if this is the case, it would have been well that the conversation should have remained in the private memoirs of pope Bergoglio and Fr. Antonio Spadaro. To endure the fate of reading in “La Civiltà Cattolica” – a magnificent combatant at least since the 1950’s for the Catholic truth and for Rome [the entire contrary now] – that for the current successor of Peter doctrine, traditions, and liturgy have become the faculty and eventuality of giving an opinion and “offering a service,” is a humiliation that could have been spared the Church.
In “la Repubblica” of October 1 we read other debatable statements of pope Bergoglio. We learn that “proselytism is solemn foolishness, it makes no sense,” as a response to the theme of conversion proposed ironically by Eugenio Scalfari (“Do you want to convert me?”). [here Prof. De Marco is obviously wrong. has he not read all the contortionist blogs? tsk, tsk…] But seeking the conversion of the other is not “foolishness”; it can be done in a manner that is foolish, or sublime, as in many saints. I recall that the spouses Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, converts themselves, ardently desired and worked for the return to the faith of their great friends. Why avoid the theme of conversion by comparing it with “proselytism,” a word loaded with a negative connotation? [because he does not want to convert in the first place. That’s why].
We then read that, to the relativistic objection of Scalfari: “Is there a single vision of the good? And who establishes it?” the pope concedes that “each of us has his vision of the good” and “we must incite him to proceed toward what he thinks to be the good.”
But if everyone has “his vision of the good” that he must be able to realize, these visions cannot help but turn out to be the most diverse, in contrast and often in mortal conflict, as proven by current affairs and by history. Inciting one to proceed according to his personal vision of the good is in reality inciting the struggle of all against all, a strenuous battle, because it is waged for the good and not for the useful or something else contingent. [ do I hear an “how can Francis be such a child?”] This is why particular visions – including those guided by the most upright intentions – must be regulated by a sovereign, or in modern terms by the law, and ultimately by the law of Christ, which has no nuances of concession in individualistic terms. [ this man does have too much “doctrinal certainty”. Tsk, tsk again…]
Perhaps Pope Francis meant [ extreme effort at explaining heresy; we all went through that…] that man, according to the Catholic doctrine of the natural law, has the original capacity, a primary and fundamental impulse, given to all by God, of distinguishing that which is good in itself from that which is evil in itself. But here is inserted the mystery of sin and grace. Can one extol Agustine, as the pope does, and omit that in that which man “thinks to be the good” sin is always at work also? What has become of the dialectic between the city of God and the city of man and of the devil, “civitas” of love and of self? If the good were that which the individual “thinks to be the good,” and the convergence of these thoughts could save man, what need would there be for positive law in general, for the law of God in particular, and for the incarnation of the Son? [I rephrase for the benefit of the readers: “Is this rubbish Christianity at all? No, it isn’t!”]
The pope also maintains: “Vatican II, inspired by Pope John and by Paul VI, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to open to modern culture. The council fathers knew that opening to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with nonbelievers. After then very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and the ambition of wanting to do it.”
All of this sounds like an “a priori” that is hardly critical. How much destructive “ecumenism” and how much “dialogue” subservient to the ideologies of the Modern have we seen at work in past decades, to which only Rome, from Paul VI to Benedict XVI, have presented a barrier! [ note: Francis does not see anything negative in all that! and by the way: who is he to judge?] The Bergoglio who criticized the theologies of liberation and revolution cannot fail to know that dialogue with modern culture carried out after the Council was quite another thing than a courteous “ecumenism.”
Pope Francis shows himself to be the typical religious of the Society of Jesus in its recent phase, converted by the Council in the years of formation, especially by what I call the “external Council,” the Vatican II of militant expectations and interpretations, created by some episcopates, by their theologians, and by the most influential Catholic media outlets. One of those churchmen who, in their conciliatory and pliable tone, in their undisputed values, are also the most rigid “conciliars,” convinced after half a century that the Council is yet to be realized and that things should be done as if we were still in the 1970’s, in a hand-to-hand with the “pacellian” church, neoscholastic theology, under the influence of the secular or Marxist paradigm of modernity.
On the contrary: that which the “conciliar spirit” wanted and was able to activate has been said or tried over the decades and today it is a question in the first place of making a critical assessment of the results, sometimes disastrous. Even the tenacious proclamation in Pope Francis of the divine mercy corresponds to a pastoral attitude now widespread among the clergy, to the point of that laxity which the pope moreover censures. Not only that. The theme of sin has almost disappeared from catechesis, thereby liquidating the very need of mercy [ exceptions: gossipers and pelagian rosary-counters. Rather than promoting generally merciful behaviors, this is a matter today of reconstructing a moral theology less made up of words and again capable of guiding clergy and faithful in concrete cases. Also in moral theology the road to the true implementation of the Council has been reopened by the magisterial work of Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger.
Some maintain that Francis could be, as a postmodern pope, the man of the future of the Church, beyond traditionalism and modernism. But the postmodern that most thrives in him [this man is rotten to the core] – as liquidation of forms [he doesn’t know or care about what he says..], spontaneity of public appearance [… provided he is popular and in the headlines] , attention to the global village [because he wants to be a global phenomenon] – is superficial. With its pliability and aestheticism, the postmodern is hardly plausible in a bishop of Latin America, where until recently the intelligentsia was dominated by the Marxist Modern. Bergoglio’s solid core is and remains “conciliar.” On the road undertaken by this pope, if confirmed, I see first of all the crystallization of the dominant pastoral conciliarism in the clergy and in the active laity.
Of course, if Bergoglio is not postmodern, his worldwide reception is. The pope pleases right and left, practicing and nonbelievers, without discernment. His prevalent message is “liquid.” On this success, however, nothing can be built, there can only be remixed something already existing, and that not of the best.
There are worrying signals of this “liquid” appearance for anyone who may not be prone to the relativistic chatter of this late modernity:
a) the concession to set popular phrases like “everyone is free to do…” “who says that things must be this way…” “who am I to…” allowed to slip out in the conviction that they are dialogical and up-to-date. Presenting himself as a simple bishop to justify hardly formal behaviors, do not cover up and cannot cover up the different weight and different responsibility that instead belong to his words, any word, since the bishop of Rome and the pope are one and the same;
b) the lack of scrutiny on the part of persons of trust, but wise and cultured, and Italian, of the texts destined to be circulated, perhaps in the papal conviction that there is no need for this;
c) a certain authoritarian inclination (“I will do everything to…”) in singular contrast with the frequent pluralistic propositions, but typical of the democratic “revolutionaries,” with the risk of imprudent collisions with tradition and the “sensus fidelium”;
d) moreover, there remains incongruous in Pope Francis this constant taking of individual public communication initiatives and this wanting to be without filters (the symptomatic image of the papal apartment as a bottleneck), which reveal the unwillingness to feel himself a man of governance (something more difficult than being a reformer) in an eminent and “sui generis” institution like the Catholic Church.
His is, at times, the conduct of a modern and informal manager, one of those who concede a great deal to the press. But this clinging to persons and things on the outside – collaborators, friends, press, public opinion, even the apartment in Santa Marta is “outside” – as if the man Bergoglio were afraid he would not know what to do once he were left alone, as pope, in the apartment of the popes, is not positive. And the thing could not last. Even the media will get tired of supporting a pope who needs them too much.
Two last observations.
1. To those who invoke the Ignatian style of accompanying the sinner, or the far away, I reply that this concerns the relationship of the internal forum or the direction of conscience or private conversation. But if the pope expresses himself this way in public, his words enter the flow of the ordinary magisterium, they become catechesis. We all know that the conciliarist motto “from the cudgel to mercy” was aimed not so much at softening confessors as at weakening the authority of Rome.
2. The expressive model chosen by Bergoglio cannot be pushed to the limit of knocking down the ordinary magisterium and making it hardly or not at all obligatory. The powers of a pope do not extend to the very nature of his own “munus,” which transcends him and imposes limits on him. [ see my “letter to a Proddie friend”]. I do not approve of the traditionalist extremists, but there is no doubt that tradition is the norm and the power of the successor of Peter.
Florence, October 2, 2013
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.
I wasn’t there, of course, and can therefore not give witness of what exactly has caused the last madness of the Bishop of Rome: the interview with Scalfari.
I am, though, old enough to try to make a hypothesis – as charitable as I can – of what I think led to the present meltdown in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. If you think I am not entitled to make such hypotheses stop reading now, or hold your tongue. Otherwise, this is what I think might have happened.
– Francis obviously doesn’t trust many people. He feels that the Vatican apparatus is his enemy, bent on blocking every initiative of his. They don’t know anything of the favela, you know. They listen to Beethoven, dress exquisitely, and eat like princes. Among them, he feels like a revolutionary peasant in the middle of the bureaucrats of the King he has just deposed.
– He thinks he knows everything better, though. He has a certain idea (heretical, and stupid; but this post is not about that) of how the Church must become: a confused, explosive mixture of Peron, Chavez and Che Guevara; a mixture of which he has persuaded himself, a long time ago, that it is something not only good, but even Christian. He knows the Vatican “machine” is out there to (to use the delightful expression of “Yes, Minister”) “house train” him, and he therefore decides to “do his own thing” without looking left or right.
– His pride therefore leads him to isolation. He has nowhere to turn among the soft-spoken, but extremely alert personnel of the Vatican. He fears encirclement, isolation and, ultimately, castration. He decides not to enter the Papal Apartments, and to live as far away as he can from the Vatican bourgeoisie. A self-appointed spiritual son of the favela, he knows they are his class enemies.
– Coherently with his Jesuit-born “all you need is luv” religion, he starts surrounding himself with strange people. People like the homosexual Ricca, whom Francis keeps near him – very near him, actually – even after a huge scandal erupts. Francis does not care much of what other people think, so he does not think it fit to send Ricca in the wilderness – as a layman, if you ask me -. At least, he does not care as long as they do not dent his ceaseless quest for approval and popular adoration, which is proving more and more the most evident weakness of this, in the best case, mediocre man. He must think – I am charitable again – that he is doing what the Lord (or at least the very confused image he allowed himself to have of Him) would want him to do and, blinded by vanity, must see the popular approval as the evidence that he is on the right track. Vox populi, vox dei: the battle cry of demagogues and vainglorious leaders since time immemorial.
– Francis ends up, then, with a very close circle of trusted friends, none of them prudent or expert, none of them fit in Catholicism, many of them certainly sycophants. It’s the eternal bane of power, that wants the boss relentlessly subject to flattery of all sort. If he is a man of integrity, he will deal with it brilliantly. If he is Francis, he will soon believe he is the one who will be remembered in the centuries for his groundbreaking revolucion.
– I think I might know who some of these friends are. If they aren’t exactly those ones, then they are people like them. People with an agenda, or people who do not know, or people who do not care. They become the inner circle of this lonely wannabe revolutionary, and help him to fabricate his own personal tragedy. He doesn’t see the pit, because he isn’t enough intelligent or humble for that, and like all those who aren’t very intelligent he believes himself extremely smart. This is why he puts a bomb under his chair every two weeks, and still thinks he is doing just fine.
– One of these people might just be Monsignor Ricca. Francis wanted to keep him near him as the head of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, and he evidently trusts his advice. Don’t laugh. Francis is just the type to ask a scandalous faggot what he thinks of his theological views. Faggot priests he has seen and tolerated enough and for long enough, and, in his own words, “who is he to judge?”.
– Another one of these people might well be Rabbi Skorka, his dear buddy from Argentina who, besides being a Jew (no, they do not believe in the same God as we. They truly don’t!) is in favour of perverted “unions”. Skorka was in Rome around the time of the interview. He is possibly Francis’ closest friend, or at least one of his closest friends. Francis is so confused concerning matters of religion, that this very Skorka said in an interview Francis watches that he eats kosher. I kid you not. Google it!***
– If this is the morning, how can the day be any better than what we have just seen? Is it so unrealistic to think that Francis receives the draft of the interview, has it open on his desk, knows that it will be read the world over, and asks for advice people like Ricca and Skorka, and perhaps these very two? What will, then, a faggot and a Jew say to him when they see him (unwittingly, perhaps; again, he is not a genius) demolishing the Catholic faith? Will they say to him “are you sure this is how you want to be seen?” Will they say to him “I am not sure this is very Catholic?” Or are they going to say to him “this is so beautiful, Jorge! The world will applaud you! This is the dawn of a new era of peace, dialogue, understanding among the people, luuuv, and you are the prophet who ushers this new Christian (!) vision!” ?
– Again: Francis might not have asked exactly Skorka and Ricca (though again, he might well have asked just those two: they were near enough, and are trusted enough). But if he has cut himself out of sound advice – as he must if he wants to pursue his revolutionary plan; and as abundantly showed by his decision to avoid the Papal Apartments – he must have around him an awful lot of sycophants, perverts and unbelievers; people seeking personal promotion and advantage, or perhaps even believing in their very badly formed conscience that they are doing the right thing, and working for “world peace”. You read Skorka’s words, and you realise besides a thin varnish of Christ put here and there by Francis there isn’t much difference between the two: peace, dialogue, understanding, love; more peace, more love, more dialogue. Individual conscience, no matter how badly formed, is the metre of everything. Are you a Jew? Eat kosher!
If this is true, it become not only clear, but unavoidable how the meltdown could happen: when a confused Peronist who would be astonished at reading the Penny Catechism decides he can do without the “leprosy” of the Vatican apparatus, the result can only be the decision to publish the Scalfari interview as we have all read it, and allow it to go around worldwide without a word of correction.
Word, by the way, for which I am still waiting: then up to now an awful lot of people has started saying the interview does not reflect the Pope’s thinking; only, not the Pope.
I know, I know. Some of you think this is a far too gentle reading of the events, and I understand these readers though I do not agree with them. I do not think he is willfully evil. I think he is very confused, very ignorant (and I mean brutally ignorant, as in “no knowledge of the very basics”: commandments, sins crying for vengeance, works of mercy, stuff like that…) and naturally arrogant, and the mixture of the three leads him to believe he is being a good Catholic.
A thin excuse I know, and the Pope is the last one who can be excused for not having a properly formed conscience. Still, I would say it’s still better than the malicious intent. At least one can hope he lives and learns.
Pray for our confused, ignorant and arrogant Pope. It’s the confused, ignorant and arrogant Popes who need our prayers the most.
*** Then people are surprised he considers proselytism nonsense…
The latest contortionism of the Clericalist Troops seems to be to imply – or to say openly; I have read that, too; and no, I will not post the link – that Eugenio Scalfari is not “there” anymore with his head, and the value of Francis' interview is therefore to be dismissed because hey, it was an interview with a very old man, and there was no recorder!
As so often, the Clericalist Troops are bending over forward to adapt their drams to the crude reality on the ground. Let us see why.
– The Bishop of Rome lives in Italy. He is obviously well aware that Scalfari enjoys the reputation of a very intelligent man even among those who, like me, consider him a dangerous bastard. Francis has answered to a letter of this man, and gave him a historic interview. If Scalfari is gaga, what does this say of Francis?
– If there were no recorders and no note taking, this can only have been because of an express wish of the Bishop. This makes sense. Even the man himself realises one hour or more of uncoordinated, confused waffle would amuse the planet exceedingly. Therefore, he chooses the “informal chat with no hard evidence” way, where he can waffle at pleasure and Dr Scalfari will then have the ungrateful task of putting all the eh-ing and ah-ing and no-ing into something intelligible. I doubt Scalfari would do this for many people. I do not doubt he – and everyone else – would do it for the huge “scoop” of an interview with the (though he does not call himself this way) Pope. If anyone thought Scalfari forgot the recorder, he had better go back to reality now.
– If no recorders and no notes were used, then the interview can only be a reconstruction of the disordinate ramblings of Francis after the fact. But this does not make it less of an interview, at all. Think one second and you will realise that the absence of recorders or note-taking does not dent a bit the credibility of the interview, or the gravity of what Francis stated. On the contrary, it enhances it. With a recorded interview or notes taken on the spot you are, in a way, delivered to the ugly truth of the words you have spoken. With an informal chat, the interview's content is the draft you have just received, now lying on your desk and patiently awaiting for you to decide what to make of it. No time pressure at all. In fact, you have now all the time in the world to read; re-read; examine the theological implications; wonder what effect this or that phrase might have on the readership; have other people read the thing and tell you what their impression is; & Co, & Co. It would be then very easy – and truthful – to say to Dr Scalfari “Dear Eugenio, thank you for the draft text of the interview. I do not think some of the phrases in the draft reflect the content of our conversation; at least I did not mean it to be so. Kindly forgive any misunderstanding I may have caused. Please find enclosed a corrected version of your draft, better explaining what I should have been able to convey.” Easy peasy. At this point, the draft is the only content of the interview any journalist in good faith is authorised to consider as expressing the mind of the interviewee. Nothing of all this happened. Make no mistake: this bomb was made to explode by Francis himself.
– The use of quotation marks in the interview is certainly strange, and I do not know what the Italian code of conduct for journalists say in the matter. If in this case an extraordinary exception to the rule was made, it is obviously because of the extraordinary nature of the interview, and of the exceptional position of the interviewee. Still, there can be no doubt that Francis accepted in full the paternity of every word printed as his own direct quotation. Even if you do not believe that Francis approved the draft in full knowledge of its content – and if you do, it's not Scalfari who is gaga – you must accept the fact he had the interview with the quotations going around the world without objecting in the least. Very simply, Francis has nowhere to hide.
These considerations would be very obvious in any other circumstance, with every other interview to every other interviewee whatsoever. I am forced to write them because an alarming number of Catholics seem to believe elementary logic and common sense cease to find application wherever Francis states something outlandish, or worse.
Stop dreaming. Start thinking.
The Clericalist Troops are now triumphantly saying the “Repubblica” interview can happily be discarded, because it has emerged the Bishop of Rome… either lied himself in the interview, or else accepted an obviously wrong fact to be published and read worldwide because it let him appear oh so “mystical”.
There was no recorder! It's all a fabrication! Discard everything! The man is 88! Phew! Yippee-ya-yay!!
How is it, then, that the same Clericalist Troops defended the content of the interview as orthodox with such fantastic verbal contortionism? How is it they did not object to the age of the interviewer as the interview came out? How is it no one of them said the interview was not credible when it first appeared? How is it no one of them asked that the Bishop of Rome reneges the content of the interview?
Those who defended the interview when they first read should do the same now. It's not that the content has changed.
I would not believe these days if I were not living them myself. Luther himself, or Calvin, would certainly not believe a Pope able to make such a show of incompetence as the one we are experiencing.
Let us see what is happening. I am, for the record, not pulling your leg.
1. Father Lombardi speaks with journalists on Thursday trying to stem the brown tide advancing his way. The Fishwrap reports him so:
Pressed by reporters on the reliability of the direct quotations, Lombardi said during an Oct. 2 briefing that the text accurately captured the “sense” of what the pope had said, and that if Francis felt his thought had been “gravely misrepresented,” he would have said so.
What is happening here is extremely obvious: the journalists still can’t believe a Pope could release such heretical statements, and ask poor Lombardi what is what. Lombardi can’t contradict the Pope, and the interview has now been out for the entire planet to read without Francis expressing one word of disagreement. In fact, the entire interview is posted on the Vatican internet site. Again, if this weren’t enough of an attribution of paternity, the fact that Francis has-not-said-a-word of correction would speak worlds anyway.
Therefore, poor Lombardi gives an answer on the lines of “don’t nail me to any word, but I cannot deny at this point the interview reflects the Pope’s thinking, or he would have said so”.
Fair enough. Please also notice that it is inconceivable that Repubblica does not give Francis the draft of the interview asking him to give the green light. This would be obvious anyway, but the more so as it would now appear there were no recorders and no stenographers. If (cough…) someone is afraid that 5,000 words of confused, unconnected ramblings end up in an interview or in a recording, that one should bloody well care that the draft given to him afterwards carefully represents his thinking. Eh? Ah? No?
Just so you know, Scalfari is fully there with his head, and has been a journalist for many decades now. He knows his trade. I wish I could have more doubts about the other’s head, and less about his trade.
Everything is fine, or not fine, then. There were no recorders, but the Pope would have approved the draft, and can certainly open Repubblica and read the interview in the case – that you might believe, depending on what you smoke – he had not approved the text beforehand. Again, Lombardi said it himself: if the interview had not reflected the Pope’s view, he would have said so. But he didn’t, so it does. Francis has, therefore, taken paternity and accepted full responsibility at the latest when he has not reacted to the interview; interview which is now even on the Vatican site.
What’s difficult in that?
A lot, it seems.
2. Enter Cardinal Dolan, Guffawer-In-Chief and, like Francis, another one Obama likes a lot.
Dolan is every bit as sly as Francis, but he is far more intelligent. Even as heretical Pope, I think he’d make a far more refined one. The Cardinal waits, then, several days to see whether Francis objects to the interview. Nothing happens. After Lombardi has stated the obvious and it is clear Francis has taken full paternity of the interview, Dolan launches a huge torpedo in the direction – make no mistake on this – of the Holy Father himself, and says what Francis has stated cannot have taken place. Francis first accepted, and then retired in prayer. He accepted with no hesitation.
Francis had said (emphases mine):
“Rarely. For example when the conclave elected me Pope. Before I accepted I asked if I could spend a few minutes in the room next to the one with the balcony overlooking the square. My head was completely empty and I was seized by a great anxiety. To make it go way and relax I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows. I closed my eyes and I no longer had any anxiety or emotion. At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting and the table on which was the act of acceptance. I signed it, the Cardinal Camerlengo countersigned it and then on the balcony there was the ‘Habemus Papam’.”
The question was whether it had ever happened to him to have a “mystical moment”. From Francis words it is clear he has a very vivid recollection that this “filling with great light” was one of the rare mystical moments of his life, the one that persuaded him to sign the acceptance. This wasn’t seventy years ago, folks. This was seven months ago. Less, actually. One remembers, does one not? Also, please do not kid yourselves into thinking this is a small detail: read the phrase again, the tension, the dynamic, the drama of the man “suddenly” getting up, walking into the room, seeing the act, signing it. Stuff for a movie, folks. “Life and Lio of Francis the Humble”. No, this isn’t a secondary detail. This is the attempt to envelop the election in a mystical light, an attempt now debunked by, of all people, Cardinal Dolan. What a shame. What a shame. What a shame.
So Cardinal Dolan’s revelations imply one of these:
1. The interview is one pile of rubbish, as seen from the “enlightenment” tale. Francis was happy with it.
2. The interview is accurate in the heretical part. Francis was happy with it. But it was also invented in the legend of the “mystical experience that persuades him to accept”. Francis was happy with that, too. He had not said it that way, you know; but gosh, it made him look good!… and so humble! I can hear the music: Maaaagic… Moooments….
3. The interview is accurate and Francis agrees with what Repubblica wrote; but he is, ahem… old, you know…
4. Francis makes the interview without recorder; he does not read the draft, but he approves it nevertheless; he has the interview printed and making an awful mess all over the planet, but still doesn’t read it. Everyone in the Catholic world knows exactly what he would have said and discusses it, only he doesn’t. Therefore, it’s all Pinocchio’s fault; or Breznev’s; or the Cheshire Cat’s. It must be so, then Francis is the Pope. Though he doesn’t like to say it, of course. Cheshire Cat is it, then.
In all four cases, Francis gets out demolished, and I mean, demolished. He can only get out of this case as:
1. An old man in his dotage;
2. a liar; and a massive one at that, as we are talking here of a “mystical experience” allegedly at the root of his decision to become Pope. A vainglorious one, too, embellishing his election – or willfully accepting to have it embellished – with “magic moment” mystical experiences. Can you imagine the Pontiff Emeritus even thinking of something like that…
3. a man of such an astounding superficiality and laziness that he does not even read the draft of an interview he knows will be read all over the world before giving it the green light, and does not even care to read the interview after it has made a mess all over the planet. I esteem my readers, though, and will not insult their intelligence asking them to believe this one. They should leave it to the conspiracy theorists, and assorted Pollyannas.
If you think there are other possibilities, let me know. I will exclude the hypothesis that he is willfully evil and a minion of Satan, and ask everyone not to make such hypotheses. Therefore, apart from the three mentioned above I see no other possibility in the realm of sensible discussion, though the usual spinmeisters will no doubt find some excuses. For example: extraterrestrials have kidnapped him between the 1 and the 5 October; the wolves have not allowed him to read the draft, because they have him prisoner in the Papal Apartments.. erm, no, wait!… ; the wolves have let every copy of Repubblica disappear from every newsagent on a one mile radius from the Vatican City. No internet, of course. No TV. Father Lombardi was beamed to an Argentinian favela, and threatened to move his office there if he speaks.
Please, let us stop kidding ourselves. Let us face reality. It’s one, two or three. None of them very complimentary, but 1 and 2 (well, erm … cough…) not entirely out of character.
Francis has taken responsibility for the interview, as Father Lombardi himself had to see. Even if Dr Scalfari was, as they say, “high as a kite” or completely gaga, this would not change a iota in the fact the interview was published, made a scandal all over the planet, and Francis did not correct the draft before publication and did not say a word of correction after it. Francis bears full responsibility for what was published. Don’t shoot the pianist.
You would not have expected this from Cardinal Dolan. He laughs always so much.
Gosh, the man can launch a torpedo. Still, this latest shame – the worst of them all, as the personal integrity of the Pope is concerned – is all Francis’ doing.
If this Francis gives another interview of the sort, even only one, it means he is very probably beyond redemption. Perhaps he is, though, still sensible enough to understand that he is making an ass of himself, and the butt of worldwide jokes. At the same time, the now rapidly growing ridicule is perhaps our only chance to avoid things going really south. When the entire Catholic world laughs at Francis’ antics, perhaps we will see him put the foot on the brake. He seems very humbly attached to his reputation, you see.
The wages of arrogance is ridicule. One would hope the Bishop of Rome got it at last.
In another post about explaining the obvious I have examined the astonishing words of the Bishop of Rome concerning the “nonsense” of “proselytism”. Today I would like to say some words more concerning the words immediately following the phrases examined in the other posts.
This time I will follow the text more closely, one phrase at a time, in order to follow with you the conversation as it unfolds. Please always remember, one of the two is the Pope and he has a sacred duty to uphold, defend and propagate the Truth, and transmit it intact. Surely, no generation before V II ever thought any differently about the duties of a Pope.
Dr Scalfari asks:
Santità, esiste una visione del Bene unica? E chi la stabilisce?”
“Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”
Scalfari poses here a question that politely reveals his moral relativism. But he is the atheist of the two and not the one who is Pope, so this is par for the course.
Naturally a Pope would, in a spontaneous conversation, spontaneously answer what everyone of us would also answer. Something on the lines of: “Of course there is. I am a Catholic, how can you expect from me any other answer? Did not Jesus himself say that he is the Truth, the Way and the Life? If there were many truths, then Jesus’ words, nay His entire message, would evidently be nothing more than a lie and a mockery. Don’t you agree, my dear Dr Scalfari? If you believe that Jesus is God you must – you must – believe that He is The Truth, which means: the Only Truth there is. If I did not believe this, how could I call myself a Catholic, or a Christian come to that?”.
I am not, here, touching deep theological waters. I am not flaunting deep, brilliant quotations. I am not being profound at all. This is rather basic stuff. Stuff taught to children, and that children can readily understand. Our Lord is the Truth. Easy. Anyone of us, talking at the pub with an atheist, would come out with pretty much the same answer.
Well, not anyone, apparently. Francis answers as follows (emphases mine):
«Ciascuno di noi ha una sua visione del Bene e anche del Male. Noi dobbiamo incitarlo a procedere verso quello che lui pensa sia il Bene».
“Each of us has a [sua = his] vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”
Francis has just been asked whether there is a single vision of the Good. He ignores the matter completely. The existence of a Universal Truth seems not to be his business at all. Instead, he answers like the perfect relativist. Let us say it once again: words follow thoughts. You can’t speak like a relativist unless you think like one. Not at the pub. Not among friends. Not in an interview. Particularly not in the interview. Particularly not when you are – like the name or not – the Pope. Francis does not even try to defend the idea that there is One Truth, and this is the Truth of Christ, Who is Himself the Truth. No. So eager is he to please his interlocutor, that he literally jumps to an astonishing relativistic statement: each one has his own truth, and we (the Church) must encourage him to proceed towards what he thinks is Good.
I do not think a Freemason could have explained the religious views of Freemasonry any better than with Francis’ very words.
Scalfari insists with a clearly important point:
Lei, Santità, l’aveva già scritto nella lettera che mi indirizzò. La coscienza è autonoma, aveva detto, e ciascuno deve obbedire alla propria coscienza. Penso che quello sia uno dei passaggi più coraggiosi detti da un Papa.
“You, Your Holiness, have written that already in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope”.
What Dr Scalfari here is politely saying is: “This was truly unbelievable. I never thought I’d see the day where a Pope, of all people, says that the conscience is autonomous and everyone must obey his conscience”. Scalfari, who is fit in Catholic things and says in this interview he won a Catholic prize as a boy, knows perfectly well this is utter bollocks unless one at least explains that the conscience must be properly formed, that is: conformed to Truth (see above) and no one can ever dream his own conscience would prevail over Truth.
Scalfari perfectly well knows all this, because he is fit in Catholicism. Francis doesn’t, because – to put it very charitably – he isn’t. He therefore answers thus:
«E qui lo ripeto. Ciascuno ha una sua idea del Bene e del Male e deve scegliere di seguire il Bene e combattere il Male come lui li concepisce. Basterebbe questo per migliorare il mondo».
“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
“E qui lo ripeto” is a very emphatic expression in Italian, far stronger than the usual “e lo ripeto adesso” (“and I repeat it now”). The phrase is often used as “qui lo dico e qui lo ripeto”, or “here I say it and here I repeat it”, to give more emphasis. No Italian reader can have any doubt the man truly wants to make the point.
Note Scalfari has called the phrase one of the most courageous ever pronounced by a Pope. There can be no doubt about the novelty of the statement as Scalfari and his readers understand it. Francis does not correct him. He does not relativise the statement. He does not say: “My dear Dr Scalfari, this is no courage at all! Pure Church teaching! Let me explain…”
No. He agrees with Scalfari, and exmphatically repeats his bold statement. He can hear the atheist applause coming, I am sure.
“Stop reading me through Benedict!” he is emphatically saying. “Stop that! Stop it now! I am very different from him and all our predecessors! When will you understand it!?”.
The message is clear: one must ( which actually means: must) choose ( which actually means: choose) to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them (which actually means: as he conceives them). This is what, Francis tells us, “everyone must do”. At this point, people blessed with a vivid imagination – like yours truly – picture him opening the window and throwing out 2000 years of Christianity, in the form of a very precious Bible, in the Vatican Gardens below.
Repetita iuvant. Therefore, let us say it once again in case anyone were to concoct some strange interpretation: Francis reassures his interlocutor that the relativistic statement he had made only weeks before – and which had caused such a huge scandal – is truly what he thinks.
There can be no doubt. “And I repeat it here” after being told he has said something enormous doesn’t have many twisting possibilities.
Stop dreaming. Start reading.
The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his Angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the Sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.
Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, 1441 (Council of Florence)
You [Eugenio Scalfari] ask if the God of the Christians forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. Given that—and this is fundamental—God's mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision.
Pope Francis, Letter to Eugenio Scalfari, 2013
“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
Pope Francis, interview to Eugenio Scalfari, 2013
Poor Father Federico Lombardi has tried to stem the mess as he can on Thursday evening. Unfortunately for him and for us not only what he can is very little, but he makes things worse.
The idea now seems to be to tell Catholics “don’t take him seriously”, whilst saying to the atheists and liberals “look how good he is”.
In short, Catholics are supposed to exercise themselves in a “new hermeneutic” whenever the Pope speaks like a drunken heretic; because hey, he’s not dangerous. He only wants to play. In what this new hermeneutic would consist it is clear enough: ignore what he says when his talk is heretical or simply stupid, praise him to the sky every time he says “amen”.
This new hermeneutic is nothing less than blindness in front of, and complicity in, Francis’ demolition work. It is being accessory to his sins.
Still, cue all the Neoconservatives now saying “let’s apply the new hermeneutic” every time Francis throws another bomb. What a disgrace this papacy is.
My suggestion is that the Pope only speaks Catholic, or shuts up. Neither he nor anyone else – and he less than anyone else – has the right to confuse the Catholics; be it with homilies, informal chats, formal interviews, or long letters.
“This isn’t Denzinger”, said a desperate Lombardi.
Yes, father. This most certainly isn’t.
It might be useful to expand a bit on a couple of the controversial statements of the Bishop of Rome in the recent interview: those concerning the “proselytism is nonsense” stunt. .
As the headlines, even when true, only report the actual words, the context can help us to better see what the situation was and was Francis was doing. In addition, we can use this to observe the way communication works, and apply it to all the other pieces of nonsense the Bishop of Rome continues to regale us with, and which are too numerous for a blogger who also has a job to examine in detail.
I have read the Italian of the text, and can vouch for the correctness of the translation.
Please consider that Repubblica is one of the biggest newspapers in Italy. It is not read by theologians, but by millions of John Does (or rather Mario Rossis, or Giovanni Colombos). Francis knows this perfectly well. He also knows the readership of the newspaper is one of leftists, generally entirely godless or tepidly cafeteria Catholics. This is not a newspaper bought by people of conservative attitudes, or by people ready and willing to give his every word the ideal, theologically appropriate Catholic interpretation after they have spoken with their parish priest.
Let us see.
Ora son qui. Il Papa entra e mi dà la mano, ci sediamo. Il Papa sorride e mi dice: «Qualcuno dei miei collaboratori che la conosce mi ha detto che lei tenterà di convertirmi»È una battuta gli rispondo. Anche i miei amici pensano che sia Lei a volermi convertire.Ancora sorride e risponde: «Il proselitismo è una solenne sciocchezza, non ha senso. Bisogna conoscersi, ascoltarsi e far crescere la conoscenza del mondo che ci circonda. A me capita che dopo un incontro ho voglia di farne un altro perché nascono nuove idee e si scoprono nuovi bisogni. Questo è importante: conoscersi, ascoltarsi, ampliare la cerchia dei pensieri. Il mondo è percorso da strade che riavvicinano e allontanano, ma l’importante è che portino verso il Bene».
And here I am. The Pope comes in and shakes my hand, and we sit down. The Pope smiles and says: “Some of my colleagues who know you told me that you will try to convert me.”It's a joke I tell him. My friends think it is you want to convert me.
He smiles again and replies: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”
The dynamic is clear enough. Francis says a light joke to Scalfaro about “attempts at conversion”. The other jokingly answers “same here”. At this point, Bergoglio launches an abrupt “proselytism is solemn nonsense”.
The reader does here what everyone of us does when he reads or talks: he follows the conversation. The Bishop is immediately linking “conversion” to “proselytism”, and calls the latter “nonsense”. He does not say anything on the lines of “I'd love to convert you, dear Dr Scalfari, but I am afraid it won't be that easy, or that fast”. This is the kind of answer a gracious Italian Catholic would have given; I mean spontaneously given, during a jovial conversation, because he is a Catholic. He does not even say “I wish I could make you understand how important salvation is for you, but I must pay attention that my imprudent enthusiasm does not result in the opposite of my intent”, thus making clear that if badly made, proselytism can backfire.
No. Francis is very brutal. It goes directly to the core of the matter (conversion) and says that… proselytism is nonsense. He says this, full knowing his words will go around the world as meaning the very words he has said: proselytism is nonsense. Not “some proselytism is nonsense”. Not “proselytism can be nonsensical”. Not “proselytism is good, unless it is made by a fool”. Nothing of all this. He says
“Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.”
To expect that the millions of readers of Repubblica and all over the world understand these words as anything different from what they very obviously mean is, truly, a solemn nonsense, and it makes no sense.
Also, Francis does not say that, say, after the two have improved their acquaintance he hopes he might persuade Scalfari to come closer to God, and perhaps to explore again, together with him, the reason of the Faith in friendship and without prejudices. He is not interested in converting the man at all, be it in the long or in the short term. He simply acknowledges the two have chosen very different ways and is very happy for this to be so, because “the important thing is that [their separate ways] lead toward the Good”.
Scalfari could have said exactly the same words to Francis, and no one in his right mind would ever interpret this as a desire of conversion to atheism.
“But Mundabor” – you might say – “you are now dissecting and analysing every word! Francis cannot dissect and analyse every word before he speaks!”.
To this I answer:
1. He can (in a way). This is an interview for a newspaper, not a live TV show. He could certainly ask to read the final draft and have the parts that aren't good or do not reflect his thinking to be taken away. If he hasn't done it, well he is a vainglorious fool who knows he tends to talk a lot of rubbish but thinks an interview on Repubblica is more important. Besides, I cannot imagine Scalfari would have said “no: either the text as it goes out of the recorder or no interview”. That's why you make newspaper interviews nowadays.
2. Think of how conversations happen. You have a leading idea that you want to express, and your words spontaneously express the idea you have formed. Our communication is spontaneous and authentic exactly because we do not have time to chisel two minutes on every word. What the heart feels, the mouth will tell, because words are but the expression of the concepts we have in mind. This is why when we are in conversation we generally do not stop our interlocutor asking to repeat the concept three times with different words. This is also why when – which at times happens – something isn't clear we stop the interlocutor immediately and ask him to explain it again; or why when we understand we might have expressed ourselves badly – also a rare occurrance: the mouth has generally no problem at all in expressing what the mind thinks – we immediately correct ourselves.
Not here. Francis is very sure of what he says. No qualifications, no distinguos, no problem at all with planting “proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense” in the middle of the conversation and leaving it there. What the heart has felt, the mouth has spoken.
It astonishes me that it could be any differently, not only here but in every interaction. If we had to apply the method some suggest we apply to Francis to every interview, newspapers and TV interview would be a solemn nonsense, they would make no sense.
I insist on this latter expression. Read it again. When I write “it's a solemn nonsense, it makes no sense”, does anyone have a doubt about the meaning of my words? Really?
And by the by, do I really have to spend one hour and more at the keyboard for such a simple concept? Isn't it what Francis has already said? Do you remember the “Rehab” post?
Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest”.
For heaven's sake, let us stop telling tales to ourselves.
Understandably, many good Catholics are now praying every day that the Lord may, in His Mercy, free us from Francis, the Scourge of Catholicism. They rightly reflect that due to the unique position of this man, as I write this on the morning of the 3 October 2013 it is fair to say no one else on the entire planet is making – unwittingly, I hope – the work of the Devil as effectively and as destructively as this man.
Still, it must be very clear to us that what we – as Catholics and Christians – are collectively living is nothing more than what we have collectively deserved, and the Lord's Justice has now descended upon us in a way that is impossible for us to ignore any longer.
It is as if the Lord would – in a way, of course – say to us: “So you love ecumenism, don't you? Care a lot for “religious freedom”, right? Live happily with abortion, am I wrong? Are so full of understanding for sins that call to heaven for vengeance, aren't you? Well, boys 'n girls: let's see how you like this…“.
After which, he allows the Cardinals to commit the Stupid Act Of The Century and appoint an ignorant, hypocritical, morally very questionable, fake humble, unaware of Catholicism, clearly heathenish, popularity-worshipping, camera-loving, logorrhoea-plagued, beauty-hating, provincial Argentine Peronist as Pope.
Punctually, the man begins to give them – and all of us – overdoses of what they – and all of us – have been tolerating for decades. Better still, the man brings the many budding heresies of the V II to ripeness, like a peach in August. With him the Neo-Modernist heresies, up to now mixed with Catholic Truths, become of age, and want if not the sole attention, certainly the main place at the Catholic table.
You loved ecumenism. Enjoy Francis being consequent and saying that, then, there is no need to convert anyone. No! No! No! Hey, God isn't Catholic, says he! (a Sign of the Cross is here certainly in order).
You loved religious freedom. How about a Pope fighting for the right of Muslim to eat halal meat? Or paying attention that his sodomy-loving Jewish buddy eats kosher? Do you really like to be forced to have the couple of faggots “sleep” in your bed and breakfast, in front of your family? Is having to pay for other people's abortion and contraception tolerant enough for you? How do you like the obvious faggot soldier on the shower near you, talking of his impending “marriage” with his “love” whilst he looks at your buttocks?
You were happy to look the other way about abortion, and always said you were “personally opposed”; but you clearly wanted to be nice at all times and not impinge in the “right” of others to kill their baby in the womb. How about a Pope who says a yearly multiple Holocaust on a planetary scare is something we should not obsess about, and the biggest problems in the world are… youth unemployment and old people's loneliness?
You were happy to be so silent about sodomy. How about many countries exposing your children to sodomy as a human right even at school, whilst the Pope does not say one single word against sodomy, doubling it with “who am I to judge” and the invitation not to be “obsessed”? I am sure I have left aside a lot, but you get the drift.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
Sow the Novus Ordo mass, reap the Pinocchio Mass.
Sow ecumenism, reap indifferentism or outright New Age rubbish.
Sow religion freedom, reap the persecution of Catholics.
Sow Vatican II, reap Francis.
We are being deservedly punished. We are being shown on our flesh the folly of our ways, because we were so blind and stupid we did not get that, to make one example for all, the Assisi gatherings – particularly the first – are blasphemy and abomination.
We collectively pay the price of our collective folly. We collectively deserve every mouthful of excrement this unspeakably unworthy Pope will thrust down our throats; feeling, no doubt, extremely humble as he does so, and reaping the lavish praise of all the wrong people, from perverted singers to abortionist organisations, and from liberal journalists to the holocaust-promoting President of the United States, who has just joined the long list of his fans.
The only way out now is to denounce the excrements for what they are, and hope the Divine Spoon will be taken away from us soon.
But truly, we have deserved every spoonful. God does not owe us an orthodox Pope. We may hope he takes Francis away from us; but if we are honest with ourselves, why should He?
Sow the error, reap the spoon.
In happier and more hopeful times, when the horror of Bergoglism had not shown itself to the world with all the arrogance of humility, yours truly and many others had a reasonable hope that the new Pontiff would have been reasonably conservative. Yes, it was clear it had a penchant for very public shows of humility, and it was evident the rhetoric of poverty would have been in his menu du jour pretty much every day. But we thought it would have been not much worse in the end than a Ratzinger with the addition of a bus ticket and a wheelchair. The Pinocchio Mass was clearly worrying stuff, but one hoped (for the record: I don’t anymore) that once become Pope the man would understand the implications of his new role.
This short introduction will help you to understand my comments to one of Francis’ off-the-cuff homilies. In it, Francis tell us what kind of Pope he plans to be.
Do not believe me for that. Let Francis himself talk. The emphases are from the original translation.
“How’s our faith? Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (all’acqua di rose – “like rose water”, meaning banal, an insufficient substitute, shallow, inadequate)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he din’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder”, he stressed, “we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”
If you click the link and go on my comment of that time, you will see a clear description of what Francis’ words meant, and some reflections on the various ways in which it would be possible to him to use the principles he had just enunciated. Faithful, hopeful stuff.
In those early days, there was no need to let the words of the Pontiff go under the microscope to see whether he really meant what he had just said. Particularly on this occasion, I do not remember any uncertainty from anyone anywhere.Strangely enough, when a Pope expresses himself in a clear and orthodox way, no contortionism is necessary.
Again, the points clearly were:
1. The faith isn’t negotiable.
2. This means it must be told whole.
3. There will always be the temptation to accommodate and choose comfort and popularity, but
4. we must choose to be rigid and, consequently, hated,
5. because otherwise apostasy can’t be far away.
Fast forward to pretty much six months later, and I notice Francis has, in all this time, done exactly the contrary of all that he preached.
1. He has clearly indicated the faith is not only negotiable, but optional. Do we have to convert? No! No! No! Proselytism is nonsense, & Co.
2. He always “forgets” to mention anything Catholic when he talks about Catholicism. he states that Jesus “saved us”, but then he forgets to “explain” it isn’t so. Atheist can follow their conscience, he says to them, but then he forgets to tell them this is not the case, & Co.
3. As to the “temptation to accommodate and choose comfort and popularity”, it is fair to say Francis is the walking, talking, child-kissing, wheelchair-embracing, Renault 4-driving incarnation of his own words. He has, in fact, brought the very concept to a new high (or, well, low). The pieces of the faith he has chopped away are, well, pretty much all of them.
4. Rigidity has been explicitly rejected by him. Rigidity is, by default, narrow-minded. We must not “obsess” about abortion and sexual morals, for example. Besides, we must not make ourselves hated, because it alienates people. It would, in fact, be a catastrophe for us if we did.
5.The very concept of “apostasy” has become very blurred in one to whom not even atheism is a problem, and who does not feel any need to actively exert himself to change one’s atheism. I remember him comparing those who count rosaries to heretics, though. Perhaps he meant that.
One wonders: has Pope Francis changed his mind about his reign after this little sermon, or was he a Jesuit from day one and was simply talking like one, saying to the audience of the day what would make him popular with that particular audience? How is it that when he talks with atheists he sounds like one, and when he talks with clergymen he sounds (almost, and in parts) like one?
Francis is always on all sides at the same time, so no one can say he is not “pastoral” to them. This is called “running with the hare and hunting with the hounds”, and Jesuits take it with their mother’s milk. Not quite like Peter, I dare say.
Other bloggers will certainly disagree, but I have seen in him no trace, none whatsoever, of all the beautiful virtues Francis says both we and he must have. On the contrary, I have seen in him an attitude that is not only “all’acqua di rose”, but so publicly and shamelessly yielding to the “temptation to accommodate and choose comfort and popularity” that not even blatant heresy is an obstacle to his boundless desire for approbation, and it becomes more and more difficult to attribute even a modicum of good faith to his actions. His much-vaunted humbleness looks like a monstrous self-centredness to me, one that has put him straight on the way to damnation. As I write, a numerous and ever crescent number of blogs of all types openly cry “heresy”, or at least “shame”.
They know why. They can read. Words have a meaning.
“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good” sounds rather different from “Peter didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he didn’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable”, doesn’t it now?
No, no verbal yoga exercises now, please. I prefer the beauty and clarity of the English language.
This is where we are. But hey, this is what happens if you elect a Jesuit as Pope.
Exactly as he did after the disgraceful 12,000 words interview, Francis proceeds – with the innate attitude to deception so typical of the Jesuit – to feed his pigeons with one or two “correctives” to the bomb he just let explode under the chair of Catholicism.
The other time, we had a twenty-or-so words statement in which it was clear he said he was against abortion. This statement obviously disappeared in the 12,000 words media storm he had just caused, but was eagerly grasped by all those Pollyanna-Catholics desperately needing to believe he is fine. Suddenly, in those pious minds the 12,000 words Panzerdivision sent against 2,000 years of Catholic orthodoxy was forgotten, and the mantra of the Pope “misrepresented by the media” could be hummed ad nauseam… again.
This time, the brutal betrayal of elementary Christian values is apparently corrected by an observation made during an homily just hours after the publication of the Repubblica article. This time, like the other time, Francis accurately separates what he knows will go round the world – and can be used to throw his bombs – from what can be said in a conveniently less publicised setting – and will constitute useful bird feed for his pigeons desperate for orthodoxy -.
Today, the pigeons are informed that proselytism means… bullying, really. Or lack of humbleness. Or “being not sufficient”, whatever this might mean in some Buenos Aires dialect. Already the comparison of proselytism and bullying is extremely offensive and as un-Catholic as they come. But even this questionable phrase is already much “less worse” than the fully unqualified, extremely emphatic statement used by Francis in the interview.
Once again, the old tricks of Neo-modernism are employed. Truth flies out of the window, words don't really mean what they mean (for the pigeons, that is: the rest of the planet continues to speak the same language everyone else speaks, and to give to common words the meaning they commonly have), and fluffy nonsense takes the place of sound doctrine.
First stage: demolition. “Proselytism is nonsense”. This will remain in the collective consciousness forever. Liberals, atheists, anti-Catholics the world over will feast on this for decades.
Second stage: deception. Proselytism is nonsense… if it really means bullying. If you can, hide behind Pope Benedict. Don't worry, no one will ask why with you there's no week without an earthquake, and with Benedict it was not the case.
Proselytism is bullying. Rosary-counting is Pelagianism. Truth is a relationship. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Third stage: confusion. The obvious task of the Church (proselytism) becomes described in the following words:
Fluffy, emotional nonsense that means nothing and can cover everything. Every wet Catholic in the land will easily understand “meek, more patient, more trusting in God” as meaning “cowardly, silent, and happy to show his oh so humble joy rather than say what must be said”. Make no mistake: this is exactly was Francis want, as seen from the fact that he does it all the time. It is astonishing exactly the one who refuses to witness Catholicism – when he is the one with the least right to do so – should have the unspeakable guts and the indescribable arrogance to imply that exactly his inaction may constitute “a beautiful witness to the people”.
Then, seeing this “people of God”, they “might feel the desire to become like us”. Or they might die in their sins, of course, and go to hell. Heavens, the world has seen such effeminate priests and laymen around for the last fifty years! Has the world desired to become like them? No, it has despised them, and rightly so. When proselytism is supposed to be merely the byproduct of the Catholics being oh so nice and satisfied with themselves, the only thing one will get is ridicule.
“Look, look how joyous I am! And so non-judgmental!”
This is so gay, it can only have come from a Jesuit.
Do not be deceived. Francis is using the same tricks used by all heretics and subversives before him. He has lost face, big time. He will not recover it throwing some food to some desperate pigeons.
Remember: even the devil can quote scripture (let alone Pope Benedict). Look at this Pope by what his actions of every day tell you he is doing, not by the occasional bird food he throws at you.
Do not be deceived. It's an old trick.
With the coming of winter, the Francis Game could be a good pastime for those afternoons with friends when it’s too cold to go for a walk in the park.
The game is so: player A says something utterly offensive, stupid, ridiculous, juvenile, astonishingly arrogant, blasphemous, heretical, or otherwise absurd. The worse the statement is, the better it is for the player. This player is called “The Francis”, hence the game’s name. It applies to ladies too, I am afraid.
At this point, Player B must show player A that said Player A has not said what he has really said, but the total opposite, which could have been inferred if A would have added something – no matter how long – he has not said.
This player is called “Blogger”. Blogger must, to win the game, end his explanation saying to player C (the “Reader”): “You see? What Francis really wanted to say…”
Important: If the Blogger doesn’t say the last words, he has always lost. When Player C has counted to three after Player B has stopped talking, the game is up.
So, let’s see some example.
Francis: “Your father is a murderer”.
Blogger: “We have all crucified Christ. Therefore, we are all murderers. Therefore, in a sense your father is a murderer”.
(To “Reader”): “You see? What Francis really wanted to say…”
(Variations with “your mother is a slut/your sister is a whore” also allowed. To be avoided with temperamental players).
Francis: “Christ has saved you”
Blogger: “By dying for us, Christ has redeemed us with His Blood. The redemption opens for you the possibility of salvation. Hopefully, you are going to choose to follow Christ and, helped by God’s grace, will merit salvation. If and when you are saved, we will be able to say that Christ has saved you”.
(to “Reader”): “You see? What Francis really wanted to say…”
Francis: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
Blogger: “Christ is pretty good, but I do not have to shove Him down your throat right now, eh? ah? no? Let’s have a cocktail or two first. A bus ride. Perhaps ten or twelve interviews. I like interviews, as you might know. We need to get to know each other. I must improve my knowledge of your atheism, if you are atheist. If you are a Jew, I must take care you only eat kosher food. This is important. Our ways may crisscross and zigzag and go hither and tither, but at some point you will end up converting to Catholicism because I am such a capital chap, and I go out and do things. Proselytism happens, because proselytism is a relationship, like… Truth. So Proselytism purely meant as the Pelagians intend it, as narrow-minded legalism, is nonsense”.
(to “Reader”): “You see? What Francis really wanted to say…”
Well, enough of instruction now.
Enjoy the game!
Hans Kueng, the consummated actor who played for some time a well-known role as Catholic theologian, is thinking whether he should commit suicide. ( I know: German).
The fact is, you see, the man is not very healthy, and at 85 he thinks he has had enough. It might be time to call it a day, or a life. Therefore, he reflects whether he should not pull the plug himself.
He has Parkinson’s, you see. The same as JP II, that untiring promoter of suicide (I suggest we stop saying “euthanasia”. It’s just suicide with factual certainty of success).
Now let us reflect a bit; would Francis not say that this is a good way to go (and I mean: to go?). Let me explain.
“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”
What a beautiful, romantic image. Crisscrossing ways, that in mysterious ways touch on heresy here and on homosexuality there, under the romantic moon of the favela, until these somewhat not-very-straight-and-narrow ways “come closer together” and “lead toward the good” in a liberating happy end, accompanied by Francis’ favourite dance, the tango. Beautiful! Liberating!!
Speaking of which, I wonder: where did I hear that one with the “straight and narrow?” Can’t remember, really. It sound so bad, though. So “legalistic”. Certainly “narrow-minded”, and very probably “obsessed with rules”. Heavens, we can’t think like that anymore! We must live in the present, you see; expand the circle of ideas…
I will remember one day who said those words about the narrow way. Whoever he was, he hasn’t read Francis. That’s for sure.
Back to our dear suicidal actor, though. He is, we have just said, at a rather criss-crossed way of his rather criss-crossed life. One of these ways – which has a particular penchant for crissing rather than crossing – leads directly to a Swiss Nazi clinic, where our actor will be disposed of in an extremely environmentally friendly and, I am sure, utterly hygienic manner. Will our hero, now happily “satiated of life”, choose that way?
Perhaps, perhaps not.
But if he does, how will, do you think, Francis react?
Let us see. I quote again:
“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas”
Ah, Kueng certainly got to know a lot of people. He listened. He expanded the circle of ideas, a lot! A capital chap, then. This is important. But what if he decides to dispose of himself? Is this bad? I mean, not “criss” bad instead of cross” good, but… Hell bad?
Well it depends, you see. If you listen to the old narrow-minded and legalistic people, this is a sin against the Holy Ghost, which will not be forgiven, and Kueng will be condemned to read Francis’ interviews to Repubblica for eternity. But if you listen to Francis himself, who is – as in the meantime even my cat knows – not narrow minded:
Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
So, we start to understand now. Our dear actor “has his own idea of good and evil”. He must not follow the Divine Truth. He must not instruct himself. He must not accept Christ and keep his commandments. He must not accept the Catholic Truth on faith. No! No! No! He must “follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them”.
Many heroic people of this sort already conduct such a meritorious existence. Abortionists, for example. Muslim terrorists. And Sodomites, I almost forgot the sodomites! All of them happily fight evil as they conceive it! For example, they fight those evil Christians with those homophobic ideas! Yes, Francis might say, “this way is a bit of a cross instead of a bit of a criss; I am a Catholic, so you already know what I am supposed to think, so I will not open my mouth and tell you; but you see, in the end if one fights evil the criss and the …Cross [sign of the Cross here..] will meet pretty much in the same place”.
Didn’t he say it already? “But do good, we will meet there“, or words of the sort…
So, back to the suicidal actor again.
Will Francis object to his suicide? If yes, on what ground?
Isn’t it so, that Kueng “follows the goods and fights the evil as he conceives them”?
How can, therefore, God be so “legalistic” and “narrow minded” as to send him to hell?
And anyway, who is Francis to judge?
Eh? Ah? No?