The video above relates to the procession in honour of Saint Anthony which took place in Padua a couple of days ago on occasion of the Feast.
This is another indication of how, slowly and softly but in a way that can’t be ignored anymore, Catholicism is coming back to the main stage of Italian public – and in time, make no mistake, political – life.
Padua has something more than 200,000 inhabitants, and the 100,000 people who attended this procession gave, even considering the traditionally Catholic region, a powerful message of what is happening in the country.
Yours truly has often expressed the opinion that Catholicism is something that goes very deep in the conscience of the faithful; a very strong bond, a home everyone feels linked to, something not even deluded, delirious barking cats want to abandon.
It suffices, therefore, that the Catholic hierarchy starts again to forcefully defend the Catholic message and the traditional Catholic values to cause, in time, a recovery of what is, for a Catholic, never really lost, but rather pushed in the background for lack of proper reflection and, more often, proper guidance.
If you look at this video, you’ll think yourself transported into another era: the identification of the City of Padua with his Saint is total. Associations of all kinds, religious and lay ones, are represented; the popular participation is, as already stated, massive; the symbiosis with the Institutions is evident (you will notice that the Carabinieri around the statue of the Saint are in dress uniform, and please also notice that the Carabinieri are not a local police but depend directly from Rome).
What you are seeing here is a desire to come back to old values, to a way of living that might have seemed to be constrictive at times, but whose advantages – temporal as well as spiritual – are now being slowly rediscovered.
It will take time before this resurgence of Catholic values translates in a clearly identifiable, more assertive political action; it will take time and, let me stress this, good bishops able to provide the faithful with the guidance they need.
But it’s happening, it’s happening already. The recent controversies in Italy (from the atheist advertisements on the buses, to the euthanasia battle, to the crucifix issue) have certainly contributed to a reawakening, to a recovery of one’s own values.
We never understand so well what we are, as when we are confronted with what we are not. Italian Catholicism, for a long time taken as a given, has been challenged, forcing millions to ask themselves what values they stand for; and helped in this, thank Goodness, from a Church establishment increasingly more able and willing to show some teeth and to man up to the challenges of our times.
Multa renascentur, quae iam cecidere
When the most reputable Catholic weekly magazine reports about the growing worries of the Catholic world concerning a possible roll back of Summorum Pontificum, it is clear that we are not in front of the paranoia of some small group of traditionalists but of a serious concern spread among a multitude of serious (meaning: orthodox and churchgoing as opposed to “liberal” and “non-judgmental”) Catholics.
Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to define the Catholic Herald “traditionalist” in any way, it is clear that this fairly conservative magazine considers the appeal of Rorate Caeli and Messa in Latino highly relevant for conservative Catholics the world over. Tellingly, not only Rorate Caeli but the Catholic Herald also publish a link to an online petition. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that serious Catholics participate to these initiatives in great numbers. The petition is the same for both internet pages, so you don’t need to send it twice.
I repeat below the list of addresses posted yesterday, in case you’d want to back up your petition with a personal email.
Pope Benedict: a) email@example.com or b) firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardinal Levada, CDF: email@example.com
Congregation for the Clergy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congregation for the Evangelisation of People: email@example.com
Osservatore Romano: firstname.lastname@example.org
Father Z has reported a piece of news from the Associated Press.
Though the intent of the piece is not exactly that, its content is extremely flattering for all those who, with their blogs or contributions or TV channels, are contributing through the Internet to the return to Catholic sanity.
The list of compliments paid to Conservative Catholics active on the internet is very long: they are said to be “enraged by dissent”, something every true Catholic would love to have acknowledged of him from High Above the day he dies; they think, says AP News, that this has gone “unchecked for decades” and here I think no sane person can move any objection whatsoever, so they must be right; they “dissect the work” of clerics for “any hint of Marxist influence”, which shows their dedication to the cause and their love for Truth; they “comb through campaign finance records” to expose catholic agencies covertly supporting abortion.
One feels proud of what these Conservative Catholics do. The article is, unwittingly, so appreciative of the way these worthy citizen operate that it doesn’t dare to even hint at their being, say, heterodox or sedevacantist or otherwise rebellious. Truly, it’s good news all around.
Why, then, is your humble correspondent more than a tad peeved at the AP News article? Mainly because its writer, whilst unable to point out to any theological error of these Conservative bloggers, actually clearly implies that in being right, they are actually wrong. Why it is this? Because they are “uncharitable”, apparently and here the author really, really needs to know what “charity” is.
The evidently biased report also makes ample use of the usual leftist smokescreens all the world over; an “analyst” for the National Catholic Reporter is cited as an authoritative source on the alleged problems caused by the Conservatives, but the reader is not told that the NCR is considered largely unreadable leftist waste product by every true Catholic able to breathe. Similarly, a “preoccupation” of the Church hierarchy is cited as a proof that these people are getting obnoxious, which firstly utterly ignores the encouragement of the Holy Father for Catholic activities on the net (even extended to clergy, the vast majority of whom are also clearly on the conservative side) and secondly begs the question, as what the Catholic internet activists want is precisely that the Vatican starts acting and finally gets the shop in order.
At the end, though, the writer of the article gets a bit more realistic. Things aren’t going to change, no matter how many appeals to “charity” are made. The problem that the AP doesn’t see is that what they call charity is false charity, and therefore rightly fought against by the faithful.
Moreover, I am rather irritated at this calling Conservative Catholics “Talibans”. Talibans are heretics of the first water, so this is utterly inappropriate. Talibans themselves do not call us Taliban, but “Crusaders”. Now this is a beautiful epithet! Crusader!
Dear readers, all of you are, in one way or another, Crusaders. Be proud of this! It is from the effort of true Catholics (both clergy and laity) that enough pressure will be generated to clean the rather shabby looking shop of the Only Church. The Catholic hierarchy, like the American Bishop’s Conference calling to “charity” (not even knowing what it is) are not the solution. They are the problem.
Faithfulness to the Only Church demands that we say this out loud. And we do. Thank Goodness, we do.