Search This Blog

Thursday, May 01, 2014

As the wind builds to a gale.

Ches offers some sage spiritual advice, suggesting St. Francis' example. If nothing else, he certainly captures the mood:

 So, what is the relevance of all this? Only that I sense that so many of my readers are probably feeling a little like Theoden at the moment. Hardly a week goes by currently without yet another crazy papal phone call, yet another nutty cardinal promising more madness, and yet another kick in the teeth for simple people of faith. I read today of the suppression of Protect the Pope by the Bishop of Lancaster. Paradoxically, the news arrives twenty-four hours after we read of the rehabilitation of Fr Sean Fagan, a priest whose views were so embarrassingly unCatholic his order bought up remaining copies of his nastiest book. The medicine of mercy would appear to be available but not for the likes of Deacon Nick Donnelly. How did it come to this?

The Fagan release would have been unremarkable had it come with a recanting of his errors. I mean, it was just five years ago that he was deriding and dismissing church teaching. Apparently, "mercy," too, means never having to say you're sorry. 

St. Francis is never a bad example, but I'm not sure the times are analogous. Francis (and Luther, whom Ches also discusses) faced venial clerical corruption, not an attempted revolution from above. Don't get me wrong--I think proposals like Kasper's are objectively-corrupt attempts to reach a concordat with debauched modernity, to hell with the consequences. You can assign him points for good intentions if you like, but recall:

My point is not to deride his advice--it is excellent--but rather to suggest that medieval/Renaissance analogues don't quite fit. The one that does fit best is the post-1965 hurricane, which much of our leadership seems to want to reboot. (And I thought we were going to get a reform of the curia--oops.) I don't think we've canonized anyone yet who offered a counter-example to the clerical ineptitude (and worse) of that era. Nor are we likely to, either, as long as nostalgia for that time of discord and confusion remains strong. 

But I think seeking out a Saint and emulating the way he or she imaged Christ is a good idea. 

As is having him or her help you batten down the hatches before the red-and-black square flag goes up. 


  1. Whatever else it might have been, Donnelly's Protect The Pope had to be just about the wussies blog on the Catholic web. It would speak in terms so prissy of Francis' daily misadventures that it inspired nausea, the comboxes full of the kind of "charity" Dale in the past has so adequately described as a bludgeon. Donnelly himself had all of the chutzpah of a teachers pet, even now not willing to resign his deaconate over the cancellation of his blog by the bishop. Only ego can inspire the sense of indispensability Donnelly has evinced in these events, publically encouraging others as he has to carry water for him into the future while he remain in his deaconate. That's cowardice, period.

  2. The change for monsignori, IIRC, exempted the curial clergy. It only prevented bishops from giving their favorites in the dioceses a little "purple rain".

    So, even there, the agenda is clear. *shrug*

    Time to tune in, turn on, and drop out. Man...far out...

  3. Yep, it specifically exempted the curia. The careerist lepers and whatnot.

    Here's hoping that some of his electors have serious buyer's remorse--at least enough to keep the mischief to a dull, less damaging roar.

  4. Diocese of Lancaster is suppressing information about the Catholic Church and misrepresenting Vatican Council II

    Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster closes Protect the Pope news service and forum

  5. I'm surprsed at the extent to which people are taking media reports at face value. Even if there is a fifth column entrenched in the Curia and a plurality of dioceses (and I don't discount that possibility), the western media is the most anti-Christian of institutions. It's going to do all it can to mislead, manipulate and obfuscate. (Ironically the papal prayer intention for May - inherited from the last Pope, BTW - is that "the media be instruments of truth and peace".)

    I think it was St. Pio of Pietralcina who said "Discouragement is not from God". I need to remind myself of that.