Friday, April 2, 2010


Karl posed the question below:

I really would like to know the proximate cause of the latest smears. Was it just to discredit catholic pro-life witness on the eve of the American health care vote? Is it the annual Easter-Christianity-Bash?

Or is there some other reason why Catholicism has become the worst thing in the world, according to the NY Times?

I don't really think the health care vote was a direct cause. Maybe that was the straw that broke the camel's back, but I think the underlying feeling on the part of the secularists is terror.

For the last decade or so of his life, my recollection of Pope John Paul II's media coverage was mostly portraying him as a force of ecumenism and little else. Lots of comments made about his various apologies, very little mention of, say, his final encyclical on the Eucharist. Controversy erupted when Dominus Iesus came out, but it seemed to me at the time that most people went around blaming that on then-Cardinal Ratzinger anyway.

My point is that there wasn't much in the way of controversy stirred for that period, at least, not that I can remember. JPII's stances on abortion and contraception were put more and more in the background. The attempts to tie him to the abuse scandal never really stuck. Basically, the secularists didn't really fight him, so much as massage his persona to something they found to be more acceptable. They've done the same thing with Blessed John.

Pope Benedict, thus far, isn't giving them much of an opportunity for that. His first few writings have mostly focused on basic doctrinal stuff. Caritas in Veritate is the exception, but that was basically forgotten in the media after about 2 days once they were done painting the Vicar of Christ as a socialist. Best to put it away after that, lest people actually bother reading the document itself.

His other actions, from Regensburg to Summorum Pontificum to the SSPX-excom stuff to the Anglican situation, have been blatant pokes in the eye to the prevailing liberal view. He hasn't really changed directions or done anything else worth talking about. The more he does, the more he sets himself in opposition to what they want from a Supreme Pontiff.

They are afraid. We have to admit that it's been a while. Blessed John was not a guy who inspired fear. Paul VI had a tendency towards accommodation (just ask Cardinal Mindszenty). No fear there either. John Paul I wasn't around long enough. John Paul II was a guy I think folks were afraid of, especially in his confrontations with the Soviets. However, his declining health and the above-mentioned focus-shift let some of that fear go.

Popes used to make even the world's greatest monarchs tremble. Good times. Pope Benedict might not have the temporal power to make that happen anymore or the threat of excom or other ecclesiastical sanction as a weapon, but he does have the Truth. That scares the folks preaching the lies.

After so many years of madness and loss of Faith afflicting so many Catholics (prelate and laity alike), there are only two options right now, per Fr. Raymond DeSouza. The Church can either become more Catholic or less Catholic. Pope Benedict wants the former. The world wants the latter. So far, the Pope isn't backing down. Being scared as all hell, but not wanting to back down either, the world attacks.

Hopefully, the Pope, remembering Our Lord's promise, will invite them to bring it on.

Pray for the Holy Father this Easter.


Karl said...

I suspect my question was ill-formed, anyway. As St. John Chrysostom points out about the possessed pigs, the devil only wants death, and needs no particular reason to destroy. It could simply be that the Enemy (or the New York Times et al) finally have the means to do what they have always wanted to do, completely discredit the Church.

It will probably work, too.

Throwback said...

I don't know about that. Pope Benedict is such a polarizing figure as it is, I really do think that this isn't going to change anyone's minds. If you love him, you'll love him more. If not, you will despise him more. He's even got the Lutherans defending him now.