Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So Bishop Williamson Is Out(?)

That's what the latest document on Rorate is saying. Granted, this can be taken a number of ways, but that just makes the question one of how big the deal is rather than if it's a big deal at all. It's huge.

Furthermore, I inform all members of the Chapter that, in virtue of Canon 2331 § 1 and 2 [of the revoked 1917 Code of Canon Law] (nc [Code of Canon Law in force] 1373), the Superior General has deprived Bp. Williamson from the position of capitulary due to his stand calling to rebellion and for continually repeated disobedience. He has also been forbidden to come to Écône for the ordinations.

The rest of the message is pretty grim. If accurate, it basically says that Cardinal Levada pulled a Darth Vader (Cardinal Levader? Darth Levada? The possibilities are limitless!) and altered the deal and left Bishop Fellay saying he couldn't accept (and yes, praying that he didn't alter it any further, unless it's to put it back the way it was).

So the deal is still on hold and the General Chapter approaches. Stay tuned. And pray.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Levada, Out? Bishop Williamson, Something?

First, we've got Tornielli claiming that Cardinal Levada is resigning (which we already new was coming) and that Bishop Muller is still in the lead to take his place. Which could be true. Then you've got Tancred at The Eponymous Flower less than a month ago was circulating stories that it was Cardinal Burke who was in  line for the CDF job.

No offense to any Germans here, but I'll take Cardinal Burke for that job.

On to the big honking deal. I'm asking for info about this one. I got a communication about Bishop Williamson's status in the SSPX being shaken up, but they provided no evidence for this claim. I did some looking, and there was a thread at AngelQueen about it, but it isn't there anymore. If anybody here is aware of documentation to this effect, please let us know.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Celebrating The Reformation?

What kind of world is it when this can even be considered or thought of?

Somebody apparently thought that the CATHOLIC CHURCH should celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. I assume somebody else brought it up because I certainly can't think of any other reason why Cardinal Koch would bother making a statement about it:

There is no reason to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017, in the opinion of the "ecumenical cardinal" of the Vatican, Kurt Koch. He pleads for, not an anniversary, but a "reformation memorial", said the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on Tuesday night (04/24/2012) in Vienna: "We cannot celebrate a sin." On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther published 95 theses on the state of the Church, which started the Reformation and led to the secession of the Protestant churches.

How about next year we do a 450th anniversary celebration of the final session of Trent instead? I think that's a capital idea for a couple of reasons. First, this year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. Remembering that Trent is still very much a source of dogma, while VII is not, would probably be a good exercise for everyone. Second, it would probably be fun to see the media reaction at the Holy See celebrating an event that the secular world holds in such contempt. You can pretty much bet that, whatever "memorial" gets put together for the Reformation, we'll be treated to an over-emphasis (by the Catholic participants!) on Catholic corruption and Luther's "genius," rather than the sin that Cardinal Koch mentions.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Church's Problems Explained In 18 Minutes And 25 Seconds

Check this out:

I just saw this over at Fr. Z's place. The conversation doesn't last all that long, but it encapsulates pretty much all the Church's problems. Notice how the priest is approached with all these claims about how the Church is wrong, about how Vatican II is getting ignored, how the laity are who decides what is right and wrong, etc.

Then notice how quickly the dissenters here flee from the discussion when he brings up inconvenient things like facts. Sure, they are more than willing to bring up the sex abuse scandal, Vatican II, and so forth, but the moment the priest begins to refute them, they quickly announce that they "aren't here to talk about those things, even though they brought them up in the first place.

What you have, though, is the whole gauntlet of nausea-inducing crap that one might expect from the LWRC itself, which all culminates in this nice lady's announcement that there isn't just "one Truth" but instead a whole hosts of Truths depending on who you talk to. In other words, Truth is dependent on me.

Of course, the main spokeswoman here proclaims her authority to speak about things because she has a bunch of theology degrees while simultaneously declining to answer any of the priests questions because she "isn't prepared or trained to do so." Here's a suggestion for anyone in this kind of situation. Don't bring stuff up and portray yourself as knowledgeable about it, whether it's Vatican II or fixing cars, unless you are prepared to either (a) defend what you are saying or (b) admit that you might be wrong. Notice that at no point does she concede that she might be wrong. She's ignorant of the topics, but she is secure in her ignorance that she's right.

How bizarre. It reminded of something a wise man once said:

With all this in mind, one understands how it is that the Modernists express astonishment when they are reprimanded or punished. What is imputed to them as a fault they regard as a sacred duty. Being in intimate contact with consciences they know better than anybody else, and certainly better than the ecclesiastical authority, what needs exist - nay, they embody them, so to speak, in themselves. Having a voice and a pen they use both publicly, for this is their duty. Let authority rebuke them as much as it pleases - they have their own conscience on their side and an intimate experience which tells them with certainty that what they deserve is not blame but praise.

Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis

This priest deserves our prayers and praise for handling this the way he did. He certainly didn't seem to know this was coming. In the face of an ambush, he met the enemy with charity and good will. He didn't get rattled, and once he hit his stride, the enemies knew they were outmatched.

Bravo, Father! Keep up the good fight!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cardinal Bertone With Some Weirdness

If you've been following the saga of all the Vatican leaks stuff, you know that one of the names that pops up a lot is that of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. And by "popping up," we mean "the subject of a conspiracy to have him removed." Cardinal Bertone's reaction to all this, per Zenit, is to blame the media.

In regard to the way that some of the media have engaged in aggression against the Pope and some Vatican officials, the secretary of state said: “Many journalists play at imitating Dan Brown. They continue to invent fables and re-propose legends.”

Really? This is the media's fault? This reminds me of another old Chris Rock routine, but I won't link to it here because of the vulgar language. A lot of you probably know the one I'm talking about, anyway. So what does His Eminence think about the apparent inter-Curial war going on?

Basically, he says the butler did it.

And he assured that there is no “involvement of cardinals or of fights between ecclesiastical personalities for the conquest of an imaginary power...”

According to the secretary of state there is a “relentless and repeated attempt to separate, to create divisions between the Holy Father and his collaborators, and between the collaborators themselves.” 

There is a desire to “strike those who are dedicated with greater passion and also greater personal toil for the good of the Church.” 

The Secretary of State confirmed the gravity of the “publication of a multiplicity of letters and documents sent to the Holy Father, by persons who have the right to privacy,” which constitutes, as we have confirmed many times, an immoral act of unheard of gravity.”

This is problematic for me. Let  me be clear that I'm not in the camp who thinks that Cardinal Bertone is a villain in all this. All I've done is acknowledge that there are factions and that the interests of the Holy Father are being ignored by all sides. The difficulty I have here is that, regardless of his intentions, Cardinal Bertone is doing the exact same thing. When he denies that there is Curial infighting, he sounds like Baghdad Bob. I'm not sure that such a statement would be true in all of Church history.

How about leaving those kinds of comments off the record or something? Not only does he deny the maneuvering going on, but in the same interview, he pretty much admits that the documents from the leaks are legit. I'm not sure how these two propositions (1. Curia is one big happy family & 2. the leaked stuff is genuine) can both be true. Are we to believe that the people writing in their private letters were lying so that the documents could be leaked? That's an even bigger conspiracy than what folks are talking about now. I hate to say it, but these comments look more like a guy trying to demonstrate that his own position is secure, rather than someone who has Pope Benedict's back in all this.

Given where this situation is now, I don't think anybody would bat an eye if +Bertone or the Pope himself came out and said that there are some major issues, that the Church has enemies, and that, yes, some of those enemies are nestled in the heart of the Church.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can An Atheist Be Sanctimonious?

According to the Dictionary app on my phone, sanctimonious means "excessively or hypocritically pious." I suppose these days that I most often hear the word used by atheists to describe religious people. Let me give you the typical scenario.

Someone asks a question regarding the religious person's belief system. In this particular case, let's say that the query involves the morality of homosexual conduct. Let's also assume that the religious person's beliefs would consider such conduct to be sinful. The religious individual provides the answer, "My faith teaches that homosexual conduct is sinful." The atheist, whether they were the questioner or not, takes the conversation on a path of mockery, perhaps mentioning flying spaghetti monsters or invisible men in the sky or some other such caricature of the theist.

This is a tactic currently being advanced by some of the more prominent atheists in the world. I find that it is often coupled with accusations that the theist is some sort of smug, morally superior jerk. Again, these accusations are usually in response to nothing more than the theist providing a description of what they believe. Perhaps they elaborate. Perhaps they don't. The discussion unfortunately will proceed in the same direction, regardless.

I know plenty of atheists. Many of them are not jerks. However, I've noticed a growing tendency amongst even them that leans towards malice in discourse. When I bring this up to my colleagues and friends, they are usually somewhat embarrassed and understanding that such comments are out of line, but they fail to provide a reason for why the fuse is so short. The weird part is that they don't see how they are behaving exactly in the sort of manner that they claim to hate so much in Christians and other religious.

Smug condescension doesn't win folks over to your point of view very much, so I would hope that Christians wouldn't act that way. I'm not even sure atheists want to convince anyone of their perspective. At least the Christian jerk is ostensibly trying to convert somebody. Even if their argument is as simple as "you're going to burn in hell," it's still an argument based on a hypothetical threat of damnation. The atheist jerk doesn't even try and argument anymore. As Richard Dawkins advises in the above link, the atheist's only participation is to mock the other party. If that's the case, why even talk about it in the first place? And, in the case where the atheist asks the initial question, why ask if all you're going to do is call someone names?

Notice that nowhere in here do I claim that Christians are immune from being sanctimonious d-bags. I freely admit it. The difference is that there often seems to be a bizarre presumption that atheists can't be sanctimonious d-bags.

Edit: Upon further reflection, it seems to me that the atheist is not actually sanctimonious at all since he does not even have the appearance of any sort of piety. Given the above definition, he is therefore only a standard-issue d-bag. My apologies for any confusion the previous paragraph might have caused.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cardinal Burke On The SSPX Situation

 From Rorate. But definitely worth 2 minutes or so of your time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Boniface Says It Better Than I Do

I don't think the SSPX is in schism. However, pretty much everything else he says in this selection at Unam Sanctam is dead-on. I wanted to add something that's been brought up before but that seems to be getting ignored as focus seems to be shifting from IF there's an agreement to WHEN there's an agreement.

If the SSPX truly want to advance the Faith and help to heal the places where the Church is hurting the most, then staying in a situation that gives people an excuse not to listen to them is either absurd or cowardly. This cry of "the modernist episcopacy will destroy us if we're regularized" sounds weird from a bunch of folks who I'm sure would claim the courage to die for the Faith if necessary. It's almost despairing to assume that God will just let them be annihilated in such a fashion. I often hear SSPX folks compare their cause to St. Athanasius. As many times as he was exiled, I don't recall him deciding never to come back because he was afraid of all the Arians running around. It just doesn't make sense, so you have to start wondering when egos are beginning to trump the good of the Church. 

Admittedly, this is talk from the outside looking in, but a lot of the arguments I'm hearing against regularization don't make any sense at all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Re: The SSPX

Rorate has updates pouring in. From the looks of things, the only thing we can be sure of is the Bishop Fellay went to the Vatican. That's it. Everything else seems like a bunch of speculation right now, and we're trying to avoid that. People need to pray. Focus on that. Providence will take care of the rest.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Pope's Enemies

As the leak scandal continues to roll on, one positive is that we're getting a better picture of who the Pope's enemies are and where their priorities lie. Consider this recent report from Rorate. The relevant portion shows the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, giving the Holy Father a letter from some Bushwood-types (the Brenninkmeijers) who wanted to complain about the new Archbishop of Utrecht. After all, everybody knows that the top criteria for selecting bishops is whether or not they appeal to Dutch millionaires.

The Brenninkmeijers do not accuse anyone by name, except in one case. After maintaining that in Europe there are growing numbers of informed believers who are separating themselves from the hierarchical Church without, according to them, abandoning their faith, and after lamenting the lack of "non-fundamentalist" pastors able to guide the flock according to modern criteria, the two spouses manifest to the pope not only their own discouragement, but that of many laypeople, priests, religious, and bishops over the appointment of the new archbishop of Utrecht, Jacobus Eijk. ...

To the Church's good fortune, the Holy Father has a different idea this sort of stuff. The letter doesn't seem to have done any good. Of course, the fact that Superior General Nicolas is involved in this does raise some concerns. I guess we can be all in favor of preferential options for the poor just so long as there is a preferential option for the rich in intervening with the Pope's selections to the episcopacy.

Wait, what am I saying? We all know that there is nothing wrong with the Society, especially with Fr. Nicolas.

Granted, this is a minor issue (pardon the pun), when compared with the very public letter sent by the provincials of the Franciscans in the United States in support of the LCWR. There is apparently no concern for the problematic positions taken by these sisters over the years and a complete freak-out over the very idea that anyone would dare to question them. I'm not going to reproduce  it here, since there really is no point. In a nutshell, the word "dialogue" is used about four times. The word "Truth" isn't mentioned at all. The general tone is that things are just too by-golly complicated for Church teaching to be understood or presented in the simple terms of acceptance or rejection. Instead of the sort of instruction that a teacher gives a pupil, what's needed is a dialogue, which implies equality of position.

Just file this with all the other AmChurch items.

Both of these instances are pretty crazy, but each revealing in their own way. My recommendation to both the Brenninkmeijers and the provincials above is that Utrecht might indeed contain the answers to their problems. I'm sure Dollinger's schismatics would welcome them with open arms.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Viva Cristo Rey!

I saw Cristiada (aka For Greater Glory). My first impression was that I've never seen a movie quite like it. Or, if I have, it's been a very, very long time.

First, let me get a few things out of the way. There are some technical problems with the film. There were some moments with weak dialogue and the script needed some work in fleshing out the context of what was going on. My wife, for example, was unfamiliar with the overall story of the Cristiada and wound up confused over some of the events. These issues were compounded by mediocre editing, especially in the first half. There was a lot of jumping around to and from scenes that didn't even  last five minutes and added nothing to the plot. In a movie that was pushing two and half hours, these scenes could have been cut. The result would have been a much tighter plot and maybe even less of those aforementioned weak script items.

So there you have the problems. The good news is that none of these problems changes the fact that it's a great movie. The casting was excellent, and I'm not leaving this to the famous people like Andy Garcia or Peter O'Toole. I thought Oscar Isaac was fantastic as El Catorce. Lots of people are talking about the kid who plays Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez and with good reason. He's way better than, say, the kids in Gran Torino, a much more well-known show.

Let's talk about the story-telling, though. It's a tale of war, so you can figure on a lot of battle scenes. They were there, but thankfully they don't drag on. The story here is about the people, and the narrative stays with them. People going in to see a high body count and watch some Catholics kicking butt might be disappointed. Sure, there is that, and it's admittedly welcome to see Catholics willing to fight for the Church. It's why they're fighting that's important. Blood isn't what makes one a martyr; faith does. That means you can't just focus on the shooting. When the time comes for the gear to shift from gunplay to emotion, Cristiada makes the transition without losing any power at all.

I've had a lot of people ask me if it's historically accurate. The answer is "sort of." Some liberties are taken, of course. You don't see some of Fr. Vega's indiscretions and one character's death is far from what really happened. Those things aside, the history is pretty solid. You see the Cristeros do bad things, so it's not like there's white-washing going on. The martyrdoms that took place are probably toned down in the movie in terms of how horrific the tortures were in reality. On the plus side, the St. Joan of Arc Brigades got a lot of much-deserved screen time. The most shocking thing was that the film didn't flinch from showing how the United States was an accessory to the crimes against the Church. Morrow and Coolidge were willing to sell arms to the criminals in the Calles government as long as it helped secure US oil interests.

One downer here: no mention of where Calles enmity towards the Church really came from. In other words, the Masonic connection was ignored. That's a shame but nothing to dwell on.

You're going to hear a lot of folks claim that Cristiada is propaganda or maybe too hokey or melodramatic. What's funny about this is that the true events are even more melodramatic than what was portrayed in  the movie. Consider that the Mexican federales often charged into battle shouting "Long live Satan!" Recall that Calles's armies regularly raped nuns and impressed them into duty as camp followers. The Cristeros went into battle singing hymns. The mother of several Cristeros commented that she did her part by offering up four of her sons for the honor of Christ the King, but the Almighty came up short on his end. He only took two of them. Imagine what the response would have been like if these realities had been shown.

As far as it being propaganda goes, so was Casablanca, but I haven't heard anybody complain about that. Cristiada isn't even really propaganda or it would have left out some of the Cristeros bad behavior. The real problem for reviewers is that they can't stomach a movie about Catholic stuff that doesn't show the Catholics as either stupid or the bad guys. Or they could be like Roger Ebert, and just be a dumb-ass. It's worth reading his comments, given that they are somewhat common in the reviews I've seen so far.

One important subplot involves a 12-year-old boy choosing to die for his faith. Of course the federal troops who shot him were monsters, but the film seems to approve of his decision and includes him approvingly in a long list of Cristeros who have achieved sainthood or beatification after their deaths in the war.

Yeah, Rog, the film "seems" to approve of martyrdom. Believe it or not, going to heaven as a martyr is kind of a big deal. Maybe you missed the part at the beginning where it's explicitly stated that there's no greater glory than dying for Christ. Or perhaps you're just a douche. This next bit is even better:

If it had not hewed so singlemindedly to the Catholic view and included all religions under the banner of religious liberty, I believe it would have been more effective. If your religion doesn't respect the rights of other religions, it is lacking something.

What the crap is this supposed to mean? Ebert seems to have missed the minor point of these events taking place in 1920s Mexico. What other religions were there? Who else was targeted by the Calles law? Maybe the script should have included a scene where the Cristeros find a hidden valley full of Messianic Jews who fled a mythical set of laws preventing them from using a shofar or something. That way some more religions could have been included. Of course, this would have been complete idiocy. Let's just take the comments at face value and admit that Ebert is either stupid or reaching for things to find wrong with the film.

This brings me to my final points. Every Catholic should see this movie. In a day and age when people are willing to sign Protestant statements of faith just so their kids can belong to trendy, hipster social groups, something needs to remind them that the Faith is worth dying for and that it's not "just words" to sign oaths of heresy and schism. Catholics should also watch this movie while recalling the following:

1. There are people (like Roger Ebert) who are going to watch this movie and think that the Cristeros, and all Catholics by extension, are stupid.

2. There are people who are going to see the scenes with Fr. Christopher (Peter O'Toole) and Blessed Jose (Mauricio Kuri) and then make jokes about the sex abuse scandal. Given how the scenes are framed, this is repulsive. It's also the only thing people think about the Church anymore.

3. There are people who will see Cristiada and feel that the actions taken by Calles are justified. Whether it's the French Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, or the Stalinist liquidation, Catholics must understand that there are positive historical perspectives of these things and they aren't terribly hard to find. I've had good friends comment that the Church deserved what it got in the French Revolution because of Her "meddling" with government affairs. He probably thinks the same thing about the Cristeros.

4. The most telling line in the movie is when a character is told that he can save his life simply by saying "Death to Cristo Rey; long live the Federal Government." As Cardinal  George has recently suggested, we might not be all that far from hearing such a demand ourselves. And it will be people like those in #1-3 that applaud when it happens.

So there's my review. Now, go see this movie.

PS- Stay through the credits. It is extremely moving.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Proof-Text Pet Peeve

Have you ever heard someone say that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"? That gets thrown around a lot at funerals, usually as a demonstration that the deceased is in heaven. Occasionally, you'll hear it as a proof-text against purgatory as well, but that's not nearly as often.

The quote is a paraphrase of St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8:

But we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord.

If you check that in the KJV, it's:

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

In the New American Standard, it's:

[W]e are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 

The problem is obvious. What is typically presented as an unqualified statement of "Absent from body" = "Present with the Lord," is actually nothing of the sort. St. Paul is quite clearly saying that, given his druthers, he would RATHER BE absent from the body and present with the Lord. One doesn't necessarily entail the other, although I can certainly see why most people would share Paul's preference here.

Rant over. It's just a weird thing that probably bothers me way more than it should.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cardinal Bertone Knew We Had Mentioned Him

He didn't grant our request for an interview, but he did take a couple of super-duper hard hitting questions on the recent leak issue. From the NCR:

Q: It was inevitable that the media would look at these three days in Milan with special attention, also for the coincidence with an internal Vatican inquest which everyone is talking about, and which is seen as a great test of transparency for the Vatican …

Bertone: This is also true. I remember that Saturday night, while we were returning from Bresso Park, from the huge event that night, toward the cathedral of Milan. I was with Cardinal Scola in the car. We saw the stained glass windows lit up, and we immediately commented: ‘This is the church, an illuminated house, notwithstanding all the defects of persons within the church.’

Transparency, however, is about commitment, solidarity one with the other, and trust. It’s not a matter of cynicism or superficiality. It’s not enough to become aware of some documents, or to publish partial documents, in order to know the full truth. Often, this is exactly what happens: Clarifications are the fruit of a work of dialogue, of personal relationships and conversion of the heart, which don’t come just from paperwork or bureaucracy. Papers are important, but personal relationships are much more so.

What’s most sad in these events and these situations is the violation of the privacy of the Holy Father and his closest collaborators. I would like to say, however, that these have not been, and aren’t now, days of division but of unity. I would also like to add that they are above all days of faith, or firm serenity, also in the decisions being made. It’s a moment of cohesion among all those who truly want to serve the church.

Q: A final question, which is the one everyone would like to ask. How has the Holy Father experienced this affair? Should we think, as someone has written, that there are inferences which have been instrumentalized in order to attack the church and the pope?

Bertone: There have always been instrumental attacks, in all times. I remember, for example, speaking of my personal experience of the church, of the times of Paul VI, which aren’t so far away. This time, however, it seems the attacks are more carefully aimed, and sometimes also ferocious, destructive and organized.

I would like to underline the fact that Benedict XVI, as everyone knows, is a mild person, of great faith and great prayer. He doesn’t allow himself to be frightened by attacks, of any sort, nor by the hard accumulation of prejudices. Those who are close to him and work by his side are sustained by the great moral strength of the pope. Benedict XVI, as I’ve said on other occasions, is a man who listens to everyone, he’s a man who keeps moving ahead faithful to the mission he’s received from Christ, and he feels great affection from the people. Especially in these days [in Milan], he’s felt complete affection from the people around him, from young people and families with children, who applauded the pope frenetically. It seems to me that the trip to Milan gave him extra strength.

Moreover, I’d like to underline a word that he’s repeated many times, including just before his departure from the Archbishop’s residence in Milan: It’s the word ‘courage.’ He said it to others, to the young, to young people who seek to form a family. He said it to families in difficulty, he said it to the civic authorities, and he says it to the whole church. He speaks this word because he’s convinced on the inside, because it’s the strength that comes to him from faith and from God’s help, and thus he says it to all: ‘Courage!’ He said it also to the victims of the earthquake. I repeat: I’d like us to interiorize this word alongside the pope, and under the guidance of the pope.

Doesn't sound like a guy under a lot of pressure. Whether you support Cardinal Bertone in this or not, he makes the correct analysis about who is suffering the most from all this.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"The Sad And Unjust Conditions..."

The Church which, from the day of Pentecost, has been destined here below to a never-ending life, which went forth from the upper chamber into the world endowed with the gifts and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, what has been her mission during the last twenty centuries and in every country of the world if not, after the example of her Divine Founder, "to go about doing good"? (Acts x, 38) Certainly this work of the Church should have gained for her the love of all men; unfortunately the very contrary has happend as her Divine Master Himself predicted (Matt. x, 17, 25) would be the case. At times the bark of Peter, favored by the winds, goes happily forward; at other times it appears to be swallowed up by the waves and on the point of being lost. Has not this ship always aboard the Divine Pilot who knows when to calm the angry waves and the winds? And who is it but Christ Himself Who alone is all-powerful, who brings it about that every persecution which is launched against the faithful should react to the lasting benefit of the Church? As St. Hilary writes, "it is a prerogative of the Church that she is the vanquisher when she is persecuted, that she captures our intellects when her doctrines are questioned, that she conquers all at the very moment when she is abandoned by all." (St. Hilary of Poitiers De Trinitate, Bk. VII, No. 4) 

If those men who now in Mexico persecute their brothers and fellowcitizens for no other reason than that these latter are guilty of keeping the laws of God, would only recall to memory and consider dispassionately the vicissitudes of their country as history reveals them to us, they must recognize and publicly confess that whatever there is of progress, of civilization, of the good and the beautiful, in their country is due solely to the Catholic Church. In fact every man knows that after the introduction of Christianity into Mexico, the priests and religious especially, who are now being persecuted with such cruelty by an ungrateful government, worked without rest and despite all the obstacles placed in their way, on the one hand by the colonists who were moved by greed for gold and on the other by the natives who were still barbarians, to promote greatly in those vast regions both the splendor of the worship of God and the benefits of the Catholic religion, works and institutions of charity, schools and colleges for the education of the people and their instruction in letters, the sciences, both sacred and profane, in the arts and the crafts.

Pope Pius XI, Iniquis Afflictisque

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Are These Leaks Supposed To Impress Us?

Rorate is reporting on the latest round of Vatican documents being leaked. This time, the leaker has included a bizarre letter basically proclaiming how awesome and omniscient he/they are since he/they have "hundreds of documents" that could be unleashed at any moment. The most recent leak contains a letter from Cardinal Burke to Cardinal Bertone regarding the approval of the NeoCatechumenal Way statutes that we reported on a good while back. He wasn't real happy about it.

The first is a "top secret letter" addressed to Bertone by the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal for the Apostolic Signatura [Card. Burke], and that deals what is branded as "the shameful event of the Neocatechumenals, on which there is a long note written by hand by Benedict XVI himself."

The other letters are from the Pope's personal secretary, Msgr. Ganswein, but the actual text is deleted.

The mole explains: "We will not publish it in a complete fashion to avoid offending the Person of the Holy Father, already put under great stress by his close collaborators." And he warns: "In order to be fair, we reserve the unabridged publication in case they persist in hiding the truth of the facts". He then concludes: "Drive out of the Vatican those truly responsible for this scandal: Mons Gänswein and Card. Bertone".

So let's review what we know:

1. Our earlier theories about "the butler did it" being a sham seem to be true.
2. Cardinal Bertone is still listed as the target.
3. The leakmeister claims to be acting in the Holy Father's best interests but has a weird way of showing it.
4. Very few of these leaks seem like they contain anything that's all that damaging.

Let's consider #4 for a second. It's a bizarre thing that is even noticeable in the mainstream media coverage of all this. The very fact that such coverage is scant (at best) is a good indication of how scandalous the information is to the secular world. In fact, when it's being reported, the story seems to be more about there being leaks at all than what is actually being leaked.

So the Curia is a bunch of back-stabbers? Woo-de-damn-hoo. Cardinal Burke doesn't like the NeoCatechumenal Way? Yeah, that's a big freaking shock. Nobody saw that coming.

I'm to the point now where I am very tempted to call BS on the leakers here. What they are doing isn't something that is going to affect change, and I have to believe that, if they had any trump cards, they would have played them by now. To refrain from doing so would seem an act of tremendous injustice given their claim that the butler is being framed (which, again, I think is likely anyway). Whoever is behind this is coming off as nothing more than a rabble-rouser with no real pull who is just looking to embarrass people. And regardless of their intentions, it seems more and more like the only person really being adversely affected is the Pope. I haven't seen any signs of Cardinal Bertone scrambling around or panicking.