Wednesday, 20 March 2013

1000th Post - The New Pope and my two penn'orth


Any new papacy is unsettling..and we have no idea which way things will turn.

Admittedly the blogosphere in places has been shameful with their 'hatchet-jobs' and the media [regrettably with Catholic media representatives,commentators, journalists etc] have made every attempt to 'spin' the new Pope in their own image...and it would be dishonest to suggest there aren't some enthymemic veiled assaults on His Holiness the Pope Emeritus. God forgive us.
Now it's only a couple of days ago that I told everyone with some inferred comment on the Pope's recent actions to basically put a sock in it ..
So Mr Hypocrite has to concede that he can't keep his concerns under wraps for much longer
I have no-one to discuss these things with, being a virtual outcast on social media, so basically have to use here as a means of self-reflection...

To be fair I have some reservations about the 'start of things'...
...and so for the next few paragraphs I'll bare my soul and then shut up about it.
There's little point keeping worries inside - let the uncertainty out in the open then it can be dealt with as a reality or dismissed as the shadow-ghost of nothing but unnecessary fear.

GK Chesterton comments that St Thomas Becket had things in the right order - that he wore Gold vestments for the glory of God and the people's benefit; but wore a hair shirt beneath for the Glory of God and his own benefit.
When offered the ermine His Holiness is said to have said 'you wear it - the carnival is over';
and we've tales of the casting off of limousines and regalia and wearing a simple pectoral cross and recycled fisherman's ring that's only gold plated, the wearing of a gift of black boots and repeated appeals for the poor and being on the side of the poor...

But these 'symbols', adornments, trinkets, gaudy majesties aren't for your benefit Your Holiness, they're for - how do you Jesuits put it? The Greater Glory of God.

What did St Francis say to do with jewels?
To throw them in the river so their radiance would be intensified and God's creation made more wondrous.

What are the real treasures of the Church?
Silver and Gold your predecessor had not...

And St Laurence showed the Emperor of this world that our treasures were the beggars, cripples, widows, dispossessed. afflicted...

St Francis dressed in rags and begged to eat and rebuild God's Church but he ensured that when they returned to Calvary in the Mass the Blessed Sacrament arrived within Golden vessels...
...and I remembered Judas's 'That ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor' and I remember Our Lord's rebuke...

Now I'm an old fashioned leftie of the Cardinal Manning/Rerum Novarum/Quadragesima Anno ilk - with a violent aversion to both evil dehumanising Hegelian/Marxian ideoporn and diabolical ultra-Capitalist, unrestrained-Market Libertarian 'survival of the fittest' rapine ideologies,  an old fashioned distributist who favours stringent progressive taxation and a right to work for a decent wage, universal healthcare and education, a system which doesn't force the sick to work and force mothers to abandon their children in their formative years, a safety-net welfare state where a government can universally serve us in providing for the dispossessed and disenfranchised....It is gravely immoral that we dwell in a world where hundreds of millions go hungry and grow sick and die from easily treatable diseases and don't even have clean drinking water...it is the savagest indictment upon us all.

But I know what REAL poverty is...and it has bugger-all to do with money or lack of it
And don't get me wrong...I've been there, although nowhere near as bad as those in the developing world I know what it's like to go without food for days on end for lack of money, I've walked many miles with the rain bubbling and squelching out the sides of my shoes, I've had the terrifying fear of the bailiffs at the door with sledgehammer, electric drill and tally-book...I remember the long nights of tears shivering in the cold because we had neither heating nor hot water...I remember what it was like before the introduction of working family tax credit...not being able to afford a newspaper, living on the children's leftovers, scrambling down the back of the sofa for coppers to buy a loaf of bread,searching the charity shops for a tiny treat for the kids after finding a pound coin in a pair of old jeans...I know what lack of money is like...but that is not poverty...

It's poverty of the heart, of the mind, of the soul, of the conscience...
Real poverty is in loneliness and abandonment, in feeling unwanted and unloved...and being so utterly lost and trapped that one is unable to reach out to another or realise one is not alone...

Mother Theresa fully recognised this poverty - and acknowledged that the US was the poorest nation in the world - the metropolis of millions living on their own and never knowing or conversing with their neighbour - a nation that thrives by murdering its unborn and holds the most pornographic of ideologies that other human beings are a bother and a burden - rather than each an infinite cosmos in themselves...each made in a unique way in the Image of God Himself...
The poverty of being rudderless and without a guide...trapped in relativism where nothing has any meaning or value...nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for...nothing to trust, no-one to love, no-one to tell you that you are loved...everyone is a stranger..and none moreso than onseself...
The poverty of seeing life as being nothing but a huge mockery that ends with us being food for worms...
The poverty of lies that have pierced the heart of wonder, smeared beauty with the dust of neglect and disrespect, and shattered hope into a thousand melting shards of icy regret and guilt and despondency...

...and I know the right kind of Poverty we must endure in response which will bring us the greatest happiness...the only true Happiness.
Why did God make us?
To know, love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next
Being Poor in Spirit and giving everything we have back to God.
Empoverishing ourselves to be meek, to mourn, to be pure in heart, to be peacemakers, to hunger and thirst and even be persecuted for righteousness's sake....

It's a way of Faith, Hope and Love, guided by Prudence, Tempterance, Fortitude and Justice, strengthened by Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord and - above all things performed in the true strength of gentleness, the true patience of forbearing incessant endurance and the true humility of seeing everything through Heaven's eyes...

So yes, Your Holiness - if you are for Poverty I stand with you - Ita Ita Ita...
if you wish to cast off every gaudy trinket, every Vatican treasure, artwork down to the last bead and goldleaf flake...take down every Raphael and Michelangelo and sell them to the highest bidder...
If you wish to empty the Holy See coffers and order every diocese across the world to do likewise so that our neighbour might benefit from the corporal works of mercy and for all our neighbours to acquire the things they truly deserve - food in their bellies, a roof over their heads, an education, medicine, a job, a family, a future, a community living in hope..then you are Peter and I will stand with you...
If you wish us all of us to share that cross and to live in the most austere ascetical way I'll do it...we'll do it!!!

But I want you to be a Peter who preaches what real Poverty is...
I want you to fight and be the strongest fighter against real poverty..save your flock from it...
And to teach us, guide us, lead us in the ways of being truly Poor in Spirit...
And not to simply perform the Corporal works of Mercy
But to go beyond to the Spiritual works of mercy which are so much more crucial to our souls...and it's where REAL Papal power resides - on the Spiritual Plane - and the war has turned into a very threatening and menacing spiritual battle of late...and we need a Pope who will know where his true power lies and uses it accordingly....

 Humility is for God to see and know...that which is seen by men is an already received reward.
Yes narcissistic false-ostentation, opulence, profligate squandering of money and resources is a scandal to our duty to be wise sensible stewards of all God has provided and the Holy Spirit holds in being...but in all things let God be glorified...be that in a golden monstrance or in a Holbein Christ or a Brazilian slumchild grinning behind a schooldesk or an african woman crying for joy that she can wash her children

Now it is said that when His Holiness went to pray in San Maria Maggiore he ordered Cardinal Law's expulsion...
I will not question the motives or the action in itself on the grounds of justice; but Pius XI reminds us that Charity always goes beyond any demands for it - the outrage of the Pontiff is justifiable except that it has consequences and repercussions and demands that the story does not end here..He is Peter..Christ's shepherd who is here to call sinners...no matter how heinous their crimes or shameful their scandal. There is a way to end this pain and he is called to find a resolution to it.

At the end of the Angelus His Holiness did not physically bless but told the crowd he would bless them silently in his heart...it is His prerogative but the outward signs of inward grace remind us of Our Creator and Redeemer...both may have their benefits but please don't diminish one at the cost to either.

Now please don't get all incensed at my potential bandwagon-jumping or downright disloyalty or hyper-critical hypocrisy but I want to be frank and brutally honest - get all my reservations off my chest so I can move forward and learn to know and love my new Pope...I want to love him the way I love the Pope Emeritus because every time I think of Pope Benedict or the Popes of the past century my heart leaps and my eyes moisten..even when I contemplate the pains, regrets, follies and anguishes of Paul VI I love him in that...and I want to love my new Pope and the only way is through baring everything to the light and letting God's radiance evaporate it like mist in the morning sun...

During yesterday's mass, as Fr Lombardi informed us, His Holiness did not distribute the Blessed Sacrament in order to not lengthen and complicate the Ceremony...
Peter is the Apostle of Apostles, Priest of Priests...
His Mission is twofold: To Preach His Lord's Gospel but primarily to feed and tender for His Lord's sheep.
There is nothing less important in the Priestly Ministry than the Mass - nothing more important than His Holiness' role of being In Persona Christi as he leads God's children back to Calvary where God proves His absolute Love for God by giving everything of His Humanity to Him for Our sake...
His Holiness should have given out Holy Communion and should have insisted upon it...for that action is the greatest sermon he could ever possibly give...nothing is more important than Christ and the world should be shown it...

Now the inherent courtesy within the Spanish language is well known - my old 'evangelisation' lecturer informed us that in Peru even the lowliest peasant would never dream of accusing someone of a misdemeanour except by indirect euphemism...on confronting a blatant thief rifling through stolen property they might say " I appear to have mislaid something".

Now this may seem really hyper-critical but what might work to a spanish-speaking audience most certainly won't to the rest of the world - it could be misinterpreted and inadvertently cause grave offence to those listening who don't understand the sincerity and technique of the speaker...

His Holiness is renowned for being an ardent Pro-Life defender and advocate; but there is one statement he repeats which grates like juddering cosmic machinery and invokes jaw-dropping incredulity to those who are not used to colloquial spanish euphemisms.
 When referring to abortion - the genocide of the unborn - the gravest most heinous  modern evil...
He calls it 'sending the child back to its Maker"
 What?!!!
It's like a chasm opens - an all-consuming gulf - it might be utterly appropriate in a Latin-environment - containing all the implied underlying outrage and loathing at the action to the latin-listener...
...but the rest of the world isn't Spanish-speaking...and doesn't understand what you mean and sounds like there is some diminution in its deplorable depravity...especially when preached about in relation to impoverished children  and social justice.
We dwell among those in the Church promoting a diabolically distorted post-Bernardin 'seamless garment' mentality where abortion is seen as a mere injustice among many equal injustices...not the gravest crime of all....
 We can't have a Pope inadvertently using similar language [even if utterly incongruent to their ideologiy]

...and I'm sorry Your Holiness but someone has to tell you that colloquial euphemisms
can be used by people of evil intent to mean the exact opposite of what you mean to say.

There is a huge pro-Life uphill battle ahead for us all - Utilitarian Incrementalism that denies Solidarity and is willing to adopt the mantle of Caiaphas and compromise and sell-out their unborn neighbour to negotiate for the lives of other unborn
- The Rhonheimer position of 'prophylactic intention' which proposes to contravene humanae vitae and the fifth commandment and risk the lives of spouses of hiv+ victims and possibly the lives of millions in the developing world.
- The madly disoriented Catholic academics who conspire with the culture of death and propose experimentation of embryos developed without brains via ANT & OAR.
- The deceptive catholic ethicists and collaborating clerics who promote GIFT or even pro-fertility actions veering towards thinly-veiled IVF.
- Misguided misinterpreting Theology of the Body advocates who wish to promote Natural Family Planning as a limited, minor 'good in itself' - i.e. backdoor contraception by omission - rather than it being a critical recourse to moral disorder mitigated within the double effect in an emergency unwilled situation.
- A Pontifical Life Academy which endorses - YES ENDORSES - the German Bishops resolution to permit use of the Morning After Pill!!!??? A nighttmare meltdown of insane diabolical proportions.

...and if you wish me to go local?
And the inherent anti-Life wilderness in my own Church in my own country...
A Catholic Charity CAFOD which promotes and endorses 'sustainability' through contraception, 'prophylactic' condom use and population control!!!
Another Catholic Charity in the auspices of the Archbishop of Westminster - St John & St Elizabeth Hospital - which prescribes contraception and abortifacients, provides abortion referrals and sterilisations and has now become a major-provider of sex-change operations!!!!
A Catholic Education Service who conspired with a Labour Government to ban Catholic moral teaching in regards to Sexuality and the Culture of Death from the classroom...enforcing 'objective, impartial, non-partisan' information i.e. promotion of abortion, contraception and extramarital sex.
The same Catholic Education Service who allowed Connexions into Catholic schools to provide confidential  contraception and sex advice and abortion referrals and abortifacients.
 An Archbishop who gave an inaugural address at the commemoration of an abortionist to abortionists who then thanked them for the conscience clauses they did not have and then told them the Church had no business interfering with their clinical decisions!!!
An Archbishop who reprimands one of his representatives for telling the truth about London being the Capital City of the Culture of Death.
A Catholic hierarchy who spent years in silence or unofficial support  of the Liverpool Care Pathway while tens of thousands were starved, dehydrated and poisoned through backdoor euthanasia and the doctors and ethicists who were crying foul about it all were risking their livelihoods trying to save lives unaided!!!
 A self-defeating internecine Pro-Life movement which is in a state of civil war due to continued vendettas and personal agendas and belligerent personal attacks perpetrated by those who weren't  involved or even Catholic when the feuds began!!
 ...and that's before we get to those 'liberal & progressive' "Catholics" who wish to dismantle the whole edifice of Catholic moral teaching regarding Life and Sexuality - but who are still allowed to call themselves Catholic, still sponsored, funded and paid by Catholic institutions and dioceses, still endorsed by our hierarchy.
...or we get to the 'Professional Catholic' politicians who call themselves Pro-Life but very rapidly prove they have a version anathema to Catholic or even coherently logical understandings of the term.
...or we get to the plain and simple fact that the Catholic Church of England and Wales DOES NOT HAVE  a Pro-Life organisation!!!

Yes Your Holiness - if you wish to declare yourself as the Pope who will emphasise on the Poor and the Pro-Life message...we will be exultant and join you...

But you have to realise to what depths Holy Mother Church has descended - nay plunged- on an intellectual , pastoral and  evangelical level. The deception, collaboration, misrepresentation, obfuscation, laziness and flagrant sins of silence and omission need to be addressed, redressed, countered, exorcised and the Pro-Life movement needs to be revitalised....

...and finally Your Holiness, you come from an ostensibly Catholic country.
We don't.
And we're in trouble.
Not because of the external forces of materialism, secularism and relativism...
But because the Catholic Church is dying through negligence of the faithful by its shepherds and its teachers.
We have suffered generations of Catholics being denied the culture, the tradition and the teachings and praxes of Holy Mother Church.

And New Evangelisation WILL NOT WORK when those who are participating and actuating it aren't informed, catechised Catholics themselves...
For nearly a century the Church has reneged upon its moral duty to instruct the faithful on an Apologetic level - the last residual attempt was left to the Catholic Evidence Guild and a few missionary spirits and inspired authors and institutions.
Decades since the Vatican council explaining how and what the Church teaches and does...
But barely a word on the why...
If we are to Love God and Serve God - Love and Serve Holy Mother Church - we need to KNOW about it..and begin to understand the why we believe, why we teach and do what we do...

We need a new apologetic revival before we can dare to attempt new evangelisation...
And for that we need a global revivification of the principles of the Catholic Evidence guild - AND to train our academics, educators and most especially our clerics accordingly in the ways and means of apologetics...

[and I mean real apologetics - dogmatic and fundamental moral theologicallly grounded - with the glorious simplicity beyond complexity of CEG exemplars like the works of Frank Sheed, Maisie Ward, Theodore Maynard, Cecily hastings, the von Hildebrands...and the contemporary work of the wondrous Peter Kreeft and Scott Hahn etc]

...and Catholic education needs rebuilt from the ground up and led by Vatican initiative and not by mere negligent Bishops conferences.

and Your Holiness you're a Jesuit and know how intensive the training should be for one entering into the priestly life...you have witnessed the despondency and futility felt by those priests who lost their way because they were not adequately trained and instructed in the first place...

Have you any possible notion how many tens of millions have abandoned the Church because they were never instructed as to what the Church ever was - what it truly taught - what it truly did - and were never given the opportunity to realise how important and necessary and wanted they were and grow to understand how necessary the Church was for their lives...?
Can we possibly imagine the rudderless anxiety of the untrained priest as he has to 'wing it' because his Ordinary failed to be a pastor to him and provide him with the adequate education and experience to survive?

Bad priests, bad teachers, bad example....usually sourced in very, very good people who were let down by a system which never instructed or trained them themselves - so how could they have possibly done anything else but fail....?

Catholics are guilty of many things...failing to live the Faith, failing to preach the Faith
But the Apostles and their priests are responsible for the faithful not knowing the Faith....
And the Apostles are guilty for the neglect of their clergy and the corresponding disenfranchisement of the faithful.

Apologetics and Catechetics are the way forward - self-evangelisation before we can even dream of evangelising those on the outside...

...and let it start in this year of faith.

The Second answer in the Catechism is all we need
The answer to why God made me...
It's the Church's job to explain that answer and explain why and how and what we do the way we do...
Once that is taught - once that is shown by example...
Everything else will fall into place....

There: Rant over and the promise of a ton of rosaries for His Holiness's intention; but I would have felt forever restrained and restrictively reserved if I hadn't said it...throw whatever accusations and complaints you want at me...but at least I can look at you - and  myself- in the eye now that I've said it.

UPDATE: I'm sorry Ladies & Gentlemen but I'm afraid I will NOT publish comments of open dissent and hostility - I repeat I too have my reticences and concerns - but I will not give any media or blog reports any credence when they suggest that potential 'failings' as Archbishop will be made manifest in His Holiness' Papacy - with the Keys its Keeper adopts new insights, discernments and responsibilities. Holy Mother Church will not be thwarted - An Archbishop who might [reputedly] have questionable positions on the EF, civil partnerships or the nuances of Just War is not the same man who is now Pope Francis - Peter speaks and acts as Peter - not as Fr Jorge...

6 comments:

Ttony said...

Congratulation on your millesima!

Keep it up!

tuleesh said...

Wow!

Well would you please send this post to Pope Francis? You tone is firm, and not at all disrespectful. I wish I had that gift.

It would be well and good to see His Holiness' views on the points you made. At least there would be clarity. In the long run, it just might be better to have clarity than agreement.

We'll see.

Supertradmum said...

Abortion is THE issue of the day. Since January of THIS year, over 9 million babies had been murdered in the womb and that is only up to yesterday.

These deaths cry out to God for vengeance. The four grave sins of the Bible and the Roman Catechism which cry out for vengeance, including sodomy (can I still use that word in England)will not be ignored.

And, one more point-lex orandi, lex credendi. Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles - whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine). The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition."[2]

Supertradmum said...

As to you 1,000, dear me...you need to catch up with me! lol

Ches said...

Sorry to highjack your comments but ...

I have nominated you for a Liebster Awards. These are given to bloggers unlikely to win one of your Bigger Blogger Vote-For-Me Awards, so I hope you won't be offended! To qualify, all you need do is the following:

1. provide eleven facts about yourself so readers can learn more about you.

2. answer all of my questions here: http://thesensiblebond.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/all-must-have-prizes.html

3. nominate other worthy recipients to whom you can pose your own questions.

Just a bit of fun. Keep up the good work.

Ches of The Sensible Bond. http://thesensiblebond.blogspot.co.uk/

Unknown said...

Paul, have you read this? I don't know if it's true,
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3000243/posts



Chloe