30 December 2017

Maradiaga: Some Questions.

A translation of a Spanish blog post. The original is here.

There is only one solution to the present problem of Maradiaga and the Pope: a clear rebuttal of the accusations. “I love you very much, I trust you very much, how I suffer when I see what you suffer ...” is a waste of everybody’s time. Things have to be cleared up once and for all, whoever ends up being blamed. Does Maradiaga receive very significant monthly payments? Yes or no? Receiving lots of dollars isn’t bad in itself: it can be good if the dollars are used well. Are they spent well? Can an organisation in a very poor country use these dollars to fund activities outside that organisation in spite of its own obligations? Are the activities relevant to the organisation or not? Does the Cardinal have an assistant who needs to be kept out of sight? Is everything a gross slander? What about Bishop Zanchetta, with health so poor he had to resign his Argentine diocese yet nevertheless was found suitable for a high position in the Roman Curia? Is there a skeleton in some cupboard or other? All these things, and others, affect the credibility of the Pope who, at the very least, will be thought of as covering up some odd things. And what has happened to some people who might be thought, rightly or wrongly, to have been involved in some of the covering up?

A Pope will always be the object of slander from enemies of the Church. Some allegations are so implausible that they do not merit a denial. If someone accused Bergoglio of being behind Kennedy's assassination, it would be absurd for him to deny it. Leave mad people to worry about mad things. But there are facts that implicate him one way or another. To give a minor yet scandalous example, Bertone's flat. Bertone is still there and right in the Pope’s sight. There may be papalotrists who will affirm that the Vicars of Christ do not have eyes. Well, they’re wrong. It may be a matter of little importance but it does have some. And it becomes more important when there is a person who looks with a magnifying glass at other defects, imagined or real, and wastes no time in denouncing them.

04 December 2017


So if I get this right, it doesn't matter exactly what the Pope has said or done, because you can always work out a way of interpreting it that means that he hasn't contradicted, in any hard and fast sense, what the Catholic Church has always meant.  And if other people: Cardinals, Bishops, people like that: choose to interpret what the Pope said heretically, well, we all know that they're wrong, or at least badly advised: hey! somebody should do something.

If you care, look at what happened to the Centre Party in Germany after the 1933 elections. It's what happens to Catholics when they keep compromising with the world till they have nothing left; it's what happens to them when they do nothing instead of thinking about fighting for what they believe in.

02 December 2017

The End Of The Year

At the end of my 1863 calendar series I wrote the following:

May this parish stand as a type of all the parishes we have looked at during the last year.  Its priest will fast from midnight on Saturday until nearly 12.00 on Sunday because he says Masses for his parishioners. He offers them Vespers on Sunday so that they can join in at least part of the Office beyond Mass.  He instructs potential converts; he baptises the children of parishioners, and churches their mothers. He offers non-liturgical services, and, perhaps most importantly of all, he makes arrangements to hear their confessions, with particular emphasis on the confessions of children, and remembers the benefactors who make all of this possible by offering Mass for them every week.  Here is the outward extension of the local Church which is the Diocese, far from Rome in distance, but teaching and confirming the faithful in their religion, exactly the same religion as was taken from their forefathers four hundred years previously, and using, with a small number of variations, the calendar which had governed the life of that Church throughout the period of the great persecutions of those four centuries. God Bless all good priests, as they are blessed by those whose faith they confirm, and God Bless them for increasing the number of those who have such faith!

I will leave this series with two thoughts: first, the old calendar, the old concept of the calendar, in which the rampant sabbatarianism of the worship of Sundays in the abstract is totally missing, is a better integrated, more human, less didactic, unclericalised, popular way of linking the Church's year to the seasons and to the lives of the faithful.

The second is how much the life of the Church depends on priests in parishes, and on those in religious life who support them, rather than on Bishops, Cardinals, or Popes.  If we pray a lot, have lots of children, bring them up in the Faith, and are prepared to give them all to God if they have a call from Him that they will answer positively, we will be able to recreate a Church in England and Wales as holy and fruitful as it was in 1863.

I want to make an additional point today, though I stand by my comments of two years ago: that with the exception of Vespers and Instruction, which had both largely disappeared before the calamitous changes of 1911, most parishes, in most of the country, are managing to do pretty well as well as their predecessors 160 years ago, in terms of keeping their Catholic flock supplied with what they need, under God, to be saved.  There has been an awful reduction in Confession, which reflects something larger than parish praxis but I am particularly pleased that my last three parishes were Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit respectively, and the three orders are as faithful today to their mission to the faithful as they were in 1865.

The two comments at the end of last week's post are particularly relevant - at least I think so.  Why isn't the calendar something traditionalists discuss and argue about? Why have they allowed 1962 to become a defining norm?

And what about the stoic Catholicism Mike Cliffson describes? What was it like to live for generations with little if any recourse to the Sacraments? These are deep waters few of us ever explore.

More soonish, however, about the dreadful consequences of the Reformation and the French Revolution which are part of this whole sorry tale about the attack on the calendar.