Cardinal Tagle, Migrants, Heresy and Trump
Almost since the outset of this papacy Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been the man seen by many as Francis' dauphin.
I'm not sure if the email I have been sent is actually from him, or an incredibly ignorant minion, but it is truly shocking in its' lack of catholicity:
From: Caritas Internationalis [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 30 November 2017 15:28
Subject: Christmas Message from Cardinal Tagle
The bells ring during Advent not just in celebration, but also to wake us up from our slumber.
As we await the birth of Jesus, we are called to open our eyes and hearts to the possibility of hope. We are reminded that God is with us on our life's journey and that we too are called to accompany others on theirs.
Jesus was born in a stable outside Bethlehem, on the "wrong side of the tracks", as they say nowadays. The Holy Family was a family of migrants.
There was no welcome for his pregnant mother and tired father. The doors and hearts of the day were closed to them.
Not long after his birth Jesus became a refugee. Fearing for his life, his parents fled with him to Egypt.
The baby Jesus, in his smallness and vulnerability, is calling us to look at children born in camps, on borders, on the margins of societies with new and bold eyes. Dare we open our doors? Dare we open our eyes and hearts to these children?
Through the infant Jesus, God is reaching out to us and calling us forward on our own personal journey. Do we say there's no room at the inn? Or, as our eyes focus on a broader and brighter horizon, do we in turn reach out and offer to Share the Journey with migrants and refugees?
If you would like to send your Christmas gift to help Caritas support migrants and refugees, please follow the link:
Caritas wishes you a Christmas where love, joy and hope abound.
Yours in Christ,
His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle
In his email, the Cardinal states "the bells ring out in Advent...in celebration". Advent is not a season of celebration, but the 'waiting'. The word comes from the Latin for 'coming' , as in Pope Saint John Paul II's Novo Millenio Adveniiente: the coming new millennium.
In Advent we're in expectant mood, like the mother. This means it is not a time for celebration or bell-ringing - yet. The Latin adventus, from which the term "Advent" derives, can be rendered with "presence", "arrival" or "coming". In the language of the ancient world it was a technical term used to indicate the arrival of an official or the visit of the king or emperor to a province. However, it could also mean the coming of the divinity that emerges from concealment to manifest himself forcefully or that was celebrated as being present in worship. Christians used the word "advent" to express their relationship with Jesus Christ: Jesus is the King who entered this poor "province" called "earth" to pay everyone a visit; he makes all those who believe in him participate in his Coming, all who believe in his presence in the liturgical assembly. The essential meaning of the word adventus was: God is here, he has not withdrawn from the world, he has not deserted us. Even if we cannot see and touch him as we can tangible realities, he is here and comes to visit us in many ways. Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us. Another fundamental element of Advent is expectation, an expectation which is at the same time hope. Advent impels us to understand the meaning of time and of history as a kairós, as a favourable opportunity for our salvation.
Christmas is a privileged opportunity to meditate on the meaning and value of our existence. The approach of this Solemnity helps us on the one hand to reflect on the drama of history in which people, injured by sin, are perennially in search of happiness and of a fulfilling sense of life and death; and on the other, it urges us to meditate on the merciful kindness of God who came to man to communicate to him directly the Truth that saves, and to enable him to partake in his friendship and his life. Therefore let us prepare ourselves for Christmas with humility and simplicity, making ourselves ready to receive as a gift the light, joy and peace that shine from this mystery.
---Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, December 17, 2008
Cardinal Tagle says Jesus was born "'on the wrong side of the tracks', as they say". What exactly is he insinuating here? Is it appropriate to be suggesting the Son of God was born in an inappropriate or morally dubious situation?!! I dread to think what that makes of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary!
"There was no welcome for his pregnant mother and tired father. " - what do they teach in seminaries these days? Matthew's genealogy traces the male line. Throughout the generations we find the formula: "Abraham was the father of Isaac..." But at the end, there is something quite different. In Jesus' case there is no reference to fatherhood, instead we read "Jacob [was] father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ" (Mt 1:16). In the account that follows immediately afterward, Matthew tells us that Joseph was not Jesus' father and that he wanted to dismiss Mary on account of her supposed adultery. But this is what is said to him: "That which is conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1:20). So the final sentence turns the whole genealogy around. Mary is a new beginning. Her child does not originate from any man, but is a new creation, conceived through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus' whole unborn life was spent within the married confines of Mary and Joseph. Joseph is the legal father of Jesus. Through him Jesus belongs by law "legally" to the House of David. And yet He comes from elsewhere, "from above" --from God Himself. The mystery of His provenance, His dual origin, confronts us quite concretely: His origin can be named and yet it is a mystery. Only God is truly His "father". Saint Joseph registered Jesus' birth and gave Him his family name. Ergo, specifically NOT on the wrong side of the tracks. That is an essential and important part of the inclusion of the genealogies in Matthew and Luke.
There's a whole essay-full of blog to be written on these two points. Without, of course, picking up that 'the Holy Family was a family of migrants'. No!!! They went to Bethlehem for the census. True they had to flee to Egypt and were therefore, refugees from Herod's terror for a short time. But to say they were 'a family of migrants' implies something completely different and out of character. Of course this is part of something we see with ever increasing frequency from our clergy these days; a desire to humanise the Holy Family and make them a tool of social justice, rather than a model to aspire to.
Now I'm not saying that there is absolutely no merit to the analogy. The idea may awaken the compassion of believers who need a reason to consider the humane treatment of undocumented people currently within our borders. And, if this special family makes the case, how about hundreds more? Scripture is filled end-to-end with wandering, landless people who are beloved of God yet at the mercy of every stranger’s kindness. To name a few: Adam and Eve, Cain, Abraham and Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael, Jacob and his wives and children, Moses and the entire population of the Exodus, Naomi and Ruth, David, Elijah, Amos, Esther, Paul, and all the apostles.
In fact, we might consider most biblical actors as undocumented foreigners since everyone who entered the land once known as Canaan lacked the correct papers and was absolutely not welcome. Should we close our doors to refugees and migrants today? Who knows how many of them might prove to be vital to God’s unfolding story of grace?
My own heart is always ordered to helping anyone who needs help. I have blogged about the present situation before where I summarised Church teaching in this way based on the fact that Rerum Novarum commented on the situation of immigrants; in later documents, popes and bishops' conferences have synthesised the Catholic theological tradition to articulate three basic principles on immigration.
- First Principle: People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families.
- Second Principle: A country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration.
- Third Principle: A country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy.
However decent individual Muslim migrants may be, they carry with then the seeds of the faith Muhammad founded. In order to keep that faith alive, Muslim leaders “encourage” the faithful not to assimilate. In fact, President Erdogan of Turkey has called assimilation a “crime against humanity.” What he has particularly in mind is the large and growing immigrant Turkish population in Germany which he sees as the vanguard of the eventual Islamisation of that country.
Typically, Muslim immigrants and refugees do not assimilate into their host culture; they form parallel societies, where the customs and laws of Islam set the tone. That means that in these ghettos there is little if any freedom of religion, equality of the sexes, or freedom of expression. On the other hand, there is a great deal of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian sentiment.
And then there is the problem of violence. As a result of recent Muslim migration into Europe, there has been a tangible (if seldom discussed) spike in crime. To take one small example, consider Denmark, a country that one does not usually associate with crime or violence. As a spokesman for Denmark’s majority government party recently said, “We have not had such warnings from the police since the Second World War.”
Warnings about what? How about:
Thousands of incidents involving loosened wheel bolts on cars, large rocks or cinder blocks thrown from highway overpasses, and thin steel wires strung across bicycle paths meant to decapitate unsuspecting cyclists, is spreading a growing sense of horror among the Danes.In addition,
“gangs of migrants and refugees of Arab or North African descent are now shooting innocent people at random in the capital city of Copenhagen.”The suffering victims of these crimes also qualify as “the face of Jesus,” but we don’t hear much about them, and we seldom see pictures of them. On the other hand, pictures of refugees are everywhere. The website for the USCCB’s “Week of prayer and action for migrants and refugees” contains many photos. Curiously, almost all the photos are of Muslims, and more curiously still—considering that about seventy percent of refugees entering Europe are grown males—they are mostly of women and children. I find this an increasingly disingenuous and worrying trend which the vast majority of people see through. If the Church hierarchy continue to ignore the concerns of their flock, will they end up facing the same lessons as those who called an EU referendum arrogantly expecting a landslide defeat for the Brexiteers? As the recent furore regarding the U.S. President's retweeting of videos first tweeted by the head of Britain First, there seems to be an extreme political correctness in Britain which is determined to ignore what seem to be the plain facts of a case in favour of the reality the country would like to pursue. In this instance, a reality which embraces tolerance and plurality—laudable enough, but as we have already seen—when such ideals defy reality we get a break in trust developing between leadership and those they lead.
With respect to the response to Trump, the ire of the shallow virtue-signalling metro-gliberal élite seem more focused on the source of the Tweets (i.e. Britain First) than their content. All the politicians are screaming about the idiot who killed Jo Cox shouting "Britain First". This despite the undeniable fact that every single Muslim who has killed anyone anywhere in the world shouts "Allah ackbar!" yet we are not allowed to identify any of them with Islam?? I'm sorry- the utter inconsistency of the whole thing just might eat itself!!!!When you take your child to see Santa but he has to go through a military checkpoint first because the 'religion of peace' didn't actually turn out to be all that peaceful! pic.twitter.com/3MTzJeyyHD— Mark Collett (@MarkACollett) December 1, 2017
In reality, if they allowed people to voice their concerns about Islam, they wouldn't leave a vacuum for extremists to fill.
Ironically, Pope Francis himself has conceded the point about getting your facts straight. In Evangelii Gaudium, he observes that “ideas disconnected from realities give rise to ineffectual forms of idealism” (232). Unfortunately, he then proceeds to paint a totally unrealistic picture of Islam and the Qu'ran. In paragraph 253 he contends that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
That certainly qualifies as an idea “disconnected from realities,” and in the years since, Francis has shown no sign that he has become more realistic about either Islam or Muslim migration. I really feel all the positivity is just wishful thinking. I would be happy with a balanced, objective perspective, but I really feel manipulated by all this "Jesus was a migrant" stuff. Which brings me back to Cardinal Tagle's atrocious email.
The whole tone of 'God with us on our personal journey' etc is just fluffy nonsense. Journey to what? To where?! Again, this anthropocentric vision, of God coming down to us, to do our will, serving us in our here-and-now state is just not Catholic. It is typically subjective and marked by the fatal conceit of of our age—the death of community, the idolatry of individualism.
Is this what the Incarnation was about?! Similarly, the emphasis on the human reality of Jesus, giving Him a human personhood means that ultimately the begging-point, our 'charity' becomes something reduced to some kind of philantropic humanism. Forgetting that in 1 Cor 12, we're told that even if we give our body away etc, but are without Love (and that is?....Christ Himself) it's not worth anything.