The Amazonian Dust Settles...


As the Amazonian dust begins to settle, we can begin to see a little more clearly what has been going on, and the preliminary perspective confirms my initial instincts that this is a victory for the Church of Jesus Christ.

The Pope & his progressive supporters have spent two years now building expectations around controversial topics like the ordination of married men, the abandonment of priestly celibacy & female ordination. These are not new topics, they are all the same old progressive topics pursued by Bergoglio and the men around him for decades (perhaps best illustrated from a parochial UK perspective by this recent post).

It seemed very clear that the Amazon was going to be used as a Trojan Horse to push these ideas into the mainstream. The arguments were made that the remote Amazonian communities lacked ministers to administer the sacraments, one nun at the synod even said she was already hearing confessions! The Austrian bishop who seemed to have almost free reign at the synod said that he supported women priests and seemed to show up with his own concubine.

Of course, this whole circus was funded by ze Germanz, who have been very vocal about the way they intend to save their  money I mean church; by completely abandoning it to Satan & replacing the Catholic faith with a flaccid modernist amalgam of progressive ideas which, wherever it has been tried, has resulted in accelerating, not halting apostasy and decline. Undeterred by such annoyances as these facts, ze Germanz push on regardless. From our Holy Father, no word of retort for his financial overlords, instead, he attacks those mean Gringos.

Anyone looking at all this cannot help but scratch their heads in bemusement. The Vatican has quite literally lost the plot from my perspective, and that’s no small thing, given it is the Seat of authority for the faith which is central to my life. I believe that the Catholic faith is the truth deposited by Jesus Christ to draw us to Heaven and the God who made us for communion with Him. To see pagan idols processed into Roman Churches with Cardinals and even the Supreme Pontiff standing by in worship, and to see this then defended in a papal exhortation — things just don’t get any more wrong headed & unjustifiable than that. You can’t syncretise pagan goddesses with Christianity; these pagan practices are fear-mongering, repressive superstitions which are satanic in origin and seek to keep man in fear of the capricious nature of the spirits that surround us. The Christian truth frees us of these superstitions and liberates us from those fears. Rome stands as the victory of Christ over all these pagan things and to see such a brazen reversal of this long won reality is deeply troubling.

I find myself wondering how one man, Jorge Bergoglio, can bring such a thing to bear on Catholicism, contrary to all it is and stands for? He is like a petulant teenager who thinks his own ideas are far more important than those of his forebears and now pushes on without respect for the legacy he has inherited from far more aware, holy & intelligent men. How can he do this with cardinals standing beside him, happy to go along with such counter-productive nonsense? How have we grown so apathetic and so docile that we are prepared to allow such things to happen without storming Rome?

Remember the history of Rome is full of stories like the conclave of 1268 where the laity pulled the tiles off the roof of the Palazzo dei Papi to expose the voting cardinals to the elements in an attempt to encourage them to conclude their deliberations in an expedient manner! It took a young man from Austria to put into action the outrage every right-thinking Catholic was feeling.

Any attempts to defend this incoherent, uncatholic, opaque, swarmiism can only serve to further devalue the currency of the papacy so desperately damaged by this man. Reason, consistency, dogma, theology, clarity, moral integrity, continuity have all been thrown smartly out of the window by Pope Francis. I mean you just look dishonest if you try to attach the same intellectual weight to any of this guff as to papal documents of previous times. But Querida Amazonia may have been a mis-step for “The Great Reformer”.

Catherine Pepinster, former editor of the Catholic newspaper The Tablet, long the domain of all ideas progressive, Anglican & ecumenical, has written an interesting article in the left wing British publication The Guardian. Pepinster would be the first to admit she has problems with some areas of Church teaching, and The Tablet has long been a forum for such discussions to take place.

Personally, I welcome such discussions, but I do feel it is essential that we are properly informed about the issues. I would argue that while The Tablet has been a place where this has been discussed, it is only ever discussed in a vacuum where any intelligent proposal of the reasons for Church teaching is looked down on in an extremely patronising way. The only direction is secularism, as far as these people are concerned. They are seduced by the arguments of the secular world in such a way that they have abandoned any shred of hope that the Church may have a point.

My point here is that Pepinster and her ilk are not on the fringes of Catholicism in England and Wales, they are mainstream. They have little to say in defence of Church teaching and are constantly pushing for "progress", by which they mean a capitulation to the secular zeitgeist. It is those of us who defend the Church who are fringe. Attacked by those with a media voice like Pepinster and by episcopacy these positions mould and facilitate alike.

The deep irony they don't yet understand is that the very injustices they constantly feel wounded by are only caused by our lack of faith in the reality of Catholic truth. Catholics really do make a difference to the world, but the sociological upsides to religious activity will not materialise unless people actually believe in it. To make these effects the justification for the activity is therefore self-defeating. But I digress. This is another discussion.

In her Guardian piece, Pepinster relates the election of Pope Francis in these terms:
Traditionalists fumed; progressive Catholics loved it. Surely, the liberals thought, this is the pope who will rid the church of the insistence on celibacy for the priesthood and allow married priests? And might he, just might he, even allow female priests, or at least deacons?
This is interesting, because it contradicts those who are never critical of anything Pope Francis does, who have tried to play down these expectations saying things like:
However, there's not even agreement among papal sycophants. Massimo Faggioli seemed to disagree with Austen, furiously retweeting Antonio Spadaro's suggestions that it was all about the final document & Czerny's comments at the presser which were immediately corrected by Baldisseri (see here).
Pepinster's conclusion seems to sum up this duality:
Francis has now put himself in a position where he has infuriated his traditionalist critics and alienated his previous supporters – without really solving the shortage of priests in the Amazon. The man from the ends of the Earth has proved to be a disruptive figure in ways that no one expected.
Despite desperate attempts to spin it otherwise, and for whatever reason (though the disappearance of ++Ganswein would seem to indicate the book had something to do with it), the pope's progressive plans did not come off. He spent years building expectations and ultimately could not deliver. There may be another way forward for these ideas: his "synodal way" rubbish which will further undermine and water-down Catholicism's moral leadership in the world. But we have a bit of breathing room at least. Despite Austen Ivereigh and co trying desperately to spin this into some kind of victory, or grand plan, it's just the usual Francis mess.

Pepinster can't help but reveal her own complete misunderstanding of the faith in her article however as Dr Joseph Shaw points out in the tweet below this quote:
Francis, through his experience in Argentina, believes the church must get its hands dirty and live alongside the people, both in practical and spiritual terms. But the heart of the Catholic church is still the communal experience of the mass – and for that you need a priest. If women are excluded from that crucial role, then they are not engaged in what is at the centre of Catholic faith.
The astounding hubris on display here is that the Church's antiquarian position has no value until it aligns itself with Pepinster's own vision of what Catholic worship is. That to me is non serviam.

Although there are rumblings and lots to discuss, my feelings are that this result leaves me comforted that the Holy Spirit is still active in His Church.











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