Thursday, 6 February 2014

Catholicism Without Charity

Pope Pius XII in the mind of Mundabor
I've decided that I'm going to send a link to the Vatican providing evidence of a miraculous online based event. It's Mundabor's blog. I think it should be submitted as evidence of Pope Pius XII communicating with the World from Heaven. Oh but wait, Pope Francis doesn't need miracles to declare Saints anymore, so I need not bother. Nelson Mandela: There's hope for you yet!

Mundabor makes some valid points in his latest post on Fr Ray Blake's request for prayers for a struggling alcoholic who considers himself to be close to death, all hinging on one comment from one of Fr Ray's readers which was deemed by Mundabor to be theologically inaccurate, but I think the Alf Garnett of the Catholic blogosphere sometimes goes a bit over the top. Catholicism without compromise need not mean Catholicism without charity or respect. Also, given that Mundabor is such a fan of Pius XII, where does he get his vile and crude language from?

Mundabor makes some pretty sweeping assumptions in his post. For example, noting that the dying homeless man had...

'...knocked at the priest’s door not to ask for money – which I am sure Father would not give him, lest he fuels the other's addiction.'

So remember that, readers. Don't give alcoholic homeless people money. It will only fuel their addictions! This, I find, is an area in which a Catholic can at the same time be right and wrong. It can so easily become our safety valve for stinginess. Is our Guardian Angel really standing next to us when approached by an alcoholic homeless man saying, 'Don't give him any money! He'll only spend it on drink!'? Or does God look for generosity in our hearts. It's an issue I struggle with but I am glad for Mundabor that for him the matter is settled with the steel of what he imagines Pope Pius XII was like.

'We are, I am sure, all pleased for this change of mind and wish the chap all the best, and a future without alcoholism to the point of self-destruction.'

'I am black, but beautiful', it is written of 'Her' in the Song of Songs, which we take as the 'She' who is the Church, the Bride. It really is not, in my honest opinion, our place to stand in judgment of sinners, especially those who are humble and (to all human appearances) contrite of heart. I do not, for many reasons, consider myself to be in a place to judge those who could well be much very closer to the Heart of Jesus, so full of love for sinners who trust in His Mercy, than myself. It is likely that Paul will not remain sober, but then he lives in the pissing rain outside all the time during the great deluge of 2014, so I wonder just how I would cope with that, if I was an alcoholic, my only friends on the street a small band of down and out drinkers. Does Mundabor wonder how he might cope if he were walking in this man's shoes or had lived his life? Perhaps he should reflect that the greatest threat to the Church is not the alcoholics, and certainly not repentant, struggling sinners of Holy Mother Church, but those Catholics who deny their own guilt and seek to change the Church's teachings, thus subverting and contributing to Her overthrow from within. Out of the Pharisee and the publican, which one did Our Lord praise as justified before the Lord?

'And let us talk of Lazarus the beggar, too, the specific man mentioned in the comment. Last time I looked, Lazarus is described as destitute and either a leper or one with huge health issues, but not an alcoholic. And he doesn’t go to heaven because he is a beggar, but because he is good in the eyes of the Lord.'

True, perhaps, but I do also recall the Lord suggesting that the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners were going ahead of the Pharisees to the Kingdom of Heaven and that the self-righteous might find themselves locked out. Jesus also said, 'It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice'. I would suggest to Mundabor that the Lord perhaps did not define whether Lazarus was man of great virtue precisely so that when we meet a homeless smack addict with sores up and down his legs with only a dog for company, we might be reminded that we take Lazarus as we find him, rather than as who we think he ought to be. It is all too easy for us to imagine Lazarus to be someone we really don't encounter. Secondly, the rich man, likely to be a Pharisee, doesn't notice Lazarus or recognise his humanity maybe perhaps precisely because he believes human sin to make a person so contemptible as to be unworthy not only of divine charity, but neighbourly charity also. I could go on, but cannot be bothered.

“Remember your soul is more at stake than his; God loves Poor Lazarus”, said Pablo the Mexican, on Fr Ray's blog. I'm sorry but this is not the most offensive thing I've seen on the internet in the last week. According to Mundabor, Pablo must be an 'obvious V II ultra'. I believe Pablo, from comments I've read by him, might be someone with SSPX sympathies, so there's another sweeping assumption from Mundabor there. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Lazarus has nobody, lives outside, starves, is exposed to all weathers, experiences no human affection, eats barely anything, just whatever scraps he can find, lives a life in which few recognise his humanity while the rich eat and drink to their heart's content and pass him by thinking he is a great sinner unworthy of love.

Jesus doesn't tell us anything about the man's spiritual life. Why? Jesus Christ doesn't fill out the details of these men's lives, Lazarus and Dives, their merits or their sins. He allows us to do that with those he presents before us in His poor. The fact remains that no matter how high we may, or may not think we are in the esteem of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on Wednesday night, I saw Paul pray and weep and I asked Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to give me faith like his. Mundabor may thank the Lord that he is not like Paul or indeed 'other men', but I would hazard the guess that Paul might thank the Lord he is not like Mundabor for Paul will look down upon no man until, we pray, he makes his entrance into Heaven. We are all totally and utterly dependent on the mercy of God. Whatever Lazarus's sins, vices or virtues, he obviously, at some point, discovered the tender mercy of God and that made all the difference. Perhaps if the rich man had talked to Lazarus, Lazarus could have told him all about it.


Православный физик said...

Of course a priest's soul is more in danger, there's more responsibility on his shoulders than any of us lay people.

We all most certainly need the mercy of God...for without it we are nothing. I certainly do pray for a faith like Paul's, mine is far too weak.

the word verification is doctrine, interestingly enough

Andrew said...

Indeed. Reminds me of this Chesterton quote:

"It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them."

I believe my old parish priest always used to give money to the alcoholics who came knocking for it. Father's passed away now. I can only hope his actions merited him well.

Anonymous said...

T think Pablo the Mexican, follow his links, would regard Mundabor as a dangerous leftie, rather than just rude and mouthy like the rest of us.

Chloe said...

Wonderful! Thank you. Chloe

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

"Perhaps he should reflect that the greatest threat to the Church is not the alcoholics, and certainly not repentant, struggling sinners of Holy Mother Church, but those Catholics who deny their own guilt and seek to change the Church's teachings, thus subverting and contributing to Her overthrow from within. Out of the Pharisee and the publican, which one did Our Lord praise as justified before the Lord?"

Thank you for this brilliant antidote to the pissieness of the X plus 1 plus 1 of herr (pope pius in the mirror) mun. D. Bor. rant away mr bor, it's your blog, but for the sake of such a truly Pius XII, find yourself another self-identifier, perhaps, Francis Ist.

Questionnaire for the lonely and dying.

Are you in any way responsible for your state?

Answer: Yes, Lord have mercy.

Do you feel ashamed and filled with remorse?

Answer: Yes. Lord have mercy.

Do you have a permanent address?

Answer: No.

Have you any redeeming qualities whatsoever?

Answer: I'm a sinner, a failure, Lord have...

Next please!

Unfortunately mundabor likes to piss into a tiny little pot from a great height (only he can handle the rarified air up there), thing is it messes with his accuracy and he ends up pissing his friendly fire all over the good.

God bless you Mr Bones for understanding that Faith and facts go together.

Annie said...

I'm only guessing here but Mundabor's background - Italian and German - may be the reason his English is sometimes so - what's the right word? earthy, guttural, basic? Going by the English subtitles of Italian films I've seen, people living there can be pretty *blunt* with their words and M might be expressing in English the way he's thinking it in Italian.

Just a thought.

Nosce te ipsum said...

Quite right, Bones.

Supertradmum said...

Wow, what judgement from our brothers in Christ. Smacks of Calvinism. In the past, especially in Dublin last summer, I bought lunches for obvious alcoholics who sat next to the cash points begging. I would not give money, but buy nice things to eat from Marksies.

Why not? As someone who does not have a permanent home myself as I am very poor and there is an eight year waiting list for housing in this part of Iowa, and judged harshly by the world because I am poor, I can assure you that judgment is not from God.

One of the most wonderful thing a Dublin alcoholic said to me was that he was happy I kept my word, as so many people say they would feed him and did not. I was very touched, as if Jesus Himself was speaking to me. Imagine, a man on the street thanking me. What a gift. That is the best compliment I had in 2013. I was humbled.

I could be that person sitting there, and each one of us could. So many people here in the States are one paycheck away from homelessness. The fact that there are homeless people in any country is an indictment to all of us Catholics. There should be no homeless at all. There should be no Pauls, no supertradmums without permanent housing.

God allows some of us to suffer just because He wants others to respond. Duh. Chances for grace and sacrifice, brothers, chances for merit.

Becca said...

Mundabor was objecting to saying that we should all be like drunks and addicts instead of trying to be like a virtuous priest. That was his main point and I think you are obscuring that in this post. The priest said in his post that his soul was in more danger than an alcoholic. That's ludicrous and that's what Mundabor was trying to say.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

I read mndrs post; he seemed to have had a slow news day, and so found an easy 'looeeze hay' noo age target - drunk? bad karma -serves ya right. nothing to see here stick up the A peepolls, just another losah. to crawley BL around the consecrated to yustifoe his reeznink is shallow. sheeple look up to the mndbrs of the world.

p.s. mndbr wouldn't post my rather gentle disagreement with his vehement 'mod' has spoken, which is why I found respite on this site.

p.s.s. Pablo Mexicana - liberal? I would laugh but it's just too wrong.

p.s.s.s. Signor Italiana, please don't p on ya own chips in fucha. we need authentic rage, not newageraig.

Martina Katholik said...

I do not agree with the overall style of Mundabor which he always defends as the „Italian way“. But this is a very harsh attack against him who, in my opinion, wrote this controversial post because he wanted to defend Fr. Blake against a commenter who in his opinion had attacked Fr. Blake unjustly.

Mundabor´s words:
“What seriously angered me immediately upon reading the post is the comment of an obvious V II ultra, who then proceeded to say to Father: “Remember your soul is more at stake than his; God loves Poor Lazarus”, clearly stating that his (the priest’s) own soul is more in danger of damnation (…) As I write this blog post, no other commenter has questioned these words.
Let me make a couple of observation on this, then, because I can’t read such crap without saying a word or two; “

Left-footer said...

Giving to alcoholics and drug-addicts makes perfect sense, because if they have no money to pay for drugs or alcohol, they will shop-lift, rob, deal in drugs (and perhaps end up murdered on the orders of the boss for defaulting on payment)or prostitute themselves.

I know this, having worked with homeless people for five years in London.

Beautiful people, as was Lazarus, still in my prayers. I hope to meet them all in Heaven.

The Bones said...


I don't necessarily take great issue with what Mundy says, he's entitled to his opinion, its the way he says it.

Supertradmum said...

Becca, a priest's soul is always more in danger than a lay person, as each priest is the alter Christus. To those who are given much, much more is expected-the stakes are higher.

Supertradmum said...

PS, I find Mundabor's comments confusing, by the way.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Mr Mundabor took issue with Fr's post, with Paul, and with every commenter, not only Pablo. So amidst prayers and true charity, comes mr mundabors analysis. what was the point? because he had a sudden rage at Pablo the Mexican? His analysis defends no one but his own right to rant at the expense of everyone mentioned in his post. I think STM hits the nail on the head by noticing a creeping calvinism in this approach.

p.s. I apologize for my ungracious vocabulary in earlier comments, such language seems fitting however, when commenting on mundabors post.

God bless the cause of Catholic unity.
What was of greatest importance? Father's charity, Paul's trust in Our Lord despite having none of those normal comforts we rest upon...blogs being another luxury. There is an enemy to fight, but I found no enemies where mundabor was looking that day.

Katie said...

You are right, dear Lawrence (or Laurence?). God bless you and Father Blake. Altho I must confess I sometimes read Mundabor.

Liam Ronan said...

A friend of mine was often in the habit of fervently observing "I thank God I only have to account to God when I die."
I read the blog post you referred to Bones. Not too many wicks left to smoulder there.

Lynda said...

As we know only what Fr Blake mentioned in his blog, it is right to presume that all those with responsibility for the salvation of Paul's soul, including primarily himself, are doing the best they can in that respect given their ability in the circumstances. May he get all the help he needs.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Mabuse said...

I think you're being unfair to Mundabor. I don't think he was against sinners repenting and going to heaven. I think what annoyed him is something that bugs me a lot too: it's a sort of smirking superiority to "common" of "simple" Christianity.

You see it in people who admonish you against praying to God for benefits, like praying to do well on an exam or before a sports event. That's not right, they say; a TRUE Christian prays for the ability to accept whatever God wills. Don't pray that Grandma survives her operation; pray that God will do what's right, even if it means she dies. And if she does, that you'll placidly accept it. Even though these sorts of simple prayers have always been part of Christian life for centuries.

This is why he got mad at that comment. It was like saying, "Oh, don't be so childish! Only simpletons think that it's admirable to be a good priest. We *advanced* Christians know that it's better to be a homeless alcoholic." Keeping the rules is out; recklessly breaking them until you kill yourself is in. Good is bad; up is down; it's Christian Bizarroland! Because God can do anything, of course.

It's not so much a "sign of contradiction" as a perverse inversion, and it's always suggested that this is somehow more *advanced* Christianity. That what people have always thought was good and tried to do is sort of primitive, kindergarten religion, and that once you get into graduate-level Christianity you see that it's much better not to bother with trying to be good (because you can't anyway, they throw in, with an extra dollop of humility to finish the confection).

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