|"1-0...What marvels the Lord worked for us. Indeed, we were glad."|
The latest papal interview with Scalfari is, as far as Catholic clergy and others will be concerned, a total and unmitigated disaster. At the unemployed centre, this headline faced me in the dining room. I turned to a friend and said, 'How does he know that?'
Within the world at large, there is a common perception that while not all Catholic clergy are child abusers and that the number who have consist of a very small minority, the headline '1 in 50' does have something of a 'an abusive priest could live down the road from you' feel about it and straight from the mouth of the Pope. Of course, we cannot verify directly that His Holiness said it because His Holiness chose to speak again to someone who misrepresents his every utterance, but His Holiness himself has never corrected any such misrepresentations, instead permitting Catholic Church-hating atheists to print whatever they think he has said without rebuke.
"2 per cent"?
The figure I have read concerning clergy abuse in the United Kingdom is 0.01 per cent of those found guilty of pederasty, since which time strict child protection procedures have been enforced to the letter. I do not know what the percentage is in other lands. Quite where the Holy Father got that figure of "2 per cent" is a mystery. If His Holiness has 'a little list' then let the Church trials begin, but while the figure seems to have been plucked from somewhere, it is a statistic previously unpublished. Nevermind, though, for as long as His Holiness looks like an 'action man' while perception of the clergy sinks to a new low - that is the main thing, eh? No?
And His Holiness is going to take 'action', is he? How much? What kind? Will he trump the vast number of priests Benedict XVI laicised and at whom he threw the book after following through on his promise to clear the 'filth' from the Church? Will this 'great multitude' of abusing clergy face genuine trial or just a trial by gossip and slander as the Franciscans of the Immaculate have? Much evidence not cited by the Supreme Pontiff - who is starting to come across as something of a 'great pretender' if not a 'pretender to the Throne' - suggests that in the US and in other regions, the pederasty crisis was homosexual in nature, but of homosexual priests who have acted on their inclinations, His Holiness takes a much less judgmental attitude. Homosexual - even active homosexual clergy - have received no public rebuke from this Pope. His Holiness claims some Cardinals and Bishops are paedophiles, so I guess that even your local Bishop will be a little peeved that he himself will be 'under suspcicion'.
|Germany 1 - 0 Argentina: "This is the Lord's doing, a marvel in our eyes..."|
Losing the heart to blog
It is true I don't have so much time to blog as I once did but I am very depressed. Why pretend otherwise? I'll never back assisted suicide but I do sometimes think that papal pronouncements and the dreaded interviews in particular are designed to kick faithful Catholics where it hurts so often and so hard that we end up backing assisted suicide because we cannot take much more of this because it is all coming from the Pope himself.
It's all very sad that loyal supporters of his predecessor have to grope at a World Cup result as evidence of divine favour resting on the former Pope, its all a bit pathetic really, but I guess that what is beginning to feel like psychological warfare being employed by Pope Francis on the Faithful, we have to clutch at something - anything - a sporting sign that Our Lord Jesus Christ has not abandoned us. It seems like such a small thing but there we go, and all under the eyes of the Divine Redeemer Statue in Rio as well. I wonder if fragments of the Lord are still resting on the Copacabana beach?
Where is the rallying cry against assisted suicide?
|Don't be on the wrong side of history|
Yet on this matter His Holiness has very little to say. Of course, we can cite His Holiness's condemnation of a 'throwaway culture', of which neglect of the elderly and infirm, which can lead to a 'backdoor euthanasia' is criticised, but we have been told quite clearly that we must not 'obsess' over the rights of the unborn to life, nor to the dismantling of the natural family that is involved in same-sex marriage, so I guess His Holiness's lack of a clear statement against assisted suicide specifically is not terribly surprising. It would be nice to hear a rallying cry from Pope Francis against the scourge of State-assisted suicide sweeping the Western world, but I guess His Holiness has more important things to say and do, like trash the reputations of clergy while making himself look just grand.
Celibacy: A 'Problem'
Oh, that and suggesting that while clerical abuse of children remains a 'problem', that so does celibacy represent a 'problem' for the Church. Celibacy is difficult but surely highly commendable to the one who wishes to live in conformity to his Lord, Jesus Christ, the High Priest. I would have thought that if it was genuinely true that 1 in 50 priests can't stop themselves from raping and molesting children then, yes, indeed, they are obviously finding celibacy to be something of a 'problem'.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's quite the way in which His Holiness - whose every word is apparently 'misrepresented' by the atheist journalist Scalfari only for said journalist to be invited back for 'more frank discussions' - is telling it. I would not be terribly surprised if His Holiness believes celibacy creates paedophiles. Perhaps we're an interview away from that little 'shocker'. It pains me to say it but in the reign of Pope Francis we are now facing the grim reality that thanks to the speed in which his thoughts are communicated across the globe, the most influential enemy of the Catholic Church is perhaps the Bishop of Rome.
A Bishop in the South of England once mused that the Church should fight only those battles it can win. Perhaps His Holiness has taken note of that and come to the conclusion that the only battle the Church can win is the battle to see Her become irrelevant, Her mission to save souls and serve Her Divine Head destroyed. That's the good thing about blogging. I can say something controversial like that and you know I definitely said that, even if its only my private opinion. I don't have a 'fellow Jesuit' at my side to tell you I didn't say that or that I 'may not' have said it. Perhaps His Holiness should take up blogging and let us know what he 'really thinks'. On second thoughts...
A good and holy bishop...
We still have them. May God bless Bishop Philip Egan for promoting a holy hour within his Diocese to ask the Lord - Who we increasingly realise is our only Hope - to assist in the suicide of the assisted suicide bill. Today, while teaching the unemployed PowerPoint, I came in for quite some stick for defending the Church's position on assisted suicide. You would have thought the unemployed would be wise to the assisted suicide agenda but apparently I'm in favour of "torture" for defending the vulnerable from the malice of Government, pathological serial killing doctors, friends and strangers. I can't help but wonder why the Pope is 'obsessing' about the mafia while European doctors are quickly being given the mandate to kill their patients. The mafia are a local problem - bad as it is. Assisted suicide is everybody's problem with great potential for a new Holocaust of those we are told His Holiness is intent on defending. Let us hope history does not record His Holiness as Hitler's Pope.
The other day I heard, in response to a question from a colleague, the retort, 'Does the Pope have a balcony?' I always thought the real phrase was, 'Is the Pope Catholic?'
Even the world, it seems, is waking up.
That said, does this Pope even have a balcony, having changed address?
Pray for the Popes and pray for the clergy. It cannot be easy for them when the Pope leads atheists in the media's battle against the Church, its disciplines. laws and even its Teachings.
May God help and assist them not to lose heart and to keep the faith and may God help us all. It might be late in 'extra time' but Truth will triumph in the end. You can see that sumptuous finish here.
|"Go on, my son..."|