20 March 2010

Clearing it up

At long last, an official investigation into Medjugorie. In my view, long overdue. The phenomenon is, by all accounts, so unedifying. I find it very hard, for example, to believe that our Lady would call all religions true, or say anything to encourage the disobedience of some Franciscans to the bishop of the diocese. But this is a rough and unresearched reaction. A meticulous inquiry should sort the matter out. Perhaps, for example, scientific methods could be employed: the 'seers' being interrogated in the Daniel-and-Susanna style.

And the Leadership mummble mummble of Women Religious, at long last, is being examined. It is hard to feel that here, again, the criticism will be that it should have happened a long time ago. And the new ICEL texts ... what I want to know is: why their Advent was postponed from 2010 to 2011; by whose decision and for what reasons. If it was because the Fischpersonns were convincing in their arguments for long and thorough catechesis, well, I think disgusting hypocrisy has won a victory here. Let us hope that the Holy Father will live long enough to ensure that, while having won a battle, they go on to lose the War.

Because we are left praying for the longevity of a Pope who is already frail and has already had serious health problems. I wonder if his delay in attending to his Augaean Stables was the result of a very human desire not to seem to continue as God's Policeman after being elected as the pastoral successor of S Peter. But I do suspect that the main criticisms that historians may make of him will not concern anything he will have done, but his delay in doing it.

The other massive scandal that he inherited, of course, concerned pedophile priests. It is not difficult to imagine the revulsion which this horrible business must have created in him. But if only he had been a little more proactive a little earlier ... I wonder if there is a certain truth in Morris West's rather bloated rhetoric about the Pope having the sins of the world like a leaden cope around his shoulders.

And the big thing which combines all these matters is: are they linked, at least in being the result of the same cultural matrix? Did the Bright Young Men of the Sixties ... even perhaps Fr Ratzinger ... fail to see how much of Satan there was in the giorno which to be was addressed by the aggiornamento? Was there an excess of self-confident optimism about the goodness of human nature in that Conciliar Decade?

Is it too much to hope that the Vatican/SSPX debates will address this radical question?


Joshua said...

Ratzinger was on record as saying that Lumen Gentium smacks of Semi-Pelagianism.

Isn't Pelagius part of the Patrimony, BTW?


Michael McDonough said...


Don't you mean "Gaudium et spes"?

Michael McDonough said...

"Was there an excess of self-confident optimism about the goodness of human nature in that Conciliar Decade?"

IMO, short answer, yes.

"Is it too much to hope that the Vatican/SSPX debates will address this radical question?"

IMO, short answer, yes.

It seems, from what I've read about their "issues", that among them is the desire to recover some sort of teaching about the two orders, the religious and the profance, and the proper subordination of the latter to the former: the King and the Pope thing.

Truly a waste of time, OR, maybe, a foretaste of some sort of "Mad-Max" world of the future? In either case, wouldn't it be better to just live in the present, and help root-out the garbage in the Church, and defend that Church from the ignorant boobs and bigots who keep trying to bring Her down, and bring consternation to the hearts of Her members?

Joshua said...

Sorry, one or the other!

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of a medieval English lyric (an authentic part of the Patrimony):

Mirie it is, while sumer ilast,
With fugheles song.
Oc nu necheth windes blast,
And weder strong.
Ey! Ey! what this night is long!
And ich, with well michel wrong,
Soregh and murne and fast.

Happy it is while summer is here,
With bird's singing.
But oh, how the winds do blow,
And strong weather.
Ey! Ey! what a long night!
And I, with so much wickedness,
Sorrow and mourn and fast.

Dr Nicholas said...

More to the point than blaming the current Pope for waiting "so long" (two or three years?) to address the many scandalous situations in the Church (pedophile priests, "post Christian" religious, potentially demonic "apparitions" and "locutions," etc.) would be to ask why his predecessor, John Paul II, who reigned for nearly 20 years, didn't get a grip on things? However, I do not presume to judge any man wearing the heavy mantle of the Vicar of Christ. I just thank God that Benedict XVI is addressing these situations (and many others equally pressing) and pray that he may live long enough for him to accomplish all that God wills him to do.

Dr Nicholas said...

I meant to type that John Paul II was pope for "nearly 30 years" -- all of my adult life. I danced a jig when I heard that Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected to follow him, and I've never had a moment's disappointment since.