6 April 2015

Clerical bigamy in Italy ... the Albenga files.

I am sure that many readers will have read the theological Scifi trilogy of C S 'Patrimony' Lewis; and will remember the entertaining ... and illuminating ... episode in Out of the Silent Planet in which the hero, a Cambridge philologist called Ransom, has met (on Mars) a rational species called the hrossa, rational and unfallen, who naturally know nothing of sophisticated terrestrial pleasures such as Adultery and Polyamory. The hrossa explain the Facts of (unfallen) Life to Ransom. They cannot understand how a Rational Being might wish to "Love Twice"; the nearest analogy they can drum up from their own culture to so improbable a notion, is a poem about a single crazed individual of their own species:

"There is a poem about a hross who lived long ago, in another handramit [valley], who saw things all made two - two suns in the sky, two heads on a neck; and last of all they say that he fell into such a frenzy that he desired two mates. I do not ask you to believe it, but that is the story: that he loved two hressni [females]".

Ransom pondered this. Here ... was a species naturally continent, naturally monogamous ... At last it dawned on him that it was not they, but his own species, that were the puzzle.

This passage came into my mind when I read the exciting news that an Italian diocese had been granted a 'coadjutor' bishop with the full faculties of a diocesan Bishop. The lucky people of Albenga Imperia will have the considerable privilege ... which Catholics, and especially priests, all over the world will jealously envy ... of seeing their Bishop made Two. And this is of considerable ecclesiological interest. Traditionally, the Bishop has been seen as the Bridegroom of his Church, so that even Translation from See to See has seemed close to being a form of Adultery. But now the Ecclesia Albinganensis-Imperiae ... clearly, a lusty and accommodating Lady ... will delight in the simultaneous and bigamous embraces of a doubled Bridegroom.

This Doctrinal Evolution (fully in accordance, I am sure, with Blessed John Henry Newman's Essay on Development) deserves to be rolled out still further. Why only one Pope? Why not (at least) two? We would, just yesterday, have able, like that frenzied hross, to see videoclips of the two Holy Fathers, both doubly beloved, doubly rain-soaked, delivering simultaneously, from opposite ends of the Piazza di San Pietro, their two Easter Addresses and imparting their two Blessings Urbibus et Orbibus with doubled Indulgences. Just imagine the thunder of the redoubled crowds!


TLMWx said...

How does that work.? In all justice how is it possible to simply appoint another Bishop into a Diocese with a resident Bishop. If there is a case for the resident Bishop to answer which justifies this usurpation then let due process take its course , otherwise surely you would have to run the interloper out of Town, bull or no bull!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. You've got a great sense of humor. I'd love to sit behind you when you are a table with friends and some quality claret is being served you and I'd just sip along quietly behind you, eaves dropping.

You are a blast.

Catherina of Siena said...

Oh,how I appreciate the old-time British sense of humour.

Thank you Fr H.

From a Germanic branch of the Church Universal - C of S

Donna Bethell said...

Excellent point, Father. Naturally there is more to the story, as reported on Rorate Caeli last October:

Liam Ronan said...

Two bishops? Interesting, but it was proposed quite some time ago I believe.

"The king said, "Get me a sword." So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other." 1 Kings 3:24-25

Of course in the matter of dividing a living bishop in twain, one has first to distinguish which one is dead.

Unknown said...

Ouch ! - Just read the Rorate Caeli page linked by Rose Marie . BTW if you're copying and pasting the link, make sure not to include the period from the end of the link, or click here

As a Freudian slip, we may at least need to admit there are instances today where we almost appear to converge on this notion of two Popes ; as when we fondly/nostalgically reminisce over Pope Benedict XVI's straightforward, unequivocal way of instructing us in the faith which quite practically ,left no margin of maneuverability for liberal media spin-doctors. While, also today we find, (notwithstanding certain source-related ambiguities) it is as if these same clowns have been given free rein in misinterpreting Pope Francis’ musings – hardly construable as totally inadvertent .

In Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis seems to have left some room for the reader’s individual interpretation as to whether the crazed hross, in seeing two heads on a neck and in loving two hressni desired one mate with two heads, or whether he more likely desired two mates with four heads. (He would’ve likely gone broke trying to keep his wives furnished with hats and pillows and such. . . an added degree of difficulty too in trying to hide his apparent mathematical deficiencies from other sane hrossa during conversation : " I have two mates at home - that makes a total of five mouths to feed ." Imagine further, if you will, the most unfortunate situation of four wives voices all nagging you at once.)

Then again, perhaps it had simply been the influence of some maritime poem which had instilled a strange twist in him back when he was a cub and subsequently caused him to become bent on desiring two mates : a first mate and a second mate.

Remaining in a Freudian vein: We hmen should’ve been wise enough to leave well enough alone , but instead we had to keep sounding off, repeating that popular maxim, “Two heads are better than one.” . . . See what we’ve gotten for our trouble.

The ultimate, of course, would’ve been if , according to our deranged hross from handramit “ B” we were to have envisioned “two pontiffs heads on a neck” , say for example, our present Holy Father and our Holy Father emeritus [ B XVI ] . It would be, here, the equivalent of skating on excruciatingly thin ice to imagine what type of comments might be exchanged in conversation between these two heads . . . unless, for the sake of a smile we were to imagine what they would say to each other regarding the current 3-ring media circus onslaught against the Church. Maybe it would’ve gone something like this:
Benedict XVI to Pope Francis : “Gee, when I see what the deranged media are doing, sometimes I almost regret my stepping down.”
Pope Francis to Benedict XVI : “Me too.”

Let’s remember to pray for both of them : Not so unlike the deranged hross from handramit “ B “ ,in this deranged handramit we presently live in, we are allowed to love two popes simultaneously.

rick allen said...

It may not be Catholic, but it is certainly Roman. For centuries, after all, the republic was governed by two consuls.