6 November 2016

Dicasterial bigotry

I wonder if any of my fellow Ratzingerians would ever have said, during the last pontificate, "If you find Pope Benedict confusing, you have not read or do not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ". I very much hope not. I think not.

There is some American, however, called Kevin Farrell, who is on record as writing "If you find Pope Francis confusing, you have not read or do not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ".

Well, when the list of new cardinals came out, I imagine we all murmured quietly into our cups apekhei ton misthon autou. Additionally, this dottily misguided individual has already been made head of a Roman dicastery! His little old grandmother back in the Emerald Isle must be dead thrilled. I remembered that witty line in A Man for All Seasons "But for Wales, Richard?" But for a Dicastery, Kev?

This sort of thing really does bring home what an unwholesome little gang of nasty narrow-minded bigots we do seem now to be at the mercy of. I would think better of the Holy Father if he didn't seem so comfortable about surrounding himself with these dementedly ultrahyperueberpapalist ... is the noun I am here groping for 'careerists'? Benedict was a big enough man to appoint people whom he knew did not agree with him (Tagle, for one) because he thought he discerned quality. It would be good to see Francis oftener making the same disarmingly generous mistake.

POST SCRIPTUM: I gather this particular narrow-minded bigot has also recently categorically informed us that the deliberations of the two synods, and the composition of Amoris laetitia, were the Work of the Holy Spirit. I wonder if we have on record Bishop Farrell explaining to the world that the Holy Spirit was the pen which wrote Summorum Pontificum and Veritatis splendor.

And if you want to call me an unreconstructed Anglican, as Manning in effect called Blessed John Henry, you can. As often as you like. Sticks and stones ...  But I would rather Kev had said that the Scriptures, Migne, and the pages of Denzinger, not Amoris laetitia, would be the foundation of his dicastery for years to come; and that he always found such amazing new depths in Scripture and in the Fathers rather than in some recent slipshod papal Exhortation that he has "read seven or eight times" [is he a slow reader?].

But her Immaculate Heart will prevail. Never doubt that.


tradgardmastare said...

"But her Immaculate Heart will prevail. Never doubt that."
It is good to be reminded/reassured of that in these very.very vexing times. At times I feel like the only one who does not feel Pope Francis is the best thing since sliced bread...

Highland Cathedral said...

I don’t know enough about these things to be certain of this but it seems that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI were willing to appoint people who they did not agree with and we are now paying the price. These people ensured the election of a Pope who seems to want to undo much of the progress made under these Popes. That Pope is now appointing these people and others of a similar mind to senior positions in the Church and so their influence will increase. On the other hand, the current Pope is, predominantly, selecting only those who he agrees with for senior appointments with the result that the influence of others is constantly diminishing and may never return. The College of Cardinals, for example, is being packed with people of a certain hue and this makes it more and more unlikely that the next Pope will be in the mould of John Paul II or Benedict XVI. Much more likely to be a Pope Francis II. To sum up, the two previous Popes tried, unfortunately, to be fair whereas the current Pope is more ruthless. If the two previous Popes had acted in the mould of Pope Francis maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are.

Nicolas Bellord said...

It was the kind of silly remark which invites the question "What do you mean exactly?" and the certainty that one will not get an answer. May I recommend a brilliant explanation of the current problems in Western culture and the Church by Dr Anca-Maria Cernea entitled "Cultural Marxism: A Threat to the Family" available at:


Tom said...

That last line is my consolation too, Father.

mark wauck said...

Excuse me--Kevin Farrell is NOT American. He's Irish. I don't think there's any part of his upbringing or education that can be attributed to his sojourn in America since 1984. He was long past a grown man--even if a bigoted and foolish one--by the time he came to America.

mark wauck said...

But let me add that his bio on Wikipedia does make for interesting reading.

Gerry Davila said...

I hate to say that he was my Bishop. I once went to Triduum liturgies at the Cathedral. There were....odd...choices.

Left-footer said...

I feel MUCH better now. Thank you, and God bless!

Woody said...

Father, also might you perhaps give us your deeper analysis of the issues involved in the incident involving Fr. Cavalcoli's stated opinion that the earthquake in Italy was a chastisement for the sins of the country? In other words, was the response from Archbishop Becciu, and the subsequent suspension of Fr. Cavalcoli from Radio Maria, an example of a wrong interpretation of providence, and perhaps also an example of liberalism, in the sense, as I have understood it, that the liberals cannot abide the proposition that sometimes the good must suffer with the bad. Many thanks for all,your good work.

Woody said...

I hope this is not a duplicate, but I am hoping that you will give us your analysis of the issues raised by Fr. John Cavalcoli's comment that the earthquake in Italy was a divine chastisement for the sins of the country, especially the recent implementation of same sex "marriage", perhaps including a discussion of providence, and whether the good must sometimes suffer with the bad. Also, then, the related question of the actions of Archnishop Becciu and Radio Maria. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid these are the sort of careerist creeps who, when a new regime arises, will rapidly change their tune and belligerently impose the latest transient policies without batting an eyelid. The business world is full of them. It is tragic that the Church has so many of them too. However, I suspect the extreme conservatism of the immediately pre-Conciliar years masked the presence of much of this kind of person because the 'career orthodoxies' broadly coincided with actual doctrinal orthodoxy. I have never been an Anglican, unreconstructed or otherwise, but this is not the sot of Catholicism I was brought up to believe.

Catechist Kev said...

"I wonder if we have on record Bishop Farrell explaining to the world that the Holy Spirit was the pen which wrote Summorum Pontificum and Veritatis splendor."

No kidding, Fr. Hunwicke! I've often wondered that myself these last few months about many who dote on AL.

Catechist Kev

Catechist Kev said...

"I wonder if we have on record Bishop Farrell explaining to the world that the Holy Spirit was the pen which wrote Summorum Pontificum and Veritatis splendor."

No kidding, Fr. Hunwicke! I've often wondered the same thing about many who promote AL in like manner.

Catechist Kev

JBazChicago said...

Thsnkyou Reverend and dear Father! Brilliantly put.

Simple Simon said...

Kevin Farrell is not a slow reader, Father. He is simply a very slow learner.

Patrick said...

Speaking of careerism, here in Chicago several Catholic schools are merging. The archdiocese had a vote on what to name the school, but Abp. Cupich decided to call it the "Pope Francis Global Academy." (Not the name that won.) I have never heard of a school or church named after a living person, to say nothing of that person being your boss. It is obsequious and unseemly. And he had to add "global" in there too. Really couldn't have called it "Catholic?"

He's a cardinal now, too. Joy.

mark wauck said...

I also recommend the Wikipedia bio re Kevin's brother Brian.

Melinda said...

You and another unreconstructed Anglican have been heartening me this week:

"But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brace,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

"Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?"

mark wauck said...

Highland Cathedral makes an important point.

Kevin and his brother Brian were both made bishops by a saint, and were advanced in their careers by the other guy who dresses in white and lives in the Vatican--the one not named Francis. As we like to say in our colorful American slang--I don't know what the comparable Irish expression might be--that's were the buck stops. Self styled Ratzingerians who have issues with the brothers Farrell should be directing their complaints to the persons responsible. The saint is beyond the reach of written communication, but I'm reliably told that Ratzinger reads his mail and has a secretary who might deign to respond. It's worth a try. I exempt myself, since am not now nor have ever been (another American turn of phrase) a Ratzingerian.

padraig69 said...

To our shame you are correct, Ireland is no longer a Catholic Country and there are many more Farrels here.Maynooth Seminary here in Ireland has churned out many more Farrels and his ilk, check out the latest scandals emanating from Maynooth Seminary on Google

GOR said...

As others have noted, a glance at Bp. Farrell’s bio is enlightening. He was a member of the Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ until 1984. Given the indoctrination that young Legionaries were subjected to, gushing encomiums to one’s superior might be understandable, if not expected.

The bishop’s penchant for picking up degrees from all and sundry places might also be questioned. If “a little learning is a dangerous thing”, pursuing a boatload of degrees might be seen as a futile endeavor to achieve absolute certainty – much like The Bard’s “vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself…”

Regardless, the time spent in this pursuit may not have left the good bishop much time to study Scripture.

William said...

"… to appoint people whom he knew did not agree with him …"

I apologise for diverging from the substance of the post, but if one can't be a grammar pedant on this blog, where can one be? It should be "who", not "whom"; the relative pronoun is the subject of "did not agree", not the object of "he knew".

(I ought to add that I agree with your post completely!)

Hans Georg Lundahl said...


Do you not know that Latin turns are always correct (except when they aren't)?

A subject of the predicate of not agreeing can in Latin (and therefore also English!) be also an object of someone knowing.

"creare quos scivit de eo ipso dissentire" (quos = whom)

Not **"creare qui scivit de eo ipse dissentiant". (qui = who)