6 February 2017


(1) I know next to nothing about the "Ripa Apparitions" (vide Rorate). But  ... a long shot ... I wonder if their condemnation during the pontificate of Papa Pacelli could have had anything to do with that Pontiff's antipathy towards the doctrine of our Lady, Mediatrix of all Graces ... which the 'visionary' claimed that the 'Apparition' had called itself. [The Medjugorje condemnation seems no nearer being published.]

(2) I don't quite agree with Sandro Magister's article (cf Settimo Cielo blog) setting the teachings of Francis and of Benedict XVI in opposition to each other, with regard to the Eucharist being a source of forgiveness for the sinful. I agree that Ratzinger was right in not allowing the Eucharist to be reduced to the status of the Lord's "meals with sinners", but I am unsure that Bergoglio has actually argued this. Dr Pusey preached before this University a fine sermon full of Patristic quotations demonstrating that the Eucharist does minister forgiveness for peccata cotidiana et venalia. (Of course, in the 'Patristic' centuries "private auricular Confession" for venial sins was not, as far as we know, widely on offer. The Irish had a lot to do with that culture spreading.)

(3) Archbishop Scicluna of Malta has preached, it is said, in a way totally irreconcileable with Christian doctrine, suggesting that to hear Jesus one must listen solely to the present pope, not to Benedict XVI or to John Paul II. I shall comment on this in a month's time, so that I shall be able to take account of any retraction he may make, or any correction the authorities in Rome may by then have made. His reported words are such a grave matter that I consider an immediate response to be less appropriate than something carefully considered.

(4) Memories, memories! The reports of Rome being mysteriously festooned, last Friday night, with dozens of posters attacking the Pope reminded me of a period when Lancing College had a massively unpopular head master. The student body manufactured hostile stickers which they plastered all around the College buildings. I suppose the Curia Romana must in many respects be rather like a major English Public School! Boys will be boys!! Own up!!! "I have this morning written to your unhappy father telling him that ..."

I am terribly afraid that there may have been some complicity among the prefects, and even the masters. Shocking, I know, but, well, there you go.

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