17 May 2023

1937... Jorge Bergoglio ...

 "The two men [Viscount Copper, the Press magnate, owner of The Beast newspaper, and Mr Salter, his Foreign Editor] dined alone. They ate parsley soup, whiting, roast veal, cabinet pudding; they drank whisky-and-soda. Lord Copper explained Nazism, Fascism and Communism; later, in his ghastly library, he outlined the situation in the Far East. 'The Beast stands for strong mutually antagonistic governments everywhere, ' he said. 'self-sufficiency at home, self-assertion abroad.'

"Mr Salter's side of the conversation was limited to expressions of assent. When Lord Copper was right he said 'Definitely, Lord Copper'; when he was wrong, 'Up to a point.'

" 'Let me see, what's the name of the place I mean? Capital of Japan? Yokohama, isn't it?'

" 'Up to a point, Lord Copper.'

" 'And Hong Kong belongs to us, doesn't it?'

" ' Definitely, Lord Copper.'".

When Evelyn Waugh wrote these lines in 1936 or 1937, Jorge Bergoglio was only a few months old.

He may not yet have learned to lithp with hith pretty lipth the witticisms of our great Anglophone satirists. He may yet have been innocent of the strategems we Anglo-Saxons deploy to negotiate our relationships with  those who are so far above us that they will not like to hear us suggesting that they might be, er, not quite right.

In that distant Southern Land of the Generals and of the Desaparecidos, an Argentinian may, even in his eighties, be innocent of the distancing mechanisms inherent within "Up to a point, Holy Father."

He may not be able recognise the careful wording by which we so often prudently come at least  half-way to meet the Great Man: "You are completely wrong" or "I totally disagree with you" may not be phrases which commonly re-echo through the Marbled Halls of the fabled Santa Marta.

So it may not always be obvious to a Latin American Pope that he is not receiving whole-hearted assent. 

In addition, there may be those, careerists or sycophants or perverts, who do not always express themselves honestly.

Right at the start of this pontificate, I felt ... genuinely ... sorry for the new pontiff when he vigorously demanded complete frankness ... Parrhesia ... from the "synodal Fathers"; only to find himself being shouted at! He had a definite view of what it was that the bishops were just  longing to say, if only the poor fellows were not so scared of Cardinal Mueller, red (as ever) in tooth and claw. But, inexplicably, they missed their chance to say it.

I blame the individuals who had been whispering into his ear what they conjectured he wanted to hear.

Similarly, with the questionnaire which was sent to the bishops and which, so he dishonestly claimed, led to Traditionis custodes.

Did I say dishonestly? That was wrong. While I completely accept the fruits of Diane Montagna's researches, I do not think PF means to be a liar.

When a Big Boss is approaching the end of his period of omnipotence, he loses ... without realising it ... a great deal of de facto authority. You can watch it just slipping away ... but he is so accustomed to deference ...

These can be particularly dangerous times, in which the big stick is brandished yet more disastrously; ever more painfully both for the brandisher and for those whom he threatens.

I think that this is the point we have now reached. The marks of it were all over TC.

Even grosser papal mistakes may very well be in the pipeline, as imaginative or devious diocesan chancellors per orbem continue to murmur to their bosses crafty sentences beginning with phrases such as "Well, bishop, something you could do is ..."

A pope who can hem bishops in with minutely pettifogging prohibitions, might even order them to clamp down on bloggers!!


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. In "A Voice in the Wilderness," Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano calls P.F. Benedict's jailer,a liar, and worse.

I know many are irked at what is thought to be his rebarbative rhetoric but I think what he has to say is bracing and, I suspect, that his wielding of words quietly shames those prelates who know his testimony is a lance that pierces the faux humble bumble.

coradcorloquitur said...

I admire, dear Father Hunwicke, your charity in saying Francis does not mean to lie but do not share it, unless you are using the rhetorical litotes or some form of irony. I think all murky evidence points to the opposite: he is a brazen, consecrated liar, whose lies and distortions are enforced through the rankest bullying imaginable. We, who still cherish the noble and hollowed name "Catholic," must embrace the horrible reality that the Church is in the hands of true psychopaths---and lying is as natural to them as breathing.

Dad of Six said...

What document will we see first, if ever- The true Vetus Ordo survey results or Jeffrey Epstein's little black book?

John Vasc said...

Clamp down on bloggers? But surely the episcopal Sicherheitsdienst watching the comments unfold will find nothing rebellious at all, merely dry speculative prose that will so bore them that they will not want to pause for long, and will betimes...
(Have they gone? Oh good. Now for all the invective...)