Rorate Caeli

The Holy Ghost and the upcoming Conclave

Roberto de Mattei

The eyes of the entire world, not only Catholics, are riveted at this time on St. Peter’s, waiting to see who will be the new Vicar of Christ. The anticipation which is manifested on the eve of every Conclave is, on this occasion, sadder and more intense because of the sequence of events which have occurred leaving people dismayed and confused.

Massimo Franco writes in the “Corriere della Sera” of February 27, 2013, that, “inside Vatican City a model of government and a conception of the Papacy is coming to an end” and he compares the difficulties that the Church is going through today to the final phase of the crisis in the Soviet Kremlin. “The decline of the Vatican Empire – he writes – accompanies that of the USA and the European Union [both] in economic and demographic crisis. It shows a model of Papacy and of centralized ecclesiastical government, challenged by a fragmented and decentralized reality.” The crisis of the Vatican Empire is presented as a crisis of a model of Papacy and of ecclesiastical government which is inadequate for the world in the 21st century. The only way out would be that of a process of “auto-reform” which would save the institution, thus perverting the nature of its essence.

In reality, that which is in crisis is not the “monocratic” government, which conforms to the Tradition of the Church, but the system of government born of the post-conciliar reforms, which in the last fifty years have expropriated the Papacy of its sovereign authority, redistributing the power among the Episcopal Conferences and an omnipotent Secretariat of State.

But, most of all, Benedict XVI and his predecessor, even if very different in temperament, were victims of the myth of the collegiality of government which they both sincerely believed in, and so renounced taking on many responsibilities which could have resolved the problem of the apparent ungovernability of the Church. The perennial interest in the Papacy is in the charisma of the Office: the supremacy of government over the universal Church, of which the infallible Magisterium is a decisive expression.

Some say that Benedict XVI did not exercise his power in governing with authority because he is a meek, gentle man, who has neither the character nor the physical strength to face this situation of grave ungovernability. The Holy Ghost infallibly illuminated him, suggesting the supreme sacrifice in the renunciation of His Pontificate in order to save the Church. But we do not take into account of just how much this talk humanizes and secularizes the figure of the Supreme Pontiff. The government of the Church does not rest on the character of a man, but of his corresponding to the Divine assistance from the Holy Ghost.

The Papacy has been occupied by men of a war-like and imperious character, such as Julius II, and also men of meek and amiable temperaments such as Pius IX. But it was Pius IX and not Julius II, who corresponded more perfectly to Grace, ascending to the highest levels of holiness, precisely in the heroic exercise of Papal governing. The idea that a weak and tired Pope should resign is not supernatural, but naturalistic, since it denies the Pontiff the decisive help of that Holy Ghost Who is inappropriately invoked. At this point naturalism turns into its opposite: into a fideism of a pietist mould, where the outpouring of the Holy Ghost absorbs human nature and becomes the regenerating factor in the life of the Church. And here we have old heresies which are surfacing today right in the most conservative environments.

The error, which is more and more widespread, is that of wanting to justify any decision made by a Pope, a Council, an Episcopal Conference in the name of that principle by which “the Holy Ghost always assists the Church.” The Church is certainly indefectible, due to the assistance of the Holy Ghost, “the Spirit of Truth” (John, 14, 7). She has from Her Founder the guarantee of persevering until the end of time, in the profession of the Faith, the Sacraments and the apostolic succession of government. However, indefectibility does not signify infallibility extended to all of the acts of the Magisterium and government, nor even to the impeccability of the highest ecclesiastical authorities.

In the history of the Church, explains Pope Pius XII: “there have been alternating victories and defeats, ascents and descents, heroic confession with the sacrifice of material goods and life, but also in some of her members, falls, betrayal and division. The evidence of history is unequivocally clear: portae inferi non praevalebunt (Mt. 16, 18); but other evidence is not lacking – even the gates of hell have had their partial successes.” (Address - Di gran cuore - of September 14, 1956). Despite the partial and apparent successes of hell, the Church is not shaken by persecutions, nor by the heresies and sins of Her members, rather She draws new vigor and new vitality from the grave crises that hit Her.

But if the errors, the falls, the defections must not discourage us, these, when they happen, must not be denied. For example, was it the Holy Ghost Who inspired Clement V’s choice to move the See of the Papacy from Rome to Avignon? Catholic historians today agree in defining that decision as gravely wrong since it weakened the Papacy in the 14th century, opening the door to the Great Western Schism.

Was it the Holy Ghost Who prompted the election of Alexander VI, a Pope who conducted a profoundly immoral life before and after his election? No theologian, nor any Catholic for that matter, would be able to sustain that the 23 cardinals who elected the Borgia Pope were illuminated by the Holy Ghost. And if it did not happen in that election, you can envision that it did not happen in other elections and conclaves, which saw the election of weak Popes, unworthy and inadequate to their lofty mission, all this without prejudicing in any way the greatness of the Papacy.

The Church is great precisely because She endures the smallness of men. So, an immoral and inadequate Pope can be elected. It can happen that the Cardinals in Conclave refuse the influence of the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Ghost Who assists the Pope in the accomplishment of his mission, be refused. This does not mean that the Holy Ghost is defeated by men and the demon. God, and only God, is capable of drawing good from evil and thus Providence guides every event in history. Cardinal Journet explains in his treatise on the Church, that in the case of a conclave, the assistance of the Holy Ghost signifies that even if the election is the result of a bad choice, we have the certitude that the Holy Ghost, Who assists the Church in bringing out good even from evil, permits whatever happens for higher and mysterious ends. Although God draws good from the evil done by men, as happened with the first sin of Adam, which was the cause of the Incarnation of the Word, it does not mean that men can commit evil without liability. And every liability will be accountable for – in heaven or on earth.

Each man, each nation, each ecclesiastical assembly, must correspond to Grace, which in order to be efficacious, needs human cooperation. Confronted with this auto-demolition of the Church, which Paul VI spoke of, we cannot remain with our arms folded in a state of pseudo-mystical optimism. We need to pray and act, each one according to their possibilities, so that this crisis is brought to an end and the Church may show visibly that holiness and beauty which She has never lost, and will never lose until the end of time.

[Source : Corrispondenza Romana, n. 1283, March 5, 2013. Tip and translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

54 comments:

JBJ from STL said...

We better pray, and pray hard.

I've posted this quote before on this site. In light of the above article, I post it again.

"THE MOST EVIDENT MARK of God's anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness.
....

When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, "Return, 0 ye revolting children . . . and I will give you pastors according to my own heart" (Jer. 3, 14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.

Chapter 11: Qualities of a Holy Priest, in "The Priest: His Dignity and Obligations" by St. John Eudes

I am not Spartacus said...

In reality, that which is in crisis is not the “monocratic” government, which conforms to the Tradition of the Church, but the system of government born of the post-conciliar reforms, which in the last fifty years have expropriated the Papacy of its sovereign authority, redistributing the power among the Episcopal Conferences and an omnipotent Secretariat of State.

Excellent, Professor. Another great reflection.

It is considered impolitic, if not scandalous, to write that our modern Popes, while personally holy, have been more effective sappers of the Traditional Papacy then they have been Saints of the Traditional Papacy.

From Ut Unum Sint, to The Ravenna Statements, we have been witness to history - a history of razing the bastions and giving away of our heritage.

The practical political praxis of the modern Popes betrays a palpable embarrassment of Catholic Tradition and a haste to jettison nearly everything that is possible to jettison in acts of effete ecumenism that, even then, will not draw-in those sectarians of the East which, presumably, will revivify the Latin Church.

What wil revivify us is the sloughing-off of the skin of revolution and compromise and the putting back on of the vestments of a righteous Catholic Traditional Triumphalism.

Simon said...

An amazing and enlightening article!

M. A. said...

the Abbe de Nantes use to say as much, but hardly anybody listened to him. They condemned him for "attacking" the pope.

He also taught that it was VII that bound the post-conciliar papacy from exercising authority. Mattei is saying nothing new or startling here.

When he took legal recourse, the Abbe was ignored. At one time, Cardinal Ratzinger said that he would not delve into the charges of the Abbe as a matter of "principle"!


MBM said...

When reporting on Cardinals Weigel and Magister, don't forget His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Arroyo of EWTN, who is voting for Cardinal Scola.
On a serious note, is Cardinal Scola a friend of the traditional latin Mass or no? If so, or if not, what do you cite as evidence?

Gladius said...

That the Holy Spirit participates in some conclaves and not others, would explain why no Pope since 1950, has spoken "ex cathedra" and why Vatican II did not use the anathema.

Cathy said...

Given the divisions in the Church being reported in various articles and alluded to by Benedict XVI himself, is it possible that the Cardinals will fail to garner the needed two-thirds majority to pick a VALID Pope? If so, what happens next if they can't compromise? A schism and two different Churches forming? One made up of dissenters and a smaller made up of a remnant? Didn't Benedict predict that such a remnant was the future of the Church? Is the fulfillment of this prophecy upon us?

Benedict Carter said...

One sees the attitude expressed by Mattei constantly in the Catholic Herald, a supposedly "conservative" Catholic newspaper in England. Aside from the massive ignorance therein shown by supposed Catholics, the Holy Spirit has been used to defend the most indefensible things.

One commentator averred that, in relation to Ravasi's possible election, "I really feel something strong in relation to His Emminence. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is moving?"

Yours truly responded "I reckon it's your digestion".

Where do these mad people come from?

John Gerardi said...

In response to MBM's query...

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2010/03/visitation-of-cardinal-patriarch-of.html

Cardinal Scola allowed the FSSP to establish a church in Venice when he was the Patriarch there, and assisted at Mass from the throne once. While he is almost certainly not as enthusiastic for the Extraordinary Form as, say, Cardinal Burke, it seems to me that he is nevertheless open and friendly towards the ancient rite. We could do worse.

DoesntSupportYourConclusion said...

You wrote: "But we do not take into account of just how much this talk humanizes and secularizes the figure of the Supreme Pontiff."

You complain of the papacy being humanized. But then you go on to provide cases in point for us to ponder about the humanity of popes and their ability to make mistakes. So your complaint here is illogical.

Where is your persuasive argumentation for you complaint about secularization? I think we are still waiting.

You then write: "The government of the Church does not rest on the character of a man, but of his corresponding to the Divine assistance from the Holy Ghost."

You make a lot of very correct points. But these do not back up your complaint.

You write: "The idea that a weak and tired Pope should resign is not supernatural, but naturalistic, since it denies the Pontiff the decisive help of that Holy Ghost Who is inappropriately invoked."

Actually the Pope stated: "both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me."

And who could object to this? Do you object that soundness of mind and body are necessary components to fulfill the Petrine Ministry? How do you know that Benedict XVI did not ask God for a special mental and physical healing so that he could continue?

This smacks of reckless presumption. Your claims are bold, presumptuous, and premature. Who are you to deny the necessity claimed by the Supreme Pontiff? And how do you know that he is not in fact in this case being led, like St. Celestine V who seemed also to feel a great mental lack, to step down? Your assertions border on preposterous when looking at the conclusion you wish here to defend.

If the principles you call as defense of your position were looked at for their own merit, who here could object? The problem is that they do not manifestly apply to the complaint you are bringing.

So when you write: "At this point naturalism turns into its opposite: into a fideism of a pietist mould, where the outpouring of the Holy Ghost absorbs human nature and becomes the regenerating factor in the life of the Church. And here we have old heresies which are surfacing today right in the most conservative environments."

You'll have to excuse me, and probably others here, for thinking that this smacks of an unprovable and unprincipled assumption at best.

Besides, you are premature. If someone like Bagnasco is elected then this site may well praise the decision of the pope to step down as a good decision. If someone like Schonborn is elected this site may take your position that this wasn't the best idea.

But in principle, I don't know how anyone could say the act of resignation of the papal office IN ITSELF produces the effects you here claim since to do so would seem to slight St. Celestine V.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Sobering words by a great writer.

I have Mr DeMattei's work "The Second Council an unwritten story"

And it is a great book.

Mike said...


This is an outstanding article. Thank you for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Scola appears tepid about the Latin Mass. In Venice he allowed it, but didn't promote it. In Milan he has not done anything yet.
Rosa, Milan, Italy

the Apocalyptic Angels' supplicant said...

"We need to pray and ACT, each one according to their possibilities" for "Each man, each nation, each ecclesiastical assembly, must correspond to Grace, which in order to be efficacious, NEEDS HUMAN COOPERATION."

Excellent clarification on the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL NEED of docility to the inspirations the Holy Spirit guidingly grants in order that the Will of the Holy Trinity be accomplished. Free Will is our privileged choice to cooperate with Holy Providence.

The Book of the Apocalypse reveals a time of dramatic natural disasters along with human crisis. The pressure from natural disasters will be what channels most men to at last choose to ACT to do good.

Let us BEG for Mercy before He Who sits upon the Throne and the Lamb as Their Holy Spirit inspires.

Martyjo said...

MBM,

I can tell you that Cardinal Scola, when Patriarch of Venice, was very indulgent of the Latin Mass, celebrating it several times in public. I believe His Eminence has strong links with Opus Dei.

The problem is that Cardinal Scola is at the same time a disciple of Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar, both of whom he worked closely with in the early 70s. He is therefore of a particular school of thought (radical) which includes other high prelates in the Church today.

Balthasar and de Lubac, together with Joseph Ratzinger and Walter Kasper, were founding members of an international journal called Communio, which I believe is translated today into 12 or more languages. As you may imagine, the journal is one of Modernist/Conciliarist apologetics. This of course is bad news for the Traditional Catholic.

So if Cardinal Scola were to be elected Pope then, yes, I do believe the Latin Mass would continue to enjoy the freedom declared both for the rite and it's celebrants by Pope Benedict XVI. Indeed, I could even envisage a Papa Scola celebrating it himself in public. Sadly, though, little would change on the doctrinal front with regard to ecumenism, inter-religious initiatives, Collegiality, etc., which problems are primarily at the root of the crisis in the Faith. It would be like having another Pope Benedict XVI, only younger and a bit more pastorally in-your-face, if I can use the term respectfully.

His Eminence would not be the worst choice for Pope, but neither would he be in the mould of any of the pre-conciliar Popes. He is very much a man of Vatican II, a long-time close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and collaborator in the radical reforms begun by the Rhineland Fathers back in 1962.

scary goat said...

Wonderful article, thank you.

Thomas said...

May God hear our prayers and send the Holy Spirit to guide these men in Conclave as he did at the Pentecost. Let us pray that the seat of St. Peter continues to be a guiding voice in the world, a great evangelist of scripture, and a shepard to guide our paths as we seek communion with God and brotherhood with our fellow man/woman. Amen.

NIANTIC said...

A sad and sobering article but not new. The abdication of the traditional papacy and the replacement by episcopal conferences have made the government of the Universal Church impossible. That is now crystal clear and has been so for a long time.
This, the emancipated government, and the liturgical devastation, have all but destroyed the Church.

We have seen this for the last decades and these warped prelates WILL NOT OR EVER face up to the facts and that includes the recent popes.

There will be always at least a remnant left faithful to Tradition in all its powerful glory and salvivic power. And therefore the saying is true that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church".

So no matter what happens, let us stay true to the true Faith and Sacraments of the Church. That which was given to us by the Apostles, Fathers, Martyrs and Saints throughout history.

Let us hope and pray, as we all are, for a holy and traditional Pope,a fearless one who is not afraid of the wolves and who will not flee and abandon us. Lord have mercy.

BONIFACE said...

When I lived in Austria, Dr Nick Healy Jr of ITI, who did his doctoral thesis on the eschatology of Von Balthasar, told me that he was really hoping for a Scola papacy on the future because Scola was one of Von Balthasar's most brilliant and devoted disciples in the Curia. From that day I have been apprehensive of Scola because balthasarianism has really wreaked havoc in modern theology.

I am not Spartacus said...

DoesntSupportYourConclusion What is it that the Pope Emeritus is doing after his abdication that he could not have done had he remained as Pope until his death?

Could not the prayers he is now saying be joined to his suffering as Pope and, therefore, redound with profound spiritual benefit on Holy Mother Church?

Sure, he would not have been able to fly to World Youth Day, but so what? Since when has appearing in person at World Youth Day been a Papal Duty?

He could have had a videotaped message played there for that matter.

The reality that his schedule would have had to have been radically changed so he could carry out his duties as Pope would have been a most welcome example to the world as to what are and are not the real priorities of a Catholic Pope.

I had to assist at The Lil' Licit Liturgy last Sunday and the Bidding prayers noted that Pope Benedict XVI (Yes, they still call him that) has earned his retirement and we were asked to pray that he would have an enjoyable retirement in which he could have a lot of time to pray and read.

All fo this is just another way of saying that the perceptive and wide Professor is spot on, as usual.

JB said...

The “Corriere della Sera” article of February 27, 2013, is the voice of what the Masonry would like the Church to become... so the wishes of the 'deity' they actually worship: Satan!

Common Sense said...

Lord GOD, please send us a pope, who is both competent, courageous and well versed in issues, which matter.At least like bishop Schneider!

Francis in Ma said...

John Gerardi said..."While he (Scola) is almost certainly not as enthusiastic for the Extraordinary Form as, say, Cardinal Burke, it seems to me that he is nevertheless open and friendly towards the ancient rite. We could do worse".

Very sad and true John, considering there are about 80 or 90 Cardinals in this Conclave who could become the next Pope that would make Scola look like Pope St. Pius X. Unfortunately IMHO there are only about 5 or 6 Cardinals in this conclave who would make Scola look like Scola. You mentioned one of them (Burke), we all know who the other four are.

Prof Adamic said...

de Mattei writes: "No theologian, nor any Catholic for that matter, would be able to sustain that the 23 cardinals who elected the Borgia Pope were illuminated by the Holy Ghost."

God is in charge of every little thing that happens in the universe....the next breath I take, for example. God can, and does, pick people whom he knows will act badly with their authority. Jesus said, "you would not have this authority if it were not granted to you from above".

God may choose to chastise the world with a less-than-ideal Pope. In so doing, he is still "inspiring" those involved to His own ends.

If a Borgia Pope was validly elected Bishop of Rome, then God's providence saw to it that that is exactly what transpired.

poeta said...

Prof Adamic: It is unhelpful to obscure the distinction between God's positive Will and His permissive Will.

Gratias said...

Prof. De Mattei gives us words of wisdom that reflect the profound uneasiness that so many Catholics feel since Benedict's resignation. Many of us loved the monarchical structure of the Church. We longed for infallibility in a world that is now without fixed values.

Pope Benedict did not see it the same way. De Mattei is right to trace the origin of this trend to Vatican Council II and its Bishop Conferences. The institution of the Papacy was diminished by aggiornamento and this has been going on for 50 years already. Let us pray that future popes will not feel obliged to resign at age 85. Disastrous Paul VI legislated the retirement of bishops at 75 and Elector-cardinals at 80. Like others, I fear the new retirement for popes may be 85.

Not him, but... said...

IAmNotSpartacus:

"What is it that the Pope Emeritus is doing after his abdication that he could not have done had he remained as Pope until his death?"

Perhaps the same question can be asked of Saint Celestine V, sometime Pope Emeritus.

Prof. Basto said...

Indeed. The sin of Adam was permitted, but was not desired by God with his positive will.

In like fashion, God may permit the election of unworthy Popes, if the Cardinals are not docile to the indications of the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless, the election is valid because it is conducted in accordance with the law of the Church, and, given that the Holy Spirit is always with the Church, the Holy Spirit will assist the Papacy even when occupied by an unworthy Pope, but this assistance is limited to the bare essentials (preventing dogmatic error).

Thus the Church has had good Popes and bad Popes, worthy Popes and unworthy Popes, and, exactly as the quote of a pronouncement by Pius XII points out the Enemy has had his share of successes.

We cannot forget that whole kingdoms ceased to be Catholic during the Reformation, and, while that is the direct responsability of heretics, the immoral state of the Church in certain respects at the time certainly contributed to the rebellion. Thus, the failings of the men of the Church, including of the Holy See, permitted a provisional victory of the Enemy.

But God, always extracting good from evil, gave us the counter-reformation, just like the advent of Christ resulted from the sin of our first parents. In like fashion, there wouldn't be a Vatican I and its luminous doctrine if it weren't for the evils of the French Revolution and the 19th century.

In our own time, with the dramatic secularization of once Catholic Nations and societies, the fast reduction in the number of Catholics, the crisis of vocations, the death of religious communities, the sorry state of several Orders, we can certainly see how the appeasement with the World, and the concessions to the World, that formed the bulk of Vatican Council II and its malignant Spirit, resulted in damage to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

So while it is certain that the Second Vatican Council and the ruionus post-Conciliar era were permitted by God, one cannot say that the said self-demolition of the Church was positively desired by God.

In like fashion, just as God permitted Popes such as Alexander VI and Venerable Paul VI "the Worst", we have no guarantee that a prudent and worthy Pastor will emerge from the Conclave. We know that he will be the Pope, however, and that in the essentials the Holy Spirit will prevent him from error.

But hope is a Christian virtue, and with hope we must pray, pray, pray that a good Supreme Pontiff is granted to us.

Claudius said...

Another pope along the lines of Alexander VI would be an excellent choice.

The time has definitely come: Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Humility is Not a Vice said...

Poetica,

Why do you accuse Prof Adamic of trying to obscure some distinction that his point was not dependent upon, and which does not appear to be implicit or explicit in his comment? I very much appreciate the comment by Prof Adamic, and beleive it echoes the wise writings of St. Alphonsus De Liguori, in Uniformity With God's Will. This is my first response on this blog, and I have to say that I am continually surprised and disappointed by the accusatory attitude of many who post here. But then again, I attend the Latin Mass regularly, and I have encountered a small cadre of folks in my own parish who consider themselves to be better Catholics than almost anyone, including Benedict XVI, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

NBW said...

I also have Roberto De Mattei's book "The Second Council an Unwritten Story" I am currently reading it.
It's very well written.

Benedict Carter said...

It pains even an Englishman to link to this report:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9918880/Scottish-priests-out-of-control-sexually-says-former-abuse-adviser.html

Prof Adamic said...

I would like to make a few further points, as I am finding the discussion interesting:

1. Can it ever be the case that God's positive will includes the possibility of punishing sin? I think this is certainly possible, although I am no expert in theology.

2. Part of my comment was probably influenced by recent reflections on the following question: Can the Holy Spirit "inspire" a Baptist Christian to be called to mininstry as a Baptist Pastor? (assuming that Catholicism is not, and was never, really on the radar for the person in question). The Baptist denomination is not willed by God...does it then follow that everything associated with that denomination can only be subject to God's permissive will?...on this, I think not.

3. Was John Paul II's election inspired by the Holy Ghost? If so, was this God's positive will or permissive will (or is a mix possible, nay, likely?) Was there not a "better" candidate among the cardinals in 1978? If there there were better candidates, then aren't we forced to admit that God's permissive will was involved?

In general, I just find that folks are way to quick to give "authorship" to the Holy Spirit when it is not necessarily implied. I find this to be particularly true wrt non-infallible teachings promulgated at Vatican II.

Carolus said...

"Everybody knows about the terrible case of Father Maciel. Who was involved in that? That certainly is considered. Even if in all good faith they really were convinced that this man was a man of God — and they were — it still isn't going to help. Now it's public record. People know who was associated with him. That would contribute to a sense of this might not be the way to go."

Francis Cardinal George

Source: George: Any ties to sexual abuse could disqualify papal candidate - http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/religion/ct-met-sex-abuse-0307-20130307,0,7784915.story

Martyjo said...

Benedict Carter,

The BBC and The Telegraph are about as anti-Catholic as they come, so that article you linked to can really be categorised as "gutter press" material. I wouldn't have expected anything less from these bigotted media outlets, certainly not objectivity. I reckon the BBC would do better to clean its own house following the corruption revealed during the Jimmy Saville investigation. Pointing the finger of scorn at the Catholic Church doesn't help them to do that, it only highlights further the BBC's hypocrisy and the rotten state of that Left Wing institution.

Besides all that, I personally have very serious doubts about the genuineness of these countless allegations of historical abuse, which have constantly been creeping out of the woodwork since compensation was placed on the table in exchange for testimony. There is no way that proper justice can operate in such an environment.

While there will certainly be genuine cases of clerical sexual abuse amongst the many thousands of allegations made in recent years, I can't help wondering just how many of these thousands of claims have the Judas Iscariot "compensation" element as their basis. Hmmm! Interesting times indeed.

Petrus said...

The new pope - whoever it is - will need to make the reform of the Curia an urgent priority. He alone has the legal power to do it. He will need to be a strong man. God help him.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Not him, but...

When Dale Berra was asked how he was like his Father Yogi, he replied; Our Similarities are different.

One has to have the eyes of a Linx to see the putative similarity twixt the Papacy of Celestine and the Papacy of Benedict XVI whereas one has to have the eyes of a mole to see even a recondite recapitulation of the two vastly different circumstances of the two reigns; that is, the similarities are quite different to a point that claims of the same situation obtaining really are easily dismissed.

Supertradmum said...

This is superb. Here is my bit a few days ago. I am sick of all the false Catholic media stars as well taking advantage of the times.

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/administrators-or-pastors.html

Supertradmum said...

This is superb. Here is my bit a few days ago. I am sick of all the false Catholic media stars as well taking advantage of the times.

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/administrators-or-pastors.html

Not him, but... said...

Dear I am Not Spartacus,

"...the similarities are quite different to a point that claims of the same situation obtaining really are easily dismissed."

1. An assertion which in my understanding Dr. de Mattei also made in a previous article, and one which I frankly do not subscribe to; he who asserts has the burden of proof, which unfortunately I fail to see demonstrated in the very same article.

2. Compare: "...The desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, his longing for the tranquility of his former life.." to: "..both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me..." (my emphases).

3. However, all of the above is quite frankly beside the point; whether or not "the similarities are quite different to a point that claims of the same situation obtaining really are easily dismissed", let me repeat my previous suggestion for the sometime Pope Emeritus Celestine V of holy and blessed memory to be asked the very same question asked of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Imagine someone, a faithful son of the Church, asking on the 14th of December, 1294, the following question:

"What is it that the hitherto-Pope Celestine is doing after his abdication that he could not have done had he remained as Pope until his death?"

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, after all.

Benedict Carter said...

Martyjo:

You are wrong about the Telegraph. Many of its main journalists are Catholics, although it maintains a neutral line, it is vastly better than any other broadsheet in Britain. The Guardian, Independent and London Times are all viciously anti-Catholic. As for the BBC, it's colloqually known in England as the Islamic Broadcasting Corporation.

Cathy said...

Since Benedict XVI was in the Vatican for many years yet couldn't fix the problems in the Curia, why/how is a new Pope going to achieve this feat? Will the Curia cooperate with the new Pope or will he have to excommunicate the troublemakers?

Benedict Carter said...

Martyjo:

On the rest of your post, I don't know the US experience of false claims, but in Britain i think a good number of clergy have got away with it. Not only were they protected by their Bishops, but some (the Abbot of Ealing - I think - Benedictine monastery) got away with it for years and a couple of years ago, on the point of arrest, disappeared completely. He's on Interpol's wanted list and no-one knows where he is.

I rather think the truth is somewhat different: yes, there will be some false claims, especially in the States where society is so litigious and large sums are awarded in the Courts, but elsewhere I am sure there are many clergy who have basically got away with it.

Can anyone tell me why Weakland was never arraigned nor arrested for his theft of $500,000 to pay off his homosexual "lover"? Why has he never been laicised?

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

"balthasarianism has really wreaked havoc in modern theology"

The prize for the most profound and insightful remark in this discussion goes to you, BONIFACE!
Balthazar and his muse, the lovely Adrienne, are properly identified as theosophists, not Catholics.

Supertradmum said...

Laicization would not be appropriate for Weakland, as it removes the necessity to live out one's vow of celibacy. It means one is legally a lay person in the eyes of the Church. A punishment like this seems out of keeping for a man who had trouble with that very vow. Better to make him live out his days trying to be chaste than release him from his vow. Perhaps he is repenting. We do not know.

Benedict Carter said...

Supertradmum:

That's an interestimng point of view - to keep him in the priesthood as a form of punishment.

I can't agree: he has repented nothing, by all accounts (didn't he publish a book fairly recently in which he repeated all his usual rejections of the Church's moral teaching?).

Leaving matters there is simple rank cowardice and a dereliction of the duty of the Church's Hierarchy.

gtaylor said...

Why is Fr Rosica sitting at Fr Lombardi's side representing the Vatican?
Fr Rosica is clearly an enemy of the Magisterium. Can anyone tell me who are the Cardinal's Fr Rosica is friendly with?
And who appointed this priest to this international position?

J.C. said...

Happy Feastday, Francesca Romana. We appreciate your helping the less linguistically gifted... :)

DoesntSupportYourConclusion said...

NotSparticus - you ask: "What is it that the Pope Emeritus is doing after his abdication that he could not have done had he remained as Pope until his death?"

This question seems to me to be a bit naive and shortsighted. It is the wrong question. The question should be "What is it that the Pope Emeritus is doing after his abdication that he SHOULD be doing had he remained as Pope until his death?" And then the answer would be: a great deal.

The Pope, because of his high office, has a high and grave obligation toward the Church. He must steer the Barque of Peter. This is a hands on, clear minded responsibility. Just as the author of the article cited examples of how a Pope can do damage because of his humanity (even though he doesn't seem to then want the humanity of the papacy exposed...you figure it out, I can't), even so faults due to human weakness, whether intended or not, affect the Church.

The Papacy is an enormous job that far exceeds the high work of prayer done by a monk in it's scope. It would seem that the Pope sees the life of a monastic as his greatest possible task as opposed to that of the Supreme Legislator of the Church and Her Temporal Head. How is that not TOTALLY consonant with the moral virtue of prudence?

You ask: "Could not the prayers he is now saying be joined to his suffering as Pope and, therefore, redound with profound spiritual benefit on Holy Mother Church?"

They could be. But the pope is called to do more than pray. So again, and no offense intended here, but this is shortsighted.

You write: "Sure, he would not have been able to fly to World Youth Day, but so what? Since when has appearing in person at World Youth Day been a Papal Duty?"

If you think that prayer and WYD are the two main concerns of the pope I'm not sure where to begin.

You write: "He could have had a videotaped message played there for that matter."

But he still would have had to prepare mentally. And he told us that he isn't mentally adequate for this.

As to your "bidding prayers" statement, please know that it is not persuasive argumentation to relay scandal you received from any local parish.

You conclude: "All fo this is just another way of saying that the perceptive and wide Professor is spot on, as usual."

I have no doubt that the Professor is both wise and perceptive. But I perceive that in this case he is clearly wrong. And you have yet to persuasively demonstrate your conclusion.

God bless!

David C said...

Scandal, sex abuse, corruption, shrinking numbers. This is the MSM view of my beloved church. I know, because NBC news just told me so. No mention of our hospitals, our schools, our charitable organizations.

I am glad that Cardinal Burke has received no mention as papabile. No posters decorating the streets of Rome to disqualify him. His scorecard rates out at 100% according to the needs of the church. The only question is whether or not the conclave can rise to the level that Cardinal Burke has attained.

a little child of God said...

To Prof Adamic:

You would thoroughly enjoy reading: HOLY ABANDONMENT Rt. Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R. May you be a blessed instrument to others after prayerful reflection on this masterpiece of Mercy. The clear path for all is to DO the Will of God. May you help many to find their way.

Prof Adamic said...

Thank you a little child of God. I intend to look up this reference. Please pray for me, that I will become more a little child of God.

DoesntSupportYourConclusion said...

How can this article also not do violence to Boniface VIII's "Liber Sextus" I, vii, 1,: "Whereas some curious persons, arguing on things of no great expediency, and rashly seeking, against the teaching of the Apostle, to know more than it is meet to know, have seemed, with little forethought, to raise an anxious doubt, whether the Roman Pontiff, especially when he recognizes himself incapable of ruling the Universal Church and of bearing the burden of the Supreme Pontificate, can validly renounce the papacy, and its burden and honour: Pope Celestine V, Our predecessor, whilst still presiding over the government of the aforesaid Church, wishing to cut off all the matter for hesitation on the subject, having deliberated with his brethren, the Cardinals of the Roman Church, of whom We were one, with the concordant counsel and assent of Us and of them all, by Apostolic authority established and decreed, that the Roman Pontiff may freely resign. We, therefore, lest it should happen that in course of time this enactment should fall into oblivion, and the aforesaid doubt should revive the discussion, have placed it among other constitutions ad perpetuam rei memoriam by the advice of our brethren."

Let me here repeat those very important words "especially when he recognizes himself incapable of ruling the Universal Church and of bearing the burden of the Supreme Pontificate."

So who is the judge in the case of resignation? It is the pope himself and no other.

If we don't ALL rest our case there, we are on dangerous ground.

BTW, John Vennari must join our silence and give up usage of terms like "novelty" concerning this papal act. Such language is necessarily offensive to pious ears and must cease.

Anonymous said...

"PETER THE ROMAN" is already in power: Cardinal Bertone is from Rome, and his first name is Pietro. ha! appointed by Benedict XVI, who then resigned, and left Bertone as Secretary of State in charge of the conclave. wow.