Rorate Caeli

Editorial: The Sound of Silence

First, they silenced the majority inside the Franciscans of the Immaculate who had done their best for years to apply the Benedictine line of "hermeneutic of continuity". Their Summorum rights were reversed and subjected to an absurd authorization, their seminary shut down, their conservative majority disbanded and muzzled. The books and journals published by them were forbidden to be sold - greatly reducing the reach of the few Italian theologians who had tried to promote a moderately critical reading of Vatican II that was nevertheless respectful of the Holy See.

Then, they came for Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi in Radio Maria.

Then, they asked for Roberto de Mattei's head in Radio Maria. In the name of mercy, the message is, "Like it, swallow it – or get out."

Then, they, using the solemn liturgical Tradition of the Church not as an instrument of grace but as a weapon, removed the daily Traditional Mass from a small traditional Catholic college with no explicit justification. Such a liturgical punishment on an entire community is not forthcoming for heterodox deviations in any Catholic college or university.

Then, they silenced Deacon Nick Donnelly, a man whose blog had been founded with the name "Protect the Pope" precisely because the official Catholic news sources did nothing to actually protect the then-Pope's (Benedict XVI) words and reputation. The blog never promoted any heterodox opinion, but the diocese of Lancaster confirmed the silencing decision later.

Then, they warned the Ordinariates of Anglican Use to "exercise vigilance over blogs of their members" - a warning that is quite clearly directed at specific blogs that are too noisy or that openly and prominently promote the Traditional Mass and the hermeneutic of continuity...

These are, of course, just a few examples. How much is happening that we do not and may never know? In many dioceses around the globe, the upside-down disorder of the 1970s is returning with a vengeance; in more than one, a couple that reached our knowledge, seminary rectors or spiritual directors were removed for expressing out loud favorable views of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Are we going to pronounce a philippic against "censorship" and in favor of a supposed "freedom of speech" for ordained ministers or Catholic-owned radio stations? No, we leave that task for those who are terrified of an advance of an "illiberal Catholicism" that is nowhere to be seen, while the real illiberal menace within the Church is clear from the examples above. No, what we would once again wish to point out is the egregious double standard involved in this silencing campaign. Shameless ecclesial administrators, as sycophants in every bureaucracy, try to garner favor by being more radical than their superiors. Meanwhile, the defenders of heterodoxy and moral relativism are, as has been the case since the Council except for very extreme cases, unbothered, or more often than not praised, decorated, or promoted.

We occasionally expressed reservations about some bewildering opinions or actions of the previous pontificate. But nobody can deny that under John Paul II and Benedict XVI we could breathe - much heterodoxy abounded and went unpunished, but wheat and cockle grew freely. 

Now, instead, we are under the worst of both worlds: a newly-founded disorganized Inquisition that burns the wheat in the fields, while cockle grows strong even on the rock. Liberal pseudo-Inquisitors who use the rod to spank the sheep while the beasts feast on the flock. Complete silence is coming, and with it only the howling of the wolves at the darkest hour.