Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed: "Obedience"? "Respect"? We tolerate no lessons from those who morally assassinated Benedict XVI!

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.

The Great Fear of the Conformists:
We Take no Lessons from Those Who Morally Assassinated Benedict XVI!
by don Pio Pace

For some time now, Modernist, Liberal, or self-defined "Moderate" and even "mildly conservative" papers and blogs have railed against the "merciless war" waged by Orthodox Catholics on Pope Francis and his orientations

We are right in the middle of the parable of the mote and the beam! Didn’t they criticize, without a moment of rest, John Paul II and his attempt at a minor "restoration", these good souls now giving lessons? Didn’t they destroy Benedict XVI up to the level of what can only be called his moral assassination? Benedict XVI, about whom liberals said among themselves, on the day after his election : "This won’t last more than a couple of years!" Benedict XVI, to whose enemies Abp. Piero Marini gave openly the battle cry: "Resistere! Resistere! Resistere!" They would like then to give us lessons, those who, through their incessant and brutal attacks on Benedict XVI, by Catholic or by mainstream media, by leaks of documents, by financial pressure, by destroying him on what he did or on what he didn’t do, on what he said or on what he didn’t say, prompted him to present his resignation. They want not only to annihilate us as they did with him, but they want us to thank them for being executed, find hilarious that we are being slaughtered, and also apologize to them for the fact that our blood may be staining their spotless clothes...

Now, these good apostles have suddenly discovered the virtues of "obedience" and "humility", preaching to us about "respect" for Peter, as if, by stating the Truth – not always easy to hear, and in a much milder and more proportionate fashion than they ever did – we were lacking in this obedience and respect. Yet it is precisely due to our faith in Peter and due to our unconditional obedience to the Church and her entire Tradition that we must speak up as we do.

The truth is that they are afraid.

I see three reasons for this.

1) The first reason is that Conservatives have showed an absolutely remarkable and unexpected ability of adaptation to new media. Their ability to be present, their eagerness to react, to comment immediately, to provide analyses as soon as events happen, multiplied by blogs, by websites, by the whole world of social media... It must be said that Traditional Catholicism today, under all its forms and tendencies, is in part a result of modernity and... of Vatican II. This Council wanted to give voice to the laity. And, to the astonishment of the custodians of the "spirit of the Council", the laity took to the floor! But these are not the clericalized laity of the liberal establishment, but the new Orthodox Catholics. From the promotion of individualism that has resulted from the change implemented in the Church, they were able to profit in a way that the artisans and partisans of these changes could never have foreseen. At the time of Vatican II, the rage of liberals was unleashed against Cardinal Ottaviani, whom they succeeded in liquidating. Today, Liberals face before them armies of little Ottavianis in all Catholic forums and media. And many among them are quite skillful!

2) The second reason is that the pro-Vatican II faction is aging fast and is hit by a hemorrhage of "engaged laymen", clericalized lay persons who become "de-spiritualized", that is to say, who are discouraged, and fall victim to the current bourgeois mores and practices. There are also an important number of Catholics whom Joseph Malègue – a French novelist enjoyed by Pope Francis – called "the middle classes of salvation", Catholics who practice their religion in a more or less regular fashion, who do not go to confession, who organize their religion and their Catholic-like belief system based on the liberal tendencies of thinking and acting around which they live. These are sheep without shepherds, because the Church that is now standing does not disrupt their spiritual lethargy at all. (And let it not be thought that this is a trend of the "Northern" nations only, quite the contrary: in Latin America, while those who are spiritually engaged and vibrant and celebrate traditional family mores do not find room and welcoming in the Church and choose Pentecostalism, most of those who remain nominally Catholic are precisely the members of these lethargic and disengaged "middle classes".)

On the other hand, "Conservative" Catholicism represents, in all its nuances, tendencies, currents, new communities, Traditionalist communities, youth movements, identity groups, neo-classic seminarians, "new priests", "nuns with veils", decidedly Catholic schools and colleges, what we may call the "living forces" of the Church today. It is an extremely diversified world, that is quite true, but for whom, from Traditionalists on one side to mild conservatives on the other, and including almost the entire African Church, the new orientation taken by Rome in March 2013 "can’t be swallowed". Well, this Catholicism is clearly the Catholicism of tomorrow. It is evidently minoritarian, but it is a minority that does not cease to grow, because it is the only one that is truly fertile in vocations (or even fertile at all!).

3) This second reason, underlined by the public debate given by the first, makes clear the existence of a "gap" between a considerable part of the current Catholic "establishment" and "elite" cardinals and bishops and the "new Catholicism", a discrepancy that is increasingly blatant. The fundamental error of the pontificate of Benedict XVI was that of not having reduced this gap by way of strong episcopal nominations (except, partly, in the United States). Whatever may be the "profound" interpretation one may give to the current pontificate, it is quite evident that it is widening this gap. Pope Francis, with all his maneuvering skills, is a man from another age. He has committed considerable mistakes, as the affair of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the submission to synodal vote of the indissolubility of marriage show, errors which have damaged his credibility (in depth) much more than the Williamson affair and Vatileaks cost Benedict XVI.

In sum: if liberals wish to fill conservatives with a guilt complex, it is in fact they who are showing themselves to be (guilty of moral assassination as they are) reduced to a very defensive attitude. They will not manage to silence those who act by way of prayer, writings, petitions, discussions, protests. And who do so moved by Him Who is Truth and Justice. And who know that the Christ of the beatitude of peace is the same Who chased the merchants away from the Temple.

[Original posting time: Nov 22, 6:30 PM GMT]