Christopher A. Ferrara
“Well, here’s another nice mess you've gotten me into.” -Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel
In article “Who’s on First?” I opined that in his letter of September 1, 2015, which declares that “those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach… priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins,” Pope Francis has exhibited a “freewheeling approach to the Petrine office” akin to “someone wildly firing a shotgun who manages to hit a clay pigeon.” Where the SSPX is concerned, the Pope happens to be on target for the final outcome that justice dictates: the complete and unconditional regularization of the SSPX without any further nonsense about establishing a “full communion” no other Catholics on earth are required to demonstrate.
Some points on yesterday’s bombshell letter from Pope Francis validating SSPX confessions:
o First we were told the SSPX bishops were excommunicated and in schism, and their priests suspended and in schism.
o Then were told the bishops were no longer excommunicated, but still in schism—or kind of in schism—while the priests were suspended and in schism, or kind of.
o Then we were told that neither the bishops nor the priests were in schism, but only “lacking full communion,” with “no canonical mission in the Church.” The priests, however, are still suspended.
Michael Voris and CMTV have repeatedly been embarrassed by Voris’s video denunciations of egregious episcopal misdeeds, such as washing the feet of women on Maundy Thursday, which are then committed by Francis. This development has left Voris literally speechless because he adheres to the neo-Catholic principle of papal positivism: whatever the Pope says or does is immune from criticism simply because it is a Pope who has said or done it. The result is that the rational grounds for Voris’s endless bishop-bashing are effectively self-negated, rendering his entire critique of the “Church of Nice” gratuitous and rhetorically dishonest.
Mark Shea’s online broadcast on the sting videotapes of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human body parts is a prime example of what his brand of neo-Catholic punditry is all about: the smug assurance that he is more nuanced than thou, more thoughtful than thou, more reasonable than thou, and thus more deeply Catholic than thou. As usual, however, Shea is simply more obnoxious than thou.
In vocal tones that echo his smarmy blog posts, Shea inveighs against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) for employing assumed names in order to gain access to the inner sanctum of Planned Parenthood, where CMP investigators engaged PP representatives in grisly conversations about their harvesting and pricing of the internal organs of butchered babies.
You know what? I get it. I really do get the outrage over a Minnesota dentist’s $50,000 vanity kill of Cecil the Lion. With elaborate measures in place for his protection, the dentist finished Cecil off with a rifle after ineptly wounding him with a compound bow, which left the animal bleeding for days as the intrepid hunter and his professional guides tracked it down. Then he hacked off the beast’s head so he could take it home and mount it in his study.
A fair fight, if you please! A man-versus-beast, put-your-life-on-the line, kill-or-be-killed sort of encounter with the wild. That is what we imagine big game hunting to be: an extreme sport for those who crave killing a beast that at least has a realistic chance of killing them (the mortally sinful nature of such daredevil sports aside). Or, more nobly, the defense of people against a predator on the loose in a human community. But not this mode of hunting: an elaborate Disney World-style thrill ride, the illusion of danger in a cocoon of safety with a moneyed vulgarian’s ultimate souvenir waiting at the end. Lured into the open with tasty bait, Cecil, a celebrity lion used to friendly relations with humans in the Zimbabwean wildlife preserve from which he was lured, walked cooperatively into the hands of his killers.
I put the word “conservative” in scare quotes as to Hannity, Levin and Beck, but the remarkable thing about Mike Church is that he is an authentic conservative, by which I mean a conservative who views political, social and moral questions from a traditional Catholic perspective as reflected in the papal and conciliar Magisterium before the late unpleasantness of the imaginary “renewal” of Vatican II.
Indeed, over the past year or so Mike Church has emerged as the only traditionally Catholic conservative in talk radio today, anywhere in the world. And I mean traditional. Not only during my appearances on the show, but now thematically, Mike has turned the longest running political talk show on Sirius Radio into an unabashed presentation of the Social Kingship of Christ, traditional Catholic moral teaching, and even the traditional Latin liturgy as the solution to what is evidently otherwise a terminal civilizational crisis. I have been invited on the show numerous times to defend all of these things explicitly, to speak of the one true Church, and even to call upon conservative Protestants to enter the Church if they are serious about saving our nation and our civilization.
Pope Francis: “Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.” Laudato si.
1. Condemn throwaway culture—need more recycling. (¶¶ 20-22)
2. Condemn rise in greenhouse gasses—rising ocean levels. (¶23-26)
3. Condemn water scarcity and inequality of water rights. (¶¶ 27-31).
4. Condemn extinction of plants and animals—be sure to mention children’s loss and God’s glory—we have no right!. (¶¶ 32-42).
5. Lament decline in quality of life. (¶¶ 43-47).