“Divinity of hell! When devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows.”
Iago, Othello, Desdemona and the Father of Lies
English literature provides many studies of human evil, but perhaps the most poignant and appalling of all is Iago, Shakespeare’s villain of the Tragedy of Othello. Iago provides us with an examination of St. Thomas Aquinas’s claim that lying remakes a person into the very image of the devil. Iago is held by literary historians as possibly the most purely evil character in English literature whose calculated and ruthless manipulations bring about ruin and death for all around him. And he accomplishes all this by lies and the presentation of a false front of virtue, a “heavenly show”.
Placuit Deo is interesting, if for no other reason than in it, Ladaria the Silent, Ladaria the Absent, suddenly speaks. And I say this as one who was more than expecting a Bergoglian nuke this afternoon. A Rome-based journalist I consulted about the document told me, “The most interesting part of this is it’s from Ladaria.”
Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, is the Jesuit chosen by Francis to replace the beleaguered Cardinal Muller as prefect of CDF. So far, perhaps the most singular thing we know about him has been his, and under him the CDF’s, absolute silence through the entire furor over Amoris Laetitia, an unprecedented mass-apostasy with bishops, national conferences and even cardinals openly declaring that the Church’s teaching on marriage no longer applies, that same-sex partnerings can be somehow “blessed” by the Church and, most recently, that non-Catholics can receive Holy Communion.
I’m going to start by saying that it seems generally like Ed Peters a good guy, an apparently faithful Catholic and conscientious canon lawyer. His blog always has interesting and useful – and factual – stuff in response to the incredible cascade of insanity coming lately out of Rome and the only-slightly less horrifying avalanche of confusion in response.
He’s certainly a go-to blogger for solid information on things canonical, whether you are a canon law expert or not. He’s got a significant voice in the Big Discussion because he’s earned our trust.
No more “humble pope”
Hey, remember five minutes ago when Pope Francis shouted at a reporter in Chile that there was “no evidence” supporting complaints against his good friend Bishop Juan Barros? And, just for good measure he accused the people accusing him – victims of sexual abuse by Barros’ mentor, the convicted sex-predator Karadima – of committing “calumny”? And remember when Cardinal O’Malley told the pope off in public over the “pain” these accusations had caused the victims of sexual abuse? And then remember how the pope had apologised-except-not-really because the accusations are, after all, still lies, and that there’s still “no evidence” against Barros…?
This month has been quite a spectacle, even for this pontificate; an apparently unending stream of outrages and embarrassments, with the pope and his Vatican media support jumping from one scandal to the next. But among secular reporters the sex abuse issue trumps all others and the fallout continues to blaze down on the Bergoglian pontificate in response to his amazing accusation earlier this month that victims of sexual abuse by clergy were engaging in “calumny,” in their accusations against a Chilean bishop, Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid.
The incident was brief: on the Thursday of the pope’s week-long South American trip, in response to an impromptu question tossed out by a Chilean reporter, the pope responded in what one reporter described as a “snippy tone”: “The day I see proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all calumny. Is that clear?”
But, it's happened before...
The Church is teetering on the edge of a multi-lateral, global schism following a controversial ecumenical council. Increasingly contentious factions within the hierarchy, many heavily influenced by corrupt and ambitious secular powers, are locked in a state of permanent and intractable conflict, confusing and corroding the Catholic life of the ordinary faithful. Multiple heresies are rising and Rome seems devoid of strength or authority to stop them.
“Seven times a day have I given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy justice.”
A short time ago I was talking to a friend, a traditional Catholic, who asked me this question, and I was a bit surprised. It’s not that she’d never heard of it but that she had mostly only heard the name and references to it, without ever having actually heard an explanation. And, of course, being about my age, she had never come across any actual use of the Church’s “other” liturgical practice in the normal course of her parish life. I realised that a person who had never had much contact with the monastic religious who use it (rare in these dark times) could go their whole life never see the Divine Office and could be confused by the profusion of terminology used to describe it.
Recently an article appeared in the Catholic Herald interviewing the intrepid Stephen Walford, the latest favourite shill for the Bergoglian Project, in which he said that it was the “anguish” felt by those in civil “remarriages” that qualified them for reception of Holy Communion. We are all by now only too familiar with the argument from the Kasperians for people who have no intention of giving up sexual relations outside wedlock – or who may, some day, perhaps, begin to consider the possibility of thinking about giving it up – to be “accompanied” through a “process of repentance” to get to a point where…
We all know that during the second half of the John Paul II pontificate a great number of conservative Catholic laity took seriously the call to the “New Evangelization” and started working for the Church. It’s a common story in dioceses and the various offices of national conferences bishops around the world. A great many of these are what we call “Generation X” people who were raised and lived through the post-conciliar period, watching as their parents’ generation of priests and bishops systematically tore down the edifice of the Church – sometimes literally in bricks and stones, but as often in the form of the terrible destruction of our patrimony of Catholic social and moral culture.
The Catholic Twitterverse is alive today with criticism of the USCCB’s decision to sack Fr. Thomas Weinandy, the former head of their doctrinal office. It took a matter of hours for the brave defenders of the status quo to leap into action against the mild Franciscan friar’s polite plea to Pope Francis to defend the Catholic Faith and faithful. Or at least to stop attacking them.