Monday, December 21, 2015

“The Horror of Surrogate Religions”

"Pope Francis" has diminished the
attractiveness of the papacy
“…transforming the Papacy into a branch of Greenpeace…”

I’m quoting somebody else there, really I am … And following this, is a whole series of really twisted observations from an Italian newspaper.

Popes traditionally have held “Wednesday audiences” in the Vatican – times when the general public can show up and see the pope in person. Generally, you need to make reservations in advance. Tickets are free, but the “Roman Churches Wikia” recommends “You should be at Piazza San Pietro at least 30 minutes before the audience, as there are a lot of people trying to get to their seats”.

At right are two photos from two of these Wednesday audiences. The top photo is undated, but it’s clearly “Pope Francis,” and it is tagged as one of these Wednesday audiences. The bottom photo was from earlier this month (the General Audience of December 2, 2015, which it is said, is “now a recurring sight”, according to the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli – which nevertheless claims it has loyalty to the papacy).

Along with the photo, they’ve copied an article entitled “The Horror of Surrogate Religions”, by Camillo Langone, published by Il Foglio, “an Italian centre-right daily newspaper, with circulation below 10,000 copies per day”. Still, this is a photograph from a Vatican General Audience, and these comments are from an Italian newspaper. I’m reproducing some of the more graphic comments:

It doesn’t surprise me if St. Peter’s Square is half-empty, or not as full as expected, I would be surprised at the opposite. And I don’t believe that it’s all due to the fear of running into a Muslim with a passion for explosives. It’s true that in recent years, Catholic movements (apart from the Neocatechemunals) capable of bringing youth to the Square have eclipsed, being now reduced to their laughable summer rites … Further, it’s true that Catholicism at the parish level is aged and consequently trembling (the old fear death infinitely more than the young, for them death is a concrete reality, not an idea). Still, it’s not only this. But principally this: as in nature, the heart of man abhors a vacuum.

If the centre of Christianity is perceived as abandoned, this is the reason it ceases to be attractive, this is the reason the fickle head for cults under new guises or old ones, such as environmentalism and animalism which are variations on the pagan theme. Man is a religious being however, and also Pope Francis knows this; in his homily of March 14th 2013, he cited quite surprisingly, the apocalyptic Léon Bloy: “Those who don’t pray to God, are praying to the Devil”.

If the churches aren’t filled with the faithful, sooner or later they will become mosques or at best, museums…

The very contemporary museum run by my friend fills up an ancient abbey emptied by Napoleon and this sounds like something annihilating to me. Jean Clair wrote entire volumes on the museum as a surrogate temple and I have no need of reopening them to know how true this is. That emptiness tends always to filling itself up is a psychological law. Women without children to embrace, easily give themselves to a little dog, they talk to it, they kiss and cuddle it, they buy it little dainties. Father Rosario Struscio, a missionary in India and spiritual father to Madre Theresa, on his return to Italy after many years, was greatly disturbed at “seeing so many women going around with cats in their arms, as if they were children. A Country that has substituted children for cats is a Country with no tomorrow.” It is even a law of city planning: the bell-towers in Milan, which not even archbishops believe in anymore (as the new churches without bell-towers show), have now been replaced with skyscrapers.

“In the desert of their abandonment, the people resign themselves to building the golden calf,” wrote the theologian, Pierangelo Sequeri. Or green idols. If there is no longer belief in Our Lady, the Mother of God, then there is surrender to the fascination of Gaia, the Earth goddess. Clergy yielding to lust, to human senses, need not frighten, but the apostasy of those (as the philosopher of Religion, Marco Vannini retains) “that have lost faith in the Divinity of Christ, and have thus annulled the novelty of the Gospel, by bending themselves in adoration to the world and its Lord” are immensely more dangerous than any Francesca Chaouqui. It is the Dark Society (sic) that projected beasts on the façade of St. Peter’s, specifically on the day of the Immaculate Conception.

It’s a pity that in transforming the Papacy into a branch of Greenpeace, the “mother house” in these affairs is much more credible. Even the other day they were back at it, dictating their agenda by projecting images against tuna-fishing on the monuments of Milan.


  1. From reading many tradionalists and conservative catholic blogs I can say that many faithful catholics are disgusted by Francis and appalled by his actions. This is even clergy within the church. I posting the following three links which demonstrate the situation in Rome now. I suggest you read them John they are mind-blowing. One of the links is a crictical letter written to Francis form a member of the Roman Curia pleading with him to change course.

    1. Vincent: This is quite a quote (from the second article) "To put it more simply: "Many people in the Vatican want Francis dead," said Francesca Chaouqui, the woman at the heart of a leaks scandal currently convulsing Francis' Vatican." I had seen the first link, but never got around to posting anything from it.

      What was really striking for me, though, was the PHOTO with NO CROWD around this "pope". That represents a very deep level of abandonment of him (or abandonment of the RCC). Again, we are not talking about backwater US parishes -- this is THE VATICAN.

  2. So you have read the first article before? It seems Francis's message of mercy and inclusivism are not keeping people in the church loyal to him.

  3. These two sectionss from the second article may explain why Francis is no longer drawing crowds:

    The Remnant, a small, traditionalist U.S. newspaper, last week penned an open letter begging Francis to change course or resign, arguing that his papacy was "causing grave harm to the church." Organizers say a few thousand people have signed onto the petition.

    "You have given many indications of an alarming hostility to the church's traditional teaching, discipline and customs, and the faithful who try to defend them, while being preoccupied with social and political questions beyond the competence of the Roman Pontiff," the newspaper said. "This appalling situation has no parallel in church history."

    "Pope Francis is no longer trusted by many conservative Catholics and the number who don't trust him has grown enormously since the synod," conservative columnist Damian Thompson wrote in Britain's Spectator last month. He said he doesn't see the dust settling until the next conclave, "which lots of conservative Catholics want to happen as soon as possible."

    1. Vincent, what's striking is that he is being warned at an "official" level, and he's also being abandoned by the "man-in-the-street" RC. I doubt that either one of those situations is causing the other to happen. What's happening is that there is a wholesale abandonment of his program, independently, at multiple levels.

  4. By official level are you referring to that letter? Why do you think all sectors of the RC world are abandoning him? Are they scandalized by him?

    1. Well, there is Cardinal Burke, who has wide sway over western conservative Catholics. There is this "former member of the curia" -- a German who most likely is still a high-ranking cleric, even though he may not be with the curia. But you know, when he came to the US, he had huge crowds following him. The Italians (and visitors to the Vatican) who are not showing up for papal audiences -- there's no telling precisely "who" they are -- except to say that "millions of voters are voting with their feet -- or rather, voting by not showing up" for an event that millions of "the faithful" normally do show up for. They're just staying home. Can you imagine if just a handful of people actually voted in an upcoming presidential election? "The Faithful" just don't want to see this guy. He's not "their guy". (Imagine if Tom Brady were to be announced for a speaking event in Pittsburgh -- no one would show up for that for sure!)