Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Miscellany

"I go to Rome to be crucified again."

Jones vs. Voris

In an hour-long interview with a YouTuber, Eugene Michael Jones repeats much of his anti-Voris rant verbally. (For those interested, I reviewed that book at length here and here.) The strangest new thing he says in this video is that it's much better to be an off-camera writer than an on-camera opinionater, in terms of avoiding excesses of vainglory. See around the 35-minute mark, where Jones opines that writing more readily lends itself to reflection than talking to a camera. My experience of reading many blogs—not to mention Jones's essays—argues otherwise.

Papal Intentions

Sometimes I wonder at what point it becomes questionably moral to pursue a plenary indulgence. As we all know, such an indulgence requires praying for the pope's monthly intentions. P. Francis's most recent prayer intention is that all countries would be successfully bullied into accepting refugees. In a month when we are encouraged to pray for the dead and win indulgences for their repose, it is most unfortunate that the pope has tried to guilt Catholics everywhere into asking God to fulfill his questionable vision of world politics.

Tolkien's Love Story

May 2017 will see the publication of Dr. Tolkien's story of Beren and Lúthien as a standalone tale, much as his son did with The Children of Hurin. I think that many of his stories work better separated from their original Silmarillion framework than as cogs in a larger machine, and I expect this will be one such example. Maybe I'm just looking forward to the version of the story where Sauron is a giant evil cat.

Descent into Hell

Mel Gibson has officially confirmed plans for a sequel to The Passion of the Christ, which, for all its flaws, remains my favorite religious movie. He hints at the inclusion of Jesus's descent into the Limbo of the Fathers as a kind of dramatic backdrop to what could otherwise be an action-light story. One hopes that Gibson will not present a Balthasarized version of the Descensus Christi ad Inferos, but only time will tell. I am also expecting good things from his new film Hacksaw Ridge.

The Ghost of Counter-Reformation Past

Speaking of the legacy of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a blogger at Bp. Barron's Word on Fire website has written a rather scathing criticism of the celebration of Reformation Day. There's no mention of the pope's imprudent gestures in this regard, but it's good that even clericalist-leaning apologists are willing to break ranks with the usual back-slapping now and then.


  1. Invented (imagined) hell is like nothing like what eternal damnation is like even if Satan uses our imagination to deter us from God's true redemption.

  2. Replies
    1. I rather enjoy St. Corbinian's Bear, and much of what goes up on One Peter Five. There aren't many others I follow for pleasure rather than information-gathering. When Daniel Mitsui still had a blog, it was probably my favorite.

  3. "... indulgence requires praying for the pope's monthly intentions"
    Why do you think that you should pray for the MONTHLY intentions? It would make impossible to obtain plenary indulgences for those who are unaware of the existence of popevideo site, i.e. most Catholics. In fact, the latest edition of Enchiridion indulgentiarum ( does not specify "monthly". It just says "oratio ad mentem Summi Pontificis" (N. 20. §1). Wouldn't it mean that we just pray generally for Pope's intentions whatever they are, even if we do not know them? Of course, only those that are pleasing to God.

    1. Sure, when some pray for the pope's intentions they may not always know what these are, but that's why the Vatican publishes the list for each month. The pope gets to decide what the pope's prayer intentions are, not us, and he has his methods of making those known. I too am in the habit of praying for the pope's "good intentions," but I rather doubt this always conforms with the requirements for indulgences.

  4. I cried shakingly and fall off my armchair watching Mel Gibs movie. The story is however Orthodox - Pilates'wife is a Saint, Otilia, in the calendar. But otherwise I remember few things except I was crying and refusing for Him to die for me. He can die for anyone else.
    Zefirelli's movie did not move me that much but it did make me read the Bible and go back to Church.
    All in all, these movies are not good. The man playing Christ is doomed. The Old Church would've sent Torquenada with torches after anyone playing a drama of what is Divine Sacrifice.

    1. "The Old Church would've sent Torquenada with torches after anyone playing a drama of what is Divine Sacrifice."

      I'm not so sure. In the middle ages, at least in the west, plays depicting the Nativity, the Passion, and the Dormition were very much a part of seasonal village life until the Reformation broke out. I believe one Spanish play about the Assumption called "Mystery of Elche" is still put on around August 15!

      The real offence is that most depictions are garbage and compromise what actually happened to make someone else's point or soften the message.

    2. I'm just fearing that the man who plays Christ is committing heresy. The actor of Zeffirelli's movie is said to have had problems and even began some sort of cult considering God speaks to/through him.
      Assumption can be envisioned without someone ..playing Christ.
      But the silly movies are definitely an agenda of their own. I suspect we will see less of them now that the new-age p.o.v. about Christ being some sort of yoggini is on full display on the internet, the news, scientific research etc anyone who likes that can read and think that. No need to make a movie about this story anymore.
      But if it's ok to make these movies, it's a shame that "someone else" are so stubborn in this matter. They still have the best actors and actresses for all of the parts...

  5. I would wish Mel Gibson would use the edicule that is presently being restored as the beginning point of his resurrection movie.