Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fox in the Henhouse

Pictured: Staff writers of the Aleteia website.
The Franciscan Reign of Terror has been somewhat eclipsed recently by the antics of the new American president, but the denial-of-service attacks on our intellects by P. Bergoglio continue to buzz in the background. He releases interviews, twitter posts, and ghostwritten encyclicals with a publication cycle that would have made John Paul envious. The sycophants of the Catholic blogging, radio, and magazine worlds refuse to acknowledge any evidence that Francis "The Fox" Bergoglio is anything but praiseworthy; meanwhile, the open-eyed commentators, trad or not, are increasingly alarmed. Even Mr. Corbinian's Bear, Esq. is toying with the thought of sedevacantism as a reasonable alternative to accepting the current bishop of Rome as legitimate. (Congratulations are in order for his recently published novel, by the way.)

Most of us in Tradistan are content to get the dismay out of our systems with a bit of occasional sarcasm and delight at the thought of the pope's eventual resignation. I do not think highly of the thesis that P. Benedict's resignation was invalid, and generally consider the thesis of sedevacantism to be a cheap form of escapism that absolves the believer of the burdensome responsibility of piety towards an unworthy leader.

But the problem of a bad pope is merely the extension of the problem of bad bishops and bad priests. Rare is the layman who does not have horror stories of parish priests and pastors, whether of clearly unorthodox preaching, two-facedness, or outright perversion. Rare, too, is the Catholic who can boast a bishop worthy of imitation or admiration. Why do lower-level Catholics who have found ways to mentally and emotionally survive under bad clerics find it impossible to tolerate a bad pope?

Until Francis, the "JP2, We Love You" crowd could at least pretend that the papacy was mostly fine. They had to do a little see-no-evil, hear-no-evil to accomplish that end, but it was possible. Everyone has his breaking point, and Francis is proving to be the breaking point of many. Some of the usual ultramontanist suspects are wondering when the pope will answer the dubia (likely never), in the hopes that they can get back to their comfortable papal adoration.

One of the few Youtube videographers I follow regularly is Hans Feine, M.Div. of the Illinois-based Lutheran Satire account. His "Frank the Hippie Pope" character neatly summarizes the difficulty of working constant damage control on an out-of-control pontiff. But even the "Hippie Pope" is a whitewash of the real man, appearing in the cartoon merely as a doped up halfwit instead of a sly intellect. In reality he is a bull in the china shop, a snake in the grass, a fox in the henhouse.

But again, so what? We will always have to learn how to live with weak or evil rulers. We will always have to learn how to not simply survive but thrive under their burdensome scandal. When one reads the chronicles of the ancient kings of Israel and Judah, rare was the monarch who did not do evil in the sight of the Lord; should we expect it to be any different today? Let us file our formal complaints and move on to the hard work of perfecting ourselves and our societies, and the harder work of converting the lost to the true Church. Innocent as doves, yet clever as serpents—how else will we keep the foxes from devouring us whole?

Where's a good bear when you need one?


  1. If only more people listened to Bishop Strossmayer at the First Vatican Council.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. That's similar to what i said in a comment a few posts back.
      He warned us. He was bishop of my (now arch)diocese. Thought of him as a contemporary Luther and a dissident. But as the days go by, my appreciation of him grows.
      He was no liberal. The Serbian Orthodox hated him and they feared he wanted to catholicize them all.
      He had insight not a lot people could boast to have.

    3. They did listen to him and the rejected his argument for very good reasons - it was contrary to Tradition:

    4. They rejected him on a whole, but some points were good.

    5. Btw. how does that mass of a text relate to Strossmayer?

  2. On a more upbeat note, the Institute of Christ the King has their Holy Week photos up, and all I might say is 1) those with any allergy to baroque ceremonial and art should not open this link, and 2) they seem to be embracing a little more of their pre-Pacelli enthusiasms again.

    1. I'm digging the baroque. Nice to see some of the Pre-Pius XII things as well.

    2. The Good Friday rites are quite a jumbled mess. A pre-Sanctified Mass in new vestments?

    3. A pre-Sanctified Mass in new vestments?

      Thus my qualification "a little more."

      In at least a few of their apostolates last month, they seemed bolder about adopting more of the pre-1955 good vibrations. Perhaps Msgr Wach is nervous that a photographed bells-and-whistles pontifical Holy Week at HQ is too high profile to take the governor completely off the engine. But I'm just speculating. I'd like to see a full video of each of these liturgies to figure out just what happened.

  3. Dear Rad Trad. Amen!!!

    ABS thinks, perhaps, that Our Pope and Our Cross is intent on raising awareness of the dangers of papolatry.

    In any event, many faithful Christuian Catholics are wigging out for what seems to ABS to be a function of confusing roles and responsibilities. We layman have no authority and we cannot do jack to combat what it is the Pope has been doing and to think we can will only lead to increasing anger and frustration.

    It is not our station in life and it is not our job (thanks be to God) to correct the Pope. ABS has no problem with men posting the truths of Tradition but we have no standing or authority to judge the Pope - Jesus handles that - whereas we can, and do, know the two reasons Jesus established His One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church


    and those two ends are our bailiwick.

    The Peace of Christ exists and we can enter into the sacred sanctuary if we desire

    It tends to make our witness less believable when we freak out over everything Franciscus does.

    Jesus is the head of His Church and He always will be and no matter what the modern Popes have done, they have not and can not change Tradition or Dogmas or Doctrines - although they may give the appearance of having done so.

    So, don't sweat it. Franciscus is having his day, one he may eternally rue if he does not repent and we must pray for him but to stop having fun and enjoying life seems to ABS to be vice-signaling; that is, if we can only be happy if we have a Pope Saint Pius X as Pope, that shows how weak our Faith truly is.

    Saint Vincent of Lerin taught that the sort of troubles we now face are one way that God tests us to see if we really love Him. That is a test ABS does not want to fail.

    It is much easier, it seems to ABS, to be alive right now (then, say, during the reign of Pius x) and, after all, those of us alive right now are alive right now because that is the will of God.

    We are meant to be alive in the here and now and to give witness to our Faith in Christ.

    1. Peace is much easier to come by when one accepts that God put us within whatever times we live because he wanted us to be here. It may be that Francis is exposing some aspect of the mysterium iniquitatis that the world needs to understand. It may also be as you say, that God is purifying his Church of the deformity of ultramontanism.

      Watch and pray.