The speculation of a new papal encyclical hitting the shelves at the start of this month sadly fizzled out when a letter from the CDF to the bishops was released instead. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been a rather dull affair since Ratzinger temporarily moved up in the world. Cdl. Joseph was an unexpected lightning rod for accusations of doctrinal extremism and fundamentalism, but Apb. Ladaria has scarcely created a ripple in the pond since his appointment.
The letter Placuit Deo warns the bishops against the rising dual threats of neo-Pelagianism and neo-Gnosticism, clearly the most immanent threats against the Pax Romana in our day. The concern is so palpable that neither the USCCB nor the local diocese can be bothered to comment upon it on their websites. Meanwhile, the pope’s “ten steps backwards” approach to sexual abuse allegations remains unrectified and he continues to stand erect as an equal in the presence of Almighty God.
It is a good year to give up reading Catholic news and commentary for Lent. The traddies have no shortage of material to work with, the liberals never lose cause for celebration, and the sycophants never stop praising the powerful while giving lip service to the Faith the powerful are disintegrating. The worst part of reading news from the Vatican and bishops conferences is the logical consequence of reading between the lines. After decades of obfuscation, doctrinal creativity, sexual scandals, and imposition of truly bad taste, one infallibly comes to the conclusion that many if not most of the men running the Church simply hate us.
In many ways this realization is liberating. Accepting it makes sense of many horrors that would remain otherwise unintelligible. Popes, bishops, and parish priests demand an obedience which is used to slap defenders of the Faith, to dismantle Tradition in all its aspects, and ultimately to bully those with evidence of clerical reprobation into silence. Accusations of cynicism—usually coming from the sycophants—should not prevent one from being on guard against the enemy within the gates. We cannot be too careful for our safety, the safety of our loved ones, and even the safety of good priests and religious who stand in danger of intrigues.
As the prayers of Compline remind us, the Devil goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Sometimes he wears the skin of a lion, sometimes that of a serpent, and sometimes that of a spiritual father demanding docility. “Be sober and watch.”
|Saturn Devouring His Son, Peter Paul Rubens|