Sunday, December 28, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

A bit late, but I still wanted to publish this:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in St. Martha’s House
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The Cardinals crammed for wooden seats in Paul VI Hall,
In front a humble throne the color of a funerary pall;
The press were smug and held their stead;
While heterodox headlines danced in their heads;
The Ultramontanes rejoiced that the Traddies had snapped,
And then settled their brains for pontificate-long nap,
When out atrium there arose such a clatter,
The Curia rose to curtsy attention’s center.

He wore a white cassock with a coat of arms,
And black trousers which contained his Peronist card.
Of the Renaissance frescoes above his head,
He made known that we should share his dread.
Then he took to his humble throne,
And the Argentine bishop peered down his Italian nose,
If the press knew he was hardly New World,
They would have cried tears to fill a Salvation Army bowl.

More rapid than eagles his acolytes they came,
And he howled of new mercies, and called them by name:
"Now, Marx! now, Kasper! now Schonborn and Cupich!
On, with Rahner! on, with Martini!—not the stiff drink!
To the top of the edge of the Leonine wall!
Let us announce our newly merciful and humble Church to all!"

“He shut down the Franciscans and will crush Peter’s priests, too,”
“But,” says another, “his meeting with Bernard Fellay went through.”
“He gets blessings from protestants,” bewails the traditionalist,
“You don’t get it,” says the Zed “He’s just another Benedict.”
The penitent recalls 247 and 254 in the encyclical he read,
The priest replies, “Have your evening prayers been said?”

As the faithful keep their parishes in peace,
The Argentine perturbs them with news of unease.
“We should ignore him and not let ourselves be irked
Or delude ourselves in hopes of the rebellion of Raymond Burke.”
“He is the Pontiff,” retorts the wife, “He is guaranteed by the Godhead,
St Robert promises that if he changes doctrine the Lord with strike him dead.”
With some concerns how could the holidays be merry?
Would we lose the Ratzinger reform and be at the mercy of Fr. Larry?
Poor Guido Marini, he is broke without baroque,
Bereft of fiddlebacks and mitres high as telescopes;
Even midnight Mass could not be borne on the silver screen,
And a picnic table now stands in the Chapel Sistine;
Obsessed with the Pontiff, the neo-cons hound,
And through their households the Mercy, not the Pater, resounds.

The Martinian cardinals lamented their success knowing their ideas were sterile,
No one believed them, while the Traddies reproduce by the bushel;
“You’re too organized, too structured, and spiritually cold,
You must toss up the papers and be impoverished and bold.”
Dolan of the Big Apple chuckled elate:
“When before was the Curia accused of working too late?”
The scarlet men rose irate when the Argentine took his leave,
And they all breathed a sigh of relief;
He vested for Mass and turned to the sacristy door,
Then turned again to the Basilica, perhaps to say no more.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he walked out of sight—
“Someday you’ll hear the Spirit, and know I’m right!”


  1. I think Frankie is good for the Church. He has already snapped many of the more reasonable conservatives out of their ultramontine stupor.

    1. LOB, you must be seeing better developments with the Neo-Con crowd than I. My view on the ground is seeing a trend of greater openness toward the NO from the soft-TLM crowd in the last two years which I take as a pivoting capitulation to ensure a safe place to land in case of being FFI-ed. Seems like more ultramontanism to me.

    2. The neocons are beyond hope. A number of NO conservatives and FSSP-style Trads have been rethinking their position in light of things like the synod. I don't think that they'd now go along with something just because someone told them the "Holy Father wishes it" as in the days of Paul VI.
      I think that they'd at least demand proof.

    3. I had a discussion on this topic somewhere in this blog: I must say that I disagree with both. It is not true that they just I don't think that they'd now go along with something just because someone told them the "Holy Father wishes it" as in the days of Paul VI: their Ultramontane forma mentis is too deeply rooted for that; nor they are becoming neocons -maybe some of them are.

      What rather seems to me, at least looking at Spanish-speaking and Italian Tradistanis, is that many of them are becoming "neo-sedevacantists": more and more of them seem likeliy to believe that Bergoglio's election was a fraud, and that Ratzinger is still the true Pope; Antonio Socci's book has done even more damage among those milieus. And while there are also some folks more reasonable, who just don't like Francis and resist him, they are just waiting (even more strongly than before) for a new Pacelli to prostrate before him. So Ultramontanism is still going to do a lot of damage to the Church. And that is the reason I hope R. card. Burke will never become Pope!

      K. e.

  2. "He will crush Peter's priests too"...the next year will tell, but it's probably true.

    1. What of those of St. Francis de Sales? Do you think Peter's are more of a target?

      I can see St. Francis de Sales' ones being an easy target for extra reasons beyond Peter's...

    2. Matthew, I guess with extra reasons you mean Cardinal Burke ...maybe. They are certainly more triumphalistic when it comes to celebrating Mass and the Pope doesn't like that, but I'm not entirely sure about the degree of Tradness of their priests.

    3. The ICRSS is probably not on Rome's radar because their clergy are not belligerent nor do they share a direct background with the FSSPX. I think in Rome's view, they are aesthetes who pick the old rite for its historical and artistic value. The FSSP clergy are formed more along the lines of the FSSPX and tend to keep alive the theological framework of the 1950s which the Curia dislikes. I do *not* see the FSSP being a target of Rome either, though. I picked them because I wanted a quick rhyme. The FSSP is generally on good behavior and they keep the FSSPX at bay, so bishops are content with them. The FFI got in trouble for reasons that I cannot imagine playing out in either the FSSP or the ICRSS, reasons which Rorate Caeli wouldn't admit are bad.

  3. I'm not sure what reasons for the FFI intervention you are getting at, Rad Trad, maybe you could eleborate...

    Of course I don't know what will happen with the FSSP and the following points don't necessarily mean that they will be crushed, but consider this:

    -The results of the visitation will certainly be evaluated according to the standards of this pontificate.

    -From what I know the FSSP wasn't invited by the pope to celebrate their 25th anniversary, although Fr. Berg was in Rome for the celebrations. The letter that they received and ostensibly think is a great encouragement isn't all that, either, and Francis didn't even sign it personally. Just consider who the pope has received in audience in the almost two years of his pontificate.