|"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.
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.