GUEST POST: “They get the Ratzinger Marshall Plan better than many Catholics.”

My friend the great Fabricius Romanus, paterfamilias, sent me a reaction to the story I shared here about a priest in Italy who was physically assaulted by someone invoking Satan, because the priest was reintroducing traditional elements of Catholic worship.

Fabrizio, who writes English well, continues without translation, and only minor edits of orthography.

Since he works in his family business of growing mushrooms, Fabrizio knows BS when he sees it:

Yes, it’s scary, but I am not surprised. The hatred is mounting around here [in Italy] and that is one of the ultra-red areas of the country [Tuscany]. And from what I am told about this story I would not be surprised if this was also a “pilot” experiment, and the target is none else than the Pope, via intimidation of the clergy. I am just guessing here but from what they reportedly yelled at the priest, these people hate not only the “symbols” you’d expect them to hate (kneeling at the rail, ad orientem, Latin and so forth) but also what the Church teaches in matters moral.Now, it’s not just TLM priests who agree with the Church’s morals although more often so. Why then this priest? OK, the isolated place was safer for the aggressors, but there are tens of isolated priests in that area.

I think it was the Ratzinger Marshall Plan that they get better than many Catholics. Catholic identity being revived and given a coherent image that they hate: to “sound” Catholic, to “look” Catholic, to “speak” Catholic, to “act” Catholic without compartmentalizing the faith, so you don’t pretend to be St. Francis with the poor and then be Leonardo Boff on ecclesiology, or Andy Warhol on liturgy.

It could be a case of the “looks like a duck” principle used by evil people.

Now I don’t want to read too much into this, so I’ll wait and see. But think of movies: even today, when they have to depict a priest – especially a bad one – don’t they use way more traditional features than one actually sees in reality? They know what says “Catholic” in unmistakable ways. The silver lining is that the locals, even those who never step into a Church, are expressing their outrage at what happened.

Add to that, by the grace of God, the Italian Parliament just killed an “anti-homophobia” bill that would have done little less than to criminalize the thought of thinking of never getting near to a place where they do not glorify sodomy. Forget saying anything about it. Also, the press tried to present the Norwegian terrorist like an emissary of the Pope, and the Vatican just recalled the Nuncio from Ireland where they want to break the Seal of Confession by law.

If you remember our TV and you think it was bad when you were here, you have seen nothing yet especially in terms of hatred of the Church. The same goes for the rest of Europe. I don’t want to sound catastrophic or paranoid. The KGB won’t come tomorrow to get us, but it does sound like something is getting seriously wrong here.

Fabrizio is a Catholic layman, husband, businessman and father of 4 beautiful children.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Andrew says:

    But think of movies: even today, when they have to depict a priest – especially a bad one – don’t they use way more traditional features than one actually sees in reality?

    This past Sunday I happened to watch a PBS “masterpiece” Zen. (I will surely not watch in next week). The entire episode was very dark, and the story was about a high ranking Catholic prelate ordering the murder of some innocent enemy. The prelate was depicted as riding in his luxury car and chatting on his cellphone in full ecclesiastical attire (rochet, zucchetto etc.) and later saying Mass ad orientem in Latin.

  2. albizzi says:

    The situation in Italy looks a bit like in France.
    Until now the right is holding firm regarding same sex marriage and other issues like foetal cells use for various purposes and purported scientific search.
    But the next elections for the presidency will be crucial and the left is wrestling with its usual arrogant demagogy to harvest as much votes as possible on these issues.
    We have to pray much to prevent a disaster.

  3. Brian K says:

    In my wayward youth, I was a bouncer in a large night club. I would have no qualms about “bouncing” someone who tried anything like this at our TLM. Catholics are not called to be pacifists in the face of evil.

  4. Charles E Flynn says:

    Andy Warhol, a Catholic?, by Father Joe, has a few surprises.

    John Updike seemed to believe that Warhol had lost his faith:

    From a review by Bruce Bawer of John Updike’s “More Matter: Essays and Criticism”, in The Hudson Review, Spring 2000.:

    “Surely,” Updike comments about Warhol – a Catholic boy who, he notes, made daily pilgrimages to a Manhattan church – “the profound hollowness we feel behind [Warhol’s] canvases is a Catholic negativity, the abyss of loss faith. Protestantism, when it fades, leaves behind a fuzzy idealism; Catholicism, a crystalline cynicism.” This is as useful an insight into the products of Warhol’s Factory as any I’ve read.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    My friend coming out of Latin Mass was collared by a woman who began to shout that she hated the Latin Mass. Why is it that this beautiful liturgy brings out the worst, as well as the best in people? I believe that the Mass stirs up both grace and the evil in people. We should pray more for the protection of our priests, who are on the front line, while we are in the trenches.

  6. JKnott says:

    Priests should wear or carry the specially blessed Jubilee medal of St. Benedict.

  7. Robert of Rome says:

    Fr. Z, I thank Fabrizio and you for posting this narrative, and I hope that WDTPRS will regularly post similar accounts of intimidation (God forbid they should occur!) directed by “catholics” against the Older Form of the Latin Rite Mass. There is no other “go to” place, that I know of, for information about this kind of abuse. Keep us posted, please! [Deo volente!]

  8. Perhaps it is the province of aging men to reflect back on their earlier education; lately that is what i find myself doing. The year: 1963, a Jesuit University in Cleveland, Ohio. An old Jesuit father teaching a required course on Marriage and the Family. I remember him saying in an off the cuff remark: Gentlemen, when you reach my age you will observe 2 conditions in the world you inherit:
    1. The Good will becomes exceptional in their holiness.
    2. The evil living ones will be demonic in their evil and will pass it off as the “New Church.”

    Please keep the wise and ever vigilant Fr. Henninger,SJ in your prayers. May he rest in peace.

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