FACEBOOK exchange: ‘c’atholic liberals call Benedict XVI “The Rat” and want him to die

I alert you all to something horrible which my friend Damian Thompson discovered.

Everyone should see this Facebook exchange, because it reveals the true attitude of the Left in the catholic Church.  My observations follow, below.

Meanwhile, from Damian’s blog (I moved the image down a bit, but that’s all):

‘Do you think he’ll make it to the Rat’s funeral?’

This is a photograph of the newly elevated Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla, 98-year-old former secretary to Blessed Pope John XXIII, who received his red hat on March 1. What a lovely gesture by Pope Francis.

Rather less lovely is this Facebook message from one Robert Mickens, who shares a name with the Rome correspondent of the Tablet, who asks:

“Do you think he’ll make it to the Rat’s funeral?”

To which someone called Chris Grady replies that he hopes the aged cardinal will be well enough to celebrate Pope John’s canonisation – “plus one other”. The “one other” is Blessed Pope John Paul II. “The Rat’s funeral the next day would be a bonus,” he adds. [!]

I need hardly spell out to whom this refers. What a disgusting exchange between these two men.

If “Robert Mickens” is the Tablet’s Bobbie Mickens, perhaps those of us who love Benedict XVI might ask him to justify his comment.

Damian’s right.  This is disgusting.

So is looking at road-kill when you are driving, but it is nearly unavoidable.  It is unavoidable because this is how the catholic Left thinks and talks when their ties are loosened. We are constrained to see it when zooming along with social media.

I wonder when The Tablet (aka RU-486 aka The Pill) will distance itself from this exchange.

Liberals mean what they say when they are being mean.

When I, on the other hand, kid my friend the “blood crazed ferret” Damian Thompson, with the epithet he earned from liberals and in which he revels, you know that I am kidding because we have a sense of humor.

The Mickens/Grady exchange is more vicious because the catholic Left has no sense of humor.  They pronounce things like this from a sense of moral superiority.

They mean what they say.  Believe them.

They hate Benedict and want him to die.

May I suggest that you stop right now and say two prayers?  

First, pray to the Guardian Angels of the two men in question, to help them allow God to soften their hearts in regard to one who has served the Lord in His Church for so long and with so many cares, Benedict XVI.

Second, say a prayer to St. Joseph to protect and strengthen Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, until the day when our Lord will call him to his reward with the words we all hope to hear, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

UPDATE 25 Mar 2213 GMT:

This was on Twitter.

I would far rather see Mickens become less like The Tablet, and would far rather see The Tablet become less like The Tablet, than to see him out of work.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Stvsmith2009 says:

    You know, Father Z, I am not at all surprised by this. A similar thing happened in Australia during a retreat that was attended by an Aussie friend of mine. It seems that a priest who was leading the “retreat”, prayed for the death of Pope Blessed John Paul II, and that the new Holy Father would grant the ordination of women into the priesthood. My friend confronted the priest about his “prayer”, and then contacted the bishop of her diocese (Adelaide I believe) about the incident. So far as I know, nothing ever came of her complaint.

  2. James C says:

    Oh, Father, this gave me an awful sense of deja-vu. Pope Benedict has been called that before. Back in 2001, the organization Roman Catholic Faithful exposed an online group of active homosexual priests (and one South African bishop) called “St Sebastian’s Angels”. Even when he was Prefect of the CDF, liberals HATED him, and this group (whose website and e-mail exchanges were very pornographic) enjoyed referring to Cardinal Ratzinger as “Der Füher Ratzinger”, “the Nazi”, or, simply, “the Rat”. Along with these names, these priests and bishop expressed the hope that he would drop dead and and entertained thoughts about his sexual proclivities (because, after all, that’s what these pervs thought about all the time). It was disgusting. And, of course, they were all self-righteous about how THEY are fighting prevent “the Rat” and his minions from evilly shutting the windows that were opened at Vatican II.

    It just turns my stomach. I wish this disgusting Fifth Column within the Church would convert or (failing that) just get out.

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks for giving this more attention–it’s horrid. Reminds me of being in a theological bookstore in Georgetown in the 80s (not directly affiliated w. the university), and overhearing (well, they were talking as if I were not there) two men speaking of a thoroughly orthodox group in the Church in somewhat similar, negative terms–though, admittedly, not as nasty as this Facebook exchange.

    Speaking of Benedict XVI, I re-read his homily at the Mass of the Dedication of the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia, in 2010. Wow!

    St. Joseph, pray for our Pope Emeritus!

  4. Supertradmum says:

    One can tell an evil movement when the sense of humor is missing. One reason the liberals are so hateful is that they cannot laugh at their own foibles and take themselves WAY too seriously.

    When I was at Notre Dame, the grad students in my department were called either Cavaliers or Roundheads. All the nasty deconstructionists, atheists, and post-post moderns were the Roundheads. Of course, I was among the Cavaliers.

    The Pope Emeritus will someday be called a Doctor of the Church and remembered when these libs are dead and gone.

  5. Augustine says:

    I find myself surprisingly upset by this.

    I’m a Protestant (Anglican – I’m willing to use the ‘P’ word here for clarity’s sake!) and therefore have one or two serious theological disagreements with Pope Benedict, but that said, I have always, and will always, regard him as a deeply pious Christian who loves the Lord Jesus and who has spent his entire life defending the Catholic and Apostolic Faith. I am deeply saddened that those who ought to be in his own ‘camp’ cannot afford him the same respect and love that those of us on the other side are both obliged and happy to do.

    As I said, I cannot yet agree with all that Rome teaches, but I will count myself lucky if I end up alongside Joseph Ratzinger on Judgement Day; it is so sad that those who profess to be closer co-religionists cannot say the same.

    Please pray for me, Father, and for the Pope Emeritus (as I’m sure you already do).

  6. mcferran says:

    TWO individuals seem to have been involved in this exchange. That doesn’t seem to me to be significant reason to ascribe the words to “liberals” in general.
    When a single priest does something wrong, that isn’t reason for accusing all priests of the crime. When one or two “liberals” do something wrong, that isn’t reason for accusing all “liberals”.

  7. Vecchio di Londra says:

    A lot of this is, I fear, plain racist nastiness. I observed it particularly when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected. But of course there is also the liberals’ frustration at being unable to argue with someone whose intellectual arguments are so strong.
    Eventually they will start to attack Pope Francis in his turn, once they notice that the Church’s position is not shifting on moral and dogmatic principles – as you have often said, Father.

  8. benedetta says:

    Funny, I know truly saintly souls who adored John XXIII, loved and respected Paul VI, embraced JPII, were awed by BXVI, and now cherish Pope Francis. I have been forever mystified by Catholics who wish one or another Pope dead or pretend they do not exist.

  9. Sonshine135 says:

    I am seeing more and more of this as days go by. I have seen men, who I thought were devout and loving “C”atholics turn into brooding and hate filled “c”atholics lately. Most recently, while working with an individual on a dinner, I witnessed this individual speak negatively towards our Bishop. I stopped the meeting and asked calmly, “What is wrong with Bishop _________?” The response was a sheepish, “Oh, nothing!” Very sinister crudely veiled comments are pouring out, and I suspect that it will get even nastier as the church repairs the rupture. The enemy is getting more and more frustrated and he is getting more an more bold in his attacks.

  10. Frank H says:

    Chris Grady is one of the vilest commenters on catholic blogs. He is particularly foul when commenting on PrayTell.

  11. Di says:

    Prayer from the Psalms, that scatters demons:
    Let GOD arise,
    Let His enemies be scattered;
    Let all who hate Him flee before His Holy Face.
    ~Psalm 67

  12. Andrew D says:

    How do we know Pope Benedict was a good holy father? By the fact that liberal, progressives catholics in name only (CINOs) attacked him during his papacy and continue to attack him. There is a horrendous site online called cathnewsusa dot com. I do NOT recommend this site to any faithful Catholic. All that’s posted there are sex abuse stories from trash like the Huffington Puffington Post and the New York Slimes. Even worse though is the message board on that site. There, CINOs spend all day and night posting venomous hatred for Pope Benedict. They call him a Hitler Youth nazi, poke fun of his clothing, harp on and on about their hatred for Latin and how he somehow persecuted the “spirit of Vatican II” by allowing the TLM to be brought back. Needless to say, those CINOs all support Obama and scream RAAACISM if anyone points out Obama’s support for abortion and other intrinsic evils. I have never seen a forum where “catholics” openly support and practically worship a pro-abortion, secularist man like Obama while they trash a holy father emeritus. For awhile, I posted on that site to correct the slander of the anti-Catholic “catholics” who post there. I eventually gave it up because it riled me up a bit too much and besides, those people are a small group of narrow-minded fools who have sold their souls to the secular progressive world and are talking to themselves on that stupid webiste. May God grant many years to our holy father emeritus and when the day comes that he departs this Valley of Tears for Heaven, let’s pray for his intercession to convert those who persecuted him here on Earth.

  13. SPWang says:

    Well said, Augustine.

  14. rainman919 says:

    This really make me sick. I hope Mickens gives an account. I saw him on that sham PBS Frontline episode a month or so ago. He made the ridiculous statement that Benedict should’ve never been a bishop let alone pope. I don’t understand such ignorance!

  15. incredulous says:

    As being fairly new to the politics of Catholics, it’s not surprising to see that leftists in the Church are the same hate-filled people they are in secular politics. I’d wager they both sport “Mean People Suck” bumper stickers on their ’72 Volvos.

    Hey y’all visualize world peace!

  16. Gregg the Obscure says:

    mcferran – there was no mention of “all” liberals. There was mention of liberals because that was the clear motivation for the statements. If the statements were germane to Mickens and Grady being English rather than being liberals, the statements would have been attributed to Englishmen, though again not to all Englishmen. Liberals and conservatives alike are sinners.

  17. anna 6 says:

    Yes Rainman, I saw the Frontline hit job as well. Mickens take on Benedict was positively nauseating. I was yelling at the TV. This exchange reveals Mickens true character.

    The Pope Emeritus was like pearls before swine to too many Catholics. God bless him and keep him with us for many healthy years to come.

  18. David in T.O. says:

    Yes; calling our Papa a “rat” was quite common with the boys of the St. Sebastian’s so-called “angels” too and we know all about them! (google if you must, but I urge caution, I won’t link it).

  19. wmeyer says:

    Not only is this sort of thing all too common, it has been, and for at least 20 years. Peruse the fiction of the late Fr. Greeley, and you will find him saying scurrilous things of Cardinal Ratzinger in his stories.

    All this vitriol only serves to underscore how effective our Pope Emeritus has been, from many years ago, until the present.

  20. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    I have a few points of relevance here:

    1. There is some doubt about whether this Robert Mickens is the same Robert Mickens that is the Tablet’s Rome correspondent. There’s no doubt in my mind – it looks and sounds just like him. See e.g. http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2012/11/22/robert-mickens-on-the-vatican-implosion/

    2. I don’t know about this Grady chap (never heard of him), but Mickens at least is not English.

    3. Father – you missed the quotes around “liberal”.

  21. LarryW2LJ says:

    There are public figures that I disagree with vehemently, and do not like very much. But yet, I always find myself praying for them – not wishing that they would die, or have any kind of harm befall them. That’s a very, very scary thing.

  22. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    According to the Tablet’s Twitter feed, Mickens has been suspended, pending an inquiry into the comments he made on Facebook.
    I am sure the light cast on this event by those in the orthodox Catholic media forced the Tablet’s hand, including Fr. Z’s post.

  23. I don’t know about Mr. Mickens, but this language and attitude is typical of Mr. Grady in his comments (and sometimes others) at a prominent “liberal” — actually, extremely illiberal, progressive blog — that is hosted at a well-known “liberal” Benedictine monastery.

  24. Priam1184 says:

    Yawn. Disgusting but unfortunately all to commonplace; not very shocking. May Papa Benedictus XVI live to the ripe old age of one hundred and nine and confound them all…

    On a side note we need to stop worrying about these people and giving them so much coverage. They are attention wh**es of the first magnitude and talking about them like this will only egg them on. Say an Ave for each of their souls and keep silent, never mention them in public for that will truly drive them mad.

  25. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    ‘Pastor in Valle’ has the tweet from The Tablet to which Massachusetts Catholic is referring. Mickens has been suspended pending an investigation:

  26. benedetta says:

    I would like these Catholic friends at The Tablet and elsewhere to know and to begin to openly show respect for their fellow Catholics who see in all of these Popes equally models of holiness for us to imitate, courageous actions for the whole universal Church, the necessary qualities for us to follow of obedience, trust, and speaking out for the Truth, and without them we all would be lost, not only Catholics but all Christians, all religious people of good will, all seekers after Truth, and unbelievers who nonetheless recognize the need to do good. That so many recognize the goodness of all of these Popes demonstrates that even in times when the Faith is not taught or accepted by the culture or society, when no one is any longer “indoctrinated” or “shamed” or, worse, “coerced” into belief, that quite of one’s own freely formed conscience, with complete freedom of will, with very little to go on as to suggestion of others, and certainly nothing to encourage it from the culture at large, still, people of good will everywhere will recognize the need for a Pope, a Vicar of Christ, the successor to St. Peter, to the universal Church, and that each one brought to us by the Holy Spirit has an important contribution to make to the attempt to live our lives in a communion.

  27. Cantor says:

    Yes, it’s disgusting. But in what way does this differ from the ‘C’atholics’ supposedly humorous reference to “the biological solution”?

    [Why would the sobering reminder that we are all marching toward death be taken as humorous?]

  28. Pingback: Searching for Clarity in Vocational Discernment - BigPulpit.com

  29. Cantor, I have never perceived any humorous intent whatsoever in the use of the term “biological solution” as a brief factually based reference to an inevitable process of generational and demographic change that would otherwise require a more verbose syntax for its description. Such descriptive abbreviations are both common and necessary in attempts to render concrete and specific more abstract and general concepts. Why on earth would anyone react adversely to a biological description of a generational process that is essentially demographic and therefore biologically based?

  30. AdamRules247 says:

    I wouldn’t exactly consider Damian Thompson your ‘friend’, Fr. He’s slagged you off several times on his blog and twitter and on Sunday was arguing that the Church could allow contraception. He’s nothing more than a liberal who likes dressing up and has politically conservative instincts. [Maybe you are trying to pick a fight… among other people. Maybe you are being a tattle-tale. Just because Damian and I have had differences, that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish him well or see him as being on side in many important ways. Grown ups have disagreements and then, if they are grown up, they make amends. I would happily buy him a pint the next time I am in London and catch up, as we have done in the past. If he has supported something which the Church cannot support, and I didn’t see that, I hope sincerely he will come around.]

  31. Nathan says:

    Cantor, to add a bit on to what the gentlemanly Henry Edwards said, I could be wrong, but I don’t recall anyone in Trad-land or elsewhere, even in referring to the “biological solution,” actively wishing death upon another, even in jest.

    In fact, after being associated with those who love the TLM for more than 30 years, and hearing much in the way of polemics from those often labeled “Bitter Trads” (and, yes, there is real bitterness in some quarters, may God forgive us), I think I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone claiming that Cardinal Mahony’s, or Paul VI’s or Archbishop Bugnini’s, or any other perceived antagonist’s funeral “would be a bonus,” or anything of that nature that could be construed as wishing death upon another human being.

    And if we ever did, I pray that we would get to Confession as soon as possible, for I’m having a difficult time not concluding that, even if sent in jest, especially the public nature of a Facebook posting, would make such words serious sins against both the Fifth and Eighth Commandments.

    In Christ,

  32. benedetta says:

    Cantor, I don’t use that term but from what I have read the reference to the “biological solution” means that inasmuch as the Catholic youth seem not to be inspired overall by the teaching that all Popes and anything that occurred prior to VII is evil and ought not be accepted, one need not really waste a lot of time and energy on dissenting teachings, as in time, these too will die out, just as we all are destined to die soon. I have never encountered here or in any area of the blogosphere a similar stated wish that a living Pope would die in the next month or two. It’s one thing to say that biology historically plays a role in the influence of the thought of a particular demographic, it certainly is another thing altogether to be a “Catholic columnist for an international Catholic newspaper” and express a desire to see a recent living person and a Pope die within the next few months. The Tablet as it is quoted extensively by Bishops and is a media institution, and not merely among the blogosphere chattering classes, has a heightened responsibility for sure to refrain from such horribly divisive activity. Even the “evil Trads” whom so many express such loathing for all over, really have not engaged in such coarse and undignified and anti-Catholic rhetoric, even irresponsible Trads who have blogs or comment around places. I don’t know any Catholic of any stripe who teaches his or her children to not respect Popes, let alone state that they desire to see one die, with an actual date attached to that desire.

  33. I think that is enough about “The Biological Solution”. It’s merely a fact. And it is also a fact that some people are closer to the end than the beginning. And it is a fact that, when a generation passes, another generation takes over. Thus closeth the rabbit hole.

  34. AdamRules247 says:

    Fr, would it be possible for you to delete my previous comment (I can’t work out how). Though there is nothing untrue in it, I realise it perhaps lacks charity.

  35. Mike says:

    When I was returning to the Church after many years spent largely in indifferent apostasy, I had my share of encounters with professedly Catholic Benedict-bashers, including at least one I can remember in a Roman collar (a teaching Brother who suggested that the Holy Father might be addled by Alzheimer’s).

    That I let those hateful sentiments rattle me as much as I did at the time is a pretty clear indication of why Satan rejoices in recruiting haters: because the payoff can be many-to-one.

    Effective apologetics and catechesis can in time heal such vulnerabilities. Knowing what I know now about Ratzinger, his predecessors, the Second Vatican Council, and the like, I can seek to continue to grow my faith and my charity rather than my bitterness. But time is a-wastin’: or, in the words of the Apostle Paul, now is the acceptable time.

    Bellow and bawl as I might in frustration at how the Church supposedly let me fall away, I must accept that I was not only a victim of indifference, but a carrier. That’s ample reason for all us “reverts” to plunge into both the learning and the practice of the New Evangelization, the better to carry forth Our Lord’s work in bringing healing to His Mystical Body.

  36. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Sigh. Tonight, we in the UK also have the, ah, joy of a Channel 4 documentary on the “Secrets of the Vatican”, a gripping expose of corruption, sexual hypocrisy, corruption and all manner of other evils during the corrupt (I don’t think I mentioned that, did I?) Benedict papacy. Hopefully someone in the hierarchy will call it for the load of tosh it undoubtedly is.

    Nice picture of Francesco, Card. Capovilla though.

  37. eowyn says:

    There are ugly remarks from both sides of the spectrum, liberal and traditional, e.g., publications and blogs from the angry trad side discussing the demonic possession of the current pope and the last two popes. Sadly, that was one of the “nicer” remarks I have read. There is no rule that lack of charity is a liberal only affliction, we all suffer it at times. So it being Lent, it is a great time to pray with great charity for all those who use the pen to intentionally malign or hurt others, that they may instead use their pens for the conversion of souls for the greater glory of God..AMDG!

  38. dan ruf says:

    I would suggest every Catholic read Jesus of Nazareth. I agree that this man will be declared a doctor of the church. The TRUTH revealed within its’ pages is like a prayer for me. I can see how the ‘left’ and liberationists will continue to attack, very sad, for them.

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