Clever Clogs at Rorate

Rorate today has a rather unflattering piece about His Holiness of Our Lord, Pope Francis.  You might be saying, “In more news today, water is still wet!”

I point to today’s offering, however, not for the sake of its negative content about Francis, but because it has some really clever stuff in it, provided by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla (who has the courage to sign what he writes at Rorate).

This bit was particularly amusing.  Context, during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the liberal aging-hippies went to ground.  With the election of Francis, they came out again (ehem… in more than one way).  Thus, Cipolla with my emphases:

And they all reappeared:  a little older, a little grayer, but just as filled with the bell-bottom trouser theology that confused God’s justice with human justice and that turned Jesus into a revolutionary fighter for the poor, the poor defined in their own terms.  They came back like the cast of “Hair” in a bad revival on Broadway and took out their 8 track tapes of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and started mooning over Mary Magdalene singing:    “I don’t know how to love him. What to do, how to move him. I’ve been changed, yes really. “

Dead on target.

Cipolla might have added that, under their bell-bottoms, they wear jackboots and under their Nehru jackets they have brown-shirts and cross-belts.

And there is this bit, too.   NB: There is something wrong with the text (it happens!), but the point is clear enough, with my emphases and comments:

Four Cardinals, now famously, asked the Pope for a clarification of points in chapter 8 that could be taken as denying the Church’s teaching on the Sacraments and the meaning of marriage.  The Pope has been silent doe months. . [sic – “for months” for sure] He refuses to answer and to clarify. And lately, using his sermons in Santa Marta like a Twitter account, he is taking the spotlight away from the marriage question by turning to another of his targets of reform: traditional Catholics. He fulminates in his daily homilies against traditional religious orders and labels them all as rigid and taking refuge in a false security, having all the answers.

First, Francis has refused to respond, and he does fulminate against rigid traditionalists, so Fr. Cipolla is not saying anything lacking in decorum or defective in respect toward the Roman Pontiff.  However, the gem there is the subtle comparison of Pope Francis’ daily fervorini with President Trump’s daily tweets.  Gotta love that.  Neither the fervorini or the presidential tweets are authoritative in any way, and yet they signal, hint, trigger and dog-whistle and give us endless grist for our mills (to mix metaphors brutally). Things are funny because they contain kernels of truth and, regardless of how one might see HH or POTUS, this is funny.

These are strange new times, with strange new methods of communication.  World leaders now bypass the MSM with their own social media strategies.

Finally, please follow me on Twitter!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Mike Hurcum
    Both their works are comparable in the secular viewpoint. One is draining the swamp the other with his beavers out in full view is building small dams all over the place to drown the verdant valleys of faith

  2. Boniface says:

    As one who would be labeled by many, for a number of reasons, a “rigid traditionalist,” I can say that there are many valid aspects to such critiques. Believing deeply in theological orthodoxy, liturgical and devotional traditions, and as a frequenter almost exclusively of the EF, I realize the ways in which the evil one wants to exploit the contemporary climate in the Latin Rite, as he so spectacularly did in the nutty late 60s and 70s era, and the 16th century. But now he seeks to poison the well even of orthodoxy and tradition so as to ensnare us in anger, rash judgment, negativity, pride, and even tbinking “I’ve got it made” based on comparison with others. What a grave trap and delusion! At the rare moments I look at Rorate, I almost never fail to feel a blast of icy cold air rush forth from the screen, instead of warmth and grace. Lent calls us to deep conversion, humility, and profound self-knowledge. The Holy Father has much wisdom to share on these subjects, and we should listen. I am thinking of no individual in particular, but those who presume to mock, judge, and disrespect the Holy Father do so at grave peril. What’s more, most if not nearly all of it is based on selective reading of his statements and even “fake news.” The disrespect of the Pope shown by so many “trads” makes me sick to my stomach at this point, so much so that I’ve had to stop reading several blogs entirely. We will be judged for this! And – as Cardinal Burke said, when we strive to live the faith and evangelize the world, we have the Catechism, the Scriptures, the saints… I am quite certain the HF, who called himself once “a son of the Church; I believe what the catechism says” would never want us to think that his daily mass sermons or other comments were meant to replace those things! Last of all, this is a Pope, remember, who constantly promotes and harps on, in point-blank terms:
    -the reality of the Devil
    -spiritual warfare
    -Marian devotions, and Fatima
    Does that sound like “liberal Catholicism” to anyone?

    “Angry trad” is a real kind of persona. I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of it at times. Many here, no doubt, have too, based on comments I read. For me, the antidote is the writings of saints like St. John Chrysostom. Beautiful things, splendor in worship of God, but infused with great, burning charity and humility, patience with the shortcomings of others, and yes, ourselves, always in need of God’s loving mercy, and always, “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  3. Boniface says:

    In my above posts, I meant at the beginning to say, there are many valid aspects to critiques of “trad rigidity.”

  4. Joseph-Mary says:

    Once upon a time our prelates promised to uphold and defend the faith that was handed down to them from the time of the Apostles…

  5. LOL! Good stuff. For the moment I cannot get past “bell bottom trouser theology” without bursting into laughter. I will come back and reread the rest after I have eaten (something substantial might help me to hold back the laughter). This reminds of something that–I believe, from memory–Bl. Cardinal Newman wrote about humor, that the best humor is always derived from something true. I am already following you on Twitter, Father Z. I had deleted my account for a year, but re-entered the Twitterverse in order to follow your twitter feed.

  6. chantgirl says:

    Boniface- Frankly, if any Catholics, traditionalist or not, are not angry now, I have to think that they are either uninformed or uncatechized. The systematic dismantling of the Church that began in the wake of VII and that has sped up considerably over the last four years, the ravaging of the Bride of Christ, the rejection of Christ’s teachings, the farce of a Mass that happens in many places, the souls lost to the confusion should make us all mad.

    Mad and motivated. True that we should channel that righteous anger into good works, prayers, and sacrifices, but I can’t fathom a catechized and informed Catholic not dealing with anger right now.

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