Let’s be clear about something. There is nothing more vicious than a liberal. For over 30 years I dealt with this first hand and I have the ecclesial scars on my back and in my heart to prove it.
My friend Fr. Ray Blake, PP of Brighton, has a stupendous post today about FEAR. HERE He was asked to sign the Correctio Filialis and he writes openly about his fear of reprisals if he does so.
He is right to be afraid. The question is, how shall we move forward, intelligently, and do the right thing even though we are in peril?
Here is some of Fr. Blake’s piece with my usual additions.
To Sign or Not to Sign
I have been asked to sign the Filial Correction, I signed the letter of the 45 academics and pastors last year, and almost immediately found Cardinal Nichols’ tanks parked on my lawn to inform me of his displeasure, which was quite mild unlike other lay signatories, who were sacked from their jobs in Catholic institutions for their pains, Dr. Josef Seifertis being the most high profile. I admit it, I am afraid to sign and I know other priests who share my fear. Many of those who might have signed have in the last four years have a certain fear about their place in the Church.
Rome and those surrounding the Pontiff have certainly become more vicious in defending him, never ever engaging in intellectual arguments, merely attacking like ravenous wolves or child bullies those who pose questions. The climate is bad throughout the Church, in Rome it is positively toxic. [I can attest that this is true. Rome is like… a WWI field full of trenches with creeping yellow gas.] Under Francis the Vatican has become a place of fear and arbitrary oppression, there was a public glimpse of that in the sacking of Cdl Mueller by the Pope, and earlier in the dismissal of a couple of priests from the CDF and amongst laymen of Libero Milone, former Auditor General and many others. It is not just in theology that 2+2=5, or whatever number the Pope chooses that day, it extends to morality and ordinary human decency, ultimately it is a serious attack on the rationality of the Catholic faith and intellectual rigour. [In the name of being “pastoral” and “compassionate”.]
The abusive attacks on any one who asks legitimate filial questions or even of people like Cardinal Burke and the other “Dubia Cardinas” or even Cdls Sarah or Mueller by the likes Austen Ivereigh, Rosica or Spadaro [Wile E., Beans, etc.] merely echo the statements of the notoriously immoderate Cardinal Madriaga the senior member of the Pope’s Council of Nine or the shocking insults always aimed at faithful Catholics by the Pope himself. Let us not even go to the shenanigans and manipulation surrounding the Synod on the Family
The men who rule the Church are not even in the worldly sense good, as the former Prefect of the CDF has said “power has become more important than truth”. It would be easy to dwell on the gay chem-sex parties hosted in the Vatican City itself and the advancement of those with a gay agenda, which produces apparently no reaction, not even a dismissal. In the matter of financial mismanagement and corruption, there appears to be window dressing masking inaction, John Allen seems to think this is the big issue above others. In fact, maybe because Francis centralises and 2+2 = whatever he decides, many of those in Rome suggest things have never been worse, a ‘kingdom of brigands’ as one former Nuncio described it.
Dioceses are not Rome but they do reflect Rome, Cardinals and bishops intimidate clergy and others who are faithful, if Francis has done anything it is to highlight a deep rift in the Church, marked by the quite extraordinary rise of an Ultramontane/Liberal faction against those who are faithful. Many bishops, who are often chosen for not for fidelity to Christ nor depth of learning nor moral fibre, not even their pastoral abilities but for their admin skills are quite happy to side with that faction which has power at the moment, moving Vicar of Bray-like from convinced Wojtylaians to Ratzingerians to Bergoglianians.
Read the rest over there.
I don’t get all misty-eyed about the nobility and romance of Pickett’s long uphill advance under artillery and rifle fire. That was a knuckle-headed defeat that turned the tide not just of a battle but, arguably, of a war. Heck, you can even win a battle and yet fail to achieve your desired outcome, as Pyrrhus found out when he took self-defeating casualties in his victory against the Romans at Heraclea.
Right now, however, one thing is for sure: people are still talking about the Correctio Filialis. That’s a win for truth and for souls.
People are still talking about the Dubia. That’s a win.
What we have to figure out is what tactics to adopt to achieve our long-term strategic goals.
The Dubia… the Correctio… are these stages in, say, a Catholic Salt March?
The moderation queue is ON.