I’ve been pondering the Met “Gay-La” in light of some experiences here in Rome.
As a preamble, I still stand by everything I have written and said in the past concerning my convictions about Summorum Pontificum. It was a tremendous gift to the whole Church, intended by Benedict XVI as part of what I call his “Marshall Plan” to rebuild devastated Catholic identity in the wake of the 60’s, etc. It was a tremendous gift to the people of God in parishes and dioceses because of the way that contact with the traditional form of the Roman Rite will affect their priests, who will adjust their ars celebrandi and who will begin to understand things about their priesthood that they have need known before. Summorum Pontificum was a necessary corrective, medicine for a deeply wounded and enervated Body of the Church, applied at a late hour.
I stand by all that and I would be happy to come to your parishes to explain it in greater detail.
The Met “Gay-la”.
Let’s go a little deeper into the Twilight Zone.
SCENE: Elegant and yet modest, humble and yet conspicuous sitting room of a palazzo within the walls of the Vatican City State. The tasteful illuminaton brings out the subtle mauve and lavander highlights of the decor.
JESUIT: …. And that’s why I maintain that website. I just can’t… (emotional pause) give it up.
[SILENCE for several beats. The sound of ice dropping from just the right height into a glass of just the right weight is heard.]
SUPER HIGH PRELATE: Thank you. Thank you. That’s what it is truly like to smell like the sheep. You are an example to us all.
JESUIT [perking up and wiping his eyes]: Hey! Did you hear that the Metropolitian Museum and Donnatella – she’s an old friend – want to borrow some of those old vestments in the Basilica sacristy and put on a gala event in New York?
CARDINAL: Did I! They’ve been at me for weeks. Just yesterday – while I was writing my piece for Sunday’s L’Osservatore on the theological nexus of the one liners of Homer Simpson with the unmistakably eschatological anthropology of Jim Morrison – you really must read it – some of these people came to my office and…
SUPER HIGH PRELATE: No… no… no. This won’t do. All that … that… carnival stuff in view? The People might want more! No. It is to remained locked away.
[SILENCE for several beats. The sound of ice in a slightly shaken glass. In a corner, somewhat by himself, a figure in a plain black cassock with no buttons, sits in an armchair, face obscured in shadow. A cigarette glows for an instant. The glow, with what could be interpreted in the shadow as an arm, goes to the armrest.]
UR-JESUIT: No? Not so fast. Do you really think that people might want more of that… that beauty [he manages to make it sound obscene], then by all means give these people everything they want.
[Protests errupt and then calm when the SUPER HIGH raises his hand.]
SUPER HIGH PRELATE: Please, you always bring light to our discussions. What do you think we should do.
[SILENCE for several beats]
UR-JESUIT: Give them everything they want and more. However, you should contact our agents in New York and get them involved as a sine qua non. They can help to plant disinformation stories in Hell’s… in the New York Times about the tittlating secret backstory of the negotiations in which we can create a fall guy for the bad press. Then we must make sure that there are many fallen away Catholics involved and, if they have been especially acid in their use of Catholic imagery, be sure that they are visible. No, have them perform their old hits. The fashions must be sacrilegious and blasphemous…. [PROTESTS ERUPT and a had is raised in the shadow.] Sacrilegious and blasphemous and entirely exaggerated so that everything that they have imitated they turn into a joke. That’s the key. Then…. [the glow of the cigarette rises with the shadow of what must be an arm]… its the the Sistine Chapel boys choir going to be in that area? They must be asked to perform… pardon the word use… to sing, but in the context. Imagine, all those boys, in the very style of costumes being mocked by the fashionistas singing with those young little voices… so fressssh, and yet so close to all that tawdry and hyper-sexualized blasphemy. [The coal-like glow rises and falls again.] Remember, let the women’s fashions be fleshy, but let the men’s fashions make you wonder which sex the model is. That’s important. But the key is to make every who sees anything of this gala forever have a distorted vision of the glories of the Church’s past tradition. Think Fellini, double it, and make it real in front of their eyes. Their very… memory [the speaker almost coughs the word as if it stuck in the gorge] must have these new images superimposed in such a way that when they see an old church, beautiful vestments, that solemm and traditional .. wor… wor… worship that is reviving [the listeners imagine they hear a sound much like the cracking of wood, maybe centered near the armrest]. We must superimpose these new images, lay them over what they might see in churches and hear in choirlofts. It must all be make a thing of mockery.
[SILENCE for several beats]
SUPER HIGH PRELATE: That’s it. That doesn’t work well on a small scale. But on the grand and exaggerated scale it just might work. [Hurriedly] Not that I for a moment doubt.
OMNES: Of course not!
JESUIT: Oh, Super High. This is so… so fabulous. I’ll contact all my friends immediately. It’ll be bigger than … than… the Broadway opening of The Producers!
CARDINAL: And even more gay and corrupting. Let us make sure that at least one Cardinal is there. I could… could… mind you, sacrifice some time and go to New York to over…
SUPER HIGH PRELATE: You [pointing at the JESUIT]. Put your website aside for a little while and get to work on the brethren in New York, that one guy in particular. He has an in now with all the tools whom we need. You. [point at the CARDINAL] Put your L’Osservatore article aside for a bit and begin to meet with these people. However, I stress this. Thread into their hesitations and protestations of respect etc etc etc hints that if they might accidentally go a little too far, we won’t be overly upset. As a matter of fact, were there some donations to good causes, our moods could be considerably improved.
OMNES: We obey!
UR-JESUIT [whisper]: Perinde ac cadaver!
You don’t think this is plausible?
Remember how a small group met in the 1960’s at Hyanissport – key Jesuits and politicians with ultra-liberal moralists such as McCormick and Curran influenced byJesuit John Courtney Murray – to map out a strategy to give cover to catholic politicians so they could take a pro-abortion stand. To scratch the surface HERE. And do read The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture by Philip F. Lawler US HERE
This sort of meeting does take place. Think of the meetings of the Sankt Gallen group. Think of the small meetings of key prelates and theologians during Vatican II. Many important things are decided by very few behind closed doors.
What sparked this? I was sitting in the FSSP church Ss. Trinita dei Pellegrini during the beautiful Solemn Mass for Ascension Thursday. The music was beautiful. The vestments were beautiful. The church was beautiful. The liturgical rites were dignified and reverent and beautiful. And I had an image of a couple people walking into the church as the music was going and the altar was being incensed and, behind their hands tittering something about the pictures they saw in the newspaper from the Gay-la.
That’s when I got mad.
I realized that, down to its roots, the Devil was at work.
Here’s the thing about the Enemy, the Devil: he always tells you upfront what he’s doing. If you slow down and examine events and even personal temptations, the Enemy is hiding in plain sight.
So. Now I’m mad.
However, I think that this is going to backfire on the Enemy and his agents. Why?
A couple anecdotes.
I was at supper with a priest friend the other night. He used an image for the Church’s traditional life which I found compelling. Think of a balloon that someone is trying to force down underwater. The moment they let go, even a little, it blasts back to the surface. It can be held down for a little while, but not forever.
I was in a Roman clerical shop the other day. I’ve been a regular client in some of these places for over 30 years. The fellow in the shop recounted that in the days after it got out into the press that His Holiness pretty much pummeled a young cleric who had a Roman hat, a saturno, they sold in that shop more Roman hats in a couple of days than they ordinarily sell in a whole year. I am reminded of how gun stores in the USA had pictures of Pres. Obama with blue ribbons for “Salesman of the Year”.
I was in chats with various seminarians the younger clergy in the recent past. They have their eyes fixed on many great things for the future. Most of them are open to and want our Roman – their Roman – tradition. Most of them could give a hill of beans about ongoing controversies that are fed in the rock fights of Twitter, etc.
For years I have generally reached for a plain alb and a rather simply surplice when about my duties. One of the things that libs do – especially those who are projecting onto others there own sexual deviancy problems – is denigrate traditional or conservative with labels about lace or fancy vestments, as if the use of some lace on an altar or alb is somehow “queer” (as the accusers usually are). Anyway, it may be that I let that get to me and figured, “Okay, I’ll use mostly simple stuff, leaving the lace and fancy for the bigger feasts.” To heck with that. The deviants and their devilish teammates who developed the anti-Catholic Met Gay-la tried to spike the ball over our net. I say, let’s block that ball and spike it right in their hornéd faces.
To that end, as I went with a friend to a clerical shop so he could pick up some ordination gifts, I spontaneously told the shopguy, I take one of those and one of those.
Afterward, we walked over the the great Gesù, the magnificent church of the Jesuits in the heart of Rome. I went to the image of the Sacred Heart (so many of you know it) in the chapel on the right. Knelt down and prayed for and against the Jesuits… for their conversion and against everything they are doing to hurt our Catholic identity. And then I said aloud, “Okay, my Heart. This is Yours now. I’m handing this to You. You have to do this now. C’mon. Help us. We need you.”
We need to fight back now.
Let’s get into the game and leave nothing on the field. We need super powerful reverent sacred liturgical worship, in continuity with our forebears, according to the vision of Benedict XVI – you KNOW that he was right. We need gracious corporal works of mercy and bold spiritual works. These in tandem cannot be stopped by all the powers of Hell.
Do all you can at your local level.
You can also support this by giving donations to the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison! 501(c)(3) We are trying to raise the tide so that all boats rise.
You can participate in a long-term project here to get birettas for seminarians. HERE
You can send donations to me. I’ve got to step it up a little too.
Encourage your priests! We priests – most of us anyway – are not prec