Omnium Gatherum: Of chilling out, new revelations, and Job’s job

Some quick views of bits and pieces.

First, Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. He offers is a piece that we should all just “chill out” over The Present Crisis. He manages to make a few decent points, but the overall effect is: “Gosh! Can’t we just tone it down and get along?”

No, Mr. Cook. I think we have to have this dreadful food fight, lest what happened or didn’t happen earlier, happens again.

In a more complicated development, Fr Thomas Rosica of Salt & Light (quondam auxiliary of the Holy See’s Sala Stampa during Synods – you might remember how he introduced to the press something that weren’t discussed by the synod fathers) teamed up with retired Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi (who was once the papal spokesman but is no longer). They – mirabile visu – produced some musing based on old notes which concerned how Archbp. Viganò arranged a meeting between Francis and Ki Davis, who had been jailed for exercising her conscience in the matter of signing same-sex marriage documents in her capacity as a government clerk. And here I thought conscience was supposed to be respected. Anyway, as the email relayed to me said: “Vatican spokesmen contradict Viganò’s account of meeting with Pope Francis about Kim Davis” Well… okay. They were spokesmen, but they aren’t now. Gregg Burke is the spokesmen. As far as the notes are concerned, I am reminded of the case of the election recounts when the supporters of disgraced Sen. Franken (D-MN) wonderously found a box of hitherto uncounted ballots in the trunk of a car. Wouldn’t you just know it, but they changed the results of their guys election? Of course this situation isn’t quite like that, obviously. And I’m sure that it took a while for Lombardi and Rosica to coordinate their stories in time for a new news cycle. What they say should be considered with everything else. The fact remains, however, that the “everything else” contains credible claims that must be investigated. That hasn’t yet been brought to completion. There are more shoes to drop.  ChurchMilitant has a take on this.  HERE

At Fishwrap, Madame Wile E. Defarge continues the Left’s attack on Archbp. Viganò character.   It seems to me that his motive for doing so is adequately summed up in what he penned:

It should be obvious to discern why Viganò championed Davis then as now. His 11-page dossier was filled with anti-gay slurs and complaints about a “lavender mafia” that tried to do him in. I suspect the reason Pope Benedict XVI exiled him from Rome and Francis sacked him early on is because they saw what we can now all see: This is an ambitious, gossipy, mean-spirited little man.

Madame Defarge, ladies and gentlemen!

A sane Jesuit, Fr James Schall, SJ, had an interesting observation:

What are we to make of these astonishing events? A friend of mine thinks that we have seen nothing like this since the Reformation, if then. The Renaissance popes were sometimes high livers, but there were few intimations of heresy surrounding them. Catholics have long been warned from Scripture itself of their own sins. They were also told that they could expect the hated by the world. The late Cardinal George of Chicago once famously predicted that his successor would be put in jail and the one following him would be a martyr. Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, sees the devil at work in all of this controversy.

But in Scripture this recurring hatred of the world for the Church was thought to be directed, not at the believers’ own sins, but at their virtues. They were most persecuted when they were most believing, not when they were lax. In both the Old and New Testaments, we do find many warnings of unworthy shepherds, meaning priests, bishops, and popes. From this point of this view, today we are not really witnessing something new or totally unexpected. In the Old Testament, when things went bad for the Hebrews, it was usually seen to be a result of their own sins. The solution was usually imposed by outside powers in the name of Yahweh. In today’s world, the concern is with those Catholics who simply do not follow the basic tenets of their own faith.

I agree that the Devil is at work.  I agree that what is going on is not unexpected.  I agree that outside powers are going to be involved.  What caught my eye was, “They were most persecuted when they were most believing, not when they were lax.”

There is a tension present.  Schall points out rightly that the world and the believer will be at odds.  It must be so.

Right now, in the Roman Breviary, Holy Church has assigned to us at Matins, beginning the 1st Sunday in September, the reading of the Book of Job.  You remember the basic outline of the story, right?

First, we learn of Job’s wealth, well-being and righteousness.  Then Satan engages in a smear campaign against Job to obtain leave from God to persecute him.   Satan plagues Job until he wishes for death.  Eventually Job passes through the afflictions to acknowledge God’s greatness.

During Matins, we pray small portions of Job which are followed by Responses with verses, intended of course to be sung.    Portion of Job.  Response and verse.  Portion of Job. Response and verse.   Today and yesterday the Response was:

R. Quare detraxístis sermónibus veritátis? ad increpándum verba compónitis et subvértere nitímini amícum vestrum:
* Verúmtamen quæ cogitástis, expléte.
V. Quod iustum est, iudicáte; et non inveniétis in lingua mea iniquitátem.
R. Verúmtamen quæ cogitástis, expléte.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Verúmtamen quæ cogitástis, expléte.

R. Why do ye argue against the words of truth? Do ye imagine words to reprove me and strive to confound one that is your friend?
* Nevertheless, finish that ye have in mind.
V. Judge that which is just, and ye shall find no iniquity in my tongue.
R. Nevertheless, finish that ye have in mind.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Nevertheless, finish that ye have in mind.

Poignant, given The Present Crisis.

Some speculate that we are in or concluding a period of trial of the Church foreseen by Leo XIII.   In 1884 Pope Leo XIII fell into a trance at Mass and, it is said, was granted to hear a conversation between God and Satan.  Satan asked for75 to 100 years to try to destroy the Catholic Church.  God granted Satan’s request.  Immediately after this, Leo penned the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.  It is not entirely clear when the period of trial began. If the period was 75 years, and it began right away in 1884, then it ended in 1959, the same year that John XXIII called for Vatican II.  If 100 years, then it would have ended in 1984, a less significant year.  Maybe the period began later.  Hard to say.  Some argue that the period of trial began in 1914, the year that Pius X died (today, as I write, is his feast 3 Sept) and the year WWI broke out.  That would mean that it would have ended, perhaps around the time Benedict XVI suddenly and oddly abdicated and Francis emerged in such a strange way on the balcony of St. Peter’s.

One thing is clear.  There have been huge changes in the Church since 1959 and, again, since 2014.

Job’s job was to endure and learn to love God in his suffering. That’s our job too.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Papal trivia time: today is the 2000th day since the election of the current pope

  2. Lepanto ! says:

    Bill Donahue might consider a closer look in the mirror…

  3. Markus says:

    From the pulpit, no mention of the present crisis. We were told that the only law we should follow, ever, is “Love the Lord and love one another as we love ourselves.” Period. Then a lecture on immigration. To me, the emphasis implied for one to ignore civil law. Interestingly, no mention of “Render unto Caesar…” This message was reinforced in the prayers of the faithful, bulletin, diocesan newspaper, website and bishop’s blog.
    It appears to me that we may have a “shadow church”, similar to the now exposed “shadow government.” The similarities are striking. I am being to accept just what is casting the “shadow.”

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    To his credit our priest mentioned the crisis and said he is disgusted and horrified by what is going on and the actions of some of his fellow clergy. He said our response should be to grow more holy and to remember that God will not be mocked and will answer this.
    Our diocesan paper focuses exclusively on immigration and reminds us that the church stands by to help those here illegally with legal assistance. I am hoping that if I am somewhere the bishop is that I will have what it takes to yell out Vigano. Perhaps divine inspiration will take over.
    We can never go back to even what we had. That is impossible.
    Thank you for the reminder about Pope Leo XIII, Fr. Z., and the timeline. And your presence.

  5. OldProfK says:

    One of the most moving and powerful episodes in Herman Wouk’s magnificent War and Remembrance is Aaron Jastrow’s “Hector and Job” lecture from Theresienstadt. I can’t summarize the passage here in a way that would do it justice, so permit me to urge one to read it, if one hasn’t.

  6. Traductora says:

    I liked Fr. Schall’s observations, but I almost think he didn’t go far enough. (Keep in mind the prophecies of Fatima.)

    People are concerned about what would happen if Francis resigns (dream on!) or is deposed, because they’re afraid a new one just like him would be elected, or they’re hoping that somebody will be elected who will miraculously take the Church back to 1959. But neither is going to happen, because the whole Church, in the sense of its current structure, will be destroyed, whether Francis stays and he and all of his all his works and all his pomps are destroyed by outside forces, or whether he is evicted from office and his desperate minions try to hold together the structure that gave them and their evil so much power… it’s not going to work.

    In the Inquisition, people were “released to the civil arm (civil authorities)” for prosecution and punishment including death for things that exceeded the power of the Church to impose a penalty. Without getting into how this was abused by both civil and Church authorities, the point is that God may Himself hand the Church itself over to the civil authorities. We have been unfaithful, and as in the OT, when the Israelites did not heed the call of the Lord to return to the Law and to be faithful to Him, He handed them over to their enemies. And I honestly think that’s what’s going to happen to the Church and in fact what needs to happen. In the US, the Church will lose its tax exemption and probably its non-profit status, it will be subject to a RICO investigation and the properties will be seized, and many members of the hierarchy – not necessarily just the bad ones – will end up in jail.

    The same will happen throughout Europe, probably at the behest of the EU government. And who knows what else, especially in Muslim dominated countries?

    But Christ’s Church will survive and will emerge entirely transformed and renewed. Of that I am confident. Vatican II was the event that allowed Satan to officially enter the Church (look at Pascendi Gregis, where every Modernist heresy the Pope warned about in it was enshrined by VII), and Francis was the Pope who gave Satan permission to sit on the Throne and actively impose the “New Paradigm.” But God will not be mocked, and this simply cannot last. It will be hard, but we have God’s promise that He is always faithful and when we come back to Him, we will be embraced again.

  7. scotus says:

    Markus says there has been no mention of the present crisis from the pulpit. I’m not sure where he is getting his evidence from but on Sunday 26th August the priest at the Mass I attended most certainly did mention the crisis, if by crisis is meant all the allegations of abuse and cover-up. And it was from the pulpit, not the ambo. He had to ascend quite a few steps to get into the pulpit. The other thing of note was that the priest was a Jesuit. And he wasn’t adopting the Wuerl stance of, “Crisis, what crisis?”

  8. Malta says:

    I saw this posted regarding pope Francis’ call for “silence and prayer” regarding the allegation he himself covered for an abusive cardinal, and it made me laugh! “I called for silence and prayer the last time I was in trouble with my wife. It didn’t work as well as I was hoping.”

  9. Nigelteapot says:


    To “render unto ceasar” does not mean offer up Priests to the world in the name of what pagans called “sacred violence.” Ie. the scapegoating mechanism.

    A pharisee tried to trick Christ by offering Him a roman coin and saying “I want to give this to my God.” The roman coins had on them a message that said “ceasar is the son of god.” Christ threw the coin back and told the pharisee to give the coin to ceasar, as the pharisee worships ceasar and not God.

    It is a passage against government ascendancy, not for it.

  10. arga says:

    A rather sad truth in the Kim Davis issue is that Vigano just seems more credible because the pope and the men around him have squandered their credibility over the last 5 years, with their shenanigans, half-truths, and penchant for double-speak.

  11. Markus says:

    I was referring to the Masses that I attended and my diocese. The numerous statements by the local bishop have been about safeguards in place for children regarding pedophilia and not homosexuality in the clergy.
    There are some really outstanding priests in this diocese. Some, not so much. But we pray for all of them. Including the bishop. The one that invited (according to faithfulsheperds) a liberal religious convention here that also promotes “gay liberation” and other constants is just one public fact, based upon published evidence. I could state more evidence of personally viewed questionable behavior, but it is “above my pay grade.” At least still in the CCC the last time I checked.

  12. majuscule says:

    How about this…

    (I can’t find a link but I saw it on the San Francisco Archdiocese Facebook page. There will be something in the Archdiocese newspaper soon.)

    Archbishop Cordileone was just in Nigeria ordaining priests!

    That is not a simple trip to make.

    God watch over him.

  13. Benedict Joseph says:

    While we are informed there are no provisions for the removal of a pope, is it so that the Code of Canon Law is also deficient in providing relief from an ecclesiastic who publicly perjures himself, testifying before God false accusations against the Holy Father.
    Surely there is provision for the canonical correction of a flagrant ecclesiastic calumniator. If Archbishop Viganò has committed calumny against the Supreme Pastor let the trial begin. Let the evidence be brought forth. Rid us of this liar. Rid us of this criminal who undermines our confidence in Peter. Souls are at stake! Truth and justice are not to be denied but embraced. Why would such an avenue be avoided?
    Obviously Pope Francis in his wisdom sees this perfectly resonable method for resolution as counterproductive. Whatever could his reasoning be?
    Is there a fear that a canonical trial would inadvertently find the “perceived” victim to be the victimizer rather than Archbishop Viganò? Archbishop Viganò has placed himself firmly in the crosshairs of public opinion, ecclesiastical and civil authorities, let alone before Almighty God. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has taken refuge in a questionable silence, simultaneously equating himself with the innocent person of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who remained silent before his mendacious accusers.
    Our Lord exhibited little patience with his closest confreres when they sought to spare Him lighthearted engagement with the little ones. Is one to wonder what our Lord would have done had one His disciples abused a boy and one of his apostles brought the crime to the attention of a Peter who then remained silent and let the offender loose?
    The Holy Father does no one justice, least of all his office, by misapplied silence in the face of crimes and bureaucratic comportment unworthy of the disciples of Jesus Christ. His responsibility at this moment is to recognize its mortal character while establishing a mode of operation that will insure the corrective will be faithfully applied by a successor who is constitutionally up to the concrete transformation required with utter fidelity to Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the perennial Magisterium of the Church.

  14. seeker says:

    Wile E. Defarge…ROFL.

  15. richiedel says:

    Isn’t it ironic when people who malign Vigano with such tripe as his being as a gossipy, mean-sported little man, can’t coordinate release of information without it being so ill timed or obviously plagiarized, when themselves are faced with claims which cripple their narrative, can’t respond without making indications at others being so worked up and driven by the wrong intentions, or with incessant demands for objectivity and substantiation from others?

  16. Hugh says:

    Viganò to Lombardi & Rosica (according to their notes):

    The Pope told me: “You never told me that she had four husbands.”

    A cartoon please !

    Pope pointing angrily at a trembling Viganò with those words in a balloon.

    On the wall behind, 2 pictures.

    One: that photo of the Pope warmly greeting and embracing the male gay couple whom he had known as such for years (and never ever raised any objection to their lifestyle choice, according to one of them). This meeting took place the day before his meeting with Kim Davis.

    The other: a picture of Our Lord at the well, conversing without demur with the Samaritan woman (who had had five husbands) …

  17. Nigelteapot says:


    Is it really a good idea to attempt to remove a Pope because you don’t like him?

    This reminds me of something I saw at Crisis today. Someone said face-to-face Confessions are bad because one day you may want to have your Priest defrocked and he may break the seal of confession to pre-empt your removal of priests you don’t personally like. No, really, it was the top-upvoted comment at the time. This is what is on people’s minds now, and it is SICK marxist fixation on ascendancy and nothing else.

    This neitzchean “will to power” will only end one way.

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