You know what an atomizer is, right? Think of those bottles of perfume with little squeeze bulbs that send out poofs.
To atomize means to break down into discreet parts, to separate something into tiny bits.
That’s what is happening to the College of Cardinals.
The last few consistories point to the possibility that Francis is trying purposely to atomize the College.
Today the names of the new members of the College were announced. They were a mixture of the unremarkable. The list is a combination of the expected and the seemingly random, as if a dart were thrown at map with the light switched off. [UPDATE: A reader sent a positive remark by email about the Archbp Jean Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg.]
How does atomization enter into this?
One Cardinal told me some time ago that the cardinals don’t know each other anymore.
It was always going to be the case that not every cardinal knew all the others. However, there were always a goodly number who had worked in the Curia, who had studied in Rome and met others. There were many more occasions when the College was brought to Rome and they had a chance to meet each other.
Hence, when a cardinal says that the members don’t know each other, that means that College is being atomized. That means that previous blocks have been broken down.
Also, the fact that men to whom Rome is truly a foreign concept are being made cardinals, who don’t have their own sense of the Roman thing, of Romanità, of how things work and how to network, power blocks will coalesce around well-known, even famous, cardinals, whose names are in the news all the time, movers and shakers: Tagle, Marx, Maradiaga, Baldisieri, etc. The newbies and relative outsiders will gather magnetically to the Big Names in the College. It stands to reason.
The seemingly random – dart in the dark – method is described as an attempt to reflect the missionary dimension of the Church. Okay. The result within the College is that no one knows the others. Atomization.
There are other matters in the list which prompt concern. One popped – or rather poofed – out at me.
It is not at all usual that the Italian see of Bologna would have a cardinal’s hat. Remember that the late Dubia Cardinal Caffarra was in Bologna. As if to snuff out the very memory of the man who sent in the Dubia and who had, previously, founded the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, and who had received the note from Sr. Lucia saying that the Enemies last battleground was the family, a certain Archbp. Matteo Zuppi was appointed to Bologna.
Zuppi wrote the forward to the Italian translation of the infamous homosexualist manifesto by the Jesuit James Martin.
He also called for the building of mosques and Islamic celebrations in schools.
So, what we have now is a rather odd, seemingly random – and yet not – poofing of the College into ever smaller fragments. And just as in the case of an atomizer which is poofed upon a mirror on the wall, the droplets will eventually coalesce into the bigger drops.
As soon as I started to pen something about this, I received an email from a smart priest who made the same observations I intended now to add. For his sake, I won’t name him here, but here’s the gist of our common concern.
My priestly correspondent noted, “the revolution now is secure for at least another century – with worse to follow.”
I am reminded of the definitions of a Pessimist and an Optimist.
The Pessimist is one who says, “Things can’t possibly get any worse!”, while the Optimist brightly responds, “Oh, yes they can!”
Ohhhhh… yes. They can. As the Fat Man put it in The House of God, “They can always hurt you more.” (Law VIII)
In the matter of the College, and therefore as far as any future conclave is concerned, I place the Church where the Church has always really been: in the glorious nail-gouged hands of Christ.
Christ went through His fearful Passion. Therefore, it is necessary that the Church go through a fearful Passion.
Pain wracked every joint and nerve and limb of the Lord. Therefore, it is necessary that the Church too be agonized in every member.
The weight of sins was loaded upon His shoulders in propitiation for the foreseen days in which we are now living.
I say, therefore, since it seems to be God’s will that we will not avoid this chalice which we are to receive in the near future, then…
…BRING IT ON.
We have our spiritual weapons for this spiritual warfare.
This means that more and more people will start to see what is going on and will rise up to our new spiritual challenge. The rest will choke in the dust of their errors and, eventually, will be left behind on the field.
Go to confession and gird up your loins.
This isn’t going to be pretty.
It won’t be pretty, but in the end it will be beautiful.