Holy See no evil

It’s worse than I thought, although what I thought was bad enough.

“Does this look like I’m smiling, Your Holiness?”

Yesterday I wrote about a senior Vatican diplomat who blames the ongoing war on a global conspiracy led by Nato and the Jews.

Russia isn’t at fault, and in fact the elderly archbishop thought Vatican should join the KGB patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

This reminded me of the ecumenical Council of Florence held in the 15th century to heal the 1054 rift between West and East. The Council failed to reach a workable union, possibly because the contemporaneous Eastern Church predated the KGB.

It thus hadn’t yet developed an ability to seduce, not to say recruit, senior Western clergy. That knack has now been honed so finely that I can see a time when Catholic priests will grow shaggy beards and start reporting every juicy confession to the FSB, as it now is.

Still, the diplomat’s ideas could be dismissed as the senile ramblings of a deluded octogenarian. However, as my friend Peter pointed out yesterday, those delusions reach all the way to the top, where the Vicar of Christ sits on his throne. After a quick search, I found out Peter was right, as he always so infuriatingly is.

Granted, Pope Francis avoided the insane extremes suggested by his former nuncio. He didn’t allude to any global conspiracy against Russia, and neither did he mention Jews as the main culprits.

Instead, he chose the marginally saner narrative favoured by Putin himself. The war, said His Holiness, is a “scandal” caused by “Nato barking at Russia’s door” and forcing Putin “to react badly and unleash the conflict”.

As a writer, I like the attempt at the evocative imagery of a dog barking at outsiders. I’m not sure it quite works though, not the way the Pope intended.

Dogs do their barking to scare potential intruders away. There is no canine threat to legitimate visitors and passers-by. Those ferocious beasts stay inside the fence protecting their masters’ property.

Is this what His Holiness meant? If so, he has a point. Since 1949, Nato has indeed been acting in the capacity of a guard dog keeping Russian robbers, rapists and murderers at bay. So far it has done its job well – Russia hasn’t yet pounced on a single Nato member.

She has, however, started a murderous full-scale war in Europe, burdening Russia’s soul, already slated for perdition, with tens of thousands of corpses and threats to produce millions more. Extending the Pope’s metaphor, he seems to believe that the murderer scaled the fence because the dog barked at him when he had still been outside.

I don’t know how closely His Holiness has ever observed guard dogs, but his understanding of the current situation is woefully wrong. Suddenly, that crazed archbishop begins to sound as if he is enunciating the Vatican’s policy, with a few nice touches of his own.

The only saving grace is that the Pope wasn’t pronouncing ex cathedra on matters of doctrine. His comments on the argy-bargy (almost no pun intended) came in an interview with the popular newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

Hence one can hope he was merely expressing his own opinion, which in this case he is manifestly unqualified to have. This he himself admitted when asked about Nato’s arms supplies to the Ukraine.

“I don’t know how to answer – I’m too far away – the question of whether it is right to supply the Ukrainians,” said His Holiness.

Far away how exactly? Geographically? But that’s like saying that no American would have been justified to pass judgment on Hitler in September 1941. After all, America is even farther away from Poland than Italy is from the Ukraine.

No, the Pope had to mean that he hadn’t studied the issue deeply enough to form a definite idea. If that’s the case, he is in default of his mission.

Abrogating any interest in a major war, especially one involving Christians on both sides, would ill-behove the spiritual leader of world Christianity (even Orthodox bishops accept the Pope as a primus inter pares). So rest assured: that isn’t the case.

The Pope’s doubt about the advisability of supplying the Ukraine is his polite way of saying that no such supplies should be sent. If an unsupplied Ukraine is raped by Putin the way Ukrainian women are being raped by his bandits, then Nato has only itself to blame.

“The clear thing,” added the Pope, “is that weapons are being tested there.” The implication is that Nato deliberately barked at Putin to create a massive testing ground for its weaponry. This isn’t a million miles away from the archbishop’s rant about Nato’s perfidy.

I can only hope that the pontiff’s comments on this subject come from ignorance, not an inability to distinguish between good and evil. Ignorance is bad enough, but moral torpor is far worse. So let’s just say His Holiness is taking bad advice and leave it at that.

14 thoughts on “Holy See no evil”

    1. Been there, done that. I’m not a great returner: when I’m gone, I’m gone. And it’s not as if I’m greatly impressed with the C of E prelates either, although one of my best friends is an Anglican priest. Catholicism has the advantage of being apostolic, universal, unattached to any particular state – and pre-Reformation. Shame about some of its top figures though.

      1. The Catholic Church has Truth, but is led by (fallen) men. I think Jesus chose Saint Peter as his “rock” for both his faith and his weaknesses.

  1. I cannot wait to read statement of this pope about the africans imported by Belarus to invade Europe through Poland and Lithuanian borders.

    He could check two items, support of Russia attacks on Europe (in this case with weaponized migrants) and support of non-european colonisation of Europe.

  2. “No, the Pope had to mean…” Oh! Good luck with that! I don’t think anyone on Earth knows what Pope Francis means during any interview. He certainly is fond of talking. He grants interviews to just about every spurious news source, such as homosexual, communist, philosopher Gianni Vattimo. He has scolded faithful Catholics for their attraction to tradition (calling them rigid, defensive, insecure), for their “punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy”, for their propensity to breed “like rabbits”. He has written about “accompanying” people, about “meeting people where they are”, but has very little to say on Confession and a firm purpose of amendment. He has stated about those who die in a state of mortal sin, “They are not punished… A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.” Of course, few priests speak about the last four things: death, judgement, Heaven, and Hell. (What? Judgement? Absolutely!) I could go on and on.

    Actions speak louder than words, so what action has he taken? He gave an award to abortionist Lilianne Ploumen. He signed a pledge of fraternity with the grand imam of al-Azhar. He made a deal with China to allow the Communist Party to appoint bishops. (What has he to say about the recent arrest of Joseph Cardinal Zen in Hong Kong? Not much.) He said Mass at the Chair of Saint Peter after placing on the altar a bowl used in the idolatrous worship of Pachamama. He even gave up the title “Vicar of Christ”.

    What does he mean? I have a few ideas. But, as the pope himself would say, “Who am I to judge?”

  3. I simply do not understand how any rational person can swallow religion of any stripe. Human-kind is bad enough without bishps and popes etc!

    1. Religion attempts to answer the three BIG questions; 1). how did it all get here (i.e. the complexity, yet order even to fine details of the universe and every microbe in it). 2). How should we live? (i.e. to form and have an equitable or cohesive society, cannibalisms? Marxists? anancy? or Magna Carta? 3). What happens after life? (i.e. was it all for nothing, therefore, live for wealth and self, or is there an eternal righteous God who allows foolish lost individual the freedom to choose yet are ultimately held accountable for their choices, or is just a Zen dream and after many rebirths we may end up in Nirvana.

      1. Just so! The BIG questions are not to be answered reliably by mediaeval thinkers and their later commentators. Some of them might be provisionally answered by science, but even that is improbable. Religion provides fake answers to still thought, no more.

        1. You might need to count your blessings for what you see as “fake answers… and no more”. There is just so much more your eyes take for granted. It has long been recognised there is correlation between corruption and poverty. In fact Transparency International (TA) publishes a Global Corruption Perceptions Index ranking the least to the most corrupt countries. The stats show that the least corrupt countries are consistently the nations whose culture were decisively shaped by the Bible. People who understand that nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight has the effect of forming a more honest, sharing and cohesive society. If you lived in one of the low-ranking corrupt countries you’d also be attempting to get on a leaky boat.

  4. The Pope is coming to Canada soon to beg the Lord’s forgiveness for the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, whose crime was to “Christianize and assimilate Native children into mainstream society, which previous Canadian governments considered superior.”
    This is a vile product of the times Pope who considers Christianity no better than Metis and Iroquois culture. He has soiled his Office completely.

  5. Was there not something Putinesque about the “retirement” of the conservative Pope Benedict XVI and his replacement by a witless socialist twit? Isn’t Francis I an Antipope?

  6. This comes as no surprise: Vatican has always helped Nazi criminals, many of the latter finding a shelter in the Catholic Argentina and other Latin-American nations.

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