Saturday, October 18, 2014

Roman Breakfast


I don't know what the conversation around the Apostolic breakfast table in Sta Marta was about this morning, probably relief that the Synod is more or less over and had gone more or less the Pope's way, a memo to someone to get out Edward Pentin's file, relief that Burke is off to the Knights of Malta, maybe a sense that it will be regrettable if he has too much spare time on his hands. There might even be some wondering about the best disguise for Kasper if ever he is to visit Sta Marta again, perhaps a burqa? But perhaps he has become too toxic, ever to be seen in the Pope's company again, Lord Patton and Greg Burke will have to advise.
 
Cardinal Burke will be contemplating what to do with all that free time and wondering who will avoid his gaze or pretend not to know him, and who greets him emphatically once the Pope has left the room. He might also be thinking about setting up 'Leo TV' or writing, or how best to develop those moribund but frightfully well connected Knights of Malta, or just gently thinking that his skill as a lawyer might have some useful focus; maybe defending the FFIs, or deposed Bishops?

Elsewhere in Rome I suppose bishops are either congratulating themselves or licking their wounds, some are presumably just glad it is over, some might even be vowing never to come to another Synod ever again, others are plotting. In fact most are probably looking to the future, to the year between the two Synods but beyond. Some will be reflecting on the Synod, on the divisions between the two factions, on who spoke well, who had courage, who captured the mood, who might be capable of uniting the two factions.

What will be very apparent is that there are definitely two factions, let's not be over dramatic, there is not a schism but there is a very visible split. And splits tend to multiply. The highly significant Kasper interview identifies it as a North South, black white split but there is also, significantly, a demographic split. Burke will be voting in the next Conclave or two after Francis is laid to rest, and possibly on his way to Beatification. There is recognition too that Francis is partisan and really against collegiality, as much as any renaissance pope. I suspect that many Cardinals who voted for him are being forced to have serious second thoughts. His high-handed approach is more reminiscent of Vatican I, than Vatican II.

I think the big hitters will be thinking long term, possibly many African bishops are indeed looking to the next Conclave, to a Pope of non-European origins, thanks to Kasper, they might well be joined by Eastern Europeans, by those living alongside Muslims in the Middle East. Some of the Eastern Rite Catholics might well be thinking that Rome is actually not as effective a centre of unity as Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch or Moscow, especially in times of persecution, especially with a Papacy that has so little sense of 'the Tradition' and that is so Eurocentric and so Liberal. I know of one Eastern Rite priest who has been thinking along these lines ever since the first 'Bona Serra'.


صور وظائف, وظائف أخرىOne of the troubles with Rome is that everyone who works in the Vatican considers themselves a 'courtier', 'leprous' or otherwise. I think it is worth remembering it was a servant, a valet, who was a prime player in bringing down Benedict, just by making public a few secret documents. There is a surprising amount of power held in the Vatican, which like any court or tiny state is a trust based society, by people who overhear, who dispose of paper, who serve lunch, who connect telephones, service computers or even do the dusting. Each one of them by now has a partisan position on the Synod, each one has allegiances to a particular party or person. The tendency is they tend to be of a conservative disposition, the Synod I suspect has given many of them a scent of blood, highlighting that internal Vatican tittle-tattle is actually global. Journalist too have shown their colours. So if I were Pope I would want to ensure I had on my side the cleaning woman, with the silicone polish spray when walking on those shiny marble floors in Sta Marta.

28 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

If Pope Frank appoints a food taster, and starts wearing sneakers (assuming he doesn't already) then that will be your sign if he's running scared.

terry prest said...

Probably the most frequent thought is "Thank goodness for Cardinal George Pell"

Just another mad Catholic said...

The Irony of Pope Francis is that he is everything he claims to detest

Liam Ronan said...

Io voto Blake!

Ronald Moffat said...

Father Blake, great post. I wonder, though, if there might not be Roman Catholics thinking that Constantinople or Antioch are more friendly to Tradition than Rome at the moment. I can certainly see why Eastern Right Catholics might think so, but could that feeling spread to non-Eastern Catholics?

We certainly live in interesting times.

efpastoremeritus2.com said...

Are you suggesting that there might be a putsch? Or a Vatican "solution" like happened with JP1?


Oh happy thought!

Francis said...

This is a huge turning point. Among the global Catholic episcopate, there is a sudden realisation that the Francis-sceptics are the majority, not the minority. And that expressing concern about the style and direction of the current pontificate is no longer taboo.

The "Pell-aviani intervention" was just brilliant!

Joe Potillor said...

Moscow looks better and better by each day...but Peter they are not.

Thank God for Burke...and I think this synod outed Pope Francis as a liberal (to those of us who didn't know already)

Gungarius said...

Where's Wally?

GOR said...

Father, I think there is a novel in you - a la Morris West.

...:)

Adrian said...

There is nothing moribund about the Order of Malta!

On the side of the angels said...

sadly this only means there are going to be all manner of schemes-villainous to ensure the Ordinary Synod is rigged on the debating floor not merely in the procedurality.
Trouble brewing.

Jon said...

Best post yet, Father.

Francis said...

Thank God for Vatican II's endorsement of collegiality!

(I never thought I would ever say that).

NBW said...

May God Bless Cardinal Burke. He was not afraid to speak the truth. Cardinal Kaspar should be tarred, feathered and defrocked. He is an embarrassment to the Catholic Church. He needs prayers for a deep conversion.

Wynn said...

NBW: I thought the usual thing was "tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail." But in the absence of a rail to run him out of town on, I'm sure defrocking would be a generally acceptable substitute. I'd go with that, anyway!

NBW said...

@Wynn: Lol! Yes he should be run out on a rail too!

Sadie Vacantist said...

What surprised me is the naïveté of F1 in all of this. He seems intellectually off the pace in terms of the media's role in the placing of pressure on any given institution. In that regard the Church is far from being unique. The Pope's original point that most marriages today are effectively invalid has been completely lost and the Synod refused to discuss what Fr Blake's has already identified as the key issue of the Holy Eucharist. Bishop Hopes also touched upon this prior to the Synod.

As an operating model, the Vatican and papacy are starting to resemble a central bank whose sole purpose is to bail out the "too big to fail" Vatican II council. All other issues are subordinated to this priority. The Church is paralysed by this obsession and is desparately in need of God's Holy Spirit to command us to get up and walk.

Genty said...

I'd imagine that today's and future breakfasts will be spent calculating how many new bishops will be needed to get the correct result.
Watch out, A&B.

Fred Brown said...

Father, Please, please read the below comment from Francis, given during his closing speech at the Synod, and tell me it is a.) not a direct attack on Cardinal Burke and b.) It does not mean that the Word of God now means anything we want it to mean...

Francis' closing speech of the Synod...
" One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals."

Pope Francis' closing synod speech received with standing ovation

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-closing-synod-speech-received-with-standing-ovation-92979/

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fred,
That is how I read it Cdl RLB seems to be seen by Pope Francis as his nemisis. I don't know if the Cdl thinks the same thing: he does seem to challenge him directly.
They are two different 'models' of the Church; somehow they have to be reconciled, Benedict tried, I am not sure F is interested in that, just in hurling insults at men like Burke, which will lead to further dissension and virtual schism.

kfca said...

The Church is, of Her very nature, totally incapable of contradicting Truth, whether in its proclamation or its practical application.

Hence, as the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, (at least at the time of his last interview), is it not Raymond Card. Burke's duty to seek clarification of this nature from the Sovereign Pontiff, so as to discern the current status of his [Petrine] authority?

(And is this not why Pope Francis has acted as he has, so as to avoid the possibility of such an indictment?)

But these are matters for those who, with legitimate authority, were appointed to some of the great Offices of Our Holy Mother the Church. Let us pray for them, as given the outrageous audacity of this spirit which sought to control the Synod and seeks to destroy the Church, I am concerned that as his plans will have been long in the making, he will not easily be removed as long as these men remain in place.

Liam Ronan said...

As they say in the States:

"It aint over till the fat lady sings!"

And by every reckoning, she's got a full year yet to find her voice.

JARay said...

Clearly there is indeed a split within the Church with more and more seeing it. Fred Brown's quote above convinces me that the Pope was not happy with the overall tenor of the Synod. He wanted to impose liberalism and this has been rejected. The Holy Spirit has a lot of work to do in sorting this out.

E. G. Lewis said...

Fr. Blake: Wonderful as usual, thought I must take exception at one sentence, "Burke will be voting in the next Conclave or two after Francis is laid to rest, and possibly on his way to Beatification."
It's very charitable of you, but I can't imagine Pope Francis EVER being considered for Beatification. Cardinal Burke will not only attend the next Conclave or two, but he very well may be elected Pope. If he had been this last time what a different Church we'd be living in.

Jacobi said...

The liberal/relativist faction will be back next year, as well as in the months between. We can all rest assured of that, and using every trick in the book, of which they have demonstrated they have many.

Catholics, that is orthodox Catholics, this time must be ready and perhaps have a few tricks of our own, since that seems to be the way things are done these days, sadly.

Cardinals Burke, Pell and Napier are the obvious leaders of the orthodox, but there are others whom I trust they will bring in.

We need to hear more from Bishop Schneider and let’s not forget Archbishop Ranjith and many others.

You mention Father, that the Pope is perhaps too Eurocentric. I wonder if perhaps also too BueosAiresbacksuburbscentric?

By the way I agree with your Eastern Rite priest about the “bona serra”

Liam Ronan said...

I remember when I first saw this movie I roared with laughter at the slapstick future-world antics of Woody Allen. Now, however, the slapstick seems tellingly on point in this present age of addiction to technological and theological Babel.

Woody Allen 'Sleeper' (1973):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAKWKfVcd04

Gungarius said...

Fred Brown

You can't just cherrypick one paragraph of the speech and then seemingly imply the standing ovation was an endorsement of liberal nostrums.

That passage was immediately followed with:

"The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

Can't see that being well received in Tablet Towers.