Friday, February 19, 2016
Alright, so the Pope entered the American political arena and condemned Donald Trump as being un-Christian. I am not sure anyone was under any allusion that Trump was ever a Christian. He is an opportunist, an out and out Capitalist extremist, with certain sexual history. Condemning him however seems to be a condemnation of many frightened, and perhaps uncatechised, Americans who in one way or another agree with him, from a Pope on other moral issues famously said, "who am I to judge", this was a judgement, which the counter-cultural Trump will find a way to use to his advantage.
However I can't but be amused by the pictures of walls, Vatican walls, that have appeared on the net.
A few weeks ago when the Pope was going off somewhere on a plane surrounded by the Vatican thugii and Obama flying off somewhere on Air Force One with a huge retinue, our Queen caught the 9,17 train, with HRH, to go to Sandringham. She doesn't need that ego boosting panoply.
Many people get worried by the Pope on a plane, especially when he is 'tired and emotional'. Why doesn't he just get rid of the plane catch an ordinary scheduled aircraft and especially get rid of the Vatican Press pack too, it is a wall, it is a barrier. He could learn alot from Her Majesty. No-one would begrudge the Successor of the Fisherman an upgrade to business class, even if he took a secretary with him, but having a whole aircraft just seems excessive - and it is not entirely congruent with Laudato Si.
On the whole the past week or so has not been kind to our beloved Holy Father, in many ways it is because of the walls that surround him. The dialogue with Cyril in which the Papal walls kept out Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk have led the Ukranians to see the agreement as an act of betrayal by the Holy See. Peter Saunders and Marie Collins have decried the problems of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, it seems very much as if it is one of Sir Humphrey's Royal Commissions, making a fuss over an issue in order to cover one's back and do nothing, in effect putting a wall around it. Saunders and Collins are angry that Pope seems to have distanced himself from the Commission. Then there was the incident were the Pope was leaning over a boy in a wheel chair, ignoring him and was pulled, lost his balance and almost fell on the boy and lost his temper. It tends to give credence to other instances of anger coming from Sta Marta, people seem afraid of offending him, it is another wall but then rumours multiply behind walls in secret cities. No-one wants to be cast outside the walls into outer darkness like Cardinal Burke, or even the poor Franciscans of the Immaculate. With Pope Francis there are certainly those within the wall, safely protected like Mgr Ricci or the German Bishops - at least those of a liberal outlook.
Increasing on this last visit the Pope seems have stumbled, during that strange 'private' visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe, where the image was turned away from the people and the Pope sat in the corner of her window he again fell into a chair to the gasps of the assembled faithful in the packed Church who had come to watch the brief 'private' visit. There is increased rumours in the rumour mills of the Vatican about his health and increasingly idiosyncratic behaviour.
What I am trying to say is that there are walls as robust as those which have both protected Popes and imprisoned them for ages. I agree with Holy Father, they need to come down both the real walls, which as far as Vatican reports say, there are only two or free refugee families hosted by the Vatican outside its walls and also the psychological and moral walls, many of which have been erected over the past couple of years.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake