Thursday, January 25, 2018

Peronism and Corruption

I had a lesson in Peronism from an Argentinian waiter recently, in Argentina he was a PPE graduate.
Peronism, he said, was the most corrupt form of politics, because you could be a Communist, or a Facist, or a Capitalist, the only thing that mattered was support for Peron, post Peron any other head of State. It is a remnant of 1920/30s Facism, where the will of the Fuhrer or Il Duce was all that mattered. Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, Custom or Tradition, Law or Morality or anything else pale into insignificance and have no validity compared to the Will of the Leader.

Therefore the ideal is to be as close as possible to the Leader, failing direct proximity the next best thing is to be close either to those who are close to the Leader or those know, or claim to know, the mind of the Leader. Under such a system moral automony is reduced to slavery because is no mral compass, such abstracts as Right and Wrong are of no importance. All that does matter is Dux Vult. If the leader is somewhat erratic that doesn't really matter, it just means his followers have to be closer and listen even more intently and it could be that what was the Leader's will last year or even this morning, might not be so now, or his will expressed to A might be the complete opposite of what was expressed to B.

To the Peronist the old elite, who based their authority on intellectual expertise or their understanding, or knowledge, even their fidelity to the law must be supplanted, nothing other than the leaders will matters. They represent an alternative authority, and therefore a possible alternative source of power, and certainly a source of evaluation and criticism. Peronism hates intellectuals, they are always totally arbitary and concerned with what is expedient, what adds to or deepens the leaders power.

Nowaday's everyone identifies the rule of Francis as in some sense Peronist, it is popular conclusion, I identified it at the beginning of his reign, if somewhat positively, as appealing to the ordinary man and trying to make the Papacy 'popular', that was a bit naive of me, it is actually Peron's Peronism, essentially about making the leader powerful.

The trouble with Peronism as my waiter friend explained is that far from being a cure for corruption it becomes a source of it  The corruption  in the Vatican is based on nepotism and patronage, it is the old Italian thing as dominant in Rome as it is in Palermo; X has done me a favour, therefore I will do a favour for Y who, will do you a favour, in return for you helping Z, who will then be indedted to me. Peronism thrives on this because relations with the leader, rather than integrity, honour or honesty, are all that matters. It does indeed reduce everyone to slavery because personal integrity is always subject to whatever the leader wants. North Korea is perhaps the Peronist ideal or at least the reductio ad absurdum.

What is hated are upright men of integrity, those who are approved of are the servile and weak and those who are either stupid, indebted in some sense or lack integrity, who are therefore always and corruptable, one could list a huge number of Papal courtiers who fit into this category

In his recent comment in Chile on Bishop Barros and his denouncing Barros' accusers of being callumnious liars, the Pope quite rightly says bring me evidence and I will act; proof is just and innocence should be presumed. The problem is of course that in other situations he has removed bishops on mere rumour or gossip, as in the case of the Bishop of Ciudad del Este.

In the English speaking world the norm is if a priest or bishop is accused of sexual abuse he is suspended until he is exonerated, the burden of prove is on him, not his accuser. In Italy Francis has a reputation of extending "mercy" to the friends of friends of sexual abusers such as Fr Mauro Inzoli, suspended by Benedict, then rehabilitated by Francis, then suspended again when he was convicted and imprisoned. His own record on sexual abusers in Buenos Aires is reportedly not quite a shining example, it compares very poorly to Cardinal Pell's, even in the 1980s. It is a very Peronist way of acting, where due process or good practice is over-ridden according to the leader's will or friendships.

The same could be said of the 'wedding on the plane', due process, ritual, law seemingly ignored for the sake of what many might see as a stunt.

The Papal award to Liliane Ploumen or the praise of Emma Benino can be seen in Peronist terms; what matters is not Catholic belief but what is political expedient. It is good thing in the eyes of the world, or just his friends to praise or honour famous women, after all they might be pro-abortion but they are anti-trafficking and anti-violence against women.

The latest action of asking Chinese 'underground' Catholic Bishops to stepdown in favour of State appointees is indeed a Peronist act. The orthodoxy, the past suffering and loyalty of such bishops and their people counts for little compared with rapprochement with the Chinese Government. The message sent to the world is that in its relationship with the world everything the Catholic Church once believed is up for grabs, almost as if what is most desired is a Papal visit to China and the status in might bring the Holy See and the Pope personally.


Paul Hellyer said...

When Francis goes can we hope that the Church's integrity and prestige will be restored by his successor?

Unknown said...

All that you have said is so very true and so sad,And all that he has done over the last three year has shown to look like he is living in the past and is Governing a South American state, Where It his way or the high way,So very true and yet so very very deplorably,For a Pontiff to take a road that do not bode will for the church in the long term,Where it will end only Our Lord And Saviour?.And now to turn on the underground church in of all places China to tell them after sixty eight year of living under the rule of a government that hates any one how don’t toe the party line, Do that sound like sum one from South American we all now.?.

JARay said...

I can indeed see that the reign of Pope Francis does reek of Peronism. I pray constantly for him to change or, to be gone.

Catholic Mission said...

'Everything the Catholic Church once believed is up for grabs'. We cannot re-interpret magisterial documents to create a rupture with Tradition.Yet this is the norm.

JANUARY 26, 2018
Hilary White and Massimo Faggioli interpret the Catechism, Vatican Council II and Letter of the Holy Office with hypothetical cases not being hypothetical : so there is a rupture with Tradition (with graphics)

Samuel Doucette said...

I pray that this is the last Latin American and Jesuit Pope we see for a very long time.

Sixupman said...

The China Bishops situation divests Bergoglio of the last vestige of integrity? Not that the lack thereof was already evident, but surely China the final straw!

John F. Kennedy said...

"To the Peronist the old elite, who based their authority on intellectual expertise or their understanding, or knowledge, even their fidelity to the law must be supplanted, nothing other than the leaders will matters. They represent an alternative authority, and therefore a possible alternative source of power, and certainly a source of evaluation and criticism."

Sounds like Christ, the teachings of His Church since the 1st century and the Catholics who believe them are a problem.

GOR said...

We have definitely been sold “a pig in a poke” with Pope Francis. What he makes out to be is contradicted by his actions. He says one thing, but does the opposite – the epitome of a hypocrite.

He is the worst example of a Roman Pontiff in my lifetime. He surrounds himself with sycophants and ‘yes men’ - not to mention deviants. He will have to answer for that and those who promoted him will have to answer for it also.

Kathleen1031 said...

That is as plausible a definition of "why" as anything.
He's not Catholic, doesn't ascribe to it. Neither do many of his pals.
But can we find one faithful Cardinal? One who will attach the name to the H word so the sheep and the goats can officially know their places and get into them?
We stand at the ready, waiting for the signal. Once officially warned, we can all heave a sigh of relief, now everybody knows, and it's up to every Catholic what they do with that information.
We know.
But until that Cardinal, that Bishop, calls that press conference and makes it official, we are not yet free to go, and we are somewhat held captive by a man who is some combo platter of Peronist/Communist/Marxist/Freemasonic/Humanist/Globalist/Secularist/Atheist/, or some others "ists" I won't mention here.

Physiocrat said...

The Pope provides the external figure to which Catholics can remain in communion with when the church came under the control of national governments, as happened in England under Henry and then Elizabeth, Sweden under Gustav Vasa and Russia under Peter the Great, and China today. That is why the Chinese Patriotic Church should not receive his support or blessing. It is a sell-out of faithful Catholics.

The nineteenth century Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Solovyov made this point powerfully in his book, "Russia and the Universal Church", written at the end of the nineteenth century. At that time, the Russian church was at a very low ebb; it was a government department and the clergy were civil servants, with the same pay grades as army officers.

But times change. We have gone into decay and turned out that throughout the nineteenth century there had been a spiritual revival going on in Russia, with some notable saints including Seraphim of Sarov, Theophan and John of Kronstadt. The extent of the saintliness was demonstrated when the Bolsheviks gave the clergy the choice of renunciation or death. The Patriarchate was restored almost the instant that Lenin had taken over and hundreds of thousands died martyrs' deaths.

I wonder if Solovyov would have written the same book today?

Michael Dowd said...

The Pope of surprises always seems to surprise us in a bad way.

Francis said...

The only plausible reason -- and it is not a bad reason -- why orthodox cardinals are not publicly calling PF out for being a [H-word] is that they want to attend the next conclave and have a hand in picking the successor. The conclave will be a battle royal and canny orthodox cardinals want to be there. They have researched what the Church has done in the past with the likes of Honorius, and at this point there is probably a consensus around an after-the-event solution rather than a messy confrontation with a furious pontiff who likes upping the ante.

Rushing out a public declaration of [H-word] now could be completely counterproductive and you can bet that the orthodox cardinals have rehearsed the scenarios already and concluded that a waiting game is the least worst option.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Slightly of topic but an absolutely brilliant lecture in English in the USA by Professor Stephane Mercier can be heard at:

Paradoxically without the idiot behaviour of the Belgian Bishops, who sacked him from the Catholic University of Louvain for suggesting to his students that there is a view that abortion is gravely wrong, we would not have had his lecture!

Capt. Morgan said...

While waiting for the biological solution to present the opportunity to elect a new traditional Pontiff might seem a safer,less contentious solution, I fear this is the trump card being used by the Holy Father and his cadre to continue this reign of terror. St. Athanasius did not wait for the Arians to die out.

John F. Kennedy said...

You are guessing or hoping this is true. I don't think that is enough. When I'm there standing before Christ and he asks how I loved and defended him, I wouldn't want to say that I didn't or put it off until the next conclave.

Unknown said...

Seems to be a link between casuistry and Peronism:

poetcomic1 said...

The betrayal of China's Catholic Church is not 'just another example' of Peronism or arrogance. It is the decisive act of treason that places Francis in the 'Judas Circle' - the lowest circle of Dante's inferno. It far surpasses all other scandals and betrayals, even the muckle-mouthed betrayal of Christian sheep to Muslim wolves worldwide. Something has happened and nothing will ever be the same.

Andreas Meszaros said...

This bring to mind something I was reading recently:

Dicam aliquid quod forsitan cum multorum offensa dicturus sum; sed boni mihi non irascentur, quia eos peccati conscientia non remordebit. Interdum hoc et pontificum vitio accidit: qui non meliores, sed argutiores in clerum allegunt, et simpliciores quosque atque innocentes, inhabiles putant. Vel affinibus et cognatis, quasi terrenae militiae officia largiuntur. Sive divitum obediunt jussioni. Quodque his pejus est: illis clericatus donant gradum, quorum sunt obsequiis deleniti. (Hieronymus: Contra Jovinianum).

I will say something which will perhaps offend many, but it will not anger the good, because their conscience will not accuse them of this sin. Often this will arise also from the vice of pontiffs, who don’t choose better candidates for the priesthood, but clever ones, and those who are simple and innocent, they think to be unsuitable. Or they grant various positions, as if some military honors, to those who are close to them. Or they take orders from the wealthy. And what is even worse, they grant clerical rank to those to whom they are obliged to return favors. (Jerome: Against Jovinianus).

Unknown said...

What you point out here Andreas is very true. We have a largely uneducated, unsophisticated late vocation priest who was rejected by Church officials. The Michaelite order finally accepted him and he became a priest. His simple holiness, zeal for the Holy Spirit, eagerness to work and feed us, the sheep of Jesus, and his many hours praying for us is producing fruit. I see fellow parishioners becoming more and more holy.

Physiocrat said...

Will the next Pope turn the supertanker round? In December, these were the odds.

Cardinal Tagle (Phillipines) 4-1
Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Canada) 6-1
Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana) 6-1
Cardinal Sean O’Malley (United States) 15-2
Archbishop Angelo Scola (Italy) 15-2
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn (Austria) 9-1

For traditionalists, the dream scenario is Cardinal Sarah (French Guinea) or Cardinal Malcolm Ranjit (Sri Lanka, both 22-1) or Cardinal Francis Arinze (Nigeria, 25-1).

It is claimed that the decision is the Holy Spirit’s, so any result is possible. However, would a “Benedict XVII” fare any better than Benedict XVI in the Vatican? And his successor in turn? Athanasius Schneider as “Benedict XVIII”? They would, at the very least, have their work cut out.

Michael Dowd said...

Physiocrat. It is questionable that the Holy Spirit had anything to do with election of Pope Francis or that He would be involved in any corrupt conclave that included forced a resignation of the ruling Pope.

Hatchetwoman said...

About three months after Francis took over, I searched for and found a biography on Eva Peron. After many years in HR, and having seen all types of supervisors, I had already pegged Francis as a manipulative micromanager, but his showiness and tactics beyond that sounded familiar to my Hispanic ears. I'd heard of these showy displays and sneaky methods before. As I read about Eva and Juan Peron's rise to power, and their actions once they had it, I kept seeing parallels with Francis's behavior. His "stacking the deck" at the Synod pretty much clinched it for me. Let's just say I wasn't surprised at the title of the book by Marcoantonio Colonna.

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd - if what you say is the case, could there be further conclusions to be drawn regarding the office of the Papacy as such?

Michael Dowd said...

Question: if what you say is the case, could there be further conclusions to be drawn regarding the office of the Papacy as such?

Answer: Obviously, particularly given everything else Pope Francis does to undermine the Catholic faith.

bvs said...

The moment he walked on to that balcony I knew he would betray the office of Peter, the Church and Our Lord.

It was a visceral response which I could not explain and which I did try and supress.

His absurd and now infamous off hand comment'Who am I to judge'confirmed for my heart that indeed this man was crooked.

Until spring oflast year I suffered terribly at the harm he was doing and it really brought out my fears of abandonment by God.

Addressing the reasons for those fears has allowed God to bless me with His forgiving and healing love.

I still suffer, but now it is as we should suffer: with holy mother Church as she endures this wretched passion, brought on,like her Lord's, by the betrayal of her own.

That said I was given a beautiful consoling gift last summer, when one afternoon in prayer I was given to understand that I need not fret for the Church.

God's will runs the universe. Nothing and no-one can stop or prevent it. It may be delayed,if He allows or circumvented for a time, but never thwarted.

It is like a steamroller that cannot be stopped.

And so no matter what vain men may do to steal the Church from the love of Christ; no matter that they attempt to supplant Him with their own egos, they will always fail.

As at the crucifixtion, Jesus will draw victory out of apparent defeat. Hell will not prevail against the gates and the Triumph will always belong to God.

These men mock God. I no longer fear them, I fear for them.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Peron? How about Rosas? Copied from Scott Smith's refutation of Gerhard Höver
“Time is greater than space”: Moral-theological reflections on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia* which does away with the idea of "intrinsic evil":

“Nonetheless, it has been suggested by several academics and papal commentators that if Pope Francis has sympathy for any particular approach to Catholic theology, it is that of ‘People’s Theology’. One of the most extensive articles on this subject is Juan Carlos Scannone’s ‘El papa Francisco y la teologia del pueblo’ published in the journal Razón y Fe. In this paper Scannone claims that not only is Pope Francis a practitioner of ‘People’s Theology’ but also that Francis extracted his favourite four principles – time is greater than space, unity prevails over conflict, reality is more important than ideas, and the whole is greater than the parts – from a letter of the nineteenth-century Argentinian dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793– 1877) sent to another Argentinian caudillo, Facundo Quiroga (1788– 1835), in 1834.”

Rosas is buried in Southampton but during his reign of terror he was responsible for the deaths of thousands including many indigenous people in Argentina. Even now he is honoured and his body was recently repatriated to Argentina.

The article in wikipedia is well worth reading:

But do not get carried away with any parallels between Rosas and PF!

Physiocrat said...

@bvs said...
" The moment he walked on to that balcony I knew he would betray the office of Peter, the Church and Our Lord... It was a visceral response which I could not explain and which I did try and supress."

So many people have the same thing. What was it about?

Michael Dowd said...

"So many people have the same thing. What was it about?"

It was about sensing an evil presence. I had the same feeling, too.

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd

The Good Shepherds are feeding their lambs.

Michael Dowd said...

@Physiocrat. And the Bad Shepherds are feeding on their lambs.

Snowshoes said...

Thank you Father for a courageous analysis of the grave situation in the Church.

I agree with poetcomic1, I think we all sense that the delivery of perhaps the largest "local" church in the world into the hands of the enemies of God is unprecedented in the history of Christ's Church. I suspect that the number of faithful Chinese are under-estimated.

Here's an idea: let's bring them here. To the west: US, GB, Eire, Europe, Down Under, etc. That'll kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone. Perhaps our Chinese- countrymen can take the point on this, but we laymen must line up our bishops to support bringing millions of Chinese Catholics home. Please pray for discernment, Father, this is just an idea. The image of the early Catholics going out to retrieve the unwanted newborn babies left to die of exposure by the pagans comes to mind... And of course of the modern Catholics who rescue babies now. Let's rescue our abandoned Chinese Catholic brethren.

Unknown said...

So the news is out all of town,That the underground church in China his Be sold down the river by the Pontiff, Who does what he think wil be good for him self, And how give a care for the year that the underground church his seen the truth believe sent to prison or murders for the faith, So we all have to move on,Now China and The Vatican can have political nicety, Over The bones of the thousand of Devout men and woman and children How died for the true fath.

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd

There are good shepherds to be found.

Michael Dowd said...

Let reflect:
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."

What must Christ think about today's apostles who instead of doing as He requested are now feeding the sheep to the wolves, acting as treacherous as serpents, and love corruption like vultures.

Michael Dowd said...

Physiocrat said...@Michael Dowd

"There are good shepherds to be found."

Yes, but mostly with the 'silence of lambs.'

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd

Walk away from the bad, seek out the good. Endlessly criticising and complaining is bad for those who do it.

Michael Dowd said...

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd

Walk away from the bad, seek out the good. Endlessly criticising and complaining is bad for those who do it.

Answer: Thanks Physiocrat. You are right. I think some time off from the blogging and flogging would be good for my soul--and others, too.

Francis said...

Fr. Z. referred to this post on his blog and there was a very interesting comment about PF beginning to lose control of the narrative surrounding his pontificate in light of the Chilean abuse scandal.

I always thought that having the secular media on his side and giving him a fair following wind was PF's biggest trump card. Following the Chilean (and now Chinese) stories, and Cardinal O'Malley's unprecedented public criticisms, the Peronist phase may be drawing to a close.

The derisory turnouts at papal appearances make me wonder if we are moving from Peron to Ceausescu. Are the masses -- and not just the traditionalist and blogospheric peripheries -- finally turning against the pontiff?

Physiocrat said...

@Michael Dowd

John 10: 1-15

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...