Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gunfight Five

As I have said before, my computer skills are always a bit wanting. This was never more evident than a few days back when I prematurely punched Gunfight Four into cyber space. It's a short piece, obviously, and perhaps a bit choppy, because I had intended to say more and then, as usual, take some time  to edit. But there was a problem either with how Blogger was behaving - it's been odd before - or, more likely, with my understanding of how Blogger was behaving. When did they bring in this "update" thing, and what exactly is it for? In fact I had no idea that I was not in draft, and was actually published, until Marianne was on the machine at the close of the day and told me what had happened. So I got her to let me see how it looked, and decided to let it fly. I wanted to register as soon as possible that I cannot possibly agree with Pope Francis flaunting canon law. Style, as some say Saint Paul has shown, is never more important than substance, especially in such high profile circumstances.
It also turns out that I wanted as much time as possible to think out the next steps after the new pontiff's disturbing decision. Anyone who has taken the time to cruise through these blogs in their entirety should be able to appreciate, should he have any genuine skill in theology whatsoever, that I am not exactly uninformed about the mind of God. The Seventh Mansion has enormous advantages in understanding the true nature of the Mystical Body. Those who participate within the relationship of the Trinity and the Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, at that level automatically carry more spiritual authority in some areas than even a Pope does, as John Paul II was quick to acknowledge, both privately and officially, and their wrath is not a thing to be trifled with. Ordinarily, their prayers are for the support of ecclesiastical labours, but if those labours turn corrupt, they have no choice but to petition God for punishment and correction of the guilty.
Unquestionably, Francis has given comfort to the enemy. Therefore, his punishment is certain. To Heaven, he is a marked man, in spite of his other virtues. God always chastises those He loves, to make them more loveable, but in my experience such correction is usually private, or, if "public", only among spiritual friends. But a decision like the Pope's over the foot washing, to include females, against the plain law of the Church as well as the example of Christ, suggests to that his spiritual life is not so excellent as to automatically merit the private route. This is a Jesuit, it seems to me, who has not proceeded as thoroughly as he might have through the little book the founder of his order took so many years to perfect. He needs to revisit, and soon, the paragraphs on the discernment of spirits.
Mind you, I didn't like what was done to another canon in the days of John Paul II, when they removed the rule that Leo XIII had introduced, insisting on some minimal studies of Thomas Aquinas. To me, the corner stone of the slippery slope had already been laid, once that happened. After all, if Aquinas was no longer mandatory, then no one was reading that bit in the Summa where he condemns "ridiculous" practices in the liturgy. As nothing could be more ridiculous than altar girls, who actually needed a canon? Eventually, after what's been going on, they'll put one in, but perhaps not until the reign of a an African Pope. Had he not been just too old, I would have prayed for Cardinal Arinze to be the next successor of Peter. He was not afraid to use the term "mortal sin", he would have got rid of altar girls, and he knew what a load of the unprintable the current North American craze for standing after communion is.
Yet, once Jorge Bergoglio was brought out on the balcony and identified, I felt that the crowd would not have been ready, yet, for a black Pontiff, and I was quite content, started reading about Argentina, got out a couple of our Spanish texts, and ordered a copy of Facundo, in translation. The last is Agentina's watershed novel, from the nineteenth century. I'm interested in comparing Sarmiento with Zane Grey and Owen Wister, and also comparing gaucho culture to cowboy.
Then came the news on the foot washing, female, and I realized I had some rather unpleasant work ahead of me. When is the Church going to remember how much Christ loves simple obedience?