The Vatican City State announced Monday that effective October 1 no one can enter its territory without presenting a coronavirus Green Pass, by order of Pope Francis.
The Green Pass can be obtained by showing proof of vaccination against the coronavirus, demonstrating recovery from the coronavirus, or by showing a negative rapid antigen or PCR test, the Vatican ordinance states.
The decree also declares that the Green Pass mandate extends to the Vatican’s extraterritorial properties stipulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty, which include Vatican-owned churches throughout Italy.
The pope himself instructed the Governorate of Vatican City State to issue the mandate in order “to prevent, control, and combat the public health emergency” in Vatican territory.
When I first began working as an Ethernet cabling installer, I often worried that my skills weren’t “commercial grade.” It would take me a long time to snake cables through walls, install professional looking Ethernet ports, and properly hang, install, and setup a network box. I often thought to myself “I bet the professionals at Cox and Verizon do a way better job than I do.” That desire to be considered a “professional” drove me to keep improving my craft and learning something new every day.
Recently, I went to a potential clients house for a survey, and I opened up his fiber box to inspect the cabling. The Ethernet wire coming from the fiber box was haphazardly wired, and the installer stapled a non-outdoor rated cable to the bottom of the vinyl siding. Worse still, he simply drilled a hole straight through the outside wall to reach the clients living room, instead of running the wire in the crawlspace or in conduit. Sloppy work, from someone who probably considers himself a professional, and certainly from a company that should have higher standards.
Sadly, this poor installation is just a sample of low standards in industry. Journalism has suffered greatly too. My wife informed me of an article from The Catholic Virginian that talked about the recent changes to the Latin Mass. I’ve already written about these changes, and in general, I’m not a fan of what the Pope did. I also don’t read the Catholic Virginian, mainly because I find most Bishops incredibly dull and boring. Sorry for saying that out loud, but lets be really frank here: how often has your Bishop ever visited your church? I typically see his likeness once a year, during the Bishop’s Request for Funding…I mean, Annual Appeal.
Anyway, at my wife’s behest, I dug up the July 22nd article by Cindy Wooden. Now, I’m used to reading poorly written articles, but only because the Babylon Bee is making fun of them in some way. But Cindy? Her article is particularly lame. It might as well have been written by CNN. Let’s dive into this, section by section, because you probably need a good laugh for a Saturday afternoon.
Cindy starts off by quoting Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, who for the sake of fun we’re going to call “Archbishop Montoya” because it rhymes and allows me to make Princess Bride jokes. Cindy quotes Montoya, who says the Latin Mass ban “fearlessly hits the nail on the head: the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) movement has hijacked the initiatives of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to its own end.” Now, that quote begs some questions. What is this TLM movement? Who runs it? And what exactly has it hijacked? Well, Cindy hints at this two paragraphs later, where she writes “When St. John Paul and Pope Benedict expanded the possibility of using the pre-Vatican II Mass, they were hoping to promote unity in the Church and to counter abuses that were widespread in the celebration of the post-Vatican II Mass…”
Now, an intelligent reader would then expect to hear a discussion about why the Latin Mass somehow didn’t promote unity AND didn’t address widespread abuses in the post-Vatican II Mass. Don’t worry about that second part…we’ll never get to it, since that might unwind some of Cindy’s arguments. In the next paragraph, we get the first point: that the Latin Mass allowance was made to try and bring in the currently outcast group of former Catholics called SSPX, or Society of Saint Pius X. The article continues to quote Montoya and suggests that the Latin Mass was allowed specifically to placate members of SSPX.
But is that true? Does Archbishop Montoya keep using words that he doesn’t know the meaning of? Apparently. It’s not hard to find that Marcel Lefebvre (the founder of the SSPX movement) objected to a lot of things about the post-Vatican II church. He even said so in his “Open Letter to Confused Catholics.” This isn’t hard to find. Lefebvre was mad that there was a joint Catholic-Lutheran Commission. He was mad that kids in Catholic schools barely knew their prayers or said grace before meals. He was mad that people didn’t pray in public. And on and on.
In short, Lefebvre had a fever, and the only cure was a lot more cowbell in the form of prayer, fasting, and a return to a lot of things done in the past. I don’t particularly like the guy, but after reading what he wrote, I can at least understand his viewpoint. He makes many valid points while going a bit overboard on others. More importantly, only one of his points was the Latin Mass. So it’s really disingenuous to say that was the whole reason for having the Latin Mass around. Don’t worry though, Cindy demonstrates true journalistic integrity when she lays out the next section, titled “Betrayal of two popes’ intentions.”
Cindy provides us a link to latinmassdir.org, which, like The Catholic Virginian, was something I didn’t know existed. Thankfully for me, I followed Cindy’s link and realized my church’s information was woefully out of date! I quickly created an account and updated it, including the links to the streaming Masses, since I was the guy that set those up in the first place. Certainly can’t have false information floating around on websites, otherwise we’d wind up like some flawed CNN-like publication….anyhow, back to the article.
Cindy quotes Montoya again, stating “…the intentions of the two pontiffs who permitted the celebration of the 1962 Missal to draw traditionalists back into the unity of the Church. What the Holy Father is saying is that the TLM movement is working for objectives that are precisely contrary to what St. John Paul and Benedict XVI hoped for.” Again, this implies the “TLM movement” (whatever that is) is outside the church. So this is talking about SSPX? But by SSPX’s own words, they had a whole list of gripes. Did we solve those? Did we fix Catholic education, or the whole list of other things Lefebvre had a fever over?
Not really. So are we surprised that it didn’t work?
The article ends with this quote from Montoya: “Pope Francis is right to see in the repristination of the pre-conciliar liturgy at best a form of nostalgic dalliance with the old liturgy and at worst a perverse resistance to the renewal inspired by the Holy Spirit and solemnly confirmed in the teaching of an ecumenical council.”
Ouch. I had to lookup “dalliance” because I don’t know what Montoya meant. Dalliance means “a casual or brief romantic or sexual relationship.” Man, good thing I don’t have to explain that word to my kids!
Let me just say it: this article is trash. It’s poorly resourced and poorly written, and I say that because:
It has one source (Archbishop Montoya).
That source, like pretty much all sources, has a bias.
It makes no attempt to bring in any counter arguments to balance the source bias.
It lumps a lot of people into the same group (we have words for that behavior that end in -ist).
It ignores other, similar things the Church allows.
Points 1 through 3 are pretty obvious. A good article challenges our thinking. It brings in contrary facts and demands that we sort these out in our head. I recently read an article about a man who used a sophisticated AI chatbot to “bring alive” his dead girlfriend. The article bounced between the obvious trauma someone feels when losing their loved one to the technical challenges of simulating humans to the ethical questions about whether it was right or not. In the end, the article made me cry a little and think a lot about the ethics and humanity behind it all. It brought in opposing viewpoints. It was smartly written. I’ll bet it’ll sit with me for a while.
Cindy’s article contains none of this. It’s obviously biased. It misses opportunities to ask other people for their thoughts. It certainly doesn’t challenge us to use our brains. And thus, like most of the other publications coming from the Diocese, it’ll be forgotten.
I addressed point 4 in my previous article about the Latin Mass changes. Yes, there are SSPX people out there that aren’t in Communion with the Catholic Church. And there are people in more traditional non-SSPX parishes that think Vatican II was the worst thing ever, and kids in public school have lice, and girls with skirts above their ankles are border-line prostitutes. Yup, those people exist. But there are a large number of people that just don’t want guitars and joking at Mass. They flock to the Latin Mass because its a bit more serious. More focused. More…religious? Many of these people send their kids to public school, and they don’t believe that the Illuminati took over the Vatican in the form of Pope Francis.
Lumping these people in with SSPX, which is exactly what Cindy Wooden does, is unfair, biased, and just poor journalism. It’s the racist equivalent of lumping black Africans in with black Haitians, or Japanese and Chinese people into one group and assuming they have similar backgrounds. It demonstrates low reporting standards. It’s the equivalent of a poor Cox or Verizon installation, and the editor should be ashamed for allowing it in the first place.
On point 5, the article ignores a pretty key point. The Catholic Church is mainly composed of the Latin Rite, but it has many others. There are plenty of approved deviations, including the Armenian Rite, Melkite Greek Catholic Church and others. We let these churches celebrate the same Sacraments slightly differently. Is it that hard to allow some parishes to celebrate in Latin? Wait, doesn’t the Pope celebrate Mass in Latin? Isn’t that, like, the official language of the Vatican?
I’ll end with a comparison. Marcel Lefebvre attempted to ordain priests and eventually a bishop without approval from the Pope. For these actions, on July 2nd 1988, Pope John Paul II excommunicated him, and rightly so. Ever since then, SSPX and the Catholic Church have been working to find a way to reunite. In 2019, Pope Francis reached a deal with the Chinese Communist Party to attempt to protect Catholics in China. In 2021, the CCP blocked the Pope from essentially having any say over the appointment of Catholic Bishops in China.
I ask the reader: what standards were applied?
“…hoping to promote unity in the Church…”
– Archbishop Noia
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
– Inigo Montoya
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.
Senate Democrats are proposing a sweeping rewrite of the military draft laws aimed at requiring women to register for the Selective Service System, according to a draft authored by Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed and obtained by POLITICO.
I’ve said for a while that the draft is coming since . Even more so now that they are chasing away the actual volunteer base (conservatives, Christians and people who think the country is worth fighting for) they’ll need to increase the pool but the real story here is that Democrats are willing to define “woman”.
For those of you who aren’t Catholic let me put his reversal of Benedict in a way that you might get better. Basically before Benedict the rule on the Latin mass was a Bishop “may allow” the mass, like a state that say it “may allow” concealed carry. Benedict changed it to “shall allow” in other words. Francis has changed it back to “may allow”.
The real question to me here is this. Will Bishops that have the Latin Mass in place in some parishes forbid it from continuing? I suspect that Bishops who allow the Latin mass to congregate will find themselves off Francis’ list of potential future Cardinals.
Unexpectedly of course.
The sheer terror that the MSM, Social media and the left have concerning auditing the ballots in swing states is having an effect on public perception of the left that isn’t very good. Furthermore the willingness of school boards, the FBI and the Military to do the same is having a similar affect on the reputations of all these groups in the eyes of the public.
A lot of these people in charge of these agencies are going to learn that like a spouse who has cheated once trust doesn’t return once normalcy does. But I suspect they are counting on it never returning and the full power of the federal government will be used to make sure those who stole the last election will never have to worry about losing power.
China recently released a video threatening Japan if they aid Taiwan during any Chinese attack.
This is about as stupid as it gets.
China should remember that Japan is one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world and the only reason they do not have nukes, or chemical weapons or miniature killer drones is because they choose not to.
Furthermore while post WW2 realities has kept them from re-arming if Japan decides to return to it’s previous traditions to any degree and chooses to rearm, they can likely have nukes or chemical weapons or killer miniature drones to target CCP leaders pretty fast, not in less time then it takes me to type this but not a whole lot longer.
Brits looking to ease their conscience over their involvement in bloody drug wars overseas are now being targeted by cynical dealers selling what they claim is “ethically sourced” cocaine.
Users have revealed a high demand for the so-called “woke coke” at posh dinner parties across the UK.
Drug policy expert Neil Woods told the Daily Mirror: “I have been shown ads for ‘environmentally friendly sniff’ but it’s nothing but a very clever marketing ploy.
Via Instapundit. The degree of stupidity necessary to fall for something like this is so incredible that it boggles the mind, however given the idiocy of the left, particularly the wealthy left advancing luxury ideals I’ve reached the point where nothing they do surprises me anymore.
Just in time for the weekend, the Pope banned the Latin Mass.
Wait, he did what?
The headlines in quite a few places, including Yahoo News and many Italian sources, say the Pope Francis “banned the Latin Mass.” But other sources say he “reimposed previous limits on the Mass.” So which is it? After a bit of digging, I found the actual Vatican source, an Apostolic Letter issued “motu propio” (meaning “on his own accord”) by Pope Francis called TRADITIONIS CUSTODES. So, let’s have a read!
The letter starts with the subject “On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970.” Well, its certainly not hiding what its about. After a bit of babbling about the importance of the Bishops, the letter says that they wanted to “assess the application of the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication…” The Summorum Pontificum was issued in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI and allowed and encouraged use of either the 1962 Missal or the 1970 Missal, while proclaiming that “they are two usages of the one Roman rite.” Essentially, this decree opened the door to the Latin Mass and made it more difficult for the Bishops to deny its use. So, we’re revisiting this decree.
Right after this intro we get into the meat of the letter.
Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.
Ok, nothing much here…except there is. See, the Latin Mass normally uses the liturgical book from John Paul XXIII. While there was a debate as to whether the Latin Mass (typically called “the extraordinary form”) or the Mass said in the vernacular (also called the Norvus Ordo, or “ordinary form”) was better or the “true form,” Pope Benedict XVI essentially said that they were all equal. Not so now. The Norvus Ordo is the true form of the Roman Rite. That’s a pretty big shot across the bow, and we’re only on Article 1!
Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him,  to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese.  Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.
Yup, that’s a reversal. In Summorum Pontificum, it said “In parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition stably exists, the parish priest should willingly accede to their requests to celebrate Holy Mass according to the rite of the 1962 Roman Missal.” Which pretty much said if people want the Latin Mass, they get to have it. Now the Bishop gets veto power.
Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970: § 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs;
So, first, now we’re simply calling the Latin Mass “antecedent to the reform of 1970.” Wow, it’s kind of harsh not even giving it a name.
At first I didn’t care too much about this section. While my family attends the Latin Mass at our local FSSP parish, I do a lot of things that draw nasty comments from traditional parishioners, such as sending my kids to public schools, allowing my girls to wear pants, and not thinking that Vatican II was horrible. I agree that the IMPLEMENTATION of Vatican II went astray in many places, but there is a huge difference between plan and execution. So, if this was used to get people to tell people to shut up and color on Vatican II, well, I’m OK with that.
But then I got to thinking, what could this be used for? And my first thought was forcing people to sign some sort of loyalty oath to the Church. The same Church that bowed to the authority of the Chinese Communist Party and allowed them to pick Bishops for China. Yeah, that Church. And that made me think, WTF? How can the same Church that kissed up to Xi Jinping turn around and beat down on good Catholics? For all their flaws, the folks attending a Latin Mass are likely trying to do the right thing. Why on Earth would we not want to encourage this? And why would anyone take steps to ostracize them?
§ 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);
Read my lips, no new Churches. I mean, we lost 1,000 parishes since 1970 just in America alone, so that shouldn’t be an issue, right? We should have lots of extra real estate anyway.
§ 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted using the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint John XXIII in 1962.  In these celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences; § 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;
I got no issues here. FSSP parishes already do this.
§ 5. to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them; § 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new groups.
Ouch. So now Bishops can now say “We decide to not retain you.” That’s bureaucratic speak for “You’re fired.”
Worse still, not authorizing new groups is a great way to kill something off. There are a bunch of Latin Mass die-hards, and while they aren’t insignificant (estimates around 100,000 US people attend a Latin Mass), they aren’t huge. They are growing, or rather, were growing until this came out. Not being able to start new groups, and being able to kick out ones you don’t like, make future growth a challenge.
Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.
So now the Pope himself must approve new priests celebrating the Latin Mass? Hmmm….want to bet how many requests get denied? Maybe all of them?
Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.
Hmmm…want to bet there are strings attached with approval?
Art. 6. Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life, erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, fall under the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life.
Art. 7. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for matters of their particular competence, exercise the authority of the Holy See with respect to the observance of these provisions.
This is bureaucratic shuffling that puts a thumb on, and limits the influence of, Latin Mass groups like FSSP.
Art. 8. Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.
Seems harsh. Again, its giving Bishops a big stick, a bazooka and other high end weapons against the Latin Mass.
So, the big takeaways are:
The Latin Mass isn’t banned outright.
The Latin Mass is pretty heavily restricted now.
Every possible step was taken to prevent any spread.
This seems to be motivated by a hatred of the traditional-type Catholic that questioned Vatican II.
I would compare this to being an AR-15 in President Biden’s America, where your existing presence is tolerated but every attempt is made to make it more difficult to acquire, manufacture, use and sell AR-15s in the future. Worse, some Biden crony will come to your door and ask you to sign a form saying you’re not violating the law. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt you.
I would also like to again point out that Pope Francis is now treating Latin Mass attendees more harshly than he treated the People’s Republic of China wrecking his Church in mainland China.
Not a good move. I’d expect to see an awful lot of uproar over this. We’re already seeing places, like Arkansas, publish statements to quickly conform with Pope Francis. While the Latin Mass has increased over time, its hardly the norm in America or elsewhere, and a systematic effort to stop its spread could be effective. However, it might actually spread more because of the sudden focus on the Mass. As more people emerge out of COVID-19 isolation and (hopefully) attend Mass regularly in-person, it’ll be interesting to see what parishes they choose to seek out.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.
Joe Biden’s entourage requested permission for the president to attend Mass with Pope Francis during his European visit, which the Vatican “nixed,” according to a Wednesday report from Catholic News Agency (CNA).
The Vatican’s refusal stemmed from “the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16,” the report stated, citing an unnamed Vatican source.
Tuesday’s report corrects a prior CNA story alleging that the president would meet with the pope on June 15, which will apparently not occur.
I’ve noted more than once that Francis while having some good points is a bit of a lemon as a Pope compared to the Saints but can you imagine his thinking that it’s not convenient to meet Joe Biden, the 2nd Catholic US president?
Ed Morrissey is a tad skeptical because of the single source and notes this:
This sounds a bit too good/bad to be true, but it’s certainly possible. Biden and his team would loooooove to get some political cover with a papal audience, as would most US presidents, and might even expect it with his own status as a practicing Catholic.
It’s not clear why the Vatican would refuse to even meet with Biden, however. Popes meet with world leaders all the time, even those whose agendas cut significantly against Catholic teachings. Except on abortion, there isn’t that much space between Biden and Francis, just as there wasn’t between Francis and Barack Obama, who had no trouble getting a papal audience when in office. And let’s not forget that Obama had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Obama’s first year in office, too. That gives some reason for skepticism about the veracity of this report.
It’s pretty clear why the Holy See wouldn’t want to provide Biden with the optic of Pope Francis offering him communion, however. They wouldn’t want to bigfoot the USCCB on this specific issue, assuming the White House requested this at all:
Francis being Francis and the Vatican being the Vatican Biden will eventually get a meeting but the irony here is palitable.
Why you might think the Vatican knows he’s not really in charge or something.
Personally I think he should meet him, after all admonishing sinners is a spiritual work of mercy.
Update: I think it would be much better if Biden asked if he could meet the Pope for Confession, in fact if I was in charge at the Vatican I’d arrange for the Pope to offer confession to any leader pol etc who met with him privately.
For decades thousands upon thousands of resident priests and student priests and curial priests and pilgrim priests said their Masses at the many altars of the Basilica.
That’s gone. Suppressed to force priests to concelebrate, which is absolutely APPALLING.
Think about this for a second, these people are suppressing the Holy sacrifice of the Mass at St. Peter’s in the Vatican and yet they expect the actual faithful to give them money!?
Cripes I know Francis has been very explicit on the existence of the Devil (which along with his stress on mercy are one of this few good points) but I suggest it’s not necessary for him to give him run of St. Peter’s to drive the point home.
Given this order you’d think that they’d go to the enemies of the faith for their cash just like we’ve seen happen in America with the current administration but those folks are too smart for that. Why should they pay for what this pontificate has been giving them for free? Plus you never know when the Holy Spirit might kick into gear and suddenly those millions might end up actually being used to save souls.
That’s one of the things about having a continual line of Popes since the days of St. Peter, you’re bound to get a few Lemons in there and given the run of Saints that have been in the Chair of St. Peter the law of averages was bound to kick in.
Pray for him.
And don’t leave the church over this stuff, that’s the trap for actual believers the truth of Christ and his Church is eternal, this situation isn’t.
Democrats decided to play one last stunt with the Amy Coney Barrett nomination replacing themselves with cardboard cutouts for what became a unanimous vote to send Amy Coney Barrett to the full senate with a positive recommendation.
Under the Committee rules you have to have at least two senators of the minority party to have a quorum allowing a vote but alas to have a quorum call you have to have at least one senator suggesting the absence of a quorum and that would have required at least one of them to abstain from their exercise in performance art.
I swear the left is entirely made up of failed wanna be actors.
Watching how this election process has turned out reminds me of the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark with Trump & his supporters as Noah. For a solid year the left / media have spent their time pointing and laughing at him and now as election day comes closer and closer the rain has started to fall and they are getting more and more nervious.
Election day will be like them watching the ark float away while they seek higher ground.
Speaking of the Bible and scripture The Pope latest actions of this week reminded of this quote:
He said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Andrew Sullivan’s plan of working to redefine sin rather than struggling to overcome it has found a buyer in Rome. No word yet if he is going to apply this same standard to other mortal sins like having a mistress or other things.
As a Catholic I never realized how spoiled I was by a lifetime of Saintly Popes until Francis came along.
The real irony in watching Facebook determine this Monty Python Joke by the Babylon Bee
is an incitement to violence is that the Monty Python Crew was always fighting censorship from their TV show to the Life of Brian and even in their final performance when Eric Idle wrote a special skit to replace a censored scene on TV which made fun of said censorship.
Of course given that Eric Idle and John Cleese are both steadfastly against this president perhaps they don’t see this censorship of a joke hitting Trump opponents problematic.
(I’m not aware of any public position by Michael Palin or Terry Gilliam nor has any mystic produced a comment from beyond the grave from Terry Jones or Graham Chapman so I can’t comment on what they might think).
Update: After I wrote this post Facebook reversed itself claiming it was an automated system what done it:
I guess it all depends on what the word “manual” means.
Speaking of Comic genius Mel Brooks has in his 94th year decided to come out with a video endorsing Joe Biden and hitting Donald Trump before the election hitting him over COVID.
What I find really ironic and in fact comical is the timing Brooks investment of political capital. Not only is it unlikely to change any minds but at this point the battle is already lost. (and if he didn’t know it before the debate he likely knows it now. It’s sort of like jumping on a horse to join the Charge of the Light Brigade or Picket’s charge just at the moment when it’s clear they have failed. You’d think a comic genius would recognize when something is a joke.
Of course in fairness to Mel he’s likely deep in the Hollywood bubble and at his age he likely past the point of having to worry about offending the customers.
Although I’m wondering if this is a crazy as a fox move to make the left decide not to censor his movies after he’s gone to keep the Royalties coming for his son.
I was going to finish with Mel but I just watched the Debate and I can’t believe what I saw. Joe Biden could have just put a “kick me” sign on this rear and be done with it. What kind of idiot denies he ever opposed fracking and suggests that Trump put on his web site if he did?
Ignoring all else, nobody that stupid should be leading the US.
One of the advantages of actually reading scripture, having been brought up by devout Catholics and having a faithful priest is that if a Pope says something like this:
The first is all. In front of an unbeliever the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is speak. I have to live consistent with my faith. And it will be my testimony to awaken the curiosity of the other who says: “But why do you do this?” And yes, I can speak then. But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not done, the church does not grow by proselytism. Pope Benedict had said it, it grows by attraction, by testimony. Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism. And if someone says to me: “But why?” Read, read, read the Gospel, this is my faith. But without pressure.
I can reference the opinion of a higher authority in the Church (again emphasis mine):
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Furthermore I recall a fellow named Paul who said this:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ
Now I don’t pretend to be anywhere near as well trained and educated in theology than the Holy Father nor more familiar with scripture as a whole but as a person with a Computer Science Degree I can certainly read and comprehend a plan set of instructions with the best of them.
So while the Holy Father’s words on living your faith and setting an example are well taken I think I’ll decline to share his advice to judge those who choose to spread the Gospel in the very way that the apostles were instructed by Christ.
Incidentally if you told me as little as ten years ago that I’d hear a Pope say something like this I wouldn’t have believed you, but I’m not worried.
Given the Catholic church survived the Romans, the Huns, the Rest of the Barbarians, the 1st Islamic Invasion, the Black Death, Napoleon, Hitler & the Cold War it’s certainly going to outlast Francis we’ve had 2000 years of Popes and lately we’ve had a good run of saintly ones so I guess we were overdue for a Lemon.
After all Lemon Pope is still the Pope until God decides he isn’t so I will endeavor to give all the respect that the chair of Peter set up by Christ himself deserves trusting that God knows what he’s doing even if I don’t.
And don’t forget pray for the Pope remembering that he is no more and no less deserving of and in need of the mercy of God than anyone else.
Update: Forgot to give a hat tip to Insty here, my bad.
“I’m not familiar with this part of the garden,” Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) tells Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) as they enter an area overrun by brush and deadwood in The Two Popes. Benedict then asks the Argentinian, “Which way?”
That garden, at the Vatican’s Palace of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome, could rightly be called Benedict’s garden, as he was the Pope. Yet Benedict asks the man who ends up as his successor, Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis in 2013, for direction. Oops, I mean directions.
Clearly the scriptwriters and the director of The Two Popes favor the liberal leadership under Francis–the garden scene neatly ties up that sentiment in a bow.
Later, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio decries inequality, repeated images of ugly walls are shown.
The Two Popes is largely fictionalized story centered on the theological divide between the 265th and the 266th pontiffs. After a limited theatrical release, including a showing at the Chicago International Film Festival, which was sold out, preventing Mrs. Marathon Pundit from seeing it, the film debuted Friday on Netflix. The Two Popes is worth seeing, whether you are a Catholic or not, or a believer or not. The Welshmen in the lead roles, Hopkins and Pryce, provide superb performances. Of course Hopkins’ career has been justifiably rewarded, including gaining four Academy Award nominations, and winning the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Amazingly, despite stellar work in such movies as Something Wicked This Way Comes, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Pryce has never been honored with an Academy Award nomination. He deserves it for his performance as Francis, but my guess is that the Academy will overlook Pryce again.
The interplay–and the arguing–is what keeps The Two Popes going.
As for the fiction, there is plenty of it here. There were no long meetings between Benedict and Bergoglio; the catalyst for their movie summit was an offer of resignation from the cardinal, which is harshly rejected as a challenge to Benedict’s authority. The future Pope Francis turned 75 in 2011, it is customary for archbishops to retire at that age. It can be assumed that the pair never discussed the Beatles or their Abbey Road album. And it’s quite likely that Benedict’s favorite television show is not Kommisar Rex, an Austrian detective program where a German shepherd solves crimes. This sidetrack is probably a sly reference to Cardinal Ratzinger’s long term as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican under John Paul II, where he picked up the nickname “God’s Rottweiler.”
There are numerous flashback scenes involving Francis, including his early romance, his call to the priesthood, his muddled legacy from Argentina’s “Dirty War,” his rise, then fall, and his rise again within the Argentine Catholic Church.
In the garden walk scene, Bergoglio condemns Benedict’s handling of the pedophile crisis within the priesthood, which included confession of the guilty–he calls it “magic words.” Benedict’s retort is harsh and telling, “Magic words, is that how you describe the sacrament?”
The Two Popes gives viewers plenty to think about.