Internet and the destruction of the principle of authority, a final blow dealt by legions of imbeciles in power


The destruction of the principle of authority is that element that fundamentally supports the triumph of the fundamentalist dictatorship of non-knowledge, of that crass ignorance, rude and violent which is something completely different from the "not knowing" of the cultured man. And this crass ignorance, rude and violent, it has long since carried out its great and devastating coup through the internet and i social media.

— Church and current events —


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I often remember than when we talk, or when explaining a specific thing, when holding a lesson or conference, when preaching or doing catechesis, it is always of fundamental importance to start by underlining the true meaning of the words, indicating and, if necessary, carefully explaining the true etymological meaning of the terms used.

The wrong accent can start a war, I once said to some people who at the time didn't understand why, while I was talking about topics related to dogmatic theology, incidentally I occasionally explained the meaning of words and terminologies. In fact, there are terms that in philosophy or theology have a totally different meaning from that attributed to them by the current language in which they often, certain words, they have been emptied of their original etymology to be filled with something else and take on an opposite meaning. I explained that not just one word, but even a simple accent can change the meaning of a speech. For instance: the word "peach" can indicate both a fruit and a fisherman with a rod in his hand patiently waiting for the fish to bite the hook, depends on oral pronunciation, or where the accent falls from in a written version. Around you, I love her, it may be the small hook into which the fisherman attaches the fish bait, but it can also be the statement with which a lover declares that he loves another person. The word “anchor” can mean either the weight thrown into the seabed to block the boat and prevent it from continuing to float on the sea currents, but it can also mean repeating a given thing. Even in this case it depends on oral pronunciation, or where the accent falls from in a written version.

An audience of listeners who are not particularly cultured, in which however, precisely the most uncultured, they considered themselves true masters of knowledge, little by little they understood my lexical explanations when I illustrated that the word "punishment", in theological and doctrinal language, has a different meaning from that given to it in the current lexicon. First of all, the etymology of punishment derives from Latin chaste (pure) e act (make/give/give back). The true etymological meaning of this word is therefore "to purify", or “to make pure” or “to restore the lost purity”. A completely different meaning from that of current spoken language. Soon said: if a theologian will speak to an audience about God's punishments, listeners may understand the exact opposite of what he is trying to convey, if anything, giving rise to misunderstandings that do not depend on the way in which the scholar expressed himself or even on the listeners, but consequent to the fact that both give this term a dissimilar meaning, thus ending up speaking two different languages ​​using the same words. In theological language, punishment is a purifying action of the grace and mercy of God who "punishes and shows mercy" (Tb 13,2) because «The Lord is merciful and merciful, slow to anger and rich in goodness" (Shall 103). Therefore, divine punishment, in the economy of salvation it is a true act of love by the Creator towards his creatures. And here I point out in passing that the term "economy" just used has, similarly to that of "punishment", a meaning that is also completely different from that of the current spoken lexicon. This Greek-derived lemma ― oἰκονομικά ― appears in a work attributed to Aristotle who uses it to indicate the management of oἰκος, that is, of the family and what belongs to it. For the Greeks the economy was not a factor, as we understand it today, an autonomous reality that operates equally autonomously. And precisely because of this word I used with reference to the "economy of salvation", someone present - obviously the most cultured and refined of all the listeners - started laughing and then showed evidence of crass ignorance by asking me publicly:

"But she, talking about the economy of salvation, he always stuck to the sale of indulgences?».

A very widespread characteristic in today's society non è il sapiente e saggio "I know that I don't know" (xéro óti den xéro, I know I do not know), according to the wise maxim of Socrates reported later by Plato in the Apology of Socrates. Today, the sovereign principle in our increasingly uncultured and arrogant masses is the exact opposite: know what you don't know, then discuss, contest and often even attack through various channels social media those who know and who for this very reason try in vain to provide clarifications, according to the psychopathological style of who, despite not knowing, However, he presumes to know more than ever.

In people of true culture knowledge is founded and moves on the basis of Socratic wisdom "I know that I don't know". Because no matter how much one may have dedicated their entire existence to study and research, all of us, even the most cultured, we remain basically ignorant in the etymological sense of the term ignorant of his predecessors hence the term ignorance, its turn derived from the Greek verb γνωρίζειν (gnorízein), which literally means "lack of knowledge". Or any of us, including long-time scholars, he would perhaps be able to say: “I know everything”? When Rita Levi Montalcini became Senator for life, distinguished neurobiologist scientist, shortly after the Nobel Prize was awarded in 1986, for having discovered the Nerve Growth Factor (the growth element of the nerve fiber), during a public event she was told that she was among the few people in the world who knew the human brain. In response she replied:

«Of the human brain, in my life, I learned something, but just something, because many of its resources remain unknown and today, we scientists, we can say we know about the 5% of its potential".

Let's now try to move from neuroscience to theology and specifically to patristics or patrology. There is a patrologist in the world capable of claiming to know in depth the works of all the great Fathers and doctors of the Church, from major to minor ones, or to have even simply read them all? I know patrologists in their eighties who have dedicated their entire lives to studying the Cappadocian Fathers, also known as the Wise Men of Cappadocia, which are three: the Saints Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus also known as Nazianzen. Of all the others they have a summary knowledge, many others still have never examined and studied them, not even read. The true man of culture is aware, precisely because it is so, of one's ignorance, precisely because true knowledge necessarily comes from the awareness of not knowing: «… of the human brain, in my life, I learned something, but only something".

The destruction of the principle of authority it is that element that fundamentally supports the triumph of the fundamentalist dictatorship of non-knowledge, of that crass ignorance, rude and violent which is something completely different from the "not knowing" of the cultured man. And this crass ignorance, rude and violent, it has long since carried out its great and devastating coup through the internet and i social media. The cancellation of cultural roles, social, political and religious develops at its worst through these channels which constitute the destructive element of every principle of authority. This is a problem that requires us to take a historical-social leap backwards to be understood, to be precise, the inglorious seventies of the twentieth century, with all its devastating and emotional "do not forbid", «imagination in power» and so on. In that season a real process of subversion took place, reversal and finally a real elimination of roles. Today the teacher is no longer someone sitting on a desk in a higher position, which not by chance had a pedagogical and symbolic platform that raised it in height above the desks where the students sat, from which he dispensed his teaching to subjects who had to remain silent, listen and learn, responding only when questioned, or, when granted, ask questions about what the teacher had explained but which had not been well understood. Many lower or high school teachers, or university professors, at the end of their lessons they used to ask: «I was clear... I explained myself well? You have some clarifying questions to ask?». I honestly have no memory of ever hearing any of my schoolmates or university colleagues speak up: «I don't agree with what he said because in my opinion… I think that…». This could have meant finding yourself later in the exam in front of an examiner who could have made you repent of your past sins in an impeccable manner and in full compliance with the law and academic rules., present and even future. And I will tell: it would have done well too, because arrogance must be punished, precisely for the sake of the arrogant, which needs to be corrected, not indulged, less than ever tolerated. Arrogance is in itself intolerable.

The post-1968 teacher he has become the one with whom we dialogue and compare ourselves, no longer in a vertical role position, that is, from above (teacher) downward (students), but in a horizontal relationship. If then, in this kind of sick relationship relationship - which could not and never should be, first of all for the good of those who have to learn - one starts challenging the teacher with "I don't agree", because I think that... because in my opinion...", here is that subject, today, he will even be judged as a particularly brilliant student. Then, if he insults the teacher, at that point he will become the favorite of all his companions and his comrades they will send him little hearts for WhatsApp, or directly their half-naked images on Instagram. Nobody thinks that today's parent, learning of his son's feat, you feel a sense of human shame for having a child who is rude to that level, because the answer will be more or less this: «He insulted him, you can see he deserved it". Or maybe it can, today's parent, feeling ashamed and then admitting that he was a total educational failure? Of course not, therefore it is the insulted teacher who is wrong and the child who is right.

The exams I took at the time first in high school and then at university ― me like everyone else ― were not based on a dialogue between peers, but on a completely unequal relationship where a person is vested with authority, the professor, he asked me questions to which I, student, in a subordinate position I had to answer precisely, especially in the strict merit of what had been requested of me, showing that I had acquired and developed the knowledge that had been transmitted to me. Having done this the authority, that is, the high school teacher or the ordinary university professor, he expressed a judgment on me in the form of a vote, with a rating given in numbers between 0 e 10 or between 18 e 30. I got to have teachers who were talented, knowledgeable people, as well as educational qualities, as I have had others that were mediocre, equipped with little science and, if anything, also lacking in teaching skills. However, it was not our job as students to evaluate teachers, that could be judged, for their merits or demerits, only by their superiors, or at least by their peers, certainly not from the students who were acquiring knowledge and who had not yet acquired and matured. This made them lack the necessary judgment skills - including contestation - to be able to express positive or negative judgments on the qualities and abilities of the teachers..

Cases have been multiplying for years in which the disastrous parents of certain students, worthy children or grandchildren of the less than glorious Sixty-eight and the Seventies that followed, they do not even limit themselves to appealing to the Regional Administrative Courts for a failure they consider unjust, because they clog them up with appeals even for a vote since, in their opinion, it was not adequate. If the parent, more or less the son or grandson of 1968 or the 1970s, he is unable to pass on to his child the healthy and healthy principle of authority and respect that is due to authority, society is inevitably doomed to colossal failure after descending into the absolute worst and most destructive form of anarchy: the anarchy of emotions, or if we prefer "forbidden to forbid" and "imagination in power".

These are the results that are before our eyes today: the parent ceases to be a parent and becomes a friend or a "criminal" accomplice of the child; the teacher is a subject with whom one compares oneself, contesting it and giving vent to one's egocentrism with "I don't agree... because I think that... because in my opinion..."; the doctor is no longer the one who treats you but a person who can be interrupted while he is giving you a diagnosis by expressing the fateful phrase «Ah, I do not agree, because I read on the internet that..."; state offices, from the carabiniere to the policeman up to the Senator for life of the Italian Republic who became such due to special merits, they are figures who are often mocked and debased by people who do not even know the first fundamental article of the Constitution of the Italian Republic and who are completely ignorant of the republican system in which they live; priests and theologians are people now relegated to the most useless and marginal roles of civil society to whom young people suffering from functional or digital illiteracy turn face to face with the "you" telling them how and why the Church makes mistakes, or putting their foot down because they have to act as godparents at baptism, however, they had not been confirmed, here, after having made a profession of not believing the truths announced by the Church, they tell you, if anything even with a bad face "I have the right to do Confirmation because I need it", ignoring that the Sacraments are not a right but an action of divine grace … In short, a society in which, together with the principle of authority, all the rules have disappeared, with a mass of arrogant ignorant people who every half sentence pronounce «I have the right to… I have the right to…» but in an egocentric and anarchic way they don't even accept the vague idea itself that alongside rights there are duties and vice versa, since a society made only of rights cannot exist, just as one made only of duties cannot exist.

I have quoted Umberto Eco several times in various of my writings that touched on the problem of the internet and social media, because with four brushstrokes he depicted, more than a problem, a real social disaster:

«I social media they give the right to speak to legions of idiots who previously only spoke at the bar after a glass of wine, without damaging the community. They were immediately silenced, while now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It is the invasion of imbeciles!» (cf.. WHO).

Before the semiologist Umberto Eco, when still i social media they had not taken the field, a famous Italian mathematician, George Israel, he expressed himself this way about the internet:

«It is true - as someone noted - that I have decided to put an end to this type of “dialogue”. It highlighted two of the worst aspects of the internet, a means which I will not give up anyway, but not to give in to the evil temptations it leads to. I am alluding to the loss of inhibitions whereby one believes one can treat people with whom one would not dare to do so hastily and even rudely. de visu; and the tendency to pass judgment on crucial issues that are perhaps the subject of secular reflection, even calling anyone who doesn't comply an idiot" (cf.. Article from May 2008 taken from Giorgio Israel's website).

Forgive me if I use myself as an example, but I believe that transmitting one's personal experience is important, especially by a presbyter and a theologian who has just reached the threshold of sixty years of age. This means - or at least it is assumed - to have acquired and developed a certain life experience and, through methodical research studies continued over time, a certain knowledge, always and rigorously based on the awareness of "I know that I don't know". As always we exemplify: once, the classic frigid hysteric who was reactively affected by obsessive neuroses of a pseudo-religious nature, after causing problems, friction, arguments and confusion of various kinds in the parish, or perhaps even before it could generate similar things, she was taken aside by some of the parish priests who were, made new from head to toe and then chased away. Today the classic frigid hysteric reactively affected by obsessive neuroses of a pseudo-religious nature dives into the sea of social media, goes hunting for the priests' pages and with a quarrelsome and aggressive spirit begins to challenge them in an insulting and provocative tone, especially if the priest has written a clear and precise post in which he deals in a simple way with serious matters in terms of doctrine and faith, making them understandable to the general public, but to which she responds with absurd nonsense. This is one of the main pitfalls of social media, for us presbyters and theologians as for any scholar or for any person who in society has what he should be, but above all it should be felt and respected as a role of authority.

In internet, but above all in social media, as Giorgio Israel pointed out many years ago, there is a total loss "of inhibitions that allow people to be treated hastily and even rudely with people they wouldn't dare to do so with." de visu». Which adds a worse element: «the tendency to pass judgment on crucial issues that are perhaps the subject of secular reflection, even calling anyone who doesn't comply an idiot". We have had recent experience of this, moreover linked to an affair that brought civil societies to their knees for two years, governments and the economy: the Covid-19 pandemic. Who among us does not remember armies of shampoo girls and bar intellectuals with a lower secondary school diploma from evening schools who, between one ungrammatical message and another, denied the most expert virologists and infectious disease specialists because they had read on blogs managed by equally arrogant ignorant people that …? I tried to respond in this way to many of these people at the time:

«Science is not perfect and has always been fallible and defeasible. Vaccine yes, vaccine no? Personally I have decided to trust science, that he can make mistakes and has often made mistakes. However, I intend to make an act of faith towards science, because if anyone must be wrong about me, I prefer that the mistake is made by a specialist in an attempt to save me rather than by a naturopath-esotericist hunting for idiots who makes people believe he can cure them with homeopathic pills and colored magnetic stones. Also because, while science asks for trust when necessary, these charlatans and those who decide to follow them ask and demand instead real acts of blind faith regarding what is absurd and anti-scientific they say and support".

At that delicate juncture as in other different but similar ones, public and private television stations have burdened themselves with enormous responsibilities that a true civil society and truly enlightened politics should not have hesitated to make pay dearly out of a sense of justice and for the protection of the population. In fact, we remember that while people were locked in their homes at the height of lockdown, for five days a week, three or four hours every evening, in all the most followed talk show quarrels and brawls were encouraged and fomented between clinical specialists and ignorant emeritus people taken from the street who contested and denied them. All passed off as the right to information and the right to freedom of speech. Request: of when, the imbeciles, they have the right to express themselves in prime time on public and private television, even more so to challenge and refute scholars with absurd and irrational theories, even more than anti-scientific? The television networks were really interested in giving everyone a voice? And since when, this passionate love for truth on the part of mass media that they usually hide the truth, manipulate and distort it, when it suits the bosses who keep them tight and tied to their payrolls? No, the truth was completely different: the editorial staff of television programmes, with a cynicism that it would have been good to make him pay dearly for, they had a single purpose, much higher than Covid-19 and the pandemic danger itself: audience ratings. More brawls broke out in the television studios, the more the audience ratings went up. But let's go back to Umberto Eco again:

«Television had promoted the village idiot compared to whom the viewer felt superior. The tragedy of the Internet is that it has promoted the village idiot to the bearer of truth" (cf.. WHO).

Call yourselves an "old-fashioned" priest, if you prefer demodé, but I remain aware that the Church, through the so-called three gifts, he sent me to teach, to sanctify and guide the People of God, this after having trained me, educated and specialized in theological sciences, therefore giving me a mandate. This is my job, both for those who believe in it and for those who, even if you don't believe it, he would still be required to respect it, especially in this world in which respect and maximum political correctness are de rigueur even for the last of the illegal immigrants landed on our shores and for transsexuals balancing on stiletto heels, who certainly do not have a human dignity superior to that of a human being called a priest. As a result, the task of ours believers of Christ it remains today to accept our teaching, allow yourself to be sanctified through the Sacraments of grace administered by us and be guided on the path of Christian life, or if you prefer to be governed by pastors within the Church, where you are free to enter and from which, to be understood, you are free to leave, but no one has the right and the recognized freedom to insolent the shepherds.

Soon said: come minister in sacred I am not a person with whom any person who proclaims himself Catholic or believer can deal face to face, because the relationship is theologically and hierarchically bottom-up (loyal) upward (presbyter). It is not the believer or worse the presumed one who can wag his finger and give me lessons on how a priest should be a priest or on how he should transmit the truths of the faith, or worse, which truths can be good and which "must" be changed instead. All expressed by subjects who have never even looked at the Catechism of the Catholic Church and who therefore ignore that the truths of faith are immutable and certainly not mutable at will, with lots of like on social, because "I think that... in my opinion...".

In front of this kind of people I act and interact in two ways: or I reprimand them with a severe and, if necessary, authoritarian attitude, making it clear to them that I am not their companion, much less a person with whom they can think of confronting one-on-one, or, as in the case of social media in which relationships are perversely horizontal, I react with a sneer, with the colorful word, sometimes even using some completely random trivial phrase, less than ever instinctive or emotional, but precisely scientifically studied and desired in order to shake up certain subjects, whose reaction is as evident as it is obvious: «Shame of a priest... vulgar priest... but you really are a priest?». Yup, I'm a priest, with the aggravating circumstance of also being a theologian to whom you, young girl or do-nothing woman, after having spent the day browsing the internet in search of gossip and titillating news, you thought you could explain what the Catholic faith really is. Because the most disrespectful and most violent of all are de rigueur: give it, how they feel social media. Or it could happen that I don't respond and that I respond to some of these angry comments by posting on my page social the photography of Only Rose in spray version used by women for vaginal itching, if anything accompanying the photo with the phrase: "they say it works...".

Imbeciles always take things seriously and they desperately need to be taken seriously, because the social authorities are felt, scientific, policies, moral and religious which they absolutely are not, this thing that, for a sort of strange and complex unconscious envy, it leads them to insult those who truly and legitimately hold these roles of authority. What is not serious, never be caught and treated as if he were. A quel point, clever mockery is the only antidote. It's about cunning and subtle pedagogy: mocking one happens that he, together with others 100, they post hundreds of insulting comments to you, but it almost always happens that at least two or three, in front of your answers, they understand, giving you and recognizing the social role and authority that you deserve and are owed, because certain relationships are not, nor can they ever be equal, nor based on the principle of «… in my opinion… I think that…».

As a presbyter I can ask my Bishop opinion and advice, expose a problem and ask for suggestions for its solution, I can also raise doubts about certain choices or pastoral directives, with all the deepest courtesy of the case I can also offer some advice, because every priest is a close collaborator of the Bishop. However, I cannot dispute him and reject what he has established, thus placing me above him, because I am the one who depends on his authority, to whom I promised filial respect and devout obedience with a solemn sacramental act. It is the Bishop who granted me the mandate and the related faculty to celebrate the Holy Mass, to preach the Holy Gospel, to absolve from sins and to care for and safeguard the People of God, all in a relationship of subordination, because I am subjected in a subordinate way to the apostolic authority of the Bishop, who has the power, wanting or deeming it appropriate, to revoke this mandate as well, partially or totally, if he deemed me inadequate or unworthy. So, even if I had a hundred reasons in and of itself, if I dared to place myself above his apostolic authority, those reasons would turn into a thousand serious wrongs which would make me a terrible priest and which would cause scandal and disorientation to the believers of Christ. This, it is the principle of authority in the Church, entirely based on the theological virtues of faith, of hope and charity (cf.. The Cor 1.13). And make it clear to the Catholics of «in my opinion … I do not agree ..", it's not easy.

At times, to recover people and bring others to reason, a photo of a pharmacological product against vaginal itching may be more useful rather than a useless dissertation on certain key principles enunciated by the Holy Father and Doctor of the Church Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, who also had good knowledge of vaginas, when he was always Aurelius of Tagaste. And someone, after laughing about Only Rose which relieves vaginal itching, it may be that he understands and then opens up. Only at that point will it be possible to talk about the Gospel and the precious thoughts of Saint Augustine, producing good fruit, all thanks to a teasing joke that started with a product that relieves vaginal itching.

Who is in authority, faced with this total crisis of every principle of authority today there are two solutions: or he starts fighting in vain against windmills by speaking a language that the masses are ignorant of, arrogant and quarrelsome people who swarm the social media I am not even able to understand and understand, or he makes fun of imbeciles while maintaining the respect that is due to him and that is due to him. Recovering some from time to time, which is no small thing these days:

«Who among you has a hundred sheep and loses one, he does not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and goes after the lost one, until he finds her again? Find it again, he puts it on his shoulder all happy, go home, call friends and neighbors saying: “Rejoice with me, because I found my lost sheep". Like this, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven for a converted sinner, that for ninety-nine righteous people who do not need conversion" (LC 15, 4-7).

I social media I am an ocean where sardines think they are sharks and where cod have the killer whale complex, but yet, occasionally, it is possible to recover some sea bass, aware first of all that he is a bass.


the Island of Patmos, 9 October 2023




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2 replies
  1. fabio
    fabio says:

    The good Catholic, that seeks to nourish your intelligence with valid faith content, amidst the myriad of indistinct information on the superficiality of the internet, must do so without neglecting a serious and, apply a lot of studiousness and commitment to this task, leaving aside curiosity. Over time and with the help of grace, you will be able to discern what is good.

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