- The case of the Bishop of Tyler and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the healthy relativism on the figure of the Supreme Pontiff and the wise lesson of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra - 7 December 2023
- Why did we Fathers of the magazine The Island of Patmos not talk about the Synod?? Because we are priests and theologians, not gossips who excite the irrational moods of the populace - 29 October 2023
- «We will be among those who saw and yet believed». That singular concept of "scandal" of the Supreme Pontiff … - 26 October 2023
THE EMBARRASSING AND DANGEROUS MANAGEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS AND CRITICISM AS THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLE: FAITH AND REASON
The lower the average IQ in society becomes, the more it is necessary to explain even the obvious things. The mistake that we scholars often make, in the theological field as in the spheres of all the most disparate sciences, from medicine to astrophysics, is to often take for granted things that we consider obvious and which in fact are, being the most rudimentary elements of the various sciences or simple and basic human common sense. Unfortunately it is necessary to take into account that today we are more inclined to follow the influence illiterates and i tiktoker, including priests who unfortunately have thrown themselves into these "crazy games".
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In an article it is only possible to summarize a problem, but it is already something. Then, to anyone who would like to know more, I suggest reading my latest book Digressions of a liberal priest, where I dedicate a chapter of 138 pages on this topic, accompanied by all the historical implications, theological and juridical (Dal Bello to Moro. Holiness like the deceased Nobel Prize winner? P. 127-265).
I was perplexed when on the various social media I heard myself accused of criticizing the Holy Father Francis. In truth I have always defended his teaching and also his august person, often issuing public reproaches, hard and severe, to those "accidental Catholics" who think they can even declare a Roman Pontiff illegitimate based on their own subjective moods, something truly aberrant.
In my previous book provocatively titled Sadness of Love I do not criticize the post-synodal apostolic exhortation love joy, I highlight the excessive length of the text and its vague and ambiguous language full of useless and misleading sociologisms. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, this is demonstrated by the printed book of which some detractors have only read the title, deducing to follow what it does not contain, giving absurd sentences based on nothing.
I note with concern that an increasingly dense army of "self-styled Catholics" confuse the mystery of faith with an emotional "I like it" or "I don't like it". The whole, be it negative or positive, strictly based on a total lack of reason and critical sense. This is why I often find myself in this paradoxical situation: «Dirty Bergoglian heretic!» shouts the compulsive rosary reciter, considering me guilty of having defended the Holy Father Francis, after following a priest excommunicated for heresy and schism who was dismissed from the clerical state with a sentence given by the Roman Pontiff, capable of making his fragile and problematic followers believe that pink elephants fly in the sky according to the "Gospel" of Maria Valtorta and the "prophecies" of Blessed Katharina Emmerick and those of Saint Faustina Kowalska. On the other hand, here are some others: “How dare you criticize the Holy Father?», this for having simply expressed regret for his inappropriate and in my opinion harmful presence in television programs hosted by individuals who have always fired shots at the Catholic Church, or on its ethical and moral principles (see WHO e WHO).
If within the limits of what is due, bishops and theologians had not exercised in the freedom of the children of God that precious element which is criticism, especially the very decisive and severe one when necessary, starting from the Blessed Apostle Paul who in Antioch made Peter black, as they say (cf.. Gal 2, 11-14), today we would not have had the great dogmatic councils of the Church, we would not have defined the truths of the faith revealed by the First Council of Nicaea to follow and, after the death of Jesus Christ, if anything perceived only as a "failed messiah", at present we would have been nothing more than a small heretical sect of Judaism, all this if the critical sense was lacking, that means: the reason. Faith, explained Saint Anselm of Aosta and reiterated many centuries later the Holy Pontiff John Paul II in his encyclical Faith and Reason, it is based on reason and must necessarily start from reason, which involves first of all the exercise of critical sense. It is through reason that we reach the doors of the great mysteries of faith and only then can we cross that threshold through a free, conscious and rational act of pure faith.
The lower the average IQ in society becomes, the more it is necessary to explain even the obvious things. The mistake that we scholars often make, in the theological field as in the spheres of all the most disparate sciences, from medicine to astrophysics, is to often take for granted things that we consider obvious and which in fact are, being the most rudimentary elements of the various sciences or simple and basic human common sense. Unfortunately it is necessary to take into account that today we are more inclined to follow the influence illiterates and i tiktoker, including priests who unfortunately have launched themselves into these "crazy games".
As always, let's explain with an example: numerous influence convinced that "a dwarf has his heart too close to his asshole" because they didn't understand the ironic hyperbole of the song A judge by Fabrizio de André, they use the word Middle Ages in a derogatory sense, ignoring that art baggage, science and technology that we have today we owe it all to the Middle Ages. Not only, because if today we know the classical authors; be the culture, Greek and Roman literature and philosophy have been handed down to us only thanks to the Middle Ages, including the most lustful poems of Valerius Gaius Catullus, which not only the Church was careful not to censor or destroy, because if we know them today it is thanks to it and to the scribe monks who transcribed them and handed them down over the centuries.
The system of modern law we owe it to the great Bolognese glossators who lived between the 11th and 12th centuries and we owe the fundamental element of legal civilization of the protection and legitimate defense of the accused precisely to that inquisitorial process on which unaware and ignorant people about the fact that being condemned by the Tribunals of the Holy Inquisition was very difficult. And it was precisely the courts of the inquisition that sanctioned another element that today is part of the criminal jurisprudence of all the so-called civilized countries of the world: the punishment aimed at recovery and not punishment, through punishment the condemned person must not be punished but recovered.
The reply of the ignorant is ready: «Death sentences were given!». And here it must be reiterated that death sentences were not rare but very rare, specifying that they must be placed and interpreted in historical contexts to which today's judgment criteria are not applicable, it would be enough to explain that even the death sentence was an extreme act of recovery for the condemned. It is not by chance, the condemned, they were dressed in white, sign of purity, because with death they paid their debt and extinguished their guilt by reacquiring what in Christian language is called "baptismal purity". And their bodies, after death, they had to be treated with respect and buried with consideration.
Replies the ignorant: «Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake, other than killed and buried with respect!». Of course. And according to what was social logic, policy, juridical and also religious of the time were right to burn him at the stake. It was he who made a mistake with rare obstinacy. His trial lasted for approx 15 years and was canceled twice due to laughable defects of form to be started again from scratch. For years and years he was tried in every way to induce him to repent, which he stubbornly refused. It is useless to say and explain to certain people that they feed and drink on black legends that cannot be evaluated and then judged the Giordano Bruno case with the judgment criteria of our social present, politico, legal and also religious. It would be like condemning with cries of scandal and the application of contemporary thought certain practices of prehistoric men considered in our opinion inhuman and criminal.
Elements of this kind can be explained by my eminent medievalist friend Franco Cardini, or even by the historical popularizer Alessandro Barbero, as by me in my capacity as a scholar of legal sciences, of dogmatic theology and history of dogma. Yup, but to how many people and to what audience could we explain them? Our numbers, however differently one may be followed, they will never be comparable to hundreds of thousands, if not to the millions followers which follow the idiocies of certain characters who use the word Middle Ages inappropriately, received and used by as many parrots following them, unaware that the Middle Ages means Albert the Great, Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, Ildegarda in Bingen, Domenico di Guzman, Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus … The Middle Ages is the great circuit of Benedictine abbeys and monasteries which gave life to the social and political concept of Europe even before the year 1000. The Middle Ages are the great Cistercian and Carthusian architects and engineers, who brought running water to many villages, taking care of hygiene and prophylaxis for local populations subject to diseases and often epidemics due to excess dirt. The Middle Ages marked the centuries of reason and the exercise of critical sense by the most brilliant minds in history. The Middle Ages is Frederick II of Swabia with the Sicilian courtly school, Brunetto Latini, Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio. The Middle Ages came to an end with men like Silvio Enea Piccolomini, ascended to the sacred throne with the name of Pius II, which in its original Pienza created a prototype of a modern urban nucleus of the city of the future.
Some believe that the Medici are the fathers of the Renaissance? Let's be serious. The Renaissance, which has both a theological and social value, it was originated by the Church after the great trauma of the terrible plague of 1346 which exterminated half of the European population, at the end of which they tried to be reborn. It would be enough to go and see who the patrons were who commissioned the greatest Renaissance works, both pictorial and architectural: Supreme Pontiffs, Cardinals, Bishops and entire Dioceses, other than Lorenzo the Magnificent passed off as the creator and father of the Renaissance... let's be serious!
Long-winded premise? Knowledge and the transmission of knowledge are never long-winded, in this poor world in which the conductor of a following talk show you would be able to ask an invited scholar just to fill a space to explain in 30 according to metaphysics, if anything after having done the talking for 45 minutes Mauro Corona in front of a flask of wine. Any reference to Bianca Berlinguer is completely coincidental, obviously. Prolix are the speeches that say nothing, not those where several centuries of history are summarized in an understandable way in a few dozen lines, among other things, dispelling painful and harmful black legends.
If confusion is added to the emotional together with the seasoning of ignorance, if the whole, to our great misfortune, penetrates and is made to penetrate the Church as a Trojan horse, at that point the disaster is done. A disaster that has also affected the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints for some time, ever since the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II began to undermine that wisdom and prudential structure that had characterized the processes to arrive at proclaiming the blessed first and following the saints, through very rigid and rigorous criteria. With all due respect to those who today have changed the word "rigid" and "rigorous" into something negative and despicable. But then again, in the Church today, there are those who even use the words "dogma" and "dogmatic" in a negative sense, as long as no one dares to kick the ass of a gypsy who tries to steal your wallet behind Bernini's colonnade, because in that case you risk excommunication sententiae penalties for having mistreated a "Roma sister" who has the right to live and exercise her own "culture", as theft and pickpocketing are called today: "culture".
The Holy Father Giovanni Paolo II he intervened not only with a reform of the process for the causes of the Saints, because he later intervened with various dispensations, which continued and increased after him. We have thus had saints dispensed from the historical phase, saints dispensed by the miracle, dispensed saints, as someone said ironically but rightly from holiness itself. The trial of John Paul II itself opened with a sensational and dangerous dispensation: dispensation from the historical phase. Among other things for a complex pontificate that lasted 26 years and all to be prudently studied in an international social and geopolitical context which to define as complex is truly pure euphemism. Above all, a pontificate unique in history, because in that period of time the world collapsed and world societies as we knew them on a social level until recently collapsed, scientific, morale, political and religious. Following the previous wisdom and prudential procedure, the beatification process of a Roman Pontiff had not started before 30 years after death. This is demonstrated by the procedural process of the Holy Pontiff Pius 1914, he was beatified in 1951 and canonized in 1954. The canonization ceremony of Pius, it then happened to 40 years after his death. The process of John Paul II was completely different: less than nine years after his death he was beatified and then canonized, complete with dispensation given by Benedict XVI to what was established by his predecessor in 1983 in the apostolic constitution Divine Master of Perfection which provided for the effective date of 5 years after death before the opening of the beatification process.
In the so-called Young Paulist era we have seen Blesseds and Saints raised to the honors of the altars which leave not so much a bitter taste in the mouth, but they really send a shiver down your spine, because in addition to the rules, the very criteria of the reasons that can lead a Servant of God to be first beatified and then canonized as a martyr have been subverted, almost as if the pontiffs of recent decades had felt legitimated in canonizing their own "personal saints" because they were compatible with the trends, the thoughts and fashions of the present. A truly striking recent case was the beatification of Enrique Ángel Angelelli Carletti, Vescovo de la Roja, beatified as a martyr, albeit over time, two different investigations entrusted to independent commissions of experts, one composed of Argentine scholars and one composed of American scholars, reiterated that it was a road accident and not an attack plotted by the dictatorial regime of the time. To this must be added the not insignificant case of a priest, key figure as witness and collaborator of the Blessed martyr bishop, who later left the priesthood, who initially offered a version of the incident, then he denied it and subsequently fell into further contradictions. However, let us note that the bumps and potholes of that road truly had deep and supreme hatred for the Catholic faith and its ministers.
To proceed with beatification a Servant or Servant of God, then canonize a Blessed or a Blessed, what is needed is a proven miracle that constitutes a scientifically inexplicable fact. However, there is an exception to the miracle: the martyrdom, because what is recognized in and of itself as a miracle is martyrdom itself. And here it must be clarified what the Church is, since the apostolic, he understood it as martyrdom: be killed in hatred of faith, that is, in supreme hatred of the Catholic faith. That said, if anyone today, to use inappropriate political language, he thinks and accuses the Church of having moved to the left, know you're wrong, because the facts prove the opposite: it has moved and thrown itself into the best of the worst of the old Christian Democratic mess.
Two concrete cases of clerical-Christian entanglement: Saint Edith Stein and Blessed Pino Puglisi. La Stein, extraordinary woman endowed with brilliant intelligence, philosopher of unparalleled stature, born Jewish to a Jewish family and later converted to Catholicism and became a Carmelite nun, she was taken by the Nazis while she was at her Carmel, taken to the concentration camp and killed. Stein was captured because she was Jewish and because she was Jewish, therefore considered as such by the Nazis, regardless of whether she had converted and then become a Carmelite nun, this was something they were not interested in in any way. So Stein did not die in supreme hatred of the Catholic faith, but killed because she was Jewish, that means: in the supreme hatred nurtured by the Nazis towards Judaism and the Jews. Out of hatred for the Catholic faith, Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe was killed, captured as a Catholic priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and held responsible for propaganda not appreciated by the regime and as such considered a dangerous enemy of Nazism. Instead of waiting for his turn to die, he offered to replace a family man in the "hunger pit"., going to die in his place with an act of heroic charity. But he would have died in any case and in any case he would have been a holy martyr, unless he ran away, or that the concentration camp had been liberated by the Allied armies, which however happened four years later, Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe died on 14 August 1941.
Edith Stein, absolutely extraordinary woman it is an equally extraordinary model of faith, undoubted and precious model of heroic virtues that rightly make her a saint, but not a holy martyr, not having been killed out of hatred for the Catholic faith. Is this, the suo time, was explained in detail to John Paul II by Father Peter Gumpel, who made this known to the request for an opinion no problem about his beatification, but not as a martyr killed in hatred of faith. In response, John Paul II did not want to listen to reason, making a purely political reason prevail, later revealed to be a boomerang, because the international Jewish communities rightly responded that the Church was free to beatify and canonize whoever it wanted and when it wanted, but that Edith Stein had been killed because she was Jewish and certainly not because she was Catholic. And they were damn right.
With the Blessed Pino Puglisi, the presbyter of Panormita, whose sanctity of life is not in dispute, it bordered on farce, in the most delicate sense of the term, proclaiming it - listen, hear! - martyr of organized crime. And here we need to clarify: Father Pino was killed by the Mafia, which has a specific name: Cosa Nostra. I wonder: the heroic Sicilian bishops, if they really wanted the blessed martyr as a medal on their chest, because they didn't present him to be proclaimed a proto-martyr of the Mafia, o di Cosa Nostra? Why use the term organized crime, which ambiguously means everything and nothing, when it is a question of a very specific organisation, i.e. mafia, with a very specific name, or Cosa Nostra? And who would have been the ferocious haters of the Catholic faith, maybe the mafiosi? But the mafiosi - and the Bishops of Sicily should know this very well - are devout people, with the holy cards of Saint Lucia, Saint Agatha and Saint Rosalia inside the wallets, with prayer on their lips and candle in hand in the front rows of the processions. Then when the clan leaders were arrested, they found them with one and only book: the Holy Bible, full of underlines and pizzini, as in the case of the clan leader Bernardo Provenzano. If anything, the question that priests of a certain age who all claim to be students of Father Pino Puglisi should ask themselves today, it should be this one: while he alone, like a loose dog, he opposed the mafia arrogance in his neighborhood, we priests, in our central parishes, ready to throw stabs at us from behind just to snatch a mozzetta from a canon of the Metropolitan Chapter or that of the Palatine Chapel, what we did, as well as proclaiming ourselves post-mortem his students as worthy sons of the Leopard? This is what certain priests from Palermo should ask themselves who today boast of having all been his students and disciples, because that's the problem: the Mafia would never have dared to raise a hand on a Palermo priest if it hadn't considered him just an annoying maverick. Request: given that the mafiosi are anything but naive, who made him feel like a maverick? But if all the priests of Palermo come on 55 years to follow they were his students and disciples, he should have had a compact clergy around him to support his precious work, or not? And if that were the case, Mafia, would ever have dared to kill a priest? I have read the documents of that trial and in conscience I can say - inviting anyone to deny it - that without prejudice to the honor and undoubted sanctity of the blessed, we can laugh about it in the same way that we all had solemn laughs about the Leopard by Don Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa.
When in a delicate sphere, such is the beatification of the blessed and the canonization of the saints, we get carried away and emotionally affected by the social or political moment, also if desired by the media opportunism dictated by the situation of the moment, enormous damage can be done, wanting irreparable, not so much for the present but for the future to come, when the emotional souls have calmed down and certain emotions have died or been replaced with new ones more suited to those times. It will be at that point that historians will analyze us, in various respects even as freaks, saying bluntly: beautiful superficials that they were, those who preceded us! And everyone will be silent, because it will be true.
Those who emotionally only look at the present, ignores the heavy legacy it will leave for the future. In the world of tomorrow it will no longer be possible to do like the Holy Pontiff Paul VI who made dozens of Saints disappear with the stroke of a pen with the excuse of reforming the Calendar. It is well known that several of those Saints never existed, others were duplicates of other Saints, others were even embarrassing figures and as such to be forgotten.
The world of today and that of tomorrow it will no longer allow the fall into oblivion that was possible in the past. However, emotional people who live in the present without a future perspective unfortunately don't know this, to the great misfortune of our children who will come and who will have to be humiliated and mocked because of the superficiality of their fathers.
the Island of Patmos, 25 September 2023
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