The Holy Father has authorised the recently appointed Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Global Warming and Ice-Cap Preservation to draw up new clauses for immediate inclusion in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These will include the new sins of Global Warming Denial and Carbon Emission Obfuscation.
A new entry (following upon Francis’s recent condemnation of the death penalty) will make excessive carbon emissions a capital offence.
According to reliable Vatican sources, Pope Francis has abandoned previous plans to anoint Cardainal Tagle or Cardinal Schoenborn as his putative successor, and to elevate to the Cardinalate the Time Magazine laureate Greta Thonberg.
On the advice of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a cause for the beatification of Ms Thonberg cannot presently be admitted (on the simple grounds that she is still alive, and likely to be so for some time). So, after her triumphant speech to the College of Cardinals in Sankt Gallen, in the on-going shake-up of the Curia, she has been appointed to the newly created dicastery for Global Warming and Ice-cap Preservation.
Said a spokesperson: ‘This will be the first time since the days of Pope Joan, that a female has been made a cardinal, and the first time since the Children’s Crusade of 1212 that a young person has has such a commanding position in the history of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father is courageously following the trend; and following in the Spirit of the Amazon Synod, which basically said that ‘anything goes’
‘Habitabit lupus cum agno, et pardus cum haedo accubabit; vitulus, et leo, et ovis, simul morabuntur, et puer parvulus minabit eos,’ as they say.
The Man Booker Prize was this year won jointly by Margaret Attwood and Bernardine Evaristo: two feminist writers, one black one white. Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani were jointly awarded the Turner Prize, after writing to the judges asking to be considered as a group.
Said Will Gomperz, BBC arts editor, ‘Maybe annual awards like the Turner Prize and the Booker Prize … are reaching their sell-by date: an anachronism from a bygone binary age of winners and losers.’
But a discerning observer will notice that something else is happening. Aside from the sentiment, expressed by many, that ‘art is not competitive’, is the question of discrimination. Now that all consideration of craftsmanship has been eliminated from the adjudication of art works – one unmade bed, after all, is much like another – all that remains is the meaning or significance of the work.
The world being what it is, this will naturally take the form of social relevance or political correctness. There can, of course, be no adjudication between different forms of virtue signalling. Your truth and my truth are self-evidently equal.
On those grounds a Caravaggio, a Gainsborough or a David Hockney are all incomparable. And their creators, like the competitors for the Turner Prize, might as well combine to say as much. The paragone of Renaissance artists is obviously now a dead letter, getting in the way of the true and unfettered expression of the self.
Comparisons are odious and discrimination is a crime. Everybody has won and all must have prizes!
Some would claim that the final document of the Amazon Synod – at least in its conclusions about the role of women – was a foregone conclusion. Its content was decided about five years ago. But Pope Francis seems to be hedging his bets.
He commented that the final document of the Synod “falls short of explaining women’s full role in the Church”, particularly “in the transmission of faith, in the preservation of culture. I would just like to underline this: that we have not yet realized what women mean in the Church… rather, it focuses on the functional aspect, which is important, but is not everything.”
The he went on to speak of a re-convened Commission on Women in the Diaconate. with a fresh and expanded membership.
So what are we to conclude? That the diaconate is to be seen as distinct from the other two orders, and is definitely not included in the prohibition of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis? Or that the three orders continue to be seem as a unity, and a female diaconate, distinct from Holy Orders, is to supplement them?
Clarity is needed. For Francis must realize that in the current state of things the creation (or ‘revivial’) of an order of deaconesses will not lessen pressure for women deacons equivalent to men. The political pressure comes not from the Amazon, but from Western churches whose sights are set on women in the priesthood.
Accedens autem Helias ad omnem populum ait usquequo claudicatis in duas partes si Dominus est Deus sequimini eum si autem Baal* sequimini illum et non respondit ei populus verbum.
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Translates: Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, hanc tuis fidelibus voluntatem, ut, Christo tuo venienti iustis operibus occurrentes, eius dexterae sociati, regnum mereantur possidere caeleste.)
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
Tomorrow (the first Sunday of Advent) is the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction, throughout the Church, of the Novus Ordo.
So what is there to celebrate?
A precipitate decline in Mass attendance? The virtual destruction of a centuries old musical culture? The replacement of Latin by a less than elegant vernacular? Doctrinal dilution?
Though it is true that none of these was a necessary (or even implied) consequence of the Second Vatican Council, it is nevertheless the case that the misguided ideologues who seized the reformist agenda after the Council have a lot to answer for.
Prayer for them (living or departed) – if necessary in the truncated argot of the new liturgy – is incumbent upon every faithful Catholic.
Fr Antonio Spadaro, in an article in La Civilta Catholica, reveals that the Holy See – in a spirit of openness and generosity – is ready to receive suggestions from whatever quarter for new clauses for inclusion in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
CCC, says Spadaro, ‘is henceforth envisaged as a do-it-yourself manual of doctrine and ethics. It should not be left to Pope Francis (after exhausting trips hither and thither) to come up with ad hoc revisions on the airplane home. It is time that the whole people of God shouldered responsibility for doctrine and catechesis.’