Law and Order II

The Vigano Testimony was sunk (and its author obliged to go into hiding) by the intransigence of Pope Francis: ‘I will say not a single word’. The Fount of Law and Chief Magistrate refused to countenance accusations against himself.

Now further testimony of malfeasance has emerged.

Martha Alegria Reichmann, widow of a former dean of the Vatican diplomatic corps and author of the Spanish-language Traiciones Sagradas (Sacred Betrayal) has alleged that Cardinal Óscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the longtime archbishop of Tegucigalpa and convenor of Francis’s C9 cabal of cardinals, was implicit in the coverup of the activities of Bishop Juan Josè Pineda, who has been accused of sexual abuse of seminarians, living in active homosexual relationships and financial impropriety. Pope Francis accepted Bishop Pineda’s resignation last July, but no details of any disciplinary measures have been revealed. Reichmann accuses Francis of being aware of the cover-up and of doing nothing about it.

Mrs Reichmann, it appears, has a grudge against Maradiaga for dodgy financial dealings; but that should not invalidate her other substantiated claims. It is clear that the Holy Father should now institute a thorough investigation – which would include his own involvement in the matter.

In the modern world (whose attitudes in other areas, Francis is eager to embrace) he can no longer hide behind his anomalous status as above Canon Law. Kings and dictators have been made answerable to the law; and so it must be with Popes.

Here we go again

There are those in the Conservative Party who are convinced that Theresa May is now preparing to sanction a second referendum on Brexit.  If that is the case, then history will simply be repeating itself:

  • Denmark, 1992
  • Ireland 2001
  • France, 2005
  • Netherlands. 2005
  • Ireland 2008
  • Greece, 2016
  • Netherlands 2016
  • Hungary 2016

This UK Parliament is clearly determined to prove Marx right:
‘History repeats itself, first as tragedy, ninth as farce’.

In Absentia

So Cardinal Parolin (standing in, it seems, for the Pope) has conducted a conference with fifty or so campaigning homosexuals, eager to present the ‘results’ of recent ‘research’. How wise of the Holy Father to absent himself! For there is surely nothing which ‘research’ can reveal about homosexuality which is not already known or suspected.

The visitors, it was said, sought to gain the Vatican’s support and sympathy on the grounds of human rights.

It is true that the Catholic Church is an assiduous upholder of the natural rights of all. But she also holds that homosexual acts are in themselves sinful and disordered. Buggery is no more a human right than burglary. Whilst the Holy See can – and does – condemn inhumane and unreasonable punishments for either, both remain in the realm of reprehensible misconduct.

Law and Order

New regulations of the Vatican City State require mandatory reporting of the sexual abuse of minors. The number of minors actually resident in the Vatican, you will say, probably makes this new requirement redundant – another piece of virtue-signalling to bring the Church into line with ambient secular authority.

But perhaps there is more to it than that.

If whistle-blowers are encouraged to shop offenders, they surely have a moral (if not legal) duty to expose those who effectively cover up the activities of others. Which is where J. M. Bergoglio comes in.

Archbishop Vigano has done his conscientious duty (for which he received little approbation) by outlining the failures in this area of the Church’s fount of Law and Supreme Magistrate. What is now to be done about his Testimony? And when can we expect him to be rehabilitated?.

Final Solution

The time has come to reconcile ourselves to the fact that Brexit is not going to happen. It will be death by a thousand delays.

Would that Emmanuel Macron could summon up the courage to kick us out; but he is no Napoleon (despite the bluster) and no Charles de Gaulle. So there is no hope of that.

It is only a matter of time before the jackboots of the Deutschebundesbank trample all over our financial services sector, and the world’s fifth largest economy goes the way of the Greeks. What Hitler failed in, Mutti Merkel will effortlessly have achieved,

For this, both our political parties and all our MPs share the shame and the blame. The payback, in terms of national political upheaval, will be tremendous. You have been warned!

The Brexit Panto

Soap operas, they say, are losing their appeal as viewers turn on the BBC Parliament channel for light entertainment. Small wonder. The antics of our legislators are a pantomime in themselves, with a lively cast of traditional figures.

Anna Soubry plays the pantomime dame with a gusto greater than any seen at the London Palladium. Dominic Grieve is the lugubrious Baron Hardup, and Sir Oliver Letwin is an obliging but ineffectual Buttons. There is no shortage of Ugly Sisters of either sex.

The supporting cast bray and guffaw to order – all animated by Speaker Bercow, whose voice is borrowed from Brian Blessed, and whose costume is straight out of the nursery dressing-up box.

The children all love it…but, alas, as we know, it will all end in tears.

Papal Fallibility

The problem can be put succinctly: why is Pope Francis more popular than the religion he represents?

As Mass attendance in Europe and the Americas continues to decline, Francis is nevertheless the idol of the secular media. He is, it needs to be noted, most popular among those who reject the Church’s perennial teaching. Francis plays to that increasing body of people who, whilst dubious about doctrine and contemptuous of tradition, declare themselves to be (in some ill-defined sense) ‘spiritual’.

This surge in quasi-religion is one of the puzzling phenomena of the modern world. But Francis has got the measure of it. From pick-and-mix sexuality to saving the planet, he pushes all the buttons. And in a strange reversal of Papal Infallibility, he gives the impression that he can singlehandedly change the course of the universal church by a few words in a press interview.  

It would be hard to find anything in the rag-bag of modern ‘spiritual’ concerns which Francis has not embraced. He moves effortlessly from doctrinal indifferentism to global warming. And when (as is sometimes the case) he speaks the language of traditional Catholicism (Francis is notably keen on the Devil and all his works), he is misheard or unheard.

But the secret at the heart of his appeal to modish modernity, is that he is essentially lightweight. Attempts have been made by others to add gravitas to his effusions (in scholarly essays on ‘The Theology of Pope Francis’, for example); but his main attraction remains, beside the faux-Franciscan ‘simplicity’, that he is the incarnation of Catholicism Lite.