Monday, 26 May 2014
As I am too lazy to look it up does anyone know whether Pope Francis will be attending a Mosque or Synagogue? I hope we don’t see a replay of the Koran kissing incident.
Thus quoth "Ita Scripta Est" on Opus Publicum. I am afraid that the comment has thrown me into some confusion. Does the anonymous writer mean that the pope cannot do as he pleases? Is his holiness not a rational (yea more!), infallible man? Does he not represent, in virtue of his mastery of the Keys, every Christian in this world? If so, how could you dare express embarrassment at the pope's actions? How could you dare presume the inscrutable counsels of this most excellent and antient office?
What does the pope represent, to Traddies? He is the supreme authority. But in the last fifty years this authority has come with a big "but." It just seems that they all drool at the mouth and fawn, unashamedly, before him whenever he would do something like publish a Syllabus of Modernist Errors or a motu proprio liberating a bastardised rite from oblivion. Otherwise he is just an embarrassment. And he is an embarrassment precisely because he is in the publick view. His every action, his every opinion is scrutinised and set in stone until the End of Time because the pope represents their communion in the eyes of this world, and the supreme authority thereof...again, in virtue of his "mastery of the Keys." The fact that the pope's every idle word is not (said to be) an infallible teaching is irrelevant. The pope only has to do something like kiss the Qu'ran and the world rejoices, the Traddies all wince. Contrary to the minimalist interpretation of Pastor Aeternus by those among the more learned of the Papal theologians, there are no limitations on the Papacy. Supreme, immediate jurisdiction cannot mean anything else! And so, when one pope, in idle fancy, adds "world travel" to the pope's job description, the successors all follow. The pope, on account of his exalted office, has set a precedent for all time. And this precedent proceeds from the claim of universal jurisdiction.
I have digressed. This is just to say that, to the Traddies, the pope is a rallying figure and an instrument of their worldview. Whenever he is, seemingly, on their side, they can't get enough of him. Whenever he bats for the other, worldly side, they resent him and turn then to the shadow of Sedevacantism. I wonder sometimes whether this is because deep down, though they would never admit it, the Traddies all think that the pope has outlived his usefulness? That the pope, not scapegoats and underlings, has single-handedly brought down their communion, simply because of the fault of existing? (In any organisation, the blame rests solely with the man in charge. Why should the Roman communion be any different?) A bit like embarrassing furniture in an old house; you can't get rid of it without violating some heritage law and so it is with the Papacy. To some, the "strong women" of this world perhaps, the Papacy has become a necessity. They cannot live without this central human authority because this authority has replaced God's Grace in their lives. How sad.
For a frank study in Popery, I encourage you to watch the film adaptation of the "two minutes hate" from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Just replace the names "Goldstein" with "Annibale Bugnini" and "Big Brother" with "Pope" and it all makes sense. As I have said, scapegoats like Goldstein and Bugnini don't hold with rational people.