Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Trust His Holiness!" by a 'Benedictine' Mediaphobe: Pt.1

My devotion to Benedict XVI is unassailable; my admiration of him, both as Pope and as a man, is fervent. Why then for the last six days have I suffered the worst attack of mediaphobia that I can remember since his Pontificate began? Why did I allow it to threaten in the slightest, my trust is his wisdom? I do not believe it is paranoid to state that vast sections of the secular media are predisposed, to leap on anything which they see as having the potential to discredit him and the Church. There is an atmosphere of crafty malice made even more unpleasant by obdurate ignorance. This seems particularly bad in the UK where metropolitan atheism is the new orthodoxy. The media are not Benedict's only enemy but they are the most powerful and grasp with particular glee any criticism of him which comes from within the Church.

I give two quotes from a particularly biased bag of acid drops on 'Finding Dulcinea -Librarian of the Internet' of yesterday 10.59 am. Headline:'Pope's Reinstatement of Holocaust-Denying Bishop Sparks Outrage.

'Cardinal Walter Kasper (writer gives his title and job description)said the pope did not consult him about the reinstatement. "It was a decision of the pope", the Cardinal told the New York Times.'

'Catholic priest Hans Kung said that Benedict "does not see that he is alienating himself from the larger part of the Catholic Church and Christianity". According to Kung, "He doesn't see the real world. He only sees the Vatican world."

What a pair of charmers! I readily accept that Kasper's remarks may have been extrapolated to suit the bias, but I'm afraid Kung is Kung is Kung. Nowhere on two pages is there any reference to the L'Osservatore front page distancing of yesterday.

When the news began to break on Thursday through Friday, I was filled with dread at the possible outcome. Some commenter on another blog said, 'Jane, let it go!'
I retorted that I would let nothing go that had the potential to harm Benedict or his Pontificate. Had it not been for the Williamson factor I would have been unreservedly in favour of the lifting of the excommunications. I simply could not understand why Benedict would take the media risk of making the announcement against the backdrop of W.'s pernicious statements. Surely the Holy See would distance itself from them at the same time, or immediately following the announcement. (There was already much ignorance, among Catholics and non-Catholics as to exactly what the lifting of the excommunications constituted in regard to the position of the SSPX vis a vis the Church.) It was not accompanied or swiftly followed by a distancing. We now know that Benedict had a plan which he would not allow to be derailed by the recalcitrant and odious W.

This plan was deeply spiritual, full of desire to heal one of the Church's most painful wounds, full of pastoral love and a will to unity, in obedience to Christ. It is horrible to have to admit that it is far too spiritual, loving and healing, far too Christian for the media to even want to understand. It is however devastating to suspect the same of a Cardinal, and admit the same of a dissident priest.

We now see that the Holy Father had prayed and thought this through lengthily and carefully. He knew there would be flak and had decided to take it until after Vespers of Sunday. As for media reaction, if anyone in the Vatican knows ill-treatment and unfairness from that quarter, it's Joseph Ratzinger.

During the Vespers I began to perceive the plan and also, at the end, that the strain was beginning to tell, even in this great man of holy discipline, and especially at the liturgy. His near-omission and quick recovery of the invocation before the final blessing said it all. (I must look at it again but I'm sure he almost smiled at himself, as if to say, 'There you all are, I'm not made of steel!). I remarked to my husband that he looked as if he couldn't get out of there fast enough and to his red telephone. Judging from the Vatican's statement of yesterday, perhaps I was not too far from the truth.

I believe there is an excellent chance of the 'larger part of the Catholic Church and Christianity', coming to understand what Benedict has just done. I think we should start a campaign for a million Rosaries for that intention. It should be announced on all our blogs and Facebook pages, to begin now, with a deadline of Easter morning. We said our first last night.

But you know, there are already other positives to be noted. I will put themt in my next post. The break will give you all time to stop chewing the carpet over Kasper and Kung!

btw, Prima asked why Kasper was still talking. Possibly his stint ends with the Week of prayer for Unity, and it was felt that this was something he should deal with, rather than a new man just finding his feet.

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