Saturday, February 01, 2014

Papa & Rolling Stone

Our underground correspondent we keep on retainer in a dark Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep it's secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, wired in the following observations a couple days ago under the header: "On the cover of the Rolling Stone":
Wow. That is all I can say.

OK, not really! ...

When I was a rebellious twenty something and would be journalist, I began reading Rolling Stone.

The writing was and often remains colorfully outstanding ( I can still remember lines from various reviews.

So this very much gobsmacked me.

... I still read [Rolling Stone] intermittently. I have bought copies occasionally ... but found the copy radioactively anti-Chrisian, to put it mildly. It is among the most unflinchingly liberal and anti-Christian publications out there, and whenever I pursue it I feel like I have been frontally assaulted. In a far more aggressive and yes, contaminating way than something like Mother Jones and the NCR. It may be the perfect merging of ideas, images, entertainment, commerce, and information, which together seem very much like the Spirit of the World writ large with the additional punch Annie Leibowitz photography.

Fr Z weighs in thusly:
The editor of Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter), Tom Fox, nearly has an embarrassing moment of ecstasy in his commentary on the cover of the Rolling Stone.
Pope Francis continues to take the world by storm. His latest media triumph, a cover story on, yes, the Rolling Stone this week.

“The Times They Are A-Changin’: ?Inside the Pope’s gentle revolution,” is a 7,700-word profile by contributing editor Mark Binelli, who writes, “In less than a year since his papacy began, Pope Francis has done much to separate himself from past popes and establish himself as a people’s pope.”

In the last few months Francis has appeared on the covers of Time (“Person of the Year”), The New Yorker, The Advocate (“The Person of the Year”), and Vanity Fair (Italian issue), among a dozen or more others — to say nothing about Catholic publications such as America and the National Catholic Reporter(Of course). [Such prestigious journals!]
The real climax of the NSR piece comes when Fox quotes the Stoner‘s bashing of Pope Benedict
After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic.

Don't be fooled. He's not really smiling>
[Fr. Z remarks:]
Smiling in public! No Pope ever smiled in public before Francis! Ehvur!

... Eventually the different lefty factions will turn on each other over Francis. Some on the Left will continue to coo over Pope Fluffy (who – as they imagine – doesn’t demand conversion from their various life-choices). Others on the Left, will get angrier and angrier that Pope Francis isn’t conforming to their expectations. They will start demanding that the other, supportive side of the Left, start criticizing the Pope with them.

Francis is dividing the Left.
[Guy Noir contiues:]
These last four paragraphs strike me as priest-naive. Last night I was reading de Mattei's tome on Vatican II. Page 492 on is relevant: "One can ask at this point how it was possible that, after the harsh debates in the hall.. when it came time to vote they always managed to approve the schemas by an overwhelming majority, and at the moment when the documents were promulgated it would even happen that someone who had voted against a document would sign it...

"Our creed is the Pope, our morality is the Pope, our life is the Pope," St. Luigi Orione... wrote of his priests...."To listen to and follow the Pope is to listen to and follow Jesus Christ..."

If such is the case, who cares what texts officially say. The Pope's emphases will determine peoples' beliefs. And though even Paul VI ended up delivering Mysterium Fidei, does anyone expect Francis to issues any edict clarifying moral strictures when he has already said he essentially wants to stress the opposite?

A silver lining is the presence of the internet and more well-versed and interconnected faithful Catholic witness. De Mattei also says,
"To insist unyieldingly on one's opposition to conciliar decisions would require, perhaps, besides an excellent theological knowledge of the nature of magisterial acts, a 'prophetic' attitude, like the one evoked by the Abbé de Nantes when he stated, on the eve of the fourth session, that one bishop alone would be able to make the aggiornmento of Vatican II fail: he wrote, 'It would be enough for only one of the fathers--and I reminded some of them about this--to rise up and proclaim before all that the faith prevents him from accepting a certain proposition; all he would need to do would be to challenge their enormous lethargy, o threaten to leave the council... if this or that proposal is voted o, accepted, promulgated... If such a man were in the council tomorrow, his appeal to the truth revealed by God would be enough to stop all the machinery of subversion!. The French priest's words may seem quixotic, but only an attitude of strong psychological impact could have changed the course of events at that moment..."
Reading that, I think of the SSPX, Fellay, Rorarte Caeli, and many others. Minority voices, but far more heard today than they ever would have been before the www... So press, on, pray for the Pope, and keep the faith. Francis may yet have the wining strategy for the Lord, but if "friends" are any indicator in this situation, holy cow, right? Rolling Stone is so anti-Catholic I think you would have to almost go into the dark arts to surpass their rhetoric against us. And in that line I am serious. Whatever is in fact taking place, it is suggestive of dramatic undercurrents. We need to make sure our own footings are firm, since all about us does appear to be shifting sand.
Thus ends the wire from Guy Noir - Private Eye.

Related: "The Holy Father’s becoming a real pop(e) star.” Thus begins the (28 January 2014) Vatican Insider piece titled, “Francis conquers the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine”. Whatever happened to “In Hoc Signo Vinces”?

[Hat tip to GN, PI]


Ralph Roister-Doister


What will the next papal media celebrity have to do to outshine Francisco? Slide into a vat of jello on World Youth Day? Compete on "The Biggest Loser"? We would all love to see him bring Ab Muller onto Letterman for some "Stupid Human Tricks." Muller seems to have an endless supply of them. He ought to be a cardinal.