Friday, April 01, 2016

Two Easter Vigils, two popes, two visions of Europe, one rooted in Christianity, the other deracinated by multiculturalism and obsequity toward Isalm

Monsieur l'Abbé, "Guest Op-Ed: Fighting for the soul of Europe" (Rorate Caeli, March 29, 2016 [Advisory: Rules 7-9]). Excerpts:
[In 2008] I had the good fortune ... to attend all of the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum and I was in Saint Peter’s Basilica on the evening of the Easter Vigil when Pope Benedict XVI baptized Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian journalist. Allam was raised a Muslim but from an early age was educated in Catholic schools. At the age of twenty he moved to Italy and became increasingly critical of Islam.

The baptism of Allam was a reminder of the expectations that Europe should have for those who are privileged to call Europe their home. Living in Europe means an acceptance and respect for her Christian origins and history. Living in Europe means throwing off the backward cultural thinking of a religious sect forged in a seventh-century desert. To be European is to accept that which is ever ancient and ever new. All of these considerations were implicit that Easter when Allam publically rejected his former beliefs and recognized Christ and His Church as the true and only vehicle for salvation.

The New Mandatum

Contrast the Triduum in 2008 with the one that took place just last week. This year, the Holy Thursday foot washing ceremony (known also as the Mandatum) consisted of Pope Francis washing the feet of a group of Catholic and non-Catholic refugees. In fact, with impeccable timing, the pope washed the feet of three Muslim refugees only two days after more than thirty people were killed and three hundred were injured in suicide bombings in Brussels, a municipal region whose most popular name for newborn boys is Mohammed.[1]

Before Lent this year, the pope issued a decree changing the Holy Thursday practice which had previously only admitted men for the Mandatum. Now, the decree explained that pastors may “choose a small group of persons who are representative of the entire people of God.”[2] ...

While this new decree concerning the Mandatum allows the pope, in good conscience, to continue washing the feet of women, he still manages to disobey his own decree by washing the feet of those who do not even believe in Christ....

For Francis however, these considerations are no more than semantics. “All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelical. But [we are] brothers, children of the same God” he said on Holy Thursday.[4] ...

A Radical Juxtaposition

At the heart of the juxtaposition of the Easter Vigil of 2008 and this year’s Holy Thursday is the radical difference between the two possible approaches to the problem of Islam in Europe. In 2008, Benedict XVI personified a Church that was confident in her identity. For him, the Church is the only force that can offer transcendence to a secular Europe: “[The Church] must first do decisively what is her very own, she must fulfill the task in which her identity is based: to make God known and to proclaim his Kingdom.”[7] She is also the only force strong and confident enough to enlighten the irrationality of Islam ....

In order for her to survive, Ratzinger has argued, Europe must acknowledge and appreciate her Christian origins. It is only in Christ and His Church that Europe can find her identity, and if this identity is lost, Europe remains vulnerable to the onslaught of any number of extremist ideologies. Europe can only be Europe when she embraces the history of her art, history, music, and culture: “The banishment of Christian roots does not reveal itself as the expression of a higher tolerance . . . but rather as the absolutizing of a pattern of thought and of life that are radically opposed, among other things, to the other historical cultures of humanity.”[9] ...

By contrast ... [s]ince his election in 2013, [Pope Francis'] preference for ministry to the “peripheries” and the marginalized has left Europe as an undefended afterthought....

Each time that Francis ventures out to the peripheries he leaves the door to the Western world open and vulnerable to attack....

Less than a week after the Inauguration of Pope Francis on March 19, 2013, Magdi Allam announced that he was leaving the Church in order “to protest its soft stance against Islam.”[11] It was not by chance that this act coincided with the election of Francis. “The ‘papolatry’ that has inflamed the euphoria for Francis I and has quickly archived [not 'achieved', but 'ARCHIVed'] Benedict XVI was the last straw in an overall framework of uncertainty and doubts about the Church,” he wrote.[12] .... Read more >>

[7] Ratzinger, Joseph. A Turning Point for Europe?: The Church in the Modern World: Assessment and Forecast. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2010), 178.
[12] Ibid.


Mark Citadel


What a contrast! Speaks volumes. My concern only grows at this time.



John Paul II is the pope fascinated by multiculturalism and obsequious to Islam?