Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Prescience of Pope Pius XII

"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul....

"I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

"A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?'"

(1931 declaration by E. Cardinal Pacelli, quoted in the book, Pie XII devant l'histoire[Paris: Editions Robert Laffont, 1972], pp. 52-53, by Msgr. Georges Roche).


Elizabeth said...

Prescience is right! Can you recommend a good book on Pius XII with this kind of information about him, that's written in English?

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Funny, isn't it, how the ugly calumnies concerning Pius XII's supposed "closet naziism" were spread throughout the world forty years after the fact, when many of those best capable of refuting them were in the grave. Refutation took a massive effort, and was only partly successful. We hear little these days about the campaign to canonize Eugenio Pacelli, who is certainly as worthy of this as any of his successors.

Ugly accusations have likewise been made about the contents of Paul VI's "closet." But these accusations are mere whispers by comparison. The inquisitorial establishment of modern journalism does not feel itself obliged to throw Pope Montini into the acid bath of the "people's right to know" with anything approaching lynch mob fervor, which is apparently reserved for popes who write such things as "Humani Generis."

"A day will come" indeed -- it has come and gone. It is a pity that Pope Pacelli chose not to follow up "Humani Generis" with stronger actions -- especially against the duplicitous Giovanni Battista Montini. But perhaps by then it was already too late. Certainly by that time the great Garrigou-Lagrange had turned contemplative, and nine years later he was dead. As an energetic and uncompromising defender of the faith, G-L had no successor.

Every leader who must of necessity project an image of kindness and charity needs, more than anything else, a group of men who will do the dirty work of governance at his behest -- popes no less than presidents and kings. In the era of collegiality, where agendas bump against one another like packs of sharks, but where it is nonetheless recited that "sainthood" calls us all like the dinner bell calls Farmer Alfalfa from the blandishments of the hog trough, a pope ignores the effects of the venality of men at his peril -- and ours.