Your Catholic Week in Review (Parolin Edition!)

Your Catholic Week in Review (Parolin Edition!)

Michael Hichborn


In response to the filial correction of Pope Francis — the first in centuries — Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is calling for dialogue on Amoris Laetitiabetween concerned Catholics and the self-styled “mafia” who orchestrated the crisis to begin with.

Fr. Raymond de Souza offers some insights as to the delicate nature of the “disagreement,” raising the question of balancing “winning the day” versus engaging in a respectful dialogue (de Souza uses Chaput’s disagreement with James Martin S.J. as an example).

Yet the problem isn’t with the dialogue.  The problem isn’t even so much that the revolutionaries have insisted on a monologue.  The problem is a problem of first things: one cannot have a dialogue with error.  Error can be taught; error may be fought… but there is a false ecumenism at play that insists Catholics should dialogue with error as if it were truth, while cudgeling faithful Catholics who insist that the “reformers” aren’t being honest brokers in the discussion — they’re interlopers who seek to radically transform the Catholic Church into a giant social justice operation.

In fact, Fr. James Martin, SJ himself has opted to neglect dialogue altogether — banning those with whom he disagrees on Facebook while publicly castigating his detractors as the “alt-right” within the Catholic Church.

We live in a time where the political left has a single mantra: “Violent words should be met by violent means.”  In a rhetorical sense, Martin and his confederates have done precisely this sort of violence to a confused and bewildered pewsitting Catholic faithful who merely want to practice the Faith of our Fathers as taught by the Church Fathers — not by the United Nations or Western continental philosophy departments.

Yet when the concerns of the Catholic faithful are treated as the “alt-right” or labeled as bigotry, hate, prejudice — or our favorite, neopelagian — then it becomes very easy for Fr. Martin and Fr. Spadaro and a coterie of “alt-left” agents to hate and destroy the Catholic faithful.  In fact, the modern day Pharisees aren’t the pewsitting faithful, but rather this strange and new alternative that demands fealty without faith, commands obedience without authority, and fidelity without love.  In short, the Lutheran heresy of self is meeting the postmodern rejection of objective Truth and the result is… well, nothing new.

Why is it nothing new?  Because the living Body of Christ has been called far worse, branded as a political movement (!) of hate, bigotry, and division before the Sanhedrin, along the Via Dolorosa, and finally at Golgotha.  The argument was settled at the Resurrection; the persecution ended with Constantine; the spiritual warfare is building to a crescendo just as Pope Leo XIII and Our Lady of Fatima said it would be… yet the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the institution Christ Himself ordained to be the Deposit of Truth and Faith, not a mental ward where sick souls in need of the sacraments are told they are perfectly well.

Cardinal Parolin senses this discord.  As Parolin is often referred to as the “middle third” of the Vatican Curia, his position as Vatican Secretary of State and head of the diplomatic corps is the backbone of the Vatican’s international efforts — including aid, relief, negotiations in parts of the world where other foreign powers (such as the United States) cannot reach, and of course the international reputation that keeps institutions such as the Vatican Bank in clover.

As Parolin and the pragmatists begin to sense that the “reformers of the reform” are jeopardizing the Vatican’s international moral standing, the disproportionate influence of the self-declared “mafia” within the Roman Curia may begin to wane.  With Cardinal Burke’s appointment to the Apostolic Signatura once again and a promise from Burke himself to pursue the dubia regardless, the chess pieces are certainly in motion.

Prayers — now more than ever — are needed.

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One comment on “Your Catholic Week in Review (Parolin Edition!)

  1. Quote: “Yet the problem isn’t with the dialogue. The problem isn’t even so much that the revolutionaries have insisted on a monologue. The problem is a problem of first things: one cannot have a dialogue with error. ”

    So an Opus Dei debate on the John Rawls approach to rationalizing anal intercourse, parsed with Harvard Law arguments, hermeneutics, and casuistry, is just a publicity stunt or a deliberate attempt to deconstruct modernist “dialogue” as a fraternity prank? Or is this what they’re teaching at Harvard Law these days? How many seminars on Critical Legal Studies and legal positivism does a J.D. need to take before they get to the hepatitis part of the arguments?

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