from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
“Habemus papam” is the title of an Italian movie comedy first shown in 2011, which earned the director Moretti a Golden Palm nomination at that year’s Cannes Film Festival. It is about a fictional conclave of cardinals convened to elect a new pope, which repeatedly fail to produce a clear choice. As the ballots are read, some of them are heard mumbling: “Please, Lord, not me.” Very funny, I guess.
By now everybody knows that Habemus papam is Latin for “We have the pope“. I started with the movie because one of the images, previously used on Fog of
Chaos, had that title and at the time I found it puzzling. Should it have been – I have a pope? Pope had me? Now I think that perhaps the actress played one of the shy cardinals. The image is here again; in my opinion better than any image I have seen so far of Francis. For example, I fail to detect any compassion or humility in his eyes, but then, what would I know about the XXI century Christian precepts or priests’ eyes?
The interest our thoroughly secular media show in that supposedly dying and irrelevant religion is amazing. Many experts on Christian theology, who can’t agree with each other what fish ought to be eaten with Holy Communion Chardonnay, are convinced that they are qualified to advise the head of 1.2 billion strong Catholic community what he ought or ought not to do. The main stream media wait for a direction from The Guardian. For them, of course, the only acceptable Pope would be an amalgam of Trotsky and Sandra Fluke. One can be sure that if the new Pope is praised by The Guardian, then Christianity is in a deep trouble.
Lacking a directive, anything anti-Christian goes. I intended to insert here a made-up sarcastic quip about a defrocked homosexual pederast pontificating on a true meaning of the Christ’s teaching on ABC (ALP propaganda channel), but once again, Mark Steyn beat me to it and he didn’t even have to make it up:
The Washington Post, their coverage of the new Pope, was to basically hold a conclave of their own, of all the people who were excluded from the official conclave, which is just for old, white European men. And so they had people who, they quoted one of them who said she is a Catholic, she enjoys being a Catholic, she takes her Catholicism seriously, she married a fellow Catholic woman, and they took their Catholicism so seriously that they were married by an ex-nun. [Mark Steyn On the media reaction to the new Pope]
Descriptions by the medial theological experts of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the first non-European pope are particularly grating. Perhaps one day they will find out that the birthplace of the first ever Pope, St Peter’s, was Galilee which, surprise, surprise, it is not in Europe and that there since then were many others:
Pope Saint Evaristus: Bethlehem, modern-day West Bank
Pope Saint Anicetus: Emesa (today known as Homs), Syria
Pope Saint Victor I: Leptis Magna, modern-day Libya
Pope Saint Miltiades: Somewhere in North Africa
Pope Theodore I: Jerusalem, modern-day Israel and West Bank
Pope John V: Antioch, then Syria but today part of Turkey
Pope Sisinnius: Syria
Pope Constantine: Syria
Pope Gregory III: Syria
It is unlikely though they will ever find out that the Pope is Catholic.
Knowing little about modern Jesuits, I turned to… I’m almost ashamed to write it, an expert:
There has never before been a Jesuit Pope. That in itself is not a negative factor, but the recent behaviour of some Jesuits is. In the past the Society of Jesus has produced some of the Church’s greatest thinkers and missionaries. In recent years, in the Australia and the US at least, it has declined into a kind of PC knitting circle.
If you are not sure what I mean, pay a visit to the Jesuit website eurekastreet.com.au. You might as well be reading Crikey!, or the Melbourne Anglican. Just as with those outlets, you know in advance that the position taken on any social or political issue will be that of the Labor left/Greens. An organisation that offers an encomium on the virtues of Hugo Chavez, and quotes Bertolt Brecht while doing so, has lost any capacity for rational thought.
The Jesuits in South America may be different, but while a cardinal, Pope Francis made some worrying comments about the redistribution of wealth, comments which resemble the inane demands that people who have taken risks and worked hard all their lives to produce value for others have an obligation to ‘give something back’ to people who haven’t. Popes are not infallible on matters of economics, but they may be influential. [Quadrant online ]
That does not look too promising. Maybe Francis is just a pretend Jesuit. Unkind people often say that Jesuits pretend that they are Jesuits. Let’s wait and see, for there is nothing else we can do and - they also serve who only stand and wait. [John Milton – On His Blindness]
In the meantime, “investigative journalists” of John Pilger’s school of impartiality are trawling the gutters, in the best tradition of that old joke about a foreign correspondent arriving at the scene of the currently fashionable disaster, walking around, waving a $100 bill and asking, “anybody here raped who speaks English?”