I ended my European tour in June at Rome where all roads are said to lead. After hours of prayer and meditation in Santa Maria Maggiore, I spent a long time in the vicinity of the Coliseum where I noticed something I had missed on previous visits:
The brutal Romans contributed mightily to civilization, but it took Christianity to civilize us truly. But now the Church of Rome is collapsing under the weight of its own decadence. It will most likely survive as a remnant, stripped down to essentials and purified by suffering and worldly losses. Such losses will do it good. The Church needs to spend a generation or two in the desert, there to examine its collective conscience and to ponder the mission it has abandoned.
All institutions require reform and renewal from time to time, as do their members. But it is not reform or renewal when an institution is diverted from its founding purpose. It is rather destruction. The whole point of the church founded by Christ was to stand against the world and point us, and indeed lead us, beyond it. "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36) Betraying its mandate, the Roman church has become just another piece of cultural junk. Cozying up to secularity, the Church seeks to maintain itself as an organizational hustle for the clerics it serves while abandoning the deposit of faith it is supposed to be preserving.
The vast, ancient edifice needs fumigation. The termites, from Bergoglio on down, need to be sent scurrying. The rotten hierarchy needs to be defunded. My trenchant but obviously figurative talk of termites and fumigation will elicit howls of protest from some. "Eliminationist rhetoric!" But consider this report from a correspondent, Dr. Vito Caiati:
In its October 7th edition, Corriere della Sera offered excepts from Pope Bergoglio’s just released book on the Virgin Mary , including the following paragraph, which well reveals his insidious method of undermining dogma and tradition. I provide the first paragraph of this longer reflection, followed by my translation.
Da quando è nata fino all’Annunciazione, al momento dell’incontro con l’angelo di Dio, me l’immagino come una ragazza normale, una ragazza di oggi, una ragazza non posso dire di città, perché Lei è di un paesino, ma normale, normale, educata normalmente, aperta a sposarsi, a fare una famiglia. Una cosa che immagino è che amasse le Scritture: conosceva le Scritture, aveva fatto la catechesi ma familiare, dal cuore. Poi, dopo il concepimento di Gesù, ancora una donna normale: Maria è la normalità, è una donna che qualsiasi donna di questo mondo può dire di poter imitare. Niente cose strane nella vita, una madre normale: anche nel suo matrimonio verginale, casto in quella cornice della verginità, Maria è stata normale. Lavorava, faceva la spesa, aiutava il Figlio, aiutava il marito: normale.
From her birth until the Annunciation, at the moment of the encounter with the angel of God, I imagine her [the Virgin Mary] as a normal girl, a girl of today, I cannot say a girl of the city, because she is from a hamlet, but normal, normal, educated normally, open to marrying, to having a family. One thing that I imagine is that she loved the Scriptures: she knew the Scriptures; she had carried out catechesis but informally, from the heart. Then, after the conception of Jesus, she was still a normal woman. Mary is normality, is a woman that almost any women in this world is able to imitate. No strange things in life, a normal mother: even in her virginal matrimony, chaste in that frame of virginity, Mary was normal. She worked, shopped, helped her Son, helped her husband: normal.
Leaving aside the triteness of these reflections, they constitute, first, a masked assault on the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which proclaims that “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 494). While we cannot know the intimate effects of such “singular grace and privilege” on Mary’s being and consciousness, we are certainly bound to hold that she was no “normal girl.” Moreover, Bergoglio’s words can be taken to deny the perpetual virginity of Mary, in that while he speaks of her being “chaste in the frame of virginity,” he simultaneously regards her “after the birth of Jesus” as “a normal woman” since there are “no strange things in life.” Again, the Church affirms that although Jesus emerged from the body of the Theotokos, her virginity was not in any way altered. Now, if this is not a “strange thing,” that is, an absolutely unique miracle, what is? Bergoglio is constantly at work undermining the foundations of the faith to the benefit of post-modern skepticism and relativism.