Dialogika

Italian SSPX: Pope Francis in Lampedusa

Translated from the original Italian article, on the Web site of the Italian province of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X: http://tinyurl.com/lwjjlze. Translated by Murray Watson. Comments in square brackets and footnotes by the translator.

 

It isn’t easy to follow the evolution of the pontificate of [Pope] Francis, although its broad strokes appear clearly enough. The recent trip to Lampedusa, one of the “existential fringes” which are so close to his heart, was certainly a major event.

The problem of immigration is always a difficult one to tackle, since, in addition to the real drama of many suffering individuals there is the more worrisome global scenario, with the dissolving of Europe’s Christian identity in a liberal cauldron of different cultures, among which a large Muslim community can be found, almost like a locksmith working to unhinge Christianity’s pre-eminent position on the religious level. The presence of large communities of other faiths certainly serves to justify the granting of equal rights and dignities to all faiths, and to promote indifferentism.

To all of this, we can add the fear—in the case of such a large Islamic presence, which has not been absorbed by the liberal materialism of the West—of a real, true seizure by such groups of power over our societies, as has been predicted and yearned for by so many imams and Muslim figures … or at least [there is] the real (and current) danger of serious [social] disturbances.

To this can be added problems of a political and economic nature: a society cannot indiscriminately absorb mass immigration; and the fact that making such a movement of people palatable relies on the desire of unscrupulous people to exploit the poor on the other side of the Mediterranean as cheap labour.

Whatever their political persuasion, every European is thinking about all, or at least some, of these issues, regardless of the way they think they should be addressed. Since the 9th century, the Popes (including several saints) have armed fleets to slow the entrance (armed, certainly) of Muslims into Italy, seeking to preserve Catholicism wherever it had not already been wiped out by the Mohammedan invasion. Pope Bergoglio, however, with his trip to Lampedusa, has, on the contrary, sought to simplify the issue: there are suffering people [“wretches”] who seek to come to the land of the selfish rich, who leave them to die at sea … And those guilty rich people? That’s all of us. Although this message might contain a grain of truth, it cannot exhaust a problem with such serious complications [or perhaps “implications”?]. While it is true that, in life-threatening situations, no one can be denied first aid (inasmuch as you are capable of offering it), it is also clear that one cannot underestimate the Masonic plan for the creation of a multi-cultural society, especially when one is the Pope, and therefore has the responsibility for defending the faith.

Pope Francis’s actions and words have been so full of the grimmest progressive boorishness, including celebrating the Mass on a small boat, and with sacred vessels made out of junk/scrap1. Actions that have immediately been popular with a certain audience and, especially, with the media.

The Pope did not, however, limit himself to launching a global SOS for poor shipwrecked people, something that, with some effort, might have been able to be justified. He did not forget that he was in front of immigrants who were predominantly Muslim (who were, obviously, brought to attend Mass, despite the much-vaunted respect for the conscience of others). And what was the message that he addressed to them—and, through them, to Europe? A wish for abundant spiritual fruits for Ramadan2. The phrase “spiritual fruits” clearly places Ramadan, not merely on the level of a sociological occurrence (for which one would wish them a good holiday in their culture), but it unequivocally characterizes [Ramadan] as a religious practice which could bear fruit for the soul. We should recall that such wishes—in the most official forms and to the most wide-ranging religions—have been, for decades, the practice of the Vatican and various episcopates, even, obviously, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI. On this occasion, [these greetings] constituted the only reference to the issue of the immigrants’ religious identity [“belonging”]. There was no invitation to conversion, of course, but [rather] to remaining faithful to their own religious practices which, on the basis of Nostra Aetate and the usual Modernism, are deemed effective. Europe should not, therefore, consider the immigrants’ Islam as a problem. Catholicism—which has at its heart the preservation of the Christian identity of the Old Continent—is thus discredited on two levels, as the Communist writer Michele Serra understood in the columns of La Repubblica; he was worried that reactionaries might attack the Pope as an ecumenist and a globalist [mondialista].

Pope Francis is not acting qualitatively differently from the conciliar doctrines that are so well known: religious liberty for all, the salvific value of false religions, a liturgy which must be enfleshed in the immediate lived situation of the community … for decades now, these have been the daily bread and butter administered by Popes to Catholics, and to the world. However, he does it particularly ably, by placing himself at the service of the media (dicite nobis placentia3), and of the main architects of the new order. Thanks to him, the wish expressed by Enzo Bianchi, in an article on the Fraternity of St. Pius X which appeared in La Repubblica on July 8, is being fulfilled: “What is urgent, however, is that, in the Catholic Church, there not be uncertainties as regards the Council and the liturgical reform … We hope that Pope Francis will succeed in this task—of re-gathering Catholics into unity, especially by means of the Eucharistic rite desired by Vatican II, and received by all the Church. Let there be pluralism … let the rite from before the Council be allowed to be celebrated … but let the uncertainty about the Council and the liturgical reform cease.”



1. “The pope celebrated Mass on a sports field near where the wrecks of migrants' vessels have been piled up. He used an altar fashioned from a small boat and a lectern made from the helm of one of the vessels. His staff and chalice were also made from piece of wood taken from the wrecks.” (Tom Kington, “Pope Francis criticizes indifference toward immigrants’ plight”. Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2013; http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-pope-immigration-20130708,0,4473843.story)

“‘We have become used to other people’s suffering, it doesn’t concern us, it doesn't interest us, it’s none of our business!’ he said during his homily from an altar built from an old fishing boat painted in Italy’s red, green and white colors.” (Alessandro Bianchi, “Pope Francis commemorates migrant dead at Lampedusa”. Reuters News, July 8, 2013;
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/08/us-pope-lampedusa-idUSBRE9660KH20130708)

2. “ ‘I send heartfelt greetings to dear Muslim immigrants who, this evening, will begin the Ramadan fast, and wish them abundant spiritual rewards,’ Francis said in a homily as he held mass on the tiny Italian island.” (“Italy: Pope sends Ramadan greeting to Muslims during Lampedusa visit”. Adnkronos News Service, July 8, 2013; http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Religion/Italy-Pope-sends-Ramadan-greeting-to-Muslims-during-Lampedusa-visit_32374803375.html )

3. Perhaps, “Tell us [only] pleasant things” or “Speak only pleasantly to us”? Cf. Isaiah 30:9-10 describing Israelite reaction to false prophets: "For they are a rebellious people, faithless children, children who will not hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, 'Do not see'; and to the prophets, 'Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth [pleasant] things, prophesy illusions."