Jimmy Carter in a dress
I suppose this puts me in the ranks of the "rad-trad" haters, even though I've never been to a Latin mass in my life. Too bad. I've got a memory long enough to have seen this sort of "breath of fresh air" blowing a lot of dust around. Plus, I've got the experience of Anglicanism to spot the warning signs of destructive modernism hiding behind a butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth facade of mildness.
I was so shocked by Benedict XVI's abdication, I still haven't really gotten over it. Maybe I never will. What's clear by now, at least, is that the indefatigable "look on the bright side" brigade who filled the blogosphere with their sage explanations of why this was such a brilliant strategic masterstroke got things completely wrong. So much for the theories that this was a way for Benedict to "influence" who would succeed him; that a younger man could be ushered in who would ensure the continuation of his work, rather than allowing age and illness to weaken him to the point where his pontificate would fall into the untrustworthy hands of the Curia.
Instead, Benedict's Folly insulted the Holy Spirit, demanding He show up and perform to our schedule, and now we've received the reward we deserve. I'm not surprised the former pope looked frail and shaky when he met his successor last week. I'd be feeling shaky too if I'd spent a week contemplating how I'd just pissed away my life's work.
I finally came around to grudging forgiveness when I reflected that greater powers than Benedict were at work here, and he didn't know for what purpose God was using him. I think though that this is a working-out of the final Fatima prophecy, and he may very well finish his life as a martyr. Isn't it odd that as Cardinal Ratzinger, he was the one who tried so hard to slam the door shut on this particular mystery, and he might end up being the one who causes it to be fulfilled? I always thought that the official explanation that seized on the attempted assassination of JPII as the final and 3rd prophecy was lame; it was so obvious that 1981 was not the "culmination" of anything. In the more than 3 decades since, things have just gotten worse and worse for the Church.
Honestly, I thought that though everything else was falling apart, Rome would stand to the end. Now I don't know what to think. But I don't expect anything but trouble from Francis.