Fatima and Priestly Chivalry

The Holy Father has been taking a beating lately on behalf of his sinful sons in the priesthood.  “The pope will have much to suffer,” Our Lady told the children at Fatima.  This has been realized in every pope since the time of the apparitions, but we wonder if Our Lady had these days and this pope particularly in mind.

None of us should be particularly surprised or even disturbed by the assaults of the enemies of the Church.  This is nothing new or unexpected.  For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? Our Lord said on the day he died (Lk23:31).  History has played itself out, just as he predicted.

It is the height of hypocrisy for secularists to act horrified by unnatural vice within the Church when they are its biggest advocates.  But it is even worse for a wolf to cloth himself in the robes of a shepherd.  We have put the rope in our enemies’ hands.

En route to Portugal on Tuesday, Benedict was asked if the suffering of John Paul contained in Fatima’s third secret could be extended to encompass the suffering of the church today concerning the clerical abuse scandal.

Benedict affirmed it could, arguing that the Fatima message doesn’t respond to a particular situation or time but offers a “fundamental response” to the constant need for penance and prayer.

“In terms of what we today can discover in this message, attacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church,” he told reporters. “The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This, too, has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way.”

The evil within the Church is especially terrifying because it has not done more to restore our militancy.  Where has been the outrage?  Why did the Church not protect the innocent once pastors knew what was happening?  Leon Podles has written on the subject of anger and the sex scandal.  Katie van Schaijik at The Linde has an interesting commentary on Podles’ article.

The ethics of chivalry originally arose out of the need to moderate the ferociousness of masculine aggressiveness.  Today it needs to be restored in order to validate masculine authority and the role of fathers.  This is not to say that the moderation of chivalry is not necessary today.  Militancy and Chivalry are not necessarily identical and there are many divisions within the Church that exist because of arrogance and a lack of charity.  But child molestation is a no-brainer.

The way of Chivarly is the hard road.  It admits of no extremes and makes demands on all sides.  No rest for the weary.  No convalescing for the wounded.  On your feet and fight.  On your feet and tend to the needy.

Here is an interesting take on the culture of Twitter which is appropriate to this subject.  Fight the good fight, with the emphasis on good.

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Masculinity, Mary and the Church

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I am reading Leon Podles’ The Church Impotent:  The Feminization of Christianity and am reflecting much on the mission of the Knights of Lepanto and of MaryVictrix.  The book is now out of print, but can be found online for free here.  Podles identifies some real problems in the Western Church, in the light of which it is not hard to understand why we have a crisis of homosexuality within the ranks of the Catholic clergy–the white elephant no one wants to talk about.

Podles investigates the causes of male absenteeism from Church and religious practices.  He relates, for example, that studies have been done that show the more masculine a man is (how ever that is defined in the studies) the less likely he is to have any religious inclination.  He notes in particular that the absence of males is a problem in Western Christianity and he traces the origins of this problem.  In any case, I don’t think many would argue that in milieu of Western Christianity that men tend to be less religious, or religious mostly by way of the influence of women (mothers, girlfriends, wives).

I think his analysis is compelling in many respects.  Here I would like to focus on the aspects of Marian devotion, celibacy and bridal spirituality and their relation to male identity. Continue reading