Jason Morgan | Remnant Correspondent, TOKYO
On the lighter side. . .
A debate has been raging for centuries among the Eastern Orthodox over whether Moscow is the “third Rome”. Constantinople, the capital of the eastern wing of the old Roman Empire, was the “second Rome,” the Third Romers argue. To be sure, Constantinople held out long after the “first Rome” fell to invading barbarian hordes. St. Augustine wrote City of God in the early 400s to explain why the sack of the West by the Visigoths was not the Christians’ fault, but by that time it was already too late, Third Romers say. The spirit of Rome had moved on, settling in the East until it, too, fell. When Sultan Mehmed II sacked Constantinople in 1453, there was the same panic as in Rome itself a thousand years before. Where would the third “Rome” be?
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by the Dalai Lama. I have long been interested in Buddhism, and I am also deeply concerned about the ongoing genocide of the Tibetan people under the rule of the People’s Republic of China. So, I was looking forward to the event, and hoped that His Holiness would have a few words to say about the communists who have made it part of their daily routine to tear down Tibetan monasteries and torture unarmed monks and nuns.
The Dalai Lama is said to be the fourteenth reincarnation of the bodhisattva of compassion, so I did not expect him to twist his mouth up like Rambo and call for the blood of his people’s tormenters to run in the streets of Lhasa. And yet, I was surprised that the Dalai Lama did not mention what is happening in Tibet at all.
Until recently, “secession” wasn’t a word that had been bandied about much since Ft. Sumter. Disgruntled segments of the American electorate occasionally mounted secession referenda in fits of post-election pique, but those quickly died down and people went about their daily business soon enough.
That all changed with the coming of the culture wars. As one issue after another split the American public into opposing camps, our elections became all-out battles over a non-existent center, until now, in 2018, the losing side is carrying out a slow coup against the winning side, and the country is seriously, soberly wondering whether shooting might not break out over something as pedestrian as a judicial appointment. Marbury v. Madison was high drama, but with the Brett Kavanaugh saga we saw the Wicked Witch of the West Coast call in her swarms of flying monkeys to try to tear the republic into pieces.
The majority of the faithful in China - 6 million Catholics - have refused to join the communist pseudo-church. (Sketch by Tess Mullins)
Jorge Mario Bergoglio likes to remind us that God is a God of surprises. I’ll say. The only thing that would have been more surprising than these last five years’ being the papal equivalent of Kingda Ka is if I had somewhere discovered a herd of wildebeests able to speak ancient Sumerian. Day after day, heresy after heresy… I confess, Dear Reader—during the Reign of Bergoglio, I have been powerfully surprised.
But let us not be stingy. We must give credit where credit is due. There is a lot, after all, for which we might thank His Holiness. This half-decade of reaching for the theological Dramamine has brought with it plenty of opportunities to think through some unexpected questions.
Well, that didn’t take long.
Just last week, amid worldwide shock and horror over revelations that Pope Francis the Last had actively conspired to cover up decades of sickening sexual abuse by people in high Church office, His Holiness, obeying the code of omertà to the letter, vowed to keep a lofty silence and not dignify the charges against him with a response.