John Rao | Remnant Columnist, New York
Editor’s Note: After long and inexplicable delays the great Pope Pius IX was finally beatified (alongside, incredibly, Pope John XXIII) on September 2, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. A few weeks from now, John XXIII is scheduled to be promoted again, this time as a canonized saint—despite the lack of any particular cult surrounding his cause, the required miracle or even a serious claim of heroic virtue. He is apparently being canonized on the grounds that during Vatican II, Yves Congar wrote in his diary that Cardinal Suenens “planned to conclude his ‘De Ecclesia’ speech asking for John XXIII’s immediate canonization by acclamation.” Evidently, John XXIII is to be canonized because his friends in the curia, mourning his death at the time, said they wanted his canonization recorded as a "Council decision". Fifty years later, they're still at it. Good for them! But on a more serious note and given Pius’ massive contribution to the Church’s heroic last stand against the very liberalism that is today tearing the world in half, some Catholics are wondering why the Vatican seems to have chosen style over substance once again. Could it possibly be that canonization has become somehow politicized? Meanwhile Pope Pius IX is again waiting in the wings, which is why even as he did for so many years back in the 1990s until Pio Nono was finally beatified, Dr. Rao is again calling for the Vatican to do the right thing. MJM
Conquered peoples frequently adopt their victors’ language, customs, religion and heroes as their own. Indeed, they often so reject their former ways as to wince with shame at the mere mention of the names of their past champions, or forget them entirely. We are rightly edified at the thought of a powerful barbarian tribe like the Franks under Clovis, Pippin, and Charlemagne being conquered by what it saw to be a superior Roman Catholic culture, and abandoning in horror its traditional pagan brutality.
“The Syllabus in complete form is already in La Civiltà Cattolica in 1850. It is nothing other than the codification, the unconditional approval, the supreme papal sanction of those principles and doctrines that, already at the time of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, that periodical had assumed the task of promoting, and which for years and years it tenaciously supported.” (A. Dioscordi, “La rivoluzione italiana e la Civiltà Cattolica”, Atti del XXXII congresso del Risorgimento italiano, Rome, 1956, p. 94.)
The Catholic world has been shaken by the recent interview with Pope Francis appearing in the Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica [Italian for Catholic Civilization, it is a periodical published since 1850 without interruptions by the Jesuits in Rome. It is among the oldest of Catholic Italian periodicals and is directly revised by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See before being published.] Having done my doctoral dissertation on the first twenty years of that periodical’s history, I thought it might be interesting to Remnant readers to know that they can find in its original articles—and, in fact, in its very reason for existence—all the grounds necessary for a faithful critique of the pope’s words. For La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in 1850 precisely to combat the obvious Church weakness and surrender to willfulness that were the inevitable by-product of the kind of “open” approach to “diverse” modern men that the Holy Father is now once again promoting. Perhaps recalling this life-giving lesson from the journal’s past may inspire second thoughts tempering the truly deadening effect of the words found in its current pages.