Sunday, February 1, 2009

Christopher Pearson, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the SSPX and anti-semitism

Reading Christopher Pearson is one of the more peculiar pleasures available to the modern reader of newspapers.

Why The Australian publishes his commentariet on the Holy Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire (much diminished) is one of the deeper infallible mysteries, in much the same way as transubstantiation converts an ordinary drop of sherry into a healthy dose of type O blood direct from the body of Christ, and turns bread into a slice of flesh, perhaps a sweet tender cut carved from the thigh.

There's a peculiar self-loathing about Pearson and his proud parade of his gay-driven chastity for preference over sordid sex of a homosexual kind (or worse an actual gay marriage in a relationship involving giving and caring and loving). He is, at heart, a medievalist, a man driven to distraction by his own unhealthy perverted desires and the awful antics of those who lived life to the full in the nineteen sixties.

But as a result all his love is sent out in gushing waves towards the Roman church and its wonderful Holy See, with the current incumbent worthy of all kinds of loving understanding.

That's why lesser mortals have failed to understand why the Holy Father has decided to make peace with the bunch of raving ratbags and loons who parade under the guise of Catholic fundamentalist separatism, and have provided shelter for raving anti-semites in the guise of the SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X, a virulent form of extremist thinking available in Australia as elsewhere in the world).

As a result of carefully calculated manoeuvrings, according to Christopher, the Vatican produced a fait accompli, and as a result it seems is that most of  the SSPX's 500 or so priests and their congregations, not to mention 200 seminarians in training, will come back into the fold. "So his (Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re's) latest move will leave Catholicism a more pluralistic institution than it's been for a very long time."

Which is to say even more full, perhaps even completely replete, with as diverse a flock of galahs, fools, and barking mad conservatives as could be imagined in the twenty first century.

But that's the Pope's mission: "His primary responsibility is not to ingratiate himself with the Left-liberal press but to bring separated brethren - including the inconvenient and the barking mad as well as the mild-mannered conservatives - back into the church".

With a bald po-faced earnestness that should earn Pearson a 'pious hypocrite of the year' award, he seeks to explain away Marcel Lefebvre as a harmless French church man carrying a little cultural baggage, driven to mild extremes by hateful, hurtful vile modernists (who thought like y'know that the mass should be in a language the folk could understand, say English instead of Latin, so the flock could be more than a bunch of automatized sheep).

But no, it's those damned pesky republicans, socialists and the ecclesiastical left who created Lefebvre. Sure he supported Vichy (but his dad as in the resistance), sure he backed Le Pen (but only because of abortion) and sure he wrote a letter in 1985 to John Paul 11 saying Jews, communists and freemasons were the enemies of the Church.

But don't get it wrong - "to see anti-Semitism as Lefebvre's defining characteristic as misguided as dismissing the SSPX as a hate group". Sure, like the way Mel Gibson's dad doesn't have an anti-semitic bone in his body (just like good ol' drunken Mel himself), he just likes to see priests get dressed up in drag and sing in Latin (not like those bloody sixties hippies who liked to get undressed, smoke pot, fornicate in a lascivious manner and call themselves christians).

Yep, it seems that the main problem for the splinter group is just the modernists (who control everything, everything I tells ya) and the power of the bishops (when jeeze everybody knows the Pope is the only infallible one).

So what about this lunatic Richard Williamson? Well he's just a harmless deluded crank, who has happens to believe in a standard set of right wing conspiracy theories like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the twin towers being demolished by US agencies.

Harmless really, the result of taking refuge in a religious cult, one now warmly welcomed back into the fold. That's right, according to Pearson, the church has embraced a religious cult. Go figure. Anyhoo, not everyone in the SSPX shares all Williamson's beliefs - as long ago as 2007 they denounced anti-semitism. "But only in the past week has it managed to discipline and silence him". (Williamson was consecrated by Lefebvre way back in 1988. Still the wheels of truth grind slowly in the church - remember it was in 2000 that the Pope said sorry to Galileo for giving him a hard time in 1633).

The convoluted contortions of Pearson are fascinating to behold. They provide continuous amusement for anyone interested in logical expression and rational coherent argument. Now all sing along:

Is life just a game where we make up the rules
While we're searching for something to say
Or are we just simple spiralling coils
Of self-replicating DNA?

I'm for the idea that it's just a game where we make up the rules. And then you can spend a happy life in jesuitical hair splitting and working out just how many angels can fit on a pin and how many souls make it to purgatory (since it seems limbo might not exist anymore) and how many are going directly to hell, especially those hippie modernists who don't understand the beauty of Latin, a language established by heathen Romans long before they hit on the excellent notion of feeding Christians to lions.

Nuttiness, all is nuttiness, and Christopher Pearson a beautifully nutty and sultana-rich fruitcake, worthy of serving at Christmas, if only that wasn't a pagan festival celebrating materialism and a bearded jolly old man in red and white who closely resembles Satan.

Yep, let's face it, the Pope has succeeded magnificently. The Church is more barking mad than ever, and Christopher Pearson is there to celebrate it, and apologise for it, and resolutely excuse it in The Australian. What a funny world we live in, I say (and remind me never to buy The Australian).

Oh and if you must here is A broad church for all , (a click will make Rupert Murdoch, American owner of The Australian diddly squat), while if you want to get a good anti-abortion tirade from the Rockdale branch of the SSPX, you can always go here. A click here will encourage the lunatics in their new rapprochement with the Church, and its new radical extremism might herald the downfall of the beast of Rome and the start of the rapture. So it could be worth it. 

If however you want a bit of sanity, try Christopher Buckley with his Pope-a-Dope piece at The Daily Beast. Buckley was of course thrown out of Valhalla for drinking Obama kool-aid when he should have been drinking Palinade cordial fresh from Jonestown, but apart from sending up the whack-job called Lefebvre, and providing a link to the Holocaust denying rant by Williamson posted on You Tube, he also links to his own piece of writing on visiting Auschwitz. As well as deserving praise for being the author of the excellent Thank You For Smoking, it could be said that Buckley has more literary skill (and sanity) in his little finger than Pearson possesses within his substantial body. 

Meantime folks, it's time to make sure you have 666 somewhere around your house or in your possession as the end times draw near, and the heat buckles the rails of poor old Melbourne.

Luckily I have the numbers embedded in my driver's licence and still keep a registration plate off my old car, which included the numbers purely by chance. Does this mean something? Is it a sign? Something syntagmatic? Stop it you post structuralist, semiotically driven modernists, y'all go blind I tells ya.

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