The burning of Pope Francis in effigy... Argentina's feminists reveal all!
I found watching this video gut wrenching. Those young men showed immense courage, while the marauding crowd degenerated into near savagery. The hatred, the disrespect, the deliberate abuse of these young men was sickening to watch, all the more so because they were... praying. I couldn't have shown such courage, I would have had to walk away. We salute you, brave Christian heroes. Sadly, I don't think this will be the last time you will suffer like this.
Take note. This was not a bunch of thugs released from prison. It was a group of people animated by their dogmas to hate those who had a different set of values, a different set of beliefs to them. It is often said that there is nothing so illiberal and a liberal, and this shows just how vicious those illiberal liberals can be.
We are used to snide comments, disparaging remarks coming our way. Once, while on holiday, I would join a young German couple for breakfast. When they heard I was a Catholic, and was against abortion, they looked like I hadn't washed in a while, and it was made plain that I was no longer welcome. Hardly the end of the world, but it showed a real lack of an ability to respect differences, to be tolerant of others, and a dogmatism which was destructive. But this was 15 yrs back. Now the dogmatic liberals are much more fierce, much more open, and much more demanding of the complete destruction of every aspect of the Church, as this video shows very clearly with its vivid picture of the image of Pope Francis up in flames.
Why such a frenzy of hatred, what on earth possesses these people with such vicious intolerance? I don't think it is a mistake this is taking place in Argentina, a place with a deep Catholic consciousness but also a recent ground-swell of anti-Catholic libertarianism, and also the land of the pope, a pope who seems to understand these forces very well, and rescued the Church from a fruitless war which sought to confront these people head-on. Having robbed them of their battlefield, one which it was easy for them to win, they have now broken cover and are directly attacking the Church on its own ground, literally in this case.
Pope Francis has come across as a decent, compassionate priest, who has won the world's press over to a more sympathetic appraisal of the Catholic Church. His emphasis on proclaiming the good things in the Gospel, while not avoiding the points of conflict with contemporary social movements, has won the Church space to again draw to itself those people of 'good will' who maybe don't share our faith, or go along with most of our social agenda, but who nevertheless see something of the immense good which the Church is in many millions of people's lives and respect that.
In comparison to his predecessor, Pope Francis has shown a canny sense of how to present the Church in a way which allows people space to approach her without feeling condemned or lectured to or faced with a 'holier than thou' crowd. Not that I am saying that was what Pope Benedict intended, but it was how he, and in particular his most aggressive supporters, too often came across. Combined with the sex abuse crisis, for most people in the street the Catholic Church was at the very least mockable. There were glimmers of hope, for example when he won over the British people despite the initial hostility of the press egged on by the aggressive gay lobby, but that was a rare victory. For the most part the Church was left looking pretty outdated, a bastion of reactionary patriarchy, hating women, gays and just about anybody who didn't sign up against contraception, abortion and gay marriage.
Francis has steered us away from that confrontation, one which we were loosing badly and fought in a rather arrogant and crass way, and in a quite miraculous way the Church has emerged once again as generally a force which the general populace see for good. A body that speaks up for and is committed to the poor, the needy, the vulnerable and in doing so being faithful to Jesus and the Gospel. In doing that people find inspiration, and the Church is viewed as less hypocritical, more like Jesus and less like a powerful world institution. And therefore less of a legitimate target for attack. In positioning the CHurch in this way, Francis has shown astute wisdom, and we should thank God for raising up such a wise leader in such troubling times.
For those who hate the Church, and who want to see the whole cultural edifice which Christianity has established over 2000yrs torn down, this is a major setback. Without a whipping boy in the Vatican hot seat the media can't be so easily lulled into playing their tune. But that doesn't the hatred and vitriol has gone away. In fact, it is being more directly unleashed.
Watching that video made me think back to the Narnia stories by C.S.Lewis, and the moment when Aslan hands himself over to the White Witch as a sacrifice in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a powerful scene of evil, one where there is a madness and spite unleashed as a frenzy upon the meek Lion which simply takes it, lies down, and dies. Those half-naked feminists, literally spitting on their victims and defacing their genital area with spray paint, while spewing forth vitriol, would have been at home in that scene of the desecration of Aslan. That these women were determined to desecrate the Cathedral, the home of the Blessed Sacrament, and these valiant young men were defending the Church, makes it even more clear that this is a battle against evil and the forces which from ancient times have sought to destroy and desecrate all that is good and holy, and which tore into the sacred flesh of the Saviour.
Mark my words, this will be just the start of a barbaric onslaught against very decent, ordinary Christians who seek simply to do good, to love their God and their neighbour as they see best, who seek not to impose their beliefs but simply to live by them themselves. We will need much more courageous young men, and indeed women, to stand the line and bear the scars with humble but steadfast hearts. St Michael defend us, our blessed Mother pray!