Skip to comments.HOLY WEEK'S SORE LOSER
Posted on 04/02/2010 9:25:05 AM PDT by NYer
ROME, APRIL 1, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Every year, the forces of evil get very anxious as we reach Holy Week. After six weeks of purification and prayer, we reach the great celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and our reconciliation with God. Satan is a sore loser.
So the Christian celebration of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection is accompanied by the yearly ritual of Christ-bashing in the mainstream media. You will recall that just a year ago Newsweek Magazine celebrated Easter with a cover story titled “The Decline and Fall of Christian America,” while the Discovery channel aired a documentary that portrayed Jesus as a political opportunist.
This Lent, the attacks have been more pointed, targeting Christ’s vicar, the Pope. The last few weeks have seen a frenzy of accusations against the clergy, the bishops and the Pope himself regarding cases of sex abuse in Germany, Ireland and the United States. The strategy has been that of pre-Geneva Convention warlords: fire as many shots as possible into the air and hope that something will hit the mark. Since the media are held to no rules of engagement, innocent casualties and wanton destruction are welcomed as tactics to weaken the adversary.
Daily headlines pairing Benedict XVI with sexual abuse reveal little substance and much specious reasoning, while the editorialists have been vying, like bullies in a school yard, to see who can deliver the sharpest kick.
To the secular minded it seems inexplicable that the Holy See doesn’t leap to its own defense, brandishing sheaves of files, swiftly rebutting each accusation, and decrying this defamation from the cupola of St. Peter’s. This is not Rome’s way. Not when the Landsknechts sacked Rome in 1527, forcing Pope Clement VII to flee for his life; not when 86-year-old Pope Pius VI was trundled off by Napoleon and driven around Europe until he died; and not when the Italians claimed Rome and drove Pope Pius IX into exile within the Vatican walls.
There are two main reasons for this. For all their pretensions, newspapers are not a court of law. They are bound to no rules when considering evidence, nor is there a process for establishing the worthiness of witnesses for the prosecution. They can pick and choose what to publish and what to silence, or simply ignore. The media’s self-styled tribunals bring more sales for the editors and more reasons and resources to keep attacking the Church, but little in the way of justice.
Moreover, in media courts, you are assumed guilty until proven innocent. In this arena, the press calls the shots, and slings the mud while all the Holy See can do is wipe it off. Much like the trial of Christ, there is no chance of acquittal here.
Christ’s unjust trial and condemnation, however, never was a story about those who betrayed and beat him. Jesus is the hero and brought out the best in many, even as he went to his death. Simon of Cyrene, who helped bear Christ's burden, Veronica who became the custodian of his image, and even the late convert Longinus, who pierced the side of Christ with his lance -- all these are remembered by name, while the reviling mob and persecutors are lost to history.
The trials of Benedict XVI have similarly produced some heroes. Bill Donahue of the Catholic League has brought the battle to the doors of the newsrooms. Relentless and inexhaustible, he has extracted apologies and forced retractions like David repelling the wolves and lions from his flock.
Among many others: George Weigel, Sean Murphy, Father Raymond de Souza, and most recently, Cardinal Levada himself, have spent hours sifting through each accusation, checking facts and brandishing their writing talents to persuasively rebut each new accusation randomly thrown by the press. Why do they do it? So the Holy Father won’t have to.
The tempestuous fury of the mainstream media stands in sharp contrast to the Roman mood. After record numbers for Palm Sunday Mass, the atmosphere in Rome is prayerful and serene as we approach the Holy Triduum.
While the secular world wrestles with its fascination with sex and scandal, the Christian faithful join the prayers of the Holy Roman Church in this the most blessed time of year. The Pope’s job is not to jump when the New York Times calls, but to reap and distribute the graces won for us by Christ. Here in Rome, that is our fixation.
The often overt hatred of the Catholic Church these days constitutes a last Lenten temptation for us. Like Jesus' three temptations in the desert, Satan offers us three as well: a temptation to despair for the future of the Church, a temptation to turn our attention from our Paschal renewal, and a temptation to despise those who have shown such scorn for our faith and our Holy Father.
Like Jesus, we must resist. It is up to us to remember that our Kingdom already has a news service, and it is the Good News that we proclaim this week.
My local paper commemorated Good Friday by publishing a truly foul anti-Catholic, anti-Pope cartoon. I wrote them a letter immediately, and I hope other Catholics did, too.
It was the kind of cartoon that you would see published in Ku Klux Klan material here in the 1920s (leering, deformed looking Pope with an oversize miter, etc.).
May God forgive them....
The minions of the lord of this world have been very busy here on FR. I just finished up a long reply to a staunch Calvinist who trundled out the usual accusations that have been rebutted successfully hundreds of times. And the rebuttals ignored...
I must say, though, that many of the harpies have been absent, or posting more infrequently. Perhaps God may shine upon them cutting through the unholy gloom that surrounds them. They may yet become Christian. After all, Paul did.
They’re ignorant, so He probably will. But the cartoonist had an agenda.
I’m sick of being attacked by Protestants here. I would never attack their churches, and I don’t see why they are always in full cry against the Church. Maybe it’s the difference between “c” and “C” - and they know it.
There are a number of Protestants here who do not attack; they debate and they strive to worship God as He intended us to do. Then there are those who understand in their heart of hearts that they are wrong and the basis of their beliefs are wrong. These are the folks who tear into others and attempt to destroy them, in the hopes of ignoring that little voice in their hearts that tell them that they are wrong.
Well what a sad creature he is then...Religion must be very scary for him if he feels such a need to demonize it...
Yes, there are some very nice Protestants here, and I have had many decent discussions with them about “orthodox Christianity” (that is, Trinitarian faith).
Lately, however, the fringe group has been heard from, and it’s pretty depressing.
I have seen some really nasty Catholic bashing on FR lately too, and I am kind of shocked (and upset) by it. I know there has always been some, but it seems to be so much worse now. Do they not think about how they will answer to God for this kind of stuff?
But, we must rejoice, for the as the Lord said (about His Church) “the gates of hell will not prevail against it”. They sure are trying, though. :-)
You should have posted this ...
Just goes to show the evil ones bwelieve in Christ by their actions. I teach them all by offering it up for them and praying, offering at Mass.
What anti-evangels, without Christ they would have no life.
The Lord was treated the same.
Hey, if you have no wolves, you3e not sheep.
Well off to procession, I will keep all of us in prayer.
It’s great to be Catholic, thank you Lord.
And the difference between God and small g gods.
Instead of conforming to Christ, the conform to the world.
That’s been our problem as well, turning on Christ to serve out of pride, witout prayer (see activists). They drop the messiah for Marx, and let the world dictate them instead of waiting for God’s will . How would you know unless you’re cleaved to Christ in prayer.
Be in the world, not of it, right?
I was going to watch the Passion of the Christ last night before reading the part of the Narrator in today’s Gospel, but I chickened out. I couldn’t do it.
Well ... we also remember Judas the Betrayer, along with Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod.
I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where comes my help? My help is in the Name of The Lord, who made Heaven and Earth.
a temptation to turn our attention from our Paschal renewal,
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
and a temptation to despise those who have shown such scorn for our faith and our Holy Father.
Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
There are also a number of Protestants here who have spoken in favour of the Church, and the Pope. May God bless them abundantly for their fraternal charity.
May God bless them and keep them and bring them to Him on the last day.
For what it’s worth, as anti-Catholic as I am, I have never taken part in the pope-bashing over the current sex-abuse brou-ha-ha. The whole thing has obviously been a leftist/secularist attack on Benedict—especially considering that the organs pushing it probably think that pederasty is a perfectly legitimate “lifestyle choice.”
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