In 1989, Romanian communist dictator Ceausescu gave a speech from a balcony to the crowd below. This was fresh on the heels of his security police turning their guns on people and killing many who protested several days before in Timisoara. The usual practice was to “invite” people to attend the speech who were believed to be under the thumb of the dear dictator and who would applaud appropriately at the appropriate time. The images would be shared with the country and the applause heard, and all would be convinced that the dictator was wise and all-knowing. The message also contained an implicit understanding that anyone who didn’t agree was somehow mentally ill, or an enemy of the people, and completely out of step with the will of the great majority of the people and the dictator.
Ceausescu had been the dictator for more than a couple of decades and was believed to have complete control over a cowed, silent people. Yet, when he took to the balcony on December 22, 1989 and started into his speech, it was not too long before he and everyone else there knew something was happening that was not part of the script. Television cameras rolling soon showed protest banners being raised and the chants of “Timisoara! Timisoara! Timisoara!” could be heard. The cameras also caught the looks of puzzlement on Ceausescu’s face, then his countenance of disgust and contempt, then his realization and fear that things were not as he believed, that things were happening and being said which were not part of the script and totally unexpected, and were not good for him. They weren’t cheering or applauding or affirming him as he had expected they would.
Here is a picture of Ceausescu using his hands to tell the crowd to “shut up” along with the look of disdain for the rabble who dared to challenge him.
The crowd was supposed to have been hand-picked for their reliable pliability and complacency, and for their assured applause. It was at this moment, Ceausescu realized he had lost control of the narrative, when he realized that those who were supposed to be in lock-step with him, revealed their anger and spoke up, and let him know they were no longer going along with the predetermined program. Within a week, Ceausescu was shot, and within a few more weeks his communist government and its apparatchiks and nomenclatura were done.
Last week, from January 22-25, 2015 in Rome, Cardinal Baldisseri convened the international conference of lay and family movements. The dear cardinal wanted to discuss the “pastoral” concerns and methods proposed by the October Extraordinary Synod on the (ahem) Family, and to get an understanding of what these participants believed to be important so they could justify the planned roll-out of the “merciful newfaith” next October when the Synod was reconvened. Baldisseri and his apparatchiks no doubt believed that the crowd was a reliable crowd that appreciated the good works being pursued by the nomenclatura, that they could be counted on to affirm the program with weepy stories about those divorced and remarried Catholics who were being unmercifully deprived of Holy Communion, who felt that the Church was being mean and not nice to them, who felt they were made to feel that they didn’t belong, or who knew of loving homosexuals who were “married” but also felt the Church was mean to them, and unwelcoming. They were no doubt of the mind that these lay and family movement members would applaud and demand that the Church implement the Pope Francis “pastoral” program that would allow them to fully participate in the sacraments, that their mortal sins would be declared mortal sins no more, and whose profanation of the Eucharist would be declared profanation no more.
Like Ceausescu in 1989, Baldisseri saw the equivalent of the banners of protest rise in the room, and realized the voices were not of the reliable, pliable complacent dupes he thought. There was almost no applause.
Voice of the Family, an international coalition of pro-family groups, said in a Jan. 25th statement that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who addressed the conference hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, was “undermining” doctrine by defending the right of theologians to contradict the Church’s teaching in this area.
Like Ceausescu again, the dear Cardinal waved his hands and angrily scolded those who challenged the attempt to pass heresy as Catholicism and sacrilege as a good. Here is a picture of one of those moments.
Clearly showing his contempt and disdain for these voices of orthodoxy, he gestures to indicate that these proposals are nothing new, not heresy, not condoning sacrilege, and to indicate that those who think so are probably dim-witted.
Baldisseri defended the right of Walter Cardinal Kasper to assert that divorced persons living in unions not recognised by the Church should be permitted to receive Holy Communion. Baldisseri, in response to a concerned pro-family advocate, told delegates that we should not be “shocked” by theologians contradicting Church teaching. The Cardinal said that dogmas can evolve and that there would be no point holding a Synod if we were simply to repeat what had always been said. He also suggested that just because a particular understanding was held 2,000 years ago does not mean that it cannot be challenged.
Just because Jesus said what He said doesn’t mean He can’t be challenged. Just because Saint Paul said what he said 2000 years ago doesn’t mean he can’t be challenged. Yes, we must defend heresy within our ranks.
Yet, some of the supposedly reliable dupes said otherwise.
Patrick Buckley, international envoy for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented: “The Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is founded on the words of Jesus Christ. These words may have been spoken 2,000 years ago but for Catholics they remain nothing other than the unchanging commands of God.”
Maria Madise, Director of Voice of the Family, said: “Cardinal Baldisseri publicly corrected a delegate who protested about attacks on Catholic teaching. It was noticeable that he refused to do the same when the Church’s teaching on contraception was denied a few moments later by a different delegate. The impression given is that the only sin today is to uphold what the Church has always taught.”
Madise continued: “Everything seemed up for discussion at this conference, including questions already clearly resolved by the magisterium of the Church. Such discussion distracts from the task of finding real solutions to the problems faced by real families. Grave evils such as abortion, euthanasia and attacks on parental rights scarcely featured in discussions. These are some of the key issues also omitted from the final report of the 2014 synod. Suffering families are not assisted by the sophistry of professional dissenters, whether clerical or lay.”
Others who actually believe that what Jesus says is the Truth and what the Church has always taught is true were also revealed to be opposed.
Following his presentation, Cardinal Baldisseri fielded questions. The first came from a representative from a Venezuelan-based family organization, who wished to remain anonymous. The representative’s question was more of a statement.
He expressed “concern” and “shock” over Cardinal Kasper’s proposal at last February’s Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals, in which Cardinal Kasper argued that the Catholic Church ought to study the Eastern Orthodox Church’s allowance of divorce and remarriage. Cardinal Kasper speculated that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist, after a penitential process in the Catholic Church.
No, of course we shouldn’t be shocked that there are Cardinals in the Church who are heretics, who do not believe the Faith to be true, and who seek to undermine the Lord Himself, because they know better than He does. No, that is not shocking at all. But it should be. And to the great shock of Baldisseri, Kasper and Pope Francis, it is, to many Real Catholics.
The dear cardinal then had to report to the pope about the disloyalty that confronted them. Perhaps, there was gnashing of teeth and much gesticulation as the report was given.
Unlike what was evidently expected, the lay movements almost unanimously rejected from the “new family” agenda of the Kasper-line. This provoked a violent slugfest between the angry Cardinal Baldisseri and lay representatives.Neither the Pontifical Council on Family, the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops nor the Press Office of the Vatican published an explanation after. Following the official Vatican pronouncements, one might get the impression that the meeting never took place.The audiences for Cardinal Baldisseri, Curial Bishop Fabene and Curial Archbishop Paglia were in connection with the preparation of the final Synod of Bishops on the Family. The Curia representatives meeting Pope Francis, apparently were to inform him, inter alia, on the course of the conference with the lay movements.
Or, in common parlance, they had to tell Francis that the jig is up, the revolutionary program has led to revolt against it, and it don’t look too good. As that day in 1989, they tried to turn off the cameras to hide what was happening, but people had already seen it and heard it. It was too late.
This weekend, I believe, the nomenclatura will be scouring the blogosphere and the newspapers to see if anybody might have noticed the events. They will very quickly find that indeed, in many places, worldwide. It’s too late now.
Sadly, like Ceausescu, they will believe that they can crush the rebellion, and they will bring out the hired guns and tanks to give their best shot, and try to intimidate everyone back into submission, silence and obscurity. But they are going against the Truth, and that is not just a word, it is a fact: this is Jesus.
Like Ceausescu on that fateful day in 1989, on January 25, 2015 Pope Francis and Cardinal Baldisseri learned that the jig is up.
Ex magno silentio is my motto, and that of many others who are paying attention, who love the Church, the Faith and our Lord.