Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Grinding to a halt
Sorry, but I can barely bring myself to write anything at all. Watched the Papal Audience today and could hardly stand it. People continue to ask me what I think, but I just keep having to tell them that I've got nothing that could possibly be of any help. If you've read me more than a couple of months, you all will know already what I think, and if you haven't then I wouldn't be able to help you anyway. We are Catholics, and Traditionalists; you already have all the information you need.
I can tell you how I'm feeling, though.
Imagine for a moment that you are a footsoldier in the British army and the Duke of Wellington, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, just announced that he didn't feel up to it any more and went home. How would the English soldiers at Agincourt have felt if, instead of hearing, "We band of brothers," it had been, "I'm too tired. You're on your own." What do you imagine would the effect have been on those men? How would they have felt?
We've been looking to this man for leadership in our War for 30 years, since he first came to Rome to serve in the CDF. Then when the other pope died, he took the reigns in what we all thought was an appointment direct from heaven. Remember? Remember how you felt that day. It wasn't just ordinary joy at a new pope, it was a feeling of hope that we'd not had in the Church for a long time, that, at last, things were going to start to turn around. The news when it came was perhaps the brightest light we had seen in this increasingly horrifying and darkening world since the Asteroid hit and started the War. I remember thinking that I didn't dare hope it would be him because I was afraid to jinx it. I've been told many times by a lot of people that they were thinking the same thing.
We knew, in broad terms, what was coming, and we had a pretty good idea that only a man like Ratzinger was going to be equal to the task. And now, it ends like this? At the moment when the world seems ready to explode, he isn't dead, he hasn't been threatened (that we know), he isn't incapacitated, he isn't going mental. He's just quitting. Walking away because it's too hard? Because he's tired?
What kind of idiot would ever believe that? When has this ever happened? What could possibly, conceiveably, be so horrible, so threatening, that he would do this? And if it was some horrifying threat to the Church, what could possibly be gained by this? How could quitting solve any problem, deflect any danger or resolve any crisis?
These questions will not leave me alone, have kept me awake into the wee hours the last couple of days, and I'm pretty sure will be asked by many people for a long time. I doubt, though, that we will ever have a satisfactory answer before the Parousia.
Now we have a few weeks or perhaps a few months to wait to see if what I think is happening is really happening. Part of me hopes it is, because in the last 14 years that I've been active I've swallowed all of this that I can choke down.
I can't entertain you all. I can't be witty or clever or amusing today. And I've got nothing comforting or encouraging to say. It's just as well that this is Ash Wednesday (a fact I'd actually forgotten until about an hour ago) and I can take Lent as an excuse to clam up for a while. I'm going to try to give up blathering on the internet.
How do I feel? Paralysed. Betrayed. Abandoned.