Thursday, June 4, 2015

FrancisChurch 2015: If Only Stalin Knew

Choose Life

It is said that the four most common words among prisoners in the Gulag of the 1930's and 1940's were "if only Stalin knew."

They were also well-used by those still on the outside of the system. If a loved one had just been taken away, it must be some sort of mistake, or maybe the over exuberant action of a corrupt low level official. Possibly, members of the KGB or perhaps even the head of the KGB were working against Comrade Stalin, doing these things in contradiction of his orders or to embarrass him. If only Stalin knew, all would be put right.

In the novel Children of the Arbat (1987), Anatoly Rybakov captures this attitude perfectly. The year is 1934. Sasha Pankratov has just been arrested. His friend, Sofiya Aleksandrovna, can only think of him:
She would take out the newspapers and gaze at the pictures of Stalin, his simple clothes, the kind wrinkles round his eyes, the wise, calm face of a man with a clear conscience. He was 53. His oldest son was probably the same age as Sasha, and there was another son and a daughter. He knew what family grief was - he had only just lost his wife. If only Sasha's case got to him. She was pinning all her hopes on Mark, her brother. He was the head of a huge construction project in the east, a favorite of Ordzhonikidze's. The whole country knew who he was. Stalin knew him, received him and talked to him. Mark would tell Stalin about Sasha. Stalin would ask for the file, perhaps even call Sasha to him. And he'd like Sasha, he couldn't help liking Sasha.
I was reminded of this when composing the last post about the nasty letter that Margaret Archer, the President of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences wrote to the pro-life journalist Stefano Gerranini. Stephen Phelan, director of mission communications for Human Life International, responded to the attack by saying,
Someone must tell the Holy Father that his appointees are invoking his name in attacks on those who defend the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.
This is not a criticism of Mr. Phelan, who at a minimum was simply being charitable and polite.

Does Pope Francis know what Commissioner Volpi is doing to the Franciscan Brothers of the Immaculate (said a year ago)?

Does he know that the Synod on the Family is being hijacked by anti-family heretics?

Does he know that his pro-life agenda (can anyone doubt it?) is being undermined by the words and actions of his very appointees?

If we can only get to him. If we can only talk to him, all will be put right.

If only the Holy Father knew.

Unfortunately, I am certain that, whatever they might say in public, more and more Catholics are coming to the unwelcome conclusion that the problem is not that Pope Francis doesn't know, but that he does know. And he approves.

Indeed, it's worse than that.

It's by his design.


  1. I prefer "FrankenChurch" to "FrancisChurch" because of the former's implication of what Pope Francis has created.

  2. Frankenchurch-----tee hee hee!

    Seattle kim

  3. How do you survive in Seattle, Kim? :)