Thursday, November 17, 2016
Pope's "Mouthpiece" Spadaro Calls Cardinal Burke a "Witless Worm," Then Deletes Tweet
The recent events involving Francis and his pontificate have been momentous. We may be witnessing the initial stages of an attempt to formerly "correct" a sitting pope for heresy.
Four cardinals sent the Pope a formal document or "Dubia" asking for clarification in the form of five simple Yes or No answers on the interpretation of the recent apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Pope refused to respond.
Everyone knows why he refused. Pope Francis wants Amoris Laetitia to have a revolutionary effect on the Church. He wants it to be interpreted and taught by the bishops as allowing, among other things, communion for unrepentant adulterers. This, is of course heresy - a contradiction of the words of Christ as well as the tradition of the Church - and the Pope knows it. So, he can't explicitly confirm that the document says this. On the other hand, he can't explicitly deny that it says this, as this would largely quash the efforts of friendly bishops to put forward his desired heretical interpretation.
So he refused to respond. And after a decent interval, the cardinals went public. Now the Pope and his men are predictably engaged in an intensive campaign to vilify the cardinals and anyone who might be allied with them.
This is obviously thuggish. But much of it is also childish. Witness the behavior of Antonio Spadaro, "the pope's mouthpiece" who, like any good modern Jesuit, has apparently embraced the use of social media. Spadaro likes to use Twitter to promote his new book - a "conversation" with the Pope - but he also has a penchant for making snarky tweets attacking the Pope's opponents and then deleting them.
For example, a few days ago he tweeted this:
Then he deleted it and replaced it with this:
I'm not sure why the second is any less snarky than the first, but there it is.
A few hours later, amidst a set of tweets defending Amoris Laetitia and attacking the cardinals and their supporters, Spadaro tweeted this (I preserved the previous tweet so people could see where it fit into the stream):
Then at some point he deleted that as well.
Here is what that part of the stream looks like now:
Whatever you think of Ian McKellen, Christoph Schonborn is not an improvement.
The original is of course a scene from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, where Gandalf is speaking to the traitor Wormtongue - the "witless worm."
Yes, one of the Pope's closest allies wants you to think that those who supported the "Dubia" are akin to the traitorous spies of Saruman.
And Pope Francis is Gandalf.
(Excuse me? Did I hear you just choke?)
What will he try to use next to righteously hound the enemies of Francis, Game of Thrones? Harry Potter? The Cat in the Hat?
But in truth, the allusion isn't a bad one if one changes the roles. It is the Pope and his supporters who use "crooked words," refusing to state plainly what they really mean. The success of their project depends on crooked words.
Maybe Spadaro took down his tweet because the irony was too rich even for him.
Or maybe he just can't help tweeting and deleting, tweeting and deleting, tweeting and deleting.
What did someone once say about the banality of evil?