Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Catholic Apperception Test

His Holiness Pope Pius XII

There are bloggers active today who do not consider themselves old who were born during the reign of Pope Pius XII. Are you a Pope Pius baby? (d. October, 1958)

Regardless of the year you were born, what's your reaction?

(A) What manner of popery is this?
(B) It's complicated.
(C) Oh, yes please!

Feel free to share your response.


  1. C. (Am resisting the temptation to echo Pete Venkman's immortal words in "Ghostbusters": Is this a trick question? :-D)

    To those who habitually go all indignant and 'SOME-of-us-apparently-don't-care-about-the-poor' when they witness papal ornateness and formality, I say Get Over Yourself. God gave us the ability to express our love for Him through beauty and formality as well as through charity and simplicity - it is not an either/or proposition, however much some folks seem to want to think that it is. Ceremonial papal garb is just that - ceremonial, and meaningful in a special way. Just as the pared-down simplicity of everyday, non-ceremonial papal garb is meaningful in a special way. Anyone who cares to roll up his or her sleeves and help the poor need look no further than the abundance of opportunities the Catholic Church offers to do so.

    (Sorry, I'm still coming down from dizzying heights of annoyance over predictable reactions from Little Whingers For The Poor to a recent column by Peter Hitchens (aka Christopher's smarter brother) in praise of the beauty of some cathedrals.

  2. There is more than one way to worship Mammon, no?

    The Holy Spirit made sure to record Judas' indignation over the costly ointment put on Our Lord's precious feet not being sold and the money given to the poor. There is a reason for that. Look at the Temple at Jerusalem. Look at the bewildering beauty of an Orthodox church (coincidentally spared V2). You behave differently there than on a basketball court with a table at one end.

    Perhaps most importantly, you are different when your ego is smothered by ceremonial costume. It's just psychologically difficult to constantly chat about your personal views on every topic when you are wearing the Papal Tiara! And, dumb Bears don't feel like sniping at a Pope Pius XII.

    There is a Gnostic element in a church that cannot find beauty in matter, or accept that we are marterial beings God created to delight in it.

  3. I'll go along with C. Frankly, I didn't get the question. Yeah, is it a trick Q?!

    As a good priest tells me, we are a BOTH/AND Church. I have also heard many instances where the poor are very appreciative of the ornate beauty of the liturgy and vestments and art of churches. The poorest women will possess the most beautiful veils (ok in the days of veils) for special holy days and liturgical celebrations. The beauty feeds the soul. The Church is for our souls.

    I call the modernists who object to ornate vestments and art/architecture as "materialists." They don't see the supernatural meaning of the beauty which is all put on for God, not for the self-glorification of the clergy. Bergoglio need not dress in fine vestments, but the Vicar of Christ should. He is no longer merely (George?) Bergoglio.

    The materialists also see the consecrated host as a piece of bread to which they are entitled. They do not appreciate that it is the Body of Christ and we must be in a state of grace to receive Him. The materialists see bishop directives for obedience as originating from the bishop's own desire to control upon his own whim. They see not that the bishop is actually caring for their souls and calling for obedience to the Church and to God. The materialists scoff at excommunication, eg for female faux-ordinations. They think it's male ego control, not a concern for their souls. They have no sense of the supernatural and eternal consequences of their move into schism.

    They see only the material before them. They cannot see the spiritual or supernatural side of these things. May God have mercy on their souls.

  4. No trick. An exhaustively tested, valid instrument to determine what kind of Catholic you are by your initial reaction to a single picture. Or something like that. The answers are interesting, though. Maybe we ought to feature a different CAT once a month.


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