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Monday, June 20, 2016

Rorate Caeli Reaches Level Jonah

Last year, the idea of Level Jonah seemed shocking to some.  But it was a shared reaction that few dared to anonymously and privately share with yours truly.  What is Level Jonah?  A brief recap:
I almost WANT the Church to be lost to most of the West. All of the buildings and art torn down and burnt. All of the churches converted into bars. Relics lost. Music forgotten. And role models and men of good standing--nowhere to be found. Pure chaos and no culture. No education. Just endless anarchy, sodomy, misery, and death. The libs will lie to themselves and tell themselves that they actually like such a condition of life. I almost WANT the fools of the future to look around, miserable in their chaos, and wonder "Gee, what happened?" And then, no one will be around to help them. This generation of people in the West deserves to be marched around in the desert for 40 years until it dies off...
After clarifying that this was not despair, I finished by stating:
that I will be satisfied with the justice of the faithless masses stewing in their own juices once they lose everything. In either this life or the next, these people will get what they deserve, and that's a comfort.
Well, guess what?  Almost one year to the day of that post, Rorate Caeli has joined up with Laramie Hirsch in Level Jonah.  Not officially, of course.  They are simply reacting and concluding the same thing I already have.  

The editors at Rorate Caeli have basically said that we deserve Pope Francis and the...unfortunate things he is doing.  This is a merited punishment due to our collective sins.  According to Rorate Caeli, we deserve Pope Francis, emphasis mine:
We deserve Francis. What is missing in many souls is a typically Christian attitude: resignation. It was not the Holy Spirit who chose Francis, that is not how conclaves work. But God has certainly allowed it, and he has allowed it to continue, and he will allow it until He deigns it necessary to end his Vicar's time here on earth, as He does to each one of us.
Other than resignation, missing from many spirits is the notion of collective justice -- and collective punishment. We have sinned, we have grievously sinned. So many Catholics have been for long immensely unfaithful to the Apostolic tradition they have received, to the pure doctrine that was passed on: is it surprising that from this soil arise unfaithful hierarchs? What is surprising is not that we have Francis as Pope, but that it took so many centuries for us to have a Pope like him
What can I say?  People are starting to conclude the same thing about this matter.  People have not been willing to say this outright.  

I recall how, back in 2013, when a large portion of the online Traditional Catholic community was still over at Fisheaters, there was a big discussion about Pope Francis.  This was before Tracy decided to defend a transsexual, before she became so completely gay-friendly, before she decided to give up the culture war in public spaces because "that's mean," and long before she began her self-righteous crusade against "Toxic Trads."

Back then in March of 2013, we had a huge discussion about what Pope Francis would be like.  And then, we started getting video footage of his actions in Argentina, and we started to learn from the parishioners down there about what kind of leadership he offered.  Various forum members started getting nervous, more discussions of what to expect came out.  By March 17th, Tracy had told everyone that she was tired of hearing everyone's critical opinions.
People can change, and they often do when they become Pope. Let's see if he does. We can see the video, and could watch 100 like them (or watch the same one over and over aga in), and someone could post them in every thread (and risk a ban) -- we get it. He is not a trad when it comes to the liturgy. Looks like it will likely be JPII all over again. OK. But as long as he isn't messing around with Catholic doctrine, it shouldn't affect the lives of trads that much at all. We've been down this road before. We know the tune. And we need to be doing what WE need to be doing, whether the Holy Father is doing what we (rightfully, IMO, obviously) think he needs to be doing or not. 
I really don't look forward to another 5, 10, 20 years of seeing old liturgy videos posted when a small handful are enough to make the point that the Holy Father, at least when he was Cardinal, was a bad liturgist. Maybe the papacy will change him in that regard. Or maybe it won't. Time will tell. But as for now, we've seen the videos. We get it. It sucks. Too bad for us. Too bad for the Church. Wah, wah, wah. We can cry about it, we can bitch endlessly about it, we can get all peevish and sarcastic about it -- or we can DO THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE OURSELVES. 
I thought Tracy's opinion was Pollyannish then, and I am confirmed in that today.  Many people back then thought, "Just give him a chance.  You don't know!"  As though a man's past had no bearing on how he would behave in the present or the future.  But the St. Gallen's group chose well when they hand-picked this Jesuit for the papacy.  Their hard work in expunging Pope Benedict XVI has reaped them many fruits.  By the summer of his first year, Pope Francis had successfully squashed the Traditionalism of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  And that was just a warm-up.  

Of course, by March 14th, 2013, Ann Barnhardt had already reached Level Jonah before I even coined the phrase:
We got what we deserved, and probably better than we deserve. God’s chastisement of His people is sending them bad priests, bishops, and now, in all likelihood, a bad pope. What do you expect? Look around. The world is awash in staggering sin and blasphemy and no one will lift a finger to do anything about it. 
Yup.  That lady is a spitfire.  If you haven't read her, Barnhardt's expressed opinions are FAR MORE pungent than mine will ever be (...probably).  But by December of that year, I was in full agreement with her.  I said that Pope Francis is the perfect leader for our time and that he reflected the laity quite accurately.  "I'm fresh out of pity for people. You want this, West? You got it. Drink it in."  A lot of people didn't understand where I was coming from then.  But that is not the case today.  

Returning to an old Fisheaters discussion, I recall a poster stating the following:
Everything I have read is that this guy is described by the word “humble”. Perhaps you could even say he takes a great deal of “pride” in his “humility”. PERHAPS he simply dislikes “trappings of high office” and “high” liturgy and the like because he personally views it all as some kind of barrier between the people and their clergy. Maybe he uses “Bishop of Rome” because he thinks it is the least pretentious of all the titles and he by instinct always gravitates towards the title, thing, manner of dress, etc. that is perceived by him to be the least pretentious or the most humble. If so, then this is purely an aesthetic preference. It does NOT automatically follow therefore that he accepts the entire progressive decentralization mantra and all that would follow. He may of course – but we don’t know that. Yet.

Remember those days, kids?  "Oh!  Pope Francis is so humble!  And if you have anything to say against him, then you're a complete asshole!"  Of course, we can now look back and see that a "Humble Pope Francis" image was a wonderful disarming way to shut down any discussion about concerns or worries.  Everyone who dared to question the man was considered an outright jerk.  

Look!  Cardinal Bergoglio took the subway in Buenos Aires!
How deliciously subversive and humble!
HOW DARE you question this cool cool man!

His humility persona was disarming.  It shut down opposition.  The world--and I mean The World, like secular media and movie stars--just went gaga over Pope Francis.  "Only a Holy Father like Francis could pull off this kind of stunt," Time magazine said.  " Buckle up, people. We’re only fourteen months in to his papacy. This is already fun."  Before we knew it, Vanity Fair and Time had declared him Man of the Year.  

We're told in Scriptures that to be a friend to the world is to be an enemy of God. We're told not to conform to the world, not to be surprised that the world hates us, that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one, that we should not love the world or the things in the world, and that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

And yet? Pope Francis is a friend to the world's major players, he works to conform the Church to fit the world's preferences, and the world loves, not hates, Pope Francis. Even though Satan is the prince of this world, Pope Francis still believes in global initiatives to control global problems, working with the anti-life United Nations and other organizations, treating the Church like a non-governmental organization.

Does this pope love the world, and thus, the love the Father is not in Pope Francis? I dare not say that. I am not his heart's judge. I recognize Pope Francis as the pope, and I will pray for his conversion to the Traditional Catholic Faith. Whatever the condition of his soul, we will find out on the other side. I will not be like Dante Alighieri, who in his work, The Divine Comedy, placed Pope Boniface VIII in Hell before the pope was even dead.  Even if it seems that Pope Francis is working against the interests of the very Church Herself.

Here, the pope is awarding medals to Hollywood activists who promote abortion and same-sex "marriage."  

Others are becoming more publicly vocal.  Others are now openly admitting that Pope Francis is making a great quantity of unfortunate decisions.  Just this past weekend, LifeSiteNews stated:
It has been a difficult and disturbing process, but many of us have finally had to face that we had to stop making so many excuses for Pope Francis. The evidence has become overwhelming be that there are serious problems that we must no longer withhold the uncomfortable truths from our readers. Many others are coming to the same conclusions. Francis' statement yesterday that 50% of marriages are likely invalid will pull the rug out from millions valiantly trying to save their marriages and the millions who did save their marriages by perseverance, prayer, forgiveness and deeper love. Every day seems to bring an even worse pronouncement from Francis.
However, even though LifeSiteNews is concluding this, they have not yet reached Level Jonah.  Level Jonah is both a reaction as well as a conclusion.  It is the point at which you realize that the game is up, the world is screwed, and God is punishing us.  You realize that God is punishing us by letting us have exactly what we want so that we stew in our own juices. 

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad," said the writer Longfellow.  The first five seals of the Apocalypse are man-made disasters.  Natural and supernatural punishments don't even BEGIN until the sixth and seventh seal.  That is how God has always worked.  He first gives us a short moment of mercy (such as this Year of Mercy) to repent.  After that, we are left to our own madness.  Then?  The asteroid hits us.  

Realized this, and you have reached Level Jonah.  


  1. You may be right Hirsch, that the mainstream Church and society is practically doomed, "almost" without hope of resurrection. Worthy of divine judgment and ominous punishment. Basic observation seems to indicate we're already there.

    The way I see it sitting here in my armchair, a worthy distinction can be made, i.e. between the Level of Persons, and the Level of Actions.

    To me, its obvious looking at the Level of Persons that the persons in question (modern people, modern Catholics, Pope Francis himself) have turned away from the teachings and ways of traditional Catholicism/Christianity, and such a turn would merit floods and plagues from above.

    BUT, while the the traditionalist and modern conservative might actually agree on this BASIC conclusion, the difference in ecclesial-social philosophy divides them about how much we can judge with certainty.

    Reading the Fish Eaters (etc) online discussions about Pope Francis these last 3 years, what I observed was focus on the Level of Persons, vs. the Level of Actions.

    On the Level of Actions, we can at least arrive at moral certainty. If the Church teaches suicide likely causes one to go to Hell, and someone commits suicide, while I am not absolutely certain he goes to hell, I can be morally certain that such an ACTION leads to hell.

    As a traditional Catholic, if I study Catholic teaching, and know more and more what God reveals, I CAN judge the actions of the pope or hierarchy in the sense of simply comparing the observable action to what is clearly taught in the catechisms of the Church.

    On the Level of Persons, I don't know if today's people are doomed. But on the Level of Actions, I can see the Church and Society as a whole in a dark age.

    Our witness is like the night watchman holding up his latern, looking out into the darkness for daybreak.

  2. Howdy Anonymous. You said: Reading the Fish Eaters (etc) online discussions about Pope Francis these last 3 years, what I observed was focus on the Level of Persons, vs. the Level of Actions.

    Reading this, this evening, immediately called to mind something that Barnhardt said in her post today:

    The notion that we laymen – the sheep – are NOT to listen and discern whose voice it is that we hear is abject lunacy. The notion the we laymen – the sheep – are to sit and wait for the hirelings – that is to say today’s faithless and effeminate clergy and prelates – to TELL US that the lying, hissing heresies and blasphemies we hear are, in fact, the words of a wolf before we react is clearly refuted by Our Blessed Lord. Further, the notion that we the sheep should willfully suspend disbelief and follow A WOLF if the hirelings tells us to, is, again, utterly irrational patent absurdity which is explicitly refuted by Our Lord and Savior in the Gospels.

    We laymen, the sheep, are to listen and discern. If we hear the voice of satan and follow it, we will answer for it as we stand alone, as individuals, before Jesus Christ at our particular judgments. Blaming the hirelings will be no defense.

    Barnhardt's post today is one of her most potent yet. The title is, Vocem Alienorum: The Voice of Antipope Francis Bergoglio Is the Voice of A Stranger. In spite of the title, she is actually not a sedevacantist, and she refutes that label, as she believes that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pontiff. The link to her article is here:


    She linked to a website that, so far, features up to 135 articles detailing the "statements made by Bergoglio that savor of heresy." It is a great resource, and I really think people should put it on their Favorites bar. It's called The Denzinger-Bergoglio, and you can go to it here:


    1. As far as discerning the character of Cardinal Bergoglio before he ever became the pope, I would like to quote this letter from a person in Argentina. It is a letter sent to Rorate Caeli shortly after the St. Gallen Mafia shoved the "Martini Pope" into office:

      Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and morals seem to have been irrelevant to him.

      A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy. He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum.

      Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is.

      His entourage in the Buenos Aires Curia, with the exception of a few clerics, has not been characterized by the virtue of their actions. Several are under grave suspicion of moral misbehavior.

      He has not missed any occasion for holding acts in which he lent his Cathedral to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to partisan groups in the name of an impossible and unnecessary interreligious dialogue. He is famous for his meetings with Protestants in the Luna Park arena where, together with preacher of the Pontifical House, Raniero Cantalamessa, he was "blessed" by Protestant ministers, in a common act of worship in which he, in practice, accepted the validity of the "powers" of the TV-pastors.

      This election is incomprehensible: he is not a polyglot, he has no Curial experience, he does not shine for his sanctity, he is loose in doctrine and liturgy, he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against homosexual "marriage" [approved with practically no opposition from the episcopate], he has no manners to honor the Pontifical Throne. He has never fought for anything else than to remain in positions of power.

      It really cannot be what Benedict wanted for the Church. And he does not seem to have any of the conditions required to continue his work.

      May God help His Church. One can never dismiss, as humanly hard as it may seem, the possibility of a conversion... and, nonetheless, the future terrifies us.

      This quotation was from a journalist in Buenos Aires, and you can read Rorate Caeli's 2013 coverage of it here: