Saturday 28th January 2023

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Romanitas, Wheat And Tares, Holy Russia

October 4, 2018 Featured Today No Comments


One of the things likely to be an obstacle to the reform of the Church (something which needs to be done yesterday) is a subculture that reigns supreme in the Vatican and is known as Romanitas. From what I am told, one of Romanitas’ principal effects on behavior has been a whole pattern of speech and communication where clear, straightforward speech is carefully avoided and would, indeed, be regarded as a serious breach of etiquette were someone so rash as to engage in it (something like the academic world, actually).
It creates an atmosphere where people talk around and around something without ever clearly specifying what the something might be (think of Dickens’ Circumlocution Office), where things are communicated by hints, by indirection (to avoid saying anything that you might be held responsible for, giving your rivals something they could hold you responsible for, maybe undermining your precious career), and so on.
I suspect, though I have no proof, that this is a kind of communication that comes more naturally to women (some of them, at least) than to men, especially when they are engaged in gossip, and thus may be more natural to effeminate men — i.e., homosexuals — than to normal men. That would explain a lot about the culture of the contemporary Vatican, dominated as it apparently is by homosexual networks.
Be that as it may, this whole style of speech runs directly contrary to the teaching of Christ. “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the Evil One” (Matt. 5:37).
Note: After I had written the above, I found the following in my journal for 2004. Even then, the underlying problem, which was about truth and untruth, was evident, but I’m afraid I didn’t fully appreciate how horrific the situation was —- I didn’t know the half of it. The text from 2004 appears below:
“I’m getting really sick of the idiocy at the Vatican about what the Pope did or did not say about Mel Gibson’s The Passion. Once again, we are confronted with Romanitas, the whole culture of confusion and unclarity which makes it impossible for anyone in the Vatican to say what he means and stand behind it. First, Archbishop Dziwisz tells Mel Gibson that the Pope, having watched the movie, remarked that ‘It is as it was.’ Then he backpedals and denies having said it or even that the Pope said it. Then Joaquin Navarro-Valls apparently tells Gibson by e-mail that he has permission to use the quote, then he denies having sent the e-mail.
“Obviously, someone is lying. It is bad enough that governments lie constantly, but it is an appalling scandal that officials of the Church apparently think it is perfectly all right to lie to us. This tells us that they have somehow gotten the notion that, as God’s representatives on Earth, they are not bound by the moral norms that bind the rest of us. This situation cries out for major reform. Christ tells us, when we communicate with others, to confine ourselves to Yes and No, and adds that ‘anything more than this comes from the Evil One.’ Obviously, the Evil One is a pretty powerful presence in the Vatican. Maybe it is time for an exorcism” (italics added).
For people like this, there always seems to be some plausible reason why the truth would just be too dangerous to the status quo and hence must be suppressed. The people who are supposed to represent the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and who are supposed to believe in Christ’s promise that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” seem to fear the truth more than anything:
“And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19-20).

+ + +

Some thoughts on the parable of the wheat and the tares, a parable certainly having some relevance to the corruption in the contemporary Church. The Master (God), has his servants (angels), plant his field with wheat. During the night, an enemy (Satan) comes and plants tares (poisonous weeds) among the wheat. In the morning, the servants want to pull up the weeds, but the Master orders them to wait until the harvest (the end of time, the judgment), lest, in pulling up the weeds, they should unintentionally pull up some of the wheat too.
Of course, no non-parabolic farmer in his right mind would follow this procedure. He would quite sensibly pull up the weeds, and feel that the loss of some of the wheat would be, from a utilitarian perspective, a sacrifice worth making to be rid of the weeds. But that is not how God thinks. He is no utilitarian, either in His farming activities or when, as the Good Shepherd, He leaves the ninety-nine sheep who are not lost to search everywhere for the lost one.
Another way the parable is different from ordinary life is that, in ordinary life, every plant in that field is either wheat or a weed — the only difficulty is figuring out which of them is which so you can remove the ones you don’t want.
In the field of the parable, however, the situation is different. Here, there is indeterminacy, because free will is in play. Here the plants are like Schroedinger’s cat, which is in a kind of in-between state where it is neither dead nor alive, because to Schroedinger, the reality of the situation depends on its being observed, and in the conditions of the thought experiment that is impossible. (Yes, I know it’s confusing, and, as a non-physicist, I may have the whole thing wrong, but that doesn’t matter for the present purpose.)
Now, in the case of the indeterminacy attendant on free will, the observation necessary to make the indeterminate determinate, to make the cat either dead or alive, the plant either weed or wheat, is God’s final judgment, given only in eternity. While time lasts, each plant is in the in-between state where it is not definitively either wheat or weed. God has not yet judged it, and as long as free will is at work the question of which is which is not yet decided.
The worst sinner may be a future great saint (think of St. Augustine and many like him), and the apparently holy person (think of Judas when he was still a loyal disciple, even healing the sick and casting out devils in Jesus’ name) may be a future monster of evil. Only when time is at an end will the final judgment of the wheat and the tares be made — the one to be gathered into the barns, the other thrown into the flames.
This answers a question someone actually asked me the other day: “Why doesn’t God just come down and kill all the bad people?” It may also illuminate (a little) the mystery of why God allowed the near-takeover of His Church by apparently evil people. It will also caution us to remember, as we struggle to cleanse and reform the Church, that even as we need to remove apparently evil persons from power in the Church and punish them for their crimes, we cannot make the final judgment that these people are definitively beyond God’s mercy.
We need to pray for them and help them to be reconciled with God, if they show any inclination at all in that direction.

+ + +

I was dismayed last summer to see so little attention in the media to the hundredth anniversary of an event central to modern history and its meaning — the brutal murder of Tsar Nicholas II, with his wife and children, by the Bolsheviks, in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918.
The casual inattention by our worthless media to such an atrocity (“It was a long time ago, after all, and it really isn’t healthy to live in the past”) suggests a kind of forgetfulness, a kind of sleepiness, which we really need to be fighting against with all our strength. Events like the murder of the Russian royal family are events which demand to be remembered, which could be said to possess an inherent right to be remembered, as the Church remembers the death of martyrs in her liturgical calendar. Events like this have an inherent worthiness to be protected and enshrined in memory.
Eric Voegelin, in The New Science of Politics, very aptly quotes a passage from Richard Hooker to set the theme for his own work: “Posterity may know we have not loosely through silence permitted things to pass away as in a dream.”
In a centuries-old monarchy, like that of the Romanovs in Russia, a monarch is not merely an individual who happens to be in charge of the government for a time. He is a man who has come into the world, from the beginning of his life, already part of a whole network of rights and duties, relationships, relating to the ruling of the nation. He is born into a particular relationship to his people. In his person he carries a whole load of symbolic meanings having to do with what Russia, or France, or England, means to the people of those nations. He embodies both the faith and the traditions of his people.
Tsar Nicholas carried in his person the whole meaning of the Russian people — known as Holy Russia — hence the reverence and awe in which he was held by those very people (if we don’t count the spiritually diseased ideologues among them).
Another way to think of this is to say that the monarch carries in himself, symbolically, everything that we today would call the common good, and everything that we would experience as sacred about the order of our society. Hence the reverence and awe which, even today, people who live under monarchies, however attenuated, experience toward their monarchs and royal families. Even here in America, when we see the fascination so many have for British royalty, one senses a certain nostalgia for something we have lost.
There is a sacredness to the community of beings in Christ as its light shines on a particular people through the prism of that people’s traditions, a sacredness which does not easily disappear just because certain spiritually diseased persons want it to. Ideologues want the world, including society, as God created it, to somehow go away and be replaced by a world of the ideologues’ creation, one incompatible with the sacred in any form.
It was this sense of the sacredness of man’s life in community under God that Lenin was so anxious to eradicate when he gave the order to murder the royal family. His intent was to murder Holy Russia.
Whether Lenin’s effort will turn out to have been successful or not is still unclear, because the drama has not yet reached its conclusion. The ability of all of us, Russian or otherwise, to remember the horrible reality of what was done to the royal family as well as the infinitely greater reality of divine love which can triumph over the power of evil, will determine the outcome. The memory of Holy Russia and its analogues in all the peoples of the world needs to be brought back into the light.
(© 2018 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

House Republicans approved 2 #ProLife measures.

The first measure would ban #Abortion on babies born alive and require the babies be given medical care and treatment. The other measure condemned a spurt of growing attacks against crisis pregnancy centers.

House Republicans Pass Pro-Life Bills

House Republicans on Jan. 11 approved two pro-life measures. The first measure passed by the House would ban abortion ...

"I'm afraid that the West will die. There are plenty of signs. You are invaded,still,by other cultures & peoples,who will progressively dominate you by their numbers and change your culture, your convictions, your morality."~ Cardinal Robert Sarah

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Catholic journalist George Neumayr dies in Africa

COTE D’IVOIRE (LifeSiteNews) – George Neumayr, an author and journalist who fearlessly exposed corruption in the Catholic Church, died of malaria last night. He was 50. He had been in Africa since December 26, 2022, studying Christianity there and “what the Church in the West could learn from it, both good and bad,” according to his journalism fund updates and several articles he wrote from the former French colony.

Cardinal Müller slams Pope Francis’ ‘political’ laicization of Fr. Pavone

ROME (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller strongly defended Fr. Frank Pavone and slammed Pope Francis’ laicization of the renowned pro-life priest in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews. Cardinal Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the top Vatica

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at Age 95

Funeral Mass to be held January 5.

Cardinals block appointment of Heiner Wilmer as Prefect of the DDF

Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith who was still in office, had received his mandate in an unexpected way in the summer of 2017. Until then, the Spanish Jesuit had been secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, i.e. the right hand of the prefect. At the time, the prefect was still Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former bishop of Regensburg, whom Pope Benedict XVI had appointed…Continue Reading

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Bold Steps Needed To Address Illegal Immigration

By STEPHEN M. KRASON One of the ways in which the rule of law has been utterly flouted by the Biden administration has been its unwillingness to seriously enforce U.S. immigration law. In fact, the current crisis at the southern border is largely due to Biden’s signaling, as soon as he took office, that people…Continue Reading

McCarrick’s Lawyers Say He’s Not Competent To Stand Trial

By JOE BUKURAS MDEDHAM, Mass. (CNA) — Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick is in “significant” mental decline and may not be fit to stand trial for allegedly sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy, his attorneys say in a new court filing. The legal team for the 92-year-old ex-prelate said it plans to file a motion to dismiss…Continue Reading

Pregnancy Is Not A Disease… No One Could Observe This In Contemporary America

By R.T. NEARY “Follow the science” has been the mandate since 2019 in this once-united nation that is still officially entitled The United States of America. “Experts” have been featured on TV screens voicing this as Gospel.Public dialogue has centered on the reality of a threat posed by a living organism present in our environment.…Continue Reading

Death Of Cardinal George Pell

By RAYMOND CARDINAL BURKE With the sudden death of Cardinal George Pell, the Church has lost the earthly company of a wise, loving, joyful, and courageous shepherd. I have lost the earthly company of a good friend and example in the Sacred College of Cardinals. Having visited at length with Cardinal Pell on the afternoon…Continue Reading

Joining The Communion Of Saints

By DONALD DeMARCO Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was truly a Renaissance woman. She won a seat in Congress and held an ambassadorship. She was the managing editor of Vanity Fair. As an author, her writings extended from drama and screen scenarios to fiction, journalism, and war reportage. As a pro-life stalwart, she wrote for The…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. When Joseph and Mary came to the inn in Bethlehem, the innkeeper said that there was no room and told them to “go on.” That night an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in his dream and said, “It is you who shall go on and on.” Is this true? — J.B., Pennsylvania.A. Not according to the Gospel…Continue Reading

New Book By Ganswein On BXVI

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Part 2 Upon his death we shared the witness that Pope Benedict lived in the words he uttered. Archbishop Georg Ganswein’s book Nothing But the Truth recounting his life with the great Pope is now out in bookstores. Here I share some vignettes of that volume from an advance unofficial English translation.In October 1978 the…Continue Reading

Basics Of Christian Anthropology

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on January 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + Anthropology is, most simply, the science or study of human beings through time and space. Different specialties focus on the analysis of biological/physiological characteristics and the examination of societies/cultures. In the religious sense, anthropology…Continue Reading

Grace And Humility

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Zeph. 2:3, 3:12-131 Cor. 1:26-31Matt. 5:1-12a In the first reading today, the Lord calls all the humble of the Earth to seek Him. Interestingly, He then calls them to seek justice and humility with the hope that they would be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. See the contact information at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 11) Following the path of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Damian

By DEB PIROCH For those in search of a night free of insomnia, it’s said those with a clean conscience sleep blissfully. Yet, many of us know it is not quite that easy to vanquish insomnia and in truth, the longer one tries, the less one is inclined to fall sleep. At the least it can be exhausting, at the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Dunstan

By DEB PIROCH Before St. Thomas Becket, the saint most likely to be invoked by an Englishman was St. Dunstan. He was successively appointed the abbot of Glastonbury, the bishop of Worcester, the bishop of London, archbishop of Canterbury and later, the bishop of Winchester. Additionally, he was related to at least one archbishop and three bishops; perhaps being a…Continue Reading