Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Adventures of Fr. Aidan McNutty: Freddy the Fabricator

Deep within the dimly lit council chamber, Msgr Frederico Fabrizzi was collecting dossiers on traditionalists. These documents were essential in the battle against the Catholic Church that was being waged relentlessly by Modernists. This particular morning, Msgr. Fabrizzi had been busy with his underlings in collecting - nay, distorting and down-right lying about the activities of St. John Chrysostom's Parish. Extinguishing his last cigarette on an exquisite mahogany writing desk, Msgr. Fabrizzi finished his cognac with gusto and strode towards an elevator which proceeded to bring him up thirty or so feet to street level. Exiting the unit, the cleric proceeded down a long corridor lined with paintings by Italian and other European masters. Within a few minutes he was strolling through grounds familiar to millions. This erstwhile enemy of Catholicism was in none other than St. Peter's Square!

Entering his limousine, provided by the Secretariat of State, the Monsignor drove through the bustling streets of Rome to meet his good friend, Archbishop Rupert Weakling. The Archbishop, in Rome for his ad limina visit with the Supreme Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, had excused himself from the meeting on the grounds of claiming a migraine. Not wishing to press the point with the de facto schismatic American Bishops, His Holiness had decided (after firm prompting from certain cardinals) that the Archbishop's presence was not essential to the discussion on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle that was to be the main topic for the Bishop's Conference's working lunch with the Vicar of Christ.

Fabrizzi, a fanatical gnostic with a particular hatred for the papacy, eagerly embraced his friend:" Welcome to Italy, Rupert". The two men had been friends since the Council. There, they had started off as nominal Catholics with liberal inclinations. By the time Fr. Weakling had returned to America in 1966 (after touring Europe for six months with assorted "friends") he was a die-in-the-wool anti-Catholic. It was at that time that Weakling wrote several progressive articles on situational ethics and began teaching at a seminary. He had been told that pastoral work was definitely out if he wanted to be a bishop - and boy did he ever!!

Fabrizzi too had undergone a major transformation. Coming from a staunchly Catholic family, he broke with the Church after Humanae Vitae. The lead-up to that break had been precipitated by a favourite uncle "marrying" a heretic in a registry office. Henceforth, Fabrizzi would be a vicious persecutor of traditional Catholics, hounding them out of parishes and "renovating" as many churches he could get his hands on. Some even joke that he outdid Henry VIII and Calvin in destroying altars. Be that as it may, the two friends embraced and proceeded to the five star Hotel de Russie bar for a good chat and quite a few drinks (courtesy of Archbishop Weakling's diocese collection).

The two apostates strode into the bar and began ordering drinks. Weakling relaxed with whiskey, whilst Fabrizzi favoured his cognac. Both men were in their golfing gear and would soon be heading out to play 18 rounds, something the two did way back in the sixties.

"How was your flight, Rupert?", asked Fabrizzi. "I have to admit it was a bit bumpy on the flight from London, but the flight to London from New York was smooth", replied Weakling. "The only problem is the shortness of the flight. By the time you really begin knocking them back, you have to land again".

"Well, you can't have everything. Besides, you have some penance to do", replied Fabrizzi. The two fiends (yes dear reader, fiends) laughed uproariously; the alcohol already beginning to affect their minds. "Tell me, Freddy: who's this 'Fr. Dominic Vobiscum' that I have read so much about? Is he really such a pain for the Italian bishops"?

"Don't mention that name to me! Just thinking about Vobiscum makes me sick. This guy's a fanatic. He only says the Tridentine Mass. What for? He's such a goon", snarled the Monsignor. "And he's dangerous. People are beginning to listen to him. He's also in contact with some of the worst integrists in the world".

"It must be tough for you FF", sighed the Archbishop, gulping down his third drink.

"Well of course its tough! Here we are, about to converge with Anglicanism and Lutheranism and this guy comes out and starts to undermine everything we've been working for. I don't know why the Pope won't get rid of him".

"Let's play some golf", grunted Weakling, starting up from his chair. Marginally intoxicated, the Archbishop bumped into a micro-skirted waitress, knocking her tray to the floor with a loud crash of dishes and cutlery. Mumbling an apology the Archbishop and the Monsignor retired from the bar before the manager could see who it was.

The two men staggered into a Vatican limo and sped off in the direction of Rome's golf course that catered to the jet set.

Inside the car, Fabrizzi was comforting the Arcbishop about the pestilential traditionalists. "So I hope you feel better now, that I've spoken to Cardinal....", said Fabrizzi. "Sure, Freddy, replied Weakling, he's a good man and in this way, those traditionalists will never get to the Pope. Anyhow, with all the projects Ratzinger is involved with, he'll never get round to supporting the traditionalists - at least I hope so."

"The key is to convince the Pope that they are divisive, anti-ecumenical, anti-semitic, and especially against bishops! If we can do that- he'll be scared stiff. Remember Rupert how some of your bishop friends brow-beat Montini into "forbidding" the Tridentine Mass?"

Weakling, feeling a bit more comforted, lent back and switched on a CD of some 'Hip-Hop'. Atrocious computer generated sounds filled the car, accompanied by a dull metronomic drum beat. This was Weakling's way of trying to ingratiate himself with the apostate youth of his diocese; to take up the cult of man through the promotion of frightful jungle rhythms.


Freyr said...

The story precedes the facts... agree on a narrative and the facts will take care of themselves. Rolf Hochhuth and Eddie Bernays would be proud of you.

Barona said...

Ah, but the real facts preceded the real story. It was - for example - the French bishops who suppressed the old Ordo with moral violence... and so on. This story - humorously (hopefully) reflects reality.

Actually, by arguing your position - as framed - you have become an unwitting disciple of Bernays aussi.

Freyr said...

Bernays and the manipulators of public opinion are quite correct... their techniques work. To what extent are these techniques morally permissible? No one seems to want to grapple with this question. For me, the deliberate appeal to a person's emotions and subconscious to the exclusion of reason is quite dangerous. As for the story, every story allows the hearer to read their own experience into the narrative. Thus by telling a story you propagate, not a set of facts, but a narrative which may or may not reflect the experience of the person hearing it. Whether the catharsis is helpful or not depends on the presuppositions of the listener. If someone watched The Deputy with an existing prejudice against the Catholic Church it might push them over the edge into outright rebellion. On the other hand, even a heavy handed allegory like the Chronicles of Narnia might do considerable good, even resulting in the reader's conversion.

Freyr said...

While we are on about your story and I am not quite ready for bed...
One of the difficulties with it is that you lead the reader about by the nose, telling him what to think about these characters. They come off a little flat. If instead you fleshed out these characters and allowed the reader to draw his own conclusions the piece might be a bit more powerful.

Barona said...

The story is meant as lighthearted entertainment only. Fleshing out is, I suppose a matter of opinion. I do hope your nose is not too sore...

Toronto Traditional Mass Society said...

Reading it I could not help thinking of Father Luigi Villa who just passed away in November and would not have found your fiction as fiction. A decade ago he published Pope Paul VI, Beatified? It stopped the effort. He died in November 2012, the effort has been restored.

More please.

Freyr said...

This is neither lighthearted nor entertainment. It is a thinly disguised narrative which would have to be defended or refuted in specific terms were it published as fact. Publishing it as fiction merely allows you to shrug your shoulders and claim that it is only a story should anyone ask. As it is, it can be passed off with a wink and a nod to "those in the know". You might as well preface it with the same disclaimer they used for the old Dragnet series...

Barona said...

Disclaimer: if any character resembles Freyr it is strictly coincidence.