Chapter 15 – The terror on the face of the little boy froze in his mind
Father Lia-Fáil soon arrived with the gray car don Hash had seen. Padre Emet took the front seat so that don Hash and Father Alexámenos would benefit from the tinted windows of the rear seat.
“Times are certainly changing,” said Father Alexámenos as they started to drive away.
“The car looks terrible on the outside, but the engine works well,” replied Father Lia-Fáil. “Diocesan bankruptcies due to fear of extortion have reduced the amount the Holy See receives in contributions,” he added as he sped down the hill of the Vatican gardens toward Santa Marta. “One of the first things Pope Tsur-Ēzer insisted upon is a draconian cutback in the extravagance of all that is connected with the Apostolic Palace. It was always Spartan, but it looks more like a monk’s cell than anything. I once thought that it would be a financial crisis which would change the minds of some of the more outrageous bishops, but that is not the case. That was my mindlessly secular version of ultramontanism. I’m now depending on de Colines to present some decent episcopal candidates to His Holiness, bishops who will transform their seminaries to be what they should be.” Having said that, he sighed. The comment was a test of the others in the car, whom he did not know except for his having briefly met Cardinal Emet a half-dozen times since the election of Pope Tsur-Ēzer.
“Of course,” said padre Emet, “seminaries don’t carry all the blame. The problem is almost exclusively with those who were ordained during or soon after the Second Vatican Council. Much of the younger generation of seminarians and priests have seen through the rubbishing of doctrine and morality by the bishops, administrators and teaching staff of the seminaries in many countries. But you don’t have to go outside of the Pontifical Universities in Rome to find a cesspool of heresy. The Congregation for Education simply washes its hands to the effect that…”
“To the effect that so many of the faculty and administration think that everyone is infallible, except for the Pope,” interrupted Father Lia-Fáil. “And with heresy following on heresy, corrupting into immorality, they then think that they are immaculately conceived, sinless, everyone, of course, except for the Blessed Virgin. I was saved from all that since my bishop – God rest his soul – taught me himself. He despised seminaries no matter what kind of apostolic visitations were carried out. To him, it was all damage control having little to do with encouraging the students to know Christ, to adore Him, to have a union of charity with Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in such a way that they knew that, in their priesthood, they would be married to the Church in that Holy Sacrifice. He was a great bishop.” For a change, Father Lia-Fáil drove out the gate near the Holy Office, doing so, as always, without braking. The Swiss Guards jumped back, now getting used to the driving habits of the new papal secretary. Continue reading