Wherein Fr. Z rants and suggests.
There is a long standing political tool employed to eliminate opposition which is associated with the past, or a defeated regime. You can see evidence of this tool all around Rome, in monuments both ancient and recent. It is called damnatio memoriae… the condemnation of the memory (of someone). In effect, the winners destroy even the memory of the losers by effacing and erasing their very names from public view… as if they never existed. For the ancient Roman, this was a fate worse than death. The Roman wanted to extend the gloria of his family, especially through public works which would bring honor to their names in perpetuity. Think about the way Paul V put “BORGHESE” smack in the middle of the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica. In any event, walking about in Rome you can see inscriptions wherein the names of the defeated were literally chiseled out or filled in, made illegible.
It has become evident over the last few years, that there is a major agenda item on the slate of those who are around Pope Francis. They are working on the systematic erosion, degradation, scratching out, erasure, the damnatio memoriae of the Magisterium of St. John Paul II.
John Paul, with his “theology of the body” reinforced the Church’s constant teaching about the inseparable connection of sexual acts and marriage. Today, there are legions made of seemingly disparate groups who tirelessly work along side each other to pull sex and marriage apart. If they can accomplish that “divorce”, then virtually anything in the Church can be restructured for their own temporal ends, whatever they may be – homosexual “marriage”, Communion for divorced and remarried self-identifying lesbian or questioning giraffes, etc. It’s mostly about sex for the agents in the field, agents of the Enemy of the soul, that is.
After the 1980 Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops on the Family (sound familiar?), Pope John Paul II responded to a suggestion from the Synod and established the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and the Pontifical Council for the Family. The establishment of the Institute was supposed to be announced by John Paul during his Wednesday General Audience on 13 May 1981. Does that date sound familiar? After John Paul recovered from the assassination attempt, with the help of Our Lady of Fatima, he formally established the institute on the Feast of the Holy Rosary on 7 October 1982, and entrusted it to Our Lady of Fatima. Thus, the institute was a monument to how Popes and Synods can work together (in a way that doesn’t involved rigging them to pre-determined outcomes) and how the Family and our Marian devotion intersect.
The first head of the Institute, situated at the Lateran University in Rome, was one Carlo Caffarra, later Archbp. Cardinal of Bologna and, more recently, one of the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia. As a matter of fact, he probably wrote the dubia.
As an aside which isn’t an aside, Card. Caffarra, in an interview in 2008, revealed that, when John Paul had asked him to found the Institute, he wrote a letter to Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the last living visionary of the Fatima apparitions. Sr. Lucia wrote back to him and said that the final battle between Christ and Satan would be over marriage and the family. She also said not to be afraid and that anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be opposed because this is the decisive issue.
So, the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family is to be renamed:
Institute of Studies on the Family.
Nota bene the absence of “John Paul II” and “Marriage”.
As of this writing, it still bears its proper name.