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Trad Queen Story Hour
Part III: Take a Chill Pill

5,109 words

Part I [1], Part II [2]

Let us move on to the reign of Benedict XVI, where we will perhaps find cooler, clearer, more Teutonic air — though perhaps with a whiff of the plague air from foretelling death in Venice. For as it turns out, the outstanding cardinal here is the pope himself, the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

Another pre-War figure, Ratzinger seems to have stepped out of the pages of a Thomas Mann novel; he’s the kind of “good European” that Western civilization used to produce among the haute bourgeoise:

A devotee of Goethe and the Latin and Greek classics, with a love of the paintings of Rembrandt, the young Ratzinger wrote poems and learned the piano. Early on, he fed on German philosophy, Heidegger and Nietzsche — the kind of food that often leads to anti-humanism, and Ratzinger is, in fact, very “anti-Enlightenment.”

When Ratzinger speaks of the student revolt of May ‘68 as “nihilist deviations,” he knows what he’s talking about! And he even joined the Hitlerjugend! He seems almost an alt-rightist avant la lettre, or perhaps a figure of the Neo-Reaction or Dark Enlightenment; Pope Moldbug? [1] [3]

Against that, he also learned from Nietzsche that “without music, life would be a mistake.” He “was wild about German music from Bach to Beethoven,” and especially Mozart. In opera, Ratzinger’s taste was “not Mediterranean but Teutonic: the subtlety of Cosi, the ambiguous erotomania of Don Giovanni, and of course, the quintessential androgyny of Apollo et Hyacinthus”; papal observers would not be able to decide if he was a liturgy queen or an opera queen.

And of course, the clothes; oh, the clothes.

As soon as he was elected, this eccentric pope became the heart-throb of Italian magazines: a fashionable figure, seen wearing all the fashion houses of Milan, as once Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Elizabeth II had done.

Benedict XVI was so keen on haute couture that he had a flock of tailors, hatters, and cobblers hanging on his heels.

Benedict XVI had a marked liking for accessories. . . . The most famous was a cowboy hat (think Brokeback Mountain) but in bright red. In 2007, Esquire magazine put the pope first in its list of personalities, under the heading “Accessory of the year.” [2] [4]

Is Cardinal Ratzinger, the only modern pope to abdicate (supposedly for health reasons), homosexual? In fact, no one knows, and the truth is far more interesting.

From the musicians Joseph Ratzinger likes, the androgynous figures he highlights in the operas that enchant him, the writers he reads, the friends he surrounds himself with, the cardinals he appoints, the countless decisions he has made against homosexuals, and even his final fall, partly wrapped up in the gay question, we might hypothesize that homophilia was the thorn in Joseph Ratzinger’s flesh.

Homophilia as an internal “enemy” [3] [5]: is that the personal experience of this troubled and “insecure” pope who has always spoken of his ‘“great weakness,” his “holy anxiety,” his fundamental “inadequacy” and his secret loves “in different dimensions and different forms,” even though, of course, he adds: “going into intimate details would be out of the question”? How can we tell?

We can say that Ratzinger has taken from his deep immersion in the Western tradition, from Plato to Augustine to, yes, Jacques Maritain, the concept of the “loving friendship” so often promoted in the more daring circles of Catholicism. [4] [6]

And so we come to the last, and still ongoing, of Ratzinger’s protégés; his own personal George Clooney, Georg Gänswein. [5] [7]

Gänswein has the athletic physique of a movie star or a fashion model. His Luciferian beauty is an extra. In the Vatican, they often mentioned the charm of actors in Visconti films. For some, Georg is Tadzio in Death in Venice (for a long time he too had long curly hair); for others, he is Helmut Berger in The Damned. We might add Tonio from Tonio Kröger, perhaps, because of his heartbreakingly blue eyes (and because Ratzinger has read Thomas Mann, who writes so cogently about repressed or thwarted inclinations).

Needless to say, “Gänswein was a severe conservative, a traditionalist and anti-gay, who liked power [and] was close, in Écône in Switzerland, to the Saint Pius X Fraternity of Msgr. Lefebvre, the far-right dissident who was finally excommunicated.”

Martel carefully notes that “We have to acknowledge that we know nothing about the particular relationship between Pope Benedict XVI and his private secretary. No one, even in the Vatican, has been able to establish the truth. It’s all speculation.” And yet this “loving friendship” gives us the key, to Ratzinger and the failure of his pontificate: fighting his own “inner enemy,” he created “the gayest papacy in history.”

Benedict XVI had no other ambition than to impose his own virtues on others and, faithful to his own vow of chastity, he was only asking homosexuals to do as he did.

In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger has always been careful, as no prelate has so clearly been before him, to distinguish between two forms of homosexuality. The first of these, homosexuality lived and emphasized, gay identity and culture, is intrinsically disordered. What Ratzinger rejects is the homosexual act. The weakness of the flesh, sexuality between men — that’s the sin.

On the other hand, and this point seems to me to have been neglected, there is a homosexuality that Ratzinger has never rejected, even elevating it into an indispensable model, far superior in his eyes to carnal love between a man and a woman This is ascetic homosexuality, which has been corrected by “superhuman legislations”: this struggle against the self — energetic, incessant and truly diabolical — which in the end opens up into abstinence. This triumph over the senses is the model towards which the whole of Ratzinger’s personality and work has tended.

We might say that if he rejects ‘LGBT’ individuals, Ratzinger does not reserve the same harsh treatment for those who hesitate, those who seek, those sexual agnostics, those who are ‘questioning’, the ‘Qs’ in the American terminology, who appear in the new formulation LGBTQ!

Ratzinger forged this ideal of the abstinent homosexual saint and repeated it in his encyclicals, motu proprio, apostolic exhortations, letters, books, and interviews.

Christian perfection! Homosexuals weren’t asking for that much! [6] [8]

Here we are at the heart, the very quintessence, of the Ratzingerian system. In other words: all the intellectual and artistic passions of Joseph Ratzinger.

Accepting the homosexual as long as he renounces his sexuality. And what heroic man, by means of self-flagellation, can achieve such a feat? Perhaps a Ratzinger or, by making sacrifices, a replicant or a Jedi! For everyone else, the “normal people” who know that abstinence is unnatural, Benedict XVI’s thought leads inevitably to a double life, and as the Poet [Rimbaud] puts it, “the old lying loves” and “lying couples.”

Did he not gullibly open the door to countless hypocrisies in a Church that was becoming homosexualized at a great rate? [7] [9]

Confident in the solution he has found for himself — to the point of imposing it on the Church itself! — Ratzinger, like Dorian Grey, or Wilde himself, [8] [10] acquired a sense of personal invulnerability, lending his actions an odd kind of integrity. Thus, when elevating his protégé to the archbishopric, Benedict conducted not a mere mass but a “Fellini-esque” pageant rivaling anything in the imagination of Baron Corvo [11]:

First comes the procession, slow, superb, and choreographed to perfection; the pope with his huge topaz-yellow mitre, standing in a little indoor popemobile, a throne on wheels, travels like a giant the full 200-metre length of the nave to the sound of triumphant brass, beautiful organ sounds and the children’s choir of St Peter’s, straight as unlit candles. The chalices are encrusted with precious stones; the censers smoke. In the front rows of this new style of episcopal organization, dozens of cardinals and hundreds of bishops and priests in their finest robes provide a palette of red, white and ox-blood. There are flowers everywhere, as if at a wedding.

Indeed, a wedding, and at the climax:

The pope spends a long time (19 seconds) [9] [12] stroking the salt-and-pepper curls of his George Clooney, with infinite delicacy along with infinite prudence. But “the body doesn’t lie,” as the great choreographer Martha Graham used to put it. [10] [13]

Such insouciance even wins the heart of Martel:

Stubborn, with his legendary hostinato rigore (“obstinate rigor” is the motto of Leonardo da Vinci), the pope did not try to conceal what he was doing, as so many cardinals do when they promote their protégés; he went completely public with it. That’s what I’ve always admired about him.

In his way, Joseph Ratzinger remained loyal to his singleton, in spite of the frantic warnings of the Curia. This high mass was a magnificent statement. And that day, he was radiant. His restrained smile was a marvel. Having drained the chalice to the dregs, he was not afraid of taking another drink from it. He is handsome. He is proud. Magnetized by his own daring, he has won. Seeing him again in the video, so superbly dramatic, I have perhaps never loved him as much as in that moment.

That may be going a bit too far, but Ratzinger definitely emerges as the most interesting character, not just in the chapter but the book as a whole; he deserves a better biographer, but then perhaps only Thomas Mann could do him justice. [11] [14]

His thinking is that of a man who has remained locked in the homophobic ideas of his time. In the end, and more than when I began, I feel a certain tenderness towards this introverted, locked-up, thwarted man, for this tragic figure whose anachronism haunts me. Today, tens of millions of teenagers all over the world, less literate or intelligent than he, are able to decode the same puzzle within a few months, before they turn 18.

Though Cardinal Ratzinger seems to have found a resolution for himself, as Pope Benedict, he fought a losing war on two fronts: imposing impossibly rigorous rules on homosexual laity, in the face of an increased level of acceptance in society at large; [12] [15] while at the same time looking the other way at seemingly celibate homophile clergy, turning a blind eye to malicious “rumors” and even favoring such for promotion.

Ratzinger’s downfall was precipitated by two factors: a series of scandals, including the VatiLeak I and II affairs [16], led him to commission a report (from the aforementioned cardinal fossils) which stunned him by its revelation of how extensive the “rings of lust” that surrounded John Paul II had metastasized; and second, he went to Latin America, where he received the coup de grace from the revelation of how “active” his clergy had been.

“We know that a very significant number of clergy who . . . are demonstrating against . . . gay marriage are homosexual themselves. It’s unbelievable,” the Minister of Culture, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, tells me during an interview in his office in Mexico. “The religious apparatus in Mexico is gay, the hierarchy is gay, the cardinals are gay. It’s incredible!”

The homosexual life of the Mexican clergy is a well-known, and by now a well-documented, phenomenon. It is estimated that over two-thirds of Mexican cardinals, archbishops, and bishops are “practicing.”

In short, the Mexican clergy is said to be actively heterosexual in the countryside and practicing homosexual in the cities!

Emiliano Ruiz Parra, author of several books on the subject and a former journalist reporting on religious questions for the daily newspaper Reforma: “I would say that 50 percent of priests are gay in Mexico, if you want a minimum figure, and 75 percent if one is being more realistic. The seminaries are homosexual and the Mexican Catholic hierarchy is spectacularly gay.” He adds that being gay in the Church is not a problem in Mexico: it is even a rite of passage, an element of promotion, and a normal “power relation” between the novice and his master.

There is a lot of tolerance within the Church, so much so that it is not expressed outside it. And, of course, to protect this secret, clerics must attack gays by appearing very homophobic in public. That’s the key. Or the trick.”

As for Cuba,

In a country where corruption is universal, and where there are no journalistic or legal safeguards, it is hardly astonishing that the Catholic Church should have developed bad habits here more than elsewhere.

But it was “astonishing” to the rather unworldly Benedict. “This wasn’t a matter of missteps or accidents; it was a whole system . . . the Church was everywhere corrupt.” The pope wept, then, two weeks later, resigned.

The Vatican “system” had crushed the Ratzinger system.

What, then, is to be done? Martel, despite assuring us of his affection for the Church, simply doesn’t get it; his attitude seems to be puzzlement over why the Church doesn’t just get with it, baby, and change already, maaaan; everyone else has. He doesn’t seem to grasp that not being like every other denomination, not being in tune with a world gone wrong, is exactly the appeal; certainly to TradCaths and others who see the Church as part of their revolt against the modern world.

Part of Martel’s impatience may be the sign of an agenda, shall we say. While abolishing priestly celibacy would seem to be the simple solution, the obvious step, for Martel it’s all a package deal; he quotes with approval the “concrete suggestions” of Peruvian politician and LGBT activist Carlos Bruce:

I think the Church must accept all the consequences of moral failure: it must stop criticizing homosexual relations between consenting adults, and authorize marriage; then it must abandon its silence about sexual abuse and completely abandon its general and institutionalized cover-up strategy, Finally, because this is the key to the problem, it must end the celibacy of the priesthood.

Finally? I suppose that might be a logical order, but hardly a practical one, especially if the “final” factor is the “key” (as it is indeed). Abolishing priestly celibacy (which, if I understand these arcane matters, is a matter of “clerical discipline” adopted by the church at some point, rather than a divine commandment or theological dogma) would be relatively easy. It would hardly mean that “the gays won.” In fact, it would dilute their power of numbers, while removing the “anti-homosexual” façade behind which they do the devil’s work. The requirement obviously discourages heterosexual candidates, while modern Western society (call it enlightened or degenerate, as you will) gives homosexuals more attractive options; abolishing it would increase vocations and bring in a swarm of “non-parishioners,” to use the Vatican equivalent of “not a friend of Dorothy.” [13] [17]

He also doesn’t grasp that perhaps the Church’s position on homosexuality is actually correct, or at least well-reasoned enough to deserve a rebuttal; the book is notably lacking in any discussion of theology or philosophy — Ignatius Reilly would certainly disapprove. For this author, who campily references his lodestone, Rimbaud, throughout as “The Poet” the way Aquinas would refer to Aristotle as The Philosopher, philosophy or theology is as foreign as color to a blind man; people come and go throughout having various attitudes and predilections, as unique and inexplicable as their tastes in wallpaper or costumes, and presumably as mutable over time. [14] [18]

However, the Church’s immutability is something of an illusion, or rather, a comforting self-deception; but to make that case, you’d have to be not just able to take an objective look at your church, or at least be a well-disposed outsider, but also something of a theologian, or at least someone who takes ideas seriously: like, say, Phillip Sherard [19], a Traditionalist who converted to Greek Orthodoxy. [15] [20] In his Greek East and Latin West, [16] [21] Sherrard observes that from the Greek perspective, the Latin Church has been home to the most radical and rapid changes — “innovations” — which are responsible for the schism between the two; but each time, the Church turns to its other Latin characteristic — pettifogging legalism — to convince itself and others that nothing has changed. [17] [22]

Homosexuality would seem to be an easy enough subject for the Roman method of “everything must change to stay the same.” [18] [23] Jesus says quite a bit about the Holy Spirit, yet this didn’t stop the Latin Church from “innovating” a new doctrine [24], even at the price of alienating the Greek Church; by contrast, despite the modern obsession with it, Jesus never mentions homosexuality at all. [19] [25] A bit of typically opaque mumbo-jumbo to keep the theology queens happy, and hey, presto!

An even easier method would be the practice among Episcopalians in the 19th century; treat homosexuality as a sin, but merely one sin among many, no greater or lesser than any other. [20] [26] This would appear to be Francis’ solution, at least for the time being. Hence, his occasional remarks such as “Who am I to judge?” or suggestions that the Church has become identified with sexual sins and perhaps some time should be allocated to the others as well; for which remarks, of course, the closet cases of the Vatican and their ingenuous TradCath supporters have denounced him as, of course, a heretical homo!

All this is a bit beside the point, though; unlike Sherrard, most Traditionalists consider any kind of change to be anathema in principle — especially in order to accommodate mere human weakness, perhaps exacerbated by the conditions of the Kali Yuga, while for TradCaths, the Church is supposed to be a soothing island of stability, as well as a bulwark against the modern age. Once all those early ethnic conflicts (see: Gangs of New York) got ironed out or forgotten by the 1880s or so, the Roman Church became the gold standard for those seeking “Tradition;” [21] [27] in the postwar environs, even not a few Jewish liberals, who would eventually be called “neocons,” unwelcomed by their Jewish colleagues, chose to convert to Catholicism.

And they may, after all, have a point; Dissident Rightists of the Protestant persuasion should not be smug at the travails of the Mother Church: perhaps abolishing celibacy, even requiring marriage, may not be the answer; perhaps it does, along with divorce, lead down the slippery slope to gay and women priests and gay marriage, along with the rest of the progressive package, as has become common among Protestant denominations. On the other hand, we must ask: if the Roman Church can own-goal itself to this extent, what basis would we have to look to it as a silver bullet against Globohomo?

Perhaps the ultimate lesson here is that moral rigidity is less of a bulwark against evil or a sign of perfection, and perhaps more of a vain show, covering up a greater evil; that was the lesson Nathaniel Hawthorne drew from his meditations on his witch-burning ancestors. Using the Traditionalists’ own method, [22] [28] we might distinguish moral laxity, moral rigidity, and morality itself, using the example of Zen:

[People] who feel a profound need to justify themselves have difficulty in understanding the viewpoints of those who do not, and the Chinese who created Zen were the same kind of people as Lao-tzu, who, centuries before, had said, “Those who justify themselves do not convince.” For the urge to make or prove oneself right has always jiggled the Chinese sense of the ludicrous. . . To Confucius, it seemed much better to be human-hearted than righteous, and to the great Taoists, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, it was obvious that one could not be right without also being wrong, because the two were as inseparable as back and front. As Chuang-tzu said, “Those who would have good government without its correlative misrule, and right without its correlative wrong, do not understand the principles of the universe.”

To Western ears, such words may sound cynical, and the Confucian admiration of “reasonableness” and compromise may appear to be a weak-kneed lack of commitment to principle. Actually, they reflect a marvelous understanding and respect for what we call the balance of nature, human and otherwise — a universal vision of life as the Tao or way of nature in which the good and the evil, the creative and the destructive, the wise and the foolish are the inseparable polarities of existence. Therefore, wisdom did not consist of trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to “ride” them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves. At the roots of Chinese life, there is a trust in the good-and-evil of one’s own nature which is peculiarly foreign to those brought up with the chronic uneasy conscience of the Hebrew-Christian cultures. Yet it was always obvious to the Chinese that a man who mistrusts himself cannot even trust his mistrust, and must therefore be hopelessly confused. [23] [29]

This is the wisdom of the Franciscan Pope, Francis: “Behind rigidity, something always lies hidden; in many cases, a double life.”

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Notes

[1] [32] Martel observes that Ratzinger was actually one of the liberals at Vatican II who “saluted its modernity”, but “had taken fright” at the events of ‘68 and resolved to undertake a conservative reading of the council. Not for the first time, the “conservative” simply wants to return to the liberal regime he grew up with (or, in this case, created).

[2] [33] As Patsy Stone has taught us, “you can never have enough hats, gloves, or shoes [34].”

[3] [35] Alluding to Pasolini’s characterization of his homosexuality: “I always saw it by my side as an enemy.” Written in 1950, we must note that both Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover fought the “invisible enemy” of Communism.

[4] [36] And Anglicanism of the High Church sort: “And stay away from Anglo-Catholics; they are all Sodomites with atrocious accents.”—Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (London: Chapman & Hall, 1945 [i.e. 1944]).

[5] [37] Known in gay circles, based on the German pronunciation of his name, as “Gay.org.” Clooney seems to be the Vatican consensus, but I’d say he resembles a bit more Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which, with his repressed homosexuality, narcissism, and suggested serial killer tendencies [38], also seems more appropriate.

[6] [39] Martel is not theologically sound enough to point out that this is, as we’ve said above, the old heresy of encratism. More irony: the great theologian, the reviver of the Inquisition and the Index, driven by the oldest heresy!

[7] [40] Martel aptly quotes Horace: “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret” (Drive away nature with a fork, it comes back at a gallop).

[8] [41] “Ratzinger had the grandeur of Oscar Wilde who, when warned of the danger he ran in associating with young Bosie, appeared in public with him more often.”

[9] [42] 1:00 to 1:30 in the video. To be fair, it does start as a blessing to his forehead, but it continues on and on to Joe Biden lengths.

[10] [43] I always thought that was Woody Allen [44].

[11] [45] Or perhaps we could settle for Andrew Sullivan, who wrote this of the rather similar Allan Bloom:

Of all people, he knew the centrality of the things about which we remain silent. . . . Retaining the purity of that longing was his life’s work. The reason he disliked the modern cult of easy sex was not because he scorned or feared the erotic life, but because he revered it. He saw sexual longing as supremely expressed in individual love, and he wanted his students to experience both to the fullest. He not merely understood Nietzsche; he imbibed him. But this awareness of the abyss moved Bloom, unlike Nietzsche, toward love. . . . One day, one hopes, there will be a conservatism civilized enough to deserve him. . .

“Longing: Remembering Allan Bloom,” The New Republic, April 17, 2000. Sullivan appears in Martel’s book as the “famous British-born American blogger” who insisted in print that Benedict was gay, while admitting to having no evidence, other than his behavior with Georg. Sullivan has reviewed [46] or based columns [47] on the book, and is quoted on the cover, although never mentioning his appearance therein. Speaking of Bloom, Saul Bellow’s roman à Bloom, Ravelstein, suggests Bellow might have made a good biographer for Ratzinger as well; the lightly fictionalized Straussian atmos’ of Ravelstein circle — his “puppies,” to quote  Strauss, Persecution and the Art of Writing (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1952), p. 36 — recalls Maritain with his “godsons.” Ravelstein recalls attending a dinner with Bertrand Russell, T. S. Eliot, “and some big-shot French Thomist whose name escapes me (Maritain?).” Or again: “In art you become familiar with due process. You can’t simply write people off or send them to hell.”

[12] [48] “More perhaps than [any] another man of his generation, Joseph Ratzinger has run counter to history.” Again, the alt-right note: would Savitri Devi say he was a man against time?

[13] [49]

[John Paul II] has made the number of priests dwindle sharply by insisting on celibacy, and he has ended up not only with a smaller number of priests but with a diminished band that is less celibate. Almost all of the priests who left in the massive hemorrhage of the 1970s and 1980s left to marry. The homosexual priests stayed, which meant that their proportion of the whole went up even when their absolute numbers stayed the same. And now even that absolute number is rising. Many observers suspect that John Paul’s real legacy to his church is a gay priesthood.

Garry Wills, Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (Doubleday, 2000), p190.

[14] [50] He is helped by the Church’s leading authority on Thomas himself being on his side [51]. “Brother Adriano Oliva is a reputed medieval historian, a seasoned Latinist and a doctor of theology. Most significantly, he is one of the world’s most eminent authorities on Saint Thomas Aquinas: he presided over the famous Leonine Commission responsible for the critical edition of the works of the medieval thinker — a seminal work. Saint Thomas Aquinas, as we know, is generally the guarantee on which conservatives rely to oppose all sacraments for divorcees or homosexual couples.”  In  his Amours (Les éditions du Cerf, 2015), Oliva aims “to show that a desirable change on the part of the Magisterium concerning homosexuality, and the exercising of sexuality by homosexuals, would correspond not only to contemporary anthropological, theological and exegetical studies, but also to developments of a theological tradition, Thomist in particular.” For Saint Thomas, “man, with his irregularities and singularities, is therefore part of the divine plan. The homosexual inclination is not against nature, but comes from the soul. Oliva again: ‘homosexuality does not bear within it any illicitness, neither in its origin, natural to the individual and rooted in what animates him as a human being, nor in its aim, loving another person, which is a good aim.’ And Oliva concludes in calling for ‘the welcoming of homosexual people at the heart of the Church and not on its margins.’”

[15] [52] For more on Sherrard, see James L. Kelley, Philip Sherrard: Orthodox Theosophy and the Reign of Quantity (Norman, OK: Romanity Press, 2016).

[16] [53] The Greek East and the Latin West: A Study in the Christian Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959; reprinted Limni (Greece): Denise Harvey, 1992, 1995, 2002); see also Church, Papacy, and Schism: A Theological Enquiry (London: SPCK, 1978; reprinted Limni (Greece): Denise Harvey, 1996).

[17] [54] Sherrard also wrote frequently on matters of love and sex (see his Christianity and Eros: Essays on the Theme of Sexual Love (London: SPCK, 1976; reprinted Limni (Greece): Denise Harvey, 1995, 2002); at the time of Humanae Vitae, he wrote a blistering critique, from the Greek perspective, of Paul’s arguments as being based on a fallen, not redeemed nature; he says that this “may pass as an adroit piece of legalistic or moral quibbling, but it is surely a very pathetic argument with which to present the mature Christian intelligence and conscience.” See “Humanae Vitae: Notes on the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI,” Sobornost 5.8 (1969): 570-580 (576-77).

[18] [55] “This is the way Church teaching has always evolved over the centuries — one small step, one minor adjustment, at a time — until the substance has changed so substantially that it becomes possible (according to temperament) either that change has come — or that teaching has ‘always’ been thus.” See “Humanae Vitae: Cracks in the Wall? [56]“ which discusses Peter Steinfels’ article on the 2015 Synod of Bishops [57], which notes that “in sum, while some may assume that the “intrinsic bond” between conjugal love and procreation or the “inseparable connection” between the unitive and the procreative or ‘openness to life’ must apply to each and every instance of sexual intercourse rather than a larger pattern of marital behavior, nowhere do the Synod fathers spell out that conclusion.  The bishops were surely aware that this is the nub of the contraception controversy. Yet not only in these paragraphs but in many others, they refused to repeat the linchpin of the official teaching.”

[19] [58] Jesus alludes to the punishment of Sodom, but the point of his allusion shows that he agrees with Ezekiel that “the sin of Sodom” is inhospitality, in this case, not welcoming the disciples. Paul, by the way, has two places where he references something very bad, that seems to have something to do with sex, but uses two different words that scholars are still trying to decipher; anyone who tells you Paul or anyone else mentions “homosexuality” or “Sodomy” is just lying.

[20] [59] See the discussion in Douglass Shand-Tucci, Ralph Adams Cram: Life and Architecture. 2 volumes. Boston Bohemia (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994); Ralph Adams Cram: An Architect’s Four Quests (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).

[21] [60] Even then, and as always, those seeking “tradition” and homosexuals were often the same; elder WASPs could only look on in horror as their children succumbed to the Whore of Babylon, the way a later generation would run off to communes; see Shandy, op. cit. and my discussion of “Ralph Adams Cram: Wild Boy of American Architecture [61],” reprinted in The Eldritch Evola . . . & Others: Traditionalist Meditations on Literature, Art, & Culture; ed. Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014). “Beware of Anglo-Catholics,” warns Cousin Jasper, “they are all sodomites with atrocious accents.” (Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (London: Chapman & Hall, 1945 [i.e. 1944]).

[22] [62] “It is question of starting from the essential intuition of a content which ideally precedes the parts, and the comparative research must serve to illustrate this content with the contribution given by its various forms of expression, as they present themselves to us in diverse formulations and in diverse traditions.” Julius Evola, “Vedanta, Meister Eckhart and Schelling [63],” reprinted in East and West: Comparative Studies in Pursuit of Tradition (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2018).

[23] [64] San Francisco: City Lights, 1959; from Chicago Review 42. n. 3 (Summer-Fall 1996): pp. 49 (8).