Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sur Le Pont d'Avignon, tout le monde y danse, danse!

It is most likely the case that any child who learned French also learned this little ditty. All the world danced across the bridge in Avignon. And at the heart of the dance was John XXII, the Bishop of Rome, And at the heart of the juristic proceedings coming from Avignon, the New Babylon, were those that inspired William of Ockham and Marsilius of Padua. It was the arrogance of the then Bishop of Rome which led to the development of Individualism and the ideas that lent substance to Montesquieu.

For some reason the current Bishop of Rome is celebrating the 700th anniversary of this event. As the Vatican notes:

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Paul Poupard as his special envoy to the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the enclave of the Popes in Avignon, France. Cardinal Poupard is the president-emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He will be accompanied at the 23-25 June event by Msgr. Jean-Marie Gérard, vicar general of Avignon, and Rev. Canon Daniel Bréhier, rector of the Cathedral of Avignon.

 Celebrating this event is rather strange since it precipitated the revolt of Luther and all that followed.

What is even more ironic is that it was John XXII who attacked the Franciscans and the Spirituals who felt a need for poverty. After all how could John live in such a lavish castle while the Franciscans alleged the Apostles owned nothing.

This is a celebration of the Papacy leaving Rome and commencing its accumulation of massive wealth and its persecution of the Franciscans and other intellectuals. I would have thought that this would be a time for reflection and not one of celebration. Especially for one named Francis.