Terrible thoughts occur to me, and I try to banish them. I say "this is the 21st century", but that's no help - it's well on it's way to be the most irrational century ever. Terrible things have already happened in the 21st century and what haunts me is the thought that there could be one more, perhaps the most terrible. Is the Holy Father safe? Could we be looking at a Pope about to be martyred?
I'm sure the Vatican and the Swiss Guard deal with so many cranks and nuts, benighted individuals with inner voices saying 'kill the pope'. It occurs to people who have never been Catholic, never even knew Catholics, don't really know what a pope is. Councillors still report they feel under instruction to kill the pope. Mental illness seems to open up the mind to the dark forces swirling around in society. Let us never forget, to the forces of greed, selfishness and aggression - 'progress' - we Catholics are the old enemy.
And now, there is this constant drumbeat of hatred pounding away, and sad, bewildered souls take it up, are suffused by it's hatred and feel in it a call to insane action.
Look at what is said about the Pope. Look at what people dare to say in the media? May I liken it to inter-war Germany? In 1924 there were things that simply could not be said in the Press about the Jews: frequently said in conversation, but not in the Press. But by 1934 those things were being said, had long since been said and were being superseded by things so foul no-one had even thought of them in 1924. And it was all backed by a huge fire-storm of mutual authentication that roared through society, whereby one writer became the source for another writer becoming the source for another writer, so that these things were said everywhere and there was no need to look for the source because - they were said everywhere.
Never think people enter journalism because they have a commitment to the truth. They become journalists because they want to be heard. And after that, they want to be feared. They are a particularly dangerous group of people when let off the leash of common decency. In the French Revolution they wrote people to the tumbrels, in Nazi Germany they wrote people to the camps, what they'll do to us Catholics - I don't know. But I know they want to do something nasty, now or as soon as possible. They are slavering, you can feel their appetite.
God protect our Holy Father.