Let’s take a timeout from way more important things to talk about the Humble Slapper incident that took place in St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve. The video (in the unlikely event you’ve missed it) is provided below.
Before taking a look at it, however, I’d like to set the record straight as to what happened, beginning with what didn’t happen. According to Vatican News:
As he greeted the faithful, a woman tugged his arm, causing a shooting pain to which the Pope reacted with an impatient gesture to free himself from her grip.
That out of the way, here’s what really happened:
An Asian woman took hold of Jorge’s hand and pulled him toward herself, catching him by surprise. After taking a couple of steps in her direction, the two came face-to-face. The woman wouldn’t let go of his hand (his fingers to be exact) as she made some sort of impassioned plea. Evidently, she is not – as some have reported – an overzealous “fan,” in fact, all indications suggest just the opposite.
As these events began to unfold, a member of Jorge’s security team came forward and laid hold of the woman’s other arm, apparently shouting “Hey!” Jorge then slapped the woman’s hand, twice, and pulled away.
Now, go ahead and watch the video again.
As one can plainly see, Jorge does not appear to be spontaneously reacting to a “shooting pain.” That retelling of the incident was cooked up by his overworked PR team, but the spin job wasn’t complete just yet.
In yesterday’s sermon, the Humble Slapper, reading from a prepared text, condemned… get this… violence against women! These people really are without shame! Jorge said:
Women are sources of life. Yet they are continually insulted, beaten, raped and forced to prostitute themselves.
Yes, women are sometimes victimized in such ways, and it’s terrible when they are. But are they continually beaten, raped and forced to prostitute themselves? Clearly, that’s an absurd exaggeration.
I suspect, however, that there’s more to it than that; rather, it’s a calculated attempt on the part of Jorge and his handlers to make his decision – and let’s be clear, it was a conscious decision – to slap that Asian woman’s hand look even more minor than it really is by comparison.
I mean, hey, if women are continually being beaten and raped, a couple of slaps on the hand just aren’t that big a deal, are they?
All of that said, most of the commentary that I’ve encountered concerning this incident amount to overreactions, in one direction or the other.
First, there are Jorge’s defenders, who insist that he did nothing wrong; some even implying that he was practicing self-defense or delivering a well-deserved dose of retributive justice. For example, conservative Catholic blogger Matt Walsh tweeted:
If the slap was “violence against women” then the woman’s initial grab was violence against the elderly … Today I learned that if a woman grabs an old man by the wrist and yanks him around and then gets her hand lightly slapped, she’s the victim and the old man is a violent abuser. 2020 is off to a good start.
For the Matt Walsh types out there, I have a question:
What would it take for you to feel justified in slapping a woman’s hand that way?
If you can honestly say that your own personal threshold for slapping a woman was crossed by what you saw, then I’m thankful that you’re not married to one of my daughters, and you should be too, in fact, even more so.
While I’d stop sort of categorizing the hand slapping incident as an act of “violence against women,” neither was it a case of some a poor old man being “yanked around.”
Call it what you want, but something ugly happened. What it revealed (yet again) is that Jorge the Humble is a wholesale fabrication, likely created by the same diabolical agents that labored to place him on the balcony at St. Peters back on 13 March 2013.
On the other side of the spectrum, where the majority seem to reside, are those who are reacting as if this is one of the most egregious and embarrassing things Jorge has done since he assumed the stage name “Francis.”
I got news for you people; it’s not even in the top 20!
If only this much outrage was engendered when he accused Our Lady of being tempted to call God a liar, or when he claimed that the Divine Law is too difficult for some people to keep (which necessarily implies that God is unjust), or when he even went so far as to claim that God wills that we should occasionally break the Sixth Commandment, and on and on the blasphemies and heresies go.
So, why are so many given to selective, disproportionate outrage?
Thanks to the present crisis – that is, the one born at Vatican Council II – many a sincere self-identified Catholic has grown numb to the magnificent affronts that have been hurled at Our Lord and Our Lady over the past six decades. We have arrived at the point where many no longer have a sense for what blasphemy and heresy is, much less how offensive it is.
Even so, we largely still have that basic human instinct, imparted to each and every man by way of the Natural Law, that tells us right from wrong.
What Jorge did was just plain wrong and most of us know it.
Sure, some commentators, like Walsh, are moved to downplay what Bergoglio did, if for no other reason than to score a few points against liberal hypocrites. Still, the majority of us are aware that not even a grumpy old man whose arm has been “tugged” (as Vatican News describes it) has the right to treat a woman that way.
In other words, it seems that most of us still remain sensitive to certain evils, recognizing them for what they are when we see them; e.g., an animal being abused by a human, a child being exploited by an adult, or a woman being slapped by a man.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that far too few among us are nearly as sensitive to those acts of evil – like blasphemy and heresy – that infringe upon the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King and Our Lady, the Queen Mother. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to change until such time as we are given, by the grace of God, a true Holy Father.