Monday, December 23, 2013

Quo Vadis Pope Francis?

This one says it all.

Then again, in a document of this length one would also expect to find a good deal of what has made this Pope so beloved by the worldwide mass media: radical-sounding bombshells about how wrong the Church is and how much Francis must do to make it right, in all humility. That too is there—in spades...

A word about EG’s forthright condemnation of abortion (EG 213). While quite admirable as far as it goes, Francis immediately undermines it by indulging his crowd-pleasing penchant for reckless and unfounded accusations against the Church: “On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” (EG 214).

Perhaps Francis should speak for himself. No one has done more to assist women tempted by abortion than the members of the worldwide Catholic pro-life movement....

The media love EG for another reason: it leaves no wiggle room for the indefatigable explainers of What The Pope Really Meant To Say, Or What He Would Have Said If He Had Said What He Meant Rather Than What He Said, Which Was Misinterpreted And Taken Out Of Context....

Instead of leaving his prejudices behind in Buenos Aires along with his Pinocchio Mass....

Francis’s “dream Church” involves nothing less than a deconstruction of the papacy in favor of a synodal model governed—God help us!—by the national bishops’ conferences:

… I am conscious of the need to promote a sound “decentralization”…. Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy [to]… help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization…. We have made little progress in this regard. The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion….

[A] juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach. (EG 16, 32)

Please take the time to read in its entirety.

This sums up the phenomenon perfectly:

As the always brilliantly witty Hilary White has observed: “[O]ne of the reasons the libs love this pope so much is that he enjoys insulting the same people they do, namely the Catholics who believe everything the Church teaches—and has ever taught—and try to live by it.” In EG Francis perversely heaps still more vitriol on his loyal subjects, thus belying his public persona as the merciful, non-judgmental father the Church has been longing for...

Tellingly, Francis has nothing to say about the plague of neo-modernism that has spread throughout the Church since the Council, undermining Church teaching, making a mockery of the liturgy, and animating radical dissent in every nation. Rather, he continues to condemn as cold and faithless ideologues traditional Catholics who, in the midst of the ruins, have taken refuge in the few edifices still standing after fifty years of a “renewal” even he admits has never happened. This is unheard-of behavior for a Pope. And Francis behaves this way knowing full well that the various traditional societies and orders are practically the only places where the Church is experiencing robust health.

tried to put the best face on Francis’s seemingly endless torrent of crowd-pleasing utterances. But this circus has gone far enough.


Anonymous said...

Fr. Z is spinning like a top on steroids:

Catholics should recognize the fact that Pope Francis is the logical consequence of the past five decades. Remember, he was elected by his peers; if any one of them had succeeded Benedict, he wouldn't be much different.

One of my Facebook friends, who lives in San Francisco, would not send her daughters to St. Ignatius High School because it has an LGBT club (Her late husband was an alumnus). If that club exists, undoubtedly the archbishop knows about it -- and doesn't care.

Let's not forget that John Paul II and Benedict did precious little disciplining of wayward bishops (such as Cdl. Wuerl); you've seen yourself the lengths to which Cdl. O'Malley will go.

Catholic should stop deluding themselves about JPII or B16 being "conservatives." They were nothing of the sort. A real conservative would have given the smackdown to Law, Mahony, Groener, Maciel, et al. Francis' two previous predecessor were nothing but member of the Good Ol' Boys' Club, whose members never have to know what accountability means.

Francis is going to suffer a severe backlash within two years from the "progressives" who love him, now. He's either too self-involved or too stupid to see that.

TTC said...

Interesting post by Fr. Z. He's a little more hopeful about outcome of the rollout of Pope Francis reform than I.

At this juncture, it's getting hard to not to conclude we are in for a pontificate of the buffoonery of protecting the Roman caligula by not making judgments about their conduct, starve the flock and persecute faithful Catholics.

Anonymous said...

The blogger's intellect is sharp, while the disrespectful way he expresses his displeasure demonstrates that this Traditional Catholic needs exactly what Pope Francis is exemplifying, that is, humility. The problem that eludes the blogger is that being "right" is often, not enough. The most important virtue is Love. Charity is the expression of this.

The Gospel story following the Annunciation offers clarity on this. It says, Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law,
and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace,
he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Just think, what the outcome if Joseph did it "right"....

St. Paul said that the most important of the three Cardinal Virtues is LOVE.

It is my belief that this traditional Catholic blogger needs to spend more time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and allow himself to be so Loved by The Christ.

TTC said...

Welcome friend.

First of all, thank you for your kind words about my intellect.

But...this blogger is a woman! And I do frequent the Blessed Sacrament daily as often as I can. It is never enough, for sure and even this does not always insulate me from myself! LOL.

So, I thank you for pointing me in that direction.

I am curious about your statement though - as I believe myself to be acutely and intimately aware of the virtue of love. (I have often mentioned praised the Pope's demonstrable affection and love for his people and our Church.

Lots of people seem to misunderstand love - or at the very least seem unaware of the different forms of love.

It's a dangerous ignorance as it leads to feckless leadership and sin.

Love has all kinds of levels before it blossoms into its highest form: self-sacrificing love.

brotherly love
self-sacrificing love

And there are all kinds of levels within the levels (not to mention slip ups!)

Most often, the Holy Spirit will build upon any grace in the soul of a pregnant woman to infuse them with this highest form of love. This infusion bears its fruit the moment a mother lays eyes on their child.

If the self-sacrificing love of a mother had the benefit of solid catechesis, there is also a theological infusion to the self-sacrificing love.

I hate to say it, but it is a rare gift in men and it is often subverted or twisted by the secular culture in women - even mothers.

Self-sacrificing love does not hoodwink its recipient into believing their sins are virtues.

Consequently, what we have seen of Pope Francis thus far indicates he is in the filial stages of love.

Filial love is a great gift to others and to the Church.

You will remember that Christ selected Peter as the First Roman Pontiff of His Church and at the time of his selection, he also was still in the filial stage of love.

Peter loved our Beloved for sure and all of his gifts were good enough to select him as the first Pope of His Church.

Simon Peter, do you love me?

Peter answered that he did.

But Christ consecutively asked him whether he loved him to inform Peter that the kind of love he had would not sustain him in his role.

Christ told Peter that the attributes of self-sacrificing love involve teaching the teachings of the Church - which subsequently leads to persecution.

You will recognize the distinction between the love Christ describes and the love Pope Francis exhibits as Pope Francis wishes to withhold teaching to win admiration in the public square - even by King Herod.

It's the fruit of cowardice - and we all know Peter was a bit of a coward at first. Frankly speaking, Christ referred to Peter's attempts to talk Him out of laying down His life as the counsel of Satan.

I see the Pope's love. I also see that he needs to kick it up a few notches before he turns our structure into a tribunal within that persecutes the truth.

TTC said...

ps - I celebrate the Liturgy in the Novus Ordo community. Though I never say never and depending upon how crazy it gets, that may change in the future to seeking the refuge of the Motu Proprio.

TTC said...


to be clear

'right' doesn't mean the convictions one reaches in ones head.

Joseph knew this and sought the counsel of God on how to proceed. Scripture never indicates the 'right' thing to do would have been divorce.

Those who have taught that "love" takes actions that pervert the minds, bodies and souls of its recipient for the 'sake of love' - have derailed and are on the path of confusing the ride of their emotions and narcissistic and self-serving actions as love of neighbor.

It's crazy out there. Watch your step!

Anonymous said...

"The blogger's intellect is sharp, while the disrespectful way he expresses his displeasure demonstrates that this Traditional Catholic needs exactly what Pope Francis is exemplifying, that is, humility."

To Anonymous (12/24/13, 5:35 a.m.): Who said that humility means flushing one's brain down the toilet? Carol had a right to be concerned about the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Church. We know little about this man, and the media aren't interested in doing any substantive research on his attitudes and fundamental beliefs beyond being a "son of the Church." Too many non-Catholics are jumping on every little snippet taken out of context and projecting their own agendas onto them -- and too many Catholics are spinning like tops merely because Francis is the Pope. We should all remember Church history, and that many (if not most) of the earliest Popes were, shall we say, less than worthy of their calling.