A story materialized a few days back, wherein a mother claimed she told the Pope her son didn't go to Mass, and he reportedly told her not to worry about the Ten Commandments so long as her son is a "good kid".
A few months back, I would have thought this to be an exaggeration, but this is consistent with his shtick: When Christ's heirs are committing adultery, skipping Mass, lying, bearing false witness, using contraception, killing, the role of Christ's priests is to find the good in it.
How many times have we brought our families before a priest so they could substantiate, affirm, confirm and enlighten about the beauty and necessity to judge our own conduct in accordance with Church teaching, only to have the man undermine and rob them of it?
My prayers are with that poor woman. Can you imagine the impact of watching the Pope rob your family of it all, knowing this moment could affect generations?
Don't get me wrong, the adverse effects of depriving a generation of catechesis and turning the Sacred Liturgy into Sunday morning religious entertainment they think people are going to get up our of bed for is a conundrum. You can't drag your children to Mass, but when we very much need the support of a priest to enlighten , encourage and support us in our quest to give them the tools for salvation, what is the purpose of saying something that unravels them from the Deposit of Faith and the Sacraments, perhaps for the rest of their life ?
Why not compliment him, help the mother find a place where he can contribute his gifts and feel connected to his spiritual home?
When a mother approaches a priest with her family to seek his help, the hour has come for him to reign in the soul. There is never a time to convey the Commandments are legal mumbo jumbo impertinent to salvation.
In another development, the Pope contradicted the Deposit of Faith on the death penalty, suggesting the Charlie Mansons of this world should be set free as life imprisonment is a death sentence to mass murderers.
Yet another example he considers himself to be the crusader who leads Christ's people away from the slavery of the Catechism.
Russ Douthat wrote a brutally honest assessment of the problem we have with this Pope: he is contradicting Church teaching. Catholics who pursue their lives trying to live in a state of Grace - and that is not a small group - are about as likely to introduce his ideas to our children as we would introduce Joan Chittister as a role model for feminine fashion.
Russ stated, and I agree, that when the Church is burdened with a Pope who contradicts Church teaching, the role of the Church is to resist his errors.
But if he seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then conservative Catholics will need a cleareyed understanding of the situation.
They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.
A few stories at Fr. Z's are worth commentary.
First, Fr. Z is a bit ruffled by the timing of SSPX threatened excommunications.
I don't have the empathy Fr. Z does for SSPX and my own diligence found documents from the CDF stating SSPX Masses doesn't fulfill Sunday obligation. There is no place in the world where SSPX is permitted to administer Sacraments.
However, it is duly noted that a week after we are told Pope Francis wants the Church to be a welcoming place for apostates who spent decades teaching defiance to Church teaching (and millions have died in that state), actions are taken to excommunicate victims who fled from the danger and scandal.
Finally, there is this jewel about the story at Buzzfeed stating Cardinal Burke did not say the Pope is harming the Church.
Cardinal Burke corrected the record to relate the literal message was:
Here is what Cardinal Burke actually said:
“I can’t speak for the pope and I can’t say what his position is on this, but the lack of clarity about the matter has certainly done a lot of harm.”
What BuzzFeed reported:
“According to my understanding of the church’s teaching and discipline, no, it wouldn’t be correct,” Burke said, saying the pope had “done a lot of harm” by not stating “openly what his position is.”
Are you kidding me?
If the Pope has been in office for a year and a half and his pontifications have left Christ's people confused, and that lack of clarity is doing harm - who do you think is the party responsible for his lack of clarity and the harm it is causing?
Who is the responsible party to mitigate the harm being done?
I don't see any correction on Cardinal Burkes reported words that the Pope giving us clarity was long overdue.
While I get why the calibration of Cardinal Burke's point was upsetting to the Pope, what it is exactly everyone is pretending was supposed to be the conclusion?