I'm starting the year off opening up the flower of John Allen's recently posted article on the regrets taking root at the Holy See over the election of Pope Francis.
Strange article for a man who is supposed to be claiming he's connected to the pulse of 'all things Catholic', as to be expert enough to report on them.
He claims to be unaware of the now nearly unanimous judgment among Catholics that Pope Francis is a threat to the Catholic family, the Deposit of Faith, Sanctifying Grace and salvation.
I don't see how his ignorance is possible. He's been around active Catholics for decades and should know who the players are, what's being said by whom and what it means for the blood that pulses through the veins of Christ's Church.
I mean...who's left? George Weigel and the Mark Shea crowd?
I would think that he's been around long enough to know the reasons why neither one of them are in the game. Both are spectators who are shilling what they're paid to shill. Most of the time they don't even know what's going on during the plays on the field at the Coliseum where a war is taking place for the soul of Christ's Church.
Does Allen not have any connections with your average faithful Mass-going, educated and involved Catholic families?
He seems out of it.
John Allen does not live in our world. Though he portrays himself as a visitor trying to understand what is happening and publishing unbiased reports, he's always worked the agenda of nudging our people towards their demoralization.
He has always been very careful to give the appearance he's an unbiased reporter. He is now well-positioned at the Boston Globe, so maybe he's coming a little more out of the closet. But still, I was surprised to hear his claim of ignorance.
Allen covered the story about an influential Italian writer who recently penned an article about the regrets taking root in Pope Francis See about his election.
Under the headline, “Doubts about the turning point of Pope Francis,” Messori wrote that “my evaluation of this papacy oscillates continually between adhesion and perplexity,” and also asserted that Francis’ unpredictability has caused even “some of the cardinals who were among his electors to have second thoughts.”
Messori did not name any repentant cardinals, but his claim (my emphasis) has been taken seriously because he is Italy’s most famous living Catholic writer, the man whose 1984 interview book with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Ratzinger Report, made the future pope a star.
In other words, he’s the kind of person in a position to know what at least some segment of the College of Cardinals is thinking.
He writes about what we all know has saturated faithful Catholic networks as if it were a legend.
Is that not a hoot?
This is supposed to be a connected guy.
I was also surprised that he revealed his own emotions about the war.
What has truly rankled pro-Francis commentators, however, isn’t the idea that some cardinals have their noses out of joint (my emphasis), which for them is part of the pope’s appeal. Instead, it’s Messori’s claim that the “average Catholic” — which he defined as believers “not in the habit of thinking much on their own about faith and morals, exhorted to simply ‘follow the pope’ — finds his “tranquility disturbed” by the pontiff’s mixed signals.
Allen better check the alignment of his own nose.
He then goes on to diagnose Messori's wild imagination as suffering from transference.
The thrust of the reaction has been that Messori dressed up his own issues with the pope as a defense of ordinary believers — which, to be honest, is not a category to which he’s belonged for quite a while.
Leaving aside the issue of what the term “average Catholic” even means, two observations on Messori’s presentation suggest themselves.
I wonder how long it took to cook up that lame approach?
Something tells me it's important to make believe Messori's disclosure of the Pope's problem among practicing Catholics doesn't exist.
The gist of Allen's two observations goes something like this:
Poor gracious Pope Francis is leading the Church into an era where apostates can openly and robustly teach obedience to the call of temptation and sin. When families who don't want their children responding to the Pope's clarion call express reservations, it's not an act of defiance, it's obedience.
I can't say I disagree, though I don't think he has any idea what it all means in the life of the Church and to this Papacy.
Allen suggests for the next round of the Pope's theological circus, we should all brush up on the distinctions between disagreement and division.
That's not what we need to focus on at all.
What we need to focus on is helping families understand "division" of our families from a sitting Pope who has chosen his theological warriors and the transformation of Rome into Mapplethorpe and the Pontifical Culture of the Kardashians. Navigating division of our families from it and helping others avoid the call of 'division' from people who will despair and encourage families to divide from the Chair of Peter is what 'would not be a bad thing'.
The Holy Father has made clear he's going to keep on going with the agenda. I believe him. We need to make our plans and spend the next several months carrying them out.
Reading this article and thinking about it o'er the past few days, I am really beginning to wonder if there is a gross misunderstanding of the term "average Catholic" and everyone is just using their misunderstanding as license to say and do dumb things.
What it means to Allen and the Pope isn't the same as what it means to us. Maybe that's a bigger problem than we think it is because the fixes being instituted from Rome are being based upon it.
I suspect John Allen's definition of 'average Catholic' would be what we call an 'uncatechized', 'lapsed' or 'disenfranchised' Catholic.
It's a Catholic who wants their local parish to be a place where habitual temptations and sin is not pastored to lead to cessation. They don't want Church teaching taught. When it is taught their mind tells them what they're doing is wrong and they have to stop, go to Confession, move out of their lover's home and say no the urge to hop in the sack the next time it comes along. They confront and threaten and they don't come back to Church until they're on their knees.
They may have been Baptized Catholics but they are not practicing Catholics.
They're the Prodigal's sons and daughters. They're our sons and daughters, friends, neighbors. The people we love.
To us, the word 'average Catholic' is the Catholic who is in touch with daily Scripture and following what Christ is doing every day. We look for Him when we wake up. We connect with Him. At some point in the day we see what the lesson is in Scripture. We go to Mass more than once a week and we do not receive the Blessed Sacrament unless we are in a State of Grace. We teach our children all of the principles in living this way, how to navigate the challenges of every day.
Each of us has at least a decade or two of experience with the apostates in control of catechesis who tried to teach our children what Pope Francis taught at the Synod.
We are the Catholics who have placed our own Pope in the camp of the enemy of the family.
Messori's article "Doubts about the turning point of Pope Francis" signals we are successfully getting our message across to the College of Cardinals. The message has given them the vapors for the agenda.
Regretting its election is paramount to ensuring the next Pope has what it takes to correct the course of the Ship.