Pat Archbold, who I have infinite respect for, at Creative Minority Report has a very gloomy post surveying the state of the Church under Pope Francis:
Today is not 1970, but I sometimes imagine I feel as some must have felt back then. I know some people and I am acquainted with more people who are really struggling in this time. I know that so many ‘Catholic’ pundits and wannabe pundits would mock them for their worries even as they celebrate every novelty and heresy that infects the Church as, you guessed it, a breath of fresh air.
I have often pondered this question. Will I live long enough to see the Church fully transmogrified into syncretistic modernized mess it seems hellbent on becoming or will the Church be rescued by the Lord.
As I said, I have often wondered what it must have felt like. I don’t wonder that anymore, I know now. The only thing I wonder now is when God will choose to act and rescue us, His Church, from us, His Church.
We have partied on the train tracks for so long, we delude ourselves into thinking them abandoned. But the train is coming, I can see the light in the distance and I know with certainty it will arrive. I cannot tell how far out is the light of the train and I can’t say how fast it is moving. But it is coming, of this I have no doubt.
Go here to read the rest. Thus far I have been less than impressed by Pope Francis and I have been critical of many of his statements. However, I do not share in the gloom. Why? Not because I have faith in the Second Coming and the ultimate victory of Christ, although I believe that implicitly. My lack of gloom and fundamental optimism is based on my knowledge of Church history. Every pope, unless they had a very brief reign like John Paul I, has made bone headed statements and engaged in foolish actions, every one. Fortunately these statements and actions tend to be forgotten over time while their wise statements and good actions become part of the Tradition of the Church. Now it is quite possible, perhaps probable, that Pope Francis will exceed the normal allotment of Papal pratfalls by a goodly margin, but if he does the Church will survive and, as is usually the case, correct his errors in subsequent papacies. Since Vatican I there has been an unfortunate overdependence upon popes among Orthodox Catholics. We are quick to give up hope when we suspect that Peter does not smile upon us. That is a mistaken attitude. We should preach the Truth incessantly, in season and out, no matter who the pope is. Our adversaries within the Church have done precisely that, substitute Error for Truth, since Vatican II under two pontificates that they viewed with great hostility. Now they have the Pope of their dreams to reshape the Church into Catholicism Lite, or so they think. Let us prove them wrong by our prayers, writings, actions, hope and, not least of all, laughter.