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The Papacy of Resentment and Its Future

US Them

I find it striking how often Pope Francis engages in pejoratives against people who really tick him off.  The list of people who Pope Francis clearly does not like includes “fundamentalists”, the rich, conservatives, capitalists, self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, etc.  One could be forgiven for thinking that for decades Pope Francis has been carefully putting groups he does not like in a “them” category as opposed to the “us” category he belongs to, and that his papacy is payback time against the thems.  A striking example of this occurred recently:

The Argentine pope, who has been trying to foster cooperation with moderate Islam in order to work for peace and protect Christians in the Middle East, said it was wrong for anyone to react to terrorism by being “enraged” against Islam.

“You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,” he said.

Now in this throwaway line Pope Francis manages to compare people who massacre people in job lots, Islamic jihadists, with Christians he labels “fundamentalists”.  I assume that the Pope is using the term in a non-technical sense, and isn’t referring to the Protestant groups that arose out of the Niagara Bible Conferences of 1876-1897.  In a Catholic context who he is referring to is clear enough as demonstrated by the ongoing persecution of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate.  The Pope seems to have the likes and dislikes of a fairly typical modern Jesuit, and looked at through that prism much of the apparent confusion surrounding the Pope’s statements melts away. 

The problem of course with having a papacy that operates on such a basis is that those clearly in the them camp do not like being targeted by the man at the top and will react to what they regard as unfair aspersions being cast on them.  This is especially problematic at this stage in the history of the papacy in that Pope Francis is ticking off those Catholics who have hitherto overall been quite loyal to the papacy, while those who love what the Pope is saying against their adversaries are often Catholics who are lukewarm, to put it charitably, about the practice of the Faith.

Where is all this leading?  I think that depends upon the length of the reign of Pope Francis.  I do not expect him to change.  Later this month he will turn 78 and what he believes was long ago set in cement.  A long reign might end in a major schism.  A short reign might make him a blip on the history of the papacy.  A medium reign would probably most closely resemble the chaos of the reign of Pope Paul VI, with the Pope this time fostering the chaos and drift from orthodoxy.  We shall see.  One prediction I will make:  it will be a very long time indeed before another Jesuit will ever again fill the shoes of the Fisherman after what I think future historians will deem a disaster of a pontificate.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

65 Comments

  1. Despite today’s liberal’s spoken concern for sensitivity, and frequent warnings against “bullying” and “labeling” ….

  2. This is sad to say and no ill-will is wished upon the Pontiff, but no one lives forever, including Popes. God will allow Francis to have the Seat of Peter as long as He feels it necessary to chastise us, for that is what someone else in the comment section of this TAC blog once wrote: that Francis is God’s punishment. For too long we have been like the Church at Laodicea – neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. BTW, that also is the reason why we got Barack Hussein Obama as President. We are being chastised in our Nation and in our Church for being lukewarm.

  3. Lukewarm in the bible reference equates to being spit out. It sometimes appears that our leadership under this papacy is constantly in a spittle flecked nutty toward any sort of traditional Catholic thought. If I have to be spit out for my Savior and the faith I’ve been so fortunate to have been given; so be it.

  4. Hutterites and Amish are fundamentalist in many aspects of the Bible but they would not have thrown the disabled Mr. Klinghoffer off a cruise ship with his wheelchair into the sea (1985) nor seized hundreds of children as hostages as did Chechans in Beslan ( 2004 ) ( 185 children killed in the rescue moments) nor would they kidnap and rape hundreds of Yasedi women and pass them around as gifts ( 2014 )… err….right now. Pope Francis must improve his capacity to see distinctions. He grabs at similarities but then has trouble with phase two…how things are different.
    The Amish unlike terrorists several years ago immediately welcomed the parents of a young man who massacred their schoolchildren…..they were being fundamentalist about Christ and those things He said about loving those who need it most in desperate situations. I can’t get their example out of my mind ever since.

  5. … it will be a very long time indeed before another Jesuit will ever again fill the shoes of the Fisherman …

    If not, there are others of the mindset. Remember the ones in the background of the camera shot as he took his first step onto the balcony. Look at those who are ‘modernizing’ and repressing traditional houses of worship, those who are mute about all sorts of persecution worldwide and mute about those who may incite it, and those who are word-gaming support of deadly and unaffordable policy. I fear the resultant emptying coffers will result in such as the car maker event in a chapel where reverence belongs, the art ‘gallery’ in Vienna, and other exclusivity practiced in the name of inclusivity.
    Fasting and prayer was Jesus’ solution recommended to the Apostles, as well as His practice of going away from the crowds to pray to His Father.
    Vaya lio, indeed.
    It would be good, meanwhile, for the many to hear teaching in God’s words.

  6. If you read Francis’ speech to the Euro Parliament, you’ll see that he defends the unborn openly before these legislators. There’s no doubt that I belong to the group that gets mightily upset with this man, but the fact it, we’ve just been used to having it completely our conservative way with Benny and Johnny. They were giants of the papacy and will influence the discourse and thinking of the Church for years to come. But every time I look at this Pope’s daily homilies I am struck by the freshness and Biblical-ear-to-the-ground nature of his preaching. The man has a great take on so many passages of scripture. It is different from Benedict but Francis does not suffer by the comparison.

    I was livid that Francis invited Danieels and Kasper the Ghost to address the Synod. Let us pray that the Church is stronger than Frankie’s goof ups.

    I end with this thought. The Pope heard that one of his most acerbic critics was in the hospital and placed a phone call to wish him well. Right off the hop he reassured his interlocutor that his opinions were a non-issue; Francis said that “I know you spoke out of love.” Now I ask you, would a pure wool liberal have said that?? This Pope will be maddening for liberals and conservatives for some time to come… .

  7. . For those wondering how much lumping together Pope Francis does on the issue of fundamentalism, here he is in an interview from a Spanish magazine quote by the link…Catholix News Agency…. keep in mind as you read his last sentence at the bottom, that Anabaptists have been pacifist for centuries after an initial sector in the 16th century was not….thus the Pope is implying they are violent???? subconsciously….lol. Amish territory may be the only part of the US whete you can’t get mugged. Keep in mind that Catholicism’s greatest thinker, Aquinas, quotes small verses of scripture constantly from one end of the Summa Theologica to the other and takes such things as Rom.13:4 about the death penalty literally since Aquinas rarely quotes purely symbolic passages when dealing with the practical….
    ttp://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-interview-with-la-vanguardia—full-text-45430/

    “sometimes, by way of religion to very serious, very grave contradictions. Fundamentalism, for example. The three religions, we have our fundamentalist groups, small in relation to all the rest.”

    And, what do you think about fundamentalism?

    “A fundamentalist group, although it may not kill anyone, although it may not strike anyone, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalists is violence in the name of God.”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Mind boggling. Guess he’s not interested in ecumenism with Anabaptists.

  8. I can’t say that I have found this pontiff’s sermonizing (“[In] this Pope’s daily homilies I am struck by the freshness and Biblical-ear-to-the-ground nature of his preaching.”–Gary W.) to be particularly fresh as much as raw and half-baked. For example, in Evangelii Gaudium (cf #55), he principally uses biblical images (such as the golden calf, Ex. 32:1-35) purely as a jumping off point to predictably rail about money.

    The golden calf is about idolatry, not avarice. He could have spoken about the golden calf of prelates and clergy who eagerly seek with greater and greater ambition for power to more and more replace the God of Sinai and His Son with themselves as celebrities. Certainly the way he has spoken about his regard for the late Card. Martini has sounded an eery note. It is great for an order religious, whose needs have been paid for by the heavily-burdened faithful with their money for 5 or so decades, to hear PF rail against “money”, like it is some 7-headed beast, but it doesnt cost him any to do so. He will get thunderous applause from the NY Times crowd though.

    Also in EG 187-190, PF seems to use the scripture citations merely to buttress his claims for a popular socialist redistribution of wealth, as if these redistributions have produced nothing but even greater misery in the last 3 decades (observe Venezuela in particular).

    There is no doubt that PF has been lauded throughout his clerical career as a “visionary” and “prophetic” speaker, but besides the confusion of his ideas and his rhetoric, it is hard to find any substance there. But his clear resentment of certain groups often spills out in his us vs. them lapses.

  9. @Gary Westgeest: Mario Palmaro could not stomach Pope Francis and his papacy. He spoke up lost his job. The Pope did call, yes. How did the Pope take care of him and his family after he lost his job because he had spoken against the Pope?
    .
    It is hoped that the Pope who is continually speaking about the poor, has reached out to the late Mario’s family, to Mario’s widow and children, and helped them concretely (one of their favorite words).
    .
    Within the Church it is neither conservative vs. liberal nor right vs. left, it is right vs. wrong – Cardinal Francis George.

  10. The most sad thing about all this is that it is NOT the media spinning or misquoting his words. When you have aeveral high ranking prelates including Francis George asking hard questions we have big problem. His being a Jeauit from Latin America made me uneasy about him alone since day one.

  11. As the graduate of a Jesuit university, I would like to suggest the problem with the Pope isn’t that he is from Argentina but that he is a Jesuit. They are indeed radical leftists.

  12. Unfortunately, with some of the Pope’s appointments, it appears he is moving us back to an era of the Bernardins, Deardens and McIntyres.

  13. It is instructive to contrast the way Pope Benedict XVI treated the LCWR nuns
    with Pope Francis’ manhandling of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.
    The nuns were treated with all due process, endless patience, and– despite
    their hysterics to the contrary– respect. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has
    in a year delivered a combination of petty humiliations and brutal mutilations
    to the FFI such that the order will probably not survive– and all with no
    clear explanation of the reasons for their persecution. It’s like the friars are
    trapped in the Catholic version of a Kafka novel, their tormentors being at
    the same time incomprehensible, vicious, and petty.
    .
    The mainstream media always painted gentle Pope Benedict XVI as some sort of
    hardline conservative, “God’s Rottweiler”, the “Panzer Cardinal”, as though he
    was some sort of rabid dog out for the blood of heretics. To me, however, it
    is Pope Francis who seems to believe that error — or whatever this Holy Father
    may feel is error– has no rights.

  14. Dear Mr D.R. McClarey, I share plenty of your anguish about this current Papacy.
    But concerning your quotation below:
    “One prediction I will make: it will be a very long time indeed before another Jesuit will ever again fill the shoes of the Fisherman after what I think future historians will deem a disaster of a pontificate.”
    I have a different opinion. According to St Malachy we are two of three popes away from the Second Advent of Jesus. We indeed have to brace ourselves for the disaster that comes to Rome just before Jesus appears.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes#Petrus_Romanus
    And significant number of Catholic seers are saying the same.
    http://www.prophetamos3m.com/3.html
    http://www.popeleo13.com/pope/2014/11/09/category-archive-message-board-170-summary-of-end-times-1/

  15. “The Pope heard that one of his most acerbic critics was in the hospital and placed a phone call to wish him well. Right off the hop he reassured his interlocutor that his opinions were a non-issue; Francis said that “I know you spoke out of love.” Now I ask you, would a pure wool liberal have said that?? This Pope will be maddening for liberals and conservatives for some time to come…”

    Here’s the thing: he positions himself as a mediator between warring parties, castigating them both….but he only acts against those to the right side (suppression of the FFI) or pink slips to Burke and other “Ratzingerians” in the curia. Whereas the left gets swanky invites (Danneels) and plum appointments (Cupich, Leow). For pete’s sake (no pun intended), he packed the Synod writing group with his appointees and even ordered that rejected paragraphs be left in the final relatio–and the left was properly delighted. It was nice that the dying Palmaro got a phone call–but that’s all he got. Lip service. If you are of an orthodox bent and are happy with the occasional verbal pat, then you’ll find this papacy congenial. At least until your bishop retires and you get your own Cupich.

  16. Don, the word “fundamentalist” is basically used by leftists as a synonym for fanatic or extremist. With very few exceptions, I’ve never seen it used correctly in the MSM for what it really stands for historically. For the benefit of TAC readers who don’t know, here’s the true meaning . A movement in the Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th century to hold on to the Biblical and Christian truths they had against the tide of liberal theology that was coming in from Europe, especially Germany. These people, (the liberals) naturally had it in for the traditionalists in the churches, and smeared them as roadblocks to Christian progress, whatever that was supposed to be.

  17. D. R. Mc: Using Jimmy Akin as your authority to diminish or dismiss the Malachy prohecies only validates them more. A close examination of these is hard to ignore or deny, and Akin’s “9 things” can only be summarized as “you doth protest too much” We should all be revisiting/re-examining, all of the prohecies and even private revelations that speak of these times that we live in. Emmerich, Fatima, LaSallete

  18. Wow, some shepherd Francis is, driving conservative Catholics like me out of the flock. A true wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  19. bc3b…….this is evident in his choice of the new Archbishop of Chicago, Blaze Cupich. It has been very widely reported that he is a replica of Bernadine. It has also been very widely reported that he was chosen personally by the Holy Father, but probably with Cardinal Wuerl’s help:) God help us.

  20. The idea Steve that these “prophecies” were in the papal archives for 400 years in which there is no mention of them and then suddenly published by Arnold Wion in 1595 is risible. Saint Malachy was a well known figure in the 12th century and none of his contemporaries mentioned these “prophecies”. They are a transparent fraud as indicated by the high degree of accuracy in which popes prior to 1590 are described with little tags and the far fetched tags applied to popes subsequent to 1590. I am sure that Gregory XV, “In the trouble of peace”, would agree with me that it is all bunk.

  21. Pope Francis is a lefty Jesuit, thoughtless and banal. If one doubts it, read “Jesuits” by Malachi Martin S.J. They all believe that we are collectively evolving into a singular godlike being at the culmination of life in the Omega point. They are not Christian. Guess I’ll get deleted.

  22. How in the world did this guy get elected knowing his leanings? What does this say for the leaders who voted for him?

  23. He talks like American liberals because his culture has a lot higher influence from the same sources; his world view is greatly influenced by that.
    His theology is probably pretty good, but we’ve had Popes with wacky world views before. It sucks to watch folks getting hurt by it– largely getting set in their contrary-to-binding-teachings things, but with also things like my mom being driven out of the local church because it’s now become ‘every Sunday is about liberal politics and fund raising for them’– but the Church has survived before this.

  24. Many of the things I did not like about him had to do with my self-righteousness being exposed. It is true that rationally you cannot put into the same category a terrorist and a clericalist for example. However through prayer I discovered that God was telling me to look deeper inside and see how much of a farisee I am when I compare myself with others instead of comparing myself with Jesus. Mercy and Truth go together. JESUS is the Divine Mercy and is also the Truth. My limited human way of thinking urgently needed a more loving approach. I needed to expand my heart to learn how to love more, beyond technicalities that end up compromising the Truth (GOD also, and fundamentally, is unconditional Love). In this sense, PF message is certainly helping me to get closer to God. Instead of focusing on sin (particularly of others), teology or tradition I am focusing more in Loving. There is no other way to get closer to God (Mt 7:21). I truly believe God heard our prayers and gave us the Pope we needed at this time. Let’s pray for him so he is filled with the Holy Spirit: wisdom, fortitude and discernment. Fear is not from God. Do we really trust God and his church?

  25. @Gary Westgeest
    “There’s no doubt that I belong to the group that gets mightily upset with this man, but the fact it, we’ve just been used to having it completely our conservative way with Benny and Johnny. They were giants of the papacy and will influence the discourse and thinking of the Church for years to come.”

    Good heavens! There’s the problem right there! If you think “Benny” and “Johnny” were “giants of the papacy”, then you are simply delusional. (Indeed, if they were truly giants, you certainly would not dare to use such flippant names.) The very men who gave us this dysfunctional Church! These were milquetoast armchair philosophers, for the *most* part orthodox, of whom any Catholic before Vatican II would have been positively ashamed. Their writings, especially those of John Paul II, are rambling, babbling digressions into modern philosophy that no one will read after the Church has recovered itself-if indeed anyone still reads them today or ever did. These are the same popes who stocked our current college of cardinals with the likes of Kasper and our dioceses with men like Bergoglio. They piled scandal upon scandal themselves, and failed utterly to punish the immoral and scandalous behavior of their priests. For all my sins, I would not trade souls with either of them – even if John Paul II managed to find his way to heaven.

  26. Are not radical leftists, progressive religionists, theological liberators, all of a “fundamentalist” ideological stripe…..yet, I don’t sense that the Pope is referencing those groups.

  27. it gets a little tiresome to read so many of you who are claiming to speak for the rest of us. no, we do not have a problem with pope francis. you have a problem. no, we are not afraid of pope francis and what he is doing. you are afraid. no, we are not worried about the future. you are worried.

    you are individuals. you are free and deserving of respect. you, do not however, speak for anyone else unless you have been given that office by someone in authority.

    so, I suggest that everytime you want to write we, you instead write I. as in, I am afraid of what francis is doing. I fear for the future of the church.

    because, you who are fearful and anxious and worried are not indicative of the faithful. the vast majority of the faithful are fully confident in the goodness of the Lord. the vast majority of the faithful accept and believe that the Lord will be with His Church through the end of this world.

    whether you know it or not, most of us are not hearing this fear and worry coming from our fellow catholics. we have to come to these types of websites to get a feel for the small number of faithful full of fear and worry.

    I might add that the same people who feel so afraid and apprehensive are quite often the people who act as though the TLM or the extraordinary form of the mass is much better and more efficacious than the ordinary form. is the TLM promoting this fear and apprehension? I doubt it. but it may be that people who are afraid and apprehensive are more inclined to cling to the past and find themselves more comfortable in highly stylized rituals that are the results of centuries of man made rules, rituals and changes.

  28. this “dysfunctional” church has provided me with great avenues of grace and spiritual development. I have seen this “dysfunctional” church providing the same graces to millions of others.

    because the church is not only a divine institution but also a human institution. it has always been in some sense dysfunctional. however, I do not think that is the sense of the word being used when it is introduced in to the these forums.

  29. A pope is supposed to be neither conservative nor liberal. They teach the faith as a faithful son of the church. If you look closely, he is preaching the gospel. He is not a Theologian. If you look historically, most popes were never theologians. Benedict was. He is not a philosopher. JPII was. He is a religious priest who became bishop – archbishop – Cardinal – Pope. He is much like the rest of our popes. They will do good things and make mistakes. They are sinners just like all of us. We need to pray for him and the church. JPII made mistakes. Benedict made mistakes. They all do. We need to be charitable and pray. We may not like some of the things that he does but he is our Holy Father. He is the vicar of Christ. We must be loyal sons and daughters of the church. Watch your words. They can easily be turned into gossip and sin which will only cause scandal which is a sin as well.

  30. “it gets a little tiresome to read so many of you who are claiming to speak for the rest of us. no, we do not have a problem with pope francis. you have a problem. no, we are not afraid of pope francis and what he is doing. you are afraid. no, we are not worried about the future. you are worried.”

    You of course Eddie understand that in that paragraph you just did what you are accusing other people of doing?

  31. “If you look closely, he is preaching the gospel.”

    Actually, the Pope is given to making statements that have nothing to do with the gospel and that are sheer nonsense. A typical example:

    “We are in a world economic system that is not good,” Pope Francis said. “A system that in order to survive must make war, as great empires have always done. But since you cannot have a Third World War, you have regional wars. And what does this mean? That arms are made and sold, and in this way the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously keep their balance sheets in the black.”

    The Pope shoots off his mouth too often on subjects where he is clearly bone ignorant judging from the contents of his statements. That is the real scandal, and not Catholics who simply take note of the words and actions of Pope Francis.

  32. ‘ … you, do not however, speak for anyone else unless you have been given that office by someone in authority. – so, I suggest that everytime you want to write we, you instead write I. as in, I am afraid of what francis is doing. – whether you know it or not, most of us are not hearing this fear and worry coming from our fellow catholics. we have to come to these types of websites to get a feel for the small number of faithful full of fear and worry. ‘

    Is this an example of how to proceed without an office given by an authority?

  33. ‘A pope is supposed to be neither conservative nor liberal. They teach the faith as a faithful son of the church. If you look closely, he is preaching the gospel. He is not a Theologian.’
    OK – well then, it’s look closely-ier.

  34. It gets rather tiresome reading comments from individuals who like to simultaneously grab the mantle of moral superiority while insulting their fellow Catholics (“fearful”). It’s even more tiring to read comments that contain absolutely nothing but vague generalities, that never ever address any of the points made by those who are at the very least concerned with the current Pontificate. Rather, we’re treated to the intellectual equivalent of Candidate Kang’s presidential campaign speeches on the Simpsons.

  35. I will probably remain mostly silent in the matter of Pope Francis. Christ’s prayer and promise to spare Peter and his successors from satanic sifting is comforting during this present storm. Is it not telling that Our Lord picked Peter who initially said, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

  36. “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

    I have always looked upon that statement as one of the finest examples of sacrificial love. It demonstrated I think what Christ was looking for when he appointed the big hearted Fisherman His first Pope.

  37. “Kang: My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

    Kang: Abortions for all.
    [crowd boos]
    Kang: Very well, no abortions for anyone.
    [crowd boos]
    Kang: Hmm… Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
    [crowd cheers and waves miniature flags]

    Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.
    Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
    Man 2: Well I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
    Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

    Kent Brockman: Senator Dole, why should people vote for you?
    Kang: It does not matter which way you vote. Either way your planet is doomed. Doomed. Doomed.
    Kent Brockman: Well, a refreshing bit of candor from Senator Bob Dole.”

    Kang and Kodos 2016-C’mon, You Know You’ve Voted For Worse!

  38. William P.,(“Christ’s prayer and promise to spare Peter and his successors from satanic sifting is comforting..”) :

    Regarding Luke 22:31-32 (“..And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you [Gr., siniasai: literally “to quake you”] as wheat; but I have prayed for thee that thy faith may fail not..:): I read this from the Greek original as stating that Peter and his successors will in fact NOT be spared the Satanic sifting, and in fact will be shaken, shaken, shaken, in harrowing fashion. Also, just as at least one from the original 12 failed, I can’t conclude here a guarantee that none of Peter’s successors shall not fail. In fact, some may.

    Looking at a similar reference, Matt. 16:18 states that the Church shall not fail: the modifier is relative to the word for Church (ekklesian), not to Peter, as “that” which shall not fail (auths, ‘female’ modifier).

    Another way to look at it is what Fr. Gabriel Amorth tells of excerpts from Padre Pio’s personal journal: Amorth says that, to the last day of his life, Padre Pio “was fearful of two things: 1) Committing a mortal sin, and 2) Losing his faith.” Amorth repeats it for emphasis: “Pio’s greatest fears: Committing a mortal sin, and losing one’s faith”—for arguably the most extraordinary man of God of the 20th century: saint, visionary, stigmatist. If Padre Pio was shaken, shaken, shaken like wheat in the husk, so also this Pope and every pope and bishop, too. I daresay that there is no ‘guarantee’ (as for Padre Pio) of redemption: just a hope.

  39. William P. Walsh on Wednesday, December 3, A.D. 2014 at 2:57pm (Edit)
    I will probably remain mostly silent in the matter of Pope Francis. Christ’s prayer and promise to spare Peter and his successors from satanic sifting is comforting during this present storm.

    How do you square this interpretation with historical Popes?

  40. I understand what the Pope is referring to when he says all religions have their fundamentalists. I was just on another blog where an Orthodox gentleman was damning to hell all of us papists. Then there is the hysterically funny reformed protestant site “outside the camp” where even John Calvin is a heretic because he wasn’t reformed enough. There is a certain set of people, no matter their particular beliefs, that don’t want people to be happy unless they “belong” to their “team”.

  41. Constructive and pastoral, the last paragraph (‘practical suggestion’) of the quote following is simply something to be acclaimed to all and sundry. The words are from writing of Pope Emeritus to be found on the Chiesa blog today.
    .
    ‘I maintain that Saint Paul’s warning about examining oneself and reflecting on the fact that what is at issue is the Body of the Lord should be taken seriously once again: “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11:28 f.). A serious self-examination, which might even lead to forgoing communion, would also help us to feel in a new way the greatness of the gift of the Eucharist and would furthermore represent a form of solidarity with divorced and remarried persons.
    .
    I would like to add another practical suggestion. In many countries it has become customary for persons who are not able to receive communion (for example, the members of other confessions) to approach the altar with their hands folded over their chests, making it clear that they are not receiving the sacrament but are asking for a blessing, which is given to them as a sign of the love of Christ and of the Church. This form could certainly be chosen also by persons who are living in a second marriage and therefore are not admitted to the Lord’s table. The fact that this would make possible an intense spiritual communion with the Lord, with his whole Body, with the Church, could be a spiritual experience that would strengthen and help them.’

  42. Alan it is like an Israelite saying: “I would not recognize the Jerusalem Temple as long as King Manasseh was on the throne”

  43. @Umm Alan missing mass on Sunday is a mortal sin. What if you die before Pope Francis does?

    Tom, I do not believe the missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, If God Almighty would send a person to hell for that, He is not a man I would want to spend eternity
    with……………..

  44. “If God Almighty would send a person to hell for that, He is not a man I would want to spend eternity”

    A very rash thing to say Alan, since you might very well have reason to repent such a statement for eternity. Make a good confession and go back to Mass and get back in touch with the Faith. Displeasure over a Pope is a ridiculous reason for any Catholic not to go to Mass.

  45. Alan,

    That Francis is on the Papal Throne does not mean that Christ is not on the Altar. Whatever problems you may have with the Steward does not break your obligations of allegiance to the King.

  46. Sometimes my penchant for brevity shortchanges my message. If only William of Ockham had been canonized, I might have chosen him a patron. Perhaps his “Posit nothing superfluous” was seen as being stingy. I meant to say that my faith in Christ’s promises to be with His Church and keep His Mystical Body faithful to the Way, Truth and the Life until His return, is unperturbed by the perplexing pontifications of Pope Francis. The Church will not make an accommodation for abortion, nor will She sanction sodomy, or put asunder what God has joined
    together. Peter may have been chosen for that humble admission of his sinfulness. George Washington set the tone and best example for his successors (the current enigmatic office holder notwithstanding). Peter set a humble tone for his successors by honestly recognizing his feet of clay, his sinful humanity. God writes straight on crooked lines. Perhaps He is using an eccentric Francis to restore His Church to health, not by acquiescing to heretical liberalism but dragging various issues out into the open and pouring kerosene on them. For too long have the formerly faithful dallied in demi-deliberate doubt about matters of matrimonial fidelity and the sacredness of sexuality. Pope Benedict XVI, entirely delightful to my conservative soul, said something about the future Church becoming a small but intensely faithful remnant but I don’t think that should change our mission to spread and re-spread the Gospel. Our Lord wondered aloud whether “When the Son of Man returns, will he find do you think faith upon the earth?” I don’t believe He said that to discourage but rather to motivate us to make sure He will find much faith on His return. Satan would sift us all, and he will sift and shake until the end but he won’t destroy the Body of Christ nor sink the Bark of Peter to which I intend to cling until the storm is over.

  47. Yes, (regarding PBXVI’s comment about a smaller future Catholic Church), Romano Amerio, Vat2 peritus and expert philosopher, at the epilogue concluding his massive critique of the Council (“Iota Unum”), said the same thing: though his outlook was bleak, he concluded small remnants of the Catholic Church will manage to survive, fulfilling the Gospel’s promise. His prognosis, written in the 1970’s-1980’s or so, has proven to be more truthfully prophetic than any of the Council Lions (Suenens, Kung, Rahner, the Dutch bishops, et al.).

  48. Good Grief! Did I write “Bark” for “Barque”? I’m sure to get some well deserved biting remarks for that gaff. My bark is worse than your bite.

  49. Donald m.

    you are right, you caught me doing the exact same thing, using we instead of I. but the rest of the post stands. encouraging fear, worry and anxiety are not the work of the Holy Spirit and there are hundreds of millions of catholics who are quite comfortable knowing that God is with them and His Church. preaching fear, apprehension and worry may be creating serious doubts in some of the people reading your words. for some of those words, it appears to me that they are intended to instill doubts about francis’ efforts to lead the Church.

    additionally, I noticed someone is trying to use benedict XVI against francis. I would remind everyone that benedict XVI is no longer the vicar of Christ. it is now francis and it is best to look to francis for Christ’s teachings. it is abhorrent to try to diminish francis with an appeal to the words of benedict.

    how many are there in the world that you estimate agree with your attacks? is it your goal to increase the number of people who are fearful, worried and anxious about the future? I know misery loves company. is that what is going on here?

  50. “additionally, I noticed someone is trying to use benedict XVI against francis. I would remind everyone that benedict XVI is no longer the vicar of Christ. it is now francis and it is best to look to francis for Christ’s teachings. it is abhorrent to try to diminish francis with an appeal to the words of benedict.”

    Not at all. Pope Francis has hundreds of predecessors and when his actions or words contradict what they did or said there is nothing abhorrent about pointing it out. Popes are the vicars of Christ, they are not Christ and are not above criticism.

  51. Eddie too: “It is now Francis [who is vicar of Christ] and it is best to look to Francis for Christ’s teachings. It is abhorrent to try to diminish Francis with an appeal to the words of Benedict.” Hmm. So now, instead of following Simon Peter, we follow Simon Says. Simon Says today what the teachings of Christ are—not the last Simon Says, but this one—about which teachings PF has been singularly contradictory and confusing. But we who note the contradictions are to blame. So much for the immutability of Church teaching. If so, let’s wait for tomorrow, because maybe they will change back better to our liking (and then we can lecture you, eddite too, about your inconstancy).

    Again, Matt. 16:18 says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, but there is no guarantee it may not prevail against Simon Peter (at least Hell’s gates did temporarily) or certainly against his successors as individuals. (Cf. the original Greek text. )

    Now, at Rorate Caeli blogspot, Card. Schola is reporting that PF may not re-define Catholic marriage after all in the conclusion of the synod next year. How nice. But clearly, eddie too, if you have been paying attention, Pope Francis was willing to dispense with Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, underscored by appointing one of its chief opponents, Card. Kasper, as the keynote speaker.

    So. mayhaps, if Simon Peter, or today, Simon Says, flees the teachings of Christ, perhaps we need to be prepared to stay behind with the beloved disciple and His mother? Maybe Pope Francis, er, Simon Peter/Says will return later.

  52. The protestant churches, where I came from, are steadily getting more liberal and less biblical. After studing the CC for more than 5 years, I decided to become Catholic, based on what I had read. Now comes Pope Frances. I will still become Catholic, but a 17th century Catholic. Jesus is still at Mass and that is what I will focus on.

  53. Steve Phoenix

    St Augustine has an interesting gloss on Luke 22:31-32

    “Will you dare to say that even when Christ prayed that Peter’s faith might not fail, it would still have failed if Peter had willed it to fail; that is, if he had been unwilling that it should continue even to the end? As if Peter could in any measure will otherwise than Christ had asked for him that he might will.
    For who does not know that Peter’s faith would then have perished if that will by which he was faithful should fail, and that it would have continued if that same will should abide? But because “the will is prepared by the Lord,” Proverbs 8:35 [Suptuagint reading] therefore Christ’s petition on his behalf could not be a vain petition.
    When, then, He prayed that Peter’s faith should not fail, what was it that He asked for, but that in his faith Peter should have a most free, strong, invincible, persevering will!
    Behold to what an extent the freedom of the will is defended in accordance with the grace of God, not in opposition to it; because the human will does not attain grace by freedom, but rather attains freedom by grace, and a delightful constancy, and an insuperable fortitude that it may persevere.” (De Correptione et Gratia 17)

  54. Francis, like most modern liberals, is a White genosuicidist. His aim is the extinction not only of the Catholic Church, but of the European race as a whole. All of his « option for the poor » propaganda is mere camouflage. He is in fact a nihilist.

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