As I said in another post, I am sad, nay disheartened, by what our Holy Father has been saying. However, there’s an article in CatholicCulture.org by Dr. Jeff Mirus (a co-founder of Christendom College, to testify to his orthodoxy) that gives some hope that while things are bad now, they’ve been bad in the bad in the past but have got better. We have to view times like these–“interesting times” as per the old Chinese curse–as sent by God to make us better. I’ll quote from the encouraging parts of the article–go to the link above for the whole piece.
“The Church has all the guarantees she needs in her Divine Constitution to endure a pope who may be very bad in any number of ways, without any danger that the truths of the Faith will be abrogated, that the sacraments will lose their power, that Christ will cease to be the Church’s head and bridegroom, or that Christ’s promise to be with her will become void.
Remember the famous proof formulated by the great Catholic apologist Hilaire Belloc:
The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine—but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.
When it comes to Catholic affairs, no conspiracy theories are needed. Such theories simply give solace to people who are unwilling to accept the tensions Our Lord permits in the Church and in in Catholic life as a whole. These tensions, when they do not come from external assault, are the result of the very real sins of the Church’s members in combination with misunderstandings, personality differences, deficiencies of various kinds, differing priorities, and conflicting prudential judgments.
The Church could not have been established with human members, let alone sinners, unless such tensions were permitted. Moreover, “loophole” and “conspiracy” theories only serve to weaken the Church further than she is already weakened by the necessary elements of her constitution. Indeed, such theories often lead to serious sins, including their own brands of heresy and schism.
What we call the lunatic fringe is made up of people who refuse to tolerate the level of confusion they are asked to endure by their Lord and Savior—a Lord and Savior who permits nothing to happen to anyone that cannot be used for the soul’s good. [emphasis added]. It is precisely this desire to escape the suffering occasioned by human confusion that has ever been the hallmark of the lunatic fringe. Such a desire is not illegitimate, surely, but like every other human desire, it must be carefully restrained and channeled for the glory of God.
Things will likely get worse before they get better. Moreover, at another time they will get worse in some other way before they get better. Why should we borrow trouble? Therefore I urge everyone: Do not respond to the lure of the absurd. We Catholics have a plethora of common, garden variety explanations for all of our trials, not least the confusion within ourselves. And we also have a treasure trove of spiritual remedies for each trial.”
–Dr Jeff Mirus, “On the lunatic fringe, Francis is not the Pope”
I’m disregarding the comments of Dr. Mirus about “the lunatic fringe”, but I do believe his statement that times of trouble are foreordained for our good.