It has been quite some time since the Church has had a pope as small-minded, vindictive and vengeful as the “Pope of mercy”, Pope Francis. In his closing address to the Synod he took several swipes at those who fought his rigging of the process:
It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.
It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.
It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.
In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways – certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue; they offered a vivid image of a Church which does not simply “rubberstamp”, but draws from the sources of her faith living waters to refresh parched hearts. Continue Reading
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Most Catholics are familiar with the what if the Pope does x, y or z game. That game is when a non-Catholic asks a Catholic, “So, the Pope is infallible? What if the Pope does”, and names a hypothetical which is against the teaching of the Church. The usual reaction of a Catholic is to say that couldn’t happen. Based upon the track record of the Church that was a safe, and reassuring, answer. Only a handful of Popes have come close to heresy, and the Church has quickly corrected the situation. Thus most Catholics have not been unduly disturbed by the what if the Pope game. I certainly was not, until the current Pontificate brought that silly anti-Catholic game into terrible reality.
Bad enough that Pope Francis set up a rigged Synod to spit in the face of Christ regarding His teaching as to the indissolubility of marriage. Now, in order to accomplish this by the back door, he has proposed a direct attack on the office of the Pope itself, by allowing various segments of the Church to adopt their own solution to “problems” they confront. How this proposal will play out in practice has been elaborated upon by his boy in Chicago, Archbishop Blasé Cupich, who is eager to allow Catholics in adulterous marriages and unrepentant “partnered” homosexuals to receive the Eucharist, all in the name of the primacy of personal conscience, no matter how ill formed. Under this procedure the concept of sin flies right out the window along with 2000 years of the Church preaching the Gospel of Christ. Thus the Catholic Church becomes the modern Episcopal Church with worse music and less ceremony.
The Laity have a duty, not a right but a duty, to stand up for Catholic orthodoxy when the Clergy fail to do so. Friends, it is time to stand.
Damian Thompson at The Spectator grasps the gravity of the situation and thinks Francis will fail in his effort to reshape the Church: Continue Reading
Well, now the Pope is warning about “conspiracy theories”:
Pope Francis has warned bishops at a global church meeting on the family not to be taken in by conspiracy theories, as conservatives and liberals reportedly engage in attempts to manipulate the synod.
A Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, on Thursday confirmed reports that the pontiff had warned Catholic bishops and cardinals behind closed doors on Tuesday not to get caught up in “the hermeneutic of conspiracy”. Continue Reading
Father Z brings us a musical treat:
It is my pleasure to release here the super ultra exclusive new hit from the always backward-looking performance artist Zuhlio!
With the disturbing foreknowledge that the organizing office of the Synod of Bishops was going to change the rules and procedures yet again, the artist Zuhlio teamed up with the legendary T. Ferguson (whose initials are strangely similar to those of this blog’s official parodohymnodist Fr. Tim Ferguson).
You will recall some of Zuhlio’s previous hits, which you no doubt hum to yourselves even now. Who can forget Where Have All the Sisters Gone? How about “Lady Tambourine Priest”? How about his even bigger hit song from his urban rapper phase “Aging Hippie Paradise”. Continue Reading
In pastoral terms, the document published today by the Synod of Bishops represents an earthquake, the “big one” that hit after months of smaller tremors.
John Thavis, A Pastoral Earthquake at the Synod
A guest post by commenter John of Any Other Name:
I’m not sure rebuilding is entirely necessary. It is clear that there are challenges facing the Church, notably from the inside. However, I stumbled across Dave Armstrong’s thoughts on the Synod (prior to the actual beginning of it) and the media controversy surrounding Cardinal Kasper and other topics. Dave writes at length, but I find these excerpts as a good summary for my point:
Cardinal Kasper seems to have some liberal views. I agree. All theological errors come from Germany and England and The Netherlands (+ the US). No surprise there. It was the same at Vatican II with Dollinger (who denied papal infallibility and was excommunicated). Ho hum. ZZZzzzz (-_-) .
One day all the chronic worriers and complainers will have to stop worrying about the pope and the Church: stop acting like they have no faith that God guides and protects her.
What I’m saying are these things:
1. There have always been serious problems in the Church. It’s nothing new, and is as old as Judas, the ancient Corinthians, Galatians, and seven churches of Revelation.
2. Anyone (whatever one bishop or a hundred say) who seeks will find, and it’s now easier than ever (with the Internet) to locate orthodox Catholic teaching. Somehow in the 4th century, laypeople by the millions knew what was orthodox teaching, despite the widespread heresy of Arianism taught by many bishops. Most of them couldn’t even read.
3. One overcomes the darkness by lighting a candle (by teaching, by prayer, by example, etc.), not merely complaining about the darkness.
4. Thus, if someone (like you) is worried about souls, then go out and take action (and this action includes prayer) to help those souls. I do it by teaching and apologetics. I’m doing something about it. People come into the Church and become more confident, informed Catholics as a result of my work. I show my concern by what I do with my life, by what I do for a living as my vocation. What are you and others who are so concerned, doing about it?