The following comes from a November 25 First Things article by Padraig Wynne:
Back in the 1980s, the National Catholic Reporter ran a cartoon image of the throne of Peter: a toilet with the papal keys under a ceremonial awning. For the Reporter, it was standard fare. The publication’s chronic snarkiness toward Rome during the long Wojtyla/Ratzinger decades — and even earlier — was as reliable as the sun rising in the east.
Then came Francis. With him, the paper had a Lourdes-like healing, at least on matters papal. Having trashed America’s “conservative” bishops for years, the Kansas City paper suddenly seemed to find an ally in the most unlikely place. And the irony was almost too rich. Here was a pope who might hoist “culture-war” Catholics on their own petard and lead the faithful to more progressive pastures, based on their own paradoxical loyalty to … the pope.
As a Latin American, Francis has been formed by legitimate urgencies very different from those that prevail in Europe. His actions reflect this. If he seems to dislike the United States (as rumors suggest), his attitude is hardly unwarranted, given hemispheric history. If he also seems to resent the long European intellectual dominance of the Church (as his behavior suggests), it’s not an unreasonable reaction to northern condescension.
In an age of confusion and ambiguity, Francis has repeatedly complained of Pharisees, rigidity, and legalism in the Church. The desire for clarity in complex moral issues seems to annoy him. Instead of encouraging priests, his documents and remarks are full of glancing criticisms. Faithful Catholics who have made real sacrifices to live the hard teachings of the Church feel themselves lumped in with the hard-hearted elder brother in the prodigal son parable.
Cardinals who offer unwelcome counsel, even in private (like the Synod Thirteen), are resented; witness Francis’s intemperate closing remarks at the 2015 Synod on the Family. The cardinals who recently and publicly questioned Francis on issues related to Amoris Laetitia (after being ignored privately for months) were equated with the loathsome Wormtongue of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy in a tweet by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, one of the pope’s closest advisers. The tweet was quickly taken down, but the ugliness of its content is instructive. On matters related to Amoris Laetitia, Rome seems focused on intimidation, despite numerous expressions of concern about its impact on the sacramental integrity of marriage and the Eucharist.
In the United States, the reservoir of affection for the pope — any pope — runs very deep among faithful Catholics and their bishops. It very much includes Francis. American Catholics love the pope, want to love the pope, and Francis deserves their love and fidelity.
But to the degree Catholics also really know their faith, love the Church, and seek to live her teachings, many are also increasingly uneasy.
The resistance in the United States and elsewhere to the problematic elements of Amoris Laetitia does not arise from Wojtyla/Ratzinger nostalgia, or from leadership style, or from a question of textual interpretation that the passage of time will resolve. It is a matter of doctrinal substance. It is worth fighting about. The problems in the document may be smoothed over for a while, but they will not go away. And the appointment of new cardinals who act as Roman salesmen will not obscure them.
The fires of martyrdom are being stoked even as we read.
in a recent interview the pope refers to his methodology as using st thomas and not the ‘decadent scholastics’. i hope his black-white, categorization habit is just a form of rhetorical contrast’. just to note, researchers have never found evidence of decadent schlasticism, but rather the opposite. much of the intricately developed modern law distinctions still in effect were developed by scholastic concepts applied to roman law. across most of the sciences, this is seen to be the case. the famous ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’ determinations have never been found . the charge was part of of anti-catholic bigotry in the reformation.
by ‘determinations’ i allude to the texts purported to exist attempting to determine how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.
Love is humble, hopeful, kind, compassionate, tolerant, trusting, gentle, generous, pardoning, persevering, and enduring (paraphrase !Cor 13). I can act this way toward others whose thoughts, desires, or actions may differ from my own without agreeing with their personal lives or opinions. I love the Holy Father Francis. I still am perplexed by things he says, but I love him.
Thank you very much for your faithful comment. It is good to see this.
Factor out the blemish of Marx (Karl not Groucho) and voila — a clear perplexion.
Then you will love silence
This is just more of the same old conservative versus liberal drivel. Cardinal Burke and his compatriots are using a licit procedure to challenge the Pope. Let the process proceed. If conservatives want to act like liberals and leave the Church…fine. Don’t let the door smack you as you exit.
Harold, your statements contradict themselves. Anyone using a “licit procedure” is operating within the rules of the Church; these Cardinals are expressing confidence in Church government, as opposed to someone who just picks up and leaves. Your poor unfortunate sniping is badly misplaced.
Nobody is challenging the Pope, Harold, only what he says. And, sorry, but if what Pope Francis says is not what it should be in accordance with Catholic Faith and Morals, then it is true love to call his attention to the confusion.
One doesn’t have to leave a building to exit from the truth.
The faster that we get a Pope that will guard the deposit of faith, instead of destroying it, the better off we will be. Francisco is a house-wrecker. May his pontificate be brief.
So bad that it will be even our Lord will leave His House…
Jesus does not change for the world, the world needs to change for Him.
Folks there is nothing in Roman Catholic Dogma that says we must ‘bow” down to a pope especially this one who has tried in vain to destroy what is left of the Roman Catholic Church, so don’t have a hissy fit about any critique of this Argentine, he sows confusion on a daily basis and he is clever as a wolf.
So, are you saying that we can just ignore the Pope and his teachings? If I want to ignore the declaration of the Immaculate Conception, am I free to do so? If I want to ignore Humanae Vitae, am I free to do so? If I want to ignore the canonization of Pius XII or John XXIII, am I free to do so?
This lifelong Catholic does not love this Pope. He is leading the Church down the path of perdition. The best thing he could do for all is to join Benedict XVI in early retirement.
If the Pope likes Women´s bathrooms His Holiness can keep them.
Women´s bathrooms for men are the definitive legacy of Obamacare to the humiliation and disease of the USA.
Bad , mean, man.
Parents wanted to trust that a Catholic University would never undermine the faith. Christ’s true love prevails even when a Pope perpetually perplexes. Mothers and fathers surely wanted to love and trust the priests who abused their children. Those boundaries and borders have been grievously violated. Without clarity, it is dangerous, especially as a parent, to now trust those who refuse to clarify. You cannot simply walk back the monumental damage caused the sex abuse scandals. It is imperative to speak up when clear Church teachings and common sense border laws are suddenly exchanged for extremely dangerous notions. Mother of Pure Mercy, itself, please intercede and bring all error and confusion to naught.
Pope Francis Warns Nations Not to Take in More Refugees Than They Can Assimilate
In an unusually nuanced discourse, Pope Francis has seemed to walk back earlier statements encouraging European nations to open their doors to migrants and refugees, suggesting that harboring unassimilated migrants can lead to a dangerous “ghettoization.”
It’s obvious Pope Francis was simultaneously riding the surf on the Obama/Hillary wave….
Much of what they said, he followed in stride…
Now Francis will fizzle out… The mightiest Democracy in the world isn’t that liberal after all.
Read. Read. Read. The church has had good popes and bad popes.
Listen up! No communion for those in mortal sin…
It’s a narrow road to Heaven.
If it tastes sweet and tickles the ears .., not from Heaven I tell you.