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Bishop Tobin – “I’m a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis” September 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, priests, the return.

At least as far as Pope Francis’ failure to make any notable pronouncements condemning abortion.  To this might also be included several items of tremendous import to the universal Church and individual souls, like the advance of homosexual marriage and the near universal use by Catholics of contraception.  Via Rorate Caeli:

What was your reaction when you saw Pope Francis stop the Popemobile in the middle of St. Peter’s Square earlier this year, lifting up above the crowd young Dominic Gondreau, the disabled son of Providence College theology professor Dr. Paul Gondreau, so that he could pray over the child?
Obviously it was a very blessed moment for Dominic himself and for the whole Gondreau family, and through them for our whole diocesan church. We were truly blessed that day that the Holy Father reached out and touched and embraced a member of our flock. It was a great moment and a great blessing. The other thing I want to say though, is that I’m a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn’t, at least that I’m aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that. I think it would be very helpful if Pope Francis would address more directly the evil of abortion and to encourage those who are involved in the pro-life movement. It’s one thing for him to reach out and embrace and kiss little children and infants as he has on many occasions. It strikes me that it would also be wonderful if in a spiritual way he would reach out and embrace and kiss unborn children.
Folks, it is almost unheard of for a bishop  to make such a statement regarding a reigning Pontiff. We also heard some expression of concern along the same lines from Archbishop Chaput.  Are these statements indicative of anything substantial, a broad sense of concern in certain quarters of the Church, even up to the episcopate?  These men are often read in on (or, at least privy to back-channel communiques) major developments in the Church – like Pope Francis’ upcoming decisions in October on the governance of the universal church.
Well, I guess we shall see what develops.  But in a tangential note, Pope Francis has also put in a near universal ban on promotions to the honorary title of Monsignor (at least until October), which could be interpreted as a way to strike against the dreaded n’ feared triumphalism.


1. Scott Woltze - September 13, 2013

To paraphrase Coach Dennis Green, Pope Francis “is who I thought he was.” We need a brilliant, holy person to write a book on how liberal praxis ignores the 2,000 year wisdom of Catholic anthropology. In particular, how it undermines the individual spiritual ascent as well as communal religious life (Benedict’s rule, etc). You can find these things in all of the old books, but a new synthesis of those arguments would be very helpful.

Just a quibble with your line about bishops never criticizing reigning popes. I think some (many?) liberal bishops have done that in the last two decades, but it is very rare for a bishop like Tobin. Peace.

2. Steve - September 14, 2013

I pray and hope that His Holiness will speak and write more often on the topics of artifical birth control and abortion.

But in fairness to Pope Francis, let us recall that just a few months ago, he joined tens of thousands of pro-lifers in Italy’s March for Life.

Pope Francis thanked participants for their promotion of the Culture of Life and exhorted them to continue to protect unborn babies.

Pope Francis: “I invite you to keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception.

“It brings me great joy to see that so many Italian parishes are taking part in the pro-life signature campaign. This initiative titled ‘One of Us’, guarantees the legal protection of the embryo, protecting human life from the very start.”

3. Steve - September 14, 2013

Pope Francis also is “who I thought he was.” He is in the line of our Novus Ordo Era Popes.

He is, I believe, a holy man. He upholds the dogmas of the Faith.

In his personal life, he conducts himself in humble fashion.

He mixes Holy Tradition with Novus Ordo Era novelties.

That applied to Pope Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. (I don’t know as to whether that would have continued with Pope John Paul I.)

As has been the case during the reigns of our Novus Ordo Popes, no matter how forcefully they promote dogmas, the novelties will thwart their efforts to renew Holy Mother Church.

In short, Peter doesn’t know who he is.

He is the Summorum Pontificum Pope. He is the Novus Ordo Pope.

He is the Communion on the tongue Pope. He is the Communion in the hand Pope.

He is the clergy-distributes-Holy-Communion Pope. He is the EM Pope.

He is the males-only-in-the-Sanctuary Pope. He is the altar girls Pope.

Confusion. Confusion. Confusion.

As was the case during Pope Benedict XVI’s reign, I expect the collapse of the Church will continue during Pope Francis’ reign.

Someday, Peter will return to the Traditional Roman Mass. Until then…oh, my!

4. Marguerite - September 14, 2013

Every time I hear the word “renew” regarding the Church, I get the dry heaves. Renew what? Why is novelty good? This is modernist Churhspeak. How about using the words, cleansing, purifying instead; these are more descriptive and necessary verbs. The Church is ever new, but it needs the “Hyssop of Christ’s Blood” to purify it constantly. Thus, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is what makes the Catholic Church truly triumphalistic.

Pope Francis’ “shaking” up the church is, for me, personally, unsettling. The radical changes that took place in 1968 didn’t bode well to my young soul. The social aspect of the Gospel is important but does it trump personal sanctity through the Sacraments and the Spiritual Works of Mercy? Some of us need to work on cleansing our rotted whitewashed sepulchres first in order to then love others.

5. Hooray for Bishop Tobin! | Vox Nova - September 14, 2013

[…] the Vatican along the lines of the North Korean communist party.  And a couple conservative blogs (here and here) read the tea leaves to see in this evidence of a conservative backlash against the […]

6. Mary - September 14, 2013

Would you like me to cite the pages of Bishops who criticized Benedict? What do you mean it is unheard of for a Bishop to criticize the Pope?

7. Kathleen Wimmer - September 15, 2013

I agree with Bishop Tobin. I had very optimistic thoughts about Pope Francis, but as time goes on, I am concerned. I am beginning to feel that he will not be the Pope to bring our Church back to the true teachings of the Church. His commentary is very confusing and I also note that when the progressive media sing his praises, then we are in trouble. God has compassion for all of us and He will forgive us of our sins, but He will not accept us into Heaven if we do not follow His teachings and accept them with humility.

8. Frank - September 15, 2013

Pope Francis is living out his papacy along the lines of his patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. There is great beauty and holiness in this and a wonderful example for the world to witness. I may be mistaken, but his papacy seems to be an “iconoclastic” one in that the externals of worship, i.e., devotions, traditions, etc. are burdensome to the message of healing and hope that he wants to deliver. The external signs of worship were the bane of the 1960s radical movers and shakers in the Church and perhaps he was influenced by that mentality.

9. Frank - September 15, 2013

It sounds like Pope Francis doesn’t want to offend anyone by citing Church teaching regarding the various controversial issues affecting society today. But Jesus, loving and compassionate as he was, never shirked from speaking the truth, to the consternation, misinterpretation and hatred of many. Is speaking the truth equivalent to condemning people? Or do one’s actions condemn oneself? If there is a crisis of truth today, wouldn’t the remedy be to speak the truth, no matter what the cost?

10. Patt - September 16, 2013

You must be kidding. Many Bishops were critical of Pope Benedict and they showed it by ignoring what he requested of them. Although my opinion does not count, nor am I a Traditionalist— I do not find Pope Francis’ “style” appealing.
In fact many of his comments add confusion and there is always an immediate rush (by his defenders) to EXPLAIN what he meant.

tantamergo - September 16, 2013

yes, I should have said, it’s almost unprecedented to see this directed from a conservative/orthodox perspective. There are many complaints from progressive bishops.

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