We Have the Pope We Deserve – And There Are No Easy Outs June 20, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, manhood, mortification, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
I could not agree more with this post by Rorate. Francis is a chastisement the Church has, tragically, horribly, but also richly deserved through apostasy, open acceptance (and practice) of a whole panoply of sins, and a general failure of all the virtues. Francis didn’t just fall from the sky. He was elected by a Church hierarchy that sprang from a Church laity that is largely given over to worldliness, comfort, ease, and sloth. The Church has been slouching towards Gomorrah for over 100 years, and the hierarchy simply began to reflect that fact more and more as the 20th century ground on.
I’m out of time for the day, but I doubly agree with Rorate below – a tiny slice of the Church excepted (which, I pray, includes all the readers of this blog) – Francis is a punishment quite richly earned, and one from which such false “panaceas” as sede vacantism or similar intellectual pretenses provide no real escape (I add emphasis and comments).
……Many conservative, traditional-minded Catholics are so weary of the weekly, frequently even daily, shocks provided by this Pontificate that they look for easy ways out. Perhaps the Pope is not the Pope. Maybe Benedict XVI is still the Pope. Maybe Benedict XVI never truly resigned: even his Secretary and current Prefect of the Papal Household, Abp. Georg Gänswein, provided some leeway for this theory by implying the existence of a bizarre papal diarchy…….. [I’ve engaged in a bit of speculation from time to time regarding wiggle room for some future, orthodox pontiff to “deal with” Francis, but that was really idle speculation and probably not the most helpful thing I could have done. The thing is, we can allow ourselves to fall into pretty dangerous places if we get too twisted off on the idea of the pope being not valid, or whatever. I advise great caution and humility, and will try to practice same better myself.]
…….We deserve Francis. What is missing in many souls is a typically Christian attitude: resignation. It was not the Holy Spirit who chose Francis, that is not how conclaves work. But God has certainly allowed it, and he has allowed it to continue, and he will allow it until He deigns it necessary to end his Vicar’s time here on earth, as He does to each one of us.Other than resignation, missing from many spirits is the notion of collective justice — and collective punishment. We have sinned, we have grievously sinned. So many Catholics have been for long immensely unfaithful to the Apostolic tradition they have received, to the pure doctrine that was passed on: is it surprising that from this soil arise unfaithful hierarchs? What is surprising is not that we have Francis as Pope, but that it took so many centuries for us to have a Pope like him. As it is known, the Popes who were considered “bad” and “appalling” in Catholic history never dared touch the deposit of the faith, or to mollify this deposit so it would fit into contemporary mores; they may have been personally immoral, and their example caused great scandal and grievous consequences, but their utterances on matters of faith, moral, sacraments did not themselves cause scandal (the examples of such were so rare as to be counted on a couple of fingers).We deserve Francis. King Josiah was the exception, and Judah was punished before and after him: was there not a single just man in Judah under King Amon? Was not Jeremiah alive and warning of dangers under King Zedekiah? Yet even the just were punished on this earth, collectively, by what God allowed to happen: irreverent kings, leaders who acted as if God did not exist. The just were subjected to upheaval on this earth, but it profited for their eventual eternal life: as Dante wrote in the Inferno, “O Supreme Wisdom, how great is the perfection / that you show in heaven, on earth, and in hell / and how justly you spread your virtue!“We deserve Francis. The Catholic faithful on earth in this moment in history deserve him — and deserve worse, so be prepared. [Two thoughts on this line: one, there is always a worse alternative, and, two, where sin abounds, Grace abounds the more] We will bear it because we must bear it, because this is what God has prepared for us. If you hope for something better, then the answer is prayer, and fasting, and almsgiving, the personal work of each one for one’s own final perseverance, and the teaching of the truth of the Gospel, especially to one’s children. [I think it important to note, also, pointing out errors when they arise, no matter from whence the arise, and doing our best to repudiate them] One day, a new Josiah will arise to sit on the cathedra of Peter in Rome. Yet even afterwards, new chastisements and exiles will remain part of Catholic life, in this Church founded by “the Just who died for the unjust” (I Pet 3:18).
I would add a bit more. Rather than gloom and doom, which is so easy to give into at times (I stand guilty as charged), we could perhaps rejoice that God has chosen us to live at this time and place, to suffer through this horrific period of the Church’s long history? This is indeed a very special kind of suffering to endure, and something we should perhaps reflect on as being a gift as well as a curse.