PopeWatch: Electing a New Laity

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Canon Lawyer Edward Peters at his blog In The Light of the Law explains how Pope Francis views marriage:


And what direction is that?

This one: Pope Francis really—and I think, sincerely—believes:

(A) most marriages (at least, most Christian marriages) really aren’t, deep-down, marriages (and so the annulment process has to be sped up to dispatch of what are, after all, probably null marriages anyway, and the consequences of post-divorce marriages need to be softened because most people in those second marriages probably weren’t in true marriages the first time, and so on); and,

(B) lots of things that aren’t marriages (like cohabitation and civil-only weddings between Catholics) really are, deep-down, marriages (so we need to affirm them and assure them that they enjoy the same graces as married people, and so on).

That this is pope’s view can, I suggest, be directly determined from his own words (expunged and otherwise) and, if I am right, would explain many things, from his favoring Cdl. Kasper and side-lining Cdl. Burke, rolling out several problematic tribunal “reforms” in Mitis Iudex, and leaving ambiguous several crucial points that sorely needed clarity in Amoris laetitia. The irreducibly objective, ‘either/or’, nature of marriage would not sit well with someone who prefers subjective, flexible approaches that allow for ‘this and that’ responses, but, whatever problems the principle of non-contradiction poses here, a conviction that most marriages are not marriage but lots of non-marriages are marriage, would explain a lot.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch thinks that the Pope believes that most Catholics are fake Catholics while there are plenty of people, most on the political left, who would make great Catholics in the mode of Francis.  If the Pope had the power, I think he would drive out of the Church most of the laity and replace them with an open door “who am I to judge” policy to attract people who agree with him politically.  This all brings to mind to PopeWatch the poem by Bertolt Brecht written in the aftermath of the Stalinist crackdown following riots in East Germany in 1953:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


More to explorer

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As faithful readers of this blog know, I was a very reluctant, and late, supporter of Donald Trump in 2016.  I grudgingly


  1. Yikes! …the Pope believes that most Catholics are fake Catholic… because to Francis the deeper secret meaning of the word “Catholic” or “marriage” (or of any word at all) is that it Has No Meaning that can be applied concretely, but the deep and real definitions or meanings of words can just be FELT about… by people who FEEL.

  2. Possibly he doesn’t think “most” of either, but rather just “too many”?

    I know a lot of the divorces that I’m familiar with, at least one party really had no clue about the idea of marriage being anything but getting a f***-buddy that did laundry and you didn’t have to take out to dinner every so often.

    I also know how some parishes basically refuse to marry people who don’t already have an “in.”
    I spent weeks calling the number we were required to use to start “the marriage process;” trying to talk to people in person, and being told to call the number. Calling the number, leaving a message, getting no response. Trying to talk in person, again, and being angrily ordered to call the number, and assured it would work.
    The only time I’ve been yelled at by a priest, it was because I was trying to get married in the Church.
    They never did contact us back.
    My marriage was regularized last year, thanks to a lot of effort by our (newer) parish, and that mostly because our father is probably the most dedicated guy I’ve met.
    Really fun is when a relative tried to blame the absolute failure to respond on me for not being an intimate part of that parish. I think I’ve ranted here about how my attempts to get involved, as anything but a checkbook, went.

  3. Foxfier.

    Unreal. What a disappointing inquiry.
    “Cross the palm…then we talk.” ($)

    Your Father….. I like him, and he is a truly great dad! He loves his little girl. ?

    I like the small town atmosphere.
    I’m guessing you reside in metropolitan America.

  4. Philip –
    the funny thing is, the places we had trouble? Relatively rural; one was in Bend, Oregon, the other was in the Spokane dioceses.
    Now we’re in the Seattle dioceses, and… we’re getting orthodoxy. The retired priest who is a dang hippy gave a passionate homily about abortion being really, really evil. The Knights group has the support of the priests, the only resistance is the normal power games of any small time politics.
    Even the “lord, hear our prayer” prayers are really good– the closest it gets to preachy-prayer “people to support the annual Catholic appeal,” which has a nice big checkmark for “no money, but I’ll pray, stop sending me reminders.”
    (Contrast with my childhood parish is… massive. There it’s written by very liberal, rich people, with comfortable axes to grind on the teeth of others.)
    This Father really does take it seriously– in large part because of him, my husband came back to the Church. (Not personal charm– just honesty and, pardon the pun, giving a d*mn.) They even have good catechesis for the little kids at the CCD classes, and are teaching them prayers that I never even heard before I started listening to EWTN radio.
    They keep giving him young priests to help him…and so that he’ll train them. 😀 Does some nice outreach to the retired priests, too– their help is needed, yes, but I can imagine what if feels like to be retired with no blood-family left around.
    That was a little longer than I was planning… as you can tell, we love him, too. 😀

  5. Foxfier.

    What a beautiful story.
    I was a little surprised by the Bend and Spokane diocese vs. Seattle but I’m pleased that you landed a solid orthodox community.
    I’m happy too that this priest will influence the young novices.

    “Even the, Lord, hear our prayers…are really good.” I know what you mean. Not recently, but awhile back I would cringe on some of the communal petitions..but that was before our move to Holy Rosary in rural Northern Michigan.

    I miss my Dad Foxfier. In his last four years it was bitter sweet. We prayed and I sang hymn’s for him. He smiled with his half paralyzed face and those moments were priceless. I thank God for giving me the grace to support Dad in his last year’s. I felt that I was finally giving him something he would be proud of…..my conversion and his faith reflected back to him from his son who was list for so many years.

    Have a blessed night.

  6. Foxfier, Bless you for your perseverance in regularizing your marriage. I always enjoy your contributions to blogs, especially knowing that you have young children. Where do you find the time?

  7. The only Papal point I can see is to destroy the Church’s purpose of preaching Truth and saving souls. His strategy is incoherence, appeal to the basest of our inclinations and condemning all who disagree with him. Could we ever have imagined such a person becoming Pope? Somehow I believe we are on the threshold of something catastrophic. What can we do? Prayer and mortification is always a good idea.

  8. All you folks have just made my weekend-y’all are the hope. “Y’all” is Texian for all you all, like in Pax Vobiscum. Y’all have a fullofwonder weekend. Guy McClung, San Antonio TX

  9. Where do you find the time?

    *looks at the lack of posts* … I don’t …..
    I can comment because most of the time for commenting isn’t reading, or typing, it’s thinking about what folks have said– and I can do that when I’m doing dishes, or checking the Princess’ math, or whatever homeschooling and housekeeping thing is going on. I read fast, I type fast, I figure out what to say very slowly.
    I’ve got a lot of ideas for posts– that dang Saint Death, one on a theme of contempt that I keep running into, some other stuff– but I just don’t have the time.
    I’ll second Guy– have a good weekend!

  10. I am not sure that anyone knows what this Pontiff thinks or believes.
    Scratched record time – he comes from the most screwed up order in the Church, one that needs to be suppressed. He comes from a nation that has done more than almost any other to self inflict economic disaster.
    Lately, I have been just as angry at the imbeciles who elected him as I have at the Pontiff himself. Ignoring the Pontiff and following Church teaching are good ways to be spiritually edifying. That and frequent Confession.

  11. PF.

    The only way I get through this is to pray for him.

    I don’t like his style or ambiguousness.
    I’m not him…thank goodness.
    I pray for him.
    That’s it.

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