PopeWatch: Keep Smiling!



Father Z, here, links to an interesting story at The Eponymous Flower blog:

Magister Effected Polite but Harsh Criticism of Decisions in the Liturgy by Pope Francis

Finally, Sandro Magister gave his contribution as a lecture on which  Katholisches.info already reported (see separate report Pope Francis and the Liturgy – “Pure Functional Access” Reservations to Tradition, weakness in the knees before the Lord ). Master analyzed in a critical manner, the previous decisions of Pope Francis in the Liturgy: The ban for celebration in the old rite by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the dismissal of all five consultants for the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, who were close to the liturgical understanding of Benedict XVI., the refusal to genuflect in the Holy Mass at the words of consecration, although from papal Mass to papal Mass always newly   master of ceremonies Guido Marini always included the two relevant points and finally the halting by CDF, that they no longer check the bizarre special forms in the Mass of the Neocatechumenal Way, as Benedict XVI. had ordered. Magister has also expressed the opinion that the Pope is “friendly” to everyone, “except with the traditionalists.”

“Scandal Currently The Dominant Characteristic of Climate in Rome”

The lecture finally came to a scandal. Magister so openly expressed his criticism of Pope Francis, that Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Pozzo had to  leave the room. “The response of Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Pozzo is indicative of the currently prevailing climate in Rome,” the website Chiesa e Postconcilio (Church and Post-Conciliar). “Was it because of the  time for both of them or was it simply a precaution, because of the polite but harsh criticism by Magister of Pope Francis? The withdrawal of a Cardinal during a major event is something glaring. All interpretations are allowed, “said the Spanish Catholic blogger Francisco de la Cigoña.

Go here to read the rest.  Cardinals being so scandalized at criticism of the Pope that they leave a room isn’t too unusual I suspect, at least at public meetings, although this is intriguing since Cardinals Burke and Pozzo have been supporters and friends of the traditional Latin Mass.  However, what really caught my eye about this was Father Z’s comment on it:  Remember, friends.  Those of you who uphold the traditional ways had better tread lightly, and with a smile.  It is still possible to lose everything.  Now I love Father Z.  I read his blog every day and have quoted him on TAC quite frequently.  I am sure his remark was well intentioned advice, but I must say it rubbed me the wrong way.  For far too long in their own Church since Vatican II, orthodox traditional Catholics have been treated with, at best, grudging tolerance, and at worst contempt, by far too many of those who hold positions of power within the Church.  The situation vastly improved under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and it is quite disheartening that orthodox Catholics are now being told by one of their friends, and Father Z is a friend, that they have to walk around on egg shells and smile, or the tolerance they had under Benedict could be revoked.  If Father Z’s analysis is correct, and I fear it is, the pontificate of Pope Francis could well be for orthodox Catholics a long, and turbulent, one.



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  1. Fr. Z received a LOT of responses in his combox about this story. As I wasn’t there, I don’t know why Cardinal Burke got up and left.

    It goes without saying that I was a big fan of Pope Benedict. Some hard core traddies still didn’t like him, but then, I am a trad who watches sports on my 58 inch big screen. I let my kids watch TV and my wife is not forced into long skirts. My 5 year old goes to the public school kindergarten (which I monitor closely).

    Pope Francis comes off at times as petty. His views on the liturgy are obvious to everyone. He does what he wants, which I have seen far too many priests do on far too many Sunday Novus Ordo masses for most of my life.

    Fr. Z rightly has pointed out that Pope Francis has changed nothing about Catholic doctrine or Catholic teaching. True, but….it isn’t his emphasis.

    The Church will survive Bergoglio. She survived Borgia and the antipopes of the 14th century.

  2. Over the years, I have come to realize that t,he term ‘orthodox’ is not as unambiguous as those who use it would like it to be. I include myself in this, having described myself and/others as orthodox Catholics. What I came to realize actually was that the ‘measuring line’ or ‘rule’ I or others used was based on what I or others thought/felt was orthodox.

    I did come upon a much more objectively complete (perfect) and satisfying ‘measuring line’ with the Church’s own teaching in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, when it explicates what it means to be in full communion with the Catholic Church-a communion begun in the waters of Baptism and expressed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharismt, the Sacrament of Unity. For the Church, there are four ‘markers’ of full Communion: 1) communion of faith (believing all that the Catholic Church teaches) 2) communion of sacraments (belief in and participation in full sacramental life of the Church. 3) communion of governance ( belief in and communion with bishops in communion with the pope 4) perseverance in charity. While the first three are readily discernible, the fourth is known really by God alone. However, this places before us a much deeper awareness of the high calling we have received in being called to faith in and living the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

    It is so easy, in this post-modern world to go with the flow of the age into fragmentation and tribalism. We can actually see it evidenced in our own country. However, the call to and meaning.of what it really means to be Catholic goes way beyond what ‘the world’ offers or desires.

    I am not sure what prompted Cardinal Burke and the Archbishop to leave that forum. From what I know of Cardinal Burke it was not fear. I have spoken in this forum of the recent “turn” of Magister, but as of this date, I still read him. However, picking up on Fr Z’s point and expanding it a bit, it might be high time for all of us to do some self-evaluation, asking ourselves whether my/ our own perspectives on things of the Church are leading further into or away from full communion with the Church of Christ which subsists in the Catholic Church

  3. If a guy like Cardinal Burke walks out of the room when you’re talking bad about Pope Francis, the takeaway shouldn’t be, “this is going to be a rough papacy for orthodox Catholics,” but rather, “I should probably shut up because I said something offensive and I obviously don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.” Because when it comes to liturgical traditionalism, Cardinal Burke is like the Rottweiler to Benedict’s Chihuahua.

    Listen, it’s getting to the point where I can’t even read most of the articles on BigPulpit.com and New Advent anymore. The tone they’re taking, and the nastiness they’re showing the Pope (for no substantive reason), just turns me away.

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