PopeWatch: Company Man


Rorate Caeli gives us an example of the new careerism which seems to be a salient feature of the new Pontificate as prelates race to get in line with the new bossl



From the official news website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:

Pope Francis’s papacy ‘biggest challenge’ to PH church—Villegas

MANILA, July 6, 2014–The papcy (sic) of Pope Francis is by far the “biggest challenge” faced by the Philippine Church, the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said. 

Lingayen-Dagupan Archishop Socrates Villegas on Saturday said that the pastoral approach of the Supreme Pontiff in leading Catholics all over the world has transformed the church from being a “self-engrossed” institution into an “outreaching” community. 

“(Pope Francis) shakes up our old belief systems about spiritual shepherding. He jolts us from our complacency and status quo attitude. He humbles us with his simplicity. He disturbs us to make us better,” Villegas said in his speech opening the 109th CBCP Plenary Assembly at the Pius XII Catholic Center. 

“He has slowly moved the Church from being a dogmatic, self engrossed and authoritative [sic] sick institution to being a gentle, outreaching, compassionate and persuasive Church through the power of love and mercy,” Villegas added. 

He reminded the role of pastors as shepherds who will “go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant,” “being in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence” and “walking after them, helping those who lag behind.” 

Villegas reminded the clergy to always be humble, noting that the loss of humility in Church ministry can pose “costly” consequences. 

“When we lose humility, we lose perspective. When we lose perspective, we also become too reactive. When we become too reactive, we become less effective and less credible as pastors,” he said. 

With Pope Francis set to visit the Philippines early next year, Villegas urged the members of the clergy to serve with humility and happiness, speak with honesty from the mind and to listen patiently with the heart, and see the goodness in everyone and live the mercy of the Gospel. 

“This is the example of Pope Francis. Living by this example will make us good shepherds like the Good Shepherd,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)


The statement comes only three months after the Philippine Supreme Court had upheld the “Reproductive Health Law” of their country as “not unconstitutional” after its constitutionality was challenged by various pro-life and Catholic groups. The law had stipulated massive funding for contraception and “reproductive health” promotion and the integration of “sex education” into the Philippine curriculum from primary school onwards. When the Supreme Court decision came out Archbishop Villegas issued a statement that among other things called on Catholics to respect the decision and to “move on from being an RH-law-reactionary-group to a truly Spirit empowered disciples of the Gospel of life and love.” Rorate is told that the irony was not lost on Filipino Catholics who recalled that a little more than a year and a pontificate ago, the same prelate had issued on behalf of the Philippine hierarchy a firm condemnation (including a reference to “divine wrath”) versus that same law.

Go here to read the rest.  Time for another rousing rendition of the song that is swiftly becoming a theme song for most Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops:

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  1. Exactly my thoughts for years on the death penalty reversal…errr development…an entire clergy seems to have changed simultaneously overnight. Is that the “living Church” or …in many cases, the “making a living” Church.

  2. With apologies to the original song…
    “And this be law I will maintain until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever Pope may reign, I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, sir!”

  3. 🙂 You know another part of this is the glee with with the never-take-a-risk types are happy to put down the known conservative members of the congregation.

  4. Perhaps, we should recall St Augustine’s words: “Here someone will say, why was not Esau called in such a way that he would be willing to obey? We see that people are variously moved to believe when the same facts are shown or explained to them. For example, Simeon believed in our Lord Jesus Christ when he was still a little child, for the Spirit revealed the truth to him. Nathanael heard but one sentence from him, “Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree I saw thee” (John 1:48); and he replied, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Long after, Peter made the same confession, and for that merit heard himself pronounced blessed, and that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were to be given to him. His disciples believed on him when by a miracle in Cana of Galilee water was turned into wine, which the evangelist John records as the beginning of the signs of Jesus. He stirred many to believe by his words, but many did not believe though the dead were raised. Even his disciples were terrified and shattered by his cross and death, but the thief believed at the very moment when he saw him not highly exalted but his own equal in sharing in crucifixion. One of his disciples after his resurrection believed, not so much because his body was alive again, as because of his recent wounds. Many of those who crucified him, who had despised him while he was working his miracles, believed when his disciples preached him and did similar miracles in his name. Since, then, people are brought to faith in such different ways, and the same thing spoken in one way has power to move and has no such power when spoken in another way, or may move one man and not another, who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified?”

  5. great song about a not new phenom. I had trouble understanding lyrics so looked it up and found:
    The following lyric is a version of the song recorded by Richard Dyer-Bennet in 1955:

    In good King Charles’ golden time, when loyalty no harm meant,
    A zealous high churchman was I, and so I gained preferment.
    To teach my flock, I never missed: Kings are by God appointed
    And damned are those who dare resist or touch the Lord’s anointed!

    And this be law, that I’ll maintain until my dying day, sir
    That whatsoever king may reign, Still I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.

    When royal James possessed the crown, and popery came in fashion,
    The penal laws I hooted down, and read the Declaration.
    The Church of Rome, I found, did fit full well my constitution
    And I had been a Jesuit, but for the Revolution.

    When William was our King declared, to ease the nation’s grievance,
    With this new wind about I steered, and swore to him allegiance.
    Old principles I did revoke; Set conscience at a distance,
    Passive obedience was a joke, a jest was non-resistance.

    When Royal Anne became our queen, the Church of England’s glory,
    Another face of things was seen, and I became a Tory.
    Occasional conformists base; I blamed their moderation;
    And thought the Church in danger was from such prevarication.

    When George in pudding time came o’er, and moderate men looked big, sir
    My principles I changed once more, and I became a Whig, sir.
    And thus preferment I procured From our new Faith’s Defender,
    And almost every day abjured the Pope and the Pretender.

    The illustrious House of Hanover and Protestant succession
    To these I do allegiance swear – while they can hold possession.
    For in my faith and loyalty I never more will falter,
    And George my lawful king shall be – until the times do alter.

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