PopeWatch: Storm Brewing?

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Robert Royal at The Catholic Thing tells us that questions about the current pontificate are not restricted to blogs:

 

The mood in Rome is – let’s just speak the truth – tense. According to one quite reliable source on site, it’s not only the “Ratzingerians” like Cardinal Burke who have been feeling an icy wind. It’s also more “moderate” Cardinals and members of the Curia who simply don’t know what to make of what’s going on. And fear what might happen if they say the “wrong” thing – difficult to avoid when things are so unclear.

I reported on some of the pope’s harshness towards upholders of tradition in yesterday’s Synod Report, an odd homily that might be taken to mean all those over the centuries who had upheld the indissolubility of marriage were somehow authoritarians and self-serving legalists. But the responses to the pope in private – again, beyond the usual conservative suspects and into more neutral, mainstream figures – has been equally tart: “a Latin dictator,” “a Peron,” someone who likes to be center stage in the limelight. And perhaps the most shocking comment of all from more than one person: “His health is bad, so at least this won’t last too long.”

The directives at the start of a meeting like this often betray not where the organizers believe things are going, but where they fear they will not. The pope’s talk about a spirit of openness Monday may fall into that category. There are knowledgeable figures in Rome who believe that if real openness occurs, heads will roll. Some already have.

Then there was Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő who, in an opening statement, proposed to take doctrinal questions off the table and deal solely with pastoral questions. That’s a consummation devoutly to be wished, but easier said than done. Many of us remember that Vatican II was a pastoral council, or so we were told. How did so many people get the impression it had also changed doctrine and, in fact, did do so in many Catholic institutions?

It’s important to see all this in perspective. Normally, a bunch of bishops gathering to discuss a handful of well-worked theological matters is of no interest to the world and little interest even to most Catholics. A Catholic journalist said to me just this weekend that he wasn’t much of a “court follower,” meaning he didn’t pay much attention to intrigues within the Vatican. A good attitude – when it comes to petty gossip about who’s in or out, up or down. But as we know from the history of Vatican II, given the modern media environment, what happens in Rome and how it gets reported can affect Catholic life around the globe in incalculable ways. Theologians and moralists may then waste decades that might have been better spent on other subjects just trying to correct simple errors.

“Xavier Rynne” (i.e., Fr. Francis X. Murphy) famously produced a series of polarizing Letters from Rome in The New Yorker during the Council, which virtually created in America what Benedict XVI called the “Council of the Media” as opposed to the real Council, which the young Ratzinger attended, applauded, and help shape. A Church concerned to carry out its proper teaching function today cannot fail to recognize the importance of assuring that its work is perceived as clearly as possible – in an age when every word of a pope, president, prime minister, even sports figures gets merciless scrutiny. Further, social media is everywhere – even the pope takes selfies now, and they get sent around.

All that may be regrettable, but whatever the intention of the primary actors, people inside and outside the Church now believe, given media spin, that questions that were settled and largely known to be such during the past two papacies are now regarded as “open” again. And the unholy conspiracy between the heterodox and media outlets who smell a big story will make sure it’s hard for the Vatican to keep the message focused.

Go here to read the rest.  There have been popes before that have stirred strong opposition within the Church, including the College of Cardinals.  Of course the difference now is instant global communications, and masses of Catholics having forums like this to make their views known.  To paraphrase Betty Davis, fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy pontificate.

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Wikipedia on remnant; 1.) What is left of a community after a catastrophe.

    Yesterday afternoon on Al Kresta, Fr. Larry Richards points out that our framework should be orthodoxy vs. errordoxy..not conservative vs. liberal.

    I’m for it. Question is what orthodoxy will be eliminated to conform to erroneous opinions?

    Yes, multiple prayers are needed for this community, the Catholic Church.

  2. “Xavier Rynne” (i.e., Fr. Francis X. Murphy) famously produced a series of polarizing Letters from Rome in The New Yorker during the Council, which virtually created in America what Benedict XVI called the “Council of the Media” as opposed to the real Council, which the young Ratzinger attended, applauded, and help shape.

    Does anybody have a bit more on this? It’s the first time I’ve run into anything really specific about the source for the “spirit of” stuff.

  3. Donald McClarey: ““On abortion: “I say abortion is wrong, for the most part sinful. But if God provides for infants who die from natural abortions, why can’t people be satisfied to let God provide for these unborn children?””
    .
    Recently I have been told to abort more babies if these unborn are going to heaven. Causing the death of an unborn child is violating the will of God. Miscarriage is an unborn who dies of malady and God’s will. The sovereign person in the womb must be given due process of law or no person is safe from injustice or deprived of the Right to Life.
    .
    Thomas Aquinas believed that there were three different stages of the soul or three kinds of souls in a man. OK. The immortal human soul is created by God and not the domain of man (or the state-separation of church and state) to willfully and without cause abort. (Capital punishment is the vindication of the victim and of the state). Immediate ensoulment would answer the question as to how the body gets to ensoulment without an human soul. Death occurs when the soul leaves the body. Life is an attribute of the soul and the living human being in the womb has life, immortal life. The sovereign personhood of the immediately ensouled human being in the womb has existence. The essence of God is existence.
    .
    Actually, the person in the womb need not be a person to have constitutional protection for the “people” are all persons, born and unborn. It is nice to be able to define one’s culture by calling the shots. Ultimate power and authority must have truth to be valid. Roe v. Wade is invalid.

  4. “But the responses to the pope in private – again, beyond the usual conservative suspects and into more neutral, mainstream figures – has been equally tart: ‘a Latin dictator,’ ‘a Peron,’ someone who likes to be center stage in the limelight. And perhaps the most shocking comment of all from more than one person: ‘His health is bad, so at least this won’t last last too long.”
    .
    Sad and depressing that the best we have to look forward to is an eventual and inevitable replacement. Again, we get the leaders whom God sees fit to allow us: Barack Hussein Obama politically and Pope Francis ecclesiastically. As the children of Israel demanded of the prophet Samuel, “Give us a king like that of other nations,” so have we received.
    .
    🙁

  5. What does Cardinal Kasper propose to do with all the betrayed, abandoned, deserted, denied first wives and husbands, who have kept the Catholic Church’s precepts on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Violating the Sacrament of Holy Penance is not a get home free pass for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. The Sacrament of Holy Penance requires reparation before reconciliation. The First Wives Club has already been made into a movie.
    .
    A note to Cardinal Kasper: “Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.” It has been the deserted wife who holds the keys to an annulment. Without the deserted wife’s consent, the Catholic Church has and does maintain the inviolability of that particular marriage. Like Catherine of Aragon who refused to divorce Henry VIII so as to not bastardize her daughter, the annulment process remains in the consent of the forsaken wife. When or until the betrayed wife seeks an annulment, the Catholic Church considers the marriage valid. If the synod on the Family and Marriage turns its back on the betrayed wife, what will it consider truth, next?
    .
    Another note to Cardinal Kasper: You have been introduced to Our Lady, Untier of Knots. Now, let me introduce you to Our Lady of Succor, Exterminatrix of Heresies, and a$$grabbing demons, Protector of mothers with children and Scourge of faithless fathers.
    Cardinal Kasper, you have been out maneuvered by the Blessed Virgin.

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