Letter to the Pope






Clare Short of Faith in our Families blog has written an open letter to the Pope.  I think this letter typifies the anguish that many faithful Catholics are experiencing under the current pontificate:

Dear Pope Francis,

I have supported you and defended you many times this year. Even when I was unsure of exactly what it was you were saying – I always gave you the benefit of the doubt and stood up for you against those who were criticizing you. However regarding your recent comments denouncing the “rigid” attached to doctrine as “Pharisees” I am sorry but with a heavy heart, I have to disagree with you:

Pope Francis recalled how “Pius XII freed us from the very heavy cross that was the Eucharistic fast:

“But some of you might remember. You couldn’t even drink a drop of water. Not even that! And to brush your teeth, it had to be done in such a way that you didn’t swallow the water. But I myself as a young boy went to confession for having made the Communion, because I thought a drop of water had gone in. Is it true or no? It’s true. When Pius XII changed the discipline: ‘Ah, heresy! No! He touched the discipline of the Church.’ So many Pharisees were scandalized. So many. Because Pius XII had acted like Jesus: he saw the need of the people. ‘But the poor people, with such warmth.’ These priests who said three Masses, the last at one o’clock, after noon, fasting. The discipline of the Church. And these Pharisees [spoke about] ‘our discipline’ – rigid on the outside, but, as Jesus said of them, ‘rotting in the heart,’ weak, weak to the point of rottenness. Gloomy in the heart. This is the drama of these people, and Jesus denounces hypocrisy and opportunism: Even our life can become like that, even our life. And sometimes, I confess something to you, when I have seen a Christian, a Christian of that kind, with a weak heart, not firm, not fixed on the rock—Jesus – and with such rigidness on the outside, I ask the Lord: But Lord, throw a banana peel in front of them, so that they will take a good fall, and feel shame that they are sinners, and so encounter You, [and realize] that You are the Savior. Many times a sin will make us feel shame, and make us encounter the Lord, Who pardons us, as the sick who were there and went to the Lord for healing.” 

You are correct in saying that the Pharisees of 1st Century Jerusalem were politicians. They were not interested in the spirituality of the Jewish faith in anyway shape or form. All they were interested in was satisfying their  lust for power and status over the people. In this way they held God’s people in contempt.  They used rules and regulations to keep people captive.

But Holy Father, don’t you understand?…

The religious politicians of the 21st century are your friends – the Walter Kasper’s and the Cormac Murphy O’Connor’s of this world. They are the ones trying to control the Family Synod. They are the ones manipulating the media. They are the ones doing deals and getting their mates into the position of Bishop to further their own political agenda, when they really, really should never have even been there (Kieran Conry). Just like the Pharisees of 1st century Jerusalem, they are primarily concerned with their own lust for power and status. They hide this behind a smoke screen of words and phrases that seem to offer salvation, but are in-fact as empty as the rules and regulations of 2000 years ago. They hold God’s people in contempt by offering them apparent solutions to the problem of sin. They do not do this by keeping them captive in rules and regulations, but instead they seek to abolish ALL rules and regulations and usher in a climate of relativism. When people perceive their sin as relative, the rules and regulations no longer apply: and consequently their sin no longer exists.

Holy Father don’t you see? The real 21st century Pharisees operate by keeping God’s people captive in their own sin.

I don’t know how the church works in Argentina. I feel there are some cultural differences in Europe that perhaps you are not fully aware of. You see, here, the church has been kept afloat by those who have remained loyal to church teaching. The church has suffered so much damage here over the last 50 years from people wanting to push their own political agenda – to put Man at the centre of the faith rather than Christ. The truth and beauty of Christ – the true spirituality and heart of the Catholic faith has been almost completely replaced by nothing more than a synthetic substitute.

I understand your message of mercy. You are reaching out to those who are not secure in their faith – to those who have perhaps suffered a massive lack of proper religious education and catechesis and have never known the real Jesus or felt His love. I know there are many who are already secure in their faith who do not understand why you are taking this approach – but I do. But there are also those who want to twist this message to their own advantage. The mercy Kasper offers is focused on this life alone. He seeks to please man. He makes no mention of how it will effect people in the next life. To allow people to remain in mortal sin is to ignore God’s truth and God’s justice. How will Kasper’s teaching on mercy effect people’s time in purgatory – or worse? Is this real mercy?

Holy Father, I admire your courage for taking on the heavy cross of becoming Pope, and I pray for you every day. Please Holy Father, I beg you – do not be deceived by those who wish to put Man at the centre of the Catholic faith. Jesus did not come to ‘people please’. He came to set us free from ourselves. Please see the true 21st century Pharisees for who they really are.

I love you and you are in my prayers.


Go here to read the comments.  When ordinary Catholics doing their best to live the Faith have this type of reaction to a Pope, something is very, very wrong.

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  1. Jesus said: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” What nonsense to say: “Pius XII freed us from the very heavy cross that was the Eucharistic fast.” All one had to do was to get a dispensation from the priest in the confessional. Since no one goes to the Sacrament of Penance anymore, dispensations are not gotten. Sick people have always been asked to fast at least fifteen minutes before reception of the Holy Eucharist, but this is not a steady rule. Pope Francis is suffering under his own strictures, as well as imposing his strictures on all.
    Saint Simon of Cyrene pray for us.

  2. Consolation abounds in the yoke Jesus described. There was an unforgettable description of that yoke in a sermon I heard. A yoke was made for two oxen for the work they did. His yoke has a person next to Him .

  3. Pat: “Consolation abounds in the yoke Jesus described. There was an unforgettable description of that yoke in a sermon I heard. A yoke was made for two oxen for the work they did. His yoke has a person next to Him .”
    Pat, this is beautiful, must save.

  4. Thank you Mary and Pat:
    ” Francis is suffering under his own strictures”
    And the beauty and consolation of considering being yoked with Jesus.

  5. just read up on the Jesuits. You will see exactly how this
    pope behaves. Kasper et al give him theological cover intellectually. Our Church is in chastisement.

  6. It was Scott Hahn who said God punishes us by giving us what we want. We wanted to be popular, or at least not so despised by the world, to have a better image with others after years of being jeered and snarled at. Voila.

  7. One thing you have to understand about this Pope. He is the type of guy who speaks his mind freely,and sometimes he comes to regret it. He is the kind of guy who often blurts out his opinion, and then later finds that he has said something he regrest. But that is the kind of guy he is. We are not used to this in a Pope. And once the media filters out all the conservative leaning things he says (and they do) often people are hurt because they think he constantly picks on them. . But as he said, he decided to continue being the way he has always been – and I think this is a good decision. In his La Nacion interview, he basically said don’t pay attention to everything I say, because that is perhaps not well thought out. Instead, pay attention to what I write, because those things ARE thought out. The intense media focus on this guy now means that every word he says will be blasted out to the entire world, especially when the media can attempt to show it is against orthodox Catholics. Distinguish between things the Pope says, things the Pope says casually and what he says AS POPE.

    As to the Eucharistic fast – the Pope is right. Many times doctrine is applied in a silly way that requires people to do silly things and condemns them if they don’t. There are things that were done in the pre-Vatican II church that pushed the boundaries of reasonableness and tended to a version of Catholicism that was unnecessarily strict and sometimes hid the “freshness and fragrance of the Gospels”

  8. Well, I’m a bit confused. It was a long time ago, but as I recall, even with the midnight fast, a Catholic could drink all the water he or she wanted to, right up until they walked out the door to attend Holy Mass. Maybe it was different in Argentina, at least I hope so. It would be such a shame if the pope is fibbing to us about how strict the rules on water consumption were under the midnight fast.

  9. James,
    It’s like 50 years ago.

    Also, you didn’t see every swinging . . . , er, everybody going to the Communion Rail every Sunday. They knew they had to be [arguably] in a “state of grace.” And, you had to kneel! How onerous! What weighty burdens . . .

    And, mostly low masses were celebrated on Sundays. Usually only one High Mass was sung each Sunday . . .

    Another Catholic urban myth: The nuns told the Catholic HS girls not to wear patent leather shoes and skirts . . . [sigh]. FYI – I went to public HS, Catholic college.

    Same same all leftists. The truth is that which advances the revolution. Any omission, exaggeration, fabrication is licit if it advances the narrative. Because those people’s motives are so pristine . . .

  10. Someone said in the comments that one could drink all the water one wanted prior to Vat. II. That is untrue, at least where I lived in Minnesota. It was just as the Pope said: not a drop of water was to pass one’s lips! The water founts were overed over in our Catholic school and church on First Holy Communion Sundays. I remember taking a lick of a candy cane before Midnight Mass and suddenly realizing it and that I couldn’t go to Communion now on Christmas! I was chagrined. The reason Pius XII changed the long fast to three hours, initially, was because he reinstated the Easter Vigil which had fallen into disuse over the years. Therefore, he felt that it would be much too long to have to fast from midnight the night before until after the Easter Vigil Mass and all the celebrations/sacraments that lengthened this Mass. It was not that he felt sorry for the people generally, but in order to reinstate the Easter Vigil. Then, no doubt he decided to make it a universal change in discipline.

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