PopeWatch: Hope?




Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings up an interesting point.  This may be whistling past the graveyard, but Magister is one of the more acute observers of the Vatican:


ROME, May 11, 2015 – The second and last session of the synod on the family is approaching, and the temperature of the discussion keeps going up.

The latest uproar is over an onslaught of the German bishops, who now take as a given, in the “cultural context” of their local Church, substantial changes of doctrine and pastoral practice in matters of divorce and homosexuality:

> Synod. The German Bishops Are Putting the Cart Before the Horse (6.5.2015)

Nothing new, in this. Most of the bishops of Germany have for some time been entrenched in positions of this kind, even before Cardinal Walter Kasper opened fire with the memorable introductory talk at the February 2014 consistory of cardinals, in support of communion for the divorced and remarried:

> The True Story of This Synod. Director, Performers, Assistants (17.10.2014)

The new development is another. And it has as its protagonist Pope Francis.

Until the synod of October 2014, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had repeatedly and in various ways shown encouragement for “openness” in matters of homosexuality and second marriages, each time with great fanfare in the media. Cardinal Kasper explicitly said that he had “agreed” with the pope on his explosive talk at the consistory.

But during that synod the resistance to the new paradigms showed itself to be much more strong and widespread than expected, and determined the defeat of the innovators. The reckless “relatio post disceptationem” halfway through the assembly was demolished by the criticism and gave way to a much more traditional final report.

In accompanying this unfolding of the synod Pope Francis also contributed to the turning point himself, among other ways by rounding out the commission charged with writing the final report – until then under the brazen dominion of the innovators – by adding personalities of opposing viewpoints.

But it is above all from the end of the synod on that Francis has taken a new course with respect to the one that he initially traveled.

From the end of 2014 until today, there has not been even one more occasion on which he has given the slightest support to the paradigms of the innovators.

On the contrary. He has intensified his remarks on all the most controversial questions connected to the synodal theme of the family: contraception, abortion, divorce, second marriages, homosexual marriage, “gender” ideology. And every time he has spoken of them as a “son of the Church” – as he loves to call himself – with ironclad fidelity to tradition and without swerving by a millimeter from what was said before him by Paul VI, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI.

Go here to read the rest.  May it be so.  Personally PopeWatch will believe it only if and when Pope Francis drops the hammer on the wannabe Martin Luthers currently at the helm of the Church in Germany.

More to explorer


  1. Are those clerics still in place who were pushing the previous synod’s outcome
    towards results favored by the German bishops? Can we expect another synod
    with the sort of chicanery we saw in last year’s? Are voices of those faithful to
    tradition welcome to this latter half of the synod, or have more been sent away
    like Cardinal Burke?
    It’s wonderful that the Holy Father appears to distance himself from the paradigms
    supported by the innovators, but in the end, personnel is policy.

  2. Could this be prayers being heard? The prayers of millions of Catholics asking the Holy Spirit to lead or pontiff. Protect him from the imposter spirit who seeks to demolish holy church.

    I pray it is so.

    If so, may this be the start of placing orthodox prelates in places like…Chicago.
    The current one needs a rest. A long rest.

  3. There was this one fellow a while back who wrote some wonderful stuff on marriage and family (wish I had a better memory of it), and I just couldn’t believe that he–or anyone associated with him–could possibly turn out to be a snake in the grass.
    Turns out, this guy needed to apologize to the snakes for giving them a bad name.
    Sometimes “the press” is wrong; unfortunately, I’ve encountered many times in my life when “the press” was on to something, and I simply did not want to believe it. I’ve ended up very disappointed in many people and organizations and things.

  4. As to the story from Magister, I’ll go with “meh.” He’s serving up a pot of message. If you want word service, enjoy. So far, that’s all you’ve gotten from this Pope. If you pronounce yourself happy with it, that’s all you’re going to get.

    In the meantime, the Huns are marching ahead without a peep from the Pontiff. And appointments like McElroy continue. A rare nothingburger from Magister, I’m afraid.

  5. Dale,
    I am not blaming Pope Francis for the decline. I am blaming for the absence of a rise or even plateau. Who am I blaming? The media and the followers of the Pope Francis narrative, which includes readers of Catholic Fishwrap. We were told his less orthodox ways were filling the pews! Really? Where? And of course, the back of the hand portion of the commentary was to take a shot at Pope Benedict the XVI. “Liberalism trumps orthodoxy everywhere!”

  6. “He’s serving up a pot of message.”

    Yes, selling the birthright of Papal Infallibility in matters of Faith and morals for the mess of pottage of prudential social justice matters. Not even trying to be intelligent in prudential matters.

  7. I don’t trust this apparent turn around. The force of events orchestrated by the worldly press and the complicit catholics may bring a change in teaching as the progressive hope without Pope Who Am I to Judge having to have his hands on it.
    It would seem to come from the sense of the laity and bishops in an inexorable rush of history…

  8. This wishful thinking. Bergoglio is a stubborn leftist, who
    seeks advice from Marxists and militant U.N. pro-aborts,
    who link climate-change deniers to child trafficking.

  9. Two factors will make the German hierarchy very difficult to turn around.
    1) Nineteen of the German sees are elective; the bishop is chosen by the Cathedral chapter and there is a strong streak of Gallicanism, even, and especially, among conservative clergy, who are passionate defenders of the “liberties and immunities of the German Church,” including the right of choosing their own bishops.
    2) Kasper was Dean of Theology for nearly 20 years at Tübingen 1970-1989) the leading theological faculty in Germany and he and his students were the teachers of most of the hierarchy.

  10. Pope Francis is smart to distance himself from the innovators. All he has to do is keep quiet and let the heretical proposals to alter orthodox doctrine die. The real action is the praxis which continues in a heretical direction as the German Church is showing us. I would like to see Pope Francis condemn the increasingly heretical practices of the Lutherized German Catholic Church head on. This would be more indicative of a change in his position to me.

  11. And one more thing. This whole business of Catholic doctrine and practice could be benignly neglected by Pope Francis as he has sufficiently stirred the pot to accomplish the desired result: placing sodomy and adultery on the table for reconsideration as sinful practices. And besides who really cares about any of this except a few orthodox Catholics. The world is interested in politics, economics, celebrity and games of various kinds. So, given his recent proclivities and rinsed of old fashioned moral ideas Pope Francis appears ready to share his progressive wisdom on the real issues that folks care about with world leaders many of whom will benefit by this alliance. Eternal life and all that is just so passe’ you know.

    Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, who in the third secret, which was supposed to have been revealed in 1960 but wasn’t, is rumored to have spoken of a the coming apostasy by a Pope. Given the devastating downward trend in the Catholic Church since Vatican II it is not outlandish to suggest that such an apostasy is happening now.

    May God help us all especially Pope Francis.

  12. Anzlyne asked, “is that unique to Germany ?”
    No, three of the Swiss sees are elective, as is the Archbishopric of Salzburg in Austria. In many cases, these bishops were formerly sovereign princes; the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier and Cologne, who were three of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Emperor.
    In Alsace-Moselle, the bishops of Metz and Strasbourg are appointed by a decree of the President of the French Republic. The French government pays the salaries of the clergy there (Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed and Jewish), amounting in 2012 to €54 m. Under the Lang-Cloupet agreement of 1993, they are linked to the salaries of civil servants.

  13. If Pope Francis speaks as a “Son of the Church” one of the church militant here on earth and if Pope Francis refuses to speak as the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis is not to be taken seriously.

  14. I believe the church in Germany is financially supported based on government subsidies that are in turn based on census numbers. The bishops want to increase the number of parishioners by dropping all “restrictions” on membership so they can get more money. That means anything goes and alternative lifestyles are just the beginning.

    This is actually an experiment by the enemies of the church that is doomed to fail. The goal is to divide the church again, just like what happened at the reformation, and thereby minimize it’s influence. It is all about power. Here is a challenge. Name the real enemy.

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