“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Most Catholics are familiar with the what if the Pope does x, y or z game. That game is when a non-Catholic asks a Catholic, “So, the Pope is infallible? What if the Pope does”, and names a hypothetical which is against the teaching of the Church. The usual reaction of a Catholic is to say that couldn’t happen. Based upon the track record of the Church that was a safe, and reassuring, answer. Only a handful of Popes have come close to heresy, and the Church has quickly corrected the situation. Thus most Catholics have not been unduly disturbed by the what if the Pope game. I certainly was not, until the current Pontificate brought that silly anti-Catholic game into terrible reality.
Bad enough that Pope Francis set up a rigged Synod to spit in the face of Christ regarding His teaching as to the indissolubility of marriage. Now, in order to accomplish this by the back door, he has proposed a direct attack on the office of the Pope itself, by allowing various segments of the Church to adopt their own solution to “problems” they confront. How this proposal will play out in practice has been elaborated upon by his boy in Chicago, Archbishop Blasé Cupich, who is eager to allow Catholics in adulterous marriages and unrepentant “partnered” homosexuals to receive the Eucharist, all in the name of the primacy of personal conscience, no matter how ill formed. Under this procedure the concept of sin flies right out the window along with 2000 years of the Church preaching the Gospel of Christ. Thus the Catholic Church becomes the modern Episcopal Church with worse music and less ceremony.
The Laity have a duty, not a right but a duty, to stand up for Catholic orthodoxy when the Clergy fail to do so. Friends, it is time to stand.
Damian Thompson at The Spectator grasps the gravity of the situation and thinks Francis will fail in his effort to reshape the Church:
Here’s why I think Francis’s decentralisation won’t work:
1. This is the synod at which the African church flexed its muscles. And it’s very conservative. Cardinal Robert Sarah from Guinea declared that the gay lobby was as much a threat to Christianity as ISIS. Sarah is Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and therefore a top-ranking curial cardinal. But in his ‘intervention’ he wanted us to understand that he was speaking on behalf of nearly 200 million African Catholics. Whether he really represents them is a matter of opinion, but I doubt that many of them would dissent from the cardinal’s (literal) demonisation of homosexuality. NB: Sarah and other African cardinals aren’t saying ‘We’ll never tolerate communion for the divorced and remarried etc – but so long as you leave us alone, western dioceses can do their own thing’. They are saying the existing prohibitions must apply to the entire Catholic Church. Sarah regards Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to allow local bishops (meaning, in practice, local priests and probably divorcees themselves) to decide whether they can receive the sacrament as heretical.
2. The more liberal Synod Fathers, sensing that Pope Francis will use the papal trump card on their behalf, have all but endorsed a version of the Kasper plan – and may soon allow priests to put it into practice. Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago (a Francis appointee who will soon be a cardinal) gave a press conference on Friday in which he said the following about communion for the divorced and civilly remarried: ‘[People must] come to a decision in good conscience…Conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when making decisions and I’ve always done that.’ If by that he means that divorced Catholics can make up their own minds ‘in good conscience’ about receiving the sacrament, that puts him at odds with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, one of the signatories of a letter also signed by senior Vatican cardinals warning the Pope that his synod could tear the church apart. Of all the routes to schism, squabbling in public about Holy Communion is the quickest.
3. Pope Francis is no longer trusted by many conservative Catholics, and the number who don’t trust him has grown enormously since the synod process – which I think he has gravely mismanaged – began last October. Priests and lay Catholics who originally liked the man if not his liturgical style, and thought he was fundamentally conservative despite his impromptu ‘who am I to judge?’-style comments, now believe he threatens the unity of the church. Some liberals agree that disunity is inevitable but reckon the Holy Spirit has already factored that in: eventually, Africans will come to share their own compassionate impulses towards Catholics who have been forced by the turmoil of modern life to bypass church teaching on sexual behaviour. They’re hoping for a miracle, in other words. In the meantime, they have become the new ultramontanists.
4. It’s not entirely clear what the Pope means when he talks about ‘synodality’, but it certainly doesn’t involve empowering the curia. By brushing aside a letter from the prefects of the Congregations of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Secretariat for the Economy, Francis was distancing himself from the Vatican. He may not have decamped to Avignon, but his refusal to live in the papal apartments is looking more significant by the day. He has picked a fight with the Vatican – and that is something popes do at their peril. Cardinals Müller, Sarah and Pell (and other important cardinals too nervous to sign the letter) see the curia as the guardian of the Magisterium, the deposit of faith. It was to preserve that deposit that St John Paul II centralised the church. Conservatives interpret Francis’s speech on Saturday as a manifesto for reversing that process – and, at a deeper level, marginalising the legacy of John Paul, which contains teachings hard to reconcile with the current pope’s agenda. So, in their eyes, Francis is taking on the greatest pope in modern history – who, now that he has been canonised, is officially recognised as a supernatural presence in the life of the church. He may even be trying to change the nature of the papacy itself – and during the lifetime of his predecessor, who must be wondering whether God really intended him to resign.
Go here to read the rest. May Christ come to our aid now that His Vicar has apparently lost his senses.