PopeWatch: Pope Schism

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Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture nails it in regard to the Pope and schism:

“I am not afraid of schisms,” Pope Francis told reporters during his latest airplane press conference.

Well, I am. And I’m afraid of any Roman Pontiff who isn’t afraid of splitting the universal Church.

Which means that, yes, I’m afraid of Pope Francis.

As we head into the Amazon Synod, there are numerous indications that the Pope and his allies will use the meeting to ram through another set of dramatic changes in Church teaching and discipline. He is willing to break with our fathers in faith; he is willing to break with his brothers. I fear that the Pope is determined to have his way, regardless of the cost to Church unity.

As I remarked recently, in the past few weeks we have seen disturbing signs of a new attitude at the highest echelons of the Vatican: a willingness to suppress and dismiss critics of the Pope without even a pretense of gentility. That aggressive approach—perhaps a bid to ensure “irreversible change” in the limited time available—was on display when the Pope replied to a question from Jason Horowitz of the New York Times, about the criticism the Pope has encountered from American Catholics.

Horowitz introduced the question of schism, asking if it worried the Pontiff. But he did not suggest that it was an imminent threat. He acknowledged that some American Catholics are “very critical,” but he pointed out to the Pope that it was “some of your closest allies who have spoken of a plot against you.” Thus the Times reporter traced the current discussion of schism to its proper source. It is not the Pope’s critics who are suggesting a break; it is his allies who claim that any criticism—however mild, however respectful, however logical—is a threat to the Pope’s authority and an assault on Church unity.

In his response to Horowitz, Pope Francis made it quite clear that he accepts his allies’ analysis of the American scene. He accepts the preposterous reading of American affairs by his friend Father Antonio Spadaro, who sees American conservatism as the greatest threat to the papal agenda, and insists that “there is a campaign of disinformation against Pope Francis that links American and Russian interests.” He welcomes the work of the French author Nicolas Seneze, who sees a conservative American plot against the Pope. He believes his advisers when they explain that all criticism of his statements and policies on doctrinal issues—on the Eucharist, on the indispensable role of Jesus Christ in salvation, on the indissolubility of marriage, on the male priesthood—is really a smokescreen, a pretext, because the critics are really interested only in advancing a conservative political agenda.

In his long, rambling statement, the Pope did not answer Horowitz’s questions as to whether he had learned anything from his critics, or whether he had plans for further dialogue with them. Instead he offered a disjointed reflection on criticism, claiming that he always welcomes honest criticism and hinting that his American critics are hypocrites, advancing their own hidden agenda. The Pope’s statement was so far removed from the reality of the situation that it is difficult to say whether it was marked by dishonesty or delusion—or perhaps both.

Go here to read the rest.  We have a Pope who sees himself as a leader of a faction within the Church rather than as a Pope for all faithful Catholics.  Little wonder therefore that he seems to be welcoming a schism.  Heckuva job Conclave of 2013, heckuva job.


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Thought For the Day


  1. The buffoon makes me angrier and angrier day by day. I pray that the Holy Spirit deposes back to Argentina from whence he came and anathematizes him and all his works. Burn Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia and every other godless thing to have come from his geriatric senility.

  2. “deposes back to Argentina”…..they don’t like him very much there from what we are hearing from George Neumayr. Argentinians call him a ‘criminal’. Surely the reason he has never gone back for a ‘visit’.

  3. What’s interesting in all this is, if you recall, when the USCCB wanted to do something substantive about ongoing clergy sex abuse last spring and the Vatican shut it down, lest the American church get too far out in front of the universal church, the American bishops complied. Now in Germany, we have their equivalent of the USCCB allying with their equivalent of Call to Action to form a governing body that is hell-bent on getting to wherever they think the Synod on the Amazon is going ahead of everybody else, and ignoring the Pope in order to do it.
    But American conservatives are the problem.

  4. TLM said; Argentinians call him a ‘criminal’. Surely the reason he has never gone back for a ‘visit.

    Himself would conclude that “Jesus too” was considered a criminal and that no prophet is welcomed in his own land.

    It’s a reasonable guess that he would say that based upon his utterances from the papal plane and his psuedo humility.

    btw….. I do pray for him….not his intentions however…his conversion.

  5. LQC, don’t get angry, that is what the other side wants. They are losing. This is what the pope’s bag holders realize. They aren’t winning any arguments; especially when they refuse to engage in honest discussion. So if we get angry and depart they win. The faithful shepherd and custodian of the faith is failing miserably at his job. Every public utterance is either a willful lie, a sign of senility or just further proof of how out of touch he is with the tiny number of Catholics that bother to try to adhere to Christian morality.

  6. Anyone displaying this mind-set would not be allowed to continue the formation process for Priesthood. Once again this man proves he is not even qualified to wear a Roman Collar.

  7. “They aren’t winning any arguments;”

    He / they don’t have to argue. They just do it. Arguments be damned.

    More Anti-catholic cardinals? Done.
    Change the CCC? Done.
    Change the priesthood? Give him a couple of weeks.

  8. Remember how much he projects.

    He recognizes he has created a faction which is moving away from the Church. And the Germans are the spearhead.

    Remember the “it is my church” line? A big reveal.

    So he lashes out at others for what he does.

    Schismatic, heal thyself.

  9. JFK, in the long game it’s all meaningless. We know who wins. If you want to grant him the field fine, but I won’t. I play for the winning team.

  10. Ken,
    Yes, you are correct, he loses in the very end. But how many souls are mislead and lost. Some are lost willingly with open eyes. Others have no clue what the Church really teaches. Just ask the average parishioner what they think of PF. Most thing tjongs ate fine. There is also the non Catholics who won’t come into the Church due to PF. He is exactly the kind of “Pope” which we denied was possible. We just “make it up as we go” kind of pope and all subject to change in the future.

  11. Thanks, Ken. Almost daily I have to remind my Protestant Facebook readers what Vatican Council I says:

    “For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

    I even once had a liberal embolden by Pope Francis’ eco-wackism tell me that I had to accept his pronouncements on environmentalism because he is infallible. This Pope confused everyone: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, secularists, etc.

    By the way, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is no better. He’s into all this eco-wackism and social justice crap too, and he babbles about as badly as Jorge Bergoglio. Say what you want about the Russian-Ukrainian controversy over the Orthodox split in the Ukraine, and over collusion between the Kremlin and the ROC, at least you can understand Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The fact is I got more respect for Kirill than I do Bartholomew or Bergoglio. But I remain Catholic but that’s the Universal Church. Going to a nationalist Church just strikes me wrong.

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