Every once in a while, we get a reminder of the tremendous potential of our current pontiff, Pope Francis. CCM has been pretty forthright in its criticism of this man, but this video is quite touching and beautiful. It depicts the Pope humbling himself before South Sudanese delegates at a peace conference. He painfully drops to his knees, kisses their feet, while exhorting them to end the bloodshed which has plagued South Sudan for far too many years.
Despite what we may think of this man, let this video serve as a reminder of the power of his office. Pope Francis still has the potential for being one of the truly great popes of these, the last days. Shame on us if we fail to lift him up to our Lord and our Lady in daily prayer, despite how annoyed (furious, even) with each new troubling/outrageous development in this most troubling of pontificates.
Let us all renew our efforts in lifting up this man in earnest prayer before the Throne of Almighty God. Let us pray for God to mold Pope Francis into the man God truly wants him to be! Let us beg God for a transformation of the heart of Jorge Bergoglio, that he may repent of those acts displeasing to God and that he return to the true and authentic teachings of Holy Mother Church, those teachings passed down to us from the Apostles. Let us pray that Pope Francis, along with the cadre of heterodox bishops and priests which surround him, abandon those false doctrines which have so beguiled them. May they all be converted once more by the Holy Spirit, and lead our battered and wounded Church Militant back into the fray, once more fighting together under the banner of Christ the King.
Regardless of what you think of Pope Francis or the merits of his pontificate, he deserves our prayers.
Note: The video used in this post originally appeared on the Rome Reports YouTube channel on 11 April 2019.
The problems which plague the Catholic Church predate the rise of Bergoglio to the Chair of Peter by a generation at least. Is the Latin Mass under threat? Yes. Is the Novus Ordo Mass beset with flaws and subject to all manner of abuse? Yes.
Is it the fault of Pope Francis? Nope.
Check out this very informative video by Michael J. Matt. He lays out the problem very well…
The Vatican is developed the bad habit of pre-engineering the outcomes of its synods. There are never any surprises; the outcomes are pre-determined to a degree that would warm the hearts of any Soviet Party Congress.
It’s not really being called a synod now. It’s billed as a meeting of the heads of the various bishops’ conferences…sort of a closed door meeting of all the power broker-type bishops. Who knows? We’re not sure it even matters who the cooks are; the results are going to be cooked. That’s how they roll in this pontificate.
Based on statements from the Vatican and its most prominent cheerleaders, we can pretty much guess just what that outcome will be. You can bet that they’re already rehearsing their end zone liturgical dance routines to celebrate the outcome.
But…just to be sure, we nabbed a copy of the Vatican playbook. Watch the video…
Yeah, today’s Halloween. It’s a special time of the year (except for the raccoons who come to visit me throughout the year; they show up each night expecting treats, and they’re always wearing masks, so every night of the year is Halloween for them, I guess…)
And apparently, even the folks in the Vatican are into dress-up this October. During the Youth Synod, Pope Francis was seen walking around looking like he was preparing to play Quidditch. His staff (called a Papal ferula) looked nothing like a traditional bishop’s crozier, and certainly nothing like the trademark Crucifix which adorned the top of St. John Paul II’s ferula.
Observers can be forgiven if they sensed some sort of Wiccan flavor to the staff he was carrying. It looked far more like a stang of the type favored by those practiced in the dark arts than it resembled anything Christian. “Not so!” we were assured by Vatican staff (the administrative sort of staff as opposed to the ceremonial walking stick sort of staff). The new, avantgarde and oh-so-fashionable staff was a gift from “the youth.” If you look closely (really, really closely) you can almost–if you squint just right–see what might look like a Y-shaped Crucifix.
Taking a shot or two of the local chianti might aid the identification process.
Not only are we laity having trouble with the funny-looking staff, the Papal staff is having trouble with the staff as well…
Take an exclusive peek behind the scenes at the Holy See!
If a scandal gets bad enough, Rome will act…and act decisively! (Assuming the scandal relates to an issue Rome really cares about…)
As the crisis in the Church deepens to critical proportions, look to the example of St. John. The Beloved Disciple had a winning game plan for he darkest day in human history. We can follow the same strategy today.
It’s hard to keep up with all the moves being made during this pontificate. Many of the pronouncements coming from the Vatican seem to be intentionally ambiguous, allowing for the faithful to fib to themselves that nothing’s changed, and allowing the less heterodox among us to exploit the carefully constructed loopholes in documents like Amoris Laetitia. No doubt the end product of this month’s synod will produce whoppers of equal magnitude.
Then, of course, there are the outright moves of betrayal, such as the stunning agreement with the Red Chinese which effectively throws the Underground Church in China under the bus.
Even though many faithful Catholics are confused, perplexed, disturbed, and perhaps even outraged by the Pontiff’s moves, there are those whom we suspect would be quite pleased…
The hunt is on for the “renegade” Archbishop! In the wake of his bombshell eleven page letter which named quite a few names, more than a few high-ranking prelates are ticked off. According to some press reports, the Vatican is actively seeking the whereabouts of Abp. Viganò, and has dispatched agents to locate him. Fearing for his life, Abp. Viganò has gone into hiding. From an undisclosed location, Viganò has written two additional letters.
Pray for Viganò’s safety during this time of crisis. Pray that his allegations be investigated fully, and pray to Our Lady that our beloved Church will emerge from this present tribulation stronger and holier!
Hootenanny/Rock Band/Jazz Band masses.
Not exactly the same image as the description of King David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant, is it?
And, unfortunately, guess who was presiding at the Mass?
Hey! Liturgical “Innovators!” Know what might be fun? How ’bout doing a Mass where it is a supernatural event wherein God Himself is made present (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) among us? And everyone actually behaves as if that’s really happening? Wouldn’t that be a novelty? Whadd’ya think?
Regardless on which side of the Amoris Laetitia debate you find yourself, it’s undeniable that the promulgation of this document has produced considerable churn (understatement). Earlier blogs on this site have decried the way in which AL, by its ambiguity, produced such a wildly-varying degree of interpretations. Some bishops say nothing has changed; others see the opportunity to allow divorced & remarried Catholics to start receiving Holy Communion again. In one zip code, a divorced/remarried Catholic is an adulterer; in the next that Catholic is simply “on a journey” of some sort, and receiving the Eucharist might well be possible if an unspecified number of prerequisites are met.
Who are the winners and losers in all this?
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, says that AL represents “a paradigm shift, and the text itself insists on this, that’s what is asked of us — this new spirit, this new approach!” Factions favoring such a change refer to Amoris Laetitia‘s stress on the objective relevance of extenuating circumstances, the subjective conscience and discernment to allow some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion and apply it to allowing use of artificial contraception in some cases (National Catholic Register, 11 Jan 2018).
Although it comes a few centuries too late, it makes me wonder if one of the “winners” might not be His Majesty, King Henry VIII. Wasn’t that all he was asking when he divorced Catherine of Aragon, dumping her in favor of Ann Boleyn? One can just imagine him insisting to Thomas Moore (perhaps while visiting him in the Tower of London), that there was a bucketload of “extenuating circumstances,” and that the King was perfectly clear in his “subjective conscience of discernment,” and surely the “extenuating circumstances” of no royal heir.