Tag Archives: Schism

A Prayer for Pope Francis

The controversies surrounding Pope Francis show no signs of abating. Agree or disagree on his policies, pronouncements, and actions, we must remember that he is nonetheless the man who is Peter’s successor. That’s no guarantee, however, that he will remain free from error in his each and every act. It doesn’t even mean that he’s automatically in a state of sanctified grace. What it does mean, however, is that he will be Number One of the devil’s target list, and that the prince of this world will be subjecting the Pope to powerful and never-ending spiritual attack. That last point is pretty much not debatable, I would guess (but net has proved me wrong time & again, so you never know…)

Regardless where we might fall on the spectrum of opinions regarding Francis and his pontificate, I hope we can all agree upon the urgent necessity to remember him in our prayers! This crisis won’t solve itself, no matter how many tweets, blogs entries, and DISQUS posts are made for or against this or that proposition. Only through prayer, the intercession of Our Lady, and by the intervention of Almighty God will the crisis be ended.

And with that in mind, I’d like to offer this short prayer for our Holy Father, taken from the 1962 Missal (Collect for the Pope):

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint pastor over Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that by both word and example he may edify those over whom he is set, and together with the flock committed to his care, may attain to eternal life.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

OK, They Used the “H-Word.” Now What?

Red letters on black background which say "A Question of Heresy." Below that, yellow letters saying "Pray for Holy Mother Church"

They dropped the “H-Word” a few days ago.  It’s effect has been more like an H-bomb.

A group of prominent theologians and scholars (some of them priests) have issued a letter to all the bishops of the world outlining the case that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has committed multiple acts of formal heresy.

This is a big deal.  A terrifying deal.

Accusing Christ’s Vicar on Earth of heresy is one of those things that once said, is extremely difficult to retract.  The people who have done this have effectively ended their careers.  Think of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence:  in so doing, they all but put a British noose around their own necks.  Their signatures sealed their own death warrants.

No, I am not comparing this letter to the Declaration of Independence, nor am I comparing these theologians and scholars with the Founding Fathers of the American republic, so stop what you’re thinking.  What I am saying however, is that the signers of this twenty page letter have taken a step of the utmost gravity, which will have far-reaching consequences for them…and for us.

Back during the Cold War, a group of concerned scientists came up with something that became known as (among other things) the “Doomsday Clock.”  Whenever some incident between the Americans and Soviets served to increase tensions, the minute hand on clock (which was initially set sometime after 11:30 PM-ish) moved another minute closer to midnight, the idea being that once the clock reached midnight, WWIII would start and with it, of course, nuclear Armageddon.

If there is a “Schism Clock” counting down the minutes until a major disaster strikes the Roman Catholic Church, this letter surely must have moved the minute hand a notch or two.

The letter does not read like some sort of tinfoil hat manifesto; far from it.  The people who assembled it cited a series of specific incidents, documented them thoroughly, and provided excerpts from Church Councils, Holy Scripture, and other sources to demonstrate that each incident cited violated one or more critical aspects of Catholic Church teaching/dogma.

Can this document, in and of itself, convict a Roman Pontiff of heresy?  I’m not so sure.  It’s pretty much a given that the pope, being Christ’s Vicar and direct representative on Earth, is subject to the judgement of no man…only Almighty God Himself can sit in judgement of his actions.

And yet, these incidents–most of which I remember having been thoroughly amazed at when they transpired–do seem to directly contradict established Church teaching…or at least muddy them to the point where we laity are thoroughly confused.  A group of Cardinals asked Pope Francis to provide clarification (the famous Dubia of Cardinal Burke, et. al.) on some of the most troubling portions of his document Amoris Laetitia, but rather than providing the asked -for clarity, Francis made a point of completely ignoring them.  That tactic might have been considered a brilliant maneuver in the game of Vatican politics, but it didn’t do much to calm the brewing storm in the Church.  And that storm is reaching typhoon-intensity.

Correspondent Hank Igitur, the “Traditional Roamin’ Catholic,” shares his concerns in the following video, along with a set of recommended resources for those hoping to better understand the crisis which is upon us.