Thursday, March 21, 2013
IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH LIKE A DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY, HELL BENT ON SEPARATION AND DIVORCE? YES! AT LEAST THOSE WHO ARE MORE INFLUENCED BY THE WORLD THAN BY GOD!
Yes, the Catholic Church as a family is quite dysfunctional and that is because of Original and Actual sin. There is no doubt about it!
I can remember when Pope Benedict was elected pope and how the progressive wing of the Church were in shock and crying like babies and thinking that it was the end of the world and the Church as we know it would go to hell in a hand basket. We know the notable figures of this period of dysfunction and I don't need to name names. Fortunately, the progressives are so dysfunctional, they will never be able to unite into any semblance of a formal schism. Their heresies are all over the place, as they are, but they do tend to divorce themselves from the Magisterium of the Church for their own purposes and see themselves above it rather than in service to it.
And now just like the progressive cry babies at Pope Benedict's election, on the right, we have the traditionalists who are throwing a hissy fit over Pope Francis' election. And just like the progressives they are in separation and divorce mode! The problem, though, with the traditionalists is that they usually are not in doctrinal heresy except for their attitude toward the legitimate authority of the Magisterium and the Petrine Ministry. They tend to reject large chunks of Vatican II and try to justify their divorce by living in the past.
The traditionalists pose a greater threat to the unity of the Church and are more into the divorce mentality than the progressives.In this regard, they are more honest in their intent. They are more organized and think alike and are more prone to follow authority that they like even if it is bogus, like the bogus authority of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Every pope we've had I have liked some things and disliked other things. The popes I remember the best were Pope Paul VI who as a teenager, I thought was old, dour and lamented way too many things and didn't try to change what was wrong but simply lamented things. To me his papacy was all about lamenting!
We didn't have Pope John Paul I enough, but I was just beginning my second year of seminary when he was elected. He smiled more than Pope Paul VI and had a nice Italian touch and sweetness and told us that God is just as much a Mother as He is a Father. Wow! I thought!
Then he died and we got the tornado of Pope John Paul II and pope-worship (not really) went into high gear. He was manly, athletic and young, although at the time I thought 57 years old was pretty old! I loved his energy and his willingness to stare people down who dissented. I loved his willingness to bring back the "discipline" of the Church. But I didn't like the cult of the personality that surrounded him. I thought it was over the top.
I loved Pope Benedict and that he was quite uncomfortable with the cult of the personality that surrounded the papacy under John Paul II and worked to quiet down the pep rally nature of people in the presence of the pope. Thank you Pope Benedict for that, but why didn't you codify some of your modeling of the Liturgy? In a sense, we are now at the mercy of various popes as to what they model! Wouldn't it have been better if that were not the case?
And now we have Pope Francis. I love his love for the poor, his human touch and his great piety and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Fatima. That tells us something significant. I love the way he celebrates Mass although I lament that he doesn't sing/chant and might be too much of a pragmatist liturgically and wants to get things over with in terms of his desire for brevity. His preaching thus far is wonderful and he has a pastor's heart. He is not an academic like Pope Benedict.
I liked the vestments he wore for the installation, especially his alb, these are my style of things believe it or not! But I like the pageantry of the papacy too and like what Pope Benedict modeled in that regard, I just wish it wasn't just up to the various idiosyncrasies of each pope where one day we have it one way and the next another. Shouldn't the people of God expect and see consistency? We shouldn't have to have anxiety about the externals and if these are left alone I don't think we would. But with that said, I wouldn't mind seeing a pope visiting the hospital taking off the cassock and donning something more practical especially in hands-on situations.
I am a Papist and I will stand by Pope Francis through thick and thin, for better or worse, in sickness and in health and I will love, honor and obey him in all matter of faith, morals and canon law. It's like marriage you know, like the way Catholics once thought of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, at least orthodox Catholics!