Friday, March 29, 2013

THIS RERUN SHOULD CALM THE FEARS OF THOSE WHO ARE FREAKING OUT ABOUT POPE FRANCIS

Pope Francis is discomforting the "Reform of the Reform" group and many are saying that this movement is now dead. I would not be so quick as to write an obituary yet. But I did coin on another blog a few days back another term: "the counter-reform of the reform of the reform."

Those who are wild progressives will not like Pope Bergoglio's contention that the "smoke of Satan" has entered the Church distracting us from that which is central to our faith, which are hope and charity, with charity being the most enduring. They won't like his talk about popular devotions and the necessity of these especially a profound piety and devotion to our Blessed Mother. They won't like the talk of relativism and all things being equal when in fact they aren't.

Pope Francis will lead us into a revival of popular devotions, street processions and honoring our Blessed Mother in ways that have been discarded since Vatican II by the liturgical elitists who thought these were nonsense.

What most people are applauding or wringing their hands over is style over substance. Certainly the Holy Father's simple style is meant to be symbol of his desire for the Church to be seen as identifying with the poor and caring for them. Of course there are two kinds of poor people. The first would be the materially poor, who could be spiritually and religiously poor also. The second is the rich person who could be spiritually and materially poor at the same time.

Then you have rich and poor in the material sense who are both rich in the spiritual and religious sense. If not for the stewardship of this group either from their material or spiritual wealth the truly poor in both categories would not be assisted by the Church to the extent that they are.

But, let's talk theological substance. Here is a rerun of a video I post last week. It gives you insights into the theological mind of Pope Francis only a few weeks prior to his election as the Bishop of Rome. Please note the quick glimpse of the Benedictine Altar arrangement at a Church where the Cardinal was celebrating a liturgy! But again, that is only style, please listen to his substance!

12 comments:

JBS Was Here said...

Yes, he is certainly making me uncomfortable. I am very impressed by his insistence that man place the worship of God and care for the poor above such nonsense as pets and cosmetics. But I, for one, would think that liturgical reforms (in the Latin Church) such as a return to the ad orientem canon or kneeling for Communion would be steps in the direction of creating a more humble Church.
Also, he has said in the recent past that the Falkland Islands belong to Argentina, despite the wishes of 99% of the Falklands' inhabitants. Is this not an example of placing a (supposed) possession above people?

rcg said...

It is so early in his Papacy that I can't get to exorcised about it. I think he SHOULD be distinct from Pope Benedict. I can tell you from experience that having the previous commander hanging around, whether he is underfoot or trying to be discrete, is a real problem. People will try to circumvent you and even if they don't, they will think they can if things aren't going as they wish.

There is an modern idea that you retain the staff and organisation so as not to upset people. I used to think that, too. I can tell you for a fact that that is a mistake. Pope Francis is expected to clean house and it looks like he is about to drop a big shoe on it. Good. I wonder if her was talking about that when he spoke about the sin of taking pleasure in another person's misfortune. He may be letting us know his changes will wipe the smile off the faces of Liberals and Traditionalists, alike.

I hope he allows both forms of Mass to continue. Not so much a stasis, but as an eventual dialectic. That will freak out many of the Trads. I also think he will will change a lot of the ineffective and self-serving social justice efforts and organisations.

Gene said...

What business does a Pope have recommending international boundaries?

rcg said...

LOL! Gene, that's how we got Argentina and Brazil!!!

Gene said...

The question still stands...

John Nolan said...

The Holy See is a diplomatic entity which is seen as a trusted third party in arbitrating disputes. The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) is an example of this, but a more recent one is the dispute between Chile and Argentina over the Beagle Channel, which was mediated by John Paul II and successfully concluded in 1984.

JBS Was Here said...

It was before he was pope, but within the last couple of years, that he made the comment about the Falkland's. I don't think the UK took his comments as a diplomatic recommendation!

John Nolan said...

Interesting that so senior a cleric should refer to Paul VI's remark about the "fumo di Satana". According to Cardinal Noe Pope Paul was referring to those vainglorious priests who distort the liturgy. The sermon was given in 1972, ten years after Vatican II was called, and a reading of the whole passage seems to suggest that the result of the Council was the opposite to what was intended.

We're in "hermeneutic of rupture" territory here. Interesting.

Gene said...

John Nolan, If you ever come to the US and are near Atlanta, please let me know. I would be willing to drive a couple of hundred miles to take you to dinner and talk in person. Do you like single malt?

WSquared said...

"But I, for one, would think that liturgical reforms (in the Latin Church) such as a return to the ad orientem canon or kneeling for Communion would be steps in the direction of creating a more humble Church."

I agree, JBS Was Here, because it makes what then-Cardinal Bergoglio said about pets and cosmetics all the more starkly clear: it's all well and good for people who fawn over Francis to bash Benedict to talk about "humility" and "love of the poor," but all of this still begs the question of whom we serve: do we serve God or Mammon? This is not a question that our secularized culture likes hearing for all of its sometime lip service to humility and the poor. And in order to be enabled to serve God, not Mammon, shouldn't we learn to face Him first? That way we do learn to ask Him how we can give generously of ourselves, even when we think we have little or next to nothing to give, and to do it with great love. It will also challenge us on what we mean by "poor."

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, just outside Doylestown, PA, celebrates all of its vernacular Novus Ordo Masses ad orientem.

Most receive Communion in the hand; anyone who wishes to kneel can (enough priests will give Communion at the altar rail so that those who wish to kneel can do so; besides, those who kneel as a rule will kneel on the hard floor, anyway).

There is music even at the daily Novus Ordo Masses, but though it is hymnody, not chant, it is carefully chosen, and performed on an organ at the back of the church (no "Ashes" and the like, no guitar, no piano, no cantor belting it out as though s/he's giving a concert). The vestments aren't sumptuous, but they are beautiful enough, despite being made of cheaper fabric (again, a polyester Gothic chasuble can still be beautifully hand-embroidered, or accented with a bit of brocade, say, and needn't have ugly, modernist motifs on it-- someone could still have lovingly appliqued and embroidered a figure of the Crucified Christ on the back). The homilies are solid. Confessions are regularly heard. The altar looks beautiful.

I think every parish can accomplish this much, first working with what they have and going from there-- and also telling people that they need not be afraid.

John Nolan said...

Do I like single malt? Potestne anas natare?

Gene said...

LOL! Well, here is the test: I like the stuff with sticks in it. How are you with Lagavulin?