Sunday, May 5, 2013
SOME SOBER THOUGHTS ON THE SOBRIETY OF THIS NEW PAPACY, THE SHADOW POPE, AND OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE AND SIMILARITIES, BANNING POLITICIANS FROM HOLY COMMUNION AND BANNING A CARDINAL FROM SCOTLAND AND PROMOTING POPULAR DEVOTIONS AND THE USE OF OUTWARD SIGNS TO REMIND PERSONS THEMSELVES AND OTHERS OF THEIR CONSECRATION TO THE LORD, WHICH COULD EASILY BE APPLIED TO RELIGIOUS WHO NO LONGER WEAR ANY OUTWARD SIGN OF THEIR CONSECRATION, MEANING THE HABIT!
THE NEW POPE'S AGENDA FOR THE LAITY: Evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit, missionary spirit. Three words – don’t forget them: Evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit, missionary spirit. Let us ask the Lord always to direct our minds and hearts to him, as living stones of the Church, so that all that we do, our whole Christian life, may be a luminous witness to his mercy and love. In this way we will make our way towards the goal of our earthly pilgrimage, towards that most beautiful sanctuary, the heavenly Jerusalem. There, there is no longer any temple: God himself and the Lamb are its temple; and the light of the sun and the moon give way to the glory of the Most High. Amen.
TWO BOMBSHELLS THAT BODE WELL FOR THE NEW PAPACY PURIFYING THE CHURCH OF CORRUPT CLERGY AND CORRUPT CATHOLICS, POLITICIANS IN PARTICULAR: POPE FRANCIS DIRECTS THE BISHOPS OF ARGENTINA TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN DOCUMENT PREVENTING ANYONE FROM RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION WHO FACILITATES ABORTIONS INCLUDING POLITICIANS. AND POPE FRANCIS BANS DISGRACED SCOTTISH CARDINAL FROM HIS HOMELAND!
"There can be no dialogue with the devil!"
The new pope and the shadow pope again together in prayer at an ad orientem altar in the shadow pope's new digs. "Christ is at the center in this simple chapel, on the cross, in the tabernacle, and in relation to the prayer of those kneeling before Him."
The following are odds and ends of bits of stories about Pope Francis and Pope Benedict:
(THIS IS A BIT OF A BOMBSHELL THAT SEEMS TO HAVE ESCAPED BLOGGERS AND THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA:) Pope Francis has directed the bishops of Argentina, his home country, to govern the Church there following a document that makes clear that holy communion should be disallowed for any person who facilitates abortion, including politicians. “These are the guidelines we need for this time in history,” the pope wrote to the bishops.
In October of 2007, Cardinal Bergoglio presented the final version of the Aparecida Document, which was then approved by Pope Benedict. The text of the document’s paragraph 436 states:
We should commit ourselves to “Eucharistic coherence”, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.
NOW LET'S TURN TO THE TWO POPE, SHADOW AND OTHERWISE AND THEIR DISCONTINUITY AND CONTINUITY AS SEEN BY VATICAN INSIDER ANDREA TORNIELLI:
Some of Pope Francis’ choices have been the subject of criticism among certain traditionalist circles. They accuse him of an overly sober style and a failure to use certain insignia and old or old-style vestments. He has even been accused of undermining the Petrine ministry by accentuating his Bishop of Rome role – the Pope’s first and oldest title – and of forming the 8-strong commission of cardinals who are supposed to advise the Pope on questions of Curia reform and Church government. Francis’ critics place a great deal of emphasis on the discontinuity with Benedict XVI’s papacy, fearing the destruction of the papacy itself and the loss of the sacred meaning of the papal figure.
These critics are too quick to interpret any of Francis’ gestures as a sign of discontinuity with the work of his predecessor. What they forget is that more than any of the choices made by Francis, it was Benedict XVI’s resignation that represented the greatest act of deconsecration of the papal figure. His abandonment of the Throne of Peter due to physical and spiritual weakness stripped the Curia of its duties and created the unprecedented situation of two popes now living a short distance from one another.
However, Ratzinger’s decision also contributed to bringing the role of the Bishop of Rome back to its origins and its real nature: the Pope is Peter’s successor , the Church’s shepherd and a living example of charity, guardian of a treasure that does not belong to him: the depositum fidei which it is his responsibility to pass on to others. The Pope is not an emperor for life, nor is he a super-governor of Churches. Certain historical or historically justified forms which sacralise the figure of Pope to the point of going beyond the essence of its origins. The decision to bring the papal figure closer to its origins and distance it from the oversacralised image it has been given – an image that is not really in tune with the Vatican’s current situation - does not in any way undermine the papacy.
In the end, it makes little difference whether the Pope wears tall and lavishly decorated mitres or chooses not to, whether he brings the papal fanon back to life, uses golden papal crosses from times gone by or sits on great big thrones made of gold painted wood. All of which emphasis the sacredness, uniqueness and universality of the papal ministry. Benedict XVI’s resignation shows he does not see the still sacredness of a reigning Pope as something of supreme importance. He chose to retire, just as other bishops do in dioceses across the world when they reach a certain age. By stepping down as Pope and Bishop of Rome, he brought the figure of Pope closer to bishops’ figures, without in any way undermining the importance and prerogatives of the Petrine primacy.
So there is clearly continuity between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome. And is manifested in their outlook on faith and their awareness that it is the Lord who leads the Church, not the Pope.
AND THEN THERE IS THIS BOMBSHELL WHERE THE VATICAN, MEANING THE POPE HIMSELF HAS INTERVENED DIRECTLY, THAT THE ERRANT CARDINAL OF SCOTLAND HAS BEEN BANISHED FROM HIS HOMELAND!
Gerry Braiden of the Glasgow Herald is reporting today that Cardinal Keith O'Brien, former Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has been ordered to leave Britain by the Vatican following his admission that he made sexual advances to priests during his time as Primate of Scotland. It's a terrible end to the career of a flawed but likeable man who, clearly, should never have accepted a cardinal's hat in the first place. Writes Braiden:
Friends of the cleric have said he has been told by Rome to shelve his plans to retire to a church-owned cottage in East Lothian and instead leave the country.
The Herald understands Cardinal O'Brien was given the news yesterday afternoon, three days after being photographed moving his personal belongings from his official residence in Edinburgh to the residence in Dunbar where he had been spending regular weekends over the past few years.
The parish priest in Dunbar, Canon John Creanor, is understood to have voiced upset at the Vatican's move against his "dear friend".
It is the clearest indication yet of the Vatican's unwillingness to let the matter drift and concern that the Cardinal's admission of gay activity over decades and allegations of abuse towards trainee priests continues to damage the Church.
Investigations also continue into claims made by a serving priest in Lanarkshire of a "gay mafia" running seminaries in the 1980s and naming leading Catholic figures.
The Herald revealed on Thursday Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia was behind an appeal to the Vatican to intervene after Cardinal O'Brien's re-emergence in Scotland this week.
You can perhaps tell from reading the above that the Catholic Church in Scotland is in the most terrible crisis – "just falling apart at the seams", I was told this week. Do read the full story. O'Brien did not abuse minors, so far as we know, and has admitted his guilt – and his friends are furious that he is being hung out to dry at a time when other prelates who covered up shocking abuse are left alone. The name of Cardinal Mahony, formerly of Los Angeles, comes to mind.
MY COMMENT: THERE HAS BEEN CONCERN IN THE CHURCH EXPRESSED BY MANY AND NOW OPENLY ADMITTED, THAT A "GAY MAFIA" OF SORTS HAS DERAILED MUCH OF THE CHURCH SINCE THE 1970'S. FINALLY BRINGING THIS DARK,DARK SECRET TO LIGHT AS WITH THE ABUSE OF MINORS, WILL ENHANCE THE CHURCH'S AND THE POPE'S ABILITY TO DEAL WITH AND PURIFY THE SOURCE OF MISMANAGEMENT IN THE CHURCH, BISHOPS, ARCHBISHOPS AND HONORED PRELATES, THE CARDINALS. THIS IS GOOD NEWS INDEED.
And the pope's Sunday morning homily to the Confraternities at a packed outdoor Mass:
On popular devotions and the witness of the laity!:
POINT 1: Dear confraternities, the popular piety of which you are an important sign is a treasure possessed by the Church, which the bishops of Latin America defined, significantly, as a spirituality, a form of mysticism, which is “a place of encounter with Jesus Christ”. Draw always from Christ, the inexhaustible wellspring; strengthen your faith by attending to your spiritual formation, to personal and communitarian prayer, and to the liturgy. Down the centuries confraternities have been crucibles of holiness for countless people who have lived in utter simplicity an intense relationship with the Lord. Advance with determination along the path of holiness; do not rest content with a mediocre Christian life, but let your affiliation serve as a stimulus, above all for you yourselves, to an ever greater love of Jesus Christ.
POINT 2: And this brings up a second element which I want to remind you of, as Benedict XVI did, namely: ecclesial spirit. Popular piety is a road which leads to what is essential, if it is lived in the Church in profound communion with your pastors. Dear brothers and sisters, the Church loves you! Be an active presence in the community, as living cells, as living stones. The Latin American Bishops wrote that the popular piety which you reflect is “a legitimate way of living the faith, a way of feeling that we are part of the Church” (Aparecida Document, 264). And this is beautiful, eh?
POINT 3: You have a specific and important mission, that of keeping alive the relationship between the faith and the cultures of the peoples to whom you belong. You do this through popular piety. When, for example, you carry the crucifix in procession with such great veneration and love for the Lord, you are not performing a simple outward act; you are pointing to the centrality of the Lord’s paschal mystery, his passion, death and resurrection which have redeemed us, and you are reminding yourselves first, as well as the community, that we have to follow Christ along the concrete path of our daily lives so that he can transform us.
MY COMMENT AND MUSING: "Performing simple outward acts?" This could easily be applied to the clergy but ESPECIALLY RELIGIOIUS WOMEN IN PARTICULAR, that wearing a sign of their consecration, whether the complete habit or a modification of it, they would be " [NOT ONLY] performing a simple outward act; [THEY WOULD BE] pointing to the centrality of the Lord’s paschal mystery, his passion, death and resurrection which have redeemed us, and you are reminding yourselves first, as well as the community, that we have to follow Christ along the concrete path of our daily lives so that he can transform us."
AND THUS THE POPE'S AGENDA FOR HIS PAPACY: Evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit, missionary spirit. Three words – don’t forget them: Evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit, missionary spirit. Let us ask the Lord always to direct our minds and hearts to him, as living stones of the Church, so that all that we do, our whole Christian life, may be a luminous witness to his mercy and love. In this way we will make our way towards the goal of our earthly pilgrimage, towards that most beautiful sanctuary, the heavenly Jerusalem. There, there is no longer any temple: God himself and the Lamb are its temple; and the light of the sun and the moon give way to the glory of the Most High. Amen.
READ HIS COMPLETE HOMILY HERE.