I'm afraid it has come to this!
From the second Pope Francis emerged on the world stage from the loggia of St. Peter's polarization in the Church accelerated and continues to do so at an alarming pace. At first the polarization centered on traditionalists alarmed at the dismantling of the liturgical legacy of Pope Benedict as well as other aspects of his papacy to include embracing some older trappings of the papacy.
As time went on, it was clear too that the clarity of teachings offered by Pope Benedict was also being dismantled in favor of a somewhat superficial approach to the teaching magisterium of the current pope based upon off-the-cuff remarks and compulsive phone calls to various people in other dioceses encouraging this, that or the other. At the core of this type of compulsiveness is the weakening of the authority of the local bishop and the priests he has.
Then there was the first synod on marriage--don't need to say any more on that. And we're on our way to the second synod on marriage.
But yesterday, we may have seen a turning point, at least I hope, as to what the current pope himself has created in the sense that people actually believe now that he isn't Catholic. It isn't that he isn't Catholic, he is, but he's created such confusion that many in the world to include the many Catholics think that he is in favor of the following:
1. promiscuity for anyone no matter their sexual preferences
2. Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers and fornicators
3. marriage for same sex couples
4. bigamy in the Catholic sense (civil marriage after a divorce without an annulment)
8. you name it
In other words, the 1970's has returned in a sort of faddish way and with a vengeance. And just like the 1970's not only is the Church affected but the whole of society and one doesn't really understand or know who is causing what and affecting whom. Is the Church affecting the world, and in this case, the pope singlehandedly or is the world affecting the pope and his Church? The same could be asked of the great social turmoil of the 1960's immediately following Vatican II. Did Vatican II cause the worldwide social upheaval or was it simply a victim of it?
But what happened yesterday that might open the eyes of the Holy Father to the confusion that he has single handedly sown in the Church and the world and attitudes toward him and his Church?
The pope was completely a victim of a lower Vatican bureaucrat who sent a kind of form letter to a Lesbian gay activist who had written a children's book promoting acceptance by small children of the homosexual agenda for marriage, non-marriage and unusual families evolving from the homosexual gender ideologies. The form letter seem to include a blessing for this lesbian's same sex union and her gender ideologies completely at odds with defined Church teachings.
And here is the kicker! Because Pope Francis has painted himself as a populist against traditional Catholic morals, ethics and canon law, the world believed that Pope Francis was endorsing the homosexual agenda and its gender ideologies. Not only did the press believe it, but most rank and file Catholics believe it.
So once again, the Vatican bureaucracy had to clarify that the pope is Catholic. Whose fault is this?
Here is the Boston Globe's Catholic blog CRUX report on this:
VATICAN CITY —
The Holy See press office had to set the record straight on Friday after the Italian media interpreted a formulaic blessing (in other words a form letter!) by Pope Francis of a lesbian children’s book publisher and her partner as an endorsement of their lifestyle.
Author Francesca Pardi had written to Francis in June complaining about how her books — some of which deal with children growing up with gay, single, and divorced parents — had been maligned by Catholic groups and politicians.
A half-dozen of her titles, for example, were among the 49 titles that Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro recently banned from public preschools pending a review of their appropriateness because they deal with gender issues.
Thinking that Francis might appreciate the books’ inclusive message, Pardi sent him copies of her 30 titles, explaining that they had nothing to do with “gender theory” or even sex, but merely conveyed a message of tolerance. (This is the problem that Pope Francis has created for himself and the Church--that she thought he'd appreciate her gender ideologies which are not Catholic--this isn't her fault but only the Holy Father's with his populist papacy.)
A few weeks ago, an official in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, Monsignor Peter Wells, sent her a note in Francis’ name thanking her for the gesture, blessing her and her partner, and encouraging her to continue with her “activities in the service to young generations and the diffusion of authentic human and Christian values.” (This is a low-level bureaucrat who responded in the pope's name to a letter the pope never saw because he can't see, read or respond personally tothe millions of letters sent to the Vatican or to him directly!)
Pardi says she didn’t take the letter by any means to be a papal endorsement of her lifestyle — she and her partner have four children together — but the Italian media interpreted it as such, prompting the Vatican on Friday to step in. (Don't blame the media, the Holy Father himself has set up this scenario by the lack of clarity both in words and symbol of his populist papal style.)
In a statement, the Vatican’s deputy spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the letter made clear that Francis was encouraging Pardi to pursue activities consistent with Christian values. (This is clearly damage control and the statement should have said that Pope Francis didn't even see the original letter that was sent or the form letter sent in his name!)
“The blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was directed to the person, not at any possible teachings that are not in line with the doctrine of the Church on gender theory, which hasn’t changed a bit as the Holy Father has repeated even recently,” he said. (more silly damage control which doesn't address the crux of the issue, that people are willing to believe the pope isn't Catholic because the pope has created this monster for himself.)
One of the “banned” titles, “Little Egg,” tells the story of an egg about to hatch that goes out in search of a family, and encountering a variety of different ones — two mothers, two fathers, single parents, bi-racial parents, “traditional” parents — concludes that any one of them would be great.
The review of the “banned books” by Venice’s mayor sparked outrage among gay and human rights groups, with sometimes Venice resident Elton John calling Brugnaro “boorishly bigoted.”
My last comments: I am not opposed to ecology or saving the planet. Just as we try to save our own life or the lives of our loved ones who have serious life threatening diseases and go out of our way to offer them the medical care they need for healing or a cure, we should be doing the same for the planet. Jesus sacrifice on the cross is not just for souls, but for bodies (at the resurrection of the dead at Jesus' Second Coming) but not only the human person in his entiriety will be saved but the world, so there has to be concern for the planet and a theology of ecology. The pope is on the right track with this.
But when human ecology is placed on the back burner in terms of sexuality and abortion and the other pelvic issues and in addition to this, the greatest era of martyrdom has descended upon Christians in the world, especially the Middle East and Africa and the Holy Father seems to be less preoccupied by this and more preoccupied by our air conditioners and lack of solar panels on our roof, then we have a pope with priorities out of wack or at least those spinning the pope are making him out to be such.
But is it completely the spinners' fault or devious plan by the world's media?