Monday, November 14, 2016

IN THE CHURCH OF THE "WHAT IF"?


We can no longer deny that there is a major disorientation in the Magisterium of the Church, primarily among some cardinals and bishops in union with the Vicar of Christ.

It cannot be denied that we live in an unprecedented moment of Church history where we have two living popes, one emeritus, one active. Again, let me say this is unprecedented! In addition to this the emeritus pope has seen his long legacy as a brilliant theologian, advisor to a saint, Saint Pope John Paul II and as a reigning pope dismantled and intentionally so from day one of the current reigning pope almost as a vendetta and the settling of scores.

It cannot be denied that there are some in the Church who find the renunciation of the papacy by the emeritus pope as suspicion and perhaps invalid.

What would make it invalid? Pressure (either outside of the emeritus or from within himself, such as a major depression which led His Holiness to a decision not made in His Holiness "right mind?"

How long would an emeritus pope living at the Vatican begin to realize what is happening and in his right mind realize that His Holiness' resignation was invalid?

If this scenario where to come to pass, even in a document written while the emeritus was alive, but released after his death, what would this do to the Church and the current papal magisterium?

Would we experience in our highly polarized Church a "Greater" Schism?

As I wrote above, we are in an unprecedented, epochal period of Church history, never, ever experienced before. Where all this will lead I cannot predict although I worry. But somehow I know from Church history that the Holy Spirit who allows confusion, heresy and schism, ultimately makes new and correct from the babble of anarchists in the Church a clarity which allows the Church to move forward and confirms that the Holy Spirit will not allow the gates of hell, as man made as these are but influenced by the evil spirit, to prevail against the true Church.

6 comments:

James said...

Most people who have held office of some kind have to go through the process of seeing their successor rework, revoke or inadvertently wreck something they took pains to construct; this is a symptom of our contemporary equation of effective leadership with delivering change. It's a shame that the church has bought into this secular model, but it's unavoidable in Pope Francis's case, since he has to live up to his media image (which centres entirely on change).

Pope Benedict's horizons transcend all this, so I'm sure that he's not too troubled by what's going on (he only seems to intervene when people whom he values are undermined in the new regime, e.g. Cardinals Burke and Sarah.).

Anonymous said...

Most deny, with good reason, that there is some undefined major disorientation in the Magisterium. This kind of almost hysterical speculation is rampant, but only among a few who, because they are seeing themselves as victims, have allowed disaffection to override reason.

Talk of a "document" without a single shred of evidence, is irresponsible in the extreme.

Jusadbellum said...

As a "mere" and lowly layman, my options are limited. But none of my options include formal or material heresy or formal or material schism against the deposit of faith of which any Pope is only a steward not a master.

This is why a mere laywoman like Catherine of Sienna could harangue the Pope to return to Rome from France. That was a mere difference of prudential judgment, not something doctrinally off.

But other saints have had to "dissent" from lawful and licit authority so as to remain faithful to the deposit of faith. It was St. Peter's tacit behavior in Antioch that led St. Paul to rebuke him - not for any doctrine he preached but by the disorientation his behavior led otherwise innocent bystanders to conclude.

It's called constructive criticism. The heretic will deny one element of the Faith. The Schismatic will reject lawful and valid authority. But a good child will challenge a parent that seems to be straying into a double standard or simply erring in judgment.

One must always respect the Pontiff (or "imputed Pontiff") and be ready to obey with graciousness and humility. But He's only Peter if he's upholding the Faith.

If Pope Frances comes out and explicitly states that Jesus is not Lord, or that Mary was not a virgin (or sinned) or claims that Jesus was wrong (and unmerciful) about divorce and remarriage, then in that moment he's the one falling into Heresy, not me.

He's still Pope and I'm not though. He's still a licit and valid successor of the Apostles and I'm NOT. Papa might be wrong but he's still Papa and I'm still his spiritual son. So in all LICIT and VALID things I owe "honor" to the Pope and bishop and pastor.... but not in illicit and invalid things.

The Epistles of Paul, Peter, Jude and John all explicitly warn Christian communities to hold fast to the original Gospel and the original traditions and not waiver if some subsequent "letter" contradicts this or if an angel or if a leader goes in a 'new' direction.

It's our corporate unity with Christ through the ministry of bishops who themselves are in union with the deposit of faith of all the saints, martyrs, and mystics that is our guarantee of salvation. The gates of heaven aren't some wholly arbitrary power. Peter's Keys can't make 2+2=45 or annul God's commandments.

Julian Barkin said...

Father, unless you took this from a source without citing it, you are not correct on the two popes statement. Even Benedict Emeritus XVI himself has stated that he is not pope and has resigned. There cannot be two popes as this would divide the magisterium and easily, one's statements could cancel another's out.

I hope you will alter your statement, or at least clarify it. I have seen the whole argument of Benedict is doing the prayer part while Francis is the active part of the papacy, but for all purposes he IS Rome and the Vicar at current time.

Dialogue said...

I think this is silly. Francis is clearly the bishop of Rome, as legitimate successor of Saint Peter. Although his doctrinal statements are confusing and his liturgical approach is confrontational, he is not an anti-pope.

John Nolan said...

An anti-pope is someone who, with significant support, claims the See of Rome in opposition to the existing incumbent. Ergo, Francis is not an anti-pope.