Sunday, September 22, 2013
FIDELITY TO THE POPE AND OUR LOCAL BISHOPS ISN'T ABOUT PERSONALITY OR PERSONS, IT IS THE OFFICE AND THE PERSON WHO HOLDS THAT OFFICE FOR THE TIME ALOTTED TO HIM!
I read a few of the progressive Catholic periodicals, papers and blogs. They all have one thing in common, they despised Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II. They didn't believe that the Holy Spirit guided any of their decisions during the time they were popes except those they liked.
I have always believed that authentic Catholics accept the papacy and our local bishops andnever disparage them publicly. In the areas of faith, morals, and Church discipline we owe them obedience and respect. Let me underline respect.
I am a product of a very liberal seminary education and formation program from the 1970's. I know that progressives, especially the academic ones, despised Rome and its leadership even back then. They felt them knew better and of course they had to agree with whatever the pope or Rome said before they would acknowledge it as of the Holy Spirit.
I see now with some comments on my blog and at other more traditional minded blogs that traditionalists, conservatives are just like their progressive brothers and sisters. They like the pope as long as the pope agrees with them and does it their way.
I happen to love Pope Francis. First of all, the Holy Spirit helped guide those who elected him just has the Holy Spirit guided those who elected all other popes, some saints, some sinners, some scoundrels, yet the Holy Church survives.
This pope is needed at this time and will change the course of Church history just as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. There will be other popes who will do things in other ways. But, folks, we are Catholics, not Protestants. The mark of the true Catholic is fidelity to Rome, our pope and the bishops in union with him in the areas of faith and morals.
What Pope Francis is doing is sharpening the pastoral theology of the Church. He might well make it into a doctrine. How do we bring the message of Christ to those whose lives are irregular? How do we minister to the gay person, who converted from a promiscuous lifestyle and nowis monogamous with one person and before it is all said and done is living chastely with that person? We cut heterosexuals a lot of slack in terms of their sex lives and public relationships. Can't we be as charitable toward sinner homosexuals too?
Pope Francis in his pastoral theology continues to call all of us to go to confession and he wants priests to be good confessors. That means that those going to confession must examine their lives in light of the Church's teachings in Scripture and Tradition as well as canon law. They need to know what the CCC teaches and confessors need to help them in this regard. The pope has not thrown out common sense in this regard. He is trying to reach out to a broken society. Where sin abounds, God's grace is even greater. Oh happy fault of Adam, Oh necessary sin that gained for us so great a Savior. Do we believe this or not?
Are we Catholic or not. This pope is Catholic! The question to those who read this blog is "are you?"