Tuesday, December 17, 2013


But the Holy Father shunned all the pomp and papal protocol to focus on Jesus not the pope, but since he doesn't hide himself under the papal protocol, he's become the focus and not Jesus and something Pope Francis himself laments. Maybe Pope Benedict had it right? Or, is the media, no matter their anti-Catholic positions on a wide range of ideological issues trying to divide and conquer the Catholic Church by pitting believing Catholics against the post-modern, post Catholic world and the Catholics who have bought into this ideology lock, stock and barrel?  After all, apart from the Holy Father's statement that if a gay person seeks the Lord (remember seeking the Lord is referenced, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church) whom am I to judge? I think most bishops and priests would say the same thing, including this humble blogger.

Yet, the gay publication The Advocate that makes the Pope their person of the year lists as villains  The People Who Excommunicated This Guy: (guess what? It was Pope Francis!)
This is from the Advocate's list of nine Catholics who need to listen to Pope Francis, which also includes Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

Despite the encouraging words from Pope Francis regarding the acceptance of gay priests, the recent excommunication of a pro-LGBT priest speaks to the deep-rooted homophobia that still exists within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Father Greg Reynolds, a priest in Australia, received a letter dated May 31 that informed him of his severance from the Catholic faith, an act that is usually reserved for those that commit atrocious crimes like pedophilia. Though the letter, which had to be translated from Latin, did not provide a reason for the excommunication, Reynolds said that "I’ve come to this position because I’ve followed my conscience on women’s ordination and gay marriage." His archbishop, Denis Hart, later confirmed that Reynolds had been excommunicated for preaching "contrary to the teachings of the church."

Now images from the liberal media's cover-boy:


Gene said...

I'll just bet they are. He continues to play to their preferences. He removed Burke…that is close to a last straw. Actions speak way louder than pious words and lip-service to dogma while weakening the Church. This Pope continues to be a disaster. There is no other way to play it down. I know you have to, Fr., but it ain't working.

Joseph Johnson said...

"He removed Burke...that is close to a last straw." (And replaced him with Wuerl, for one, which to me, means more of the same ol' same ol' pre-Benedict XVI way of things--so much for getting excited about restorative changes . .).

I was also thinking about what you just wrote about the Pope and how he simplified things in an effort to put more emphasis on Jesus just to have it (paradoxically) backfire on him (to his frustration) when the result is more emphasis (by the media) on him. This sounds familiar, doesn't it? Hints: Paul VI, liturgy, personality of the "presiding" priest . .

I'm not so sure about the simplicity in externals approach!

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene: I respectfully disagree.

Shouldn’t one be careful about leaping to conclusions regarding the removal of Cardinal Burke from the Congregation for Bishops? What is the deeper explanation for this action? Is it possible that Pope Francis is seeking to appoint those who reflect his more pastoral approach without compromising the truths of the Faith? How is such an approach “weakening the Church”?

See further my response to Anonymous in the previous thread.

Gene said...

No, Anon 2, I'm fed up. You know, I really do appreciate your measured and contemplative approach to things. But, I lost all that a while back when I saw the direction the Church is taking…the same one as Protestantism. I am now just impatient and depressed about it all. The small correctives you cite and the tiny rays of hope you find are just not enough, in my opinion, to turn anything around. I get impatient with your rationalism because sometimes to me it sounds like acquiescence. You are an eminently reasonable man (as one might expect of a law professor) but in a culture of unreason, that isn't much help.

Veritas said...

Liberals amaze me.

Let us look deeper. Let us reflect. Let us analyze. Let us ignore the facts. Liberals talking is like verbal valium.

WAKE UP! Accept the fact that your God given senses don't lie 99% of the time. Stop looking for rationale and hiden meanings in everything and accept that most of the time a thing is just what it appears to be.

And this Pope is a raging revolutionary liberal.

Gene said...

Veritas, "verbal valium…" ROTFLMAO!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Veritas you exude pessimism and uncertainty when in fact Jesus has conquered all and we are in the birthing stage of a new world and the Kingdom of Heaven, orthodoxy without the virtue of hope and love is heterodoxy.

Gene said...

Fr, many of those of us who are disappointed in this Pope and who see the Church as continuing down the path of secular humanism are not in despair over Christ's saving work and His ultimate victory over sin and death…we are not in eschatological or Christological despair. It is just that we would like for His triumph to be because of the Church rather than in spite of it...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gene I support the pope because I am a Catholic and my pre-Vatican II upbringing emphasized the necessity for the respect and love of human persons as well as the offices in the Church they might hold, such as bishop, priest and even pope. It isn't about personality and liking this, that or the other, but what is being taught and to date there has been nothing heterodox about this pope when you view what he has said and written globally. He has a different style. That is his perogative. I personally like a more formal papal style when that is called for, but he is formal in his liturgies, almost aloof and in a mystical experience himself. I think there is a clash of ideologies with Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke, but I don't know that for sure, but the pope doesn't want bishops who are ideological, shrill, and acting like princes and celebrating the Mass as though it was a museum piece. That hurts a goodly number of traditionalists who fixate on the traditional aspects of the pre-Vatican II Mass but are as heartless as the worst of ideological liberals. As I have said, they are both cut from the same cloth but fall into different categories of ideology.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

And one other thing, as much as I am leery of all the press this pope is receiving, especially when they represent him as anything but an orthodox son of the Church, we are getting positive publicity that you couldn't afford to pay for. Good Morning America is in Rome this moring with two of their ancors and there is a continual gushing over this pope.
When those who are approaching the Church or reapproaching the Church out of papal curiosity and discover the truth and convert to it and go to confession regularly, isn't this a part of the movement of the Holy Spirit. Do you think this could have occurred in 2002 in the midst of the sex abuse scandal. Didn't most pessimist think this would cause the complete collapse of the Catholic Church? Has it? No the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Catholic Church and the Boston Globe is struggling to survive as are other major newspapers including the New York Times.

Davis said...

I am not a fan of Francis, but what FrAJM says is very true. This pope is here at this time for a reason: to bring non-Catholics to the Church. Us Neo-Conservatives, small "o" orthodox, Trads, whatever you want to call us (but DO NOT call us neo-protestants... that is a vicious insult by you, Father... you need to confess that), we need to savor and protect the foundation Holy Father Benedict XVI gave us, and know that after Francis does his work, the next pope will build on Benedict's foundation and bring the Church back to her true splender. For the time being, during Francis' pontificate, we just have to bite our tongues, and grin and bear it (and perhaps pray that he accomplishes his work very very quickly in a short pontificate). But, if however, Francis does do something that is truly anti-Catholic, then he will literally have Hell to pay.

rcg said...

I am in the same mind set as you, FrAJM; this is my Pope. I am concerned that his actions lead people to think he is reforming Church teaching and repudiating Pope Benedict. Certainly assignments give support to those views. However, I am currently proceeding with the vision that the message of Pope Francis is showing that there is a place in God's love and in His Church for all of us. His actions in Mass seem to have the message that all the broken children are welcome but here is how the adults should act. There is a way a friend who really loves you endures your foolishness and tells you you are foolish with a friendly smile and soft voice. It seems this is his approach. But I am concerned that may be lost on some of his bishops, clergy and religious who will seize the opportunity to oppress traditionalists as they have done in the past. I am betting on him doing the right thing, but there will need to be some sort of network to evaluate the actions of the bishops or he will miss problems just as his two predecessors missed the Litugical and sex abuse scandals. I would not complain if Torquemada were made AB of Cincinnati.

Nigel Molesworth said...

O God, merciful and strong, almighty and ever living, whose Son is for us the way, the truth, and the life,
Who tend to your Church in countless ways
And rule over her in love,
Grant us, we pray – no, we really really pray,
That through the glorious intercession of the most holy Virgin Mary,
The Servant of the Servants of God, the Vicar of Jesus Christ,
The Successor of the Prince of the Apostles,
The Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church,
The Primate of Italy,
The Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province,
And The Sovereign of the State of Vatican City,
Francis, now gloriously reigning in the maiden year of His Pontificate,
May, we pray, deliver unto us the LAST STRAW for which we ardently,
Passionately, deeply, and fierily long.
Prepare us for that moment when, in the midst of our daily
Woes, struggles, burdens, and other assorted drama-inducing konniptions,
This much-awaited LAST STRAW is revealed to the glory of your Most Holy
And ineffable name, to the consternation of those who do not want it to be given,
And to the everlasting wonderment of the Media.
Through Christ our Lord, we pray, yet again.

Anonymous said...

Fr.AJM, do you think that more synodality and collegiality would be as detrimental to the Church as some think it could be?

Also I'd like to get your opinion on the liturgy as it concerns the Orthodox churches. PF seems to really want reunion, however, do you really think that if the average Orthodox bishop/priest/lay looked at the state of the western liturgy they would even want to think about growing together? Do you think this is something Francis will work on?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article by Tom Peters (pray for his recovery from his spinal injury)on the removal of Cardinal Burke from ONE of his TWENTY important offices/duties.


Gene said...

Nigel, Is it the LAST STRAW or the STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK? And did the straw that broke the camel's back do so while the camel was attempting to go through "the eye of the needle?" Just wondering…

We have been presented with many STRAW MEN by Ignotus on the blog…actually more than from T. S. Eliot's "headpieces filled with STRAW…"

Anyway, sometimes the blog makes me feel like I am drinking a tall beer through a short straw...

Joseph Johnson said...

Thanks for the reference to the article on Cardinal Burke. I hope Tom Peters is correct in his assessment of the outcome of things with episcopal appointments, etc.

One comment he makes does strike me as a bit less than accurate, though: Peters says of Bishop Ouellet that one could not ask for someone more conservative. While I would agree that Ouellet is considered very orthodox I don't know of him being highly "conservative." Among the MOST conservative Cardinals and Bishops that I know of are: Cardinals Burke and Ranjith and Bishops Sample, Cordileone, Morlino and Athanasius Schneider.

I guess there are "conventional" (OF Mass only) doctrinally orthodox "conservatives" and there are doctrinally orthodox conservative who are also liturgically "traditionalist" (they celebrate and promote the EF and celebrate the OF in an EF way---these are the true conservatives--if "conservative" is the proper word). There again, (God forbid!) "liberal" might be the better descriptor as they are, liturgically, open to something besides a vernacular versus populum OF only.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As far as collegiality, I don't actually see it in this pope in the sense that people on the left are portraying it. I see consultation but after that consultation, Pope Francis acts in the most autocratic, monarchical way (with out the trappings of dress that progressives so despise)to make know his rule and he enforces what he wants. So we are not looking at a democratic way to rule the Church and change her dogmas and doctrines on anything including morality. Canon law and human laws of the Church for the good of order can be changed, so lets make a distinction there.
The Orthodox Churches have a synodal approach to government, but that is precisely to keep them orthodox. They are far from democratic and have maintained orthodoxy over the centuries through this method.

As far as the Liturgy of the West and the East, I know that in the Eastern Rite of the Church there is a bit of contempt for the corruption that has entered the Latin Rite, not so much with its official books or vesture, but with its sloppiness and banality and its horrible music imposed upon it that strays from the official music of the Church which is chanting the parts of the Mass in this ancient form. They would think Mass facing the people and the illicit improvisations based on the personality of the clericalists in the Church are destructive to the true nature of Divine Worship.

Anon friend said...

Father, I am not sure that "contempt" is an appropriate word to describe how the East views the liturgical miasma of the Latin Rite; among those I know, "pity" would probably best fit. The liturgy is what draws most of us "cross-overs" East (and you have known a few in your time!). There are no squabbles among clergy, and no fear among laity that something sublimely sacred will be ripped out from under us. Peace, truth and beauty are what we seek, and the Divine Liturgy provides all that and more.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. There is no tinkering with the Liturgy of the East, both those under the authority of Rome and the Orthodox. This brings great stability to people who are attached to the spirituality and form of the liturgy. Pope Paul VI's approved disorientation of the Mass ripped this away from Latin Rite Catholics (stability and spirituality) and created a great divisiveness in the Church between those who are attached to the historic liturgy and those who became very quickly attached to the novel liturgy and its aberrations depending on congregation and priest.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gene,

I address you through this blog, and through you, I address also every visitor to it of your mentality, re: Pope Francis.

You say, "This Pope continues to be a disaster." Evidently, other Popes have not been disasters to you. Other Popes have been the Popes you are accustomed to. Imagine that..."cafeteria Catholicism" has entered the school of the traditionalists! For you present yourself so in your many comments. (Yours I have most easily detected, hence my address to all of your like through yourself.)

It surprises me, then, to have been able to read these comments when the warning above the entry box says that "comments contrary to [the norm against disrespect of Pope Francis] will not be post [sic]." I digress.

Considering how your attacks against Pope Francis are ad hominem, I rue that there isn't such a thing as a figurative interdict. Yet, even if there were one, the probability is great that it would not be imposed on you because of how the very Pope tries to restore the balance between justice and mercy by emphasising the latter.

And, no matter that he said it, it has always rung true that those who criticise bad preaching (such as those "pious words" at which you take umbrage) do not know the Holy Spirit.

I could go on, because, so far as the Church is complex (manifold), so far could my point be extended. But, in the spirit of balance which the Church has championed - which you yourself fail to recognise - the Church is also simplex, one-fold...with one Shepherd, whose earthly person is firstly in Pope Francis. And my point? Love your Holy Father and mine.


Let us pray for our Pontiff, Francis. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

Let us pray. O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you for this post and its positive and truly Catholic attitude toward the sucessor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ and the Supreme Pontiff. I do find Gene's comments about our Holy Father to be less than Catholic and most of all horribly uncharitable and thus serious matter for mortal sin. I ask Gene, and I've been too tolerant of his negative attacks on our Holy Father to refrain from these attacks and the phrase his comments concerning the Supreme Pontiff in a Catholic way, not in a neo-Calvinistic way!