Thursday, January 16, 2014


This is Vatican Radio's synopsis of Pope Francis homily preached at the chapel of his place of residence at the Vatican Motel 6 this morning. It is a scathing commentary on worldly priests and religious and their corruption:

Pope Francis: scandals happen when there is no true relationship with God

(Vatican Radio) Scandals in the Church happen because there is no living relationship with God and His Word. Thus, corrupt priests, instead of giving the Bread of Life, give a poisoned meal to the holy people of God: that’s what Pope Francis affirmed in his homily Thursday morning during the Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta guesthouse.

Commenting on the day 's reading and responsorial Psalm which recount the crushing defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, the Pope notes that the people of God at that time had forsaken the Lord . It was said that the Word of God was "uncommon" at that time . The old priest Eli was "lukewarm" and his sons "corrupt; they frightened the people and beat them with sticks." In their battle against the Philistines, the Israelites brought with them the Ark of the Covenant, but as something “magical,” "something external ." And they are defeated : the Ark is taken from them by their enemies. There is no true faith in God, in His real presence in life:

"This passage of Scripture,” the Pope says, “makes us think about what sort of relationship we have with God, with the Word of God: is it a formal relationship? Is it a distant relationship? The Word of God enters into our hearts, changes our hearts. Does it have this power or not? Is it a formal relationship? But the heart is closed to that Word! It leads us to think of the so many defeats of the Church, so many defeats of God's people simply because they do not hear the Lord, do not seek the Lord, do not allow themselves to be sought by the Lord! And then after a tragedy, the prayer, this one: ' But, Lord , what happened ? You have made ​​us the scorn of our neighbors. The scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us the laughing stock (it: favola) among nations! All the nations shake their heads about us. '"

And of the scandals in the Church, Pope Francis said:

"But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know...We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money.... The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity? Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! 'But, I wear a medal,' ‘I carry the Cross ' ... Yes, just as those bore the Ark! Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those for whom scandals come ... And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests."

Francis Pope concluded his homily, turning his thoughts to the people of God, saying:

"Poor people! We do not give the Bread of Life to eat; we do give – in those cases - the bread of Truth! And many times, we even offer a poisoned meal! ‘Awaken! Why do you sleep, Lord?' Let this be our prayer! ‘Awaken! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide Your face? Why do You forget our affliction and oppression?' We ask the Lord that we never forget the Word of God, which is alive, so that it enters into our hearts and never to forget the holy people faithful to God who ask us to nourish and strengthen them. "

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website


Anonymous said...

Here's a compilation of the Pope's name-calling...

Anonymous said...

Scandals happen when Priests know that the authority structure will let them get away with it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't know if there is any correlation in terms of corruption and if this cardinal concelebrated the morning Mass with the Holy Father but the Holy Father received in audience toay...
- Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.,

Anonymous said...

I'm a convert and traditional, however, I do like an Ad Orientum NO, which is how it's done where I am. However, I am starting to like Pope Francis more and more. I think when I finally realized that Christ's Church will never disapear, no matter who is steering the barque, I finally came to peace with it, so have many other traditionalists I am affiliated with. I pray for the Holy Father every day and offer up my sufferings for him. I believe he is here for a reason, I don't know what yet, but I feel like even though it may make us a bit nervous, him shaking things up is a good thing. I could eat crow later, and am prepared to do so, but in the mean time, I am going to evangelize and try and bring as many people into the Church as I can.

However I do agree with Anonymous @ 8:52 "Scandals happen when Priests know that the authority structure will let them get away with it," I pray for more authoritarianism in the Church as it pertains to renegade clergy.

P.s. Father AJM, have you noticed an increase in RCIA at St. Josephs or an increase in Mass attendance? I heard the Pope Francis Effect isnt as pronounced in the U.S.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you for your positive and very Catholic comment. We always have about 30 or so in the RCIA and so I think it is too early to tell a Francis effect and I don't see a dramatic increase of inactive Catholics returning to Mass. That could change though.

George said...

I went to RCIA last year and I have also been going this year and there has not been an increase but as Father stated it is too early to tell what effect Pope Francis will have. We are blessed to have Father Mcdonald because you can be sure the instruction will be orthodox and faithful to Church teaching. That's all you can hope for. The Holy Spirit has to do the rest. We cannot save ourselves by our own efforts (without the grace of God being there-our efforts must be in response to His Divine Will and Love). We cannot save others by our our efforts either, no matter how well-intentioned those efforts may be, or how well articulated our arguments are, or the depth of our knowledge, if the Holy Spirit does not enlighten the person we are trying to convince.
What is true is that the Holy Spirit can act through ourselves or Pope Francis to start a spark within a person's soul. Sometimes even more than a spark depending on the person's spiritual disposition. It is by the grace of God that this happens.
Instruction must be there also because God gave man an intellect to understand His truth. Faith must likewise be there however for a person to accept those those things which go beyond human understanding and comprehension.
Finally, our own prayers and sacrifices can accomplish great good because from what God has given to us we offer back something to Him for the benefit of others so that His Holy Will will be accomplished in them.
Everything works to together because God in His goodness and generosity enabled us to be His partners in accomplishing His Divine Will.