Thursday, February 27, 2014


My Comments and a question first: What I have highlighted in red gives us a very clear picture of how Pope Francis is approaching his role as the Bishop of Rome and thus the "papa" (pope in English) of the Church.#6 below is extremely important and a bit of a bombshell.

The other bombshell is what Pope Francis says about the Council of Trent as being very current under #8. I am not sure what needs to be studied in terms of the Council of Trent from what is written, so those of you out there who know, please comment:

Pope Francis says:

6. “Kerygmatic” bishops

"Since faith comes from proclamation we need kerygmatic bishops. ... Men who are guardians of doctrine, not so as as to measure how far the world is from doctrinal truth, but in order to fascinate the world ... with the beauty of love, with the freedom offered by the Gospel. The Church does not need apologists for her causes or crusaders for her battles, but humble and trusting sowers of the truth, who know that it is always given to them anew and trust in its power. Men who are patient men as they know that the weeds will never fill the field".

8. Bishop-Pastors

"May bishops be shepherds, close to the people; 'fathers and brothers, may they be gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty, as freedom for the Lord, and exterior poverty, as well as simplicity and a modest lifestyle; may they not have the mindset of “princes”'. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they are not in quest of the episcopate', that they are espoused to the Church, without constantly seeking another; this is called adultery. May they be overseers of the flock that has been entrusted to them, to take care of everything that is needed to keep it united. ... I wish to emphasize again that the Church needs genuine Pastors ... look at the testament of the Apostle Paul.

 ... He speaks directly to us. He commits the pastors of the Church 'to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance'. Therefore, not masters of the Word, but committed to it, servants of the Word. Only in this way is it possible to edify and obtain the inheritance of the saints. To those who are plagued with questions about their legacy: 'What is the legacy of a bishop, gold or silver?', Paul answers, 'Holiness'. The Church remains when God's holiness spreads to her members. ... Vatican Council II states that the 'pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted” completely to bishops. In our times, regularity and the everyday are often associated with routine and boredom. Therefore we often try to escape to a permanent 'elsewhere'. 

Unfortunately even in the Church we are not exempt from this risk. I think that in this time of meetings and congresses the decree of the Council of Trent is very current, and it would be good for the Congregation for Bishops to write something about this. ... The flock needs to find a place in the heart of its Pastor. If this is not solidly anchored in itself, in Christ and His Church, the bishop will continually be at the mercy of the waves, in search of ephemeral compensations, and will offer no shelter to his flock".


Luke said...

I believe he is referring to Trent's statement that a bishop must reside in his diocese.

Anonymous said...

Change of subject right quick, Fr AJ, had a question.
I was thinking about legitimate ecumenism and got to wondering. What do the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox think about Vatican II and the changes we made to the liturgy?
If they thought we were heretical or in error before, what in the world do they think now?

Anonymous said...

What exactly is the "bombshell"?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The bombshell is Pope Francis wants to follow the Council of Trent.

In terms of the Orthodox while they may find our Liturgy banal there biggest concern is the manner of papal primacy and Rome's arrogance toward the east over the centuries.

Hugh Beaumont said...

Maybe this should be discussed at the next USCCB meeting where the nation's bishops all fly in with assistants and stay at a 5-star hotel for a week on our dime. Then they can issue a statement about it. Yep. That's what they'll do. Sounds good.

John Nolan said...

Three-and-a-half years ago I attended a talk given by Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Recounting his experience as an auxiliary bishop in Kazakhstan, he said he found it much easier to establish good relations with the Muslims than with the Orthodox.

That said, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople welcomed Summorum Pontificum as a great step forward in reconciliation, and maintained that the Novus Ordo hindered ecumenism. The Russian Patriarch said much the same thing. Their criticism is directed not so much at the textual content of the NO as at the near-universal manner of celebrating it (excessive subjectivity and creativity, Communion in the hand, women in the sanctuary etc.), practices they regard as scandalous, and which are simply not permitted in the Older Rite.

Catholics in western Europe and north America need to realize that ecumenism does not mean accommodating Protestants (with thousands of different sects and 'churches' this is not realistic anyway).

Gene said...

This means absolutely nothing, zip, nada. If anything is going to change, we need a Pope who will mandate things, kick apse, and take names. I do not see tho sharpening. Bishops are fat and happy political creatures who sway with the wind.

All this "pastoral" talk…if they want to be pastoral, fix the liturgy. What could be more pastoral than calling the sheep back to the true fold and restoring to them their Liturgical birthright. I seldom think "Bishop" and "pastor" in the same sentence.

Gene said...

The third sentence in my above post should have read, "I do not see tho sharpening." This is the lousiest spell check I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

The pope's words are nice but hardly what's needed for today's Church Why doesn't he demand that bishops teach the Faith without compromise in good times and bad? Why doesn't Francis take the lead? Belgium just legalized the murder of already born children, and Francis has remained silent. Why? Why doesn't he tell his bishops to demand faithfulness to the teachings of the Church by all priests and religious.

It's not exactly rocket science here. All this can be done in a "pastoral" way that Francis likes. All bishops need to do is be prayerful men and say yes when they mean yes and no when they men no. And not tolerate evil.

This dissent and confusion in the Church needs to be dealt with by the bishops ASAP. If "Catholic" universities refuse to uphold the Faith then publicly rebuke them and walk away. The same with religious orders, seminaries etc. If priests are publicly teaching heresy then laicize them and move on. Pray for them, show them kindness. But for god sake remove them from the priesthood. Why let them stay and destroy the Faith of millions? The bishops have no problem disciplining "traditional" priests when they step out of line. Yet priests like Fr. Michael Phlager who has publicly called for women priests and denied the authority of the bishops, remains "in good standing" as does Richard McBrien and priests of that ilk.

Why is this behavior permitted to continue. The Pope's good friend the cardinal from Hondorous says laity should be more involved. Okay, I want answers. Why are bishops not stoping priests and nuns who cause dissent and confusion? Why are they permitted to cause scandal to the little ones among us? Why? I would like an answer and some resignations.

Anonymous 99

And I don't think my comments are being disrespectful, but real. So please publish them.

Gene said...

Damn! It did it again! The sentence should read, "I
d-o n-o-t s-e-e t-h-i-s h-a-p-p-e-n-i-n-g.

There. See if that works.

George said...

If perchance some Eastern Orthodox congregations were to join the True and Holy Roman Church it would probably be along the lines of the Anglican ordinariate. From what I've read and understand, they seem to be more obstinately against us than we are against them. There is always hope it will happen despite how bleak and remote something like this looks at the moment. There is always hope. It is this coming about that we pray and hope for(or should).

Anonymous said...

George, you might want to research something called "uniatism."

(I am using this term technically, not offensively)

George said...



If an Eastern Orthodox congregation were to desire communion with Rome, it could be (and most likely would be)along the lines of the Eastern Rite churches. The theological issues no longer being an impediment, they would retain those things which make up their unique spiritual-cultural identity. I didn't men to imply it would be exactly like the experience of the Anglican ordinariate.