Wednesday, March 11, 2015
GOING FORWARD ALL DEPENDS ON ONE THING: TAKING THE RIGHT ROAD!
I went forward to Dublin from Augusta which is about 100 miles. But along the way as I was going forward I missed a crucial turn because the road had been revamped a bit and a land mark telling me where to turn left had had some renovations, so I missed it.
When I realized I was in unfamiliar territory, I realized I had missed my turn and was going forward on the wrong road! I would not get to Dublin on that road! So I had to back up, by making an illegal u-turn, and go back about a mile and turn right on the right road!
Therefore, I think it is okay to criticize Pope Francis for his often un-nuanced preaching about not being able to go backwards, that we must always go forwards. He said this about the Church and the Liturgy this past Sunday when he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first hybrid Latin/Italian Mass by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and certainly from the perspective of 2015 looking back over the past 50 years we can see the good, the bad and the ugly. Looking back can tell us what wrong roads we took in moving forward!
Pope Benedict gave the right road that few wanted to take moving forward, the road of reform or revision in continuity with our past, in continuity with the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council.
The road so many were taking was a road that leads to a loss of Catholic identity, a loss of Catholic mission and a loss of Catholics themselves. In New York alone 88% of Catholics do not even attend Mass! What road are they on now as they go forward and where are they going? It certainly isn't the road to the eternal Kingdom of heaven.
Pope Francis has great soundbites, but they often leave us perplexed. Simply encouraging us to go forward as though that alone will keep us on the right road is wrong. It would be better for His Holiness simply to admit that sometimes we have to go backwards and look for the right road to take! Let's back up a bit and look for the right road. Let's make a u-turn and go back and then take the right road forward, the one Pope Benedict mapped for us!