Pope Emeritus breaks silence: speaks of ‘deep crisis’ facing Church post-Vatican II, reclaims papacyCardinal Robert Sarah seems to either confirm or contradict Pope Francis over an obscure liturgical tradition offered once a year at a non-obligatory Solemnity and the tradition in and of itself is non obligatory. However, this obscure tradition has caused angst and controversy for decades now.
We all know where Cardinal Burke stands on the law, canon law that is and especially his views about marriage and the need for clarity when teaching about it. His rigid views which appear out of touch with the pope's pastoral agenda got him demoted and rather quickly after the papal election.
We know too that Cardinal Mueller seems to raise a concern or two about the direction of the Church and was a part of the band of cardinals who wrote a secret letter to the pope during the last synod on the family sounding the alarm. This letter was made public and there was a public rebuke of it in a not so veiled way by the pope.
We know to that Cardinal Kasper who on many occasions got into classic public boxing matches over the progressive/conservative theological divide with the then Cardinal Ratzinger has reasserted his theological perspective under the new regime and even become a great adviser to it and this is what he said in the last 48 hours:
The Apostolic Exhortation (on marriage and the family) will represent “the first step in a reform” that will mark the “turning of a page” in the Church’s history “after 1,700 years."
"We must not repeat past formulas and barricade ourselves behind the wall of exclusivism and clericalism,” Cardinal Kasper told a packed aula in Lucca’s Real Collegio, adding that the Church must live in the current times and “know how to interpret them.”
And now Pope Benedict breaks his silence about the crisis in the Church which seems to have accelerated in the last three years with an ever widening polarization happening before our very eyes.
What if a living ex-pope who is an academic, an intellectual and a doctrinal watchdog became an ex pope because of outside pressure that led to psychological angst and incapacitating him and leading to a decision not completely of the free will from which His Holiness recovered only to see that his legacy and the legacy of popes before him is being undermined by a present pope, whoever that pope is, a present populace pope who is even loved by the world, the media and others who are not Catholic? A populace pope that questions small minded Church law, canon law that is, liturgical law that is and marital law that is, and castigates the intellectuals of the Church who act more like a monarchical court, kings and princes, than the uneducated first apostles. What if he even called them men with a case of spiritual Alzheimer?
And what if that living ex pope who might in fact be the pope decided that his resignation was forced in one way or another and therefore invalid and started to make his presence felt once more with clear and concise evaluation of the present situation?
Can there be two popes?
What would this perfect storm that led to another Great Schism look like? Or would it just fissile?