Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Under Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict, the American bishops were very much a part of the culture wars in this country. Politically they didn't succeed in persuading very many Catholics from voting for pro abortion politicians such as President Obama. They couldn't change the judicial manipulation of this country when it came to same sex marriage. They may well fail at protecting the religious liberty of the Church when it comes to President Obama forcing the Church's insurance companies to provide birth control and abortion services. Even Cardinal Dolan who once fought the city on forcing the St. Patrick's Day parade to include gay groups capitulated in a magnanimous way because he was on a losing trajectory. I think this was due in large part to the "Francis effect." If Pope Benedict was still in place, I don't think he would have capitulated.

But isn't speaking the truth in charity and rallying the faithful a part of the Church's mission. Do we throw in the towel because it is humiliating to be crucified and defeated? Thank God Jesus Christ didn't throw in the towel or else where would we be?

And now Pope Francis seems to hint that he's getting a sense of the bigger picture of how the dictatorship of secularism as Pope Benedict accurately described it, is trying to get the Church to eat pork.

This is John Allen of Crux assessment of things and the paradox of Pope Francis when it came to Pope Francis' Good Friday Prayer at the Way of the Cross at the Roman Coliseum:

 Faith in the public square
O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who wish to remove you from public places and exclude you from public life, in the name of a pagan laicism or that equality you yourself taught us.--Pope Francis
"In general, Francis is seen as a pope on friendly terms with the secular world, chatting amicably with left-wing atheist journalists, calling up radical politicians when they’re sick, appearing on the cover of pro-gay magazines, and generally playing well with the lapsed and unchurched.
His Good Friday language, however, was a reminder that Francis is not a naïf when he looks at secularity, grasping that there are situations in which its alleged neutrality to religion shades off into overt prejudice.
Spaniards, for instance, heard his language as a reference to a recent dust-up in Madrid, where a new left-wing mayor this year overhauled an annual civic parade celebrating the Epiphany, marking the Biblical story of the three kings, known as the Cabalgata de los Reyes. Changes included adding an homage to Mother Earth, a DJ truck and dancers and musicians from Africa and the Arab world, and having a woman play one of the kings.

Critics saw it all as an attempt to de-Christianize the festival. That perception was reinforced by a recent push in Seville, which ended up failing mostly because of its impracticality, to eliminate religious references in all street names, in a city where half its avenues and boulevards are named for saints.
Similar trends are evident elsewhere, including the United States, and the kinds of Christians most likely to be outraged — those who see secularity as potentially menacing, and who for whom defending the faith from its encroachments as a priority — aren’t necessarily accustomed to thinking of Francis as their strongest ally.
On Good Friday, however, Francis hinted that he sees the lay of the land, too, and perhaps may become more outspoken."

Fidelity and fruitfulness

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in families that live their vocation of married life in fidelity and fruitfulness.--Pope Francis
As the Catholic world awaits the impending release of Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, drawing conclusions from his two tumultuous synods of bishops, concern continues to be palpable that Francis is so focused on broken and “irregular” situations, such as the divorced and civilly remarried or people living together outside marriage, that he may end up discouraging Catholics who are trying to live the full truth of what the Church teaches on marriage and sexuality.
In that context, it’s striking that his one clear reference to the family on Good Friday accented precisely the qualities he’s often accused of playing down:

  • “Fidelity,” meaning, in part, marriage as an indissoluble lifetime commitment.
  • “Fruitfulness,” which is often a sort of Catholic code for openness to new life and adherence to the traditional ban on artificial contraception.
Using those two keywords was a way for Francis to signal that he’s not jettisoning the Church’s traditional understanding of family life, whatever he may end up doing on specific points in his document.

My final comments: Truly I believe Pope Francis is trying to win the world, meaning secularism, to the Church by being nice to them and not portraying himself as a culture warrior. Of course history will have to tell us which of the two methods of promoting the teachings of the Church work, anathemas or  appeasement, backbone or spinelessness.

I think we all know that progressive liberalism is a secular religion and its crusades and inquisitions against the true Church will be like nothing we saw during the actual crusades and inquisitions.

Nice guys, like Jesus Christ get crucified, died and buried. The same may well happen to the Church under this pope. The question is, will the Church rise again on the Third Day. If the Church is who she says she is, Jesus Christ's crucified and risen body, with He as its Head and we as His body, well yes, the Church will rise again gloriously triumphant.

But Jesus Christ rubbed His enemies and the true enemies of authentic Judaism the wrong way and He had harsh words for them.

Pope Francis must be more Christ-like in this way if He is to succeed in being crucified. He has to stop equating believing, practicing Catholics in the clergy and laity as Pharisees and name the true enemies of the Church both inside her ranks and outside. That will get His Holiness crucified like it did Pope Benedict XVI!


Anonymous said...

"Pope Francis must be more Christ-like in this way if He is to succeed in being crucified. He has to stop equating believing, practicing Catholics in the clergy and laity as Pharisees and name the true enemies of the Church both inside her ranks and outside. That will get His Holiness crucified like it did Pope Benedict XVI!"

Amen! But I am shocked to see you write that post. For the last three years you have judged and condemed everyone who has said that exact thing.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is one thing to tell the truth in charity and with respect to persons and the office they hold. It is quite another thing to tell the truth with contempt,hatred, disgust and contrary to the two greatest Commandments, a mortal sin by the way no matter how truthful one is! I delete those comments as posting them makes me complicit in the mortal sin, like a man who takes his girl friend to the abortion clinic.

Fr. Gaurav Shroff said...

A good analysis, Father. I would say our Bishops' statement today in response to Governor Deal vetoing is the religious freedom bill is very much in line with the so-called "Pope Francis" approach to "culture war issues." Time will indeed tell. Meanwhile, we should continue to be faithful in our own corners. God bless, a brother from the diocese to the north of y'all ...

Anonymous said...

"It is one thing to tell the truth in charity and with respect to persons and the office they hold. It is quite another thing to tell the truth with contempt,hatred, disgust and contrary to the two greatest Commandments, a mortal sin by the way no matter how truthful one is!"

While I guess I can't disagree with that statement I would like to mention that you should be more understanding of how shaken people are by the statements and actions of this pope. You could have used these situations as a time to be a shephard and teach and guide not just acuse people of being sinners and leaving at that.

While you have a duty to remind Catholics to be charitable you also have a duty to teach the Faith with clarity and correct error. No matter who is causing the confusion. A pope has not right or authority to teach error or cause scandal. Example: the pope was 100% wrong to accept with a smile that filthy Communist crucifix. The Pope was 100% wrong to call up a woman living in adultery and tell her it is ok to receive communion without amendment of life or confession. The Pope was/is 100% wrong to remain silent and allow cardinals and bishops to proclaim that people living in adultery can receive communion without amendment of life and confession while publicly humiliating a faithful Cardinal like Cardinal Burke.

You rationalized pretty much everything Pope Francis has done since he walked out on that balcony. Just as you would be a party to the sins of others by publishing their uncharitable but true comments don't you also share in the scandal caused by Francis by remaining silent and defending his actions and speech while condemning those who are rightly scandalized in those cases?

bvs said...

Wow. Anonymous, I don't know if what you say abt Father is true as I haven't read enough of his blog posts. However, of one were to take what you say as applying to the clergy and religious as a whole then everything you say about the pope and most of the clergys' response is sadly very true.

I have many times tried to speak to a number of priests whom I knew when they were still seminarians, in other words friends and good aquaintances, about how much this pope distresses me and so many of us. Only two, one who by the way is one of the diocese exorcists; the other is a priest of St Philip's Oratory seem willing to look the issue in the face. They have both told me in slightly different ways, the same thing. Pray for the pope, make sacrifices for the Church and to remember that Our Lord promised to protect His Church, but He did not promise to protect individual pope's from error. That there have been many pope's who proved to be unfit to wear the mantle of St Peter; that time will show what the truth is here. To hold fast to Our Lord, to orthodoxy, to trust in God and talk to Him about my worries regarding the present situation and carry on. So that is what I am doing.

Jusadbellum said...

When Catholicism is advancing across a pagan world it's called "Evangelization".
When Catholicism is in defeat or disarray and our position is eroding, we complain that we are facing 'culture war'.

But it's the same thing: either we advance our message or other groups advance theirs. Right now, on one level (politics, pop culture) the anti-Christian secular hedonist West is in ascendency and are using politics and pop culture to cement their recent rise into the fabric of society while we seek to find shelters and refuges where we can go underground with our faith.

But demographically, the secular hedonist West is dying and the writing is on the wall for Europe. The future belongs to the fertile. In Europe the fertile include all Muslims and Africans and a handful of Poles. Most of the other ethnicities will be eclipsed in 30 years, becoming hated minorities in their ancestral lands.

In the USA, the Black population is steady at 12% of the total population *due largely to abortion, sterilization, contraception, disease, and breakdown of the family. Hispanics are 20% and growing - but largely due to immigration as the 2nd generation adopts the same small family size of the natives.

But as the white population in general falls, certain categories of white or mixed race groups are growing thanks to large families...and thus as the LGBTQ and secular hedons age out in 30 years, they won't be replaced...unless of course it's not an innate thing but is a taught/or result of social factors. In which case they'll be giving us a run for our money for the next 100 years.

Anonymous said...

There are many of Catholics guilty of whitewashing and sanitising everything that Pope Francis does and says - Mark Thomas being one of the main culprits. Almost as if there is a reluctance to face up to what is happening or sheer disbelief. Anyway there is a lot of it around.

We had a great sermon at an OF Mass on Easter Sunday - so rare these days - where the priest actually stated that Christ is the son of God, along with some other gems. We congratulated the priest after Mass and he said, "I am one of the few left". I suppose that means he is one of a few priests prepared to stand up for the truth. Quite shocking to think that it is so rare to hear Christ being proclaimed the Son of God rather than merely a do gooder, which illustrates to me just how far down the gurglar "Catholicism" has sunk. I do believe that it is only divine intervention that can fix what is wrong - so deep and wide does it go.

Those who believe the truth are most certainly in the minority and I think many sanitise what Pope Francis says in fear of themselves being cast adrift - with threats of excommunication and other things that we never heard of while public sinners go scotfree.

A Wander in the Illderness said...

Isn't killing killing? Or when is killing not killing?

OK, good...we've spoken up about abortion, as Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") did in her 2nd autobiography. She had a complete reversal of her position in her 1st autobiography, became a Christian, and finally entered the Catholic faith.

And we have pointed out that supporting politicians who support legalized abortion is problematic.

But? Have we also spoken up about capital punishment? (execution)...The Catholic bishops have written a collegial letter about this. Similarly, the Catholic position is that capital punishment is insupportable except in extreme conditions (as explained by Pope John Paul II). The one party in America promotes abortion rights. Abortion however is not a mandate, just an option. The other party in America promotes capital punishment? That is a mandate, unless over-written by the governor.