Monday, March 6, 2017


What I appreciated about Pope Benedict was his quiet non celebrity, non cult of the personality exercise of the papacy. Compared to Pope St. John Paul II, who Time Magazine called, JPII, SUPERSTAR, Pope Benedict was simply The Vicar of Christ as the Sucessor of St. Peter. He didn't desire the popularity of a populist.

But here is a progressive theologian's take on the buyer's remorse in the Vatican over the current pope's ideologies by some cardinals. This theologian is a darling of Praytell:

Although disappointment within the Roman Curia is getting more pronounced, Vatican watcher Massimo Faggioli thinks that moves to force Pope Francis into retirement are exaggerated. "It is true that some cardinals may regret their vote for him in the conclave, but I do not think they hope that he resigns," he said. "They know it would be very hard to find a popular pope like him," he added.



rcg said...

They could apologise to Pope Benedict and ask him back. They could show their sincerity by emptying the Curia.

TJM said...

Popular? Where is the evidence? I seem to recall crowds are smaller at Papal events and Mass attendance continues to decline

Jusadbellum said...

I think all our popes have been popular. Benedict XVI was DESPISED by all the superficial stuffed suits that now claim to LUV Francis, and yet everywhere he travelled he was received by throngs of people. Remember WYD Paris? How all the "smart" set bragged about how the youth wouldn't turn out....and then a million showed up?

Paul VI was probably the least popular of the Popes of our lifetimes but that was largely due to the modernists rebelling from Humane Vitae and all the communists infiltrating into the Church during the 1960s.

Gene said...

Obnoxious high visibility does not equal popularity.

Rood Screen said...

If the popularity of a pope increases repentance and conversion, then such popularity is a good thing. If it does not, then it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

"Pope Francis has celebrated an outdoor Mass in front of unprecedented crowds in the Philippine capital Manila. Six million people attended the ceremony or lined the Papal route to Rizal Park, city officials estimate. That would be a record for a papal event. About five million welcomed Pope John Paul II in Manila in 1995." BBC 15 April 2015

Michael A said...

Father McDonald:
This seems to be a recurring theme you have that somehow JP II forced himself upon the people and manipulated their thoughts to make himself a superstar. He was popular in the same way that Mother Teresa was but it wasn't through some sort of misguided plan to draw attention to himself. His "stardom" was motivated by wanting to draw attention to Christ. Both individuals turned out to be saints and I believe this is the reason the world had a difficult time disparaging them and destroying their widespread acceptance. In fact I'm not sure that Saint JP II was any more popular than Saint Mother Teresa. Are you concerned about her too?

I suppose you can either embrace technology for the advancement of the truth or sit in Rome and keep quiet; not sure how that could possibly be a better method of preaching the Gospel. The last two popes helped a great deal in kindling the desire for vocations in quality young men through their personal popularity and I think you'd agree that that kind of popularity is just the kind we need.

Never saw an arrogant attitude or lack of humility in JP II. B XVI couldn't help being humble because that is who he was. The guy in office now is another story and his popularity is with all the wrong segments in society. In fact the most recent instruction by Francis about having less children to save the environment is an example of papal popularity. Modern media draws attention to a pope in a way not possible in a pre-Internet age.

Church of the Holy Treehugger is a very popular religion these days I just wish that our current pope was more popular for being Catholic and less so for being treehuger.

Another important distinction is how you define popularity. Do you mean loved by many people or just known by many people? The difference between JP II and Francis as far as I can tell is that the first advanced the message of Christ and the second is advancing something else most of the time. Good popularity i.e. the message of Christ stands the test of time, hyped publicity usually doesn't.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 4:52

Then explain this:

Cletus Ordo said...

I am not anonymous 4:52, but it makes sense that the pope would draw such a ridiculously huge crowd in the Philippines, because Filipino Catholics are in the throes of a charismatic, nationalistic, Neo-modernist ecclesial mess that would make a pope like Francis very much to their liking.

Benedict XVI was (and is) a humble man who doesn't play to the crowds. Ironically, he drew bigger crowds that JPII the "rock star" pope.

Ultimately, I have to agree with you Father, that this popularity ideal is wrongheaded, misguided and inappropriate to the Church. Where I have experienced this the most is when I discuss popular Church teachings with Catholics who embrace the rupture of Vatican II. If you tell them that the Church needs to enforce its discipline against those who publicly embrace abortion rights or publicly oppose other non-negotiables of the Church's legacy, the first thing out of their mouth is how unpopular that would be. The entire mentality that if enough people embrace it, it's OK, is deadly. On Judgment Day, I greatly fear for many Catholics (including myself) who have excused their lack of faith, lack of conviction and lack of obedience on the foolish assumption that God grades on a curve.

Tom Makin said...

No one likes to be held be told in effect "you cannot claim you are a Catholic and vote pro-abortion." It doesn't feel good to be told "you must go through the annulment process if you you divorce, remarry and want to avail yourself of the Sacraments." "Same sex marriage is not marriage"....etc. His Holiness Pope Benedict was unafraid to hold the faithful to account. He led a church that stood for principles. Our current Holy Father is a died in the wool liberation theologist who accepts to a wider degree, moral relativism. Charismatics LOVE that. "Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya"

No resignation, no retirement. We ride this one out. That's it.

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,

Why do you now call your blog "the newest modern Roman missal"?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It's just a comment on the photo I have posted at the heading--which is, the Book of Divine Worship, The Missal of the Ordinariate which in fact is the newest Roman Missal. However, oddly enough, as you wrote your comment, I was posting a tongue in cheek post on Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Mass which we already have in the Divine Worship, The Missal and I have changed it to Pope Francis Ecumenical Mass. If you will note the photo at the header of this missal is The Prayers at the Foot of the altar.

Rood Screen said...

Understood. Thanks.