There are news stories from all over the world about the divisions and disarray in the Church. Here is another example from Pope Francis Argentina as reported by Crux:
Near the end of a troubling year in Pope Francis’s home country, the bishops of Argentina have expressed their support for the pontiff, claiming the Church and its leader have never been under attack, both at home and abroad as they are right now.
Bishop Oscar Ojea, president of the Argentine bishops’ conference, said these attacks even come from inside the institution. Speaking about the country’s general situation, he warned that the “social and economic crisis hitting the entire Argentine people is beginning to erode trust in political leadership, increasing a social bad mood, the anger and intolerance which makes coexistence very tough.”
As I have written before, progressive ideologies ever since Vatican II bishops met, have been responsible for tearing the Church apart especially when these ideologies are imposed upon Catholics in the most authoritarian and dictatorial way, but under the guise of collegiality or subsidiarity. In other words, crammed down people’s throats in a hypocritical way. The 1960’s and 70’s left the Church weakened and bruised. Pope’s John Paul II and Benedict heroically tried to restore the great discipline and orthodoxy of the Church. Benedict wanted to promote the inner healing of the Church and restore external supports for this through the theology of continuity rather than rupture.
Since the “good evening” of Pope Francis from St. Peter’s loggia, we saw the 1960’s ideology of rupture return with a vengeance as well as the Church as a social service agency and the clergy as social workers, the 1960,s Church of the poor and for the poor, built upon South American political/religious realities, quite foreign to the rest of the Church.
In addition Catholics normally quite orthodox as it concerns the papacy and its authority to safeguard the orthodoxy of the Church have been called names, marginalized and ridiculed by Pope Francis. These orthodox, conservative and traditional Catholics for the first time since Vatican II are now in open rebellion and greater in number than the Lefeberist movement after Vatican II.
This polarization this time is during the perfect storm of the uncovering of the most despicable forms of sexual immorality of the clergy to include bishops and cardinals and reaching the Vatican itself. And all we hear is Francis’ famous, papacy defining quote, “who am I to judge.” Yet in all things orthodox,this pope is the most judgmental pope ever.
As well, manipulation of the synods has exacerbated the appearance of a pope who speaks out of both sides of his mouth, one collegial and synod all and the other dictatorial and potentate like.
Where this will lead God only knows! But Pope Francis rather than building bridges is exacerbating the potential for an actual schism.
I am not making excuses for Pope Francis with regards to this post, but I think some of his verbalized antipathy to ‘traditionalists’ is from his experience in Argentina. It is disappointing that he cannot see beyond that. The failure to deal effectively with the sex abuse pathology is, apparently, universal among the clergy. This may mean that there is a weak ethic and practice pervading the leadership. If so, it is surely rooted in 60’s pop morality and psychology. But it also stems from cultural norms where privilege attends position, a system that is universal in South America.
"Traditionalists" also trashed Pope Benedict XVI...accused of having returned to his supposed 1960s "liberal," "progressive," Vatican II Era-thinking.
Here is Sandro Magister's article in regard to the disgust that "traditionalists" had expressed about Pope Benedict XVI.
The Disappointed Have Spoken. The Vatican responds
"Inos Biffi and Agostino Marchetto reply in "L'Osservatore Romano" to the traditionalists Brunero Gherardini and Roberto de Mattei, who criticize the current pope (Benedict XVI) for not having corrected the "errors" of Vatican Council II."
"The "disappointed greats" are those traditionalist thinkers who had initially placed hopes in the pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger and in his restorative action, but then saw their expectations betrayed. And now they are making their discontent public.
"Their disappointment comes above all from the way in which the current pope interprets and applies Vatican Council II."
Pope Francis is in good company as Pope Benedict XVI was accused also of having advanced "liberal," 1960s, Vatican II thinking.
In addition, "traditionalists" also characterized Pope Saint John Paul II of having been a destructive "modernist"...a man trapped in the Vatican II, 1960s-style of thinking.
That also applies to Popes Saints John XXIII and Paul VI.
From John XXIII to date, our Popes have been Vatican II men...trapped supposedly in the 1960s.
Yes Pope Benedict disappointed the far right and certainly the Catholic left but especially was a target for the vile of the secular left.
But the Catholic right were not malicious toward Pope Benedict although the wanted him to impose traditional reform rather than propose as he did.
In other words they would have loved Pope Benedict to be more like Francis in getting what he wanted.
But today’s antipathy toward Pope Francis, immediately from the right and more recently from the Catholic left, but astoundingly also the secular left who thought he was one of them, is breathtaking and has no equal since the Reformation. Keep in mind the reformation was not a lay lead movement, it was fomented by clergy but also political leaders who forced rank and file laity to be the religion of the monarchy.
In other words, Pope Francis dance with the Catholic left and the secular left has placed him in the same situation Pope Benedict experienced with the right wing. Pope Francis trying to please the left has backfired with the left and infuriated the right who could have been his most ardent supporters, not the far right, but rank and file conservative, orthodox Catholics, many of whom do not want to overturn Vatican II altogether but want reform in continuity as I do.
It seems to me that the bigger problem in Catholicism is the very idea that there is a "right" and a "left." That problem exists because the teaching authority has abdicated its responsibility. But this is in line with the historical idea of putting obedience over faith -- that necessarily creates a system where the unity comes from subjection to a singular authority instead of from common faith and practice.
We are seeing a parallel breakdown in the United States where we are losing our national identity and are merely held together by authority.
As it concerns both clergy and laity, this is a new development, the reformation not withstanding, and has developed with the rapid changes and hope for even more radical change sinceVstican II when divisive labels very applied first to those with pre Vatican II leanings. What is different today with Pope Francis reimposing 1970’s progressive hopes on the church are the social media platforms dissenting from this backward ideology but not always in the healthiest or orthodox ways. Some boarder on hatred for the Pope which is clearly heterodox if not anti Christ!
“Teaching is on holiday, silence in the face of error is rampant, and listening without limit is called “magisterial,” he said. “Ambiguous euphemisms that violate Catholic anthropology, doctrine, and sacred tradition are adopted uncritically.”...
....“There are wandering 'celebrity priests' who promote the LBGT agenda without any reference to repentance or chastity,” ...
....Repentance and recommitment by clergy to the Lord’s doctrinal and moral teaching is the only path forward, he said, this, and calling sin by its proper name.
I think this particular manifestation of it is a new development that has come as a result of the ecumenical movement stretching back to the late 19th century. With that came the idea of a "big tent" ecclesiology, which was ultimately adopted as the new ecclesiology by Vatican II. What blossomed at Vatican II was the result of seeds planted along the way over the centuries, especially as Catholicism had to come to grips with its self-conception in the face of the Protestant Reformation.
The difference now is Francis, as you rightly point out. Whereas the other post-Vatican II popes were content to have a loose unity based on subjection, they did not seek to impose their idiosyncratic theological views on the Church. Francis, on the other hand, is seeking to cement his ideas, recognizing that their longevity depends on the veneer of legitimacy given them by things like synods and changes to the catechism.
People who hate Francis are clinging to a conception of Catholicism that is now only present in history books and pre-Vatican II magisterial documents in hopes that it will come back around to its former self. Francis, for his part, is doing everything in his power to ensure that doesn't happen.
In other words, people who hate Francis are, in my opinion, finding an outlet for their own self-deprecation. They are either angry at themselves for having been duped or they are angry that they cannot bring themselves to face the reality that they simply do not believe what the modern Catholic Church teaches. That puts them in a difficult spot.
On certain questions there have always been somewhat opposing "camps" in the Church, and these have nothing to do with anyone abdicating responsibility.
Peter and Paul disagreed over the requirements for gentile converts to Christianity.
In the 16th and 17th centuries the rivalry between the Franciscans and Dominicans was exploding. Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV ordered that no images should be shown of the Dominican St Catherine of Sienna receiving the stigmata. That was reserved for St. Francis.
The Chinese Rites controversy pitted the Jesuits against the Dominicans AND Franciscans.
Opposing camps in the Church fought over the questions raised by Darwinian evolution.
According to the Catholic scheme, there are certain debates that can legitimate opposing camps. The debate between the Dominicans and the Franciscans on the question of free will and predestination is a good example. There are other debates where the Catholic Church has pronounced the teaching, so that the issue is no longer up for debate.
The teaching authority abdicates its role when it allows debates to persist on questions where it has already announced the teaching.
To use an example that was given, Peter and Paul engaged in a debate as to the requirements for Gentile converts. Ultimately, the Church decided that question in council. There is no longer legitimate debate about what Gentile converts are required to do. If the teaching authority were to allow debate on that settled question, the teaching authority has abdicated its responsibility.
My favorite line in Bishop Oscar Ojea's analysis "...increasing a social bad mood..."
Hatred for the pope is not evidence of heterodoxy. Alexander VI was despised by Savonarola on the one hand and Cardinal della Rovere (later Julius II) on the other. Julius in turn was hated by Erasmus for his worldliness and belligerence.
Martin Luther's heterodoxy did not stem from the fact that he hated Leo X, although he undoubtedly did.
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