Folks we are in new territory created by Pope Francis' exceptionally polarizing papacy. For cardinals and other bishops to public criticize the pope and actually want to correct His Holiness is unprecedented in modern times. The silence of the pope in the face of such public criticism is not new. His Holiness answers to no human person. Perhaps this must change, for at its core is the problem Pope Francis as diagnosed as a disease. That disease is clericalism. In Pope Francis case, since he is the pope, it is Supreme Clericalism.
This is a Rome Report editorial which merits consideration:
Cardinal Müller’s seeks to thread the needle, but misses the canonical mark
The idea that airing dirty laundry is what harms the credibility of the Church is part of the problem. Arguably, it is the problem.
The Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, granted an interview to Italy’s La Stampa recently, in which he struck a critical stance toward the former nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, saying in effect that the call for Pope Francis’s resignation that ended his first bombshell dossier in August was intemperate and a case of overreach.
The interview with La Stampa came on the heels of another interview, also in-depth, with Life Site News, in which the former prefect criticized the Holy Father’s response to the crisis, and called for a thorough investigation of l’Affaire McCarrick.
Taken together, the pair of interviews suggest Cardinal Müller is engaged in an effort to thread the needle between opposing factions and bring a measure of moderation to an increasingly tense and acrimonious impasse in the Vatican. While Müller’s search for a via media and call for all sides to work together to face the crisis are both welcome, his remarks to La Stampa contained elements that call for critical attention.
Cardinal Müller’s assertions to the effect that the Cardinals are the only ones who can ask the Pope for clarification, and must do so privately—viz. “This, however, must take place in a private way, in its own proper places, and without ever making a public polemic with attacks that end up putting the credibility of the Church and her mission in doubt.”—fly in the face of canon law (cf. CIC 212§2-3), the Pope’s own repeated calls for full involvement of all the faithful in every state of life, and common sense.
These are matters touching the public weal of the whole Church. Every member of the faithful has a stake in the issue of this crisis, as do the people who have not heard the call to accept Christ, or accepted it—for they have a right to the Gospel, and therefore to the Church as Our Divine Lord intends her to be. To insist that only high Churchmen have a say in these matters frankly reeks of precisely the clericalism, which Pope Francis insists is at the heart of the crisis and that every candid observer readily admits is a major driver of the malaise in the culture of the Church’s hierarchical leadership.
The idea that airing dirty laundry is what harms the credibility of the Church, moreover, is part of the problem. Arguably, it is the problem.
Cardinal Müller’s insistence that adequate norms already exist is likewise problematic, even rather incredible. “We have sufficient norms in Canon Law,” Müller told La Stampa, citing the 2001 motu proprio, Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela. “First, we must do what is already established and indicated as necessary and obligatory by the existing norms,” he continued. The former Prefect also noted, “[T]here are the already existing norms of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, yet not always all the bishops have collaborated with our department.” He went on to say, “They have not informed [the CDF] as [they ought].”
Conspicuously absent from Cardinal Müller’s discussion—which included contemplation of eventual legal reforms (only after the Curial leadership and perhaps the bishops talked it over)—was any mention of Come una madre amorevole, the abortive reform that Pope Francis originally touted as a hallmark and signature of his commitment to combatting abuse, which would have streamlined the process for investigating, prosecuting, and removing negligent or malfeasant bishops.
Marie Collins, the Irish abuse survivor and victim advocate who served three years on Pope Francis’s Commission for the Protection of Minors before resigning in frustration, accused Cardinal Müller of foot-dragging and obstructionism vis à vis the abortive Come una madrereform, as well as of general unresponsiveness.
Müller, for his part, says he did his best, and tried to do more, but was stymied from above. Pope Francis did dismiss three clerics from service in the CDF prosecutor’s office. That happened over Müller’s strenuous objection, in an episode that Vatican watchers generally agree played a significant role in Müller’s departure from the dicastery.
Suffice it to say the system is broken.
Only rigid neo-pelagians with a disordered attachment to the Catholic faith, would consider this papacy to be polarizing, or divisive. Excommunication papers for all those who doubt this humble, merciful pope!
Pope Francis...polarization. Polarized. Everybody is "polarized."
I am familiar with several parishes in my area. I guess that I, and my brothers and sisters in the Faith I've met at said parishes, are very different as compared to "polarized" Catholics.
The Catholics I know are not polarized remotely in regard to Pope Francis.
Perhaps "polarized" Catholics would do well to adopt the tremendous love and respect for Pope Francis that Archbishop Chaput has for our Holy Father...and preaches in regard as to how we should embrace His Holiness.
Archbishop Chaput in regard to Pope Francis:
"He’s a gift to the whole Church."
“I think one of the best gifts as bishops we can give to the pope is to trust him and believe him when he speaks, and I do that. He’s my pope and my father, and I have a relationship of filial love and obedience to him.”
"Some people waste a great deal of time, and create a great deal of confusion, by trying to interpret what the Holy Father "really" means by his actions. He doesn't need narrators.
"Pope Francis is a man thoroughly grounded in Catholic faith and teaching. We need to let him do in his own way what God calls him to do: pastor the Church.”
The unwavering love, respect, and obedience that Archbishop Chaput has for His Holiness Pope Francis is in line with Pope Saint Pius X's declarations as to how we are to embrace the Vicar of Christ.
"Love the Pope!" - no ifs, and no buts:
For Bishops, priests, and faithful, Saint Pius X explains what loving the Pope really entails
MT, part of me wishes I had your confidence. I don't though. I too know plenty of Catholics who are undisturbed. They are mostly among the multi-married, birth control using, sacrament of reconcilliation?, of course there's no hell crowd, who would also be undisturbed by abortion becoming a sacrament blessed by a lesbian priestess.
I really think you are correct when you say "we can't go back," I just have lost faith that the Church is even being true to Her own faith, teachings, and history. Basically "pimps" have sold Her out in order to be popular. I guess it takes less courage to do that....
Perhaps naive Congregationalism is the answer and heads stuck in the sand. Or is it the three monkeys 🐒 of see, hear and speak no evil? It is quite comfortable and in fact has exacerbated this despicable scandal in the Church.
When the pope does or says things that are a danger or is contrary to the Faith, such as sowing confusion, every Catholic has the duty to judge his actions/words and correct him if needed, as St Thomas Aquinas stated centuries ago:
Dan said..."I just have lost faith that the Church is even being true to Her own faith, teachings, and history. Basically "pimps" have sold Her out in order to be popular."
Dan, please, you shouldn't think that way. The Church will never fail.
As long as you remain in communion with His Holiness Pope Francis, you will be taught, governed, and sanctified in orthodox fashion.
Dan, Jesus Christ's voice is heard through Pope Francis, and our bishops in communion with our great Culture of Life Pope.
Please don't despair. Adopt the simple, childlike faith that God offers to us. That is the way to go.
I'm afraid that Pope Francis is a gift to the Church in the same way that Nancy Pelosi is a gift to the Republican Party.
"As long as you remain in communion with His Holiness Pope Francis, you will be taught, governed, and sanctified in orthodox fashion."
What has PF done to correct the clerics at the Vatican engaged in cocaine fueled gay sex parties? Is he teaching, governing, and sanctifying them?
Victor said..."Mr Thomas: when the pope does or says things that are a danger or is contrary to the Faith, such as sowing confusion, every Catholic has the duty to judge his actions/words and correct him if needed, as St Thomas Aquinas stated centuries ago:"
Who determines when a Pope has endangered the Faith?
Suppose Pope A said "X."
Suppose that 100 Catholics form a coalition known as Group 1. Group 1 issues a document entitled "Filial Correction on the Spread of Heresies" to correct Pope A.
Suppose that 100 Catholics form a coalition known as Group 2. Group 2 issues a document entitled "Pope 'A's' "X" Declaration is Orthodox."
Group 1 has determined that Pope "A" has endangered the Faith...and is need of filial correction.
Group 2 has determined that Pope "A" has not endangered the Faith...and does not require correction.
Victor, does Group 1 trump Group 2? Or does Group 2 trump Group 1?
Who is authorized to determine that?
Victor said..."When the pope does or says things that are a danger or is contrary to the Faith, such as sowing confusion, every Catholic has the duty to judge his actions/words and correct him if needed, as St Thomas Aquinas stated centuries ago:
But Pope Saint Pius X, on November 18, 1912 A.D., declared:
"The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals..he represents God Himself;"
"And how must the Pope be loved? When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes.
"And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, 'if any one love me, he will keep my word, ' therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.
"Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed;
"when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents;
"we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey - that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him;
"we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority;
"we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope."
Victor, the bottom line is that God has authorized His Holiness Pope Francis to teach, govern, and sanctify you.
Victor, God commands that you submit to Pope Francis' authority over you.
Heed Pope Saint Pius X's above declaration.
Nobody who is holy can dissent from Pope Francis.
The "we will correct the Pope folks" are keen to correct others...but reject having themselves "corrected."
The SSPX has "corrected" Popes Saints Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.
However, the SSPX has refused time and again to receive correction from Rome, as well as additional Churchmen.
Cardinal Burke (not to mention Cardinal Müller, as well as additional Churchmen) has corrected the SSPX via his declaration that the SSPX is schismatic. The SSPX has refused to accept Cardinal Burke's correction in question.
Bishop Williamson and the SSPX Resistance folks have corrected the SSPX. However, the SSPX has ignored the correction offered by Bishop Williamson and the SSPX Resistance.
Several "traditional" bloggers/twitter folks who hate the Vicar of Christ declared recently that Pope Saint Paul VI, as well as Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, are not Saints.
Said "traditionalists" announced that they have the right to reject canonizations announced by Rome. Said "traditionalists" are keen to correct the Pope, Cardinals, and bishops.
However, should anybody dare to correct said bloggers/twitter folks, the "traditionalists" in question will ban those who offered correction.
Archbishop Viganò has "corrected" His Holiness Pope Francis, as well as the Roman Curia.
However, Archbishop Viganò has rejected the correction offered to him by Cardinal Ouellet.
Yep...there are plenty of folks who are keen to correct Popes, Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious...but said folks reject corrections that come their way.
I will leave the "correction" business to others.
I will obey God who, in turn, has commanded me to obey the Pope. I will stick to the Church of Rome's teachings.
As Bishop Schneider noted:
"The Fourth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople taught: “In the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been professed. … in it all true strength of the Christian religion is found.”
(From the formula of Pope Hormisdas, endorsed by the Fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople).
No comments on PF's handling of the cocaine field gay sex orgies?
When the Pope spouts nonsense, you are free to dissent. Your high flown view of PF's powers constitutes papalotry, a heresy ,
Still waiting for your refutation of my statement!
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