Tuesday, June 6, 2023


 Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, truly a backwardist to the late 1960’s and 1970’s, has a typically incoherent Jesuitical commentary on how Pope Francis, the best pope ever, has changed the papacy and the Church permanently. We’ll see. 

But back to his RNS commentary; he speaks about Pope Francis being very pastoral when it comes to the laity, except if the laity likes the TLM, then he becomes quite uncharitable and goes into an area that no pope should, the psychology of the laity who love the TLM. 

But then Reese says the pope is very harsh with cardinals, other bishops and the clergy, like a pre-Vatican II formation director—pre-Vatican II, mind you! Talk about backwardness!

Thus, for poor Reese’s Pieces, he unwittingly points out the tragedy of this papacy—the polarization of the Hierarchy, which has to be laid at the feet of this current pope which then polarizes rank and file Catholic. God help us if this is a permanent part of this pope’s papacy!

God help us if incoherence, gossip and confusion of the Jesuits, with Pope Francis the Supreme One, becomes a permanent part of the papacy! 

Here’s Reeses Pieces’ money byte:

 Although I love and support Francis, he is not perfect. His language about women drives First World feminists nuts. One might call him a Third World feminist because he is concerned about human trafficking and poverty, not language. He will promote women to positions of power in the church bureaucracy, but will not ordain them priests.

Nor has he completed the work of curial reform. Rather than firing people who are incompetent or disloyal, he calls them to conversion. The church is terrible at human resource management. It tends to be either authoritarian or too gentle, paternalistic or bureaucratic.

Nor has he been willing to spend the money on the lay expertise necessary to reform Vatican finances. Cleaning up the Vatican bank cost over a million dollars in accounting fees. Cleaning up the rest of the Vatican finances will have similar costs. Forensic accountants are not cheap.

Although Francis is 86, his papacy is not over. The Synod on Synodality is on track to meet in October this year and again next year. For Francis, I believe, the synodal process is more important than any decisions that come out of the synod. His hope is that the process will transform the church into a synodal church. This will be disappointing for progressive Catholics who want results: married priests, women priests and changes in church teaching on sex and gender.

Francis is not a miracle worker. Because he has not won over large numbers of bishops and clergy to his vision for the church, his impact has been limited. People love Francis, but they often do not see him in those leading their parishes or dioceses.

As Francis continues to the end of his papacy, he is likely to be attacked from the right and the left. Conservatives are already plotting to make sure there is a return to something like the papacies of Benedict and John Paul. There are even rumors that “opposition research” is being done to dig up dirt on cardinals who might continue down Francis’ path.

Read the rest at RNS

Then John Allen over at Crux has the same kind of commentary, but Allen isn’t incoherent. He points out the incoherence of the Vatican under this pope and it is breath taking. Here is a money byte:

This isn’t the first time of late the Vatican has appeared to move with remarkable zeal, and little by way of due process, against a community of nuns. Earlier this year, there was a kerfuffle in Italy over the expulsion of two Poor Clare sisters who refused to abandon their 13th century convent on the Amalfi Coast, and another over a Benedictine community that didn’t take well to the Vatican’s removal of their superior.

All this is ironic for a pope who’s seen as a champion of women’s empowerment, not to mention a friend of women’s religious communities. Indeed, these recent episodes probably would already have become a much bigger media firestorm were it not for the temporary protection provided by Francis’s narrative.

That insulation, however, won’t hold out forever. Pope Francis also hasn’t helped the situation with his handling of other close-to-home cases, either.

Think of l’Affaire Zanchetta, in which Francis first gave Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a friendly bishop from Francis’s native Argentina, the benefit of the doubt when Zanchetta was accused of sexual and financial misconduct. Then, Francis let the bishop quietly retire and carved him a sinecure in the Vatican’s sovereign asset management office.

More recently, there’s the scandal involving Father Marko Rupnik SJ, the disgraced celebrity artist-priest who serially abused young women for decades, right under the noses of his Jesuit superiors, senior Vatican officials and three popes, including Francis.

Zanchetta is serving a sentence in Argentina after a criminal court found him guilty of abusing seminarians. Rupnik is facing an investigation being run by the Jesuits, which was opened under intense media pressure and only after the Jesuit head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Spanish Cardinal Luis Ladaria, had closed the case against Rupnik.

Rupnik trotted the globe and received accolades even when he was supposed to be under restrictions. Even after the Jesuits announced a new investigation into the allegations against Rupnik and promised he would be barred from public ministry and closely monitored, Rupnik was spotted concelebrating Mass in Rome with other Jesuits, including his immediate superior.

Ha santi in paradiso, the Romans say, meaning roughly, “He has friends in high places.”

Last week, Francis poured more than a little salt on the wound when he praised an iconic depiction Rupnik had made of the Madonna and Child in a video message for participants in a Marian congress in Aparecida. Rupnik’s artwork continues to feature prominently on various Vatican Media pages, as well.

Optics aside, and for whatever reason, the Vatican and Pope Francis have moved with alacrity against religious sisters and their communities when it appeared to suit, while they have sometimes treated friendly priests and prelates with kid gloves.



Anonymous said...

Father Reese said..."Fearing the church had become too chaotic, John Paul had used Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to clamp down on priests and theologians who wanted to continue discussing doctrinal issues in the wake of Vatican II."

"Fearing the church had become too chaotic..."

Should we wish to accept then-Cardinal Ratzinger's horrific, 2005 A.D. portrait of a Church mired in confusion, as well as in utter spiritual collapse...

...then Pope Saint John Paul II, as well as then-Cardinal Ratzinger, failed to have curtailed the chaos that had engulfed the Church.

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger:

"What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words!

"How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!

"What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation..."

"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion."


Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The two previous papacies did much, very much to clear up doctrinal confusion and incoherence. As Reese said, Pope Francis has brought us backwards to doctrinal and disciplinary incoherence and confusion, especially by polarizing the college of bishops. That is sad! John Allen basically writes the same especially about Francis duplicity concerning McCarrick, the bishop in Chile, Rupnick and howcloistered nuns are treated especially the one in Texas.

Anonymous said...

I am not aware of any "doctrinal confusion and incoherence" at my parish. The same applies throughout my diocese.

In communion with our bishop, who, in turn, is in communion with Pope Francis: We move forward, not backward, in my diocese.

Father McDonald, is your bishop "polarized?" Is your diocese awash in "doctrinal confusion and incoherence?"

I pray that such is not the case.

Thank you.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No, most USA bishops are ignoring the pope and the 1% of worldwide Catholics who participated in the synod on synods. Thus by ignoring, no confusion. That can’t be said, though, of the Diocese of San Diego and it’s Cardinal Bishop, made Cardinal by Pope Francis snubbing the Metropolitan Archbishop of the good Cardinal, the Archbishop of Los Angeles.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Here you go Mark:

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."...most USA bishops are ignoring the pope..."

In regard to the notion that "most USA bishops are ignoring the pope..."

Then that can only encourage a revolt against the Church.


Should Bishop "X" ignore Pope Francis, then it is only fair that Bishop "X" permit the clergy, religious, and laity within his diocese to ignore him (Bishop "X").


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Father MCDonald said..."most USA bishops are ignoring the pope..."

Fortunately, my bishop has stood with Pope Benedict XVI.

That is, my bishop, in God-pleasing fashion, has rendered his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to Pope Francis.

One holy priest after another with my diocese has conducted himself in similar fashion.

That is why my diocese is blessed with the fullness of Faith.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald, thank you for that link.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Quit lying and being disrespectful of Father McDonald. You should post at The National Anti-Catholic Reporter, the journal of record for leftist, fake Catholics