An Unworthy Pope

 

When Catholic prelates and popes make idiots of themselves or engage in misconduct, Catholics are inclined to respond to Protestants who are scandalized by saying that the presence of fools and scoundrels in high ecclesiastical offices only goes to show that the Catholic church is the one true church. How could it have survived and flourished otherwise?

Not everyone is persuaded by this argument, but everyone must concede that fools and scoundrels sometimes find their way to high ecclesiastical office — and in this particular, our time does not differ from other times.

In the last few decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been fortunate in those whom it has elected to the Papacy. John Paul II was a great man — perhaps the greatest student of philosophy to have ever occupied the chair of Peter. If you doubt my claim, read his encyclicals. Many a Protestant minister, despite sectarian proclivities, has devoted considerable time to this task.

Benedict XV was also a great man — perhaps the finest theologian to have ever occupied the chair of Peter. Reading his encyclicals is also worth your time, whether you are a Catholic or not.

No one of any intelligence is ever, however, going to call Pope Francis a great man. He puts me in mind of the figures described by Socrates in Plato’s Apology. They had three things in common, Socrates discovered. They were experts in one sphere, they supposed that this made them experts in all other fields as well, and they were utterly oblivious to their ignorance.

Francis is a student of theology — not an especially astute student, but he knows a thing or two. What makes him a very great fool is that he is not a student of economics, climate science, or national security, and that this defect does not in any way discourage him from pontificating (I use the word advisedly) on these subjects and making a great display of his ignorance.

Early in his pontificate, he issued an encyclical that touched at some length on economic matters, and in his denunciation of commercial society he gave us a taste of the economic populism that has so bedeviled Argentina now for nearly a century. It was widely recognized as an embarrassment, and it is an indication of Francis’ arrogance that he is still peddling the bromides that have for so long crippled economic growth in Latin America. There is a reason why the cardinals of the Catholic Church never before elected a Jesuit to the Papacy.

Time and again, Francis has pontificated on anthropogenic global warming — treating a question as closed that, many distinguished scientists believe, is very much open. As an expert on the subject, Pope Francis has no standing whatsoever. He is not even a knowledgeable layman.

On the question of immigration, Francis is arguably even more of a fool. Time and again, he has made statements intimating that no political community has a right to control its own borders and exclude outsiders and that it is a moral obligation that it take in every last refugee on the planet. Missing from his understanding is the fact that political communities — whether states or stateless societies — come into existence to provide for the security of their members and that their security requires the careful policing of borders. A mass influx of foreigners can be as dangerous an invasion as a military attack, and in the age of terrorism it tends to be inseparable from military attacks. The moral posturing of Francis and of his bishops on this subject is a disgrace.

All of this is doubly a disgrace because the Catholic Church teaches that prudential questions lie beyond the purview of prelates. Vatican II was quite specific on this subject, instructing the clergy not to meddle in spheres that lay outside the teaching of religious doctrine and morals. This sphere, Vatican II insisted, was reserved for ordinary citizens and for those expert on the questions in dispute. The Church is authorized to lay out the general considerations that statesmen must attend to but not to dictate or even promote policy in spheres where prudence must govern.

Francis’ response to Donald Trump’s decision to cancel Barack Obama’s initiative Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a case in point. The latter did so in large part because it was his judgment that the President did not have the authority under the Constitution or immigration law to do what he did, and he was surely correct in that judgment. Barack Obama himself acknowledged as much. In effect, as Thomas Farnan has argued cogently in his weekly column on Observer.com, the Pope, followed slavishly by the American bishops, has condemned the President for insisting on the rule of law.

Francis’ response to Trump’s action was, however, especially disgraceful — for he went on to do something that no Pontiff should ever do. He intimated that, in canceling DACA, Trump proved that he was not really pro-life. He pretended to be able to see into the man’s soul.

What makes this worse is that not a single American bishop took the Pope to task for this. But some pro-life American Catholic laymen did — including, according to LifeSiteNews.com, Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto Institute. “If Pope Francis is so concerned with the commitment of others to the defense of preborn children, he should consider his own words and actions, as well,” he said. In support of this claim, he pointed out a certain tension between the Pope’s treatment of Trump and Obama:

“One has to ask why Pope Francis, who was silent about President Obama’s full support of the abortion industry, is questioning President Trump’s commitment to the pro-life cause,” Hichborn wondered. “Since ‘the family is the cradle of life and you must defend its unity,’ as Pope Francis says, perhaps he will now clarify that permitting sacrilegious confessions and Communions to divorced and ‘remarried’ Catholics is a direct assault on the unity of the family.”

Hichborn doesn’t stop there. “Pope Francis has caused great confusion and concern for Catholics since he took office. He called Emma Bonino, an Italian abortionist, one of Italy’s ‘lost greats.’ He suggested that contraception might be justifiable in light of the Zika outbreak. He has hosted population control enthusiasts in the Vatican. He is collaborating with population control enthusiast Jeffrey Sachs. He gutted the Pontifical Academy for Life and actually appointed a pro-abortion theologian to the academy.”

Of course, Hichborn is more outspoken than most. But he is by no means alone. As the article at LifeSiteNews.com makes clear, virtually every pro-life leader in the United States has come to the President’s defense. What is dismaying is the fact that not a single bishop has spoken up. The current crop is as silent about the Pope’s propensity to speak when he should be quiet as their predecessors were about the misconduct of pederast priests a generation ago. This Pope deserves a stern rebuke, and there is no one of courage in the hierarchy.

What makes all of this especially bad is that the misconduct of Pope Francis is scandalous in the old sense of the word. He has subordinated preaching the faith to his own political agenda. Insofar as he causes individuals to identify the Catholic Church as a partisan political actor, he brings the church itself into contempt. Is there no one in the Catholic hierarchy courageous enough to tell him this to his face?

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  1. Umbrasjg Inactive
    Umbrasjg
    @StevenGruenwald

    Paul A. Rahe (View Comment):

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    Dumb question: I’m assuming Dr. Rahe is Catholic?

    Yes . . . though, maybe, not so good a Catholic. He was born to it and later returned.

    Good to know.  We all strive to be better Catholics.

    On topic question: why does it matter what the Pope thinks about climate change, economics, or immigration (outside of saving Christians from being killed for their faith in far flung corners of the world)?

    • #31
  2. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dorrk (View Comment):
    It will be interesting to see how Vatican City deals with all of the immigrants he has invited to come live within its now open borders.

    What? You need to be employed by The Holy See to get citizenship in Vatican City? That doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me.

    The Dopus Popus strikes again. Everytime he opens his mouth a dozen Bishops have to scurry behind him explaining that he didn’t mean what he just said.

    • #32
  3. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Mr. Rahe, @paularahe – I am not a Catholic, or even very religious at all, but I can’t help but wonder if the men who chose this man to be their leader are having serious second thoughts about this choice? I have been steadily appalled at many of the things Francis has said, and as I said, I am not even Catholic. I can’t imagine the feelings of someone dedicated to that faith. To me he comes across as a Socialist with Communist leanings, and we know how the Communists feel about the Church.

    So I ask you, why do you think they made this choice? Was the fear of losing their biggest base, South America, the reason?

    • #33
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    But I live in Texas now with a lot of Catholics, and there are still no Bible studies.

    Start one. Seriously, there are plenty of resources that weren’t available when I joined Small Catholic Community fifteen or twenty years ago. I can talk to you about the model, but I’ll point you to Ascension Press’s study of James first.

    Everybody wants to study James and Jeff Cavins is an able and entertaining instructor. Our community started with four women on Tuesday mornings about 20-25 years ago. When we studied James a few years back, we reached peak enrollment with about 100 people. You will attract participants. Or, James will.

    Feed my sheep.

    • #34
  5. Eb Snider Inactive
    Eb Snider
    @EbSnider

    Paul A. Rahe: What makes this worse is that not a single American bishop took the Pope to task for this.

    While I agree with pretty much everything you write here and appreciate the post, I must say that I find some of the comments you make on the Catholic Church very naive, such as the one I quoted above. After all, this is the Catholic Church we’re talking about, it’s not a Protestant one, nor is it democratic. It’s a dogmatic hierarchy with a chain of command. It that system the clergy don’t have the place for vocal disagreement. Certain Dioceses have even had to budget child molestation pay-outs for Pete sake. If you didn’t have people speaking up on that, then why this relatively lesser issue? Me (not being Catholic) don’t see it as having moral authority and this Pope has aggravated that for reasons included in your post. I want to be respectful of Catholic people (of which I have personal friends), but I suppose as an American from strong Protestant heritage I simply don’t have a high expectation for what you are seeking here. I also have a visceral negative reaction to this Pope’s lecturing of the USA and on topics he has a tenuous grasp on.

    However, I don’t want to start any anti-Catholic stuff here or Protestant vs Catholic stuff.  That’s everyone’s personal matter in my view. I think there just simply needs to be a clear understanding of how the Catholic Church operates as an institution.

    • #35
  6. Confutatis maledictis Inactive
    Confutatis maledictis
    @Pseudodionysius

    Iota Unum

    You won’t understand what is going on and why unless you digest this 800 page magnum opus.

     

    • #36
  7. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Eb Snider (View Comment):
    It’s a dogmatic hierarchy with a chain of command. It that system the clergy don’t have the place for vocal disagreement.

    The clergy do have a system for vocal disagreement (fraternal correction); it is why and how the Four Dubia Brothers submitted their questions on Amoris Laetitia to Pope Francis.

    And Francis is ripping apart the Church by decentralizing it – just wait and see the mess that will result from his latest motu proprio wherein diocesan bishops will be writing their own liturgies. I have an old post on this if you are interested.

    http://ricochet.com/archives/the-de-centralized-church-of-pope-francis-and-the-crisis-that-followed/

    • #37
  8. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    As a new Catholic, I can only say of Pope Francis that some of his positions are confusing, and this is important because the Catholic church does a p*** poor job of teaching Catholics outside of 10 minute homilies once a Sunday. While RCIA is required for conversion, there are few opportunities for further learning that aren’t self-directed, so it’s quite easy to get befuddled by the messages one hears coming down from above.

    I am also a new Catholic – I came into full communion in 2004. My RICA program was a waste of time if you were looking to learn the faith – heck, the priest running it didn’t even realize there was a difference between those of us who were already baptized Christians and those who weren’t.

    A bishop holds three offices: to teach, to sanctify, and to govern. It is hit or miss whether or not you live in a diocese with a sound bishop. But like all things today, the best place to learn is through the internet.

    I started listening to the Catholic Answers Live podcast – this is where I learned a great deal about the Church – I highly recommend this podcast.

    And I devoured the writings of JP2 and then B16 (his homilies are masterpieces on understanding Scripture).

    Of course there are also many sound and wonderful websites:

    Catholic Culture
    The Catholic Thing
    One Peter Five
    Crisis Magazine
    Catholic World Report
    Fr. Z’s Blog
    Settimo Cielo
    Rorate Caeli
    New Liturgical Movement
    The Liturgy Guy
    The Sacred Page
    Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

    That is a lot – get to work! The last two deal with Sacred Scripture.

    I am lucky to live in the Diocese of Tyler Texas where we have a very sound bishop in Joseph E. Strickland. And we are perhaps more lucky to have an incredibly sound and young priest in our town of Buffalo at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church – like Fr. Z, he likes to wear the biretta o{]:¬)

    • #38
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Eb Snider (View Comment):
    However, I don’t want to start any anti-Catholic stuff here or Protestant vs Catholic stuff.

    Well, I think you failed in that endeavor. Pretty presumptuous to tell a bunch of Catholics how the hierarchy works, don’t you think?

    Ever hear about Paul’s confrontation with Peter? And, it’s not just clergy who confront the pope. Do you know anything about St. Catherine of Siena?

    • #39
  10. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Eb Snider (View Comment):
    However, I don’t want to start any anti-Catholic stuff here or Protestant vs Catholic stuff.

    Well, I think you failed in that endeavor. Pretty presumptuous to tell a bunch of Catholics how the hierarchy works, don’t you think?

    Ever hear about Paul’s confrontation with Peter? And, it’s not just clergy who confront the pope. Do you know anything about St. Catherine of Siena?

    Well, don’t escalate. Just leave the dog lie . ..

    • #40
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    MLH (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Eb Snider (View Comment):
    However, I don’t want to start any anti-Catholic stuff here or Protestant vs Catholic stuff.

    Well, I think you failed in that endeavor. Pretty presumptuous to tell a bunch of Catholics how the hierarchy works, don’t you think?

    Ever hear about Paul’s confrontation with Peter? And, it’s not just clergy who confront the pope. Do you know anything about St. Catherine of Siena?

    Well, don’t escalate. Just leave the dog lie . ..

    Happy to. As soon as we all understand that the pope is not a dictator. His role is more like the chief steward of the Deposit handed down by Jesus, who is the Head, and the Apostles, of whom he is a successor. When he fails in that role, not only are Catholics free to criticize him, we’re obliged.

    15If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along…

    • #41
  12. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    anonymous (View Comment):
    I don’t have dog in this fight, but what seems obvious to me is that the papacy of Francisrai, like that of many regrettable popes in the last two millennia, demonstrates the fragility of monarchy and similar top-down organisations. Their entire heritage is on the line every time they choose, by whatever means, an absolute ruler, whether they call him pontiff, emperor, king, or supreme leader.

    Actually it isn’t. The Pope is constrained by the prior dogmatic pronouncements of the Church – that’s the meaning of Papal infallibility. When the Pope, in union with the bishops, pronounces on a matter of faith and morals, he can’t be wrong. The upshot of this is that no future Pope can ever go back on what a prior Pope (teaching authoritatively with the bishops) has pronounced.

    So the sacred heritage of the Church (i.e. the important stuff as far as Catholics are concerned) is in no danger from Pope Francis. As far as the other stuff – the idiotic statements about immigration or climate change – we can safely ignore him.

    • #42
  13. Confutatis maledictis Inactive
    Confutatis maledictis
    @Pseudodionysius

    Image may contain: 1 person, text

    • #43
  14. Confutatis maledictis Inactive
    Confutatis maledictis
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #44
  15. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    This week’s column by Fr. George Rutler (not yet on his website as I post this) gives a similar critique as Dr. Rahe. A sample:

    When church leaders spend more time addressing public issues of a subjective nature than teaching objective essentials of faith and morals, they can be as self-satirical as Bull Moose Progressives. <snip> A cleric will have his personal views on prudential matters, but he becomes a clericalist when he stereotypes those who disagree with him as “un-Christian” or “un-American” or, mirabile dictu, both. Clericalism politicizes a sacerdotal charism in order to intimidate. To sanctimonious politician and priest alike, Samuel Johnson speaks from the grave: “My friend, clear your mind of cant.”

    The entire column is worth a read.

    St. Augustine also speaks to this mess in today’s Second Reading in the Office:

    The word of the Lord came to me and said: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel and speak to the shepherds of Israel. We just heard this reading a moment ago, my brothers, and I have decided to speak to you on this passage. The Lord will help me to speak the truth if I do not speak on my own authority. For if I speak on my own authority, I will be a shepherd nourishing myself and not the sheep. However, if my words are the Lord’s, then he is nourishing you no matter who speaks.

    • #45
  16. AQ Member
    AQ
    @AQ

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    I am also a new Catholic – I came into full communion in 2004. My RICA program was a waste of time if you were looking to learn the faith – heck, the priest running it didn’t even realize there was a difference between those of us who were already baptized Christians and those who weren’t.

    My husband started the RCIA program last week.  I warned him that the content might be Oprah-like….or worse.   He said the leader is pretty matter of fact, for which I give thanks.

    The pastor hasn’t talked to him yet, in fact, he hasn’t even called.  So my husband is receiving instruction without anyone having asked about his marital status or whether he has been baptised.

     

     

     

    • #46
  17. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    AQ (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    I am also a new Catholic – I came into full communion in 2004. My RICA program was a waste of time if you were looking to learn the faith – heck, the priest running it didn’t even realize there was a difference between those of us who were already baptized Christians and those who weren’t.

    My husband started the RCIA program last week. I warned him that the content might be Oprah-like….or worse. He said the leader is pretty matter of fact, for which I give thanks.

    The pastor hasn’t talked to him yet, in fact, he hasn’t even called. So my husband is receiving instruction without anyone having asked about his marital status or whether he has been baptised.

    I found RCIA to be super, super basic.  I wanted to know about thinks like justification, and I was often met with blank looks from my fellow future Catholics and the deacon conducting the class.  But they did try.  And at least we got a general overview.  They got to checking about marital status and baptism.  I had to track down my own baptism paperwork from the church where this happened for me years ago as that was not within the Catholic church.  (One baptism is recognized as long as it was within a Christian church.)

    • #47
  18. AQ Member
    AQ
    @AQ

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I found RCIA to be super, super basic. I wanted to know about thinks like justification, and I was often met with blank looks from my fellow future Catholics and the deacon conducting the class.

    I know!  What helped me when I joined the church was my Methodist brother.  He and I carried on a 9 month argument on justification — by mail, which gave me time to read and think.  Of course, this was 35 years ago.

    • #48
  19. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    AQ (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I found RCIA to be super, super basic. I wanted to know about thinks like justification, and I was often met with blank looks from my fellow future Catholics and the deacon conducting the class.

    I know! What helped me when I joined the church was my Methodist brother. He and I carried on a 9 month argument on justification — by mail, which gave me time to read and think. Of course, this was 35 years ago.

    I find debate about these things helps to crystalize thoughts more than anything else.  It helps when someone pokes a stick at anything you defend because you have to really, really, really think about whether or not it’s worth defending.

    • #49
  20. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
     

    Then one day in church, I got hung up on pre-destination and tuned back into the priests I could hear in the culture. Bishop Robert Barron has had more to do with my personal conversion to Rome than anyone else speaking in the world. I go to his ministry when I am confused about particular questions in the culture, and I find he speaks with incredible clarity that rings intellectually and emotionally true.

    As a new Catholic, I can only say of Pope Francis that some of his positions are confusing, and this is important because the Catholic church does a p*** poor job of teaching Catholics outside of 10 minute homilies once a Sunday. While RCIA is required for conversion, there are few opportunities for further learning that aren’t self-directed, so it’s quite easy to get befuddled by the messages one hears coming down from above. I used to think that this was because I lived in Georgia where Catholics are not as common. But I live in Texas now with a lot of Catholics, and there are still no Bible studies. There are few opportunities to hear what I know are robust discussions about the religion itself per those I see on Ricochet, and this is all difficult for me.

    I guess I’m saying that it seems to me that Pope Francis has it right when he says the church needs to have more shepherds… do more pastoral care. While I know enough about the pope to know I don’t like his politics much, I am not educated enough to know when he contradicts this or that precept of Catholicism. (I’m trying to learn more independently, of course, but that is self-directed. There is no shepherd apart from a bishop on You Tube.)

    I’m sorry that you have so few resources in your area. I live in a small Midwestern town of 5000 souls, but even we have Bible studies (Jeff Cavins’ courses on  video, available on-line) and other programs available at our local Catholic church. But we don’t usually go to Mass there, despite it being just two blocks away, because the pastor appears to be interested in making his flock feel pretty good about themselves just as they are. No homilies about sin, no teaching beyond the level of a five-year-old, and banal music. So we drive to the next little town that has a solidly orthodox (and young!) pastor.

    Because of the widespread dissent in practice and teaching since Vatican II, you have to select your parish carefully to find solid teaching. But it exists. Look up the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and see if they have a parish in your area. Subscribe to Catholic Answers magazine. There are actually a lot of resources available.

     

    • #50
  21. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Confutatis maledictis (View Comment):

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis
    On the Doctrine of the Modernists
    Pope Pius X – September 8, 1907
    ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE MODERNISTS
    VENERABLE BRETHREN, HEALTH AND THE APOSTOLIC BLESSING:

    1. One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord’s flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking “men speaking perverse things,”1 “vain talkers and seducers,”2 “erring and driving into error.”3 It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office.

    Blondie,

    Forgive me but even though I don’t understand all this I gotta ask a question. Why is the Pope wasting his time talking all these junk political ideas? People are being torn from the good path in life. They are losing their most precious possession their family! Nothing, certainly not these phony ideas, will replace what they’ve lost. The Pope has got a lot of good stuff yes. Why doesn’t he go with it? Maybe he ought to learn from Trump not criticize him. Has he forgot the ordinary person. Sure the smart guys know about where the good stuff still is but what about the little guy who gets lost in the shuffle. What happens to him? All that Global Warming nonsense won’t help him.

    The problem is that everythings gotta be a big production nowadays. The Pope needs to talk straight and simple so the people can understand him. Forget about Global Warming it just kills jobs. Forget about socialism Maduro is a murderer. Go back to basics. Children need a mother and a father. Why doesn’t he start with that. I know he’s got a lot of good stuff why doesn’t he use it. Make that a big production.

    Regards,

    Tuco

    • #51
  22. indymb Coolidge
    indymb
    @indymb

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    While I know enough about the pope to know I don’t like his politics much, I am not educated enough to know when he contradicts this or that precept of Catholicism. (I’m trying to learn more independently, of course, but that is self-directed. There is no shepherd apart from a bishop on You Tube.)

    This is the problem.

    Pope Francis will probably be around for a long time.

    Dissonance is corroding.

    OMG(osh) is all I can say! Take heed that the Catholic Church is first the original Body of Christ, led by its Vicar. Many of the actions of the Church’s first-Pope-to-be, St. Peter, could garner reflection as to whether Jesus/God chose the right man to begin leading the Church (if you feel up to questioning God)! Popes may say or do what they like, and sometimes, historically, they have gone widely astray in both personal behavior and  pronouncements. Such is God’s plan and problem of a church full of sinners, also being led by one…

    BUT — and here’s a caveat for all criticism of the human, faulted, unworthy sinners reaching the Papacy — we Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and its human Vicar. There are no dogmatic pronouncements being made regarding the faith in this scree upon Pope Francis’ expressions on political or natural matters (about which I too may disagree). Speaking Ex Cathedra (ref & ref) regarding Christian dogma is the one thing Popes are most definitely in charge of. And this discussion has nothing to do with dogmatic pronouncements.

    Pope Francis comes from a political culture that is hard for this American to imagine. Lay upon that he is a Jesuit in training, and frankly, Jesuits are well known as the branch of the Church that specializes in stirring the pot of secular and religious ingredients. I would suggest we follow Pope Francis’ first words to believers, whether we agree or disagree with him on secular matters:

    …Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
    And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence…

    Pax Tecum, @indymb

    • #52
  23. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    indymb (View Comment):
    we Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and its human Vicar.

    I think you need to be careful when you say the Holy Spirit guides the Pope.

    Christ gave the power of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and entrusted to them his power of sanctifying. The lay faithful also receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation.

    I see the Holy Spirit guarding the Pope from proclaiming in error on matters of faith and morals: for instance from the CCC 891-892

    891 “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421

    892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent”422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

    Maybe I’m picking nits, but I think to say that the Holy Spirit guides the Pope is as bad as many of his sycophants saying that what the Pope declared in Amoris Laetitia was “inspired”.

    • #53
  24. EndOfPatience Member
    EndOfPatience
    @EndOfPatience

    It helps to remember that Francis is an extreme Left ideologue, installed in the Papacy through intrigue orchestrated by a cabal of extreme Left Cardinals.  Their goal, as they are amply demonstrating in their response to Muslim colonization of western Europe, is the destruction of Western Civilization.  That they are too stupid to look at the formerly Christian polities of North Africa and the Middle East and realize the end of their actions is merely typical of the arrogant, ignorant stupidity that is the hallmark of the Left.

    • #54
  25. Umbrasjg Inactive
    Umbrasjg
    @StevenGruenwald

    EndOfPatience (View Comment):
    It helps to remember that Francis is an extreme Left ideologue, installed in the Papacy through intrigue orchestrated by a cabal of extreme Left Cardinals. Their goal, as they are amply demonstrating in their response to Muslim colonization of western Europe, is the destruction of Western Civilization. That they are too stupid to look at the formerly Christian polities of North Africa and the Middle East and realize the end of their actions is merely typical of the arrogant, ignorant stupidity that is the hallmark of the Left.

    Big if true.  I feel like an InfoWars or WND link is missing…..*emote eye roll*

    • #55
  26. indymb Coolidge
    indymb
    @indymb

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Maybe I’m picking nits, but I think to say that the Holy Spirit guides the Pope is as bad as many of his sycophants saying that what the Pope declared in Amoris Laetitia was “inspired”.

    Good nits to pick! I should clarify that it’s only the dogmatic pronouncements that we’re pretty sure on Holy Spirit guidance…

    • #56
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