Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Francis: Facts + Fears Moving Forward"

Our correspondent, Guy Noir, writes in recommendation of Ross Douthat's article, "Will Pope Francis Break the Church?" (Atlantic, May 2015), and calls Ross Douthat's article
A masterful mash-up of three biographies, and an irenic marshaling of words that nonetheless confirms the instincts of many: Francis is a genial, aging Jesuit who believes, yes, but has also lived such a varied life, witnessed so much Catholicism that seems in spirit so unChristian, and finally followed the reigning progressive-moderate theology to its logical conclusions. And so he's inevitably become a Vatican version of a disarming, retirement-aged Barrack Obama. Once you see it, you can't not — all the explanations and conservative Catholic spin to the contrary.
Is that a fair characterization of Douthat's article? Is it a fair characterization of the pontificate of Pope Francis? This isn't the first time I've heard such parallels drawn, even by well-known conservative Catholic colleagues. I hardly know what to say. Douthat is a thoughtful, respected journalist, but we also do need to read widely and carefully.

"After all that," says Noir, "read Mullarkey if you can." He refers to Maureen Mullarkey's "Notes on an Idol" (First Things, April 21, 2015), in which she says, among other things:
"The mission of the Church is to keep man mindful that he has another life to live. When the Church maneuvers to be counted a player among the principalities and powers, the subversion of Christian truth and charity has begun."
Finally, Noir asks, echoing the title of Douthat's article: "Can a successor of St. Peter break the Church? I don't know. But he most certainly can subvert its mission and contribute to its deformation."

We Catholics do have an extensive historical list of "anti-popes" and "bad popes," true. I think an acquaintance with that history bolsters our confidence that the Church can weather just about any storm; but I also do know that we are not absolved by our faith in that tenet from our own responsibility in defending and supporting and promoting the Catholic Faith in our own lifetimes.


Jacobi said...

I would say Francis is a Bishop, with limited vision, from an obscure diocese on the remote edge of the civilised world, Buenos Aires, a nice town, a jolly town, which I used to know quite well, but certainly far from the centre of the universe.

The second session of the Synod on the family will decide his place in the history of the Church. If he permits the impermissible, that is that those in mortal sin and therefore not in a state of grace be allowed to receive Holy Communion, then he will have triggered the inherent split which is in the Church today, a silent Schism of the Modernists, to break out into open Schism and therefore a new Reformation, with much, but not all, of the Germanic countries breaking away to form their own Schismatic heretical church.

We shall see!

Anonymous said...

The Church is already splintered/ broken or whatever one wants to call it. Jorge is merely ensuring that there will be no sequestering this pandemonium in the forseeable future.

Mundabor has this man pegged!

Beefy Levinson said...

I expect that as the Vatican II generation goes on to its eternal reward, Francis will become their new totem. Catholics will endlessly argue over what Francis really means, and much progressive buffoonery will be rationalized as being "in the spirit of Pope Francis."

Paul Borealis said...

Perhaps unfortunate steps necessary for the sin of scandal have already been taken.

At any rate, it is difficult for me to grasp and understand how teachings, re: the Council of Trent, on the preparation for worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist, contrition, Penance, the bond and Sacrament of Matrimony, adultery, etc., can be cast aside without grave consequences.

Will the Church directly induce her children to do things which apparently cannot be done without sin?


"Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment"

Nova et Vetera, English Edition, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2014): 601-630


Paul Keller, O.P., "Is Spiritual Communion for Everyone?"

Nova et Vetera, English Edition, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2014): 631-655

RFGA, Ph.D. said...

V2 meant for many Catholics, 'Yippy, now we get to have fun like everyone else- sex, drugs, and R&R and upbeat worship services here we come!' Many of those modernists are apparently happy with the changes that that license (not freedom) has wrought, empty pews and recent Church scandals notwithstanding. Persuading them that such worldliness is unbecoming a Catholic only invites the old 'judgmental' canard. They simply do not want to go back to what they view as the bad, old 'insular' days. But here's the thing: THEIR days are numbered and their children have left the Faith in droves. Thus, the future of the HMC belongs to precious, smiling little faces like the ones I see every Sunday morning at St. Josaphat, my reprieve from modernity, and priests like the 2 tradition-loving seminarians who provide them with their catechesis. Having witnessed and fully understood the unholy disaster that is the post-Conciliar rapprochement between worldly Catholics and their capitalist idols, they will be intellectually and spiritually positioned to restore HMC to all of Her former counter-cultural glory. ('By ye fruits ye shall be known.' Where is the modernists' St. Thomas? Raphael? Dante? The whole thing is culturally bankrupt.) Amen. RFGA, Ph.D.