The excellent Protect the Pope blog today has two stories that are eye-catching. We have The Tablet suggesting that the pontificates of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI constituted a deep winter in the life of the Catholic Church. Springtime, happily, has arrived for the Church now that the new nice Pope Francis has assumed the Throne of St Peter.
Except...except...for the disobedient, it still appears to be winter. Today, Pope Francis has publicly made it clear that the religious, like the LCWR, who think and behave outside of the Church - that is - who do not think 'with the Church' are not behaving or thinking as religious ought.
This just in from Fr Z:
'Finally, the ecclesial aspect (ecclesialità) as one of the constitutive dimensions of the consecrated life, a dimension which must be constantly recovered and deepened in life. Your vocation is a fundamental charism through the journey of the Church, and it is not possible that a consecrated woman or man do not “think” with the Church, which gave birth to us in Baptism; a “thinking” with the Church which finds its filial expression in fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the Shepherds and the Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome, visible sign of unity.'
Note to The Tablet's editorial team: Perhaps it is time to ask yourselves the question: When was the last time we published an edition of The Tablet which was, from its beginning to its end manifestly 'thinking with the Church which finds its filial expression in fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the Shepherds and the Successor of St Peter, Bishop of Rome, visible sing of unity'?
Funny, isn't it, that some Catholics can see the work and fruits of the Holy Spirit in the pontificates of all three Popes, yet others can only see this in the current Pontiff, but only when they wear special glasses that distort reality in order to see things that are not actually there? Pope Francis asked religious today, and, by implication, all Catholics, to think 'with the Church' and to be obedient to the Magisterium. The Tablet are going to need to hire Mandelson himself to spin this one into a piece that reflects 'their way of thinking'. May I make the tentative suggestion that while you perhaps thought you had 'your man' on the Throne of St Peter, that Pope Francis is, in fact, more and more becoming discernibly continuous with the teaching of his beloved and esteemed predecessors. Let's send a crate of tissues to The Tablet's HQ. One of these days, they're going to realise the Pope is still the Pope.
Sadly, however, while the Pope is still Catholic, Bishops will be Bishops, with notorious bad boy and perennial dissenter, Terence Weldon, claiming that the Archbishop of Westminster and the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton are both backing his initiative to spread his homosexual liberation front from Westminster to Sodom-by-Sea. Much as I hope and pray that His Grace and His Lordship will tell Terence politely where to go, recent history suggests that while in Rome, for the disobedient it remains winter, here in England and Wales, the birds are singing, the flowers are blossoming and green leaves adorn the once bare trees. Yes, here in England and Wales, for the disobedient and for the heretics, we are experiencing a near perpetual Spring. Pray for our Bishops and write to the Papal Nuncio. The last person a homosexual needs for pastoral advice or spiritual guidance is an audience with Terence Weldon.