|"Were you looking for this?"|
After all, it would be both against the letter and the spirit of the law for a group of now labelled 'conservative Catholics' to storm the Domus and forcefully oust the Pope, in some manner depose him, or for some of his enemies in the 'conservative' camp in the Curia to poison the Pope.
Despite a litany of thinly veiled insults towards the crystal clear and eternal truths held and proclaimed by the Catholic Church, as well as those who hold them, even the most vociferous of Bishops and Cardinals still uses very respectful words about Francis and nowhere does it seem this is a trend that will cease.
What Catholics, lay and clergy, are enduring at the moment is like feeling compelled to use polite, deferential and charitable and respectful language while watching someone loot your house, go through your drawers and steal whatever takes their fancy, saying, "Now, you know, perhaps some friends have put you up to this, we assume you do not understand what you are doing, but its really not cricket. Please could you stop and reconsider." The thief just continues rifling through your stuff and taking what it pleases him to take and says, "We're in a new era now."
The patience and love of Catholics is being tested to breaking point. Fr Ed Tomlinson talks today about the parallels between the prevailing view Francis will take post-Synod - and I think we had a few clues while he was in Florence - and the Anglican Synod in the 1930s. The sense of dread and fear is palpable and, of course, Francis will know that, as will his advisers. I don't know what the 'plan' is should Francis do or say something that will crystallise, concretely, his intentions for the Church that will be in some way completely 'unacceptable'. I'm expecting, should that be the case, that vociferous clergy and bishops will seek to 'muddle through' the mess that Francis will have caused, but who knows what is in the pipeline?
He might rail against law-keepers and those who seek to uphold Church teachings, but one Church teaching that Catholics seek to uphold is the law of charity, love of enemies and prayer for them even in times of what can feel like warfare or latent persecution. Pope Francis should be thankful for those who take Jesus's teachings seriously, rather than wanting to throw them out.