A very happy Feast of St Michael and the Archangels to all readers.
Above you will find my musical offering in support of the filial correction, less nuanced than the actual correctio, but music always is rather less nuanced. It's a comic song. It has been produced to generate laughter and entertainment, not ecclesiastical controversy. That said, all satire contains an element of truth, however exaggerated.
In the first instance, the fililal correction was signed by academics, clergy and theologians and, in the wake of this, it was bolstered by the support of around 10,000 members of the laity, thanks to a petition organised by One Peter Five's founder Steve Skojec. Another petition for the laity was organised by the Lepanto Institute and LifeSiteNews. I encourage all who haven't to sign.
I must say, like the vast majority of readers, I for one did not see the filial correction coming but I think it is a truly remarkable work of love for the Lord and His Church and will lay the ground very well for any formal act of fraternal correction that may be coming from those who signed the Dubia to the Pope. We must pray and hope that the Pope responds to the parrhesia he once called for within the Church and responds decisively to the Dubia. Even if dialogue itself, as Cardinal Parolin suggests, is a necessary aspect of the Church and its governance, we do not profess or believe in dialogue but Christ. Ultimately, it is Christ and His Teaching which must be upheld and respected, adhered to and believed for He is the Word of God.
|With friends like these...|
What is interesting to me about the filial correction is the reaction. First, there is the mass media interest - they seem to have loved the 'hasn't happened since the middle ages' angle. Then, we see the names of those who have leapt to the Pope's defence (with friends like Fr James Martin SJ who needs..) Yet this too has been coupled with a complete unwillingness to discuss contents of correction. They want to discuss everything but the contents of the correction!
Absurdly, this was followed by a firm conviction that St JPII and BXVI were criticised also and traditionalists leapt to their defence. The problem here for the ultra-uber-hyper-papalists was that nobody actually accused either Pope St John Paul II or Benedict XVI of heresy. They were accused instead of not following the kind of secular zeitgeist now being incorporated into the Church under the governance of Pope Francis. Astonishingly, the one thing these people do not want to discuss is heresy, or heretical positions, when this charge is by far the most controversial and historic element of the correction. It is this word that has caused consternation among, I expect, clergy who have not yet signed. Fear not, it would appear, since as soon as you mention 'the H word', those who seem to advocate it want to talk about something else, like how you're opinions just don't matter or do something else, like insult you.
|How very apt...|
On the last point I imagine the cohorts are stymied because they have to be careful what they say. If they say 'nothing's changing' that too blows the game. They know well they want a great deal to change. The second problem is the language used in the correction is alien to them, taking them right out of their comfort zones, as real Catholicism would. It isn't vague enough to whitewash bad or misleading teaching with words like 'mercy', 'dialogue' and 'accompaniment' etc. It is clear enough to make certain people feel uncomfortable.
Despite the S.Js of this world scoring a hit with the 'low numbers' etc, my assessment is that the fillial correction has so far been very effective, but more effective than anything for the here and now is how this leaves the legacy of the Francis years. Shaky, to say the least. Francis, the dubious Pope! "He was regarded by a great many as a heretic you know." It's now a matter of public record and the history books are waiting to be written. Just how will that leave the Francis legacy, if the good Lord gives us another Pope after Francis. Yet a crumbling papal reputation is entirely his own doing. Yes, these are bewildering and Church-shaking times but, like me, can you see some light at the end of this dark tunnel?
|A little unfair on Thomas Paine, who was at pains to stress his devotion to reason, something alien to this pontificate.|
Fr Ray Blake has written an excellent piece on how being asked to sign the correctio filialis may put some members of the clergy between a rock and a hard place psychologically. Signing anything critical of the current events and directions being taken in Rome seems to bring with it unwanted and unwarranted attention - and intimidation - from certain circles in the Church. Many clergy must be weighing up their decision over whether to sign or not. The fact that bullying and intimidation as well as insult has become a hallmark of this pontificate is worrying indeed.
A classic episode of Thomas the Tank Engine entitled "Bye, George!"
"George" is a steamroller, much like our own 'Jorge'. Entertaining and even more
'Thomist' than Amoris Laetitia!
Pray for the clergy very much. Pray that the Lord will grant to the clergy both prudence and courage in their ministry. In the final analysis, truth, the Truth is on their side. There is only one party in the Church for whom truth is an obstacle now. It is they who should fear, not those who champion the cause of justice, true mercy and right. The true friends of Pope Francis are those who are willing to call him to fulfill his ministry, not those who would call him to disobedience to Christ. They and they alone are his enemies.