|"Say, Bobby, is that you? What brings you round these parts?"|
One disgraced Cardinal and one journalist lacking a certain grace have praised highly Pope Francis, now reigning gloriously.
Cardinal Mahony of LA, who presided over great scandal within his own Diocese has taken time to praise the Pope for what His Eminence believes will be a new era of Papal ceremonies in a 'LOW and humble Church' devoid of 'lace and ermine'. With the deepest respect to Pope Francis's predecessor, Cardinal Mahony tweeted:
"So long fancy ermine and papal lace! Welcome, simple cassock, and hopefully, ordinary black shoes! St Francis must be overjoyed!!"
Obviously, for certain liberals kindness and respect do not go hand in hand with humility, that most praiseworthy of virtues. Others have already commented that it would be ironic if Cardinal Mahony was in future to be ordered by the Pope to a penitential life somewhere for bringing the Bride of Christ into disrepute and failing the Church's little ones.
Meanwhile, Bobby Mickens, for whom this papacy, he imagines, will be a 'revolution' for the Church, took time out of his busy schedule of associating with lepers, feeding the poor, the 'down and outs' and outcasts of Rome as Tablet correspondent to share this:
"This is a pope who’s going to take an axe to all the pomp and circumstance at the Vatican; the old guard with their fur and silk robes are quaking. This is a revolution in the church.”
Okay, Bobby, we get the hint. I shall not go so far as to say, 'this is your hour', since for all the divisions in the Church, let us at least rejoice we both find something loveable and praiseworthy in our beloved new Pope. It will surprise Bobby little to hear that he and I will be coming at this papacy from different angles. Let me explain why.
|Pope Francis, the triumph of Tabletism? You must be taking the Mickens...|
Secondly, I don't believe, though I cannot, of course, see into his heart, that Bobby has genuine love for Pope Francis, even if he has admiration for him. Like so many of Bobby's friends, Bobby sees Pope Francis's election as Successor of St Peter as an opportunity that he hopes will see the abasement or even debasement, or even destruction of the Office of the Papacy. You will notice, readers, how much store liberals set by who is Pope. Why is this? Every Pope sets out a vision of the Church which is different and new, but every Pope holds, defends and teaches the Deposit of Faith and guards it with his very life. Bobby goes on...
'But he warned those expecting policy changes on issues such as rights for gays and divorcees (i.e. himself and his friends) should not hold their breath. “He’s a hard-nosed, conservative Catholic bishop,” he said.'
Charming! Is that any way to talk of 'your' Pope!? Would you say that to His Holiness's face? If not, why then would you say it to The Independent? Don't 'hold your breath' fifth columnists! Perhaps the next Pope or the one after that will destroy the Church!
The sad truth is that for Mickens, the Office of the Papacy is only as useful as the person wearing the red shoes is prepared to kick off the red shoes and bring about the 'democratisation' of the Church. Yet, where I see a Holy Father riding a bus with Cardinals because His Holiness is a Father in God even to the Cardinals, Bobby sees the Pope saying, 'Hey, I'm just a regular guy!' But the Pope is not 'just a regular guy', he is the Pope, the Successor of St Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Christ on Earth. Where I see a Pope paying his own hotel fee because he is humble and kind and self-effacing as a person, Bobby sees a 'revolution' in the making.
This is ridiculous and here is why. Bobby, here is the thing about revolutions. Revolutions are, though I'll grant that history shows this is not always the case, movements brought about from below - that is to say - from the grassroots upwards. Revolutions need an entire army of people, 'terrible as an army set in array' indeed. Be they 'uprisings' or 'springs' or 'movements', particularly from the younger spectrum of society or the Church, revolutions are meant to be 'bottom up' not 'top down'.
Now, Bobby, you will understand that the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, set in place something which is now a law of the Church that will not easily be repealed. It was a document called Summorum Pontificum. It was followed by another document called Universae Ecclesiae. These documents liberated the traditional rite of the Church, with 'all the trimmings' both you and Cardinal Mahony despise but which a great many people, young and old, see as treasured features that point to God's majesty and glory, communicated to us by virtue of His great condescension, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Priests and yes, Bobby, Bishops too - that is - those of a lower rank and status in the Church than the Pope - are still celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass despite Pope Francis's reluctance to publicly continue the liturgical vision of Benedict XVI. Not only this, but hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, in the next half to full century will be exposed to not only beautiful and reverent liturgy in the new rite, in many Churches, but to the traditional liturgy also. Benedict XVI sowed seeds that may not be sowed by the now reigning Pontiff, but, the gardeners watering the seeds are in every country, if not every Diocese, across the World.
|Bobby should be worried. Why? Because this young man could one day be Pope...|
Heck! In such a scenario, by then everyone will be happy. Oh, apart from you and Cardinal Roger Mahony who, displeased and made to feel uncomfortable by the exquisite Liturgy of Heaven will presumably ask God to take you elsewhere because the constant reverencing, praising, adoration and worship of Almighty God in that perpetual Sunday will just 'not be your cup of tea.' Oh, and Heaven is nothing if not chock full of Popes you really don't like, like Pius X, Pius V and, er, St Peter.
|St Francis to Pope Innocent III: "Tone down the wardrobe a bit, Holy Father!"|
Pope Innocent III, so impressed with Francis of Assisi, kissed his feet, which would one day be pierced by the Seraph. Please note, Bobby, Pope Innocent III did not throw out his wardrobe and join the Order of Franciscans and celebrate Mass deliberately 'facing the people' barefoot!
God bless, Bobby, may the Lord keep you, make His countenance to shine upon you and do all the other things St Francis would ask Him to do for you and your liturgical brother-in-arms, Cardinal Roger Mahony. "The Lord is Victorious", Bobby, just as Pope Emeritus Benedict said, its just you or His Eminence won't be around to see the victory.
Hmmm....the sweet smell of incense. The sweet smell of the Lord's victory...Drink it in, Bobby!