Afternoon Catholic Herald Must Read by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith
|Weeping for Rome? Our Lady of La Salette|
Fresh from a rip-roaringly successful WYD in Rio, Pope Francis was garrulous on nearly every 'sensitive' issue in the Church today, from homosexuality to divorce and remarriage, but inside each statement there is a kernal that gnaws away at the soul - an element that suggests that Catholics (and non-Catholics - even atheists) simply do not know what is round the corner in terms of this papacy.
Peter is the Rock - the Rock on whom the Faith of Christ is built - the Rock on which the Church is built by Our Lord and, much as it will displease readers to hear it, there is something worryingly 'un-Rock' like about the statements of the Holy Father.
The simple fact is that the Pope who generally refuses interviews for his own reasons has, in one interview, said things on different subjects that are literally taking days to digest. Not only are they taking days to digest but, not for the first time, if we recall what the Holy Father said about atheists and redemption, Catholics loyal to the Magisterium are being forced onto the back foot in order to positively present the Pope's words in total harmony with traditional Catholic teaching. The world is telling Catholics that 'your Pope is changing the Church' and we have to keep saying, 'No, no! You've got it all wrong. This is what His Holiness meant...' His Holiness does not want us to be indolent and he is certainly making Catholic bloggers work and even the Vatican itself - work hard to 'represent' his teachings.
Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith today pours over what His Holiness intimated about the issue of divorce and remarriage. His Holiness's words were as follows:
“I think this is the moment for mercy. The divorced may have access to the sacraments. The problem regards those who are in a second marriage … who cannot receive communion. But, in parenthesis, the Orthodox have a different praxis. They follow the theology of economy, and they give a second chance: they allow that. “But I think that this problem – and here I close the parenthesis – should be studied within the framework of matrimonial pastoral care.
One of the themes that the Council of Cardinals will consider in the meeting in … October is how to proceed in relation to matrimonial pastoral care. A few days ago I met with the secretary of the Synod of Bishops, for the theme of the next Synod and, speaking … we saw this anthropological theme: how faith helps in the planning of the person, in the family, and enters into the pastoral of matrimony. We are on the way towards a deeper matrimonial pastoral care. This is a problem for many people.”
Yikes! The implication of the Holy Father's words are that a new epoch may possibly require a new attitude from the Church to the divorced and remarried. Before we go on any further, can you imagine how his words are being taken in the offices of The Tablet, the National Catholic Reporter and by heterodox Catholics, including the large amount of heterodox Bishops and Priests around the World? If Archbishop Charles Chaput was correct to say that Francis will disappoint both traditionalists and liberals, then why does His Holiness keep offering an olive branch to those who despise Catholic teaching or who wish to overthrow it?
|Unhelpfully, St Francis prophecised a 'destroyer' Pope|
Conspiracy theorists who believe Freemasons are hard at work inside and outside the walls of the Vatican attempting to build a 'One World Religion' will be sitting on the edge of their seats. According to the Pope, October will also see a 'review' of the Church's position on the divorce, remarried and the Sacraments. There is little doubt that, doctrinally, at least, the 'Pope of the New World' is not going to great effort to affirm teaching with clarity in the face of the World's hopes, fears and expectations. Already His Holiness has, either deliberately or accidentally, provided the enemies of the Church much hope, be it false hope or not, that the Church's future will be one not of just dialogue with the World, but an openness to overturning Her teachings for worldly acceptance.
Marriage is in crisis across the Western world and elsewhere. The Church is built on Peter, but if the pillar of the Church's teaching on divorce and remarriage with regard to the Sacraments goes, the pillar that will be removed will be the Lord's own teaching on marriage that He taught while He was Himself on Earth, since Jesus Christ did not teach 'accommodation and pastoral care' in this regard (much as genuine pastoral care is needed), but instead called those who divorce and remarry adulterers!
Of course, a 'moment of mercy' in terms of 'deeper pastoral care' that recognises the position of the Orthodox Church could simply mean firm guidance for priests in how to care pastorally for those in the Church in this situation. Or, alternatively, it could mean the overturning of the Lord's own teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage by dispensing the Sacraments to all and sundry, regardless of their marital state. If one pillar of the Catholic Church gets knocked down, the whole building will likely collapse!
Both Fatima and La Salette as well as other prophecies from Saints and Blesseds have predicted such horrific events that "Rome will lose the faith" and "become the Seat of Antichrist". Meanwhile, as if those shaken by recent statements have not enough to contend with, there is a woman who calls her 'prophetic' role 'Maria Divine Mercy' who claims to be receiving messages from Jesus and Mary that Benedict XVI was the last true Pope and that Pope Francis is the false prophet spoken of in Revelation - the implication being that the man who sits upon the Chair of Peter is an atheist! Order your foil hats, which can also be used as mantillas for ladies now from www.ourladysfoilhats.co.uk!
|Our Lady's tin foil hats: They even double up as mantillas.|
|Papal tin-foil hat modelled by Pope Leo XIII|
Why? Because this sense of ambiguity and the vulnerability of Francis's statements to a multiplicity of interpretations from different audiences will continue to feed the fires of disunity and concerns that Rome itself could eventually fall into schism. You may say, and you may well be right, that blogposts like this do not help, but Our Lord, St Peter and St Paul and a Cloud of Witnesses told us to be vigilant if not totally paranoid.
The immense and surprising popularity of Pope Francis, the open battles over the meaning of his public statements and his commendable desire to reach out to the World is, while attracting enormous interest in the Catholic faith, simultaneously creating suspicion and a sense of dis-ease within the Church among those who hold fast to doctrine that had hitherto been understood to be 'off-limits' in terms of alteration. The result is that we can take heart and be cheered that following the impromptu interview, Peter Tatchell, at least, is not taken by the new Pope, but be rather concerned that Terence Weldon perceives the Holy Father's words to be an endorsement of his agenda for 'the Masses'.
Pray for the Holy Father, for holy Priests and holier Bishops,and pray especially for those who by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, govern Holy Mother Church against which the Gates of Hell shall never prevail.