|Bishop Kieran Conry: 'Fight battles you can win...'|
At the time, Bishop Kieran Conry was speaking with specific reference to the closure of Catholic adoption agencies in the wake of 'equalities' legislation. Is there, I wonder, a similar kind of thinking emanating from the very summit of the Catholic Church? Catholic bloggers will have read the widely distributed words of Cardinal Bergoglio on same-sex marriage, decrying it as the machinations of the Father of Lies, the Devil, to destroy God's plan for the family and society. Even this letter, however, was sent in private to a congregation of Carmelite Sisters. I don't know whether it was intended for wider publication. While nation after nation, including our own, has tied itself into the global 'gay-marriage' accord, no doubt helped along by the globalist elite so often suspected of handing policies down to Governments to the detriment of their citizens, there has come very little from the Successor of St Peter in terms of outspoken 'fighting' for marriage, the family and the welfare of the child in the specific context of the homosexual marriage movement that has engulfed particularly the West.
|Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat|
Unless the Holy Father makes some form of biting statement condemning the evils of the age, of which poverty and injustice form indeed one part, Catholics who hold fast to that which the Church has taught 'always and everywhere' will find it more and more difficult to present the enemies of Christ inside the Church with refutations as to the truth of the Papal teaching, relying instead on things said by Cardinal Bergoglio before he ascended to the Throne of St Peter, or, worse, previous Popes.
It is a risky strategy, for Francis the man, and for souls in his paternal care, but it may well be that Pope Francis is concentrating on those battles that he believes that he can 'win'. Yet Christ made it clear that 'the poor you will have with you always', so eradicating poverty and injustice is not a battle the Church can win either. Does that mean we should be indifferent to poverty and injustice? It may be that he is adopting the 'Conry Strategy', a strategy adopted seemingly in Bishops Conferences around the World, including Brazil, in terms of confronting the evils that assail humanity and the Church is the way this papacy is heading. It is striking that during His Holiness's speech to the political leaders of Brazil that there was much content discussing the 'culture of encounter' which His Holiness referred to today once more, but little in terms of confronting these same leaders with the harder teachings of the Church that defend life from conception to natural death. Just days after His Holiness left Rio the Brazillian political class took a leaf out of David Cameron's book and thanked His Holiness for 'making us sit up and think' on his visit by introducing laws liberalising abortion.
|Francis at the March for Life in Rome, attended by 40,000 campaigners|
Few battles can actually be won - not, at least, by us. If a battle has ever been won for the Church, God and the Court of Heaven are duly given credit - one example being Our Lady of Victories centuries ago. We believe that evil does not have the last word on humanity and that Christ has conquered and will conquer. Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ commands.
|Unpopular with vocal atheists: Bl. Teresa|
Blessed Mother Teresa said that we were not called to be successful but to be faithful, which suggests that 'winning the battles' was less important than fighting them in the first place. This Blessed attracted the ire of atheists for her words on artificial contraception and abortion, calling the latter the 'greatest destroyer of peace' in the World.
|Pope St Sixtus II, Martyr for the Faith|
The Pope, even in his role as the Bishop of Rome is still a 'Teacher' of the Catholic Faith. As Successor of St Peter, he is the Supreme Teacher of the Faith. While the world still speaks well of Pope Francis he will continue to cause concern among those who take to heart the Lord's words that we should be concerned when people speak well of us, since that is how 'they treated the false prophets'.
Today is the Feast of St Sixtus II. May the intercession of this Pope and Martyr give Pope Francis and all of us the courage to preach the Gospel without fear of what people may think of us, to be generous to the poor and to know that God gives victory to those who trust in Him. Let us not be put to confounded, or put to shame.