Two things that strike me about His Holiness Pope Francis's comments on the children of same-sex couples (but are they really 'their children'?) picked up on by La Stampa and Rorate Caeli. First, a papal desire to 'micromanage' every pastoral situation that may crop up in the life of the Catholic Church and, second, the problem that arises when a Pope abandons his traditional role of safeguarding Catholic doctrine and becomes the World's friendly, inclusive pastorally-minded parish priest. Really, I guess these two trends each feed into each other. Hence, horror from traditionalists and delight among liberals, which is still most likely unfounded.
|Micromanagement: How it really works...|
Does Pope Francis think all parish priests are all potential 'little monsters' who need firm guidance and direction in 'forming hearts' on how to act with justice and mercy in every situation? Let's face it, in most situations traditionally-minded priests will desire to act justly and with mercy towards children and liberal priests will not really mind either way because 'I can see no problem here'. There are far more liberal priests now and not many traditional priests who could thwart kindness to children with their 'pelagian, restorationist neo-promethean' ways, so why the need for papal pronouncement on everything? Let's face it, most priests would sign off any child into a Catholic school nowadays as long as he or she is baptised because they realise that they or the Church could potentially get done for discrimination, though perhaps that is an exaggeration.
the Cardinal Meisner story on divorce and remarriage and Holy Communion gave the impression that Pope Francis does not understand that the pastoral, doctrinally vague comments he offers produce a certain 'effect'. Is His Holiness living in a bunker under the Domus? I know most Bishops do not read blogs, but does His Holiness really not read any newspapers? Even the one contributed to by Scalfari?
I first picked up on the desire to 'micromanage' the Church in Gaudium Evangelii during the Pope's words on preaching...as if Priests do not each have their own style of preaching. Why should priests conform to a particular style of preaching and preparation of preaching dictated by the Pope? Isn't that kind of an aspect of their training when they go to seminary? And yet, the micromanagement of pastoral affairs (we vaguely should do this/that or something else in this/that situation) produces nothing but more howls of delight from the liberal crowd, consternation among circles of loyal sons and daughters of the Church and confusion all round as the 'vultus' on the papacy as to whether the Pope will uphold doctrine is exposed once more and bleeds all over the newspapers and blogs.
Again, Francis here is addressing the painful situation, not the problem of sin which creates the situation, nor its remedy, Jesus Christ, giving his hearers the impression that the Sovereign Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church only cares about the happiness of life in this World and nothing - that's zilch - for that of the World to come. If I conduct myself, as a Catholic, in such manner, then introducing such confusion to Souls is not just scandalous. It is anti-Christ. I can't see there being much difference, except in the vastness of the number of Souls affected, when the Successor of St Peter does the same.
Oh Lord, please do not let me be misunderstood. Let us pray for the Pope, for, as the old adage goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions (and the skulls of priests and bishops).