Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Papal Examination of Conscience

 Controversial idea, I know, but...

Have I appointed someone who has deliberately suppressed a religious order that was once thriving due to its traditional charism?

Have I ignored pleas from the Faithful for justice to be done to religious communities persecuted by those who I have appointed?

Have I given scandal to any of the Faithful by not preparing homilies, speeches, or being careful with my words in interviews? Has confusion resulted?

Have I defended the Deposit of Faith vigorously, guarding it, as it were, with my very life?
Do I make it appear that there exists a section of the Church which, for little justifiable reason, I loathe?
Do I insult sections of the Church who are my sons and daughters in Christ?  Do I temper justice with mercy in their regard?
Do I care for souls in my care or am I emphasise too much, concern for the temporal? Do I care for the temporal needs of those in my care, or emphasise only the spiritual?
Do I act in accordance and in obedience to the Church's law or do I simply make it up as I go along, especially if there is some secular public recognition and consternation among a section of the Faithful to be gained from it?
Have I, through careless word, or through misguided action or omission, given encouragement to heretics, schismatics and to enemies of the Bride of Christ in my temporary care?
Do I take care to make known to all the Faithful my fatherly care and love for all of them?
Have I acted with double standards towards Bishops who spend a lot of money on their residences, churches or sites used for ecclesiastical duties?
Am I at times authoritarian or do I try to 'micromanage' situations?
Do I make it appear at times as if Christ's Truth is up for negotiation, or to be tailored, refashioned or suppressed, according to the particular age in which we live?
Do I do things to be seen by others, like unparalleled baby-kissing, abandoning the venerable customs of my predecessors, photo-opportunities, "selfies", embracing the disfigured, or going to Confession spontaneously to a surprised priest where there just happens to be a cameraman in position?
Have I promoted indifferentism at times? Am I careful to denounce Freemasonry and the evils it promulgates and brings into the Church when membership of it is embraced by Catholics of rank both high and low?
Have I, at times, considered the Catholic Church to be my personal possession, instead of that of Jesus Christ, or do I consider myself to be more master of it than the custodian and steward that I am?
Do I draw upon the wisdom of Fathers, Saints, Doctors of the Church and my venerable and saintly predecessors in my theology, homilies and pastoral catechesis, or do I show an unrestrained preference my own novel ideas
Do I give the impression through word, action, or omission that repentance is not necessary for Salvation?
When I go to Confession, do I make a humble examination of conscience first, imploring the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten and teach me an understanding and recognition of my sins?

Feel free to add more.


tro said...

Bones, you have knocked it out the park.

Michaela said...

I think it was a good idea that he went to the confession publicly - people often believe the pope does not have to do it... Verba movent, exempla trahunt. If one is accustomed to the frequent examination of conscience, one does not have to use a long time for it before confession.

Genty said...

I didn't realise until seeing this picture that the Confessional is actually traditional and would have placed penitents kneeling either side of the priest. Presumably, there was once a curtain to conceal the confessor.
I suppose this is the modern way of transparency, or perhaps the basilica was empty of existential tourists at the time.

Hughie said...

I would have to say, Laurence, that I personally think you are going more than a wee bit too far.

George S said...

Disgraceful posting once again - proof that the author is moving nearer towards schism each day.

Gently - the Basilica wasn't empty during the Pope's confession as there was a Penitential service in progress at the time.

I think by choosing to kneel where he did, Francis is advocating face-to-face confession.

Православный физик said...

Dead on

Anonymous said...

Photographing the Pope going to confession is crass beyond words. He must have arranged the photograph to be taken as no one would have dared take such an intrusive photo, not to mention publish it, unless it had been agreed by the Pope. This is taking PR and Media-handling way too far. Confession ought to be conducted in a solemn, recollected and private way.

Liam Ronan said...

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12
I love your blog, but watch out for those splinters, Laurence!

Unknown said...

if only he would make such an examination.

Unknown said...

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Martina Katholik said...

deals with the same topic and has a contribution to the "little book of insults":

Unknown said...

Spot on, Bonester!!! I would like to swim across the pond and shake your hand.------Kim in seattle

susan said...

Kim in Seattle...a BIG ditto from here in Virginia!

Excellent piece!

Liam Ronan said...

@George S,
You said:

"Disgraceful posting once again - proof that the author is moving nearer towards schism each day."

Give it a rest, wont you? This blog is outstanding. Try to remember the old saying of the Roman poet Horace:

"I think it is a shame when the worthy Homer nods, but in so long a work it is allowable if drowsiness comes on.”

TommyAQ said...

This is just another way to degrade the traditional and essential concept of ANONYMOUS CONFESSION.
[A concept already officialy abandoned by the Redemptorist order of priests in their confessional liturgy]

Elizabeth said...


Elizabeth said...

I'm wondering why Liam and George S. are readers of this blog if they're so against anything remotely critical of the Pope.

Liam Ronan said...


"I'm wondering why Liam and George S. are readers of this blog if they're so against anything remotely critical of the Pope."

Surely you jest.

Supertradmum said...

Laurence, I love and admire your work, but as a mum, I must say you went over the top here.

This pope is not European, does not think like a European, is from the New World, is of Latin background as well as other, grew up in a time when the seminaries were full of rot, and still managed to stop ssm in Argentina and still managed to clean up the seminaries.

We cannot trust the Italian media, which has been liberal for a long time-and we cannot expect Francis to act like John Paul II.

Be careful, brother in Christ, of not becoming more Rome than Rome.

Also, I am convinced this pope will not change doctrine and will not perjure himself. He is a Jesuit.

In fact, it is my own personal opinion that he is the white pope in the Fatima vision.

Be careful for your immortal soul.

Supertradmum said...

PS criticize the laity first, look into our own hearts first-the Church is weakened by us primarily

Only an immature adult keeps blaming his or her parents for a messed up life.

Liam Ronan said...


You've said:

"Also, I am convinced this pope will not change doctrine and will not perjure himself. He is a Jesuit."

You appear to use the latter assertion as proof positive of the first, i.e. Because he (the pope) is a Jesuit he will not change doctrine and will not perjure himself.

That little bit of bootstrapping is rather unconvincing and illogical.

Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

antipope Francis is a disgrace

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