With Cardinal Burke the latest name hitting headlines in the purge of the Roman Curia, another who just happened to be a supporter of Pope Benedict XVI and his liturgical vision, can we assume that 'unity in diversity' does not mean what it actually means, but something else quite restrictive and rather authoritarian?
It is very disturbing to enter into a period in the Church's history in which the things that the Pope says do not appear to translate into reality or real life situations, but the very opposite appears to be the case. This is what leads to someone whose Church record is bound up with public scandal and controversy like Cardinal Daneels being personally invited by the Pope to be present at the Synod, but doubts now emerge over the presence of a Cardinal like Raymond Burke, whose record is quite simply without blemish. No, what you really need at the Synod are Churchmen associated with pornographic catechisms for 13-year-olds and rampant child abuse taking place on their watch in their Diocese while victims are quietly ushered away.
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St Peter's Square...
Pope Francis is, it appears, seeking to do the same - insisting that the Church find unity under him. We do not have a Prime Minister or President of the Church but a Pope, a Vicar of Christ on Earth and the truth is that the Church does not find unity under the personality of the priest or even the personality of the Pope, but under the office of the priesthood, the office of the episcopacy and the office of the papacy and this unity is founded under the rule of Christ the High Priest and King. Christ is the Head of the Church. The Pope's role is clear and already well-defined. It has limitations.
|Outcasts in the new era, victims of a throwaway culture in Rome|
The humble workers in the vineyard, on the other hand, do not even see unity within the Church as being 'under me' or under any particular person by virtue of his personality, but see unity under Christ our God, whose rule extends over all of the servants of the Church, be they Pope - whose authority is exercised in the name and service of Christ, in whose place he stands and teaches God's law, not his own innovative agenda - or Bishop or Priest. They point us to Jesus Christ who they have made vows to serve in the Priesthood. They administer Sacraments and confect the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and feed Jesus to their flock.
Pope Benedict XVI always pointed away from himself to Christ the Lord, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. A new regime with an entirely new set of personalities seems to view the Church in starkly political and radically political terms at that, seemingly unaware that the grievous damage they are doing is coming from a spiritual source so destructive that it is impossible to see it as coming from the Lord. They are using starkly political methods in which to administer the 'medicine of mercy' that it is felt is needed in order to knock down the legacies of those they succeed in order to establish something that is discontinuous and rupturous in its place. Their arrogance is truly breathtaking. Nothing - nobody - it seems will be able to stand in their way. Our hope is in Christ the Victor.
Pray, pray, pray for the Church and the Pope with whom it is nearly impossible to feel increasingly aggrieved and disconsolate. We have to love him, we do not have to love all he does and says. We should be prepared to suffer everything for Christ and His Bride. Suffering is coming our way, no is already here. Be prepared to weep, but be brave, because for this reason were you born again in the font, at this time, to bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ even when it feels like, or indeed the Church is falling down all around you. Let nobody silence you, if you speak out, for we are entering the crucible of suffering from which victory will eventually emerge for Christ's Bride, since She will know more than any other the Victory of the Bridegroom. It's going to get messy. It is already very messy. Stay strong and never give up Hope. Let the Lord be your refuge because it looks like if you love Jesus Christ and His Church, you are going to need one. Let it be Him. Come, Lord Jesus!