Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Monday, 13 March 2017
"Jesus Christ did not come down from Heaven like a hero that comes to save us. No, Jesus Christ has a history!"
"A Christian without a people, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible! it is something invented in a lab, something artificial, something lifeless!”
"It’s not being a religious fraud or something of that sort…No!"
"These doctors of the law that the people…yes, they heard, they respected, but they didn’t feel that they had authority over them; these had a psychology of princes!"
"[Saying] ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey.’ And Jesus never passed Himself off like a prince: He was always the servant of all, and this is what gave Him authority!"
"[They despised] “the poor people, the ignorant,” they liked to walk about the piazzas, in nice clothing!"
"They were detached from the people, they were not close [to them]; Jesus was very close to the people, and this gave authority!"
"Those detached people!"
"These doctors, had a clericalist psychology!"
"They taught with a clericalist authority – that’s clericalism!"
"That’s where you find the authority of the Pope, closeness. First, a servant, of service, of humility: the head is the one who serves, who turns everything upside down, like an iceberg."
"They said one thing and did another. Incoherence. They were incoherent. And the attitude Jesus uses of them so often is hypocritical!"
"And it is understood that one who considers himself a prince, who has a clericalist attitude, who is a hypocrite, doesn’t have authority! He speaks the truth, but without authority!"
"Open to the Lord, not closed, not hard, not hardened, not without faith, not perverted, not deceived by sin!"
"The Lord has met so many of these, who had closed their hearts: the doctors of the law, all these people who persecuted him, put him to the test to convict him!"
"There were other times, continued the Pope, when people wanted to make Jesus King, thinking He was “the perfect politician!”
“Those who didn’t move…and watched. They were sitting down…watching from the balcony. Their life was not a journey: their life was a balcony!"
"From [their balconies] they never took risks. They just judged. They were pure and wouldn’t get involved. But their judgements were severe!"
"In their hearts they said: What ignorant people! What superstitious people! How often, when we see the piety of simple people, are we too subject to that clericalism that hurts the Church so much!"
The man who “sat beside the pool for 38 years, without moving, embittered by life, without hope…someone else who failed to follow Jesus and had no hope!”
“Do I take risks, or do I follow Jesus according to the rules of my insurance company?” Because “that’s not the way to follow Jesus. That way you don’t move, like those who judge!”
"Am I watching life with a soul that is static, with a soul that is closed with bitterness and lack of hope?"
“Living in the fridge so that everything stays the same!”
“Lazy Christians, Christians who do not have the will to go forward!"
"Christians who don’t fight to make things change, new things, the things that would do good for everyone, if these things would change!"
"They are lazy, “parked” Christians: they have found in the Church a good place to park!"
"And when I say Christians, I’m talking about laity, priests, bishops…Everyone. But there are parked Christians!"
"For them the Church is a parking place that protects life, and they go forward with all the insurance possible!"
"[Stationary Christians] make me think of something the grandparents told us as children: beware of still water, that which doesn’t flow, it is the first to go bad!”
“Lazy Christians don’t have hope, they are in retirement! It is beautiful to go into retirement after many years of work, but, spending your whole life in retirement is ugly!”
"No. Hope is struggling, holding onto the rope, in order to arrive there. In the struggle of everyday, hope is a virtue of horizons, not of closure!"
“Life does not come to any of us wrapped up like a gift!"
“Those who go forward make mistakes, while those who are stationary seem to not make mistakes!”
“You can’t walk because everything is dark, everything is closed!”
"Parked Christians, stationary Christians, are selfish. They look only at themselves, they don’t raise their heads to look at Him!"
“A Christian life without temptations is not Christian, he said: it is ideological, it is Gnostic, but it is not Christian!"
“At times, I like to think about joking with the Lord: ‘You don’t have a good memory!’ This is the weakness of God: when God forgives, He forgets.”
"Theirs was an egotistical mindset, focused on themselves: their hearts constantly condemned [others]!"
“Often people tell me that when they pray they get angry with the Lord...this too is prayer! The Lord likes it when you tell Him to his face what you are feeling because He is the Father!”
"Doing the Lord’s will, but only superficially, like the doctors of the law that Jesus condemned because they were pretending!"
"When one goes along the street and an unexpected rain comes, and the garment is not so good and the fabric shrinks!"
"Confined souls! This is faintheartedness: this is the sin against memory, courage, patience, and hope!"
"Afraid of everything… Confined souls in order to save ourselves!"
"The fainthearted are those “who always go backward, who guard themselves too much, who are afraid of everything!"
‘Not taking risks, please, no… prudence…’ All the commandments, all of them… Yes, it’s true, but this paralyzes you too, it makes you forget so many graces received, it takes away memory, it takes away hope, because it doesn’t allow you to go forward!"
"Statisticians might have been inclined to publish: ‘Rabbi Jesus’ popularity is falling’. But he sought something else: he sought people! And the people sought him!"
"[The survival mentality] makes us look back, to the glory days – days that are past – and rather than rekindling the prophetic creativity born of our founders’ dreams, it looks for shortcuts in order to evade the challenges knocking on our doors today!"
"[The survial mentality] makes us want to protect spaces, buildings and structures, rather than to encourage new initiatives. The temptation of survival makes us forget grace!"
"A survival mentality robs our charisms of power, because it leads us to “domesticate” them, to make them “user-friendly”, robbing them of their original creative force!"
"The temptation of survival: An evil that can gradually take root within us and within our communities!"
"[The survival mentality] turns us into professionals of the sacred but not fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters of that hope to which we are called to bear prophetic witness!"
"The mentality of survival makes us reactionaries, fearful, slowly and silently shutting ourselves up in our houses and in our own preconceived notions!"
"An environment of survival withers the hearts of our elderly, taking away their ability to dream!"
"[An environment of survival cripples the prophecy that our young are called to proclaim and work to achieve!"
"The temptation of survival turns what the Lord presents as an opportunity for mission into something dangerous, threatening, potentially disastrous. This attitude is not limited to the consecrated life, but we in particular are urged not to fall into it!"
"To put ourselves with Jesus in the midst of his people! Not as religious “activists”!"
"Because they could not receive the things of God as a gift! Only as Justice: ‘These are the Commandments: but they are few, let’s make more!""And instead of opening their heart to the gift, they hid, have sought refuge in the rigidity of the Commandments, which they had multiplied up to 500 or more!"
"These rigid characters were afraid of the freedom that God gives us: they were afraid of love!”
And not the closed, sad prayer of the person who never knew how to receive a gift because he is afraid of freedom that always carries with it a gift.
"Such a one knows only how to do duty, but closed duty. Slaves of duty, but not love: when you become a slave of love, you are free! It is a beautiful bondage that, but such men did not understand that!”
"The rigidity of the closed Commandments, that are more and more “safe” – with emphasis on the scare-quotes! – but that do not give joy, because they do not make you free!"
"In order to understand a woman, it is necessary first to dream of her.”
"No, no, no! The woman is there to bring harmony. Without the woman there is no harmony. They are not equal; one is not superior to the other: no. It’s just that the man does not bring harmony!
"No, no, no, no! Functionality is not the purpose of women!"
"Exploiting persons is a crime of ‘lèse-humanité’: it’s true. But exploiting a woman is even more serious: it is destroying the harmony that God has chosen to give to the world. It is to destroy.”
“There are so many corrupt people, corrupt ‘big fish’ in the world, whose lives we read about in the papers. Perhaps they began with a small thing, I don’t know, maybe not adjusting the scales well!"
"Corruption begins in small things like this, with dialogue: ‘No, it’s not true that this fruit will harm you. Eat it, it’s good! It’s a little thing, no one will notice. Do it! Do it!’ And little by little, little by little, you fall into sin, you fall into corruption.”
"The speck of sawdust becomes a plank in our eye, our life revolves around it and it ends up destroying the bond of brotherhood; it destroys fraternity!”
“Even within our episcopal colleagues there are small cracks and rifts that can lead to the destruction of brotherhood!"
“If you insult your brother, you have killed him in your heart!”
“The Word of God cannot be given as a proposal – ‘well, if you like it…’ – or like good philosophical or moral idea – ‘well, you can live this way…’No!"
"No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God!"
"The spirit of Cain which – for envy, jealousy, greed, and the desire to dominate – leads to war!”
Many times [it is said]: ‘I am in this diocese but look at how important that one is’ and I try to influence someone, or put pressure, to get somewhere…”
"Let us think about infighting in a parish: ‘I want to be the president of this association, in order to climb the ladder. Who is the greatest here? Who is the greatest in this parish? No, I am the most important here; not that person there because he did something…’ And that is the chain of sin.”
"‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life!"
"And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighbourhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist!’"
"It is that, scandal. You destroy! You beat down! And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction!”
"But you will arrive in heaven and you will knock at the gate: ‘Here I am, Lord!’ – ‘But don’t you remember? I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?’ ‘Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’ That will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life!"
"Because they thought of the faith only in terms of ‘Yes, you can,” or “No, you can’t” – to the limits of what you can do, the limits of what you can’t do. That logic of casuistry!"
"Even with the fourth commandment these people refused to assist their parents with the excuse that they had given a good offering to the Church. Hypocrites. Casuistry is hypocritical. It is a hypocritical thought."
"‘Yes, you can; no, you can’t’… which then becomes more subtle, more diabolical: But what is the limit for those who can? But from here to here I can’t. It is the deception of casuistry!"
“But what is more important in God? Justice or mercy?’ This, too, is a sick thought, that seeks to go out… What is more important?"
"Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life!"
"We see Peter asking the Lord what will happen to them, as they have given up everything to follow him. “It’s almost as if Peter is passing Jesus the bill!”
"No to the toxic pollution of empty and meaningless words!"
"No to the spiritual asphyxia born of the pollution caused by indifference!”
"No to a prayer that soothes our conscience, an almsgiving that leaves us self-satisfied, a fasting that makes us feel good! No to all forms of exclusion!”
"No to the toxic pollution of empty and meaningless words, of harsh and hasty criticism, of simplistic analyses that fail to grasp the complexity of problems, especially the problems of those who suffer the most!"
"No to the asphyxia born of relationships that exclude, that try to find God while avoiding the wounds of Christ present in the wounds of his brothers and sisters!"
"No to all those forms of spirituality that reduce the faith to a ghetto culture! A culture of exclusion!"
“On the other hand there is a fasting that is ‘hypocritical’ – it’s the word that Jesus uses so often – a fast that makes you see yourself as just, or makes you feel just, but in the meantime I have practiced iniquities, I am not just, I exploit the people!"
"We take from our penances, from our acts of prayer, of fasting, of almsgiving…we take a bribe: the bribe of vanity, the bribe of being seen. And that is not authentic, that is hypocrisy!"
Sunday, 5 March 2017
All of this is profoundly and wildly speculative, of course, but I suppose that option c) for Pope Francis in the event of some kind of process that resulted in a trial to ascertain his ability to hold Office would be simply to declare that he does not recognise the authority of those who place him on trial followed by some kind of excommunication for those who tried to do so. Meanwhile, Fr Antonio Spadaro and Fr James Martin S.J could tweet about how this was like the arrest and trial of Our Lord Jesus Christ. One can just see the narrative unfolding. 'The Trial of Pope Francis'. That would make for an interesting play at the National Theatre. If not answering the dubia is seen by Francis as his way of showing respect for due process, perhaps he wouldn't even turn up for his own trial. The imagination runs riot. Perhaps I really should give it up for Lent.
I suppose that with the general upending of justice and law that is a motif of this papacy, the trial of Cardinal Burke and/or those who resist the strange new doctrines is far more likely. As today's Guardian story makes clear, for the time being Pope Francis clearly wishes very much for a narrative - the dominant one of this papacy - to be propagated. The narrative is this: Pope Francis the Good and Merciful Vs the Evil, Conservative Catholic Church. Since 2013, this narrative has been building up. One seriously wonders, what does the climax of that narrative look like?
May God come to the aid of His Church swiftly and may the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary come soon. I don't see any happy endings in the offing other than that promised by Our Blessed Lady at Fatima. What that looks like, or will look like, we cannot yet see.
Saturday, 4 March 2017
I apologise to those readers who were shocked by my last post if it bore the hallmarks of an over-reaction or somewhat 'over the top' reaction to a media report that has the flavour of Roman gossip about it.
If this report is false, then I retract it in its entirety because it is unnecessary. If it is true and plans are afoot to 'replace' a Pope with another, I stand by every word. Perhaps unwisely, the post was based entirely on this 'IF'.
With that said, Catholics cannot be blamed for being somewhat sensitive right now. The last conclave was dogged by rumours and public records hinting very strongly that the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis may have been in some way compromised in a manner that the Church regards as illegal, with such consequences that entail automatic excommunication upon those persons who may or may not have been involved in 'vote-canvassing' for a particular candidate. This is due to laws fashioned during the reign of St John Paul II that forbade it under pain of just such a penalty.
This controversy is a matter of public record and I find it difficult to rule out the possibility that this controversy has ramifications for the papacy and the Church that are still with us today and may be with us for quite some time.
Not only is a controversy over the last conclave well within the public domain, but further controversies emerged in the wake of the 2013 election that suggested that it may even have been the case that 'pressure', of an unknown kind, could have been applied to Pope Benedict XVI in order to get him to step down. Again, this is not a fact, but a controversy that persists. I make no judgement on these matters, for how can I? I am only a lay person. It is for a competent authority to judge the truth of these matters at a time when it can be assessed in its fullness.
However, while these controversies persist and have never been emphatically laid to rest, it seems completely beyond my comprehension how a 'group of Cardinals' could be reported in the mainstream press to be considering both:
a) pressuring the current Pope to resign and
b) replacing him with a pre-determined candidate who we must assume would already have accepted the pre-determined nature of the role
I heed advice given to me to remain calm, in the likelihood that this report in The Times is false. I hope and pray it is false. I reserve the right to be seriously not calm if - and I stress if - that report is true. If it were true, it would have grave ramifications for the Church. Both a) and b) are, in fact, illegal within the Church.
If the report were to be true, then all law and order in the Church would have broken down and the papacy is simply at the mercy of powerful men with no interest for the good of the Church, but rather for the strength and respectability of their party or faction within the Church. Or should we no longer be shocked by this possibility because we are numb after four years of doctrinal mayhem and disdain for Church laws and even the Law of God Himself?
I then went on to discuss that the only way to remove a Pope is by deposition. A Pope cannot be deposed by force or external pressure, but only by an unprecedented and extraordinary tribunal held by the competent authorities, after a trial in which the Supreme Pontiff has been found to have ceased, or never to have possessed, authority over the People of God, either by not possessing, teaching or believing the Catholic Faith himself, or by the tribunal concluding that his election was invalid and that he reigned as an anti-Pope. Or both. If Cardinals were trying to oust or 'persuade' Francis to go without recourse to some sort of legal framework, that would have serious ramifications for the validity of the next conclave (should that come about) as Church laws would have been abrogated in an arbitrary manner, possibly not for the first time, for the sake of nothing but expedience. Whatever one may think of Francis and his own attitude to laws, they are there for the protection of the Church and they should be observed.
Perhaps, you might say, these things simply should not be discussed and, if so, they should be discussed in an objective and sober manner. I apologise for the general tone of my last post. I was angry and shocked at the media report. I could scarcely believe it and yet, I could believe it. I can believe quite easily that a cabal of Cardinals are frightened that Pope Francis is leading the Church to an inexorable path of destruction and that his complete unpredictability is a liability both for that cabal and for a wider circle of Cardinals who believe that something must be done. Perhaps these things should not be discussed, but if the report is true then they are being discussed in the highest parts of the Church.
Those who say these things should not be discussed may very well be right in that belief, in which case may the number of Cardinals and Bishops faithful to the Truth of Jesus Christ be emboldened and give as much possible support, in public and private, as they can to the four Cardinals and to their dubia, so that, far from 'pressuring' Francis to resign, the Princes of the Church may insistently ask Pope Francis to teach the perennial Faith of the Church and, if he will not give answer, explore the legal avenues within their sphere of influence to begin a process which may result in an assembly which can ascertain whether the Pope is, indeed, a Catholic, one who professes and holds the Faith of Christ, a necessary prerequisite to reigning as a legitimate Pope.
There is justification for calling an assembly of just this kind, since Pope Francis refuses to answer five simple questions concerning immutable Catholic doctrine. If Pope Francis does not wish such a process to be a possibility, he can of his own volition either a) answer the dubia and teach the perennial Catholic Faith or b) resign, thereby leaving known or unknown the motives for his resignation. If he didn't want to give his true motives in his resignation, he could always suggest that he was growing older and more frail and the Church needed a younger and fitter man for the demands of an Office with such grave responsibilities. Such a process would be completely legal, faithful to the laws of the Church and respect both Pope Francis and his august and esteemed Office.
But like I said, if the media report is false, then I apologise for my over-reaction to a false rumours spread in the international press.
And no, I am not drunk.
Thursday, 2 March 2017
What can a Catholic say but...
Right now, I would happily wake up tomorrow to a new conclave and the knowledge that a man who has done his level best to butcher the Faith of the Church has gone. That might sound terrible, disloyal or uncharitable, but as citizens of countries breathe a sigh of relief when a tyrant is removed, so would I breathe a sigh of relief if Francis was removed. Pope Francis has been a total disaster for the Catholic Church's mission in every testable area. However, my personal feelings of hurt and betrayal by Pope Francis do not merit his removal by force, threat or even 'gentle persuasion' by his Cardinals. I suppose in the Vatican, someone's got something on everyone, so I suspect that even a little blackmail could be used as 'pressure' or 'gentle persuasion'.
For those who are desperate, this may indeed be a great temptation.
The law of the jungle has no place in the Catholic Church. If Cardinals (be they 'liberal' or 'conservative') are looking to evict Francis from the throne of Peter, then they should do so according to the law of the Church, however embarrassing that process may be!
In a situation in which there is not a wealth of legal precedent in terms of deposition of a Pope, it must be seen and it must in fact be that Francis is not 'pressured to resign', but that he is removed from Office under the laws which exist in the Church for reasons that justify it, which could be such issues as formal or material heresy and/or a dubious election that is deemed canonically invalid. For, if Pope Francis is indeed, as we are informed he is, a valid Successor of St Peter, rather than an anti-pope, then his removal must come about because the tribunal has found him to be incapable of holding the Office he now possesses.
The Papacy is not a gangland where thrones are simply taken by force, or, at least, it wasn't intended to be such by Christ. According to the laws which DO exist in the Church, a cabal of Cardinals 'pressuring' a valid Pope Francis to resign in order to elect an already known successor, who would have, we can safely assume, have already consented to the king-making scheme, would bring about an invalid election. It would appear that Cardinals already have a 'respectable replacement' in mind! Have they learned nothing from 2013? Clearly not!
Until recently, the Church and the world has looked to the Catholic Church's process of electing a Pope as something vaguely mysterious. It is not and cannot be compromised in this way, so that both within the Church and within the World, this man or that man takes the papacy, or is handed the papacy by his mates, because of the influence of the friends network he has built up, or because of those who influence others in this manner, as if the papacy is simply a political game that swings between right, left and centrist 'parties'.
ENOUGH OF THIS FARCE!
Do not pretend to yourselves that a 'respectable' Francis, less gaff and insult prone, less rash and unpredictable, would have made the Church look more attractive, or a slow-burning overturning of Catholicism over a longer-period would have stopped the 'schism' you apparently fear under Francis. Do not deceive yourselves. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. She can never be the Bride of both Christ and Freemasonry, or any other belief system or dogma. The Church cannot have two masters - Jesus Christ and liberalism. It does not work. It either finds unity in Jesus Christ and His Teaching or She will be ever at risk of division and disharmony.
She finds peace and concord in Him alone and laws established within the Church are established with His blessing. Chicanery and robbery, bullying and plunder have no place in the Church, far less when it comes to the Throne of St Peter. If, like Catholics who take the Church and Jesus Christ seriously, you feel that Francis is taking the Church to the brink of schism and destruction, then you must find Francis first guilty of something that impedes him from exercising universal jurisdiction over the Catholic Church, or leave him be and pray for him and render him filial obedience in everything except that which contravenes God's law. Of course, if you have a problem with Francis asking you to do something that contravenes God's law, note it down, for such information will be vital in an extraordinary Council called by Bishops and Cardinals and trial of a Supreme Pontiff!
If Francis is found to have been acting under four years in a manner that Cardinals conclude can only be described as that of an infidel, apostate or heretic, then let it be judged so. Then not only the Church, but the World, can sleep in peace, knowing that the unusual papacy of Pope Francis was indeed a truly unprecedented moment in Church history, when the Church was governed in Her highest and most esteemed Office by a man who was judged by the Church to be NOT A CATHOLIC, BUT AN APOSTATE AND TRAITOR TO THE FAITH.
Then - and only then - can the Church find peace and restored harmony under a validly elected new Supreme Pontiff who exercises universal jurisdiction with freedom and God's blessing over the entire Catholic Church in the service of his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ and for the Salvation of souls.
Until you do ascertain the truth of these matters, you cannot simply stab the Pope in the back and ask him to 'move aside' or else. This is not a matter of 'clearing up a bit of a mess'. This is not a matter of vengeance either. This is a matter of justice.
If Francis chooses to renounce the papacy, then let him do so.
If Francis chooses to renounce the papacy because he cannot bring himself to profess and believe the entirety of the Catholic Faith then let him do so.
If Francis chooses to renounce the papacy even because he fears censure in a court of ecclesiastical law, public rebuke or investigation by the competent authorities for failing to hold, profess and teach the faith, then let him do so, but, and mark these words and mark them well, let him do so, 'in full freedom' aware of 'the gravity of this act'.
Then, let a new conclave be announced and the Cardinal-electors beg Almighty God (not their mates canvassing for Parolin) to give them His light and grace to find a holy Pope who will govern the Church with prudence, wisdom and sincere love for Christ and souls. The man you should look for is the man who God has anointed to steer the Church through the tumults of this world to the harbour of the heavenly homeland. Whoever you choose, whether Francis goes or stays until death, find a man who is unwilling to throw Chinese Catholics to the dogs in China! Catholics do not want 'your man'. We want God's man, i.e, a 'man of God'!
Or have you wolves learned nothing
since the last time?
Enough of your projects!
To Hell with your plots, your fraud and schemes, your machinations, treating the Bride of Christ and the Papacy as if they are mere pawns in your power struggles!
Enough of your 'compromise' candidates and your twisted vested interests and factions!
Enough of your projects!
To Hell with your plots, your fraud and schemes, your machinations, treating the Bride of Christ and the Papacy as if they are mere pawns in your power struggles!
Enough of your 'compromise' candidates and your twisted vested interests and factions!
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