"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

KWTC Editorial: My Thoughts On Pope Francis

1. Despite the media microscope - they got it wrong again.  I'm not a historian, but it seems to me they always get it wrong.  Cardinal Roncalli came out of nowhere to become Pope John XXIII just as a young Polish cardinal did fifteen years later.  Although later described as the 'obvious choice' the media wasn't talking about 'God's Rotweiller' as papible in 2005.  Ironically, in the media's desperate attempt to portray a papal election just as a political, they missed identifying the supposed 2005 runner-up as a contender in this election.  When the next conclave occurs I bet the same circus will break out featuring the same lame predictions and obtuse commentary.

2. Immediately after the announcement of Cardinal Bergoglio as the next pope, the media machine started looking for dirt on him.  They have found old rumours of his supposed sacrifice of two priests to torture during Argentina's 'Dirty War'.  In 2005 it didn't take long for these Church enemies to find out as a child Joseph Ratzinger was enrolled in the Hitler Youth.  A picture of him as a priest giving Benediction was chopped to portray him giving the Nazi Salute and circulated on the Internet.

3. By choosing the name of St. Francis he'll hopefully reveal the true nature of this great saint and correct the Oprah-esque version floated by the hippie-dippie 'spirit of Vatican II' modernists.  Father Zuhlsdorf has already blogged about this here.

4. Pope Francis is a Jesuit who took the name of their order's supposed rivals and seems to have spent his ministry living more like a Francisan.  While this may seem like a contradiction, keep in mind the Jesuits who evangelized the New World didn't live a life of luxury or comfort; neither did Jesus.  He was the chaplain of the Eastern churches in Argentina which some have suggested means he knows how to offer the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople will attend Pope Francis' installation Mass - a first since the Great Schism.  Pope Francis is a man of unity - the S.S.P.X. should take note.    

5. Pope Francis is also a Jesuit who apparently isn't well liked by worldly Jesuits.  When St. Ignatius founded their order they were to be the intellectual defenders of doctrine against the Protestant schism.  The "Pope's Marines" have since regressed into pseudo-intellects espousing heterodoxy while challenging doctrine and the pope's authority.  It's not hard to find evidence of their decline: the average age of a Jesuit is 70.  The Ignatius Centre in Guelph is more pagan than Catholic, places like the Jesuit Urban Center can't close quick enough, parishes & priests like St. Ignatius Chestnut Hill are in desperate need of correction.

6. Shortly after being appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires he cleaned house.  It's anticipated this may happen again with the Roman Curia.  The Cardinal Electors know what needs to be done; it's safe to assume they elected a man strong and determined enough to cleanse the temple.

7. He is staunchly Pro-Life and Pro-Traditional Marriage while a strong advocate for the poor.  The lefties heads will explode trying to figure him out (they probably won't).  He'll take back the Social Justice title for the Church away from socialists in sheep's clothing.

8. The son of Italian immigrants to Argentina he's the perfect bridge from Old World to New.  If Pope Francis does for vocations in Latin America what Bl. Pope John Paul II did for Poland then the Church is in good hands.  Although there were solid Italian candidates, it does the Church good to have a non-European pope.


9. Based on the horrific reaction by some 'traditionalist' commentators on Rorate Caeli perhaps a more liturgically orthodox pope isn't what we deserve at this time.  Perhaps 'traditionalists' would be wise to follow our new pope's humble manner - proclaim the Good News using words when necessary.  Hopefully those making such insulting statements are sedevacantists and not members of any Latin Mass communities in harmony with Rome.

10. Although it's still early and most of us don't know much about Cardinal Bergogolio, there does seem to be cause for concern regarding his liturgical style.  However, the effects of this won't be known immediately.

Consider: Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, pushed through the corrected translation of the O.F. missal, only gave Holy Communion to those who knelt and received in the universal manner - yet - what effect did it have on the rest of the Church?  Cardinal Ranjith removed the indult for Communion in the hand but to my knowledge that's one of the only places in the world where the novelty doesn't exist (in the O.F.).  There is still liturgical dancing in cathedrals, clown Masses, and various other novelties despite Pope Benedict's liturgical vision.

Cardinal Mahony has tweeted such hypocrisy already.  If he's celebrating a "Low Church" pope then why did his L.A. Religious Education Congress liturgies feature liturgical dance during Pope Benedict's pontificate?

11. Sumorrom Pontificum won't be dissolved.  Pope Benedict XVI gave the Church a beautiful gift and his liturgical vision will not fade away.  It's now up to the laity to carry out his vision of gravitational pull - both forms benefiting from the other.  It's up to the laity to insist on the Ordinary Form being offered reverently while more Extra Ordinary Form communities develop.

Regardless of how the pope says Mass, there are many clergy who don't care and will do whatever they want with the liturgy.  Until this rebellious generation fades away and is replaced by priests who respect the will of God, the people will be subject to abuse on Sunday morning.

12. So perhaps Pope Francis won't pay much attention to the liturgy.  However, if during his pontificate he reforms the Curia, the Jesuits, makes reunification of the Orthodox churches a real possibility, settles the sex abuse scandals, and gets our attention back to the poor through an interior focus on prayer, then I say he'll be a great pope.

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