Saturday, 15 November 2014

Excellent piece by Michael Voris...and some personal thoughts

Lately, there seems to have been more than a distinct whiff of hysteria among on the part of some traditional Catholics stemming from concerns over recent events and news from Rome. I was therefore very pleased to listen to this very sound and sensible piece by Michael Voris, which I recommend to you (there is an advert for a retreat at the start, and Michael begins speaking at around 0.40).

From a personal viewpoint, yes, I do have concerns about some of the things the Holy Father says. We all know how the media and others (including some who profess to be Catholics) love to pounce on anything that they can spin and twist to suggest that the Church is abandoning her doctrines and succumbing to the position of the World (as in the Devil, the World and the Flesh). We saw this a number of times with Pope Benedict, where careful traps were laid to appeal to his academic background and fondness for intellectual debate, and then attempt to present what was intended as a hypothetical scenario for analysis as a generalised position, and even as a new doctrine. If this can be done with the most careful and thoughtful of popes, it is inevitable that a lot of rubbish will be said about a pope who is given to off the cuff remarks and small talk.

I have not quite worked out why the Holy Spirit has given us Pope Francis, but then, as my old school chaplain often used to say, "I don't know, because I'm not God". It is clear that the Holy Father is trying to make the Church more welcoming, and perhaps overcome some of the 'bogeyman' that have been attributed to her, particularly following the various scandals that have emerged in recent years, concerning rogue clergy, child abuse and so on. Perhaps he is also trying to combat the influence of secularism and show that Catholicism is still relevant today, and not some fuddy-duddy relic of the Middle Ages, and as a consequence increase popular interest in the Faith as a form of proto-evangelism. Perhaps, not beyond possibility with a Jesuit, he is trying to open up controversy in order to provoke a renewal in catechesis and a revival of orthodoxy among the laity, who are apt to react when they are aware that things have shifted from the status quo of the past. Perhaps there is some other purpose...

What we do need is to recognise that the Holy Spirit is with us, and that the Church has endured crises in the past and survived. We know that there have been good and bad popes through history, and yet the papacy has survived and is still doing its job. We need to recognise errors where these occur, and do what we can to address them, and also to recognise positives and potential for spreading the Faith and saving souls. We need to guard against rumour and conjecture, which are fertile ground for the Father of Lies, who is constantly trying to provoke division and draw us away from God. Above all we must continue to PRAY - for the Church, for the Pope and clergy, and for ourselves.

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