Do not stay in the company of scorners.
I never fail to be amazed at how many are willing to correct - even scorn Pope Francis. The scorn is especially offensive and not from a good spirit.
I am reminded of those Fatimists who have insisted upon resisting the Pope to his face - appropriating to themselves the expression used by St. Paul the apostle.
The other day, a reader left the following comment on my blog, which I reprint here - because I agree wholeheartedly with it: "The idea that Abbey Roads gets right what everyone else has gotten wrong is itself quite a fantastic notion." The writer is absolutely correct - I often tell people not to 'follow me' or take my word for this or that which I write about. I also enjoy offering a humorous slant on current events in my 'crackpot news' posts. I adopted the term 'crackpot bloggers' from Fr. Euteneuer - who was busy spinning his own stories online. It seems to work - for me.
When we take ourselves too seriously online, we tend to establish ourselves as a sort of magisterium, perhaps even an extraordinary form of the Holy Office - judging and condemning - or looking down on everyone else - online or in the pews. Some prefer to call it faithful dissent, faithful opposition, or faithful resistance. Those terms are definitely Catholic - progressives-liberals have used them for decades. Although, more recently, the rhetoric sounds more 'protestant'.
To help illustrate my point, here are a couple of mildly crackpot criticisms of Pope Francis, from faithful Catholics online:
Newspapers are splashing headlines about Pope Francis' admission that he is ignorant about what is going on in his Church. He is reportedly claiming his "unawareness" was "bestowed" upon him by God, and this is where he gets his license to continue on with the destruction of Catechesis in spite of the chaos of The Ferris Bueller's Day Off Papacy.
Willful ignorance may make him feel blissful but it is not a gift of God's.
From another authority:
It's time to pray for this pope's conversion to authentic Catholicism.
Pope Francis is not only publicly saying that unrepentant divorced and remarried Catholics need to be integrated into the Church, he is politicking for this big time behind the scenes.
Many Catholics online know what I'm talking about - these pundits believe themselves to be the faithful remnant who continue to keep the faith. They have criticized, mocked, and scorned their parish priests, their bishops for years - now the pope is maligned and called a heretic. claiming he is bent on the destruction of the Holy Faith.
Neither Our Lord nor Our Lady would approve of the language used by these writers, and they would especially decry the doubt and division fomented by this sort of 'catechesis'. I say that because at Fatima Our Lady pleaded that prayers be offered for the Holy Father, who will have much to suffer. Long before that, the Blessed Virgin expressed deep sorrow to St. Catherine Laboure regarding the sufferings coming upon the Church and the hierarchy:
"I then asked the Blessed Virgin what was the meaning of certain things which had been shown me. She answered: 'My child, the times are evil and misfortunes are about to overwhelm France. The throne will be destroyed and the whole world convulsed by all sorts of calamities.' The Blessed Virgin looked very sad as she said this. 'But,' she added, 'come to the foot of this altar. Here graces will be poured out on all who ask for them, great or small. There will come a time when the danger will be great and it will seem that all is lost. But have confidence. You will feel that I am with you and that God and St. Vincent are protecting the communities. Have confidence, do not be discouraged, I shall be with you.' Then with tears in her eyes, Our Lady continued: 'There will be victims in other communities. There will be victims among the clergy of Paris. The Archbishop will die. My child, the cross will be despised and trodden underfoot. Our Lord's side will be pierced anew; the streets will run with blood, and the whole world will be in sorrow.'" - Source
How can we honor the Blessed Virgin one day, and the next day condemn the Holy Father? How can so called Catholic news sites place a question mark after every headline quoting a statement attributed to Pope Francis? These tactics are Catholic malware which infect our thinking - they embed in our memory - it's a virus. Some people online imagine their mission in life is to spread their own message, their own version of the Gospel, failing to understand that all is subject to the authority of the Church.
I've also sinned in this, and ask God's forgiveness and the grace to repair the damage I have done.