Sunday, January 11, 2015

I was right - I've seen all of this Pope-bashing before ...

And it was by the same players doing it now ...

Some people in seminaries and chanceries referred to them as "Wanderer-types", CUF-ers, Fatimists, Baysiders, and so on.  When I first returned to the Church/sacraments, I was told to stay away from them, as well as St. Agnes parish in St. Paul.  The thing is, my attraction to the Church had been the Eucharist - Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - and my first communion upon my return took place at St. Agnes - where the Ordinary Form of Mass was celebrated as it was intended to be.  I prayed the rosary, sought out places for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, all things considered traditional.  So I wasn't sure why I should stay away from these 'types' since I felt I was Catholic, just like them.

I never fit in however.  I never fit in with so called progressives either.  I never tried to fit in either - why should I when Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament had already taken me in?  I had great devotion for the papacy - I was grateful for the papacy.  I admired from my youth those saints martyred during the Protestant upheaval who were martyred for their faith in the Real Presence and their fidelity to the Pope.  Why was I Catholic?  The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist of course - God with us, Our Lady, Mother of God, and Habemus papam - we have a Pope.  I loved every pope - and I was grateful for each new pope after his predecessor died.  I have said I have favorites among the popes - but it is only about personality.

Perhaps the sweetest pope ever was Pope John Paul I.  I watched bits and pieces of a film on the pontiff last night.  It was very well acted and presented - a fact creators of American Catholic film and television drama ought to aspire to and emulate.  But I digress.

The point is, Holy Father John Paul I seemed very much like Pope Francis and I suspect, if he had lived longer, he would have had the same enemies Francis does today.

That said, I came across an excellent reminder from John Allen at Crux magazine that the anti-papist sentiment and attacks we are witnessing in the Franciscan papacy is nothing new - as I've noted in former posts.  Have a look:

Anti-Francis backlash in contextThe Burke saga has left some observers wondering if the internal opposition Francis faces is unprecedented, especially at senior levels of the Church.
To begin, let’s be crystal clear: According to tradition, Francis is the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, and he’s also the 266th pope to have problems with some of his bishops. The story goes all the way back to the Acts of the Apostles, and a celebrated clash between Peter and Paul.
More recently, both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI faced enormous internal opposition, both from the grassroots and from sectors of the hierarchy. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and more than 5,000 bishops, and to think that at any given time some share of both aren’t going to be unhappy with their leader is a delusion.
In sum, the notion that there’s anything terribly new about what we’re seeing today is, for all intents and purposes, hogwash. - Finish reading here.

 What seems more remarkable to me however, is the viciousness of the attacks against the Pope - and this by the 'faithful remnant'.

A comment on Mark Shea's blog regarding such harsh criticism against Francis by the uber-faithful Catholics online, offered another take on the phenomenon here:

I would say there are a few causes of this. One, many of them were/are converts, which is itself a good thing, but they brought with them their non-Catholic issues and way of thinking: they are Protestants who happen to believe, for now, the Catholic Church is right, but they give a Protestant conditional obedience to the Church. I know many of these who then go from church to church: I know many right now thinking of going Orthodox because of it (which is a danger to the East).
Another group has been raised Catholic, but are very much American first. They often accused the left of this, which is often true in the US, but they are it just as much. They look at everything in the lens of American politics, forgetting that the foundation of American politics (right and left) stemmed from a reaction against Catholicism. This, I think, is why many of the same memes are used between classical anti-Catholicism and their current ideology. It is because they took on too much of the foundations of American thought which devolves into this.
Another group has been led astray by the first two, and though they want to be Catholic, and agree that the Pope should be heeded, they are confused because they believed the Pope has been saying the exact same thing as the American right for some time. As a result, in their writings, you can see their confusion; they still hold on to what they "learned" and reason from it, though they are willing to slowly learn and see beyond it. Yet because they have yet to "get there" yes, their words are then re-used by others to reinforce the divide.
Certainly, there are also the sophists, who just parade what they think can be said for the sake of money. - Horn of Silk  (The follow up comments are equally as interesting.)

They all chose death rather than renounce 
their faith in the Blessed Sacrament and Papal supremacy. 
Imagine that.


  1. It seems to come down to everyone following his or her own opinion. They all have their own ideas of how things should be, of how a pope should act and what he should say. The comment you posted from Mark Shea is very insightful. Most trads I know are either converts or reverts. They don't realize it, but they still have that rebellion in their mind. They still want the Church to conform to them. But being a true Christian means denying ourselves and conforming to Christ, and that includes His Mystical Body, the Church. We either believe the Holy Spirit is in charge or we don't.

  2. I rwad a comment somewhere - can't recall, otherwise I'd cite it - that basically said, how sad for some who, for many years, thought they were following the faith, only to discover they were following an ideology.

    1. I think that was on Fr. Z's blog - it was a good comment.

    2. It applies to everybody, too. Equal opportunity guilt trip!


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