As we mark the Feast of Pentecost, 31 May, we need to pray extremely hard for the Pope and entire Hierarchy at this time of huge crisis in the Church. Evidence of this crisis abounds. Scandalously, for example, a Lifesitenews report dated February 22, 2017 quoted the Head of the Jesuit Order questioning the truth of the Gospel itself, claiming that we may put our own interpretation on the words of Christ – always, of course, with the “discernment” of the Holy Spirit: Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much.
Things have not improved since 2017, but have become steadily worse. The protestantising of the faithful through the new Mass succeeded to the point where, as the Jesuit Superior reveals, the Protestant belief that we may interpret Christ’s words for ourselves is all but “settled science” in the minds of contemporary Catholics.
So, let’s pray for the Pope and Bishops today, in a special way, as we mark the coming of the Holy Spirit to give courage to the infant Church – but not, as many preachers will mistakenly claim, to mark “the birthday of the Church“. Some perfectly sound priests use that phrase or sentiment to mark Pentecost, but it is misleading and can lead to the Protestant claim that the Church only began at Pentecost – the rest is down to human beings, misinterpretation of Scripture and the rest. That’s false. Our Lord established His Church on earth, when He gave the keys to Peter and set up His hierarchical community (cf Mk 3:14-15 / Matt 16:18). It was at Pentecost, however, that the Church was openly revealed: When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church…and so that the Church can fulfil her mission endowed with the gifts of her Founder … (cf Catechism of the Catholic Church, #765 ff).
Below, the hymn in honour of the Holy Spirit, popular especially at Pentecost. As ever on any devotional thread, feel free to post your own favourite hymns and prayers, and to discuss any relevant issues relating to the Feast.
Finally, note: 31st May is traditionally the Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady, so, given that she was present at that first Pentecost with the apostles, let us renew our pleas to her to intercede for us, to obtain special graces for Pope Francis and the entire Hierarchy on the occasion of the Feast of Pentecost, 2020. Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.