Pope Francis: I’m Not The Vicar of Christ or Successor of the Apostles!

Pope Francis drops ‘Vicar of Christ’ title in Vatican yearbook
The title ‘Vicar of Jesus Christ’ stems from Holy Scripture where Jesus grants St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church

April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a surprise move, Pope Francis has dropped the historic and essential title “Vicar of Christ” from the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook, the Holy See’s annual directory, relegating the title to a footnote, calling it a “historical title.”

While previous yearbooks listed the title “Vicar of Christ” and the name of the reigning Pope under that title, this year’s annual directory simply lists the name “Jorge Mario Bergoglio,” the name of the man who became Pope Francis in 2013.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called the change “theological barbarism.”

As the German Rome Correspondent, Guido Horst, reported today for the newspaper Die Tagespost, this new entry has astonished well-informed Vatican experts. He writes that this year’s Annuario Pontificio has “banned” the Pope’s title ‘Vicar of Christ,’ making it a “historical title” that now belongs to a footnote.

The Annuario Pontificio is published every year. It updates statistical data concerning the Catholic Church. Usually, the presentation of the members of the Church’s hierarchy – College of Cardinals, bishops of the world and the Vatican’s dicasteries – starts with the Roman Pontiff, under the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” (“Vicario di Gesù Cristo”). Then follow the additional titles of the Pope, all of which carry a “different or even no dogmatic significance” as does the first title, according to Horst. These are: Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

The title “Vicar of Jesus Christ,” however, “stems from Holy Scripture, in which Jesus has granted St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church,”  Ar these additional titles, there usually then would come the name of the current pontiff, a short biography of him, as well as the dates of his election and inauguration.

However, the new entry about the Pope starts now – instead of the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” – with the following title: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” This title is followed by a short biography and the dates of his election and inauguration. Finally – and this after a line indicating that the “footnotes” (in the words of Guido Horst) are now coming – there come, under the subtitle “historical titles”: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

According to Horst, such a change of the presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio “could only have happened upon request by Francis himself.”

In comments to the Tagespost, Cardinal Gerhard Müller points out that in the new presentations of the titles of the Pope, there are mixed together titles with dogmatic significance with those that do not bear such weight and who have a historical background (such as “Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City”).

The German cardinal goes on to speak about the “embarrassment” that the Annuario Pontificio has “demeaned essential elements of the Catholic teaching on the primacy [of the Pope] as mere historical appendix.” He insisted that it is “a theological barbarism to demean as historical burden the titles of the Pope ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church.’” He stated that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, “together with the ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church, rule the house of the Living God.” (Lumen gentium 18)

“No Pope or Ecumenical Council,” the German prelate continued, “could, with reference to their highest authority over the Church, do away with the primacy, the episcopacy, or the Sacraments, or to re-interpret them in their essence.”

A commentator quoted by Guido Horst noted that the change in the yearbook denotes a “defective understanding of the office,” pointing out that important titles such as “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” have also been downgraded as mere historical titles.

Professor Armin Schwibach, the Rome Correspondent for the Austrian website Kath.net, commented on Twitter: “It seems that they continue to dismantle everything.”

In 2006, Pope Benedict made a change to the usual presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio when removing altogether the papal title “Patriarch of the West.” At the time, this decision was interpreted as an act of “evidently hoping to eliminate one possible obstacle to ecumenical progress with the Orthodox world.”   Source – Lifesitenews

Comment: 

As the final paragraph reveals, the shedding of the titles indicating papal authority, has its roots in ecumenism.  These top churchmen don’t seem to get it.  Nothing they can do – from destroying the Mass to make it acceptable to Protestants, to chucking out papal titles – will bring about Christian unity.  Christ bequeathed unity on His Church from the beginning, when He prayed: “That they all may be one, as Thou Father in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

Any “dialogue”, therefore, with our separated brothers and sisters (or should that be “sisters and brothers” 😀 ) must take the tried and tested missionary form of inviting them to return to the Church founded by Christ.  If Pope Francis can’t see that, and instead continues on the senseless path of trying to destroy what is left of Catholicism, we can only reflect on those sobering words of St Paul:  “God will not be mocked.” (Galatians 6:7) 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

  

Archbishop of Glasgow: Most Catholics Faithless, But No Return To Tradition…

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow

A Lent challenge: Do I really believe? (From March 2020 edition of Flourish)

I believe in miracles … do you? That’s the powerful question asked by Archbishop Tartaglia this month as Lent begins in earnest. In a powerful interview with Flourish, Glasgow’s Archbishop calls for a new effort at fostering devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and a renewed sense of the sacred.
Editor:  Why’s that, then?  Why the need for “a new effort… devotion… Real Presence… sense of the sacred…”?  Whatever happened to the “old” devotion and sense of the sacred? Could it be that the “success” of the ecumenical and inter-faith focus of the Church has led to practical indifferentism among the faithful who now believe that one religion / denomination is as good as another, that we’re all going to Heaven, no need to be “dogmatic” about anything? Jesus loves us and we don’t need “organised religion” any more.  Just a thought.

The Archbishop spoke after a recent survey in the US showed only 30 per cent of Catholics fully accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely the bread and wine offered at Mass truly become the body and blood of Christ at the moment of consecration.
Editor:  Which means that 70% do NOT believe in transubstantiation… How did that happen, then?

Archbishop Tartaglia speaks frankly in the interview about the liturgical and catechetical mistakes which followed Vatican II and acknowledges that “the Church has gone through testing times in the post-conciliar period, much of it self-inflicted. There has been bad catechesis and bad theology around the Eucharist, with the result that many people cannot articulate the Church’s faith in the Eucharist even in simple terms.”
Editor:  well, Glory Hallelujah! That is some admission. Every word a jewel.  At long last, Archbishop. Still, a wee apology after the spirit of the age would be good. It’s called “taking responsibility”.  And then let’s see some action! Sacking the entire staff at the Scottish Catholic Education Service  plus reinstating Thomism in seminaries would be a start:  producing theologically literate priests and teachers can only help…

He adds starkly: “Many supportive elements of our practice, like fasting and genuflection and kneeling, and devotional prayers and practices, have been neglected. None of this has helped to nourish the faith of the People of God in the Most Holy Eucharist.”
Editor:  “genuflection and kneeling” don’t come naturally to those who think of Our Lord as merely their “brother” and who –  as the Archbishop now acknowledges  – lack belief in His Real Presence.  Who, after all, ordered the tabernacles to be placed out of sight (and thus out of mind, as the saying goes), along with the removal of altar rails and kneelers, because it is that person who bears massive responsibility before God for causing and maintaining the apostasy which Pope John Paul II once described as “silent”, but which is now screaming from the rooftops. 

But the Archbishop is clear that the answer is not a return to the past or a rejection of the liturgical changes of Vatican II.
Editor: WRONG!  How on earth does the Archbishop think we got to the stage where the vast majority of Catholics, by his own admission, do not believe in a central dogma of the Faith – the Real Presence – if not as a result of  “the liturgical changes of Vatican II”?   This has to be a rhetorical question because the answer is so painfully obvious. 
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He says: “The Novus Ordo, the ‘new’ Mass, is not a defective form of the Mass. Its structure is based soundly on the great liturgical tradition. Its theology is orthodox. Like any other form of the Mass, when celebrated well, it more fully achieves God’s purpose. When celebrated poorly, it obscures God’s purpose.”
Editor:  So the poor faithful are to be left at the mercy of the priest, hoping he does not “obscure God’s purpose”… What?!  The new Mass is definitely defective.  Its structure is totally contradictory to “the great liturgical tradition”: for example, never before in the entire history of the Church has the priest faced the congregation at Mass throughout. This is but one, highly distracting, innovation, one departure from Catholic Tradition which totally “obscures  God’s purpose” in the Mass and turns it into an entertainment platform, and in some cases, a circus.  So seriously did certain Cardinals regard this novel Mass, recognising that it was truly defective, that they wrote to Pope Paul VI, arguing that “…the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.” To read the entire letter/critique, click here

And he reminds readers that the teaching of the Church has been clear and unchanging in recent decades: “There has been good and faithful catechesis and teaching on the Eucharist during the post-Vatican II era, starting from Pope St Paul VI. His successors Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught firmly and beautifully on the Mass and on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.
Editor:  So, how come the majority of Catholics have lost the Faith – a fact which the Archbishop acknowledges?

“Pope Francis summed up the Church’s teaching simply and powerfully last year on the feast of Corpus Christi: ‘Whenever we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, we must truly renew our ‘amen’ to the Body of Christ… It is Jesus, it is Jesus who saved me, it is Jesus who comes to give me the strength to live. It is Jesus alive.’”
Editor:  is that it?  Hardly an explanation, let alone a ringing endorsement, of transubstantiation – but merely a vague pious statement to which any Protestant could subscribe.  Protestants who believe that they receive Christ “spiritually” in their bread and wine, could pray those words.

And he ended his interview with a cry of hope … “There is no pastoral plan that can fix this situation without insisting upon a renewed and profound faithfulness to Christ and to his Gospel. The answer will depend on much more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels which will lay out for the faithful the truth, beauty and wonder of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist so that they may receive him in Holy Communion with faith and devotion for the salvation of their souls.
Editor:  can’t argue with that – but how is this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels…”  to be achieved? There’s plenty of piously “hopeful” rhetoric coming from the Archbishop in this interview, but precious little in the way of concrete planning to put right the indiscipline, errors, liturgical and catechetical abuses of the past 50 plus years. And the check list below, really doesn’t offer any of that pious “hope”.  Apparently this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels” will be achieved as follows:

• It will be expressed in more obedient and authentic liturgy.
Editor:  that can only mean the traditional Latin Mass, offered in every parish in the archdiocese – a solution rejected by the Archbishop. 

• It will be accompanied by a much greater response to Vatican II’s universal call to holiness from all sectors of the Church.
Editor:  if “Vatican II’s universal call to holiness” is different from the perennial call to holiness of the Church since apostolic times, let’s hear it. It is, in fact, this heresy – that the Church only really began at Vatican II, with the arrival of the Holy Ghost at the Council – that has led to the current decline.

• It will demand a true conversion to the moral and social teaching of the Church.
Editor:  true.  Which will require priests and bishops to openly preach true morals, deny pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion and refuse to permit scandalous funerals, such as the very public funerals of partnered homosexuals which have taken place in Glasgow in recent years.  And in terms of the social teaching of the Church – that means priests and bishops preaching that, at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching is the belief that Christ must be at the head of every nation under Heaven. The Church is not an arm of the Social Work Department. She cannot support immoral national laws, in the name of Catholic Social Teaching.

• It will be based on a much more frequent and respectful practice around Mass, the Sacraments and an increased sensitivity to the sphere of the sacred.
Editor: that brings us full circle back to the need to restore that which has been lost – the traditional Latin Mass, and, in the meantime, an end to the various liturgical abuses now normalised – such as Communion in the hand, drinking from the Chalice and lay people playing at being priests.  We want rid of Extraordinay Ministers of Holy Communion:  when do we want it? NOW! 

• It will be supported by much more prayer, devotion and penance.
Editor:  once the traditional liturgy has been restored, “all these other things will be given to you”, to (kinda) quote the Gospel.

Its source and outcome will be a greater faith, hope and charity. It may well take a miracle of grace and conversion to restore our Eucharistic faith … but thankfully, I believe in miracles.”
Editor: yes, it will take a miracle, which is why we, at Catholic Truth, never lose sight of the need for the Pope and all the Bishops of the world to unite in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady requested.  Until then, as we can see from the above interview (notwithstanding his honest admission of the dire state of the Church on his watch)  Archbishop Tartaglia is still in denial as to the only way to put matters right, which is the restoration of all things in Christ; in other words, he must give us back what modernist churchmen have taken from us in the past half-century – our Catholic heritage.  The spiritual blindness which we are witnessing in the post-Vatican II churchmen from the top down, continues to display itself in interviews such as this, where the Archbishop just cannot see that it is only when the Traditional Faith in its theological and liturgical purity is restored, that his “miracle” will be achieved. Source – March 2020 edition of Flourishofficial publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

Comments invited…

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Pope Francis Latest – Brace Yourself… 

Comment:

A very powerful video – I hope everyone will take twenty or so minutes to view it right to the end.

Not only is the letter of instruction to the world’s bishops, featured early in the video, a novel way of “preparing” the faithful for an Apostolic Exhortation, it is misleading in the extreme in its claim of the need to be “in communion with Pope Francis”… What?!   All Catholics, including popes, must be in communion with the Catholic Faith, as it has been passed on to us from the apostles, so, only in the sense that a pontiff is in full communion with the Faith of our Fathers, might we speak of being in communion with the Pope – and nobody could accuse Pope Francis of such “rigidity”!

The minute any pope starts doing his own thing, inventing his own doctrine, he loses any right to the fidelity of the faithful.  We must continue to acknowledge and revere the office of papacy just as we must denounce any false teaching – and it sounds like the forthcoming Exhortation is worthy of denunciation of similar strength to that which followed the publication of Amoris Laetitia. 

This latest Exhortation is due to be published in the coming week, so this thread is by way of preparation – so that we may watch out for that recommended press conference in our own dioceses.  Let’s see if our local bishops are “in full communion with Pope Francis”.  That will be very interesting indeed – since, clearly, Archbishop Vigano, also featured in the Remnant video, is not! 

My own favourite quote from Archbishop Vigano follows… words  which ought to move every priest and bishop in good faith to follow his example: 

“To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me and remains so.  But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon given an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell.  A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved. Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge – ‘How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?”  – what answer could I give?”  (Archbishop Vigano)  

As Michael Matt says in the above video, Archbishop Vigano was a brilliant diplomat who realised that the time for diplomacy has come and gone. 

Quote that to the next priest or bishop you meet who claims to be of a “traditional leaning” but is waiting for “the right time” to surface.  Then simply repeat… “that time has come and gone…”   

Modern Catholics Discuss Liturgical Abuses in New Mass – You Just Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up…Honest!

Comment: 

This group takes too long to get into the discussion (at least five minutes) but once they get going, it’s very interesting indeed to hear them objecting to some of the very things which were defended and promoted by fellow-parishioners when some of us were doing the complaining.  It’s also interesting to see how the standards have shifted (mostly in a downward direction).  In the end, it dawns on Catholics who are truly thinking it all through, that there is no option but to move on to the traditional Mass – back to the future…  It seems clear that the growth is to be found where the traditional Latin Mass is being offered, so pray for the trio in the video. They obviously mean well.  I liked them as people – so much so that, but for the geography, I’d invite them out for Haggis and Neeps 😀

Anyway, in summary, below are the 15 things which the group in the video argue need to stop happening… or not;  there is some disagreement within the group which offers food for thought, not least because, notably, it is the priest [“Richard” or “Rich” as he seems to introduce himself] who does the disagreeing.  

Clapping (applause)

2 Too many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

3 Receiving from the Chalice (“cup”) when sick

4 Leaving seats at sign of peace to “share the peace” with people across the church

5 Socialising before (and after) Mass

6 Phone ringing 

7 Not donating

8 Leaving Mass early

9 Bad preaching (lack of “fire”, not inspiring or nourishing)  [worryingly, the priest in the video is open to laity, including women, preaching.)

10 Receiving Holy Communion in mortal sin

11 Dressing inappropriately – not dressing up for Mass

12 No sanctus bells 

13 Genuflecting to the altar when the Tabernacle is somewhere else

14 I couldn’t hear anything specific, but the conversation went on to discuss baptism/use of “lemonade” type jug  (If I’ve missed something, tell me in the comments…) 

15. Holding hands during Our Father

My own predominant  thought listening to the conversation was that any hope for the future in that diocese lies with the laity, as represented by the two lads on the video not the clergy, as represented by the [very nice and doubtless well-meaning]  priest in the video –  a manifestly modernist priest but one who likes Cardinal Ratzinger!  How much more confusing can this mess get! 

Share your thoughts – politely!  I’ll be posting the link to this thread on their YouTube channel, below the above video, to be precise., so don’t be too hard on these good souls, who are all far too young to have been taught the Faith properly.  They are typical New Catholics tailor made for the New Mass, the New Liturgy, the New Sacraments, the New Catechism, the New Rosary, the New Evangelisation, the New Morality, the New Politically Correct  Pontiff, the New Canonisations, the New Commandments (minus idolatry and adultery) … and the New – you name it.    

Pope Benedict: NO! To Married Priests – Shock Horror from “Vatican Experts”…

From the BBC website (emphasis added)…

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has issued a defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church as his successor considers easing a ban on married men serving as priests.

Pope Benedict made the appeal in a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah.

It comes in response to a proposal to allow married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.

Pope Benedict, who retired in 2013, said he could not remain silent on the issue.

In the book, Pope Benedict says celibacy, a centuries-old tradition within the Church, has “great significance” because it allows priests to focus on their duties.

The 92-year-old says “it doesn’t seem possible to realise both vocations [priesthood and marriage] simultaneously”.

It is rare for Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years, to intervene in clerical matters.

The Vatican is yet to comment on the book, which was previewed in part by French newspaper Le Figaro before its full publication on Monday.

Vatican commentators have reacted with surprise to Benedict’s intervention, suggesting it breaks with convention.

“Benedict XVI is really not breaking his silence because he (and his entourage) never felt bound to that promise. But this is a serious breach,” Massimo Faggioli, a historian and theologian at Villanova University, tweeted.

The comments by Pope Benedict were described as “incredible” by Joshua McElwee, a journalist for the National Catholic Reporter… Twitter post by @joshjmac…

As I digest this, I’m realizing how incredible it is. A former pope speaking in public about something his successor is currently in the process of considering.  (118 7:17 PM – Jan 12, 2020) …

For many, celibacy is a key part of being a Catholic priest. A priest is supposed to be married to God and not be distracted by what some consider to be worldly concerns like a wife or a family.

For traditionalists, this is about the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Church.

Some critics regard the idea of allowing married priests in the Amazon as a pretext to abolishing celibacy as a requirement altogether….
Click here to read entire BBC Report 

Comment: 

It’s downright hilarious to read the shocked comments of the alleged “Vatican experts/commentators” who speak of a “serious breach” and describe as “incredible” the fact that the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, should actually speak out to defend Catholic Tradition, in this case, the traditional teaching on celibacy.  Talk about “diabolical disorientation” – writ large!  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

Far from keeping silence and “obeying” this horrendous pope, Benedict should have spoken out a long time ago.  In fact, of course, he should not have resigned/abdicated in the first place.  He, as much as Pope Francis, will be called to account for the scandals, indeed the near destruction of the Church in human terms, in these times.  Both before and AFTER his resignation/abdication.  Better late than never, however, he is to be congratulated on this occasion.  Agreed? 

Ireland: Papolatrist Priest Under Fire For “Attacking” Pope Francis – At Last!

Below, extracts from Fr Thaddeus Doyle’s January editorial, in The Curate’s Diary

Some years ago, this priest launched a series of articles attacking Fatima priest, Father Nicholas Gruner, RIP,  to which Catholic Truth (and the Fatima Center) responded vigorously. Click here to read an Open Letter to Fr Thaddeus Doyle from Christopher Ferrara, correcting his false statements about Fr Gruner and the  Consecration of Russia, and highlighting his adherence to the Medjugorje hoax.

As you will see below, Fr Doyle has now come to the point of feeling the need to criticise Pope Francis.  Yet here he attacks Archbishop Vigano for doing precisely the same thing…   He is one very mixed-up clergyman. Pray for him.

From Fr Doyle’s current, January, editorial…

Faithful Friend,

Thank you from the depths of my heart for your continued loyalty to the Curate’s Diary in these difficult times.

I especially thank those who have continued to promote the Curate’s Diary despite many people objecting to its contents, and sometimes despite being insulted for promoting it.

Our circulation has indeed suffered greatly as a result of my coverage of recent events in the Church. Indeed since I began the series on Pope Francis and the problems in the heart of our Church, our circulation has dropped by 850 and is still dropping. About half of that is as a result of these articles. There has also been a knock-on effect on other aspects of my ministry also, including the loss of speaking engagements.

Why then do I not turn a blind eye to what I perceive as problems in the Church?

…Indeed when problems first began to arise in relation to Pope Francis, I too didn’t want to know. I even tried to block some things out of my consciousness. One such incidence happened while Cardinal Muller was still head of the Congregation for the Doctrine and Faith.

One morning when Cardinal Muller was celebrating Mass, his secretary got a phone call from Pope Francis who insisted on speaking to Cardinal Muller immediately. His secretary explained that Cardinal Muller was celebrating Mass. Pope Francis still insisted that he wanted to speak to him. Immediately! To interrupt the Mass!

Naturally Cardinal Muller wasn’t happy, but his secretary explained that he had already told Pope Francis that he was celebrating Mass, but yet Pope Francis wanted to speak to him. Now!

Had it been me, I would not have left the altar regardless of who was on the phone.

Every morning, if it is possible, I spend 30 minutes before Mass seeking to prepare my mind and heart for the celebration of Mass.

I cannot comprehend any cleric or indeed any person interrupting Mass or any ceremony for a phone-call.

How can one possibly put one’s mind and heart into celebrating the Mass if one is interrupted in the middle of it to answer the phone?

To me to interrupt Mass in this way is grave matter:- grave matter in lack of reverence and respect for the Mass, and also grave matter in this case because it involved the abuse of power.

When I heard what had happened, I was shocked, but I pushed this incident and other troubling incidents out of my mind, and got on with life, supporting Pope Francis and challenging his critics. However eventually things happened which I could not push out of my mind any longer.

I am a firm believer in the teaching of Jesus as we find it in the New Testament.

As years have gone by, my eyes have been opened more and more to the wisdom, truth and beauty of every word that the New Testament records Jesus as having said.

It is for me a real proof that Jesus was truly God. How otherwise could he have come up with such amazing and revolutionary teaching? 

Jesus is, as He said, the Way, the Truth and the Life. And as He also said, ³Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.² There is a sense in which a person hasn’t totally met Jesus if he or she isn’t guided by His teaching.

Regardless of the cost, I will stand for the teaching of Jesus. Publicly! Given my own love for Jesus, given my belief that his teaching is the true word of God, staying silent when a leading Church figure speaks or acts in a way that is contrary to the teaching of Jesus, is not an option. [Editor:  yet, when the “Lady” of Medjugorje does just that, he has no problem with it.]

Naturally it saddens me when we lose readers. But I am only losing readers – not my life.

Spiritually it is not a bad thing to suffer some small loss for the sake [of] Jesus. It means that one is putting Jesus before self.

There is, however, a sad side to it as well. My life is totally dedicated to leading people to a living relationship with Jesus, and the fewer readers we have, the fewer people I can help in their spiritual journey. I can only trust that one day, Jesus will in some way use my witness for the good His kingdom.

Ironically, but thankfully, one reason so many people have a difficulty with the Pope being criticised is that we have had outstanding popes for so long. [Editor: emphasis added, as I try to keep a straight face].

If people had a better knowledge of Church history, they would not have near as many scruples about a Pope being challenged

Yours, in Christ, Thaddeus Doyle (Rev)

To read the entire editorial, visit  Source – Jesus Power Ministries

Comment…

The very title of this priest’s site gives a flavour of his “ministry” –  which is that of any Protestant preacher. Appeals to “the Spirit”,  to building “a relationship with  Jesus” along with references to the “Gospel” as distinct from the Church, feature in his writings, which, arguably, lack the Catholic ethos.  That aside, however, what are your thoughts about Fr Thaddeus Doyle’s conversion to criticising Pope Francis? Might it lead to greater things?   If you have any stories of similar “conversions”,  of priests shedding their papolatry to condemn the scandals caused by Pope Francis, let us know. 

Importantly, too, consider what moves a priest like Fr Doyle to speak out, albeit better late than never, in the matter of the scandalous words and behaviour of Pope Francis?  Is it, thinkest thou, the above sentiment from Our Lady – is it because they come to a realisation that they must put God and His Truth above loyalty to any individual pontiff?  If not… what then?  

With Apostasy Full-Blown Worldwide, Pope Warns of “Christian Decline”…

Pope Francis has [said that] “rigidity” in living out the Christian faith is creating a “minefield” of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant. Francis called for Vatican bureaucrats to instead embrace change during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who work in the Holy See, on Saturday (local time). Francis’ message appeared aimed at conservative and traditionalist Catholics, including within the Vatican Curia, who have voiced increasing opposition to his progressive-minded papacy. Their criticisms have accelerated over the past year, amid Vatican financial and sex abuse scandals that may have predated Francis’ papacy but are nevertheless coming to light now.

Francis issued a stark reality check to the men in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace, acknowledging that Christianity no longer holds the commanding presence and influence in society that it once did. He cited the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a leader of the progressive wing of the Catholic Church, who in his final interview before dying in 2012 lamented that the church found itself “200 years behind” because of its inbred fear of change. “Today we are no longer the only ones that produce culture, no longer the first nor the most listened to,” Francis told the prelates.
“The faith in Europe and in much of the West is no longer an obvious presumption but is often denied, derided, marginalised and ridiculed.”

As a result, he urged the Catholic hierarchy to embrace the necessary pastoral reforms and outlook that will make the church attractive so that it can fulfil its mission to spread the faith.

“Here we have to beware of the temptation of assuming a rigid outlook,” Francis said. “Rigidity that is born from fear of change and ends up disseminating stakes and obstacles in the ground of the common good, turning it into a minefield of misunderstanding and hatred.”

He recalled, as he has in the past, that people who take rigid positions are usually using them to mask their own problems, scandals or “imbalances”.
“Rigidity and imbalance fuel one another in a vicious circle,” he said. “And these days, the temptation to rigidity has become so apparent.”

Traditionalist Catholics have denounced Francis’ emphasis on mercy and openness to doctrinal wiggle room on issues such as sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.  They also sharply criticised his recent synod on the Amazon, which called for the ordination of married men as priests, and what they considered pagan worship of an Amazonian statue of a pregnant woman that was featured during the meeting.

Francis has defended his outlook and priorities as a reflection of the Gospel, and the axiom that the true tradition of the church is one of a continuous, discerned path of change.  “Tradition is not static, it’s dynamic,” he said Saturday.

In a tangible sign of change, Francis issued a new decree Saturday limiting the term of the dean of the College of Cardinals, an influential job that had previously been held for life. Francis accepted the resignation of the current dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and decreed that going forward, the future top cardinal would only have a five-year renewable term. Sodano had been the powerful secretary of state under St John Paul II, and was blamed in part for the Vatican’s refusal to crack down on paedophile priests, including the notorious Rev Marcial Maciel.

Sodano, 92, continued to wield behind-the-scenes influence in the two papacies that followed, acting most recently as something of a beacon for conservative opposition to Francis. As dean, he delivered his final Christmas greeting to Francis on Saturday.  Source – 9News

Comment:  From the writings of Pope Saint Pius X…

“It is an error to believe that Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and to all men.” (Pope Saint Pius X)

Clearly, Pope Francis doesn’t agree; he would class Pope Saint Pius X as “rigid”.   So the dilemma for any Catholic is to decide which Pope is right?