Well? Would Pope Francis II be an improvement on Pope Francis I?
Well? Would Pope Francis II be an improvement on Pope Francis I?
Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Jesuits, said in an interview Monday that Pope Francis consciously calls himself the Bishop of Rome, instead of using grander titles.
“Very frequently we forget that the pope is not the chief of the Church, he’s the Bishop of Rome,” Fr. Sosa told EWTN in an interview Oct. 15.
“As the bishop of Rome, he has another service to do to the Church, that is, to try to [bring about] the communion of the whole Church.”
By convoking the youth synod, taking place in Rome Oct. 3-28, Francis is exercising his role as pope by bringing together a group “of his own peers” to make a “contribution to the communion of the whole Church,” Sosa said.
“Fr. Sosa is certainly correct to say that the pope is the Bishop of Rome, but it would be a mistake to infer from that title that the Holy Father is merely ‘first among equals,’” Chad Pecknold, Associate Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, told CNA.
Pecknold told CNA that popes often and correctly speak of their “brother bishops,” but that the Petrine office is unique.
The pope “holds an office of supreme authority over every bishop in communion with him, and of course over the faithful too. It isn’t a charism of dominance but of paternal care – the popes traditionally use the title ‘servant of the servants of God.’”
Sosa said that because Pope Francis feels each bishop is responsible for his local church, this synod, in which Church leaders come together to discuss and decide church affairs, is an expression of dialogue and communion between all of the bishops.
Pecknold agreed that the world’s bishops are each truly invested with the authority to govern, teach, and minister to their own dioceses. But a bishop’s ministry must always be done in union with the pope, who, he said, “is the visible center of communion for the universal Church.”
“The worldwide college of bishops exists in what the Church calls ‘hierarchical communion’ with each other and with the head, the pope. When the we talk about authority of the college of bishops to teach or lead, the Church is always careful to emphasize that this is only possible in union with the pope, who is the head of the college,” Pecknold explained.
In his interview, Sosa also explained that the collaborative work of the synod is a work of discernment, something he said was very important to Pope Francis. The Jesuit superior said that although the concept of discernment is a key feature of Jesuit spirituality, the act of listening to the Spirit has been a part of the Church’s for a long time.
“Discernment is the way that this communion [of the universal Church] can be made and how the Church will find the structure to reflect a Church that is open to that synodality,” Sosa continued.
“Because the Church is supposed to be governed not by men but by the Spirit. So [the Synod of Bishops] is not a kind of parliament, where you have to have a majority or minority, but we all together try to listen to the Spirit. And that’s what discernment teaches us to do.”
In comments to journalists Oct. 16, Cardinal Louis Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, echoed this point: “The synod is not a political parliament, is a synod of fathers, teachers,” he said. “What can we give, what can we offer the young, the faithful?”
The Synod of Bishops, which was established by Pope St. Paul VI following Vatican Council II, was created to continue the collaborative effects of the council fathers.
The Code of Canon Law defines it as a work of “collaborative assistance” to the pope’s ministry, and stresses that it exists to “foster unity” among the bishops, including with the pope. It also states that the synod is itself a creation of papal authority, deriving its legitimacy not from the bishops attending but from the pope who called them to the session. Whether a synod session’s conclusions are deliberative or consultative is explicitly up to the pope, who decides how much of his own authority to delegate to it.
In this sense, Pecknold told CNA, it functions nothing like a parliament.
“Parliaments are political, legislative bodies,” he said.
“The Synod of Bishops exists to foster unity and to give the pope the benefit of their counsel. In that sense, their job isn’t to pass this resolution or block that one – it is to work together to advise the pope as best they can, and that is a work of communion and service, not confrontation.” Source
Pope Francis DID emphasise, right from the beginning, from his words on election delivered from the Vatican balcony, that he was Bishop of Rome… He has, it seems, sought to play down his papal role. So, the question has to be… does it matter? Shouldn’t we applaud his humility in shying away from all things Petrine?
Vatican City, Oct 3, 2018 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis began the Synod on young people Oct. 3 with a homily calling for the Holy Spirit to renew hope and dynamism in the Church.
Hope can “broaden our horizons, expand our hearts and transform those frames of mind that today paralyze, separate and alienate us from young people,” said Pope Francis.
The Synod of Bishops commenced its fifteenth ordinary general session with Pope Francis asking to begin the assembly “anointed by hope.”
“Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, ‘it’s always been done like this,’” he continued.
In a historic first, two bishops from mainland China are participating in the Synod of Bishops due to the Holy See’s provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops in September.
One of the bishops at the synod, Bishop Giuseppe Guo Jincai of Chengde, was among the seven bishops recognized by the Vatican on Sept. 22.
“The communion of the entire Episcopate with the Successor of Peter is yet more visible thanks to their presence,” the pope said as he welcomed the delegates from China.
The Synod of Bishops is taking place over three weeks from October 3-28 and will focus on the themes of young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.
“Hope asks us to get up and look directly into the eyes of young people and see their situations,” said Pope Francis, “This same hope asks us to make efforts to reverse situations of uncertainty, exclusion and violence, to which our young people are exposed.”
More than 300 participants are gathered in Rome, including clerics and religious, as well as 49 auditors, among them 36 young people from five continents.\
“May the Spirit give us the grace to be a memory that is diligent, living and effective, that does not allow itself from one generation to the next to be extinguished or crushed by the prophets of doom and misfortune, by our own shortcomings, mistakes and sins,” Pope Francis prayed.
“Rather may it be a memory capable of enkindling our hearts and of discerning the ways of the Spirit,” he continued. “With this attitude of docile listening to the voice of the Spirit, we have gathered from all parts of the world.”
“The Holy Spirit will be the first to preserve, to keep alive and relevant, the memory of the Lord in the heart of his disciples. It is the Spirit who ensures that the richness and beauty of the Gospel will be a source of constant joy and freshness,” he said. Source – Catholic News Agency
“Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, ‘it’s always been done like this,’” [said Pope Francis]
What’s that, if not trashing Tradition? Look at what happens when we STOP doing what has always been done… confusion, chaos and scandal by the bucketful.
I get the feeling that young people are going to be short-changed by this Synod, to put it mildly. What do you think? Will they come away from it, excited that they face the challenge of changing themselves, the challenge of holiness… or will they leave in a rebellious spirit, determined to change Christ’s Church, to fashion it in a way that allows them to live in conformity to the spirit of the world – totally opposed to the Holy Spirit, which Pope Francis invokes so freely to justify his calls to challenge Tradition, to, effectively, challenge Christ, Himself?
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is asking Pope Francis to call off the Synod of Bishops on young people this October to focus instead on the life of the bishops.
“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” the archbishop said at an Aug. 30 conference at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a report by the website LifeSiteNews.
In its place, the archbishop suggested that the pope “begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” the archbishop said.
Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirmed the archbishop sent the letter to the pope, but he offered no additional comments.
The archbishop gave his comments about canceling the synod during a panel discussion called the “Cardinals’ Forum,” sponsored by the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics and the Cardinal John Krol Chair of Moral Theology, both at the seminary.
The archbishop, who is set to participate in the synod on youth, was one of three panelists speaking on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” the theme of the Oct. 3-28 synod in Rome.
Hundreds of bishops and young people representing youth from across the globe will engage in discussions at that meeting and typically, the pope attends some synod conferences. After the gathering’s conclusion, the bishops make recommendations to advise the pope as he formulates pastoral policy to address the specific issues discussed.
Pope Francis had previously confirmed Archbishop Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as one of only five American bishops to attend the synod, all of whom were elected by their peers in the USCCB.
The other church leaders planning to attend are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB vice president; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.
Calls for reform in the Catholic hierarchy have risen throughout the summer as the clergy sexual abuse scandal has intensified, with bishops across the globe coming under scrutiny for their potential role in covering up cases of abuse of children and young adults.
And confidence in the credibility of Catholic bishops has been eroding in the wake of allegations against the former Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report on 70 years of clergy child sexual abuse in the state and the explosive letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former U.S. papal nuncio, alleging the cover-up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse by bishops in the United States and in the Vatican.
In an Aug. 30 letter to the pope, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns asked for an extraordinary synod to address issues in the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.
“The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” the letter said. It suggests that this synod should include topics such as “the care and the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.” Source
American Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation, house-arrest and forthcoming canonical trial following allegations of child sexual abuse has hit the headlines the world over. Click here to read one of the many reports…
Not quite so well known, however is the fact that McCarrick’s long time friend, who shared a home with him for six years, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the person in charge of the Youth Synod. Guilt by association, of course, is unjust. However, watch his performance in this short video report and then read the comments from YouTube, some of which are copied below, for ease of reference.
Then ask yourself – would YOU want this man in any kind of position where he can influence any child of yours, with his upside down view of the role of young people in the Church? He doesn’t see them as requiring the teaching and guidance of the Church – he thinks these uncatechised young people should be running the Church! We’ve a bishop here in Scotland who thinks the same – if you recall, not so long ago, we discussed this same ambition of the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan) to hand his diocese over to his uncatechised youth. Seems to be catching on – can’t wait for the polling on that one in a year or two…
Watch the clip below, where he reacts to the “news” (not likely news to him) of Cardinal McCarrick’s credibly alleged sordid behaviour, the consequences of which are now coming home to roost. Then check if your own thoughts chime with the YouTube commentators below.
Comments from those who watched the video on YouTube… to read all comments click here
…Will Farrell denounce the actions of McCarrick? Where is that?
…Not buying it at all. This Cardinal Farrell was the guy who invited weirdo homosexualist priest Father James Martin to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland. Why would they want to turn the World Meeting of Families into a big gay pride parade? This guy is behind having this stuff at the Ireland meeting and should never have been made a Cardinal. This clown also said that priests have nothing to offer when it comes to preparing people for marriage. He is a disgrace to the church.
…Haul this guy into court and have him testify under oath
…Cardinal, as you can see from the comments below, no one believes one word you say about this. You’re only adding to the shame the Church must shoulder because of the acts of the mitered dirt bag McCarrick. We in the pews are sick of pious lies of the kind we hear in this interview.
…Translation: “I lived with a pedo for many years and never noticed anything odd!” If true, this just tells us that Farrell is a very naive and unintelligent man. And that’s probably the best scenario we can hope for. His choice of words also make him suspect. A person with a properly formed conscience in this case would use words like “disgusting,” “repugnant,” and “despicable.” Instead he’s just talking about himself and how “overwhelmed” he is. Not convincing.
…I don’t believe him at all
…I don’t believe this. Sorry. Total liar. They know very well what’s going on. Sickening… totally sickening.
…He seems to care only about himself, not for any victims. This is so disheartening as a Catholic.
…Play at slower speed to hear that I am recording this accurately. 0:53 And I was involved 0:58 heavily involved in Washington, 1:00 ahh in the whole … from 2000 on 1:06 in the sex abuse 1:09 ammm 1:12 so I really 1:16 don’t have any knowledge or ‘anything’ to add about 1:20 more than that
…If this “interview “ was supposed to help Cardinal Farrell it totally backfired. “I, I, I, I, I, I…” Any sense of shame, indignation and compassion for the terrible damage done to others? I don’t think so. He’s just thinking about how to get out of this.
…“…heavily involved”… “in the sex abuse…”… hmmm. Anyone else think that’s a “strange” remark? Notice he did not say sex abuse SCANDAL!?!
…Utter rubbish. Every priest in the Archdiocese had heard about this.
…What was the question? Is he saying he’s only “shocked” to hear Cardinal McCarrick preyed on minors? Or is he shocked by all the accusations, including that Cardinal McCarrick was an active homosexual? Because Cardinal Farrell lived with Cardinal McCarrick for several years, during a time when “everyone know” (including several journalists) about McCarrick’s behavior. Of course, the obvious answer is that of course Cardinal Farrell knew and that he should be taken down by all this too.
…No sense of being indignant by the accusations against McCarrick. No sense of shame, or caring for the victims. This man is typical of why the sex scandal went on for so long.
… he looks like he’s hiding something. His gaze looks more like “I dare you to find something on me” rather than one of contrition. A normal human would say something like “I WISH I had heard something so I could have stopped the abuse” or “I was shocked…McCarrick played us all for fools”, but his comments are entirely defensive and self-centered. If Cardinal Farrell won’t stick up for us lay people and our kids, which bishop will?
If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.
Does anyone seriously think that contemporary youth is equipped to “save the Church”? Aren’t they kinda tied up saving the planet? And doing Facebook and stuff?
Some extracts from this Scottish Catholic Observer report follow [with editorial comment]…
Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.
The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said.
[Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]
Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]
Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]
Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]
Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead. A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.] Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves,’ says Scots delegate to Vatican youth synod By James Farrell
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons,’ according to Scotland’s representative to a global Vatican meeting of young people.
Sean Deighan, 23, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, will be one of 300 young representatives to attend the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment to be held in Rome from March 19 to 24.
The meeting is being held ahead of a Synod of Bishops in October that will focus on youth.
“I didn’t realise it was such a select group [attending the meeting] and it’s a great privilege,” Mr Deighan said. “I hope that my voice will be heard and by extension I hope the representative voice of all young people in Scotland will be heard. I’m optimistic that real results will materialise from the pre-synodal meeting. I think what needs to be addressed is that young people are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons.
“They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality. If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church authentically and young people need to see that.”
“When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive,” Mr Deighan said. “We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.”
At the Angelus on Sunday February 18, Pope Francis called on young people from around the world to take part in the preparatory work of the upcoming synod.
“I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation,” Pope Francis said. “And so they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people.”
The Pope was referring to an initiative promoted by the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, under the direction of its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri. Young people have been invited to join a Facebook group through the Synod website, http://www.synod2018.va, and from March 12 will have the opportunity to send questions to Pope Francis for the Synod on the group page.
“Pope Francis insisted on showing great concern for the ‘distant’—the young people of the ‘peripheries,’ those who are not part of our network of Catholics faithful,” Cardinal Baldisseri said in conversation with the Vatican website.
“The participants will be able to ask questions, propose ideas and therefore act as intermediaries between the ecclesial institution that derives from the people of God and secular society. The experience that will be proposed to them will consist in getting to know the Church better, discovering what we are more deeply.”
At the end of the youth meeting representatives will approve a document, the result of the work of the entire week, which will express their point of view on the reality of youth in the Church and present their expectations, their doubts and their hopes. This document will then help guide reflections at the synod in October. Source – SCO
I know it’s been a while, but when I was a schoolgirl we were taught about the Faith, that we were Catholics and should be knowledgeable and be able to explain it to those we met outside of school, friends etc. and later, in the workplace, colleagues. There was no mention of, let alone emphasis on, the fact that we were “young Catholics”, a separate type of Catholic from everyone else. We didn’t have “special” Masses for the young, etc. That’s the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, with which I grew up – it cannot be manipulated into a performance tailored to particular groups. We were simply Catholics. This contemporary emphasis on reaching out to the young as if they ARE a different type of Catholic has led to a great deal of muddled thinking, beginning with this…
Those young people identified in the above SCO report, are not leaving the Church because they are young. They are leaving it – as the author writes – for all the wrong reasons, and that is because, there IS no “right reason” to leave Christ and His Church. Someone needs to clarify for those youngsters who say they believe in Jesus, admire Jesus etc. but just don’t like the Church or “institutionalised religion” that, like love and marriage, as the old song goes, you can’t have one without the other. Christ cannot be separated from His Church – that’s the way HE has arranged things.
Think of your favourite quotes from Scripture and from saints, to drive home this message to the young. Plenty read this blog, I’m told, so how would YOU convince them that, not only is there no right reason to leave Christ’s Church, but there is no “wrong” reason either – leaving the Church for any reason means that they are risking damnation – spelt out, they are risking suffering Hell fire for all eternity. Not cool. Convince them to begin their journey to the fullness of the Faith which they have manifestly not been taught and which, if they truly knew it, would love it and never dream of leaving it. What’s the first thing you would advise a young person seeking the Faith in its fullness to do… where’s the best place to begin that journey?