As many of you know, faithful Catholics have been rather disturbed and confused about what has been transpiring at the Synod and the prominence Pope Francis has given to Cardinals and Bishops who are promoting the grave error of gradualism. The confusion and damage this Synod has done so far mirrors what has happened to the Church since the election of Pope Francis.
It is important, therefore, for us to review what the Church teaches about itself and the Pope…lest we believe something false about the Church and have our beliefs about the Pope and our Faith undermined or, even worse, that we leave the Church because of the scandals that have been caused.
So here goes…
1. Jesus never promised you a rose garden. Lots of people think the Church and the Pope will always be right on everything they say. This is false. The only thing Jesus promised is that we would not be required to believe – as a matter of Faith – something that is false. However, above that a lot of things can go horribly wrong. Theoretically, the Church could adopt “pastoral practices” in direct contradiction to her doctrinal witness and technically not overthrow Christ’s promise.
2. Everything the Pope says or even teaches is not free from error. He can err as a theologian. He can even err as Pope, even in matters of faith and morals. The only thing he cannot do is err when he seeks to bind our consciences in a formal, ex cathedra statement or if he repeats the constant teaching of the Church. Any novel teaching, therefore, is not immune from error, much less a teaching which contradicts a previous Pope’s witness. So when the global warming religion starts to get preached from the Vatican, smile, wave, and laugh.
3. You don’t have to like every pastoral move the Pope makes. The appointments that the Pope makes can be good, bad, or scandalous. The appointment of a problematic bishop is not covered by heaven’s imprimatur.
4. Heaven did not appoint the Pope. And he is not an oracle. The Pope is basically a gate-keeper and referee. And he’s a sinner too — not just in his personal life but also in his position as the bishop of Rome. He may even be a rebel who insists on a peculiar interpretation of a Council.
5. All the bad popes are not restricted to the fifteenth century. If there is bad pope in the fifteenth century, there can be a bad one in the 21st century too. There’s no time limit on bad popes, and everyone is a potential candidate.
6. The Pope is not the Faith and the Faith is not the Pope. Some people have a hard time with this concept, but they shouldn’t. The Faith can never be in error, but Popes have been and will be in the future. They have been corrected and they have been denounced. They will be corrected and denounced in the future. As a bonus, if you understand this, you don’t have to read the Catholic MSM and paid bloggers who pretzel themselves in circling the square, and need medical attention as a result.
The above points are basically covered in what Pope Benedict said back in 2007 (H/T Vox Cantoris):
“I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. . . . I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined. There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!” — Pope Benedict XVI in an interview with German television in 1997.
7. Pope Francis is not my favourite Pope. In my humble opinion, he has a lot of wonderful qualities, but he has really damaged the Church in many ways. It’s OK to admit the truth too…otherwise you start to go batty.
8. Don’t go loopy and start to question the foundations of the Church. Keep your head on and stay true to what the Church teaches about herself and the Pope. There’s an expiry date on every Pontificate and there’s only so much damage that Jesus will permit, to be honest. You have to learn to play the long ball and play the whole 90 minutes of the match, including half-time. So don’t lose your mind and remember who is in ultimate control. If the shit hits the fan under one pontificate, the next guy will clean it up. That’s what history shows us. What makes you think it’s gonna be any different this time around?
9. Pray for the Pope. He has a tough job and his formation and experience shaped him. If you don’t pray for him or will his success as Pontiff for the good of the Church, you are an enemy of the Faith and the Church. Like he says, go ahead and throw the dishes, just be sure there is no malice or wicked intent in your heart and that you temper your criticisms.
10. Vatican II is going to save us. Collegiality is going to save our collective ass at the Synod because the majority of the bishops present still have some semblance of an understanding of what the Faith teaches. Traditionalists should pay attention. If Francis was like Pius X, we’d be up the creek without a paddle.