This has been an awful week for the Catholic Church, hands down. Can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but the trifecta of bad cardinal appointments stings like hell (and I mean that literally). I was hoping the devastation would be offset by a Cardinal Chaput appointment, but my hopes were dashed. The liberals won this battle, pure and simple. So what are we to do? What is happening with the Pope? Why is this happening? Etc., etc., etc. These are just some of the questions my poor readers are asking. Sorry this post is going to stray far from the sarcastic norm.
Those of you who read the blog regularly have probably noticed that I don’t criticize the Holy Father. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have questions and thoughts in my head that I don’t convey. Why don’t I relay them? Because what good would it do? It would simply give comfort to the enemy. He certainly is the Pope. Anyone who believes a less than stellar pope is not THE Pope doesn’t know history all that well. We’ve had some pretty awful ones, and we’ve also had great ones who have made less-than-desirable moves. I mean, who was it again that elevated Cardinal Mahoney? If that wasn’t an epic mistake, I’m not sure what was. Yet that pope was the guy whose right hand man was Pope Benedict. Heck, he’s canonized! Everyone has a bad day. I hope that’s what’s going on here with Pope Francis.
So, what is the girl who sits on her hands and avoids all attempts to criticize the Pope going to say? Well, first of all, I feel your pain and I’ll try to be a voice for you. Yes, these were bad appointments that are going to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the Faith – namely Fr. James Martin, SJ, and his cohorts in crime. There’s no way to spin it. However, it’s one battle. It ain’t the war, and we already know the outcome of that. It’s just a matter of how bad things will be until we get to that outcome.
So what about Pope Francis? I’m hardly Rocco Palmo, but my GUESS is that this is what you get when you have a cardinal from Argentina elevated to the papacy. He was so far removed from the politics of Rome that he doesn’t know who the enemy really is. He has, frankly, Argentinian notions about the rest of the world, and I think he’s actually seen that some of these notions weren’t quite what he thought. He was insulated there and he’s insulated now. He has no clue and simply trusts those that appear to be friendly really are. Heck, I’ve seen that happen to great bishops right here in America. It’s amazing how well the dissidents can gain confidence when they adjust those halos. However, the faithful bishops and cardinals had better figure out a way to clue him in that he is being handled, or the Church that my kids have to live in is going to tank for the foreseeable future.
One thing I notice here in the States is that we have this really weird view of collegiality. Rarely do faithful bishops or cardinals take on a bishop who is undermining doctrine and morality. They’ll all get together on topics where they feel they can win in society, but not on the issues that affect all of us. Or, at least, this is the view from the pew. I mean, if the good guys really care about the laity, why don’t they something??? If my husband saw his brother abusing his family, he certainly wouldn’t sit there and say, “Not my problem!” His brother’s family would also be his family, even if he isn’t the head of their household. My husband would also lend a brother a hand if they were in crisis and needed back up when they were in the right. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember the bishops around the United States rallying around Archbishop Cordileone when he rightly wanted to hold his teachers to Catholic standards. A rally cry instead should have gone up from all the faithful bishops that he was quite right to try to protect the students of the Catholic schools.
Heck, from my point of view, it seems as if the bishops living 20 minutes from each other don’t even consult together. SOMEBODY, please call for a national summit of faithful bishops, because the laity is dying here! I mean DYING! Where the laity is concerned, giving Cupich a red hat doesn’t just affect the people of his diocese. It affects us all! The liberal priests, bishops, and cardinals are what they are. We need the more-than-a -few good men to help us out here. Why is it the liberals can band together but you guys cannot? It’s almost like watching the Republican party flail around these days. Meanwhile, over in National catholic Reporter land, they have no qualms about forming an army to put down one faithful priest, bishop, or cardinal at a time. Then there’s the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good. Anyone catch Wikileaks this week? Yes, our conspiracy theories have been validated.
In all seriousness, I would like to see the guys who love their flocks, the Church, the lost, AND my children all get on a plane and knock on Pope Francis’ door and give him the real score. There is strength in numbers, and this isn’t just a saying. You can’t let Cardinal Burke do all the talking and be relegated to Malta for the unforeseeable future. When one of you does something necessary to preserve the Faith in one area, you should all be publicizing it in your own dioceses. Back each other up! More importantly, unite for the sake of MY children.
Sometimes I feel like we faithful are an afterthought to many of you. That might be unfair but I guarantee that’s how many of us feel. You need to stop worrying about your job, and I’m not saying that in the “That’s all you care about way!” I know that you want to stay with your flock to affect the most positive of outcomes, but it’s not working. You are essentially being extorted because you’re trying to do it all by yourself. Cupich and club are undermining you at every turn, and you guys are still plodding on and keeping your noses to the grindstones. I get the intention, but I think you all need to start being as “sly as the serpent and as gentle as doves” in a little more proactive way.
Your eminences and excellencies, just stop for a moment and pretend you are a father with children (because you are). If another parent or your child’s teacher is telling your child that homosexuality is just another lifestyle choice or that sex outside of marriage was fine, or that it would be just fine for your child to get an abortion because “their circumstance” warranted it, what would you do??????? Would you simply say, “Well, what can I do?” or would you give them a stern talking to about influencing your child to commit spiritual suicide? I know you don’t have biological children, but darn it, we are supposed to be your spiritual children, yet you are letting the wolves come in and gnaw on us. You’re reaching out to the lambs already taken from the flock, and I wouldn’t want you to stop, but what about the rest of us? Think long and hard because that’s what’s happening to your flock. Nobody wants to feel bad about their sin, so they will cling to anyone telling them that they are just peachy. As a parent, I’m not going to let that happen. We’re going to fight as a family to keep that from happening.
I get that the bishops are “leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one”, but in our present scenario, when you go after the one, a bunch more are lost. We’re hemorrhaging the salvation of our young. There’s no longer just one straying because the shepherds aren’t closing the gate when they go after the one and the wolves are getting in. It’s a reality that those of us “real world” parents are experiencing. We’re killing ourselves to make sure all the good you do isn’t undone, but we feel like we can’t get our spiritual fathers to support us because they’re busy with the other children. You need to find balance like all parents.
Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go after those who are straying. When kids stray in a family, mom and dad have to go after them relentlessly, but at the same time, they need to make sure that no more stray by presenting a mixed message. The worst thing a parent can do is cave to emotional blackmail. If I love my child, they are going to know it, but they are also going to know the truth and they will know that I have nothing but their immortal soul in mind. You can be both firm and loving. I’m not sure if this is a point lost on those with no biological children, but it needs to be understood. Saying “No!” can often be the most loving thing you can say, and no, the wandering will not always like it. So? We just keep reaching out to them.
I once had a priest curtly ask me, “With all due respect, who are you?!” when I was expressing my concerns about the Pope’s in-flight interviews and the dissenting clergy exploiting them. My answer? “Who am I? I’m a girl who’s concerned about the Pope’s in-flight interviews and the dissenting clergy expounding on them!” Is that wrong??? Are we simply to keep smiling? Can I not be concerned? Are we supposed to be in denial about how such things are being used? I don’t claim to be anything special, but I’m betting I’m echoing the concerns of a good chunk of the laity. I’m not going into schism and disobedience. I’m just terrified, and I want our fathers to know how terrified we are for our families. I’m not urging the bishops to go rogue. I’m urging them to be strategic. We really are in a war.
So, what is the laity to do? Pray, fast, beg our bishops to fight for their children, and prepare for the next battle. In other words, carry on.