Not to get all “mommy” on you but sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with the endless amount of dirty laundry and every time I feel like I might see the end of the pile, the washer or dryer breaks. Except it’s not really laundry right now. It’s the crud in the Church. It just never ends and we can’t seem to catch a break, right? This is where I was this weekend with the death of Bishop Morlino right on the heels of the disastrous USCCB meeting.
Thankfully, I got the one two punch I needed to keep my chin up and move on. First of all, I hit confession. I admitted feeling a weeeeeeeee bit of frustration after hearing about Bishop Morlino’s death. I mean, really??? We have how many bishops and God chose to take him. Of course, my priest told me what I really already knew. He’s an even greater advocate for us now. My priest also reminded me not to be part of the problem. I also get that. It’s not like the Holy Father doesn’t score a small point when he mentions gossip even though my guess is he says it because he’d just like a little silence. “My side” has a problem with that sometimes, too.
Then it seems I got right out of the confessional and got a homily on speaking the truth. Yep! There’s definitely a balance there that those in the blogosphere have to get right. I’m sure I fall short on some days, but I’m still trying. And there’s also a message about not giving up on the truth and St. Paul and all that good stuff. Around this time of year, it’s mighty tempting just to take a super long vacation. I mean, I’m not getting paid to do this so crawling back into my Catholic cave is appealing. That said, I have a sneaking suspicion this is the devil trying to sideline me. This is not the time for any of us to let up.
Now let’s go back to my warning from the confessional and things about which I think we all need to be careful. I’m sure this isn’t going to be popular to hear for many and this blog post might not even see the light of day, but here goes.
Let me contend with the whole theory that the Pope isn’t the pope. I’m not going to say the assumption is wrong, although I suspect it is. It’s like people don’t remember we’ve had less than stellar popes that were still actually popes, just bad ones. But let me tell you why I think questioning whether Pope Francis is really the pope or calling him “Bergoglio” is a colossal waste of time and damages “the cause.” IT’S NOT OUR CALL! Seriously, until Pope Benedict XVI rises up and says “Just kidding!” which is not going to happen, the only other person who can make that judgment is the next holy father. Now, he may in fact do so, but we’re wasting time on this one. So much more energy could go elsewhere. Please note, saying the Holy Father is ambiguous or has a poor management style, etc., etc., etc., is not something out of our scope. I’m not even close to saying we have to sit on our hands and shut up.
Now, is there some way through canon law he could cease to be pope or be declared as such? People have been mulling this over for centuries and, who knows, there might just be a loophole there somewhere, but good luck with that. And, really, can you imagine if someone tried to make this move? I can’t even imagine the split in the Church then. Canon Law even says that the Pope can be judged if he deviates from the Faith and he can retire, but it never mentions who would be the judge when it says no one can judge the pope. It’s all so easy to wish this away with the “He can’t possibly be the REAL pope!” wish. Get over it. All we have is this, which is why I’m sticking with my “We’re stuck waiting to see how that shakes out until the next pope comes along.”
And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful,  and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal,  and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment.  Therefore, they stray from the right course who assert that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an Ecumenical Council, as if to an authority higher than that of the Roman Pontiff.
If anyone, then, shall say that the Roman Pontiff has the office merely of inspection or direction, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the Universal Church, not only in things which belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate to the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the world; or assert that he possesses merely the principal part, and not all the fullness of this supreme power; or that this power which he enjoys is not ordinary and immediate, both over each and all the Churches and over each and all the Pastors and the faithful; let him be anathema.”
So, again, why are we wasting time on this? We’ll know at some point in the nearish future. Just call him by his title and move on to more concrete and valid points. It’s a distraction from some really valuable points.
We also really need to stop throwing out accusations where we have no proof. For example, I completely think that Fr. Martin is probably suffering from same-sex attraction, but I really have zero proof. Same goes for a few other priests, bishops and cardinals. We do, however, have enough to be upset about with all the damaging FACTS of heresy, malfeasance, weird tweets. Now, if you’re an investigative reporter, follow the leads, but until you get to the proof, focus on where you have proof. I don’t have to sit around and wonder if Fr. Martin is SSA. I do have irrefutable proof, though, that he’s not discouraging people and is even encouraging people to live active homosexual lifestyles and sooooo many other things (go ahead and search my blog). I mean, he’s stated tangible heresy and immorality. I don’t need to know his attractions. I need to show that he runs counter to the Church and why. And, I can easily show that HIS way doesn’t work via his lifelong friend in a “gay marriage” who he’s never managed to get out of the active homosexual lifestyle. So much for the bridge. It’s ending exactly where we said it would.
There’s a few other areas where we need to reform and to focus like a laser on the truth that we can show with facts. We need to make sure we are acting in our purview and we need not usurp the authority we do not have. Even if we are right in our suspicions, we will hang ourselves. Investigate at will. I encourage it, because uncovering facts are never a bad thing, even if the facts may show evil. Just don’t get antsy to spill the goods.
I’ve seen many of you downtrodden over the state of the Church. Personally, I think I’m living in an awesome time because, as history shows us, the hard times are how saints are made! I think, for the first time in my life (I’m not that old so we’re not talking about the entire history of the Church by any means), people are paying attention. They aren’t asleep anymore. It’s total and complete proof that God can take a bad situation and still bring about good. I see it on the blogs, on Twitter, in the fasting and prayer, with statements some bishops and cardinals have made, etc. People are making a stand for the Faith and are doing SOMETHING! Seriously! When have you seen many bishops asking us to fast, abstain and make reparations (much to Fr. James Martin, SJ’s chagrin)??? (And, yes, he did express anger that people would be asked to make reparation. It’s not a hunch!) So, don’t be disheartened! Be thrilled to live in a time where the Church in our country has a pulse!
Let’s all follow Bishop Molino’s most excellent example and persevere to the end! I’m a mom. If I can stare laundry in the face day in and day out for decades, we can all do this together! With God all things are possible! Carry on!