Some people are all quivery about Pope Francis new humble style. “Isn’t he wonderful?”, they exclaim. “He’s getting rid of all that fancy stuff for liturgy! The days of that obviously arrogant old Pope Benedict are over. Now we have a nice Pope. He cares!”
People who talk that way are also usually squishy on doctrine, if not downright dissenters.
I want to see how dissenters rush to embrace what Francis said in a little sermon today.
I read at the site of vaticanradio.org about a fervorino Francis gave during his daily Mass at the Casa S. Marta. My fast translation:
Giving witness to the whole of the faith with courage: this is the invitation launched this morning by Pope Francis during the Mass he celebrated in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta. …
In his brief sermon, the Pope commented on the readings for Saturday of the Octave of Easter: the first finds Peter and John bearing witness with courage to the faith before the Jewish heads despite threats, while in the Gospel the risen Jesus reprimands the incredulity of the Apostles who don’t believe those who state that they have seen Him alive.
The Pontiff asked this question: “How’s our faith? Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (all’acqua di rose – “like rose water”, meaning banal, an insufficient substitute, shallow, inadequate)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he din’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder”, he stressed, “we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”
Pope Francis emphasized that in its history the Church has had many martyrs, down to this day, “because to find martyrs it isn’t necessary to go down to the catacombs or to the Colosseum: martyrs are alive now, in many countries.” “Christians”, Pope Francis stated, “are persecuted for the Faith. In some countries they can’t wear a cross: if they do so they are punished. Today, in the 21st century, our Church is a Church of martyrs.”
Let’s see how the editors of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) and The Bitter Pill (aka The Bitter Pill… er um… The Tablet) report on this one… if they mention anything about it all.
Are they going to be all rah-rah when Francis condemns cutting off the parts of the Faith that are hard or that the dissenters don’t like? Are they going to be all happy-face when Francis calls negotiating things away (as for example when dissenters say “the majority of Catholics think X is okay now” or “we listen to the ‘voice of El Pueblo’!”) superficial and the path to apostasy?
I don’t know what Pope Francis is up to, liturgically speaking. I am watching and waiting.
But even if he goes in a liturgical direction I don’t prefer, he isn’t going to do anything strange with doctrine. Francis isn’t going to cave on the doctrinal matters that are hotly fought over in our ongoing culture war.
So he doesn’t wear the mozzetta… yet. I am really liking Francis forthright preaching. He talks openly about the devil, about confession, about compromising and negotiating away the Faith as the road to apostasy.
Remember: liberals will turn on Francis pretty soon. They will twist his words out of all recognition and claim that he is actually said “up” when he really said “down”.