I don’t know what Riccardi is smoking, but it ain’t maduro.
From Vatican Insider. This is a few days old. I am just getting to it now.
Riccardi: “Here’s who’s standing up to Pope Francis”
“Vatican Insider” interviews Italian historian Andrea Riccardi: [He is the fellow who started up the Sant’Egidio initiative in Rome. Liberals are nuts for him and dream of his Nobel Prize.] “The famous honeymoon period has not ended, a sign that the relationship between Francis and faithful is more than just a passing attraction. But there is defiance from bishops and the clergy” [There is?]
“Never before in the 20th century has a Pope faced so much resistance as Francis has” [?!?] and “the fact that there is so much resistance shows that the Pope really is changing the Church.” These strong and in some ways surprising words came from Professor of Church history, Andrea Riccardi, in his latest commentary published in Italian weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana. Vatican Insider asked him some questions about his above remarks.
You wrote that no Pope in the last century has faced so much resistance as Francis. Don’t you think that’s a bit of an exaggeration?
“I made these observations as a historian. Francis is facing internal opposition from within ecclesiastical bodies, the episcopates and the clergy. [Is he psychic? Where is this resistance?] But his alliance with the people is clearly strong.”
What about the opposition to Paul VI and the recent and famous opposition faced by Benedict XVI?
“The only Pope who faced strong opposition was Paul VI, that’s true. [?!?] But the Church and also society at the time were going through a period of general protest. In the case of Benedict XVI, which you rightly mentioned, the opposition came form the outside, from the international public, than it did from the inside. As I said, the resistance Francis is facing is stronger and it’s coming from within the Church.” [This is absurd on the face of it. Popes John Paul and Benedict faced far greater, far more deeply entrenched resistance FROM LIBERALS than Francis is facing from conservatives or traditionalists. Faithful Catholics tend to love their Popes. Only a few cranks on the fringes openly attack Francis, and they are in no way able to offer “resistance”.]
Could you give some examples?
“Some resistance has been public, whilst in other cases it has been muttered or not expressed at all, [ahhhh…. yes… secret resistance. The sort of resistance that is never openly expressed. Now I get it.] if not through silence and detachment. There are some who can’t stand it when papal preaching insists even slightly on ethical issues. [D’ya think?] But then there’s Francis’ pastoral approach which calls bishops’ method of leadership into question as they hear people asking: “Why don’t you do as the Pope does?” I don’t want to generalise too much but I am certain that there is resistance. [No, please! Don’t generalize too much. And if you are “certain“… well! That’s that, then.] Francis laid down his thoughts and the areas that needed to be worked on and changed, in the first six months of his pontificate. Unlike Paul VI who was a man of many words and tried to make balanced statements. Resistance comes from those who don’t want to be questioned and are averse to change.”
This is ludicrous. Only in Italy do you find this sort of thing.