I have been, frankly, both exhausted and a bit disgusted after the last Synod and I have been trying to have a little RnR. That doesn’t make for a lot of posting of edgy stuff.
So, here’s a little meat to chew on.
That closing address Pope Francis made to the Synod… interesting, no? Forget about the part wherein he does a little, what can you call it, name-calling? About “intellectuals” and “do-gooders”? No. What caught my eye is that middle section.
For the last year and a half, His Holiness has been downplaying his image as “Pope”. He signs his name “Francis” without the other rigamarole which indicated the year of his pontificate. He is simply been “Francis… Bishop of Rome” rather than than “Supreme Pontiff”.
But in the middle part of the closing address for the Extraordinary Synod, it was all Pope all the time.
And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.
We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.
So, Francis is more Pope now than before.
I think that, in the wake of the Synod, we may see some exercises of papal power.
How shall they manifest? I’d like to see Pope Francis summarily reconciled the SSPX. How about a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form? How about … use of the fanon and ferula? He would wear the items that the Roman Pontiff normally wears in the exercise of his duties. And these things would now enhance, rather than detract from, his pastoral duties.
Finally, I think that His Holiness is starting to feel – in an intense new way – what it really means to be the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of Peter. His role is, in a special, way to affirm the brethren and the uphold the regula fidei … No. Matter. What.