Pope Francis, Pope

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.


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  1. Ignatius says:

    I noticed the exact same thing. From Bishop of Rome to full blown “Pastor Aeternus” (including quotations) pope.

  2. Theodore says:

    Good cop didn’t work, we’ll probably be seeing the bad cop.

  3. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    But Father, but Father! You just want to do away with Vatican II and bring back the papal tiara and papal states and sedia gestatoria and get rid of the vernacular and make Father Bob turn his back to us. Such a meanie! You want to kill ostriches and take their feathers because you’re just a hard liner conservative animal hating Vatican II hater. You probably think everyone should be a conservative Catholic just like you, goodbye to our unity in diversity. You’re just pretending to like the fluffiest Pope evah, you probably don’t want to even let him kiss babies or smile because you all you traditionalists do is frown and judge and offend everyone. Harrumph! :))

  4. acardnal says:

    I think that you may be right with regard to the SSPX and canonical recognition. I hope so. (Cdl. Mueller, CDF Prefect, just met with Bp Fellay.) RobtBrown and STM also said this. I think RobtBrown is correct about Francis when he wrote, ” He’s a post Vat II Jesuit who is an Existentialist, preferring chaos to order.” So, recognize – no “welcome” – the SSPX to the family. The big, chaotic family called the Church. I have no problem with that. Now, the LCWR is another matter; THEY are heretics!

  5. jfk03 says:

    Post-synod depression is a temptation of the Evil One. Let’s not forget that the Holy Spirit will have something to say about what occurs from here on in.

  6. Mike says:

    Well, it’s a nice thought, but they are TRADITIONALISTS!!!!


    Sorry for the Captain Kirk-speak.

  7. JesusFreak84 says:

    If the SSPX were regularized… I’d hate to see what the incoming Archbishop of Chicago would do to their Oak Lawn chapel =-

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I suppose “on the job training” can apply to anyone, even His Holiness the Pope! [How could it not? His role is unique. Previous experience in the Church can prepare a man for some aspects of being the Vicar of Christ, but only being the Vicar of Christ clarifies the sheer weight and responsibility.]

  9. MikeM says:

    I got the impression from the speech that Pope Francis may have learned something from the synod. He basically told the bishops that both the conservatives and the liberals failed to engage in the discussion that they had been called to have. Maybe it’s just my over-optimism, but I got the idea that he had realized that that was, at least in part, a result of his lack of clear leadership around the synod. He allowed Kasper and Co. to turn it into a free-for-all in the name of “openness,” which inevitably prompted other bishops to go into smack down mode, and so they didn’t get anywhere.

  10. Magpie says:

    I just don’t understand how Pope Francis could give that address without a big grin. Well, he grinned at least once towards the end, but I thought the bit about contrasting the ‘two sides’ was a bit rich, considering he has given his backing to Cardinal Kasper and his ‘profound and serene theology … done on one’s knees’. Plus the homily he gave at Mass during the synod, in which he referred to those who were rigid and closing the doors of heaven, that sort of thing. The link is here: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-santa-marta-holy-law-is-not-an-end-in-it-2
    He can’t then very well claim to to be impartial at the end of it all. His role as Pope is to strengthen the brethren, not sit back and watch them bicker!

  11. Bosco says:

    “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.”

    Better have them check the carbon monoxide levels in your room, Father Z. I think you’re a bit delirious.

    [Not at all. I wonder what Paul VI felt when he went through his decision process to uphold the Church doctrine even when the world was clamoring for change. I’ll bet Francis is getting a sense of that.]

  12. … guaranteeing the unity of the Church…

    Yes, let the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant be in accord!

  13. Charles E Flynn says:

    @Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda,

    But Father Z knows exactly which small, furry animal is worthy of his disdain.

  14. sejoga says:

    Not that I want to sound very negative about it, but I noticed the emphasis on his Pope-ness as well… and I took it very much more in the sense of “All you bishops who criticized the work of the synod have set yourselves against the POPE!” Unfortunately, the tone of it to me while I read it was that he was rebuking everyone for undermining his will… which would be somewhat ironic from the guy who’s supposed to be the big supporter of “collegiality”.

    I hope I’m interpreting it wrong, but that’s just the impression I was left with.

  15. Totally>/i> with the sedia gestatoria. Especially with his lung problem.

    Tablet/Fishwrap meltdown.

    Sounds like Il Papa got a bit of a fright from the Synod, which is not a bad thing. Sometimes you need to see just how bad things are, to go all medieval on people.

    [Friends: If you don’t know how to use tags, it might be better not to use them.]

  16. Elbereth says:

    I noticed that too, and am pleased that Fr. H. promises to blog on that (with his usual historical grounding, doubtless.) Does anyone know if Francis has called himself the pope before? or in what circumstances?

  17. Jon Haines says:

    I got the sense that he is preparing the ground for something as well. One of the first thing’s he started saying when he was elected was that “God like’s to surprise us with new things”. The exercise of papal power can be useful, but thank goodness for collegiality these days! But perhaps what didn’t happen at the Synod will happen after all but by a different exercise of power…

  18. Jon says:

    It’s rumored that the CDF is to be virtually dismantled, it’s responsibilities transferred to bishop’s conferences, and Cardinal Muller packed off to Germany.

    All that you say would be nice, Father, but for a soon to be 78 year-old tiger to change his stripes (put on a fanon?), I don’t think so. [Perhaps your sense of humor has been, of late, repressed.]

  19. kiwiinamerica says:

    The closing address was pure damage control.

    In football parlance, he almost lost the locker room during the synod.

  20. mtmajor says:

    The question is, will His Holiness uphold the regula fidei?

    [I am convinced that he will. This is what I have been saying all along. He has style differences from previous Popes, and I can’t say that I like them all. However, he will uphold doctrine. Eventually, his defense of doctrine is what is going to drive liberals away from him.]

  21. xgenerationcatholic says:

    I’d like to agree with you all, but I think it may be too much to hope for that Pope Francis is suddenly going to become a “bad cop”, unless by “bad cop” you mean getting rid of more folks like Cardinal Burke and appointing more bishops like Cupich. The traditional Mass? SSPX? I’m sorry but you’ve got the wrong Pope. He’s already said he wants us to make a mess. That’s exactly what he himself is doing and likely has every intention to continue to do. Why would he change course now? We’re on our own. Aside from Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels, that is. I fear there is much worse to come. This is uncharted territory. It would help if we knew where in Church history we could go for a precedent? I’m really not trying to be disrespectful, I do want to believe our Holy Father is a good and holy and faithful man. But if he is, then the Faith just is not what I always believed it to be.

  22. Jackie L says:

    I think this may go in the other direction, often when liberals don’t get what they want, they seek to take away what you want. “Traditionalists” are being blamed for holding the Church back from these “timely updates”, another(FFI) shot may be coming our way.

  23. marcelus says:

    Those were excellent thoughts Padre. Will you see him there?

  24. Ben Kenobi says:

    As with any marriage it takes two. I remain unconvinced that when push comes to shove that anything more will be done than Fellay merely elevating others as Lefebvre has done. Maybe he will shock me and obey. I do not have high hopes for a reconciliation.

  25. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If you want your sedia gestatoria, you will have to deal with the Ohio chapter of Patrons of the Vatican Museum, because they are footing the restoration bill.

    Oh horrors and simony!

  26. donato2 says:

    Francis may have gained a deeper appreciation of the value of Peter’s primacy. Some of us may also have somewhat analogously gained during the course of the Synod a deeper appreciation of the value of collegiality.

    Somewhat coincidentally I am reading some of Ratzinger’s essays concerning the nature of the Church. One of the essays specifically concerns synods (“Questions About The Structure And Duties Of The Synod Of Bishops”). Ratzinger argues that juridically synods are under the complete control of the Pope but that theologically they belong to the sphere of collegiality. Here are some excerpts that seem pertinent in light of recent and upcoming events:

    “In matters of faith and morals, no one can be bound by majority decisions … Because this is so, even ecumenical councils can make decisions in questions of faith and morals only with moral unanimity, since one cannot produce the truth by a decision-making process but only recognize and accept it. The form in which truths as such are defined is not the majority decision, but rather the collectively manifested acknowledgement that the defenders of the faith who have joined in sacramental communion collectively recognize a statement to be the consequence of this, their faith. When such a unity comes about, it can be deemed a sign that the Church’s faith is really being expressed, since the Church as such and as a whole cannot err in faith. … To bind consciences to doctrine by majority decision is impossible, both anthropologically and theologically.”


    “Therefore the synod discussion, by its very nature, cannot be partisan rhetoric aiming to convince others, as is often the practice in parliaments. It ought to be the effort at communal listening to the conscience of faith and thus help the members to understand the faith better with one another, so that they might also give better witness to it, based on such a communal understanding. … Therefore synod decisions acquire their importance, not so much from the large number of those who vote for them (which can and most often will be an indication yet is not decisive simply as a number), but rather from the emergence and verbalization of the truth that is already in their conscience.”

    I find the foregoing reassuring. It is a matter of common sense that a synod with a “stacked deck” would not be legitimate. Ratzinger’s observations bring me to the realization that any such synod would from the start be doomed to failure.

  27. danidunn says:

    To me, the term do-gooder has taken on a new, less beneficent meaning in recent years. Much the way the word gay has taken on a new meaning. And, the problem with do-gooders is that they are usually well intentioned but they do not think through (or, ignore) the consequences of their actions.

    Yes, it is good to want to help people who have stumbled. But, we must be careful how we help those people. That assistance can be, in the words of the Holy Father, a “deceptive mercy”. This is what we must guard against.

    Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.

    I think it is instructive that Pope Paul was canonized at the end of the synod. Given the enormous pressure that he faced to change the Church’s teaching on contraception, he held firm and upheld the faith as it was handed down to him. I believe Pope Francis will do the same.

  28. danidunn says:

    Er, beatified. Of course, Pope Paul VI hasn’t been canonized yet. :$

  29. Maltese says:

    I don’t know about tiaras, but certainly a little more Latin (as even a non-Catholic friend of mine said was the stupidest thing the Church ever did in ridding the liturgy of, in the wake of Vatican II). Saint Paul XXIII wrote of it’s importance. And it’s important because it’s universal, as the mass was, once–An American could go to Sweden and celebrate the same mass. Now we have a babble of tongues and Charismatics and “Fr. Joe” armchair liturgists creating a mess.

  30. Choirgirl says:

    It didn’t bother me much when Pope Francis decided to forgo the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. I figured that he wants to live among a group of people, well ok. But it bothered me greatly that he dropped the mozzetta (until recently). Pope Emeritus BXVI no longer wore the mozzetta because he was no longer the Pope. It was proper for The Pope to wear the mozzetta. I don’t know how many Bishops followed Francis’ lead, and put their mozzettas in mothballs, but Cardinal Dolan showed up at my parish without his, and I said to myself, “Good gravy, now look at this!”

    I felt very marginalized (talk about being marginalized!) by Pope Francis’ election night speech; most of it was about his being Bishop of Rome, rather than becoming Holy Father of the Universal Church.

    Maybe the shock has worn off and Francis finally realizes he’s the Pope!

    I’m so sorry, and I feel absolutely horrible that I don’t have the natural fillial affection for him that we have for our popes, but I am totally mystified and confused over the general weirdness of this papacy.

    I hope he does celebrate a Pontifical Mass in all its traditional aspects. I hope he does reconcile with the SSPX. It’s so difficult to define what he’s doing as he’s doing it, that it seems impossible to even guess what his next moves might be.

    I was so happy when BXVI became Pope!

  31. Traductora says:

    I’m not sure having this Pope become even more authoritarian is a good thing. I’m in Paris at the moment, and last night I was at the Fraternite de Jerusalem for Vespers and Mass at St Gervaise. Abp Durocher, head of the Francophone Bishops’ Conference of Canada, was passing through on his way back from the Synod, and celebrated and of course delivered his thoughts on the Synod. It was mostly platitutudes about “mercy,” a quote from the “great Cardinal Danneels” (you know, the one who destroyed the Church in Belgium) about how only God can be perfect in both justice and mercy, a ramble about how pure justice conflicted with what “our dear Francis” called the “Spirit of Jesus,” and how God was full of surprises and new things. Not at all comforting, particularly since he appears to be a real supporter of Pope Francis’ “new Spirit of Jesus,” whatever that is.

    Hoping that my French had misled me, I was even more alarmed when I got back to the hotel and read up on Abp. Durocher, particularly an interview he just gave a day or two ago, where he said that the real reason the bishops rejected the language on homosexuality (which not enough of a majority voted to approve, but which appeared in the final text anyway, at the Pope’s orders) was because they didn’t feel that it went far enough. And the “Spirit of Jesus” (with initial cap) appeared again.

    Maybe the Pope is going to undergo a profound change because of his office and become a defender of orthodoxy, but I’m not entirely certain of this and I think it is also good to prepare for the alternative. I guess about all one can do, of course, is to pray and keep reading and building up one’s intellectual amunition to defend orthodoxy in life matters as well as in theological considerations.

    Oh – another thing Durocher said: the Synod was designed to do for the family what Vatican II had done for the Liturgy and ecumenism. Now if that isn’t comforting…

  32. Lisieux says:

    But Father, but Father… don’t you realise that’s because the Eeeeeevil Freemasons (who are, of course, also Eeeeeeevil Jews and Eeeeeeeevil Communists) have abducted the real Pope F. and replaced him with a body double. See http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/let-great-masonic-pope-francis-body.html* for a full explanation of this (though Bones neglects to point out that the Masonic/Marxist/Zionist League of Evil are actually alien lizard people).

    *Note to the humour-impaired: Bones’ blog post is a Joke.

  33. Choirgirl says:


    Now we have a babble of tongues and Charismatics and “Fr. Joe” armchair liturgists creating a mess.

    I apologize in advance if I’m reading you incorrectly, but please don’t lump Charismatics, and “Fr. Joe,” not to mention nuns in pantsuits distributing Holy Communion, in with the Ordinary Form of the Mass in the vernacular. Regarding the “babble,” I attended Mass in French at the Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre, I followed in English, and probably did as well as I would have at a Latin Mass at St. Peter’s. The Homily would be done in the local language anyway.

    I do agree that there should be some Latin in a vernacular Mass. There was some discussion about going back to the original languages for the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, the Sanctus/Benedictus, and the Agnus Dei some time back (in the fighting ICEL days, IIRC), but nothing came of it. One parish in these parts sings the Sanctus and Agnus Dei, and it’s lovely.

    BTW, to someone who’s a Latin speaker, “Kyrie eleison” is a foreign language. :-)

  34. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    I’d like to see Pope Francis summarily reconciled the SSPX. So would I, not only “welcoming” but also “going out to find them”. Of course, the Society needs to do the same.

  35. Fr.Estabrook says:

    “We may see some exercises of papal power”

    Perhaps in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Pope Francis will condemn “Kasparism”, “Gradualism”, and “Conciliarism”.

    “If anyone says that God’s mercy means that people in a state of objective mortal sin are to be admitted to the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, let him be anathema”.

  36. robtbrown says:

    JesusFreak84 says:
    If the SSPX were regularized… I’d hate to see what the incoming Archbishop of Chicago would do to their Oak Lawn chapel

    He could do nothing. SSPX property is their own.

  37. Legisperitus says:

    Blessed Pio Nono did an about-face on some matters after seeing the true colors of the liberal movement. Of course every Pope is a different man, but it’s also true that God has the power to touch all hearts.

  38. paladin says:

    Choirgirl wrote:

    I’m so sorry, and I feel absolutely horrible that I don’t have the natural fillial affection for him that we have for our popes, but I am totally mystified and confused over the general weirdness of this papacy.

    That is *exactly* what I’ve been feeling, as well! Almost despite my intentions, I’ve found that my prayers for the Holy Father have “morphed” from prayers of gratitude and prayers for his conscious intentions (at his election) into prayers for his protection against temptations to succumb to the spirit of the age. Call me paranoid, but I’ve even started praying that God deliver him from the fate of Pope Sixtus V.

  39. Kathleen10 says:

    The next year will likely see more conservative leanings from Pope Francis, some concessions, some happy talk about traditionalists, some Latin thrown in, some EF Masses. If he wants to go all wild and crazy, maybe a bone to the SSPX. This Synod has got to be countered. Eyes were opened, the hand overplayed by a few. But, it was only a little bit of a gamble, because the idea was to get that language out there, convince the crowd you are interested in, that you are doing something different here, something for them, and they can relax, it has begun. The camel’s nose is under the tent, the rest of him can be shoved in later. Now just bide your time. Do the above, and wait for the Ordinary Synod, which promises to be anything but ordinary.
    Fr. Z., you’re an optimist! That’s wonderful. I wish I was. I’ve become a hopeless pessimist, and I am rarely disappointed these days. Whatever I have left of optimism comes when I recall the words of Jesus about His church, and the memory of faithful Cardinals who fought for the faith.

  40. Rob22 says:

    If next year the Pope affirms communion for divorced and remarried Catholics and if a new ceremonial blessing of civil unions is created there is no way IMO the SPPX would return. They certainly wouldn’t allow it in their churches so you’d have 2 Catholic churches operating along side one another.

    The SPPX is building a huge seminary in Virginia to accommodate several hundred seminarians and when I was in Phoenix a while back I saw a huge new/ Southwest style architecture church. It had just opened and I walked to see it thinking it was a Catholic church. It was actually an SPPX “chapel” – the term doesn’t fit as it was a very large church. With plans for a school to come.

    At this point I just don’t believe the SPPX will reconcile with the church.

  41. jmgarciajr says:

    Some assorted comments:

    1- In speaking with people in a position to know, time and again I heard the phrase (or variations thereof): “Within the Vatican walls, they can expect less Francis and more Bergoglio.”

    2- I think overmuch has been made of the references to “those called – today- ‘traditionalists’.” In the Holy Father’s address he underscores a given group is not Terrible and Awful, but, rather vulnerable to a certain temptation. One may disagree with the specific temptation diagnosed for a certain group thus mentioned, but it’s clear we all have our fault lines and it would be better for us to be on guard against the very specific temptations to which we might be especially susceptible.

    3- I am convinced that his remarks had an absolute game-changer that nobody is yet noticing:
    The Holy Father said: ” I slipped [up] here…I said “welcome.” [pause] Go out and get them.” This phrase was extemporized, it was not present in the prepared text of his remarks.

    This, to me, changes things a great deal. First, if you hear the audio (go to the 13:40 mark) you will note the first part of that phrase had (to me) a contrite tone, but the part after the pause was both clear and clearly imperative. The situation, in just this one phrase, has seemingly gone from arguing internally about who/what do we welcome and under what circumstances and what should “welcoming” even look like, to one of “Just go and bring them to Christ.”

    This strikes me as huge. This immediately moves past the question of how to build a better mousetrap, and goes directly to a command “Go catch them.”

    Just one man’s opinion.

  42. Gerard Plourde says:

    “I’d like to see Pope Francis summarily reconciled the SSPX.”

    The difficulty here is with the SSPX. Pope Benedict tried mightily to bring about reconciliation and almost achieved it. However, so long as the Society refuses to accept the teachings contained in the actual documents of the Second Vatican Council (not the often-invoked “spirit of the Council”), the impasse will remain.

  43. The Masked Chicken says:

    The whole Pope thing completely slipped by me. I was too caught up I trying to figure out why this closing address centered on the notion of conservative vs. liberal instead of the truth. In the movie, The Man Who Shot a Liberty Valence, there is a famous line:

    “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

    Isn’t this exactly what happened at the synod, in the form of:

    “When the lie becomes truth, print the lie.”

    In other words, the closing remarks were not about the truth, but about the legend the synod will become. The simple real truth is that hard cases make bad laws and everything discussed at this synod were hard cases, but the truth remained. The truth is that we have known the moral requirements for salvation in a more-or-less definitive, mature form since Trent. This means, more and more, popes will have deal, primarily, with exceptional cases. Indeed, the appeal to the exceptional case, a form of the fallacy of Special Pleading, has been, largely, all that has been active in the Church in terms of the development of doctrine since the 1960’s. The problems we face, today, do not lie in a defect in moral teachings, but, rather, a defect in moral application. It is here, that the synod failed, ridiculously. They presented not a single concrete suggestion for improving the status of the family in modern times. Indeed, to do so would be to resort to the unexceptional, the tried, the boring moral lessons that only children and the truly wise know and follow. In other words, this synod should have been boring.

    Pope Francis chose to speak about the legend of the synod, as if it were the gunfight at the O. K. Corral. Here’s what I now think is the secret interpretation of Pope Francis’s reign, so far: he is the Pope of The Legend and the Legendary. No other Pope in 200 years has or will have the stuff of legend following him: the legend is that Pope Francis loved gays; the legend is that Pope Francis wanted the divorced and remarried to receive Communion; the legend is that Pope Francis wanted his pastors to have the smell of the sheep (for Goodness sakes, why not give them all a bath?); the legend is that Pope Francis wants a poor Church.

    “When the lie becomes truth, print the lie.”

    If you watch, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, you will see what I mean. This is the Pope of the Exceptional. One must not expect this reign to be quiet. It will be remembered for a hundred years, but, finally, only the truth will remain: hard cases make bad laws and, sooner or later, conservative or liberal, all will discover that the moral law cannot be fooled.

    The Chicken

  44. KM Edwards says:

    I know traditionalists and faithful Catholics WANT to believe that the Pope is slowly coming around. I pray for that grace several times a day for Pope Francis.

    Reason however leads me to believe that the change to a more prolific use of the term ‘Pope’ by ‘Bishop of Rome’ Francis is actually an ominous sign. Francis created his mini-council and has over-the-board supported greater collegiality than even Paul VI and John Paul II fostered. If he has refrained from using the title of Pope it is most likely because he wants to downplay Petrine primacy in favor of a broader collegiality.

    However, given the speed bump he experienced at the Synod last week, courtesy of Pell, Burke et al, the “Pope” baton is now coming out and likely will be wielded. I’d love to be wrong, but I see this as a warning to those “rigid and inflexible traditionalists” – those who do not believe in this false “god of surprises” – to pony up and submit to his will.

    As if to say, what I want is very important, I am “Pope” after all, and don’t forget it.

    I pray for the following: That the Cardinals, who sadly number less than 50%, but more than 33%, of the college will show the Holy Father some true orthodox Catholic mercy and write a treatise, not unlike the one recently published by the 5 Cardinals against Cd Kasper’s outrages, to explain patiently, faithfully, scripturally and in light of Catholic Tradition why Francis’ notion of a “God of Surprises” – by which he clearly means a God whose moral code changes from season to season in a way that ‘surprises’ us – is a false God, an heretical notion. Such a treatise could serve to convert the Pope away from this grave error and keep him from losing his faith.

    Pray for the *material* conversion of the Pope to the Apostolic Faith, to the God whose New Covenant is not ever-changing, but Ever-lasting (Hebrews 13:20).

  45. The Cobbler says:

    You know, it would be pretty funny if Pope Francis came out and said of the “Pope comments” in the closing remarks, “The author of the passage should know what it means!” If we’re supposed to believe in a surprising God, nothing can surprise me anymore.

    Me, though, I think I believe in a God who merely has the most outlandish sense of humour.

    In all seriousness though: what the Chicken said. (Though I’ll admit to being surprised he could pull that from a movie about the murder of a stray electron. ;^) )

  46. acardnal says:

    Interesting support for robtbrown’s theory regarding Pope Francis’ proclivity for chaos from Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island:

    “…Pope Francis’s fondness for a “creating a mess,…”


  47. acardnal says:

    Bishop Tobin in the same article also said, “Commenting further on the Synod, …the concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant.”


  48. Choirgirl says:


    As the ad in the sidebar *should* say: When in Confusion, stay at Domus Fr.Z

    I checked in and got my room key in time for the Synod, because I knew I’d need plenty of enlightenment as to the meaning of whatever Pope Francis was going to do next. I haven’t been disappointed because Fr. Z has been giving us excellent commentary as usual, and I’ve been able to see that I’m in the same boat as the other residents of the Domus, namely, that none of us really knows yet what Francis is about. As I’ve been reading Fr. Z’s posts, and lots of very insightful comments by intelligent, thoughtful, and knowlegeable people, I have been comforted in the realization that I am not alone. The strangest thing about this whole situation is that we’re watching Francis be a liberal, but we have the haunting feeling that we still don’t know him, or where he personally stands, what he’ll do next, and what he’ll end up doing .

    The worst thing about this is having no answers for the significant unspoken questions:

    Is Francis really God’s choice, or was the conclave swayed by political correctness? Did the electors vote for Frances “because it was time for someone outside of Europe” to become Pope?

    If he is God’s choice, what does God think of me for my reactions? Am I offending God? Am I not trusting in Christ’s promise? And so forth. We feel (and think) that the sooner we get some solid answers the better, ’cause we’re in limbo, and not lovin’ it.

    I think we’re just going to have to keep observing, wait for the answers, and continue to hash this out with God in our prayers. Let’s ask Him to tell us what this is about.

  49. robtbrown says:

    The Masked Chicken says:

    Pope Francis chose to speak about the legend of the synod, as if it were the gunfight at the O. K. Corral.

    That’s a different John Ford movie: My Darling Clementine. Also excellent, like almost all John Ford movies.

  50. AnnTherese says:

    During Respect Life Month, I appreciate Pope Francis speaking out today against capital punishment and life imprisonment and for “improving prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty.” He truly has a heart for “the least among us.”

  51. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Though I’ll admit to being surprised he could pull that from a movie about the murder of a stray electron. ;^) ”

    It was orbiting in an excited state and had to be put down.

    The Chicken

  52. The Masked Chicken says:

    “In all seriousness though: what the Chicken said. (Though I’ll admit to being surprised he could pull that from a movie about the murder of a stray electron. ;^) )”

    The electron was in a highly excited state and had to be put down. It was an intensely ionizing experience that only those attuned to the spherical harmonics of the atom could possibly appreciate. The Hermetian operator was completely anti-symmetrized and mesoscopic chaos nearly ensued. It was a blood bath, I tell ya.

    [A little quantum humor, there].

    The movie is, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. Sorry, the misspelling was an occupational hazard.

    The Chicken

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