Here’s an interesting tidbit.
CNS reports that, during an ad limina meeting with US bishops, Francis expressed displeasure with the libs who accused him of not being brave enough to obey the Holy Spirit and approve of married priests and deaconettes.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops that, like them, he is accused of not being courageous or not listening to the Holy Spirit when he says or does something someone disagrees with — like not mentioning married priests in his document on the Amazon.
“You could see his consternation when he said that for some people it was all about celibacy and not about the Amazon,” said Bishop William A. Wack of Pensacola-Tallahassee.
“He said some people say he is not courageous because he didn’t listen to the Spirit,” the bishop told Catholic News Service Feb. 13. “He said, ‘So they’re not mad at the Spirit. They’re mad at me down here,'” as if they assume the Holy Spirit agreed with them.
For a decades the lefty libs have pitted the “spirit” filled church against the “institutional” Church. They, like the Manichean Elect, have special insight into what the Holy Spirit wants. Remarkably it turns out to be rather like the Democrat Party platform and the musings of Edward Schillebeeckx, with dollops of Boff, Zagano, and Martin.
In any event, the libs are not happy with Francis.
One attempt to spin away from the disappointment comes from Fishwrap‘s in house tricoteuse. Michael Sean Winters has opted for the view that, in deciding not to decide (except against deaconettes), Francis is doing something so amazing, so deep that we can’t barely imagine his profound deepiness. We read his gobsmacked awe:
I would like to look at what I found the most striking aspect of the text, its ecclesiological significance.
I think the pope is looking for a deeper change. His emphasis on synodality has become one of the most dominant themes of his pontificate and holds the potential to help the church step away from the Ultramontane excesses of the 19th and 20th centuries. Synods are consultative bodies, and they usually leave the difficult decisions to the pope. But Francis wants us to move away from that monarchical model and engage the whole church in the process of discernment on issues like bringing back the female diaconate.
You can’t achieve synodality if you continually look to the pope to make the tough calls.
This is quite remarkable. Instead of the synod being a consultative body that helps the pope form his own judgment, here he is giving the outcome of the synod’s deliberations its own standing and status.
There are other aspects of this document that warrant examination, most especially the Holy Father’s intense spirituality of the environment and appreciation for the spirituality of the indigenous peoples and his use of poetry to not just echo but to instantiate the doctrinal points he is making. His insight into the problem of Christ and culture is further revealed in all its complexity. His attentiveness to the promptings of the Spirit is remarkable.
In trying to return the Petrine ministry to something that continues to serve as a source of unity while undoing the suffocating uniformity produced by the Ultramontanism of the past 200 years, through the mechanism of synodality, Francis is attempting something almost impossible to conceive. Unless you truly believe that with God all things are possible. Do we?
So very deep.
Then there is disappointed Jesuit Thomas Reese. He’s at Fishwrap via RNS.
Reese is disappointed that Francis won’t allow married priests: “It was disappointing but not a surprise that Pope Francis decided not to respond to the Amazon synod’s recommendation that the Catholic Church ordain mature, married men….” He is disappointed that Francis calls for prayers for vocations: “I find it disappointing that he recycles the old recommendations of praying for vocations and enlarging the role of the laity.” He found Francis’ decision against deaconettes to be disappointing: “His arguments against women deacons were disappointing and patriarchal.” We are, it seems, all disappointed: “Our disappointment with Francis’ decisions on married priests and women deacons…”.
But wait! There’s more. Beyond our collective disappointment, there’s so much to appreciate! There’s global warming and inculturation and the the prospect that Card. Sarah has to resign! That last part isn’t actually in Francis document, but Sarah is clearly living in Reese’s head space. There’s the elevation of the role of synods. It’s disappointing, but it is still a Jesuit’s candy-store.
I am disappointed too.
It seems to me that, if the Amazon region is so important, a synod should have been held in the Amazon region for the Amazonians, perhaps without the involvement of so many Germans.
Who else was disappointed? Fishwrap‘s (I’m sensing a theme) Heidi Schlumpf.
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the Amazon disappointed those hoping for an opening of clerical roles to married men and women, with many noting that the pope failed to extend his prophetic voice about environmental injustice to injustices in his own house, the church. Many women were especially outraged over the document’s language of complementarity.
Outrage comes easily to some people.
Reading the document was “demoralizing” and “painful,” especially given the pope’s lyrical language about his dreams for the region, said Casey Stanton, who works in parish ministry and said she is called to the diaconate.
“But then you get to the paragraphs about women … and it just feels like the dream stops short of including them and including me,” said Stanton, a minister of adult faith formation at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, North Carolina.
She admitted that she did not expect a change in church teaching from the papal document, but “just wanted him to keep the conversation open in this slow-moving church.”
“Instead, I think what the pope has done in this document is to close the door,” she said.
Translated: Forget what the Church says; keep bashing away at it until we get our way.
Disappointment abounds, it seems.
Those who work for church reform also reacted negatively to the Feb. 12 release of the document.
“We are profoundly shocked and disappointed,” said Linda Pinto, co-chair of CORPUS, a church reform group that advocates for an inclusive priesthood.
I’m SHOCKED, SHOCKED, to find that disappointment is going on at the Fishwrap!
And so Francis is not exactly flavor of the month right now, unless you are able to appreciate him in his amazing ecclesiological profundity about synodality.