“Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ … But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected. … [T]he fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction. … Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): ‘An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father.’
— St. Thomas Aquinas, ST II-II Q. 33 a. 4.
HT to Pertinacious Papist for the following video. It’s just… sublime. It also seems like an Eye of the Tiber skit, but it’s legit. Enjoy.
“Connecting with the God within. .. It wasn’t about religion.” — “But few go deeper than this.”
I have cited these remarks by Pope Francis about “the real” St. Francis before, but the video is too good to pass up.
On a related front, this update from Fr. Z is very heartening (and not lacking in that old-time Ratzenfreude feeling):
Over at Fishwrap (aka the National Schismatic Reporter), venomous writer Michael Sean Winters threw a spittle-flecked nutty about the appointment of Most Rev. Leonard Blair as the new Archbishop of Hartford.
I won’t go into the details of MSW’s spittle-flecks.
I’ll just observe that, under Pope Francis, bishops are not being penalized for involvement in the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR. They are being promoted.
The catholic left is working harder and harder to maintain their hopey changey patter about the most wonderfulest fluffiest pope ehvur.
They will eventually turn on Francis.
In a similar spirit of papal pride, I give you the following quotation from the Holy Father’s most recent general audience, to an audience of 80,000:
The communion of the saints, then, “…goes beyond the earthly life, goes beyond death and lasts forever. This union between us goes beyond and continues in the afterlife. It is a spiritual union that comes from Baptism, that is not broken by death, but, thanks to that Christ who is risen, is destined to find its fulfillment in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world, among us, and those who have crossed the threshold of death into eternity. All the baptized here on earth, the souls in purgatory and all the saints who are already in heaven form one big family. This communion between earth and heaven is realized especially in the prayer of intercession.”
As I say, when Pope Francis is good, he’s really good.
Let me close by clarifying, albeit not for the first time, something important.
I am not hoping to prove that Pope Francis is a heretic or a modernist or a reptilian plant, and so on. I love him as the Holy Father, as the Vicar of Christ, and it is precisely this filial awe which spurs me to reject the odd and harmful missteps which I, and others, see in his witness as being beneath his faith and office. Just because I embrace my Christian right and duty to object to ambiguities and errors in his non-magisterial voice at times, does not mean I withdraw my loyalty from him as the universal pastor of the Church. I have admitted before (even citing 1 Timothy 5:1!), and I admit it again now, that I have failed with regard to the last stipulation St. Thomas mentions in what I cited from ST II-II q. 33 a. 4. In case I was unclear: In the past six weeks or so, I have at times sinned by allowing my pain and confusion to lead me unduly and sarcastically to deride some of Pope Francis’s foibles (cf. CCC 2481). Interestingly, though, especially in light of the recent fracas at Dale’s blog about the risk of a “papal personality cult,” the opposing defect takes some drubbing in CCC 2480. We all need grace.
In any case.
The bottom line is that I pray for Pope Francis everyday and stick up for him when I can. The more I learn about him, the more I see how profoundly riven he is. Even before he was pope, he was torn between radically and powerfully divergent currents in Argentina, in the Jesuit order, and in the Church at large. I think his current pastoral persona is a reaction against his former self as a cleric; hence, I think the inconsistencies we see in his witness at times stem from this ongoing process of de-programming his past self in order to become, well, the kind of Pope he apparently wants to be. Obviously, the kind of papacy he is forging is not to my taste, but I hope it’s apparent that I do not hate the man Bergoglio, and I am proud to promote the Pope when he speaks and acts in the way the above material indicates.
As I wrote before, ultimately I just care what Pope Francis does, not what complex and probably incoherent ideological impulses he may harbor beneath the hood. My problem arises when those complex currents are exposed and my codgitator gets sucked into the hydraulic of what I detect there. I also agree with Dale that there are not a few troubling clouds on the Pope’s horizon of pastoral aims. Until those worries are confirmed, though, let’s keep praying for our Honey Badger Pope and never shy from trying to bring (i.e. convert!) others into the march towards hope that we enjoy as Christians.