The Second Vatican Conch Shell is something you put to your ear in order to hear whatever you want to hear.
And then use it to bludgeon some hapless traditionalist.
I recently had a long conversation in Facebook about Pope “downright nonsense” Francis, and my conclusion was (once more) that it’s best that I stop watching this papacy too closely–though, if you think I’m a maniacal analyst of Pope Francis, you need to get online more. I just think Pope Francis is making life more difficult for orthodox Catholics.
I’m glad that I’m in the minority on this, but it’s extremely tiresome to talk against what feels like insuperable water carrying.
The bottom line is, I can’t deny that, [after some prayer and a concern or two from readers, I’ve revised this to represent my feelings more accurately:]
on the whole in a number of cases, I’m embarrassed to call Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ. I felt much the same way about John Paul II’s actions at Assisi in 1986, and about Benedict XVI’s unqualified congratulations to the newly elected Barack Obama; so my reactions to Pope Francis are more a matter of frequency than uniqueness. Not for the first time, I’ll let Dale Price speak for me: “For a man with undeniable pastoral gifts, it’s equally clear he has his blind spots, and I hope he grows in that respect. Right now, I’m in the position of loving the pontiff, but not really liking him. I am hoping and praying that changes.” I have never considered myself a traditionalist, but looking back only a few centuries, I can’t deny that he seems to be the odd man out. I admit my traditionalist Catholic apprehension, regardless of what slings and arrows it may cause me to suffer. I love and promote Pope Francis’s acts of charity and homiletical “bullseyes” on my blog when I find them (e.g. 1 and 2 and 3), but on the whole I find it depressingly contrived to have to do back flips when the pope acts or speaks like the Vicar of Christ should. I’m glad that a bunch of atheists’ limbic systems responded to Pope Francis kissing a man with boils–but then? (My Facebook “convo” was with him, by the way.) Look how quickly they snapped back even after his letter to Scalfari and the idea of the salvation of atheists (1 and 2) when the Vatican clarified that, no, regardless what Pope Honey Badger said, things are not that simple. The Evangelical-megachurch bait-and-switch is a deadly game to play, and only underscores the paradox: in one breath anti-proselytizers denounce the “numbers game” of proselytism yet in the next play up the unprecedented numbers of people being “converted unto” Pope Francis. Despite the fact that Pope Francis was probably the easiest sell we’ve ever had the the MSM, the honeymoon is wearing off. Hooray. For those non-believers still on a Francis high, though, to what are they really being drawn? I think the jury is still out. It’s a cotton candy papacy so far. Smiles, thumbs-up, UN kudos, resurrexifixes, media gaffe after media gaffe, surveys, clown noses, liturgical whateverism, etc. etc. It’s just too hard to keep watching without getting agitated.
What to do when everything seems to be immersed in tremendous confusion? What to do when nothing seems to exist with certainty?
Man is made to live in the presence of God, and in God to find his own substance and peace. At one time the Catholic Church communicated this peace. It was the world, far from God, that was in continuous agitation, but the Church — no. The Church was stability.
It was the godless world which was immersed in a continuous Revolution loved by unstable and desperate souls, who, discontent with life, sought anxiously after impossible novelties which could fill their interior emptiness.
But the Church – no: always the same, composed and pacific in the stability of God, She advanced through the sea of history and was a safe vessel for the souls who did not love the Revolution, recognizing it as false and deceptive. …
Many were struck by the marvellous peace that emanated from the Catholic Church, a peace that convinced and converted, a peace which is among the greatest signs of God. … “The serenity of the Faith and immutable doctrine was reflected in the possession of the truth full of certainty and peace.” How sweet these words are! They are the very sweetness of God and give serenity to every heart that seeks it in His Church.
But now all has changed… dreadful days have come upon us which the appeasing rhetoric of modernized Christians cannot hide: the Revolution of the atheist world has entered the Church and is wearing everything down. There is no longer any stability and the Church appears to have entered into a perennial Revolution which changes everything continuously: confusion in the rites, confusion in doctrine, confusion in morals, confusion in discipline. You do not know if the truth of today will be the same tomorrow. Many, priests and faithful, rush around anxiously in order not to be left behind, adapting themselves in whatever way they can, to this wearisome confusion. …
First of all, it is important not to be beset by agitation, it is important not to react like revolutionaries: that would be like treating a disease, which is precisely what the Revolution is, with the same illness. … Instead, it is essential to stay really outside of the Revolution, by living Catholicism integrally in the stability that was there, before the Revolution invaded everything.
In the darkness of [the present] confusion, you need to decide before God to live a stable Catholic life. In order to do this you have to identify a place that transmits the peace of the Faith which possesses revealed truth. A place where the Traditional Mass is celebrated: choose it as a reference for your life, allowing yourself to be educated by this place. Do not live in agitation, in a perennial struggle, but live like Catholics in the Liturgy of all time, in the Doctrine of all time, in the Grace of all time according to the Sacraments of all time; and with that, do all the good that the Lord permits you to do. …
In other words, being a Christian is the coolest thing ever!