Commentating on orientating my readers…

I respect “the pope” because I respect Our Lord’s promises about the papacy. In the past I have admitted my harshness about Francis and his papacy, and I have dialed down my rhetorical excesses compared to how I felt in August and September. I have the papal intentions posted at the top of my blog. I pray for the Holy Father every day. I have highlighted his good deeds and winning remarks (not that there’s a dearth of good press for him), and continue to do so (viz. not everything on my Facebook ends up on my blog). 

Unfortunately, what Pope Francis is engendering, largely without clarification or retraction, is simply beneath the dignity and duty of the papal office. No pope is protected from personal sin, indiscretion, imprudence, rhetorical defects, and errors profane. Pope Francis is making that very clear to us, and it behooves us as Catholics to “test everything” and “separate the wheat from the chaff.” I don’t need to hide the fact that I am often outraged at the damage and confusion that Pope Francis is sowing, but if I really had no respect for THE POPE, I’d “go sede” (as the Energizer Troll would have it), or just cease to practice Catholicism altogether. But because I don’t want the dignity and clarity of the papal office to be so uncritically besmirched by the astounding recklessness of its current occupant, I will not be kowtowed by a saccahrine conformism.

Moreover, I am not only within my spiritual rights (cf. Sapientiae Christianae #14-15), but also within my canonical rights, if not duties, to speak out:

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors [Mea culpa!], and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Lastly, note well what my Scriptural standard is:

“Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom. For wisdom is known through speech, and education through the words of the tongue. Never speak against the truth, but be mindful of your ignorance. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, and do not try to stop the current of a river. Do not subject yourself to a foolish fellow, nor show partiality to a ruler. Strive even to death for the truth and the Lord God will fight for you.” — Sir 4:23-28

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About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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3 Responses to Commentating on orientating my readers…

  1. ErnstThalmann says:

    There is a certain selective tendency on Catholic blogs and messages boards to wussify, that is to say, to prissily lecture about charity when one feels an argument or person with which the blogger or moderator feels sympathy has been attacked. God forbid that honesty of expression – emotional expression as well – be permitted. Being a dutiful and mannerly little fella is what’s seen as most important. I find this pusillanimity stomach turning, frankly. It usually serves to silence argument and it does so in usually the most phony and censorious fashion. One needs to be able to call a fascist a fascist or a Pope a Hippie if that’s what they are. I’m far too old to worry about someone’s delicate sensibilities in this regard, let the emotional content be appropriate to the circumstances. This blog is refreshing in that respect. And I hardly see any need for Codg to defend himself. Keep up the good work, Codg. Your honesty about the Pope is a breath of fresh air.

  2. Brock Fowler says:

    Lots of Catholics know, and accept, Church teachings concerning the dramatic limits to infallibility, but then seem to “plus up” from there the assistance of the Holy Spirit–as though the Church had forgotten about the Holy Spirit when formulating the teaching. Although the Pope does have the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, he also is under special attack from Satan: it all boils down to what the Church actually teaches…he is very seldom infallible.

    We know the difference between patriotism (good), and nationalism (bad). It seems to me that many Catholics take an almost nationalistic view of the Church…and view the Pope with the sort of respect and deference that is what you would find in a Stalinist or Nazi country. But Catholic obedience is more nuanced than blind “loyalty.” It is not just Nazi respect/obedience but to a good end: it is fundamentally different from that. It is based upon the understanding that we ALL fall short: including the hierarchy. And that ALL truth is God’s truth…and truth always leads you towards God, and falsehoods away…even if the falsehoods are told with the intent of being “loyal”–which in the Christian understanding is not loyal at all in my view.

  3. Marietta says:

    What hurts the most is when people tell me that to disagree with what the Pope says or does is a “sin against the Holy Spirit.” That should be enough to turn me into a “sede.” But no – I’m determined to sit out the rest of my life with Holy Mother Church, who has survived a few bad popes in the past. This nightmare, too, will pass.
    Thanks, Codg, for your comforting blog.

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