|POPE FRANCIS AND THE ROMAN WINTER|
The free wheeling approach of the Holy Father to making public utterances and off the cuff homilies at his morning Masses, has been a great boon for those clerics who are either out and out dissidents or flirt with dissent, or just like to do their own thing. "Who am I to judge?" they quote with glee!
But of late some of the Franciscan chickens have been coming home to roost, and it just may be that the Holy Father is having forced in on him that " I did it my way" is best left to the realm of entertainment.
Pope John XXIII and the Camauro
Pope Benedict XVI and the Camauro
The scandal causing interview with the atheist magazine editor Scalifaro has been taken down from the Vatican website. And the Holy Father, in homily after homily has been explicitly hammering home the strict orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church even in areas where some of his more vague statements have caused Media flutters and consternation amongst the faithful.
But still, at the peripheries His Holiness loves to dwell upon, the ripples of the earlier statements continue to be extended by some clerics. Indeed at Mass this morning I heard a cleric well known for his "Lutheran " preaching on justification and confession, "explain " to the congregation how good Pope Francis was sympathetic to the German Bishops' desire to admit Divorced ( and re-married???) Catholics back to Holy Communion.Why should anybody be denied a welcome? The Church of " nice".
What next? Already we have clerics too spineless to refuse Holy Communion to notorious supporters of Abortion - politicians and others who monstrously advocate in a forceful public manner, the slaughter of the unborn . This despite the clear requirement of Canon 915.
Teasing the media and the non-practising faithful with loosely- worded statements might be advised by media managers to get attention,or perhaps in a naive belief that it is good, who knows? But it does have
unintended consequences, which even "blind Freddie "could have foreseen. Giving dissidents " wiggle room" is a grave danger to the simple lay folk who still like to think that whatever "Father says" must be true - especially when he says that the Holy Father says it is so.
Meanwhile in the headless Diocese of Broken Bay we wait until Cardinal Ouellet re-discovers his "Australia File" and comes up with a new Bishop. If only we could be fortunate enough to have a Bishop of the calibre of Archbishop Mark Coleridge who has gone so far as to encourage and facilitate the Brisbane Oratory in Formation project. Broken Bay needs just such a hub of orthodoxy , where the liturgy is faithfully and devoutly celebrated and the Faith reliably and fully taught. We wait and pray.