Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The new Pope: so?

We lost a strong friend and protector in Pope Benedict. Again it seems Francis is sound on doctrine and morals (and, since the office of Pope can’t change those, the question’s moot), not interested in high church, and big on social justice. Basically a typical European bishop. (Argentina’s Latin America’s most European country; he’s part of their big Italian minority.) ‘John Paul III.’ It’s not news that economic liberalism including libertarianism doesn’t get along with Catholic Social Teaching™ (holy welfare state, Batman: statism with charity, peace and family values, defending true marriage, of a man and a woman; no abortion or euthanasia — neither and both the secular left and right, or right socially, left economically, appealing to the economically naïve as I imagine lots of clergy are). So Francis might not be our bud. So what? A lot of people in and out of the church don’t understand: while it’s true a good Pope like Benedict or an inept one like Paul VI can do a lot in the church, most of the time the Pope isn’t a big part of the ordinary practice of the faith. So if I can admire Francis’ kind demeanour, humility and charity from afar while he leaves us trads and libertarians alone (we’re not theocrats, and economics is no more part of doctrine than physics), fine.


  1. Pope Francis--elected by the Conclave acting under the guidance & protection of the Holy Spirit so Cardinal Bergoglio is Pope by the Will of God. Good enough for me! Ditto your comments, though, for the most part.

    Pope Paul VI--not inept IMHO but not equal to the task of reigning in the tremendous (or is it horrendous?) social forces unleashed unwittingly (I hope) by Vatican II. A weak leader.

    Frankly, the Papal Office is an impossible office to manage successfully IMHO, except by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Nonetheless, for some Divine Reason, the Lord chose Judas and he chose the Papal Office to be occupied by earthen vessels!

    I must credit Pope Paul VI for writing two of the greatest encyclicals in all of Catholic Church history, greater than anything Pope Paul II or even Pope Benedict the Great wrote, and potentially even greater than the great encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI and Pius XII. Of course I am speaking of "Mysterium Fidei" and "Humanae Vitae," the first of which should be required reading of all catechists and moms & dads preparing adults and children for First Holy Communion and the second of which is PROPHESY come true in our day and age.

  2. YF, pls change "Pope Paul II" to "Pope John Paul II." Thanks

  3. The seeds that Pope Benedict sowed will still take root and grow. The new, accurate translation of the liturgy is a big step in giving the mass its proper sense of mystery; in addition, the "reform of the reform" was, and will continue to be, a "bottom up" affair, as Pope Benedict intended it to be, so now the onus is on the priests and faithful to carry on the task, whether of not the Pope is actively involved. Benign neglect on the part of the Holy Father may indeed be a good thing in this case. If he leaves the trads alone, and not revoke the motu proprio, things will be fine.


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