var globalCopyrightNotice = "2013 New Oxford Review. All Rights Reserved. November 2013, Volume LXXX, Number 9."
The Poor Misunderstood Pope? (New Oxford Review Nov.2013)
"Franciss words tell us that he is no Benedict XVI, no John Paul II. There have often been popes who changed the direction or emphasis of their predecessors: Leo XIII did not issue any syllabus of errors, in contrast to Pius IX before him and Pius X after him, and he was generally more open to the world in a positive way. But there were no morally or doctrinally ambiguous statements coming from the mouth of Leo XIII. He did not implicitly correct the example and teachings of the holy Pope he succeeded. He emphasized different truths than his immediate predecessor but, like him, he taught the truth clearly."
"Pope Francis must keep close track of his change of emphasis. He risks acting the part of the parish priest who uses vacuous platitudes and grand gestures in an attempt to win over disgruntled, immoral, heretical parishioners. The recent history of the post-Vatican II Church shows that this strategy never works. Time and again we have witnessed that churches do not fill up when doctrine is watered down; eventually the church empties, perhaps to be abandoned entirely. If Pope Francis does not perceive this, then there will be many more sorrows that the Church will have to endure. But if he does know this, and he persists in his ambiguity nonetheless, the sorrows will be even greater."
Eventually people get tired of authoritarianism. My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions [as a Jesuit superior] led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. But I have never been a right-winger.
Pope Francis on his experience in Church government (America, Sept. 30)
Posted by: MGRagan
November 20, 2013 07:15 AM EST
In my opinion, this is a superb analysis of what Pope Francis has said and done thus far. I agree that it is damaging to the faithful and the Church in general.
Pope Francis thinks like most liberals do. But Jesus wasn't a liberal. He loved the poor and He healed the sick but He reserved His harshest words for those who say one thing and do another and give scandal to the innocent. The hierarchy is full of people like that. Catholic politics is full of people like that, including a powerful gay lobby that is wreaking havoc with the culture. But according to the pope, we are not to judge. Jesus did. He spoke of fire and brimstone and millstones for those who act this way. I thought the Holy Father was His voice here on earth. Apparently not. And this is not new. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II certainly were not as ambiguous as this pope, but they too did little or nothing to stem the flow of Catholics leaving the Church or to discipline the clergy who were consistently giving grave scandal or covering it up. In many instances, members of the hierarchy were rewarded for their evil deeds. The Church has been in big trouble for a long time.
Christ promised He would never abandon His Church. Faithful Catholics must cling to that for now. In the end, He will triumph.