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So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Friday, January 13, 2017

Drowning in the See of Francis. Damian Thompson speaks.

Damian Thompson, or, as the Church Times once described him, the "blood-crazed ferret", has written a provocative piece at The Spectator entitled Why more and more priests can’t stand Pope Francis.

It is a hard-hitting piece. Readers of differing stripes are likely to share an allergic reaction to Thompson's more trenchant moments.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/why-more-and-more-priests-cant-stand-pope-francis/
Thompson's article opens with a punishing salvo.
On 2 January, the Vatican published a letter from Pope Francis to the world’s bishops in which he reminded them that they must show ‘zero tolerance’ towards child abuse. The next day, the American Week magazine published an article that told the story of ‘Don Mercedes’ — Fr Mauro Inzoli, an Italian priest with a passion for expensive cars and underage boys.
In 2012, Pope Benedict stripped Inzoli of his priestly faculties, effectively defrocking him. In 2014, however, they were restored to him — by Pope Francis, who warned him to stay away from minors.
Then, finally, the Italian civil authorities caught up with this serial groper of teenagers in the confessional. Last summer Inzoli was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail for paedophile offences. The Vatican, under ‘zero-tolerance’ Francis, refused to supply evidence that prosecutors wanted.
Did media lackeys slow the news?
But most of the world’s media have pigeon-holed Francis as a fearless reformer, doing battle against Vatican mafiosi, kiddie-fiddlers and ‘fundamentalists’. This perception made it easy for the Pope’s allies to keep the name of Mauro Inzoli out of English–speaking news outlets until last week.
Taking aim at Pope Francis' increasingly (allegedly?) pugnacious behaviour, Thompson continues:
(P)lenty of Vatican employees will testify to (Francis') outbursts of temper, rudeness towards subordinates and vulgar language.
He can also be genial, funny and compassionate. But this side of his personality is increasingly reserved for his inner circle and his allies.
Thompson taps into the direct experience of a Vatican curia priest:
Bergoglio divides the church into those who are with him and those who are against him — and if he thinks you’re in the latter camp then he’ll come after you,’ says a priest who works in the curia.
‘Bergoglio’, note: he doesn’t even call him ‘Francis’. Tellingly, this priest used to be a fervent supporter of some of the Pope’s administrative reforms and he doesn’t look back nostalgically at the reign of Benedict, whom he blames for neglecting his papal duties.
But, like so many Vatican employees, he’s sick of Francis’s habit of telling the entire Roman curia that they are modern-day Pharisees — an analogy that casts the Argentinian pontiff in the role of Jesus.
If Thompson and his curia source are correct, Pope Francis' behaviour has morphed into something detestable. Or, is Pope Francis simply manifesting his true face which has been lurking beneath the Vatican PR campaign to promote him as the foot-washing, painting outside the lines, simplicity loving and bear hugging man-of-the-people?
Most Catholic bishops had thought Francis was a plain-spoken and perhaps touchingly naive reformer. Instead, they are confronted by a pope who is simultaneously combative, charming, bad-tempered, idealistic and vengeful.
One must be wary of believing certain sources who may merely be disgruntled associates who are in the process of venting their personal feelings. Though, whistleblowers, if indeed the curia source is a whistleblower of sorts, should not be easily dismissed. That a curia priest cannot be identified (perhaps to protect him from retribution?) might cause readers to pause and lend at least an ounce of credibility to his witness. An ounce of accuracy can fuel the lamp of enlightenment to shed light on a papacy which is increasingly puzzling in its avoidance of clarity and charity.

Pray for the Holy Father! And while we're at it, let us fast and pray for Holy Mother Church.

Read the entire article HERE.

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We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.