In December 2016 it was reported that Pope Francis told a small group of confidants that “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.” Whether he intended for that to be rhetorical is open for debate. That he may have been prophetic is not.
When the Pope invites a person to his private office it is not a complete endorsement of everything that person has ever said and done, but it does say something. Unless it is followed by or connected to a public correction, a call to reform, or diplomatic envoy, people who have no philosophical alignment with the Holy Father are not typically given one-on-one access complete with photographs. In fact, people are usually scrutinized to make sure that nothing in the person’s past returns to embarrass the Pope.
Who has been invited to visit the Pope lately? Consider:
Bill Clinton and Alex Soros – Both men are advocates for abortion without exception, the LGBTQ+ cause, euthanasia and much of what the church has battled since the time of Christ. But he hosted them on July 6.
James J. Martin SJ – the Jesuit priest is widely known as perhaps the most vocal proponent of acceptance of LGBTQ+ Catholics. He has gone so far as to suggest in his writings that Church teaching is debatably not really authoritative because it “has not been received by the LGBTQ community.” At best this is confusing. Perhaps intentionally so.
Why on earth would the creator of the blasphemous piece of trash, “Piss Christ” be greeted by Pope Francis in the Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Pope? Piss Christ is the piece of “art” that submersed a Crucifix in a jar of the creator’s own urine. There is no justification, shy of public repentance, remorse and apology by the “artist”, for the Holy Father to invite such insult into the Vatican. He doesn’t belong in the same room as the art which adorns the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This was almost as sacrilegious as Pachamama in Saint Peter’s.
October of this year will bring the culmination of the Synodal process. Meetings in dioceses all over the world have been going on in preparation for this. This Synod on Synodality, to be held in Rome, is an opportunity for people from all over the world to come together and present the results of their country-wide discussions. Then, as if the Church were suddenly a democracy, the conclusions of the people are voted on to see what recommendations are made to Francis. Highest on the ballot, so the speak, will be what the Church is going to do with the recommendations of the Dioceses of Germany. German Bishops are prepared to recommend changes in Church doctrine regarding same sex “marriages”, the blessings those unions might be eligible for, the role of women in the Church including as deacons, and Holy Communion and blessings for those divorced and remarried.
His Holiness has personally appointed the delegation for US members of the October 2023 Synod on Synodality: Cardinals Blasé Cupich, Wilton Gregory, Sean Patrick O’Malley and Robert McElroy. Also included is Fr James Martin. These men are well known for their suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass and their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Most of these men offered “Pride” Masses.
This synod will hold repercussions for the future. One gets the impression that the passing of Benedict XVI has freed the leaders of the Church to diverge from past teachings in favor of an expanded role for women in the church and the blessing or acceptance for those in irregular unions. This will very much be pushed by German Bishops. The Synod results will tell how much influence the German delegation carried with it. Meanwhile, it is mindboggling that African Cardinal Robert Sarah, widely accepted as the preeminent moral theologian, and an advocate for traditional Church positions, is a glaring omission from the list of those invited to the Synod. This stands as further reason to believe that big changes are coming to the Church established by Christ himself. His exclusion evinces this as an effort to disallow those who will publicize and contest these efforts to undermine the Deposit of the Faith.
Aside from the Synod, the appointment of the Argentine Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández as Cardinal, and his assignment to the post of Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith will also shape the Church. Fernandez is remembered for his bizarre book written in 1995, “Heal Me with Your Mouth. The Art of Kissing”. Excerpts include “How was God so ruthless to give you that mouth… No one can resist, witch, hide it.” Interesting. Fernandez is also known for his openness to same sex marriage. His quote about blessing same sex marriages; “Now, if a blessing is given in such a way that it does not cause that confusion, it will have to be analyzed and confirmed…” is, in itself, confusing. He holds that while a same sex union cannot be blessed as a marriage defined as union of man and woman, he and the church should be open to giving a blessing if it is in a manner that does not conflate a man-woman marriage with a same sex union. The appointment of one who holds such unorthodox views is an insult to the late Joseph Ratzinger who held this post under John Paul II.
As if Francis hasn’t been busy enough, he also had time to arrange a punitive Apostolic Visitation for Tyler, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland. What a coincidence that this insult came immediately after Strickland attended that prayer rally outside of Los Angeles Dodger Stadium. Strickland chosing to align himself with those who took umbrage with the group of satanic men mocking religious sisters, Christ and His Mother, was an embarrassment to the tail-tucked, left leaning bishops of California. Apostolic Visitations allow Papal auditors, selected by the Holy Father, to investigate the manner in which a Bishop is running his diocese. This thinly veiled effort was designed to reign in Strickland. What a juxtaposition in how James Martin is treated compared to His Excellency Bishop Strickland, Father James Altman, and Archbishop Vigano.
The Francis, Martin, McElroy, model of prelate prattles on endlessly about outreach, communication, and companionship. Where are those sentiments for Strickland, Sarah, and other conservative Catholic clerics? Or their followers? There are millions for whom these courageous traditional bishops speak. And to them it is concerning that their shepherds are seemingly not welcome in Francis’ Church The effort to welcome outliers into the Church would be more meaningful to those traditional sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church than for the radical homosexual movement. But as for Bergoglio, Res, non verba. His actions speak louder than his talk.
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