The word “attack” in the title to my previous post “Why Those Who Publically Attack Bishops Are Wrong,” is not a synonym for “criticize.” I take this opportunity to clarify my meaning here in a separate post where it won’t get lost in the comments. I also intend here to deal with certain other issues raised in the comments.
I thought it would be clear from the section on “Fraternal Correction” that I was distinguishing between “attacking” and “criticizing.” I wrote the following:
All of this is not to say that fraternal correction of our superiors is never in order, or that we are never justified in having recourse to higher superiors in the Church, or in publically correcting scandal, even when bishops commit it. You can read St. Thomas Aquinas on the subject here. I don’t pretend to have all the answers to the complex situations of our age, but I do know that matter is not as simple as some Internet pundits make it.
I cast myself before Thee, Thy bondsman and fool;
Thy patronage is freedom, Thy slavery my school.
I offer Thee my sword hilt and wait for Thy command
To serve among Thy servants who pledge to take a stand.
That I might die in battle, a victim of Thy love:
My wish, my prayer, my promise, thus written in my blood.
I saw the bark of Peter ride dark into the sun,
But darker still the marking of crescent, hoard and gun.
Her sails lay flat and mellow, Her men had pledged their troth,
Left hand on beaded psalter, the right to keep their oath.
The haughty fiend had counted on fear to win the day,
But Thine own breath has countered to turn the wind their way.
My Queen, to Thee be honor and praise through all Thy knights
Who toiled and bled and parted Thy martyrs robed in white.
All courtesy and prowess, all strength and gentleness,
Thy heart a pyx of virtue, Thy face all loveliness.
Then at the hour of judgment my colors Thou may see,
Thy Son upon His white steed, Thou pray to come for me.
A second witness that St. Francis gives us, noted the pontiff, is that “everyone who follows Christ receives true peace, the peace that Christ alone can give, a peace which the world cannot give.”
Pope Francis reflected that often people associate peace with the great Saint of Assisi, but that few go deeper into the peace which he “received, experienced and lived,” that is “the peace of Christ” which comes from “the love of the Cross.”
“It is the peace which the Risen Jesus gave to his disciples when he stood in their midst and said: ‘Peace be with you!’”
“Franciscan peace is not something saccharine,” he said, “That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos… That is not Franciscan either; it is a notion some people have invented!”
“The peace of Saint Francis is the peace of Christ, and it is found by those who ‘take up’ their ‘yoke,’ namely, Christ’s commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”
The Holy Father urged that the “yoke” of his patron Saint “cannot be borne with arrogance, presumption or pride, but only with meekness and humbleness of heart.”
Pope Francis concluded his reflections by looking at St. Francis’ witness to respect, “safeguard and protect all that God has created,” in the world, noting the most importantly the Saint’s “love for every human being.”
“Francis was a man of harmony and peace,” the Holy Father recalled, “From this City of Peace, I repeat with all the strength and the meekness of love: Let us respect creation, let us not be instruments of destruction! Let us respect each human being.”
May there be an end to armed conflicts which cover the earth with blood; may the clash of arms be silenced; and everywhere may hatred yield to love, injury to pardon, and discord to unity.”
The Pope prayed in particular for peace in the Holy Land, Syria and the Middle East.
From the publication—authorized—of data from the questionnaire it becomes clear that there are serious internal problems in the Institute. It also becomes clear how pretentious is the campaign organized by those who have cried foul on account of the Vatican’s appointment of a Commissioner to the Institute and on account of the decision made at that time by the Pope to limit their faculty to celebrate the old Mass, submitting it to the authorization of the Superior, that is, of the Commissioner. This campaign culminated in public appeals to the friars encouraging them to disobey the directives of the Holy See, and in verbally violent attacks against the presumed small group of “traitors” within the Institute. Finally, one must not forget that the old Mass continues to be authorized in churches under the care of the Franciscans of the Immaculate where there are stable groups of faithful that desire to attend that form of the Mass, as per the provisions of Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum.
A lovely priest in Paris had incurred the enmity of the sectarians by his liberality. One day a bigot, who was also a bully, met him on the street and dealt him a rousing blow on the cheek. Quietly the lovely priest turned, saying: “My Master teaches me when thus struck to turn the other cheek also.” Delivering a still heavier blow on that cheek, the bully said: “And what does your master tell you now?” To this the lovely priest replied, as he laid aside his cloak, “The authorities are divided, but the weight of authority is in favor of the view which I now adopt as I proceed to give you the worst thrashing of your life.” It is not likely that at the final reckoning, the lovely priest will find much against him for that day’s work.