Celebrating the Pope Named Francis

2013-03-14 08.29.30

So I welcomed Pope Francis in with a bang last night on the way back from a Communion call.  No one hurt, thank God.  And, no, I would prefer not to share the details, not because they are embarrassing (of course), but because I would not want to imply that any differences between English and American driving laws had anything to do with it.  And no, there was no alcohol involved.  For the fact that I am still here to write about it, and in doing so perfect health, and that no one else was hurt, I thank God, Our Lady, St. Francis and my Guardian Angel. Nuff said.

I was will have more to say about our new dear Holy Father in the coming days, just as soon as I get the insurance details ironed out and have a few moments to get un-rattled.

Meanwhile I recommend looking at the links on New Advent.  Dawn Eden has a great guest post from post here by Fr. George David Byers.  And here are some telling quotes from Sandro Magister:

Continue reading

First Words of Pope Francis to the World

You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.

First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…

And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.

[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]

[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.

Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.

We will see one another soon.

Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.

Good night and sleep well!

Habemus Papam!

And his name is . . . Francis

(Jorge Bergoglio)

Thanks be to God!

Update:  Some say it might refer to Francis Xavier, since the new Holy Father is a Jesuit, but I don’t think so, because he would just have taken F.X. as his name.

If it is taken after St. Francis of Assisi, which it almost surely it, that is just A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!

Praying for the 115. Waiting for the 77. Hoping for the 1.

Pro Eligendo Summo Pontifice

For the Election of the Supreme Pontiff

Let us Pray,

We humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, in Thy immense mercy to grant to the Holy Roman Church a Pontiff, who will be always pleasing to Thee due to his zeal towards us, and worthy of reverence from Thy people for his salutary government for the glory of Thy name. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

The Dark Horse

Check out this link for an argument that the Cardinals may just decide that Joseph Ratzinger is the only one who can pulls things together . . . What?

That’s right.  I do not believe it will happen, but the thought is intriguing.  The author uses that Quo vadis, Petre? argument, which readers will know I vehemently disagree with.  But in the scenario presented, I believe something else would be happening.

Pope Benedict repeatedly said that he had prayed very hard about his decision and that he was certain it was the correct one.  By stepping down, he has given the Cardinals the opportunity of doing something that his present age prevented him from doing effectively: cleaning out the Vatican curia.  If anything seems likely, it would be that the problems within the Vatican will be addressed by the next pontificate.  If the electors were to actually choose Ratzinger, which again, I find highly unlikely, they would know what is involved.  Furthermore, Benedict would emerge from the conclave the most powerful pope, perhaps in all of history.

The possibility, remote as it is, helps to clarify the issues at stake.

Second Guessing the Conclave Before It Happens

This brings us to a short meditation on our current pre-Conclave period. That there are in some sense factions among contemporary cardinals is clear. Tension among these factions ought to be quite intense, given the fact that the road that the Church will tread will be very different depending upon which of three possible “parties” comes out of the Conclave victorious: one that will follow Pope Benedict XVI’s lead, but perhaps more consistently brake the Revolution within the Church and ultimately realize that it must reverse it entirely; one that will more openly and enthusiastically join in the dismantling of the pitiful remains of Catholic Christendom; or one that will continue mindlessly to smile and praise the “fruits of the Council” as the Mystical Body of Christ is mocked, outraged, and reduced to utter impotence.

Dr. John Rao

Dr. Rao’s assessment is a good summary of the traditionalist/crypto-traditionalist habit of mind.  As a writer for The Remnant, he can hardly be characterized as a crypto-traditionalist, but I believe his tripartite division of the partisanship within the conclave betrays the evangelical bent of the crypto-traditionalists.  It is a bit of having it both ways in the interests of “conversion.”

So, according to Dr. Rao the three parties of the conclave are as follows:

  1. Party of Pope Benedict on Steroids
  2. Party of Modernist Dismantlers
  3. Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial

Rao and the crypto-traditionalists would have us believe that they are on the side of Pope Benedict, who they claim agrees with them in principle, but for one reason or another (lack of moral fortitude, blackmail from the homosexual cabal, fear of the Jews or whatever) has not found himself able to follow through with his own beliefs.

But this is where Rao wants to have it both ways.  The crypto-trads wave the Holy Father’s flag when it suits them.  Rao claims to be following “Pope Benedict’s lead,” but with perhaps with “more consistency” than the Pope himself.  Under the banner of the Holy Father and against those who wish to see the Second Vatican Council implemented properly, Rao hopes to stop the Revolution which is the Council and turn back the clock. This we are told is, in principle, the position of Pope Benedict, which he has not been able to apply consistently.

But more transparent traditionalists would say that this is just silly, because clearly the Holy Father has not abandoned his support of the Council at very fundamental levels of principle.  Take, for example, Pope Benedict’s most recent defense of interreligious dialogue, which traditionalists claim is undeniably contradictory to the position laid out by Pius XI in Moralium Animos.  Likewise, in his last substantive address on the matter of Vatican II, the Holy Father renewed his defense of the hermeneutic of continuity, which is hardly something that the traditionalists, such as Professor Roberto de Mattei, to whom Rao refers, except.  I wonder how far Dr. Rao will go to follow the following “lead” of Pope Benedict XVI:

It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force. And it is our task, especially in this Year of Faith, on the basis of this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed.

If Dr. Rao were not trying to engage of boilerplate traditionalist propaganda he would more logically realize that there are actually four parties in the conclave to be reckoned with:

  1. Party of Benedict XVI’s Hermeneutic of Continuity in Reform
  2. Party of Trad/Crypto-Trad Counter-Revolution
  3. Party of Modernist Dismantlers
  4. Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial

In actuality, I believe the fourth party is rather small.  Rao tries to invoke Pope Benedict as his leader and places the hermeneutic of continuity in the Party of Conciliar Disaster Denial because that is what the propaganda requires.  The moment the traditionalists admit that the current situation is more complex than they imagine, and thus, that the solution is more nuanced, is the moment that their show is over.  In all actuality, those who are neither modernists or traditionalists are quite willing to engage in the reform of the reform.  They just wish to do in on the basis of the sound principles laid down by the Council and taught by the postconcilar popes. Continue reading

Pope Benedict and Saving the Church

In recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased, and I asked God with insistence in prayer to enlighten me with His light to make me take the right decision – not for my sake, but for the good of the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI, February 27, 2013

For the Record

As a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate whose rule and life in a particular way is a profession of faith in the authority and ministry of the Successor of St. Peter, I wish to profess my love and loyalty to Benedict XVI as he leaves office today. This abdication is for the good of the Church.

Likewise, and after the example of His Holiness, “I vow unconditional reverence and obedience to the future Pope.” And I formally reject a priori any and every pretext for counting the successor of Pope Benedict unfit, unqualified, not sufficiently traditional, or sufficiently evangelical to run the Church. I also reject the parallel “magisterium” of academics, pundits, propagandists and ideologues who will inevitably “know better” than the next pope. Continue reading

In the Hands of God: Updated

The Lord is calling me to “climb the mountain,” to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength.

Benedict XVI, February 24, 2013

These words from the Holy Father rise above the confusion of the media feeding frenzy, tearing into every rumor, conspiracy theory and rash judgment about his abdication.  I am not so naive as to think that the media circus should be surprising, nor am I scandalized that men should speak the sincere convictions concerning this matter.  But there are risks involved in all of it. Continue reading

The Legacy of Pope Benedict

The upcoming conclave has provoked a wave of speculation by the usual suspects: ideologues, propagandists and salesmen looking to further their agenda (left or right); journalists who need to keep this boon of a news cycle going; fear mongers, conspiracy theorists and prophecy hunters who will latch on to anything.

Pope Benedict the sedate intellectual has been working quietly, reorganizing the Holy See, making appointments and doing what he does best, writing and teaching in both an official and unofficial capacity.  He has been a “transitional” pope, but his legacy may be much more significant than the media buzz suggests.  This elderly pope who has spent the last clear-headed years he has conserving his energy and pacing himself in order to leave the Church in a position to do what it does best, survive and proclaim to the world, always old and decrepit, that Christ is the future.

He has stacked the deck for the conclave.  We will reap what he has sown.