Friday, March 15, 2013

It's Been A Busy Few Days

Pope Francis has had a couple of pretty remarkable items for so early on in his pontificate.

First, I'd advise you to read his first homily. My favorite parts:

We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord.

This is a good thing to hear. Despite society's efforts to cast the Church as primarily a philanthropic organization, that's only a secondary matter. Salvation is what counts. Otherwise, we really are just a charitable NGO.

When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.

Which is basically what the Psalms and St. Paul say. I can only hope that this will put a damper on interreligious nonsense. On a side note, I'm aware of a lot of criticisms of Pope Francis from his past. I'm not interested in entertaining those here anymore than I wanted to delve into comments from Cardinal Ratzinger's history that I thought were weird.

This Gospel continues with a situation of a particular kind. The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

Not that there was ever any chance of this, but it's good to see that we don't have Pope Prosperity Gospel. We need to hear more about suffering and the Cross.

Second, Pope Francis apparently had an encounter with Cardinal Law. The first reports I got about this basically just said that they had a brief, but cordial, meeting. This brought down the wrath of SNAP, who I've found only have limited credibility anyway. However, later on I started getting stuff in that told a very different story. Instead of exchanging pleasantries, Pope Francis pulled a Don Corleone.

So when the appearance of a disgraced cardinal threatened to cast a shadow over his first engagement, Francis I made sure it couldn’t happen again - by banning him from his own church.

Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, after being accused of actively covering up for a litany of paedophile priests...'

So hearing that the new Pope was offering prayers at the very same church, it seems he couldn’t resist a discreet peak.

But when Pope Francis recognised him, he immediately ordered that Law be removed, according to Italian media reports. He went on to command: ‘He is not to come to this church any more.’

One of the new Pope’s first acts will be to arrange new ‘cloistered’ accommodation for the disgraced cardinal, the Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, reported.

The firm stance was greeted with cautious enthusiasm by campaigners for victims of sexual abuse. David Clohessey of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said: ‘If he is permanently banned we are slightly encouraged.

Given Mr. Clohessey's comments there at the end, I'm assuming the story is legit. Which is good. It's probably too much to hope for an act of formal degradation or the Henry II treatment (the Fredo solution is probably out of the question entirely)

Finally, on a sort of smaller note, Tancred is hoping some reports that Pope Francis has the tiara on his coat of arms are true. It's probably a "fanciful aspiration" as he calls it, but I've gotten a couple of indications on that aside from his post and the Coulombe citations are legit. If it means anything, the Vatican's web site has the tiara. Did it ever switch to the mitre?

I'll probably have a whole post dedicated to the tiara and the splendor of Catholic ritual in the next few days, but for right now, I suggest everyone read this bit from Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog and consider that maybe St. Francis isn't the guy you see in Brother Sun, Sister Moon.


George7622 said...

I'm sure you're already aware of this, but John Allen of NCR writes that the Vatican denies the reports of Cardinal Law's banishment.

Titus said...

Are we going to see Mahoney get the same treatment? His twitter comments, as well as his shocking violation of his oath of secrecy by expressly revealing his vote on his blog, are vile and execrable. I won't say things against the Pope, but that man is evil and despicable.

George7622 said...

As if all of this weren't enough, there's the developing scandal of the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception and the missing half billion euros.
Scandal in the shadow of the conclave
by Jean-Thomas Léveillé
La Presse 16 March 2013
While the world turns its eyes toward the Vatican, the 1500 employees of the Immaculate Conception Dermatological Institute, in Rome, are growing impatient.
The institute, which is managed by the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception [Congregazione dei Figli dell'Immacolata Concezione (C.F.I.C., Concezionisti)] is at the heart of a large financial scandal.
More than €500 million [$654.3 million] have reportedly been diverted by members of the Congregation.
Result: vendors and employees have not been paid since August.
Moreover, the institute is threatening to lay off 400 employees in order to straighten out its finances.
The scandal is such that Pope Benedict XVI placed the institute under supervision in mid-February as one of his last acts before stepping down.
But, the cardinal charged with the management of the institute has other fish to fry right now: he took part in the conclave just ended.
All the while, the employees are surviving however they can, but continue to show up for work.

Throwback said...

Actually, George, I hadn't seen that. Much obliged for the news. We'll get it up ASAP.