Friday, May 31, 2013


Pope Francis recently gave a homily in which he decried "triumphalism" in the Church. Per Zenit:

“Today, we risk succumbing to the temptation of a Christianity without a cross. And there is another temptation: that of a Christianity with the cross but without Jesus,” Pope Francis said. This, he continued, was the “temptation of triumphalism. We want triumph now, without going to the cross, a worldly triumph, a reasonable triumph."

The Holy Father concluded his homily speaking on the danger of triumphalism in the Church and of Christians, saying that a “triumphalist Church is a halfway Church.”

“A Church content with being “well organized and with [...] everything lovely and efficient”, but which denied the martyrs would be a Church which thought only of triumphs and successes; which did not have Jesus’ rule of triumph through failure. Human failure, the failure of the cross. And this is a temptation to us all.”

Here's the wild thing about this kind of statement, which isn't really all that uncommon these days. There is no more triumphalistic spirit than that which animates the defender's of Vatican II's alleged successes. It is impregnable to all assaults by reason, facts, etc. Even popes are infected by it. Despite Pope Benedict's attempts at realism towards the end of his pontificate, it's all over the place in other writings of his and is replete in what we have from Pope Paul and Blessed John Paul II.

Yet it's never recognized as such. In fact, any commentary that the Council was less than a 100% rousing success is typically met with accusations of infidelity to the Church or outright mockery.

Weird how that works.

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