Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Francis Effect (tm)

Over the last year, I've been watching the unfolding of the Franciscan papacy with mixed thoughts and reactions.

Today I ran across a link to this article, and couldn't resist but to comment on it.

Here's a pull-quote:

"It’s odd enough that there are two living popes. It’s odder still that they live in such proximity. But what’s most odd is that the two popes are these two popes, and that the one who spent a third of a century erecting a Catholic edifice of firm doctrine and strict prohibition now must look on at close range as the other cheerfully dismantles it in the service of a more open, flexible Church."

Francis is not "dismantling" an edifice built by Benedict. And, that edifice of firm doctrine was not built by Benedict in a third of a century. It was established nearly 2000 years ago by Christ and remains a bulwark against the gates of Hell.

This writer, like so many in the liberal, secular press, believes that Francis is the Pope that will finally liberate the Church from it's perceived oppressive doctrine and become the "Newchurch" that so many desire; an edifice of Faith built to conform to their will, rather than an edifice that will conform their will to the Faith of the Ages.

There is nothing to read here. The press spent the Benedictine years feverishly "uncovering" every scandal they could, attempting to paint Benedict's papacy as one of oppressive doctrine and opulent liturgical excess. Now they want to paint him as a bitter old man who regrets abdicating and who is now trapped in a prison of contemplation while bearing witness to the destruction of the Church. Neither characterization is true.

Meanwhile, they continually post photos, "Kodak moments" of Papa Bergoglio kissing babies and embracing those among the Faithful who have been horribly disfigured by disease. I'm a bit tired of the never-ending, breathless media coverage of Pope Francis.  You'd think he was the only pope to kiss babies or smile.

But the honeymoon may be over, or at least for some poor journalists who are confused by some of what Francis is doing, things that they perceive as being inconsistent with what this pope is supposed to be bringing to the world.

There is an article here with the telling headline "Why does progressive Pope Francis allow anti-gay bishops to preach hate?"In Benedict's first year, the press went on a breathless mission to track down every photo of young Ratzinger wearing his Hitler Youth uniform they could lay their hands on in an effort to convince people that he ate babies rather than hugged them. They're still on a campaign to characterize him as a gay-hating bigot.

If you do a quick "Google" search of Benedict, you'll find every hate-filled news article and photo ever produced regarding him. Photo-shopped pics of him made to look like the Emperor from the Star Wars saga, photos of someone standing right behind him make a stabbing gesture toward his back. Captioned photos of him in the famous red, fur-lined zucchetto called him the "Santa of Hate".

The MSM want everyone to believe that Francis is a progressive; that he's the "fluffiest pope evvvvurhh" (to quote Fr. Z). But in reality, Francis will not (indeed he CAN NOT) change 2000 years of Church Teaching. The sooner they realize that, the better. The more quickly we as serious-minded Catholics quit buying into the image the MSM is trying to project of him as a progressive, fluffy, baby-kisser the better off the Church will be, and the quicker those who think he's "all that" will realize that he's still the pope, and that he and Papa Ratzinger share a common lineage - the Vicar of Christ.

Meanwhile, this article captures the reality of the matter. Now people in the press are beginning to realize that when the rubber meets the road, Francis, like his predecessor, will stand squarely behind Church Teaching. But read carefully. They're confused. They don't understand how the "fluffiest pope ever, the one who kisses babies, the first pope to smile" could not come to Obama's aid, giving his popularity a boost by being seen with this great, progressive pope. Meanwhile, they can't resist to continue painting Papa Emeritus Ratzinger as a rigid old man obsessed with antiquated and oppressive doctrine.

When will the progressives both within and without the Church finally get it? 

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