So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Living with Francis: perspectives on the pontificate posted by Pentin.

The National Catholic Register has published an article by Edward Pentin, journalist par excellence, concerning the State of the Pape, i.e., the papacy of Pope Francis. It concludes with the following observation:
In short, the strong praise the Pope has won over the past four years, largely from those on the peripheries, outside the Church, or adherents to pastoral innovations, is matched by an internal unease, deep concern and genuine anguish by those who have trouble reconciling this pontificate with those of the past.
That discontent is heightened by the fact that these groups feel overlooked and not listened to (it’s widely known the Pope never acknowledges or replies to petitions or letters critical of Amoris Laetitia, for example, including the dubia). This and the fact that the reform the Holy Father has enacted is not the kind many of his cardinals were expecting when he was elected has led many of them here to frequently and discreetly ask: “What is to be done?”
Perhaps the Pope partly offered a solution himself during his pastoral visit yesterday to the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa. He told the children present that “listening is the first step of dialogue” and that “one of the ugliest diseases of today is the lack of an ability to listen, as if we had blocked our ears.”
Instead, he held up the “concreteness of dialogue,” what he called the “ear apostolate,” which begins by letting “the other always speak first” and then to “listen well.” Dialogue, he said, “is always a bridge.”
There is no small irony attached to current circumstances. A pope who calls for listening and dialogue but who appears deaf to Apostolic Christianity and those who have real and substantial concerns regarding ambiguity that has crept into papal documents is in a conflicted position that inhibits his call to others to enter into dialogue. Is it fair to say "do as I say, not as I do"?

Francis' badgering of Tradition-minded Catholics is a cross that faithful Catholics must bear for the sake of the Truth. Suffering for the Truth of the Faith brings faithful Catholics closer to Christ Who suffered for the Truth. Those intent on preserving the Truth should take comfort in the Cross of Christ, trusting in His mercy, the hope of heaven and the consolation that knowing and living the Truth, the unchanging and unchangeable Truth, brings.

Faithful Catholics must continue to build bridges to Tradition even while some in the Church hack away at those bridges. Thanks be to God, many bridges have been or are being built to preserve the Apostolic Faith in Tradition-minded communities around the globe. The Holy Spirit has on more than a few occasions performed an end run around resistant popes and bishops and errant laity to ensure the Barque of Peter remains on course.

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