Several times in the last few weeks I’ve wanted to post something. But it’s been very difficult to vent charitably, so I’ve kept my silence. I’m not sure that’s good for my health, so I’m reconsidering “taking up the pen,” as it were.
The Swiss Guard have to go back to work.
Hat tip to Rocco Palmo for the title.
One word of warning: some Rad-Trads are despondent and almost suicidal, thinking that Francis is somewhere between Rowan Williams and Martin Luther. Stay away from their websites until they’ve been calmed down and unlocked from their straightjackets. And do pray for them, because it is a real burden to be holier than the pope.
UPDATE: Some good-hearted souls are rising to the defense of the Holy Father. Let us all do likewise.
Many of us in the pews complain about those who claim to be Catholic, yet don’t understand the basic idea of what it means to assent to the faith. But sometimes we find an intellect which comprehends the concept even if he doesn’t believe in God. Well done, Mr. Jillette.
“We will have a pope!”
The Holy Father announced today that he will abdicate the See of Rome and Chair of St. Peter, effective the last day of February. A resignation of the papacy has only happened a handful of times, and not for almost 600 years.
A conclave convened to elect his successor should be completed before Easter, according to the Vatican. Let us pray for Benedict, and for his successor.
I had this argument with my coworker Joel a few weeks ago and made no progress with him, but Jimmy probably says it better than I do (obviously).
At First Things, Leroy Huizenga confronts the issue of the sinful bishop, so relevant today.
The ultimate issue for those who take seriously the question of which Christian communion they should belong to, I think, is not which ecclesial structure evinces the most holiness yesterday and today. Rather, the proper question is this: What structure has God willed? For me, I came to believe that God through Christ willed the episcopal structure with the bishop of Rome at its head, though others will of course come to different conclusions.
He then quotes apologist Frank Sheed:
We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the Cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. Christ is the point. I, myself, admire the present pope (John Paul II), but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I find the church, as I have to live with it, a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing a pope (or a priest) could do or say would make me wish to leave the church, although I might well wish that they would leave.
He finishes by pointing out that, “if one can believe in God after Auschwitz, one could also believe in the Church after whatever scandal.” It’s a very good read.