— I WANTED TO SEND A CLEAR SIGNAL. I WANTED IT TO BE CLEAR: SOMETHING QUITE SPECIAL IS GOING ON HERE! HE IS HERE!, THE ONE BEFORE WHOM WE FALL TO OUR KNEES! PAY ATTENTION!..........
(Pope Benedict XVI explaining kneeling Communion to Peter Seewald)
I agree with *most* of what you posted. But...You paint a very dark picture of the pre-consular Church. Unless you want to paint all of the Church's history in the same dark color, don't you need to at least point to some point where the Good Church went bad? I've been listening lately to some of Michael Davies' (RIP) and Charles Coulombe's lectures on youtube lately. Both of them are of the mindset that the problems we now see were already present in the 50's Church, i.e. there were many scoundrels hiding out, biding their time. By scoundrels, I am referring to clerics who loved the good life the Church provided them but who did't really accept Catholic Faith and/or morality.
Do you think the Church ever had it right before Francis? or are you saying that the scary, hypocritical Church of your childhood (which you described) was pretty much the rule before him? I ask in sincerity.
I was just reading recently that our sins affect not just us but the entire world. Ireland is a prime example. The sins of the nuns and priests there destroyed not just their faith but that of so many others so that Ireland, once so Catholic, has actually become apostate in so many ways.
But I take hope in that most beautiful verse in the Bible that says where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. And I believe that is the message of Pope Francis. The Mercy of God can never be defeated. We see that on the Cross.
From one who lived during those times, I can tell you that the main motivation was fear....For far too many Irish Catholics, the Church did not mean the love, mercy and forgiveness of God. It meant only fear and oppression...despite the sad, abusive legacy of the Church in many parts of the world,....<<<
I don't see your statements above jiving with you telling me "the Church has always had it right". Seems like you think the Church had it way wrong back in the 60s. (and you seem to imply that with Pope Francis, the Church finally has it right).
It is kind of ironic that His Holiness --hailed for not judging any sexual sins-- is very judgmental towards "creed-reciting parrot Christians", "rosary counters", "Catholics that breed like rabbits". Sadly, it looks to me like his judgmental attitude rubs off on those who are fans of his. They look down their noses and feel free to pass their own judgments on whole classes and generations of believing Catholics.
There is little doubt in my mind that you would have rejected Jesus Christ for hanging out with sinners and showing them mercy and compassion. Your idea is to point out people's sins in a judgmental manner and iif they don't immediately conform to your ideas, they should be judged and condemned. Yet the only ones Our Lord ever publicly condemned were religious people. Why do you think that is?
Unless and until you can answer that question, you will never understand Divine Mercy, and you may be cutting yourself off from that same Divine Mercy which is so vital to salvation.
It must be so hard to be Catholic and hate the Holy Father.
I think that the first sentence of my first comment was a virtual pat on the back for most of your post. I apologize if it wasn't sufficiently big.
You are correct in intuiting that I don't see Francis as the greatest Pope ever. Great popes do their homework. Our current one doesn't seem to have read, let alone absorbed, much of what his predecessors have written. Otherwise he wouldn't be thinking that he has the authority change Catholic teaching on things like divorce or homosexuality or the heresy of indifferentism.
We have had our share of lackluster and even evil popes. I don't believe there's anything uncatholic in believing that.
As to me not understandingGod's mercy, you are 'spot on'. 'no angel of the sky can fully bear that sight!'. I doubt I will never comprehend it!
I think we both should pray for one another.
Many, many *traditional* Catholics despised Pope St John Paul II as much as you and many others despise Pope Francis. Now, of course, John Paul II is a saint, and these same people who adamantly opposed his papacy and canonization now laud him as a great defender of the truth.
I state unequivocally and without apology that Pope Francis is one of the holiest men to sit in the Chair of Peter, and that is without denigrating any of his predecessors. You mention his statement about *rosary counters*. Are you aware that Pope Francis, despite his busy schedule, says three rosaries every day? How many do you say? Do you know he spends an hour in adoration every day? How much time do you spend in adoration? He constantly pushes the Sacrament of Confession, giving us the public example of going to confession, and speaks often of hell. I have given just a couple of the many, many, statements he has made about the love and mercy of God, doing all he can to draw people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
One day, Kneeling Catholic, you will eat your words of condemnation of Pope Francis.
First of all I wish you a happy and blessed Easter!
2nd and lastly, I wish you would reconsider some of your statements about me despising or hating or condemning the Holy Father. I do pray for him often. Perhaps I have actually written something that leads you to jump to the conclusion that I hate him? Anything in particular?
I don't think I am required to listen to his name-calling and conclude that he is non-judgmental. You are right that our Lord condemned many religious people. But weren't most of those people religious leaders? The examples I gave were where Francis has focused his scorn on the laity, as in where he ridiculed the Argentinians who greeted his election with a bouquet of rosaries.
>>>but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: “Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.” Why don’t they say, “we pray for you, we ask…”, but this thing of counting… And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through – not you, because you are not old – to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today<<<
How does the above not contradict Francis self-avowed devotion to the Rosary? Where is he telling us how he really feels? That's a good question.
If you honestly don't know what Pope Francis was talking about when he says "counting rosaries", then it will do no good for me to explain it to you. But I will give it a try, anyway. Although I know you won't accept it.
Counting rosaries is very legalistic. For anyone to say the exact number of rosaries they prayed (3,525?? Really????) is the same as the Pharisee who said see how good I am, I fast twice a week, I tithe, I do all these great things. The publican didn't even feel worthy enough to lift his head, but could only say, I am a sinner. As Jesus said, who do you think came away justified?
This really is the point of my post - being holy is not about what you DO. It is about who you ARE. Far too many people think that if they DO the right things, they will BE the right people It's just the opposite. Change is from inside out.
Think about it.
Again, I will state, Pope Francis (and it would be nice for you to address him with respect) is one of the holiest men to ever sit on the Chair of Peter.
What in the world? You now have a rule that I must refer to Francis as Pope Francis every single time I refer to him? I don't not do that for Benedict XVI, nor Leo XIII nor the sainted Pius X. In this string, I have referred to Francis as: Pope Francis, His Holiness, Holy Father... You are only seeing what you want to see, ignoring what doesn't fit into your narrative.
regarding counting rosaries:
I can't understand you to be saying anything other than when the Pope counts the rosaries he prays every day and tells us about them....that's not legalism. When the laity do it it is. That is a contradiction. Counting is counting. If the Holy Father is against counting Hail Marys, I'm curious as to what method he uses to know when to say his Glory Bes!!!