It has been a long time since I directly commented here on this blog on matters concerning the Catholic Church. In this book review I simply offer an outsider’s understanding of the matters discussed by Henry Sire, and not those of a Vaticanista or someone who has any inside knowledge. What are we to make of these revelations about the humble pope who is adored by the liberal press?
When – in 2016 – I was looking for a property to begin a more secluded life, I hoped for the local church and its bishop to support me in my desire to live under rule, according to Canon 603 regarding the consecrated life – which simply requires an obedience to the local “ordinary” (the bishop) and some form of spritual direction by the parish priest (or another). This rule, when you explore it, requires that the individual makes no financial demands on the diocese and even has to present a plan for healthcare, etc. to demonstrate that the hermit life will not place any financial burden on the diocese. I have a canon lawyer friend in the USA (soon to be made a bishop) and he looked at my plan and made changes to it before I submitted it to the local priest. It doesn’t make any demands on the parish or the diocese, but simply offers them a prayer support. What is the point of a life of prayer? Yes, that was actually the parish priest’s question.
As I had had experience of structured religious life, I expected this request to at least result in an interview with the bishop to explore the question. Instead, I was simply told that the local parish and diocese did not see the point of the request. At that point, two years ago, I stopped taking the Catholic Church very seriously, since it was clear that the Code of Canon Law was not something that was terribly important to the persons implementing it. And I live a fairly solitary life now, with four donkeys in the mountains, but don’t connect or offer this solitary life to the Church. I might just as well offer it to the local village bar, if you will excuse my flippancy.
In Rome in 2008-2009 I was in the Beda College (nextdoor to St Paul’s Basilica) during the time of Pope Benedict XVI, and we were sometimes involved in the great set piece papal events of that time. Looking back, it seems like a golden era of certainty – in church doctrine, liturgy, theology, and a general sense that the Catholic Church counted for something, and stood for values that were not the passing whims of the secular world.
All that was thrown out with the undermining of Benedict in the scandals of the Vatican, which forced him to resign, and the arrival of a pope who called himself Francis, an arrogant Argentinian Peronist whose liberal supporters (including those in the hopelessly heterodox English Catholic Bishops Conference) conspired to elect as pontiff, despite election rules that prohibit organised politicking.
As we arrive at the point where Pope Francis is now being asked to resign, for reasons which are centred on his total disregard for the protection of children, in the biggest crisis the Church has ever seen; Pope Francis yesterday made an extraordinary statement in a homily in Rome.
In his homily at Mass on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis said it seems the “Great Accuser” is attacking the bishops of the Catholic Church to create scandal. (Vatican News.) In other words, those who have revealed the scandalous behaviour of abusive cardinals and bishops are acting for the devil.
I am reading the book The Dictator Pope by Henry Sire (pen name Marcantonio Colonna) and I shall review it in instalments on this blog. Meanwhile, you might enjoy the video interview that the author has given. He was a former Knight of Malta but has been suspended from the order following the publication of the book.
There are increasing demands for the resignation of Pope Francis after the revelations from the former US Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. I shall not post links: just Google his name and follow the furore! (He is now in hiding and pursued by Vatican secret agents for divulging Vatican secrets.)
Oh, and don’t expect to see much of this reported in the secular press: Pope Francis is their darling! On LGBT rights, abortion and everything that helps demolish Catholic teaching, he has delivered the goods. Such a shame that the secular press has such double standards: for it appears Pope Francis has enabled a disgusting network of abusers in the hierarchy of the Church, and the facts are all detailed in the letter released by Viganò.
Moderation on Equusasinus.net
Usually there is no pre-moderation of comments on this blog and comments from anyone who is a previous commenter automatically appear. Due to the nature of this post and the follow-up posts on the topic of The Dictator Pope, pre-moderation has been reintroduced as past experience has shown this is very necessary. We don’t want those naughty internet demons coming to the party, do we?