Sunday, August 24, 2014

Slap your face!

The other day I added a comment on Facebook to something a friend had posted; I thought I was posting my comment on his Facebook thread; instead, my comment ended up on the site called The Remnant -- which purports to be Catholic.

The discussion was about Pope Francis; and, I'm very sorry to say, the Remnant appears to have no scruples when it comes to bashing the successor to Saint Peter.

Oh, you think I exaggerate?

Here are some comments:

> "...his tacit support of homosexuality..." -- "John Antesberger"

> "I'm just curious. Does anyone actually have any doubts that Francis in his heart, in his soul, and in his darkened mind, is a heretic?" -- "Thomas Fortino"

> "If Bergoglio is the answer, it must be a very stupid question." -- "Andrew Russo"

Meanwhile, this same publication featured an article recently that speculated that Pope Benedict only sort-of resigned; he's still partly pope, possessing the infallibility, but none of the other parts, leaving Pope Francis with all the other parts, but not the infallibility. Now, that would be merely idiotic and laughable; except that there are honest people who are susceptible that sort of thing. Then it becomes destructive of people's faith; and -- I don't say this lightly -- damnable. (Biretta-tip to Mark Shea, who published an item by Karl Keating that led me to this.)

This is not the only place that traffics in this sort of thing, of course. Although not as extreme, the popular site Regina Coeli was so quick to denounce the Holy Father a heretic, it managed to do so with hours of his election.

Now, let's sort this out.

My premise here is not that Catholics can't disagree with the pope, or criticize him, or even think he is a bad fellow. History tells us that some popes were, indeed, bad fellows, and it's never been true that we were bidden to deny we see what we see.

But this is the Holy Father, the successor to Saint Peter. Oh, you don't believe that? Then you're either not Catholic, or you've lost your mind. Pope Francis was validly elected according to the laws of the Church; and before anyone trots out any mumbo-jumbo about Benedict, it's crystal clear that (a) he resigned; and (b) he thinks Francis is pope.

And if we're going to be ultra-traditional about this (not that I have any problem with tradition), how about folks go look up in the Catechism of Trent (edited by Saint Charles Borromeo and published by authority of Pope Saint Pius V) what it says about calumny and detraction, and about the dignity of the Supreme Pontiff. Run your acid words about Pope Francis through that sieve and let's see what remains, shall we?

When I read these things, I can't help thinking what my mother might have said or done, had I spoken about the pope in this way in her presence. I think she'd have slapped me. And she'd have been right. These folks, who post these things online, need to show them to their mothers, standing very close.


Unknown said...

Dear Fr.
Right on, very well said. You are right about mom & I would add that our dad would do the same.
Take care,

Deacon David Oatney said...

Why can't people just be obedient to the Church...good grief.

TerryC said...

Ah, the Remnant.
I've run across them before. Generally made up of the crowd who believes that things went to the dogs politically when the Catholic Monarchy went out of fashion and religiously when we stopped burning heretics at the stake.
I tend to pretty much ignore what they have to say. Their theology is suspect. Their politics silly/ The worst thing is that because Facebook can link thorough their site someone might wrongly associate you with them. Smart idea to post a comment here.

TrooperYork said...

I am happy to see your confidence and trust in this Pope. I wish that I could share it.

You confidence in him does give me hope.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Any confidence or trust in the pope on my part is beside the point!

Don't you see that?

TrooperYork said...

I do. I have grave doubts about him so when a man of faith such as yourself believes in him I feel somewhat better. It means you see something in the man that I do not see. I see the same things in the office that you do and offer the same respect and obedience that it requires and commands.

I don't think I am explaining myself very well..... my apologies. I am always much smarter when I am writing as Trooper York.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Here's my point.

The papacy isn't as much about the man as most of our secular society makes it. It's about God. For example, God assists the pope in offering infallible teaching, not for the pope's sake, but for the sake of the faithful.

The other thing I would point out. There have been two hundred and sixty-some popes. The popes we've had since at least Blessed Pope Pius IX have been remarkably good, holy, intelligent men. Seriously, you should take time, if you can, and read about all of them. It's been a really good run.

Does that mean we'll never have a a "bad pope"?


But if you want to see what a bad pope really looks like, read about some of them from way, way back.

Pope Francis is no Borgia pope.

Trooper York said...

Never thought he was Father. I just don't want him to be an Obama Pope if you know what I mean?

Fr Martin Fox said...


No, I don't know what you mean. Can you explain what an "Obama pope" is?

ndspinelli said...

Jim has expressed many trepidations on the Pontiff regarding gay marriage and income inequality. I think those are the 2 big ones. Jim also wants the Pontiff to excommunicate Catholic politicians who support abortion. Jim wants a Pontiff who kicks some ass. It's a Brooklyn thing.

Deacon David Oatney said...

I think we should just pray for the intercession of the Blessed for the Church and the Pontiff and quit griping about the Holy Father-be faithful.