St. Catherine of Siena to Pope: Use Your Virtue and Power or Resign
St. Catherine of Siena to Pope:
Use Your Virtue and Power or Resign
by John Vennari
The website “Restoring Catholicism” just posted a prize quote from the one of the most remarkable saints in history, the 14th Century Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and Stigmatist.
Saint Catherine wrote the following to Pope Gregory XI:
“Most Holy Father,… because He [Christ] has given you authority and because you have accepted it, you ought to use your virtue and power. If you do not wish to use it, it might be better for you to resign what you have accepted; it would give more honor to God and health to your soul…. If you do not do this, you will be censured by God. If I were you, I would fear that Divine Judgment might descend on me…Alas, Most Holy Father! At times obedience to you leads to eternal damnation. (Letter to Pope Gregory XI).”
This quote contains a number of lessons:
• It destroys ‘papalotry,’ the superstition among too many Catholics that we must defend and excuse whatever the Pope says or does because it’s the Pope who says and does it;
• It is a reminder that the Pope himself has a grave duty to use his “virtue and power” to strengthen the Church, not misuse his power to undermine the Church and scandalize the faithful;
• It is better for a scandalous Pope to resign than continue in office – and we have this on the authority of a saint;
• Obeying the wrong-headed commands of a Pope can “lead to eternal damnation.” Indiscriminate blind obedience to Papal wishes is not virtue, but vice.
Dear Pope Francis, are you listening?
St. Catherine Quote posted at “Restoring Catholicism”